Why Market Traction Takes Longer Than You Think

“Did you know that Sue ordered JuicePlus from Julia? Out of nowhere, she called and ordered it,” said my wife Kathy about our oldest daughter’s JuicePlus business. “Really?” I said with surprise. “How long has Julia been selling JuicePlus?” The Three Year Rule “Well, Charles (our grandson) just turned three. So I guess it has been […]

Why Being a Successful Entrepreneur Is About Knowing Your Stage in Life

“We are bootstrapping this venture, and it is hard to do,”said a 24-year-old financial technology entrepreneur recently over coffee. “I can only imagine. The FinTech economic model is rooted in taking a tiny slice of millions of transactions. It is a great model but needs millions of transactions to work,” I said. Outside Capital Needed […]

How Do You Fire Innocent Employees?

And Get Those Left to Trust You

This is the second in a three part series on trust. “You have to do a layoff,” said Jim Porter. We were a fast growing company and an icon of success. In fact our byline was “We are success.” Cracking the market was exciting. We experienced amazing growth through market acceptance. When a market is buying, there […]

What Happens When Trust Is Shattered

This is the first in a three part series on trust. “My father was eight years old when he lost his left arm,” the successful entrepreneur said. It was our first meeting, and I wanted to know a little about his family background. “Was it an accident?” I asked. “My grandfather took my dad to the […]

Who You Are Matters as Much as Your Entrepreneurial Idea

“I have a great idea for a business,” said the entrepreneur. I was in a conversation with a 24-year-old would-be entrepreneur. “What is the business you are thinking about starting?” I asked. “I have an idea for a new social media site,” he said. Yikes, I thought. “Tell me about it,” I responded. The prospective […]

Success Blinded Me to My Employees’ Needs

“Do you believe in vacations?” my head of customer service asked me. It was a little after 7 pm, and Mike and I were walking to our cars together to head home. We talked about how overwhelmed he was given the torrid pace of our sales organization. Our software company had the timing just right, […]

How to Know the Market Values Your Product

I walked off stage having finished my final speech to a crowd of over 8,000 attending the Youth Ablaze conference in Uganda. As the security detail led me through the crowd, something remarkable happened. Just before the exit, a woman stepped out of the crowd to shake my hand. After shaking my hand, she quickly […]

Essential Characteristics of Great Entrepreneurs

Kathy and I were in NYC for a wedding last weekend. We met two different young men from two very different backgrounds over two different meals. Both of them had a clear and compelling vision. Researching Opportunity Changes Lives Karim Abouelnaga founded a nonprofit at the age of eighteen. He was born in poverty in […]

When Employees are Artists, Customers Come Second

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” I said to Dan, the manager of an Atlanta coffee shop. A friend who spends a lot of time working in that coffee shop introduced me to him. “I have a question for you, Dan. Gregg told me something I am finding hard to believe,” I said. The person who […]