Why a Willingness to Shrink is Critical for Growth

“You look terrible!” I said. “Worry is painted all over your face.” “I just sent out an SOS to donors for our ministry,” he explained. I met Tim nine years ago at a startup seminar for ministries. The attendees were called by God to start a ministry, and they came to learn how to do […]

What Big Companies Expect When They Invest in Your Startup

This is the second in a three-part series on strategic investors and startups. “When we cut this deal, we will have money, distribution and credibility. It is going to be fantastic!” exclaimed the entrepreneur. “Hold on a minute,” I said. “Big companies move slowly. Just because they have everything you need doesn’t mean it will be […]

Necessary Tension Every Successful Entrepreneur Must Balance

“You’re not making money,” I said. “But I am trying to make an impact,” replied Mike, an entrepreneur friend. I met Mike six years ago. His idea was a B2C services business which I believed had too many moving parts. In other words, too many things had to go right to make money. From Meager to […]

How Perfect Start-Up Pitches Are Born

The Story of Brock Control Systems

“They are stuffing my gold into their desk drawers!” said Richard Brock. “What are you talking about?” I asked. “Our direct mail campaigns are generating an incredible number of qualified leads. We sort them by sales territory and then give them to the reps.” Peril of Low-Hanging Fruit Brock said, “Yes, they are working on the […]

Radical Approach to Acquiring Real Business Smarts

David, my son, invited Kathy and me on a double date one Monday night to hear Joe Gransden and his 16 Piece Big Band at Atlanta’s Cafe 290. They were amazing. The band included a couple of Grammy award winners and some of the best musicians in Atlanta. The bass trombonist, Lee Watts, was David’s […]

My First Interview in the Software Business

“You show me you can sell, and I’ll hire you.” I was 22 years old and working as an accountant in a South Florida CPA firm. This was my shot to be a part of the newly forming software industry. I became acquainted with the founder of Management Control Systems, Richard Brock, through IBM in […]

From the Arduous Journey Flows a Full Life

I looked around the room at the people I was working with and said, “I can’t be them.” I had just graduated from the University of Miami with a BBA in Accounting and landed my first professional job. And then it happened. I realized I enjoyed studying accounting but not doing accounting. My first job at the CPA […]

How I Stole My Client’s Girlfriend and Learned Selling…All in 48 Hours

“I would love to go on a blind date,” I said to my client in November of 1976. I was partners in a software company, Management Control Systems (MCS). We wrote and sold software to CPAs. I was in Denver installing at our client, Leslie Whitemore & Co., working with Jared Whitemore, a partner’s son. These […]

What a Weary Entrepreneur Taught Me About Angel Investing

I was speechless. The entrepreneur, Randy, had just said, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” It was 1995, and I had backed Randy in starting a professional services company. “I don’t like worrying about payroll and cash flow all the time. It just isn’t fun.” When I invest in a raw startup, the entrepreneur […]

Can You Conquer the Grasshopper Mentality?

At a recent conference, I heard Peter, a 38-year-old Ugandan businessman, tell about his crucial journey to Dubai. God had given him the vision to move from employee to entrepreneur. He knew it was time. He had all the expertise required to start a roofing manufacturing business. He had even saved enough money to start the business […]