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 […]

The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned in 40 Years

For his first day of work, he wore a tweed sports coat with velvet patches on the sleeves. He would soon find out it wasn’t a good dress choice. This was Bob Lasher’s (see photo above) first day as our newest sales rep at Management Control Systems (MCS). Learning to Sell Our VP of Sales […]

Three Sales Channels That Put Your Startup at Risk

Startups need cash to get off the ground. The purpose of the startup cash is to give you time to create a company which generates its own cash. Therefore, it is critical to focus on short-term sales strategies to create short-term results. The fastest way to generate cash is to sell something as soon as […]

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 […]

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 […]