What’s the Right Way to Leave Money for Children?

My Struggle with Future Family Planning

Suddenly, it looked like for the first time, one of the businesses I invested in was really going to be worth something. I was 43 years old and into my third year of full-time angel investing. Up to this point, my net worth was edging downward month by month. I was married with four children, […]

What Do You Want To Do?

Harness the Power of Putting Voice to Your Dream

I love the movie Good Will Hunting. In fact, I like any movie which starts with a likable but broken character who faces a huge life challenge. In the end, they break through by overcoming themselves. They achieve a sort of salvation. Pure Genius Robin Williams plays a psychiatrist who asks Will Hunting, “What do […]

Do You Want to Be Fired?

The Agony and Ecstasy of Startups

“In a startup, isn’t there a part of you that wants to be fired?” asked my good friend I’ll call Roger. I’ll never forget this conversation. I convinced Roger to become part of a well-funded startup. He had a passion for their market. He was captured by the problem they were working to solve, and […]

Don’t Compete. Dominate.

Stretch Goals Make Teams More Effective

Their goal was a record 30 Olympic medals. They achieved 39. Norway didn’t just compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics. They dominated. When the Olympics were just getting underway, NBC ran a video segment on the Norwegian ski team. It opened with about 15 of them dressed as Vikings on top of a snow-covered hill. […]

Why You Must Know the How

Profits Are Made (or Lost) in the How

I was talking to one of the original franchise owners of Waffle House. He grew the franchise in the Southeast to 58 stores before eventually selling out. Before buying the franchise for a single southern state, he knew nothing about the restaurant business. But he did understand the analytics of the individual stores over time. […]

How Important Was Your Last Breath?

Never Let Your Entrepreneurial Fire Die

“How important was your last breath?” asked Grant Cardone, author of the 10X Rule. “Now tell me. How important is your next breath?” One of the concerns I have right now is when to wind down. When I turned 60, which was almost five years ago, people started telling me to slow down. They said, […]

How to Develop an Eye for Leaders

“I need help building leaders,” I said to Seth Barnes, an angel investor, business adviser, author, and founder of Adventures in Missions. Seth spends his life looking for and developing leaders from the workplace to the mission field worldwide. He is good at picking leaders. I’m even jealous of a couple of angel deals he […]

You’ve Got to Go to Grow

The Path to Success Is Not Through the Familiar

I looked over the crowd of 8,000 current and future entrepreneurs. The young men and women who will create and grow the new Uganda. The next generation of leadership into the mid 21st century. My Advice, “Go!” These people came mostly from villages and other under-resourced areas of the country where multiple family generations have lived […]

What’s the Secret to Successful Product Naming?

How Personification Led to a Market Winner

That’s a catchy product name, I thought. I was running a software house which was building and selling software to CPAs. Sales growth was slowing so we decided it was time to move to other vertical markets. After all, the thinking went, we are selling accounting software. We Had Lots to Learn Accounting is accounting […]

My Personal Criteria for a Startup Investment

From 30 Early Stage Investments Over 24 years

I love visiting startup companies in a mini trade show environment. It gives me an opportunity to meet the people who are working at the companies. I much prefer this as an initial introduction. To me, it is much more revealing, more intimate, than a formal seven-minute stage presentation. Such was the case at the […]