Category Archives: Entrepreneur

How To Promote Teamwork

This subject is something that I have dedicated a lot of my life to learning. How to function better in a team environment. How to make the acronym T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More) true.

I had a long discussion with the owner of our company today about why people can’t seem to work well in a team, and why everyone in our company can’t see our teammates as part of the team.

We had a discussion this morning and had to go on to do other things, but it left me thinking long and hard about it.

After an hour or two I texted him a 3 step process that I have found to work for me. There is obviously more to effective teamwork then just this, but I think it’s a great starting point for anyone…

Steps to Promote Teamwork

  1. Kill Them With Kindness – This phrase may be a bit overused (mostly because we don’t know how to do this), but it is true. Most of what keeps people from working together are poor attitudes and personality problems. If you can learn to be kind to people, in other words, professional with people, then you will go a long way in promoting good teamwork with that person.
  2. Never Compromise Your Integrity – Part of being a teammate is having a healthy respect for both your integrity and your co-workers. If you compromise your integrity, what you believe is right, then you will start to resent other people for what they believe. The key here is to get it all out on the table so you can work with it. Don’t ignore the problem. Let your co-worker know that you need to figure out a solution to the problem. And one of the hardest parts with this is to get anyone to recognize that their is a problem in the first place. Word of advice… If anyone has a problem, it’s everyone’s problem. Help them solve it by working together on it.
  3. Keep reminding people of why we are here – No matter how good you are or how good you think you are, you still need to be reminded about the important things. And probably the most important thing you need to remember is why you are working as a team in the first place. The owner of my company made a good point today. You can either choose to work with people or leave the company. We are all in it together. I tried to compromise by saying that we could split people up who don’t get along with each other. My owner’s response was that we want to treat people like adults, and help them learn and grow. It does no good for them or the company to simply separate them. And my response to him, after the light bulb on my head turned on, was that growth does happen in adversity. We have to face our problems head on, and strive to solve them. In the process we really will learn and go, and be able to handle similar situations much better in the future.

Think hard about these three things the next time you want to promote more teamwork in your organization. These ideas, if implemented correctly, will go a long way toward making your team into the well-oiled machine they deserve to be.

Great Product is the New Marketing

I’ve been trying to keep up to date about what everyone in the publishing industry is talking about…

So… here is a quick link to a good little article about how you need to let the product market itself and let your readers be your sales team.

I’ve seen this strategy work great in a lot of companies, including my current one, and I highly recommend it.

Great Product is the New Marketing

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Success in Business Just Might Require Giving Gifts

Seth Godin’s latest post is a great one.

The title is Generous Gifts vs. Free Samples

It gives a lot of food for thought…

A lot of learning that occurs in business and life occurs when you turn up the contrast and look at the differences in things.

Seth makes the point that giving away free samples is a great business marketing strategy and you often see a lot of sales occur from this strategy.

It is a give and take approach to life.

Yet Seth makes the argument well that giving a gift is something totally different.

A gift is something you give without receiving anything in return. And he argues that if you think this way about things it will change your whole approach to business and life.

…and it will change you.

Giving a gift is something that is very special, and it is to be much appreciated. If it is in your power to do so then maybe you should think about doing it.

Even if you don’t receive something in return (i.e. a sale or returning customer), receiving good will is not to be underestimated.

I’ll leave you will a quote I am very fond of….

“What Constitutes Success” by Bessie Stanley

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”

Shout Out To Jacob @ Early Retirement Extreme

I’ve been reading Jacob’s blog for awhile and this is a guy who is living the life.

At the age of 33 he retired by using a combination of working hard, living extremely frugally (by American standards), and investing wisely.

His blog is full of great wisdom and advice on the above subjects.

Perhaps most people won’t ever aspire to live exactly like him (he doesn’t expect that), but I think we could all benefit from moving in that direction.

In any case, the reason I am writing this today is to let you know he just got his first book published today. I obviously haven’t read it yet, but I am sure it will be just as great as the blog. Here is the link…

The ERE Book Has Been Published!

UPDATE: I’ve read the book and it’s great… Early Retirement Extreme Review

The Path of an Entrepreneur Series: The Beginning

Ahhh, an entrepreneur…

What kind of images does that word conjure in your head?

Images of you at cocktail parties explaining your latest business venture? Ideas of you working in your home office in your pajamas? How about talking to some movers and shakers in your industry about a potential partnership? Or maybe you just think it’s a lot more hard work then it’s worth…

Any of the above could be true. Many more possibilities can be dreamed up too. And many realities include a person such as yourself owning their own business. The question is… “Could that be you?”

My first confession is that I have been a small time serial entrepreneur for awhile now. By small time I mean I have “experimented” with a number of enterprises while holding down part or full time jobs. I made a little money here and there but never turned a business idea into a full time income.

Currently I am what one might consider an “intrapreneur.” This term used to be more popular in the 80’s and 90’s, but has since lost any kind of recognition it once had. As an intrapreneur I am helping to develop a new territory in the company I currently work for that I will practically own like a franchise once it is all said and done. While not providing all the benefits of being a full entrepreneur, it certainly also leaves out all the downside risk as well.

It is a happy medium for me, and it keeps me going to work happy nearly every day. I know many of you can and do aspire to this sort of arrangement. Many of you aspire to eventually freelance or start your own company someday as well. Or even get into consulting. For anyone that fits into these groups this series is definitely for you.

If you are happy in your career and don’t aspire to entrepreneurship then I would ask you to simply read this series as food for thought or continue to some of my other posts that deal more with career and work advice.

The beginning…

This series will cover a lot and I recommend that you subscribe so you don’t miss out on anything. I will start talking about the inspiration that is the beginning of any entrepreneurial journey. And some of the things you have to think about before you even begin.

Next I will talk about the nuts & bolts of a business. How to put one together. What tools, techniques, and resources you will need.

Finally I want to do some case studies and interviews with some successful entrepreneurs. And show you what it looks like when you reach that five year mark and your business is as solid as ever.

This will of course take weeks and months to cover, and I do hope that you will all add to the conversation by commenting. It certainly helps us all to learn and grow when people choose to join the discussion.

So welcome to The Path of an Entrepreneur Series and please enjoy!