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The founder of an Internet-services provider ignores the mantra of the boom years of the late 1990s that fast growth would equal fast profit and opted instead for what he calls a "sensible" approach to building a company. That is a business model based on the need to turn a profit and tactics for doing so, the author writes.
Leveraging your advisors and directors is a lot like managing your customers: Accurate information and clear communication are key to a good relationship. Recruiting knowledgeable executives from established, prestigious companies is a good way to gain experience and credibility-but for this serial start-up founder, it's even more important to ask them the right questions and pay attention to their suggestions.
In every company there are a series of critical paths-courses to a conclusion that employees have to run, under intense time pressure, to keep the company meeting goals and hitting objectives so that it keeps moving forward. If someone is blocking the critical path, then that person has to get out of the way. If he or she cannot find a way to get out of the critical path, then the CEO has to step in and clear the way so that the race can continue.
Through university lectures and financial support, Maxine Clark is giving the next generation of entrepreneurs a leg up.
Pittsburg, Kansas and Pittsburg State University benefit from the broad generosity of Gene Bicknell, who gives because "it's the right thing to do."
Don Grimm spreads his giving back around through nonprofit and for-profit boards to tech transfer and angel investing.
Michael Gallegos has always believed in giving back, but he only recently discovered the importance of giving back to entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs benefit from knowledgeable third-party advice provided by advisors, writes the former chairman of a family-owned diamond business. The author describes his own dealings with informal mentors and the members of his formal advisory board.
Many founders have cited the importance of access to mentoring and coaching that the peer-to-peer organizations, as well as industry groups, Chambers of Commerce, and trade associations, have provided for them.
Mentors help us confront adversity, seize opportunity, learn from mistakes, understand our strengths and grow as leaders. Learn how to be an effective mentor to other entrepreneurs. (Published Oct 2002)
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