Tag Archives: Executive Coaching

Mr. Entrepreneur – Which hat are you wearing today?

As an entrepreneur, you need to manage wide variety of tasks, starting from making your business plan, marketing strategy, getting your clients, or managing teams etc. Its not just having technology skills or expertise in a specific area, as an entrepreneur ones needs to wear multiple hats. You will not only exercise ultimate power but will also be responsible for taking the most critical decisions for your business. But in my experience, many entrepreneurs misunderstand their role and limit themselves, which becomes the cause for many entrepreneur failures.

So what is the role of an entrepreneur? What makes him effective?

Be it a startup founder or an entrepreneur of large enterprise, few things remain unaltered. Following are most critical hats, which you need to wear as an entrepreneur:

  1. Connector – A successful entrepreneur has the ability to connect the dots and see the larger picture. A great example of a connector is Mr. Ratan Tata, ex CEO of Tata Group. The way he drove Tata group during all ups and downs and consistently evolved the organization as per the changing market dynamics for last few decades is an outstanding story. As an entrepreneur, it is required that they understand the strengths & weaknesses of the business, recognize the right opportunity and potential clients. A successful entrepreneur knows how the key drivers relate to each other for the business to grow.
  2. Collaborator – A successful entrepreneur can build effective relationships with their teams, clients, customers, vendors, investors and other stakeholders. They can leverage abilities to build their venture. They know that they need to build a strong team around him/her as he/she cannot manage all the tasks on his/her own. They are able to develop the art of tailoring the communication style that is open, honest, fair and appropriate to connect to all stakeholders.
  3. Core Mind setter– A successful entrepreneur is motivated enough to focus their energy to achieve and accomplish their goals. They have a core need for success and excellence that keeps them motived to compete and strive for success in spite of any challenges. Their confidence in their ability makes them bounce them from any set-backs.
  4. Conductor – An entrepreneur has the ability to analyze the world that helps them to implement the business plan to take their idea into action. An entrepreneur essentially needs to make right choices from the available set of alternatives. Ultimately, the success of the venture is dependent on his decisions. He needs to be the artist of business world.

A successful entrepreneur of a startup will be able to transform the venture from good to great, if he believes in himself and knows his strengths. All of these roles may be challenging to keep, but these are the ones, which sets an entrepreneur apart from other.

Do you know if you have what it takes to grow your business?
Take L.I.F.E Entrepreneur Assessment and know your strengths!

Creating a Vision for Your Business – It is a Visionary Process!

It is a reality – Most of small business owners are the same, they focus so much on the day-to-day tasks that they are not able to see more than a just a few feet ahead, and everything beyond becomes just a blur. This leaves them unsure of the future ahead, and makes them vulnerable to ‘bumping into obstacles’ which can be best avoided. On top of it, the feeling of being confused about what your business should be doing is inevitably both painful and expensive!

On the other hand when you have clarity of vision, you clearly understand where do you need to drive your business to deliver to your own short and long-term aspirations & ambitions, and then you can opt for the shortest distance between where your business is now and where you want it to be in the future.

It’s time to create your businesses vision statement.  You really don’t have to worry about trying to make it perfect. What’s more important at this point is to begin the dialogue with yourself about the business you’re trying to create.

Begin with a clean slate. Imagine your business three to five years in the future, and answer the following questions

What service do you provide and what products do you sell?

  • What types of clients do you have – Retail, Corporate, etc?
  • Where is your location of work? Do you work at home or in an office? Describe everything.
  • Are you an owner or a hands-on employee? Are you involved in day to day activities or you manager people who deliver it for you?
  • Do you have employees? If so, how many? What do they do? Be as specific as possible.
  • What does this business do better than any other? What are you famous for? What makes you unique or different from your competition?
  • How do you feel about this business? What motivates you about running this business?
  • What are the three or four keywords you often use when you describe your business to others? Alternatively what are the keywords your clients use when describing what you do for them to others?

Now, you have to pull out the strongest words in your descriptions. Lookout for those words that sets off an emotional current in you. What words generate hope, passion and obsession in yourself when you read them on the paper? Well ALL of these words inspire you, and they have to be a part of your vision statement. Your words should depict the type of clients you serve, the service you provide, and the geographic coverage of your service. That’s it – you are now all set to write your own vision statement

What stage of entrepreneurship are you dealing with today? Do take a moment to recognize where you are in your business and what skills you need to steer successfully through the stage. To get answers to all these questions and to establish your leadership style, join our Leadership Development Program and please visit us at www.leaderinu.in/life.php. Based on the lifecycle of an enterprise, we have developed a framework to understand the skills required in order to be a successful entrepreneur. It is outlined based on some business must at each of these stages and skills required by an entrepreneur to meet those must or overcome those challenges.

Women Entrepreneurship – Common Mistakes and How to Avoid them

Getting started with a business is electrifying, challenging, and exciting. Women entrepreneurs are generally faced with a multitude of obstacles along the way, but understanding the possible mistakes before you make them could make a vital difference between business success and business failure.

When I first started my business few years back, I was just a start up, both in business and in my entrepreneurial skills also. It took me almost 3 years to book any profits and in the journey while I made awesome amount of mistakes, I also learned a lot of things about myself and the business.

I have today tried to list out a few mistakes which I made and I believe that all women entrepreneurs commonly make, probably it will make your journey little smoother:

I will do It all by myself

Most women entrepreneurs have a native belief that they have to do it all by themselves. It doesn’t really matter if this conviction comes from family history, their surroundings, or psychology, what matters is that they have to recognize they cannot do it all. They need to learn to identify when help is required. Along with this they will have to believe and understand that it’s not a sign of failure to ask for help. It’s a sign that their business is growing, hence it needs to be viewed as a positive and not a negative. “You can’t do it all,” advises Pallavi (one of my close pals). “When I first started my gifting solutions business, my clients only wanted to work with me and no one else in my team. I learned to tell them that I was handing off things to staff members who were much more qualified than I to do certain tasks”

Financial Statements are scary

It’s great to have gut, intuition and creativity. But those don’t necessarily lead to profit and money growth. If you’re scared to deal with numbers, think of your profit and loss statement as a gardening job. Your money needs care, watering, weeding, fertilizing and pruning. Don’t avoid looking at your sales numbers or how much you’ve spent. Money is the life force of your business. Look after it.

The Mommy Guilt

Mommy guilt—it’s a feeling that no one will be able to understand unless they’re a mother. It is feeling which comes to most working mothers that they are not spending enough time with their children. Rather than feeling bad about this fact, you need to realize that this feeling is here to stay. As mothers, we will never feel like we’re doing enough for our children. Rather than lamenting the time you can’t spend with your kids as you build your business, make the time you do have with them the best it can be. If your kids are happy, you’re doing just fine.” Some time I miss spending enough time with my daughter”. I have spent last three years nurturing my business just as a mother would do to new born kid.  But at the same time, I firmly believe that “This Business is also like my kid. I need to give it time as well and it deserves equal attention as my 3 years old daughter”  

Avoiding sales and selling

Women entrepreneurs mostly hesitate going out for a sales job as think it is a man’s job to go out and sell. Here’s something many female owners don’t know: Women are born salespeople. Women inherently possess many a traits which are required to be a successful salesperson, such as great communication skills, strong will power, and a desire to serve. You will have to think about selling, because you can’t run a successful company if you don’t completely understand how sales are done. 

Self Doubt

It’s ok to have times of self-doubt, but you don’t give into them. Think about it, if you, yourself don’t believe in your capabilities, why would customers, vendors, investors, or anyone else? You have to get into a habit of building up your network of fellow business women and entrepreneurs that you can communicate with, learn from, and ask for help. Find a mentor who can help harness your ‘youness’ in you. You can do it.

It is important to know what traps you can fall in early in the business life cycle. Get to learn the tools and techniques to avoid succumbing to these mistakes by enrolling on our custom developed training programs. For details, please visit www.leaderinu.com/life.php or contact us at info@leaderinu.in

Enterprise Lifecycle

An enterprise’s life cycle repeats itself in businesses of all sizes, from start-ups in a garage to corporate entrepreneurship activities in global Fortune 500 companies. It starts with an entrepreneur who perceives an opportunity, creates an organization to pursue it, assembles the required resources, implements a practical plan, and assumes the risks and the rewards, all in a timely manner for all involved. We present the six stages in the Entrepreneurial Life Cycle.

Stage 1: Opportunity Identification

For years this idea has been running in the head and burning my heart. Now I have started thinking about this more realistically, have done market research to understand the dimensions of the opportunity and most importantly have taken commitment from my inner self that I am ready to role this forward. Here you go… The idea has been born, commitments have been taken and the entrepreneur self of YOU is ready to roll. Point to consider at this stage is to have a deep look inside and see if you are really ready for this opportunity.

Stage 2: The Birth of Your Company

Most start up leaders see birth of  the company as the physical incorporation of the business, however this stage actually starts well ahead of that with the development of business plan. Writing an effective business plan requires an intense level of commitment and understanding as at this stage, you are deciding upon the initial vision of your venture. A common mistake entrepreneurs do at this stage is to get started with the venture and holding up the business plan for future. Well this can be fatal.

Stage 3: Launch and Growth

Resources alignment and first sales are typical input & outcomes at this stage. At this stage, it is the entrepreneur’s leadership that drives the company. He would typically wear multiple hats at this stage- ranging from HR to Marketing. Chaos in business affairs is more or less normal at this point and entrepreneurs, who do well at this stage, are able to manage resources and troubleshoot business issues exceedingly well. Both Leadership and management skills are equally important and need to be well-balanced at this stage of entrepreneurship.

Stage 4: Getting Established and Expanding

Post launch, the dust has begun to settle and there is sanity in systems and routines. Role of an entrepreneur here moves to become a helmsman for the organization. He would steer the organization towards clearly defined goals and markets.

Stage 5: Consolidating and turn-around

This phase is characterised by the entrepreneur having to operate in a very tough market environment. Operations/Resources that are not viable may need to be shut down. This phase can be difficult because the decisions involved are the toughest.

This phase calls for the entrepreneur to exhibit the ‘survival skills’. At this stage his tasks and responsibilities are not limited to maintaining a “status quo” but how he can get the company back on track into a growth phase. This could call for reinventing the product or finding new markets and entry strategies.

Stage 6: Liquidity Event

While we work hard to ensure that our creations outlast us, there comes a time when it’s clear that staying in business is would lead you into bankruptcy or would cause such cash flow strain that there simply is no way to dig yourself out of the hole that has been created. Shutting your doors can feel like a failure, but when the writing is on the wall, it’s much better to close up shop before the business takes everyone down with it.

What stage of entrepreneurship are you dealing with today? Do take a moment to recognize where you are in your business and what skills you need to steer successfully through the stage. To get answers to all these questions and to establish your leadership style, please visit us www.leaderinu.in/life.php or join our business skills training program. Based on the life cycle of an enterprise, we have developed a framework to understand the skills required in order to be a successful entrepreneur. It is outlined based on some business must at each of these stages and skills required by an entrepreneur to meet those must or overcome those challenges.