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Endeavor Hosts Retail, Food & Beverage Tour for Endeavor Entrepreneurs, Features Presentations from Top Industry Brands

Endeavor hosted a Retail, Food & Beverage Industry Tour for select entrepreneurs in its network, providing them with a rare look into the operations of  some top global brands in each industry. The two-day tour included a mix […]

November 19th, 2014 — by admin

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Turkey’s Pozitron Acquired by Monitise Group in $100 Million Deal

Endeavor Entrepreneur company Pozitron, founded by Fatih Işbecer and Fırat İşbecer, recently announced its acquisition by mobile commerce giant Monitise Group in an all-share deal worth $100 million. A Turkey-based mobile software development company, Pozitron was founded in […]

February 3rd, 2014 — by admin

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Turkey’s B-fit chain empowers women, attracts female entrepreneurs

Reprinted with permission from Today’s Zaman. You can find the original article here.

B-Fit, started by serial entrepreneur Bedriye Hülya, joined Endeavor in 2009. B-fit is the first chain of women-only gyms in Turkey, and uses a franchising model which empowers other Turkish women as they are entirely women staffed and managed.

B-fit, the first women-only gym chain in Turkey, which empowers women by selling franchises to women entrepreneurs only, is also attracting investment in overseas franchises as its business grows larger.

It is currently aiming to have a total of 300 branches by the end of 2012.

B-fit is a 100-percent Turkish brand and a workout program designed for women to get slim through 30-minute workout sessions in which the exercise changes every 30 seconds while the women exercising follow the instructor. Women of all ages come to work out at the sessions which professional trainers with college degrees in the field conduct. Also, each participant’s pulse is measured every 10 minutes during the session to make sure everything is going well.

The founder of the business, Bedriye Hülya, told Sunday’s Zaman she attended a similar workout program in the US while studying psychology in New York. She also studied circuit training, after which she decided to start her own business in the field. Hülya said she researched the machines and their functions and talked to almost every single machine producer in the US before she started her business. She had already moved back to Turkey and, after two years of going back and forth between the US and Turkey to develop the right machines for her b-fit program, she finally started her business in 2006 in the western province of İzmir.

Hülya was cited as an example of one of Turkey’s great entrepreneurs by US Vice President Joe Biden when he spoke at the Second Global Entrepreneurship Summit in İstanbul during his visit to Turkey in December. She was also chosen as one of Turkey’s best entrepreneurs by endeavor.org in 2009.

The gym saw a lot of participation from the women of İzmir, which is also Hülya’s hometown. In the course of a year, Hülya had opened two more gyms in İzmir and one in İstanbul. The business got a lot of attention after Hülya gave a newspaper interview, with women demanding a franchise license. B-fit opened another 10 gyms in 2007, another 15 in 2008, another 30 in 2009 and another 52 in 2010 throughout the country, in addition to branches in Northern Cyprus as well as a branch in Germany. Although the numbers for 2011 have not yet been released, Hülya said it should be well over 52 branches. She added that the company’s target is to have open 300 b-fit gyms in total by the end of the year. The main areas where b-fit would like to sell franchises are the Black Sea and central Anatolian regions. The company also plans to increase the number of branches abroad, especially in Central Asia and the Middle East, in the coming years to give women a chance to empower themselves in developing countries.

Hülya noted b-fit is a great opportunity for women to start their own business and calls the company’s policy to only sell franchises to women positive discrimination. She said even though it may be difficult for women to adapt to a work environment since they are not used to it and may be easily de-motivated by the challenges that come with the job, women are very creative, pay attention to small details and understand each other very well. She added that working with only women is the main driver of the company’s success and rapid growth.

Company procedures require that women who plan to open a franchise gym be ambitious and friendly. These women must also be in need — this doesn’t necessarily mean financial need, but they have a need for success, fulfillment or achievement. They must be solution-oriented individuals rather than problem-oriented. A franchise costs TL 60,000, which covers the costs of machines, brand rights and furniture. Hülya says franchisees must give 4 percent of their earnings to b-fit and recommends they implement company rules well in order to be successful in the business. The company requires franchisees to offer a seminar once a month about nutrition and healthy eating, in addition to organizing member activities such as going out to dinners, events, movies and the theater. B-fit sends out inspectors to branches and also checks on them by sending out secret customers.

B-fit chose a clear apple on a green background as its symbol for promoting a healthy lifestyle. So far, the company has 80,000 members who have lost 50 tons of weight. Fifty percent of their members are working women, 30 percent are housewives while 20 percent are students. The monthly fee for membership varies between TL 50 and TL 150, depending on the location of the gym, and it provides an additional 20 percent discount to students.

PiLA field report: Mexico City

PiLA members and Endeavor Entrepreneurs at the Endeavor Mexico Gala

The following comes from recent Princeton University graduate Julia Kaplan, who is working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs in Mexico as part of the PiLA program.

The Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) is a non-profit organization that has been partnering with non-profits throughout Latin America since 2002 to match them with young, public sector professionals seeking full-year fellowships in development work. The program was co-founded by Endeavor staff member Allen Taylor.

When I told people I was going to live in Mexico City for a year, the most common response I heard was, “Are you crazy?” Let’s just say that most Americans have a very narrow perspective of Mexico, informed by various negative news reports and State Department travel warnings. However, I had done my research, and knew that there was much more to Mexico than security issues, including an exciting, fast-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem that I was about to join as a Princeton in Latin America fellow at Endeavor Mexico. And in fact, my time in the bustling metropolis of “el DF” has been a truly exciting adventure.

My job at Endeavor Mexico, in the Search & Selection area, involves profiling our entrepreneur candidates so that when mentors come to Local and International Selection Panels, they have a strong understanding of the entrepreneur and their business before interviewing them. This allows Endeavor to make the most of the limited time they have at selection panels to screen and select the most promising high-impact entrepreneurs. The Endeavor profile may seem like a simple report on the surface, but many hours of work go into its creation. I get to know the entrepreneurs’ businesses inside and out as I accompany them to interviews with Endeavor mentors and hold one-on-one sessions to get in-depth insights into their operating model, governance structure, company culture, and personal story. The range of individuals and companies we work with is astounding, and I have come to have a deep understanding of fields as diverse as mobile technology, personal care products, organic agriculture, and software, to name a few.

I have also learned a lot from the people I interact with, including my coworkers — who are not only my colleagues, but also my friends. This is definitely the most fun office I have ever worked in! I also learn so much from the entrepreneurs, and especially our fantastic mentors, who always have something new to teach us about the business world. And this all happens in Spanish! At first I was very conscious of the language barrier, but now it has become second nature to me, which is one of my biggest accomplishments from my time so far in Mexico.

Apart from all that I have learned in the office, there is so much that daily life in Mexico City has taught me, such as:

– How to squeeze onto an unbelievably crowded bus in the morning and live to tell the tale
– When to properly use the ever-present guey and the many other Mexican slang words
– Appreciating quesadillas de huitlacoche—that would be corn fungus, and yes, it’s delicious
– The necessity of greeting everyone with a kiss on the cheek in all circumstances—just shaking hands would be rude!
– How to cook a turkey…

That last one might seem random, but one thing I have noticed is that I have as much to teach my Mexican friends as they do to teach me, and I absolutely had to cook them Thanksgiving dinner! That is one example of the moments I would have never had if I stayed in the US after graduating. I am so glad I came to Endeavor Mexico for this incredible and unique experience!

A conversation with Marc Benioff, Founder & CEO of Salesforce.com [Video, Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a presentation at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco. The event, which assembled over 450 entrepreneurs and global business leaders, featured dozens of entrepreneurship-related presentations by top CEOs and industry experts.

Overview: As one of the highlights of the Summit, Linda Rottenberg joined Marc Benioff on the stage to host a conversation and facilitate audience questions. Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, discusses the transformational impact of cloud computing technology and the extraordinary opportunities for entrepreneurs to make an impact today.

Bio: Marc Benioff is chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. He founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand information management service that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Benioff is regarded as the leader of what he has termed “The End of Software,” the now-proven belief that multitenant, cloud computing applications democratize information by delivering immediate benefits at reduced risks and costs. For the full bio, click here.

Full transcript:

Linda: Marc Benioff’s story epitomizes the journey in Silicon Valley from 1980 to today. He started off launching his first company at 15. He then paid his way through college by becoming a programmer at Apple with Steve Jobs working with them in 1984. He then spent 13 years at Oracle working his way up to the inner circles of Oracle, very close to Larry Ellison. And then an unusual decision: at 32, he decided he was a bit burned out and he would go on a sabbatical to India and Hawaii. Then he came back and said he needed a different type of experience. (more…)

Entrepreneurs need mentorship and vision

Reprinted from startupweekend.org. See the original post here.

by Lior Levin

In 2011, it was difficult to go more than one week without hearing from a new tech startup that built the latest iPhone or Android app, or that launched the newest and best way to create, manage, and measure your social media profiles. Add to that on demand television and music, and data mining, and you’ve got a pretty well-rounded look at the landscape of tech startups in 2012 and beyond.

For companies building solutions like those mentioned above, it doesn’t take much money or even that much time to launch and start proof of concept. Long gone are the days spent perfecting pitches for investors, venture capitalists, or even crowdfunding partners (although, startups that get funded during seed-stage have been shown to be more successful).

Instead, the whole product is developed, produced, and marketed before investment money is even needed. These affordable, just-in-time products and services are exactly what have shaped the recent past of the tech startup age.

But can it really sustain the future of these companies?

Learning What Works – Two Keys to Success

Sometimes – often times – startup founders are just too close to their own company’s success to actually realize it. Because outside funding is not necessarily needed for so many small tech firms, founders are not given the opportunity – or the mandate – to learn how to grow a business from the ground up from people who have been there and done that.

Key 1: Mentorship

As the author in a recent Harvard Business Review blog post pointed out, there is much more to startup success than technology itself. “Though we enjoy writing about dropout tech legends, most times their success is catalyzed by others — they came up with the ideas and the investors provided the leadership and the non-tech factors (such as pricing models, branding, and promotions, among others) that propelled them to stardom.”

It takes more than a solution, no matter how awesome the solution is, to create success for a company. Mentors can often help startup founders see the forest for the trees, because it’s both normal and expected for startup founders to become consumed with their technology, and to tune out the other critical business factors.

In fact, mentorship is often cited as a huge propeller of success for tech startups. Companies like Y Combinator – a business incubator that provides seed funding for tech startup hopefuls – exist solely to prepare startups for success. According to their website, Y Combinator has funded over 300 startups since 2005. Among them? Such uber-success story companies as Scribd, Wufoo, and Posterous.

Key 2: Long-Term Vision

One of the side benefits of mentorship is the old adage that two heads are better than one. And sometimes, another person can help tech startup founders – who often go it totally alone – with long-term vision and planning. An article published on yespartners.com suggested that recent statistic evidence shows venture capitalists are more likely to fund companies in areas with high human capital – such as New York. “Experts think that top talent can be a silver bullet for many of the problems that ail a startup, such as a disorganized long-term vision.”

With no long-term vision, these companies are like annual flowering plants with shallow roots. They are easily trampled, victims of bad weather, and die every year, only to be replaced by others just like them.

After all, that’s where the money is, anyway – in the long-term vision. Big investors don’t plan to waste any more time or money in cool ideas that don’t get very far. It’s one thing to create an app or service that is very cool and that all of your friends would pay $1 for. It’s quite another thing to turn that money into profit.

Rest Assured, There is a Future for Tech Startups

No matter what the failure rate is for tech startups, there is no reason for anyone with an excellent idea to not pursue it. Not only is there money to be made, but there are great technological innovations waiting in idea stage for someone with creativity, intelligence, and passion to bring them to life.

There’s no reason for tech startups with promising products and services to go unnoticed anymore, with all of the many resources for leadership, planning, financial support, and programs to bring great minds together to build and sustain profitable companies. The future of tech startups is indeed very bright. All they need are a few helping hands.

Lior Levin is a marketing consultant for the Tel Aviv University’s department of security, and who also consults for a neon sign store that provides custom neon signs.

Hernan Kazah & Khaled Ismail speak about entrepreneurship, Endeavor [Video, Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a presentation at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco. The event, which assembled over 450 entrepreneurs and global business leaders, featured dozens of entrepreneurship-related presentations by top CEOs and industry experts.

Overview: Linda Rottenberg interviews two great Endeavor Entrepreneur success stories, Hernan Kazah and Khaled Ismail, respectively.

Khaled Ismail

Full transcript:

On building SySDSoft and getting acquired

First off, I appreciate Endeavor. I was selected as the first Endeavor Entrepreneur selected from Egypt, even before the Endeavor Egypt office opened in 2007 and it was a turning point for us at that time.

Our story started very simply in 2002 with a very small, incubated, four-engineer start-up in Cairo University and grew to a 125-engineer organization in the course of eight years. We became one of the leaders of building the software that transmits wireless communication systems and even some of the chip sets that do that. By wireless I mean WiFi, WiMAX, all kinds of different flavors of wireless technologies.

If anyone asked me when we started if that was my dream I would be lying if I said yes, because there was no clarity about what we would achieve. It was actually impossible for me to dream that big in 2002 that we will create this small entity inside Cairo University and it would become one of these leaders in high tech, globally. But it did happen and I owe it to the Egyptian engineers, some of them extremely young. Ninety-five percent of our engineers we took fresh out of college, without any experience except for what they learned at college, and they managed to sit and compete with people worldwide who had ten years more experience than they had. So that speaks for this team. They freed me to do the business development because I relied on them to do the technicalities and they did very well. (more…)

Entrepreneurs: time to fire your staff

Reprinted from under30ceo.com. See the original post here.

By Brian Reich

There is little denying that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is a genius. He created a site that not only attracts more traffic than any other on the web, but also influences behavior, business, and social norms at an unprecedented level. He is a brilliant software developer. He can sit down and build something that most of us could never even imagine existing with lines of code that almost none of us can understand. But for all that brilliance, I wouldn’t give him the task of solving the education crisis in America. I wouldn’t ask him to do anything that doesn’t relate to his current role. He is not the right fit for the task. But if Facebook were to commit its resources and energy towards tackling the education crisis, Zuckerberg would almost certainly assume a leadership role in that effort because of his existing role as CEO of Facebook.

Thankfully that is a hypothetical situation. But it happens all the time – an existing organizational leader is thrust into a position with another group where they are not a good fit. The person who has been at an organization the longest is seen as the best person to lead because of their depth of understanding and experience. These people are asked to guide an effort, inspire a team, and help an organization transform itself to meet a new set of challenges and it doesn’t work. Worse, we find out too late that they weren’t up for the task.
(more…)

Seven “hard knock” business lessons our moms never taught us

Reprinted from womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com. See original post here.

By Ali Brown

Our mothers may have taught us to say please and thank you, but when it comes to running a business, some of the other things we learned as a girl could hold us back big time. Read on for 7 business tips that allow you to still be a lady AND take care of business.

1. Don’t think that testosterone rules.

When many women start their own businesses, they fall into the trap of thinking that they need to behave like a man in order to succeed. But truly effective and successful leaders determine their own leadership style. When you are running a company, how you present yourself will change, but it should still be consistent with your own personality. We should celebrate our uniqueness—the very things that distinguish us from men—and let our intuition, emotional intelligence, and true natures shine.

2. Don’t be too nice.

To be effective you must get in the habit of not always worrying about what other people are thinking of you. If you are locked into a dispute with a supplier, don’t take it personally. If you have to bring up a difficult topic such as an employee’s poor performance, be firm and clear about what you want from them and point out how their actions are having a negative effect. When you are finished, allow them the opportunity to have their say. There’s a way to be assertive, not hard-nosed, in a way that maintains your role as the leader.

3. Don’t expect the world to come to you.

Don’t be shy about coming forward—not just to drive sales—but to become a permanent presence in the minds of your customers. There are loads of things you can do to get your business noticed. Blog about your area of expertise, get stories in the media, tell everyone about what you do, reward loyal customers, launch a new product, and promote events. If you don’t toot your own horn, no one else will!

4. Don’t give away the store.

Adding value to your services keeps customers coming back for more, but don’t let fear or insecurity drive your decisions. Discounts and extra bonus products are necessary sometimes, but think of ways of adding extra value that won’t cost a cent. Don’t compare yourself to the competition or try to match their giveaways. If you’re strong and confident in what you do, there’s no need to charge less or to continually look over your shoulder.

5. Don’t disguise statements as questions.

Statements are disguised as questions because women fear they will be seen as assertive, or they’re worried about the risk of sounding foolish. However, questions sound weak—statements are stronger. Get into the habit of making statements and only ask questions when there is a need. Solicit opinions after setting out your proposals. It suggests that you are open to hearing other opinions and gives the impression that you are in control.

6. Do play to WIN.

Are you worried about meeting targets, or whether the business will collapse? If so, you are playing not-to-lose when you should be playing to WIN. The best you can achieve here is not losing. And that mindset will not get you where you want to go. Don’t waste energy devising Plan B if things take a downturn. Ensure that you have the drive and tenacity to pursue your dreams. If you take the attitude of failure not being an option, you’d be surprised how much you’ll achieve.

7. Do value your time.

As a business owner, it’s essential to start thinking of your time as money. Don’t shortchange yourself by giving your time away for free, or wasting time on tedious tasks that don’t generate money for your business. Start thinking of ways you can delegate tasks, from grocery shopping to researching leads, so you can focus on the BIG fish, like landing that top-dollar client, planning your next big product, etc. The good news is you do NOT have to do it all!

Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. Get her free CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com.

Rethinking the “leaders work the hardest” mindset

Reprinted from under30ceo.com. See original post here.

By Daniel Stringer

Many small business owners have adopted the philosophy that “no one will care as much or work as hard as the owner.” While this may be true of individual circumstances, painting the entire entrepreneurial landscape with this broad brush is really far from accurate. Sure, if employees don’t have a stake in the company, they may not carry the same weight or responsibility as those who do, but the reality is someone’s work ethic, character, and commitment are not all motivated by simply the ownership percentage he/she may or may not have. If that were the case, you wouldn’t see any employee going above and beyond; taking the company they work for to the next level through hard work and dedication. You would never see teams come together weathering through tough economic times to regain success and overcome challenge. You would never see a young professional give his/her entire career advancing through the ranks of an organization making an impact in ways too vast to even define.

So why is it that entrepreneurs, leaders, and managers seem to see their teams and employees more as a necessary evil rather than a valued asset? Instead of believing in their team, they are just waiting for them to fail only to reinforce this belief that “no one will care as much or work as hard as the owner”.

We’ve seen a shift in our culture over the last 50 years or more. There is a lack of loyalty between the employees and the companies who employ them. The above saying is common enough but what if the cultural shift we’ve seen also has to do with this idea: “Leaders, Managers, and Owners will always care more and fight to protect their own interests before the consideration of those they employ and lead.” While I don’t think this should be true, I wonder how often it is true…

A leader doesn’t have to say these words to communicate to the team that they are expendable, valued for what they produce over who they are, and protected only when in the best interest of the owner, leader, and/or manager.

Loyalty isn’t something to be demanded from those you lead. It’s something to be inspired by first demonstrating it. Respect is earned before reciprocated. Trust is given once proven.

Entrepreneurs and leaders can fault the disloyalty and lack of commitment on the part of the working population but will never find a solution to this until their leadership is first analyzed. A leader leads from the front. A committed team responds to a committed leader. A loyal team responds to a loyal leader. A trustworthy team responds to a trustworthy leader. And a team capable of working and caring far more to advance the mission of the organization than even those who have a stake in the equity is possible. But it starts at the top.

We’ve had employees who do not carry forward the vision of our company like we do. And they’ve had to make the transition off the team. But we also have team members who work harder, have greater skill, and just as much passion for what they do than anyone else who could fill their role. Great organizations are not built on the commitment of one person but on the backs of a team who all adopt the vision as their own; advancing it forward with passion, commitment, and determination to see it fulfilled.

Daniel Stringer is a successful entrepreneur and musician and has traveled all over the world. While touring with the Phoenix Boys Choir in 1999, he recorded the world-renown CD, Penderecki’s Credo at the Oregon Bach Festival, which later went on to win a Grammy Award in 2001 for Best Choral Performance. He founded and managed the non-profit organization, Phoenix Rock For Life, and has built 2 successful companies since: Total Care Connections and Stringer Associates. He was ranked as one of the top 35 entrepreneurs under 35 years old for 2010 and his company has been featured on PBS, Phoenix Magazine, AZCentral.com, Arizona Republic, and Inside Business.

Letting go of your inner control freak

Reprinted from under30ceo.com. See original post here.

By Maren Kate

One of the most natural human impulses is the desire to be in control. Usually the more instability a person is dealing with in their life, the more they grasp for control of whatever aspect they can. This is often why we see children with bad home lives picking up an eating disorder (if they can’t control their parents, they can control what goes into their body) or a mid-level manager in a failing company micro-managing the people underneath him with an iron fist.

As a child I was obsessed with controlling my surroundings, down to the point where watching a new movie stressed me out because I didn’t know what was going to happen. As I grew up I was able to shake my extremely controlling ways, in part due to a therapist and long-suffering boyfriend, but when I started Zirtual a year ago I saw the red-eyed control-monster once again rear it’s ugly head.

I wanted to do everything myself but as I started hiring people I realized that it was impossible to keep tabs on it all and be able to focus on the high-level stuff at the same time. My dilema was ironic since Zirtual is a company based around the concept of saving one’s time by delegating tasks to a personal assistant.

I had worked with assistants for several years and they had very much helped force me out of my micro-managing ways because knowing I was paying someone gave me an extra incentive to send off tasks to them and clear my plate. But working with a team and co-founders was a completely new experience.

An important quote I ran across which totally changed my thoughts on micro-managing and delegation within my business was from Richard Branson:

“I am often asked how I manage to keep my finger on the pulse with so many different companies and ideas to think about. This is all about the art of delegation. From a very early time, when we went from one company to two companies, I realized I couldn’t do everything myself. I had to learn the art of delegation and try to find people who are better than me to run the companies – that wasn’t that difficult!”

Luckily for me (and our team) between Branson’s encouraging outlook and a few delegation tricks I learned along the way I was able to let go of my controlling ways and instead focus on growing my business.

3 Ways to Not Get Your Control Freak On

1. Surround yourself with smarter people than, yourself. Never hire someone you think you’re superior to, this is a lesson I realized very early on. Hire people who make you think “wow, they’re a lot better at me in X, Y or Z” and you’ll be less likely to try to micro-manage them.

2. Practice the 80/20 principle. This idea, called “Pareto’s Law” is based around the idea that 20% of the things we do contribute to 80% of the results. So 20% of your work is actually responsible for up to 80% of your success. Instead of focusing on the whole enchilada try to spend your time on that important 20% and let the rest be handled by your team. This is hard for the control freak but luckily, like with all things, delegation gets easier with practice.

3. Start small. The first step I took to freeing myself from my control-freak ways was to hire an assistant. Just somebody who could take small tasks off my plate and free up some of my time. This trained me on the basics of how to manage people, how to delegate properly and how to practice letting go of the majority of my day which I didn’t need to be directly handling. As your business grows you’ll want to eventually have a whole team who you delegate to, but often it’s helpful to start small with just one person like an assistant or intern.

Maren Kate is the founder of Zirtual, a personal concierge service for busy professionals, and writes about the startup life and unconventional living on her blog Escapingthe9to5.com.

“The money is not important”

Reprinted from growvc.com. See original post here.

By Markus Lampinen

Whenever you talk about startups and building new businesses, there’s often someone that chimes in with the comment “money isn’t important for entrepreneurs.” And over the years in building Grow VC, we too have heard that argument several times. Well, guess what, it is actually quite important.

Often the counter argument is the value of the right mentors. Granted, the value of a good mentor, advisor and role model is vast for a budding entrepreneur to rise to their fullest potential. A great mentor will force entrepreneurs out of their comfort zones, to pick up new abilities and hone their business skills to meet the demands of the market. But at the end of the day, if the entrepreneur has no time to listen and learn, even the greatest mentor will not be able to conjure more time for the entrepreneur.

Time IS Money

It’s a saying we shrug off almost daily and it reverberates in many different contexts. It’s not the golden egg of all proverbs, but it does have a point. Each minute of each day costs someone money. The sooner you learn to accept this, the sooner you will also be able to set yourself in the right mindset, of weighing your options and priorities, and focusing your time on what matters the most to yourself.

If you are spending time bootstrapping your venture and not taking out a salary, then guess what, that time is coming out of your own pocket. You are in effect paying for it. This is in various forms, for example through missed salaries or other opportunities (the alternative cost). It is an investment into the future of your startup venture and your own career. However it remains for you to decide if the investment is worth the sacrifice that you will endure making it.

Oh and one more thing, ask an entrepreneur that’s bootstrapped a venture or two if money is important. I’m sure you’ll get quite a clear answer.

No Such Thing as Free Advice

Entrepreneurs form tight networks in their local regions, but nowadays also increasingly much outside of their local setting. Time spent on networking or pitching in to someone else’s business is also time that has to cost someone. You can again decide that it is an investment into some future outcome, be it a relationship, partnership, a good contact or friend, but at the end of the day, if you are paying for it, make sure you get value out of it.

I’ve seen people ‘helping out’ in others businesses for months, only to end up in frustration and confusion as the ‘helper’ does not get anything out of the relationship. Sure you learn a bunch and so on, but let’s get real. If you are adding value to someone else’s operations, you should get something out of it. Often stringing people along ends up in miscommunication and unclear expectations, something that is good to clear up right at the start. “If I’m going to spend this much time in helping you out, this is what I expect in return..”. You don’t have to be so crude about it, but at the same time fair is fair.

Everything is a Trade Off – Don’t Pretend it isn’t

You are the judge of how you spend your time, but everyones time costs money. Make sure you can always justify your use of time to yourself. “I’m doing this instead of X, Y or Z – is it the best use of my time?”. A tangible example is sitting at a meeting looking at the same PowerPoint you’ve seen a thousand times, versus working on actual work, exercising or even spending time with your kids. Everything is a trade off, don’t pretend it isn’t.

Once you get into the mindset of thinking about time as the most precious commodity, which it most definitely is, you will have a hard time justifying menial and ultimately pointless activities to yourself. And that’s the point. You shouldn’t be doing pointless activities anyway.

Ask yourself, would you pay someone else to do the things that you are spending your time on?

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