Make a Change: Champions of Change: Entrepreneurship Mentors

Make a Change: Champions of Change: Entrepreneurship Mentors

This is not a new a video but in March 2012 the White House honored local leaders for their work as mentors to entrepreneurs and small business owners. I thought you might find this interesting and consider what you can contribute to your community

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

TEntrepreneurs Growing Forward – today our guest blogger Lindsey Harper Mac writes about the choices  small companies may have to make to survive the economic winter.  Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

When a business has been in existence for a few years, has solid cash flow and all is running smoothly, the life of the business owner can look easy to outsiders. But chances are, getting the company to that point required the owner and founder long hours of hard work and great financial and lifestyle sacrifices.

Independent small business owners often start their businesses by investing their life savings, taking out small business loans and even maxing out their credit cards to get the company started until funds from client billings start coming in. Many don’t even give themselves a paycheck for the first year or longer. This is a huge risk and sacrifice they and their families make. Even if the business succeeds, it means that numerous purchases, vacations and any spending that is not absolutely essential must be put on hold until the business gets on solid financial ground.

Likewise, the new business owner must often work long hours to get the business running smoothly and to get enough client billings in the pipeline so there is sufficient cash flow. This can take several months and sometimes years, creating an unbalanced lifestyle that is essentially all work and no play. Not everyone is willing to make these sacrifices. They aren’t willing to work that hard, that long or do without the things they want to make it happen.

But, if they don’t, and the business should fail, all the money they borrowed to invest in it is gone and must still be paid back.

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward –  established companies must make hard decisions

Additionally, even owners of established companies must make hard decisions when the economy takes a downturn, or when a major client decides to cut costs and do in-house what they had been outsourcing to your small company.

One small company, Quality Environmental Professionals, Inc., or QEPI, headquartered in Indianapolis, had tough decisions to make late in 2008 and early 2009 when the economy took a downturn.

QEPI owner, Deb Peters, cut her company’s reliance on color copying, which was costing $9,000 every quarter, and implemented sharing files electronically, and using black and white copies when paper was necessary. Another change she made was in the employee break room, where she stopped buying employees’ coffee in individual packets and began purchasing large cans of coffee from Sam’s Club. By making these and other cuts, Peters was able to keep all of her 34 employees instead of making cuts by layoffs.

Other small businesses cut back on hiring cleaning and lawn care help and asked their employees to help with those tasks to prevent in-house layoffs. A survey of 100 human resource executives conducted by consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas found that more than 66.7 percent of these companies cut travel expenses, and more than 6 percent began letting their employees telecommute to cut office space expenses. Work instead could be done through online conference calls and other technology, such as instant messaging, to communicate with their customers, materials suppliers, vendors and with company employees in satellite offices. In some cases, the satellite offices were dispensed with altogether, resulting in even more savings, and employees in those offices now work from home.

Working together to get through lean times usually strengthens a business overall and positions it for growth during the next economic boom.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

 

>Self Belief and how to change the world!

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Faroe stamp 130 amnesty internationalImage via Wikipedia

This post appeared yesterday at my other blog www.wisewolftalking.com.  As some of you will be “baby boomers”, I thought you might like to read it here.

There is a great piece in the April edition of Management Today by Denise Kingsmill about the potential for baby boomers  to become entrepreneurs.  Among othet things, Baroness Kingsmill is currently a non-executive director of British, European and US boards.

As the first of us reaches sixty five this year, she argues against the view that we are the ‘me’ generation, expecting the world to change to meet our needs and with a highly developed sense of being special. She goes on to illustrate her point by referring to our achievements quoting the social changes that took place in the second half of the 20th Century, for example, civil rights, feminism and gay rights etc.

She goes on to talk about the pensions’ burden we will put on future generations and that we probably will have go on working much longer!  But as you would expect from a baby boomer, she quotes an academic study* that suggests we will be peculiarly well-fitted to do so as entrepreneurs!

Apparently the mature mind has abilities critical to successful entrepreneurship.   Academic research is showing that with age there is improved coordination between right and left sides of the brain – between analytical skills and creativity.  The part of the brain that regulates emotion starts to work better, making us much less likely to get bogged down in the detail and more likely to come up with holistic creative solutions.  We are more likely to stay focussed.

Already baby boomers make up 60% of the annual Management Today ranking of Britain’s Top 100 entrepreneurs.
It gave me a great boost to read her piece.

Yes we do have to work longer!  But if that is so, my generation will set the world on fire doing it! Oh yes, by sheer force of number we will turn the world of enterprise grey or rather bright, shining and energetic silver.
And then I stopped and thought a bit.  Oh dear this is the Sixties people doing their thing, all over again and we won’t be loved for it.

Yes, this great creative generation of mine will change the world at sixty five, seventy and possibly eighty just as we did at twenty and forty.  Part of it will be force of numbers and part of it will be that other thing the boomers have.  It’s a kind of cross-cohort self belief.  Far from thinking the world should change for us , we thought each and every one of us could change the world!

But we didn’t get to finish the agenda.  Many of us in the sixties recognised the pressures of an increasing population and scarcity of resources as well as the lack of justice in the world.  Green Peace and Amnesty International are a typical baby boomer response. Most of us just got bogged down in the usual pressures of family and work.  In reality, most of us did very little!

Now we do have to work on into our old age and many of us will do it well, with ingenuity and verve.  But it will be a pity if we make such a song and dance about it that yet again we alienate those who come after us.  One thing the baby boomers never did learn was to shut up and just get on with it.   Yes, we started out believing each and every one of us could change the world! But as for me, I just wish we had passed that same self belief on to our children!

Related articles
·         First Baby Boomers Turn 65 (npr.org)


        Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net or ring ++44(0)7867681439
        You can find her business blog at www.wisewolftalking.com