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24
Jul
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20 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Franchise

By Akhil Shahani, an EO Mumbai member and director of The Shahani Group

If you are contemplating buying your own franchise, you are sure to have myriad questions running around in your mind begging for answers. To ease your mind and to give you control during the decision-making process, we’ve prepared a checklist of 20 questions that you have to get the answers to before making the big leap:

  1. How long has the company been in existence before it started franchising? Was it specifically set up to franchise?
  2. What is the company’s financial position? You should check accounts for at least the last three years. Can you get trade or bank references?  Read moreRead more
23
Jul
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Leveraging Young Entrepreneurs for Global Growth

From 18-22 July, hundreds of young entrepreneurs from around the world united in Sydney, Australia, to participate in the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit, an annual event that promotes youth entrepreneurship as a powerful driver of economic renewal, job creation, innovation and social change. The official communiqué of the Summit is the voice of nearly two million business owners, all of whom are recommending youth entrepreneurship as a dominating force for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

Recognizing young entrepreneurship as a driver of positive change, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) invited select EO members, Accelerators and winners of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) to serve as U.S. delegates during the three-day Summit, with the support of EO Louisiana’s Kevin Langley, former EO Global Chairman and president of the U.S. delegation. While on site, EO’s delegates leveraged their experiences, best practices and strategic solutions to the benefit of other global entrepreneurs in attendance. Read moreRead more

23
Jul
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Leveraging Passion— the Human Superconductor!

By Ari Levy, MD, an EO Chicago member and co-CEO of Engaged Health Solutions

When it comes to my business, I am excited about everything. My passion is what got me here in the first place, after all. At first, my interest in everything—from strategy sessions to the shade of orange in our logo—was essential to getting us off the ground.

Now, however, I’m leading the business into its fourth year, and things are different than leading a startup through its early stages. I’m starting to realize that I need to change some of my behaviors in order to continue to succeed. In some ways, that’s both fitting and ironic because I’m in the business of teaching others about behavior change.

My co-CEO, Will Harper, MD, and I stopped practicing medicine full-time and launched Engaged Health Solutions (EHS) because we saw a solution to a problem that’s plaguing businesses: Disengaged, unhealthy employees are dragging companies (not to mention individuals) down.

A recent study found that 71% of American workers are not engaged in their work. In our practice, we saw firsthand that personal coaching helps people engage and make lasting changes— and looking at the American workforce, we know coaching moves the needle on health and resiliency.

As EHS has continued to grow, so have I. I have had to learn to leverage my passion, let go of the small stuff, trust my team and focus on my strengths. Here are three behavior changes I am working on that I know will strengthen my company and my team:

  1. Focus: I am a ball of energy. Like any power source my energy needs to be used appropriately. My passion comes across in every conversation I have about EHS— a fact that is both a positive and a negative. When I am excited and energized, my passion is contagious. It inspires my team, encourages our clients and engages potential clients. When I am frustrated or a project is veering off track, that comes across as well. Rather than letting my emotions seep into a tough conversation, I am learning to lean back, listen and respond after taking a deep breath.
  2. Trusting My Team: As a doctor, I am accustomed to working solo. The natural inclination to try to solve problems on my own is a habit I fight. It simply doesn’t work in business. Realistically, I don’t have time to work on every single aspect of the business, and I shouldn’t because that’s not where my passion for the company can do the most good. My business partner and I have hired a team of people who have skills that we do not. We trust them to understand our vision, execute the strategy and handle day-to-day projects so we can focus on growth and client delivery.
  3. Slowing Down: Sometimes it’s important to stop, gain perspective and not move ahead at mach speed. It’s easy to go from interested to passionate when we’re talking about a new project, a new take on something or the big picture. And, at the beginning, everything was urgent. Now that we’re moving from startup to growth, however, I am slowing down and using the passion and sense of urgency I feel to plan ahead, think through possibilities in a deeper way and consider the right team for the right project. In some ways, it’s scarier not to jump right in. But what I have seen is that when I use my passion for a project in its early stages, everything runs more smoothly.

As an entrepreneur, my passion is my greatest asset, and knowing how best to leverage that passion can propel us to greatness.

Ari received his MD from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

22
Jul

Increasing Courage in Your Organization

The idea that what you do matters leads to the courage to take risks and think outside of the box. You need that kind of thinking in your organization if you’re going to be one of the four companies in 10,000 that makes it to US$10 million in yearly revenue. In this special video from EO Fort Worth’s Jason Forrest, CEO of Forrest Performance Group, Jason highlights the steps he and his team are taking to reach that goal and become one of those organizations at the very top.

21
Jul
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Using Rejection as a Tool

By Jia Jiang, an entrepreneur, blogger, writer and speaker, who last spoke at the 2014 EO Latin American Conference

Rejection is as much a part of running a business as finance and operations, and yet as entrepreneurs, it’s often easier to avoid rejection entirely than face it head on. In this special interview, Jia Jiang, founder of Fearbuster.com and an EO speaker, talks about the power associated with embracing rejection, learning from the fear and using it as a tool in business and life.

From China to Louisiana, USA, from college to owning your own business, rejection has played a big role in your life. How did you learn to overcome the rejection you faced, and what did the experience teach you? Read moreRead more