THE EO BLOG
Monthly Archives: March 2012
By Nicola Tyler, an EO South Africa-Johannesburg member and CEO of Business Results Group.
I’ve been in business for 15 years, and operated as an independent consultant for two years prior to that. I’ve not known a day in nearly two decades when I’ve woken up and known where my next dollar would come from. You can be up one day, and down the next. It keeps me on my toes, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Much of my work involves facilitating strategic conversations with large and medium-sized organizations; entrepreneurship frequently comes up as a theme. “We need to be more entrepreneurial!” executives exclaim. “People are not business-focused; we need more entrepreneurs in this business.”
I often challenge this view by saying that entrepreneurs are often not what corporations need— it’s what the world needs. Real entrepreneurs leave corporations to start their own businesses. An entrepreneur constrained by business policies and processes is a bit like caging a tiger— eventually you have to let it back into the wild.
By Geri Stengel, creator of Guiding Women Entrepreneurs
When you sign up for a box of Thin Mints or Samoas, do you realize that you just helped an entrepreneur-in-training? And that she and the 100-year-old Girl Scout organization may have some ideas that could help your business.
Every year, Girl Scout troops across the nation set up small businesses and learn some timeless lessons in basic entrepreneurship. Maybe that’s why more than ⅔ of Us Congresswomen have “Girl Scout” on their resumes and 80% of women business owners were Girl Scouts.
What’s in those cookies anyway?
By Jeff Solomon, senior vice president of Leads360.
I think having the right people is the difference between running a good company and a great one; more importantly, having the right culture is the key to keeping the right people.
A few years ago I visited a partner who had these wonderful Starbucks machines that ground, brewed and poured fresh coffee on the fly. I noticed how much the staff loved them, and I knew we had to have one. After finding a distributor of these machines, I was told the fancy machines could only be leased to companies with 50+ people.
At the time, we only had 18 people. I was sure it would make a huge impact on our company culture, so I insisted they lease us one. A year later we’re nearly 40 strong, and every time I hear the squawk of the grinder, I smile.
By Tom Petryshen, an EO Vancouver member and founder of Amplify Services
Entrepreneurship is tough no matter how you spin it. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a wily veteran, the entrepreneurial journey can be a rollercoaster ride. In many ways, entrepreneurship reminds me of wrestling, the sport I competed in for more than a decade.
Like wrestling, entrepreneurship can seem like an individual sport. Success, in many cases, depends on your drive to succeed and the ability to push forward when others are telling you to run for the exit. While most entrepreneurs don’t have someone on the other side trying to rip off their head, starting and operating a business can at times feel like the whole world is trying to keep you from getting to the next day. It’s a tough deal, but it’s worth it if you keep practicing.