If you didn’t start a company in your dorm room, did you even go to college, Bro???
Strategies for Emerging Entrepreneurs to Cultivate Favorable Opportunities
in Ever-Evolving Landscapes of Change.
||New York, New York
||3 publishers interested
We are in the era of entrepreneurship. I can’t speak with a dozen people without finding myself in conversation someone working on a startup. In the past decade, it seemed like a rite-of-passage for college students to operate businesses out of their dorm rooms. The American Dream had morphed into the Fraternity Fantasy. Forget GPA, what’s your IPO?
But, just like college, it’s an endeavor that is exponentially easier to navigate if for those who already have money, youth and connections. During a Cornell Tech speaker series at Bloomberg in New York City, Chairman of New York Angels, Brian Cohen in conversation with Scarlet Fu stated, “Entrepreneurship is a bunch of rich kids because they have a safety net.”
We’ve all heard the dire fail rates of startups, but we prefer to selectively glorify the unicorns. The New York Times reminds us that “For all the successes, entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about 20 percent of small businesses fail in their first year, and by year five, half close. Those are discouraging odds...”
In The Clover Canal: A Toolkit For Cultivating Favorable Opportunities, emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders will come understand an ever-evolving landscape of unprecedented and inevitable change. It's lessons will help founders improve essential business skills and strategies necessary for sustainable success, especially if they are starting out without the advantages of money, youth and professional connections.
Introduction. I wrote this book to help founders improve essential strategies necessary for the sustainable success of their companies. Entrepreneurship may start with one good idea, but it requires a portfolio of skillsets to flourish. The purpose of this book is to guide leaders in building a strong foundation from which to pitch their innovations.
Like a clover, the book expands into four sections, covering four main tenets:
1. Cultivate Intellectual Curiosity by constant reading across topics, learning and applying new knowledge. Being a better thinker will make you a better communicator throughout your network. Always keep the mindset that you have something to learn from everyone -- From toddlers to the most successful CEOs. There’s always something more to know.
2. Articulate Ideas Effectively through practice, integration of feedback and reiteration with the evolution of progress. As I mentioned in Forbes, Tuck School of Business corporate communication professor Paul Argenti states, “You can’t be a great leader if you’re not a great communicator. You can’t execute it if you can’t communicate it. It’s that simple.”
3. Nurture Purposeful Community by connecting with others who will support you in the short and long-term. Strategically expand your circles but remember that Networking Should Never Be Forced, as I co-authored with Harvard Business Press author & Forbes contributor, Dorie Clark.
4. Add Value Always by volunteering without the need for instant, or any, reciprocation. If you add value, your offer to help will rarely be declined. Use your efforts to open doors. Money should not be the only form of payment you accept -- Access can be much more valuable, and indirectly lead to money in the long-term.
The audience for my book are emerging founders who are seeking ways to raise their chances of success. They spent a few years tackling the challenges all startups face and are ready to regroup and rally. These are the leaders who embrace experience as invaluable learning opportunities and finally realize there’s more to entrepreneurship than a good idea. It requires a portfolio of skills for cultivating favorable opportunities in an ever-evolving landscape of unprecedented and inevitable change. It requires The Clover CANAL Principles, lessons to help founders improve essential business skills and strategies necessary for sustainable success.
MIT economist, Peter Temin warns that “80 per cent of the population is burdened with debt and anxious about job security… America is regressing to have the economic and political structure of a developing nation.”
In this climate of insecurity, people from every socioeconomic background are increasingly turning to entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment. Many of them do not have the advantages of money, youth and professional connections. Many will believe an idea will be their launchpad to overnight glory, when in fact, innovation is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration
Furthermore, Keith Speights reported in The Motley Fool that “History repeats itself. Roughly 20% of new businesses survive past their first year of operation. That was the case two decades ago and is still the case today.”
At the five year mark, half of all businesses cease to exist.
Only one-third survive to see their 10 year anniversary.
However, after several years of operation, survival rates begin to flatten. The likelihood of survival increases the longer a business has already been in operation.
In Insights by Stanford Business, Professor Elizabeth MacBride concurs by emphasizing that Entrepreneurship Requires Practice, Practice, Practice because “repeat entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed… It's really a long-term commitment. Learning from that experience can shape your future.”
Each new, subsequent venture that more experienced, committed entrepreneurs embark on often have greater longevity than the previous attempt. The odds of success frequently increase each time around because new lessons were picked up and applied later.
Lisa's network includes almost 10,000 LinkedIn connections; approximately 1,800 Facebook friends & 500 followers; over 2,000 Instagram members; and almost 4,000 Twitter users.
Contact her at [email protected]
Lisa Chau is an international speaker and digital strategist with global marketing and public relations experience and thousands of social media followers. She has published over 130 articles in Forbes, US News & World Report as well as Huffington Post on TABLES:
Her work includes profiling high level executives, successful entrepreneurs, established professors, distinguished creatives and award-winning authors.
She was a featured guest on Midday Talk with Dan Roderick, speaking on millennials and digital strategy. The show aired on National Public Radio (NPR) Baltimore, which is ranked #21 in the radio market in the US, out of 273.
Lisa is very active in academia, and serves on the Board of the Dartmouth Club of New York. At Columbia, she organized and hosted the "How to Build a Strong Start-Up" entrepreneurship conference for over 100 guests, mentioned inYahoo Finance. Lisa has spoken and led workshops at Yale, Dartmouth and the Ivy Council's Innovative Leadership Summit hosted at Princeton University. She lectures undergraduates and MBA candidates at The New School and The Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. At MIT, she taught a seven week summer course which covered the use of social media to enhance professional networking. She has also been a featured guest in Smith College's Executive Education Leadership Series
Lisa's Ted-Ed lesson
has been viewed over 110,000 times and garnered:
- Over 8,000 views + 480 likes during the first 24 hours
- Over 10,000 views during the first 2 days
- Over 25,000 views during the first two weeks
In 2018, she will be leading advanced mentor sessions at South by Southwest
She will discuss skills people need to keep themselves relevant and connected to stay successful. Attendees will learn how to use social media to scale, grow and manage essential career networks online to succeed offline.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Lisa is a graduate of:
- Hunter High School // Magnet institution
- Wellesley College, AB in Economics with a Philosophy Minor // Seven Sisters
- Dartmouth College, MA with Creative Writing Thesis // Ivy League
Her book will also feature chapters from esteemed guests including:
- Cornell & Tuck School at Dartmouth alumnus Alejandro Crawford is the Managing Director at Acceleration Group, CEO of RebelBase, and an MBA Professor who teaches strategies for unleashing innovative capacity and fostering entrepreneurship.
- Amy Aitman, Director of Content Strategy for Change Creator, LLC ranked TOP 10 in the iTunes newsstand for business and investing. Change Creator's Twitter following is over 12,000.
- Howard University alumna Cleve Mesidor is a Former Obama Administration Presidential appointee, White House Speaker for the 2016 Women Leading Social Change Panel, and blockchain evangelist.
- Dori DeCarlo, Founder of Safety Bags, launched on GMA's Deals and Steals. The products won the Fiverr & New York Yankees Game Changer Award in September 2017.
- Dartmouth alumna Joan Ai is a social impact leader with extensive philanthropy experience working for major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. She recently joined the NYU Steinhardt Edtech Incubator (StartEd) to build a B2B edtech/fintech social impact vehicle that seeks to disrupt the wealth management space.
- John Lim earned his BA from The University of Pennsylvania, his JD from Georgetown Law and his MBA from The Johns Hopkins University. He is the executive producer and host of the podcast series, Moving Forward, which has reached listeners in over 50 countries. Through Moving Forward, John has spoken with some of today’s most prominent entrepreneurs, artists, and influencers, including Winnie Sun, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Jen Grisanti, John Lee Dumas, Doug Drexler and more.
- University of Pennsylvania alumnus Teddy Funger is a Co-Founder & CTO of ProctorExam, based Amsterdam. The company has been growing over 110% year over year, and operates in over 20 countries.
- Tim McDonald, former Director of Community at HuffPost and current Co-creator of CreatingIs LLC and LIFEworking. His Twitter following is over 21,000.
1. The Startup Pitch: A Proven Formula to Win Funding by Chris Lipp (Author). Publisher: Powerspeech; 1.1 edition (November 10, 2013)
The Startup Pitch is the most complete reference source to learn pitch skills and win investor funding. Less than 1 out of every 200 pitches gets funded. To win investment, you need the proven formula and the right skills to pitch your startup.
2. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink (Author). Publisher: Riverhead Books (December 31, 2012)
Pink's book takes a raw look at the art of selling, approaching the basic need and experience of salesmanship with a fine-toothed comb. By detailing how many people's assumptions — such as that extroverts are best at sales — are not necessarily true anymore, Pink gives a fresh look at the what selling really means.
3. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath Dan Heath (Author). Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (January 2, 2007)
The anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating curiosity gaps. Along the way, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds—from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony—draw their power from the same six traits.
4. The Business Guide to Sustainability: Practical Strategies and Tools for Organizations by Darcy Hitchcock (Author), Marsha Willard (Author). Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (July 11, 2009)
Sustainability promises both reduced environmental impacts and real cash savings for any organization - be it a business, non-profit/NGO or government department. This manual has been written by top business consultants specifically to help managers, business owners, organizational leaders and aspiring environmental managers/sustainability coordinators to improve their organization's environmental, social and economic performance. The authors attempt to demystify 'sustainability', untangle the plethora of sustainability frameworks, tools and practices, and make it easy for the average person in any organization to move towards sustainability.
5. Simple Success Secrets No One Told You About (The Business Pro's Essential Toolkit Book 1) by John Carlton (Author). Publisher: Carlton Ink; 1 edition (August 4, 2015)
An organized quick read that is crammed with essential advice, tactics and strategies used by the best marketers alive to grow and sustain your business. It organizes the vast archives at the blog into clear categories from a blogger and business mentor.
Effective communication is essential for effective leadership
As Tuck School of Business corporate communication professor Paul Argenti states, “You can’t be a great leader if you’re not a great communicator. You can’t execute it if you can’t communicate it. It’s that simple.”
In hindsight, I am thankful that my high school, Hunter included mandatory communications classes in the curriculum. After watching countless presentations in school and the corporate world, it is abundantly clear that eloquence in text and speech is a tremendous asset in guiding others towards understanding your perspective and persuading them to follow your lead.
A good idea is that much better when conveyed effectively.
On the most basic level: Know your material, enunciate and maintain eye contact. Present your thoughts in an organized structure so they are understood easily.
Avoid fillers such as “umm”, “uhh” and “like”. Use pauses instead. You will sound more authoritative and mindful.
Simply removing fillers and adding thoughtful pauses in speeches will immediately improve any presentation.
This is especially true in the age of globalization. The pause offers non-native speakers of your language an additional moment to absorb what you have just said. Furthermore, in this age of diminished attention span, everyone gets a chance to recalibrate their focus back to the topic of discussion.
Note that the pause is more easily embraced in theory than practice. Many people dread public speaking, and the associated anxiety typically manifests itself by speeding up the rate of speech with near complete disregard for breaks. Appropriate pauses become magnified awkward silences in the mind of the nervous presenter.
Practice the pause.
A strategic leader knows that she must not only be able to explain a shared vision, but also inspire. Charismatic managers use credibility, trust and influence to motivate teams toward common goals.
Charisma is about engagement. It is about persuading others to want to act towards a collective mission, saying, in effect, “This is our objective and we’re in this together.”
Connect with your audience using stories or metaphors they are able to relate to in their own lives. Don’t use an example about the challenges of international business travel when addressing a group of adolescents who have never even left their zip code. Do use anecdotes that most will be able to understand, like how it seems that you always pick the slowest moving line at the supermarket.
Find the best ways to help your audience understand your message and remember it. Engage them through stories and relevant examples.
But don’t overwhelm.
As a Harvard Business Review Management Tip advises, Use Three-Part Lists to Communicate key takeaways. Three is a manageable number of thoughts for people to remember, and it is a number persuasive enough to provide proof.
At the beginning of this article, I stated three fundamental rules:
1. Know your material
a. Be passionate. If the material doesn’t excite you, it won’t excite your audience.
b. Practice, practice, practice.
c. Be prepared for questions.
a. Speak clearly and with authority.
b. Remove fillers .
c. Use pauses.
3. Maintain eye contact
a. Look people directly in the eyes.
b. Remember to speak to everyone in the room, not just those in front of you.
c. Don’t forget to blink.
Then, I structured the rest of my article to follow with three more advanced strategies:
1. Add charisma
a. Engage via stories and examples.
b. Motivate towards common goals by credibility, trust and influence.
c. Persuade others to want to act towards a collective mission.
2. Use Three-Part Lists to Communicate
a. Don’t lose your audience’s ability to focus by overwhelming them with too many details.
b. Manage key takeaways.
c. Lead by example, obviously.
3. Leverage rhetoric and repetition (Not previously discussed)
a. Rhetorical questions involves audiences by making them think.
b. Repeating important points emphasizes key ideas.
c. Consider repeating rhetorical questions. “Given the situation, wouldn’t you have made the same decisions?”
With practice and dedication, these strategies can be mastered to become invaluable skills. Great leaders never underestimate the power of effective communication.