Get Clear #Business #Entrepreneur

How does an entrepreneur GET CLEAR?  Really clear about business, customers, profits and the entire spectrum that makes up an entrepreneur’s life.

How CLEAR are you about your business goals, most profitable market segments, long-term strategy, day-to-day business operations and the integration of all these with your life goals?

You may have an immediate sense of what you think you want. It could be one or more of the following:

  • Better Margins, More Profits, More Revenues
  • More Customers, High Ticket Customers, Customer Retention
  • New Market Segments, Products, Services
  • Get out of day-to-day Firefighting (Crisis Management)
  • Create more time for creating new avenues for your business instead of being stuck in day-to-day crisis handling
  • Find better employees (who own their work and are proactive)
  • Build Better Systems
  • Streamline your operations in such a way that your employees take ‘complete responsibility’ for their roles & solve problems proactively instead of making excuses

Whatever is on your list, it is often difficult to decide where to start.

Seth Godin has a riff titled “The Priority List”. He says, the ability to decide “what to do next” is an underrated skill. For example, he says:

Is it better to email an existing customer, send a brochure to a prospect or improve your product a bit? Should you tweet or post a new blog post? Should you have a meeting to coordinate your team or spend ten minutes returning phone calls instead?

His tip:

Do you have a list? Have you figured out which metric you’re trying to improve? Can you measure the impact of the choices you make all day?

I see this mistake in business development all the time. Assume for a moment that the goal of someone in this department is to maximize profit. Why then would this group spend most of its time tweaking existing deals (looking for a 3% improvement in yield) instead of spending the same time and effort doing new, game-changing deals?

If you already have your LIST along with corresponding MEASURES, and you are still struggling to “Get Clear”, then what could be missing is clarity regarding your goals.

When did you last review your Goals? What are you REALLY up to?

Stephen R. Covey said “Priority is a function of context.”

So, WHY are you doing whatever you are doing?

Is that CLEAR?


This article as original published at here.

If you never quit, you probably aren’t trying enough new things!

A variation of a famous quote goes like this:

“Winners never quit and Quitters never win. But those who never win and never quit are idiots”.

Seth Godin explained this in his book “The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)” where he stated:

“Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time”.

This morning, I had to deal with this question when I met an earnest hard-working young entrepreneur who is in the process of leaving a start-up after investing about two and a half years.

One of his queries was should he release his stake to other co-founders, most likely at suppressed valuations? This was making sense to him since he is no longer excited by the idea and one of the core reasons for quitting is his own evaluation about the startup’s “bleak” future.

I have done similar things – quitting a startup at book value as soon as my judgment showed that the startup at that stage of its life was entering a stage of hara-kiri and I was no longer interested in wasting more “opportunity cost”. Last when I quit a startup in similar fashion, I joked with the co-founders that I might be added to annals of startup history about being another Ron Wayne, who was one of the original founders of Apple, but sold his shares for paltry $ 800 which would be worth $ 35 billion today as estimated here.

However, in this case, I suggested that he should consider not releasing his stake cheaply. The startup is in futuristic technology and the issues are more about the classical dilemmas of Project versus Product, Focus versus Diversification, Cash Flow Management, etc. These things could be resolved as they have already built some intellectual property with an excellent development team and generated a revenue stream as well (though extremely slow, unpredictable and with very low margins). Prima facie, the startup seems to have reasonably good potential. However, it is not easy to have this “realization”, especially if you are an insider and can “clearly” see the mess! Hence, this gentleman is still inclined to release his stake at book value or lesser as emotions seem to be the over-riding factor.

Here are some more takeaways from the discussion:

  1. If you are leaving a startup because of strategic differences with the other co-founders, make sure you have done all possible communication with the co-founders with clarity and “agreed to disagree” on various issues. This would help you leaving on a note of “completion” rather than leaving on a note of “frustration” because you feel your views are not being listened to or not being understood. Another strongly recommended option is to schedule a meeting with a mentor or a Business Coach to get an objective view on the differences, and, perhaps, come to an agreement on new strategic direction for the venture.
  2. Do not get in the trap of a biased undervaluation (leading to exit on book value) or overvaluation (to negotiate hard unnecessarily). Get the venture valuation done by a third party (we could help with this).
  3. As far as possible, continue to have a relationship with the startup as an advisor or play a structured part-time role. This usually leads to more constructive long-term relationships and you always have a chance to come back. In one of the ventures, where I quit, I was continually invited, long after quitting, to join back as a co-founder. Finally, a continued relationship could help you start-up again in the same sector with a synergistic business relationship with the startup you are exiting.

To end the conversation, we moved on to brainstorming on his next startup, though he really wanted a cooling period of 2-3 years before he starts up again. Here again, considering the emotional space he was in, I suggested starting at least some “fun” project immediately to keep the creative juices flowing before he finally zeroes-in on the next startup.

Are in you in a similar dilemma? Wondering whether to stick, pivot or quit? We could help – email at to schedule a meeting with us.

This was originally published at bizvidya.

Title Quote: If you never quit, you probably aren’t trying enough new things! – by Tynan.


Sometimes life might look like an endless series of unending Breakdowns!

When life sucks and nothing seems to be working! There is no competent staff around. The vendor has defaulted on yet another deadline. The customer is misbehaving. And, at the end of a perfectly atrocious day, you reach home to find the spouse sulking. In short, the entire world doesn’t seem to be working!

Whatever! The instinctive reaction is to argue, blame, crib, criticize, get frustrated or pick a fight.

But, wait; maybe, the world has always been unequal and unfair. Yet, uncannily, a civilization almost always keeps evolving to a better state. When and how does that happen?

Perhaps, humanity evolves because there is always a first human, who, at some point of time, says “enough, I will change this”. She challenges assumptions, questions the status quo, takes a different stand and cares a damn even if not a single person was there to support.

Life can be a frustrating, yet fulfilling. The staff can be trained. The vendor can be mentored. The customer can be delighted, and, finally, the spouse can be won over. In short, the world be can made to work, but, one step at a time.

How? Simply, by being alert to your automated reactions and by building a habit to take a pause before giving that angry retort or totally giving-up on a situation.

When did you last take a pause? Take a pause on that!

Music happens because of the silence between notes.

Magic in life happens when you allow yourself to take a mindful pause between thoughts and actions.

Ruthless Focus – Demonstrated by World Champion Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand shares what led to his unexpected victory at World Rapid Chess Championship at Riyadh.

But first let us look at why this was unexpected. He is 48 and has not won a championship in last few years with many having written him off.

He says:

I must admit that the depressing results (in my earlier tournaments) took a toll on my confidence, but I tried to be positive. What makes the win (in rapid chess title) more unexpected was that when I went into the third day — I wasn’t leading. (Vladimir) Fedoseev was in the lead and there was nothing that pointed at me winning. However, the day ended with me being a champion and the result was a marvelous surprise.

He identified what was not working:

In all these tournaments with multiple rounds, what happens is — you play one round and then mill around aimlessly while the pairings (of subsequent rounds) are done. I felt that aimlessly walking around and then striking a conversation with someone messed up my focus (in previous events) and I was very angry with that.

Then the magical thing he did:

So I decided to have a routine. In Riyadh, I would finish a game and go and get my computer. I would find a place to sit and make use of the majority of the break time by studying my moves or deciding on the next course of action in a game. Just 10 minutes before my game, I would put the computer back in the locker and head to my table. I felt I used my break between the games in a productive manner.

Did he come out of his comfort zone? Yes, he continued:

Normally I am someone who doesn’t like to carry things. I don’t usually like to have bag with me and prefer to be hands free. But this time, I decided to take one and it seemed to have worked for me.

What is your routine? What distracts you?

What is keeping you in your comfort zone? What is not working?

What changes can lead you towards ruthless focus?

Write to me at

Sources – TOI; Image – news18.

Transform Your Relationships in Two Steps!

Whether you are dealing with conflicts in various relationships or you simply wish to take your most important relationship to the next level, here is a power-packed two step formula to recreate the magic in your relationships!

Step #1: Realize you are at the Source of IT ALL in the relationship

This might be difficult to believe if you are stuck in blame or fault-finding mode (or in the reverse mode of being in guilt, blame or shame). The way out is to start observing your thoughts and reactions when something conflicting happens – observe how your brain is in “cooking” mode of mixing partially known facts and your misjudged opinions about those facts.

As Dr. Wayne Dyer says:

“As you think so shall you be! Since you cannot physically experience another person, you can only experience them in your mind.

Conclusion: All of the other people in your life are simply thoughts in your mind.

Not physical beings to you, but thoughts. Your relationships are all in how you think about the other people of your life. Your experience of all those people is only in your mind. Your feelings about your lovers come from your thoughts.

For example, they may in fact behave in ways that you find offensive. However, your relationship to them when they behave offensively is not determined by their behavior, it is determined only by how you choose to relate to that behavior.”

Most often than not, it is less about the other person and more about your own personality – your inner concoction of beliefs and attitudes. Ever wonder, why you keep attracting the same kind of seemingly “negative” people to your life?

The opportunity here is stop worrying about what the other person is doing or how the other person is behaving. Bring focus back to yourself. How are you reacting? What opinions are you forming? What conclusions are you making?

There is deeper spiritual meaning to SHIFTING the focus to yourself. Neale Donald Walsh says:

The first step in finding-creating-having the relationship of our dreams is to get clear with ourselves about the real reason to enter into a relationship to begin with. Our relationship with everything was designed as the perfect vehicle through which we might announce and declare, experience and express, fulfill and become the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about Who We Are. We cannot do this in a vaccuum. We can only do this in relationship to someone or something else. Therefore it could be said that, in a sense, all other people, places, and events exist so that we can create this experience of and for ourselves. Indeed, we call these people, places, and events into our lives for that precise reason.

There! It could not have been said more powerfully – the “other person” in the relationship is actually an opportunity for you to experience your GRANDEST SELF!

Finally, make a conscious effort to CHOOSE EXACTLY how you wish the relationship to shape-up and gather the courage to simply declare that to the other person.

It is as simple as that! Though, not necessarily, very easy. The access is to begin owning it all up. There is power in taking ownership of the situation and begin EXPLORING CREATIVELY how you could make a difference. This is brings us to the next step.

Step #2: Take Complete Responsibility to bring the transformation in the relationship

When you bring focus back to yourself, you will discover, sooner or later, how you have been at “The Source” of it all. With this access, you have the opportunity the recognize your own power and take responsibility to (re)create the magic in the relationship.

Werner Erhard says:



Just two steps, and you are done! The only question that remains is – Are YOU Ready for the Magic?

Mission Check!

Time to do give little push to your biggest and boldest goals of this year!

Make a list of at least five things you will do in next 24 hours that will take you closer to your biggest goals of this year.

Then repeat this exercise in 24 hours! Let us know if you can feel the acceleration and can actually see the velocity in your results!

misison check

How Randi Zuckerberg can help you “Quit Your Job” and fuel your entrepreneurial dreams

Randi Zuckerberg is leading a group of four investors as judges in a “Shark Tank”- style TV show called “Quit Your Day Job” premiering on Oxygen.


She shared some of her secrets with the New York Post:

1. Work somewhere else first: “There’s a lot of value in understanding how to work with a team, how to take on grunt jobs … and what goes into running an organization. With a
startup, you’re the CEO and also the janitor, and you have to be willing to do anything it takes to make it a success.”

2. Quit the right way: “Make sure that you retain your relationship [with your employer]. You’ve probably built up some great know-how and contacts and you want to make sure
you retain those contacts,” says Zuckerberg. “Quit in a way that’s respectful.

3. Create a job you’re passionate about: “Since most startups unfortunately fail, [passion is] what gets people through a difficult time,” she continues. “Make sure [your
company] is something that, eight years down the road from now, you’re still going to be excited to get out of bed and work on, because hopefully you’ll be in this for a long time.”

4. Take a look at your finances: “Know how much risk you can take on,” says the mother of two. “You want to make sure you’re not doing it in a way that is putting your future or
family in jeopardy.

5. Adapt to new trends: “I love to see an entrepreneur walk into a meeting with a business plan. I also like to see that they’re willing to scrap that plan in a moment’s notice,”
says Zuckerberg. “I don’t want them to come in so married and stuck to their business plan that they can’t pivot to another opportunity.”

6. Admit your mistakes — and fix them: “The biggest mistake I’ve made in launching my own company was in the location. After I left Facebook, I was doing a media company …
and I launched it in Palo Alto, Calif., because I was living there. That was the wrong decision, because if you’re in media, you need to be in New York or LA. I spent two years
trying to fit a square peg into a round hole,” she says.

Further, she shares 3 common mistakes that can sabotage an entrepreneur’s success with Business Insider:

1. Not knowing Numbers: Some entrepreneurs present their busines proposition without presenting any specific data.
2. Not tooting their own horn: Zuckerberg said this can be a problem for women especially. One of the best ways to learn to advocate for yourself, Zuckerberg said, is to have a peer network who can do it for you.
3. They choose a cofounder with the same skills: What entrepreneurs should be doing is partnering with someone who has a different skill set.

Now, you do not any other advice to begin planning on Quitting Your Job and create your dream venture!

Good Luck!