Improv Yourself: Business Spontaneity at the Speed of Thought

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Pay attention to spontaneous top-of-mind reactions, yearnings, rapid learning and excitement, and personal satisfaction.

Capitalize on strengths and manage around weaknesses, whatever they may be. Pay attention to whatever energizes you. Whenever you do something that makes you feel great, that releases energy; you have tapped into what you should be doing. Think back on the times you have done something that released a surge of energy - it somehow accessed your core competence. Working in the area of your core competence is likely to generate the energy and passion that will further drive your new business toward success.

SPONTANEITY - Definition and synonyms of spontaneity in the English dictionary

Launch and learn quickly. Natural talents and core competencies make you an intuitive learner in your business if you choose the right business to start. Leverage your core competence through relentless repeatability. Identify the important metrics. There are typically very few relationships that determine the overall success of the business - find them and measure the heck out of them.

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You need to focus on doing the right things that will have a major impact on profits. Make time work for you instead of against you. If you can create a business that is profitable from the start or very quickly , you have taken the greatest enemy of any startup - time - and turned it into an ally. The basic formula of limited investment, extreme outsourcing, and live customers before you give up your day job is geared toward making the business cash flow positive as quickly as possible, which is the first real step in establishing long-term viability.

Find the shortest possible path to profitability. Sometimes the only way to know your industry and competition is to invest time; profitability makes doing this easier. Take advantage of the benefits of scale. Benefits of scale are extra values businesses realize when they reach a certain size. You want to set up a business that is big enough so that your company really matters to other people in your business chain.

This saves tremendous amounts of time and energy you can use to build the business. Good customer service and follow-through are essential for the success of any business.


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The value of getting your business started is enormously high - the learning associated is very valuable. Build for Flexibility.

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A plug-and-play infrastructure is inherently flexible. Flexibility allows you to rapidly respond to competitors and changes in the market. Make your own luck. An experimental attitude combined with flexibility is a sure source of increasing the odds of positive luck. One of the main goals of successful individual entrepreneurs is to stay beneath the radar of potential competitors; media coverage invites competition.

Some entrepreneurs focus on preventing potential competitors from becoming aware of their success - launching multiple websites with different targets, etc. Being privately owned is a huge advantage - protect information rabidly. Extraordinary risk is essential to success. It is possible to intelligently and quickly mitigate risks through rapid testing with live customers. The size of the employee parking lot matters. But we have entered an era in which the old measures of success do not always apply.

Real businesses are funded by venture capital. This is a false notion - it is possible to build a substantial business without raising and spending large amounts of capital and selling part of your business. Free Agent - free agents are subject to the ups and downs of the employment market, and inevitably experience a boom-and-bust cycle.

Ownership of a business allows the entrepreneur to capture the full value of his or her ideas. The independent entrepreneur is building capital. In bad times, the entrepreneur still has a livelihood. The business environment may be difficult, but the infrastructure can still provide positive results instead of forcing you to look frantically for work elsewhere. Franchising - there are benefits: 1 proven business model; 2 systematized by nature; 3 pre-created marketing and national marketing scale; 4 economies of scale in purchasing; 5 training and support.

Extreme outsourcing requires the ability to delegate. Avoid the control trap at all costs - you get bogged down in the paperwork and non-value-added activities as your business grows. The business must be established so that you avoid even the smallest essence of the control trap. Success is achieved through focus on a minimal number of high leverage activities, and the outsourcing of everything else. If answer to both is yes, outsource. Also use productivity-enhancing software to increase your effectiveness on what you spend your time on.

Outsource the arms and the legs to third-parties whose systems you trust to make your life easier. Once the business is running, administrative tasks should take no more than 1 hour per day.

Not part of core competence or business reinvention. Build in feedback loops with a focus on customers. Expect and plan for business evolution. Have a plan from the beginning for how and when specific activities will be outsourced once you have more information and reach critical mass. The experience curve of your business will help you create systems to handle routine processes - once you understand how to perform a task well enough for it to be systematized, outsource it.

Simplicity always wins over complexity. Keep the business proposition straightforward and flexible. The acid test is whether or not your business is simple to operate. Beware of feature creep and over-analysis - they create complexity. Use your intuition - is it really simple, or are there too many moving parts?

Start simple and stay simple! Always monitor competitors. Study their offerings; buy their products; visit their website; understand how they are positioning themselves against you; understand how they are outsourcing functions.

How To Spontaneously Speak With Others

If you have the desire and determination, find the time. If you have an idea, it represents an opportunity to change your life. Grab it. Venture capital funding is about managing fast growth with many employees, founders sharing control with investors, and rapidly achieving a liquidity event. Go-it-alone businesses are oriented towards fast positive cash flow, growth driven by increases in cash flow, founders retaining control of the business, and focus on a limited number of employees doing what they do best.

Learning is critical. Focus allows you to learn as much as you can as quickly as you can. Try, stop and think, adjust, then try again. Maintain an experimental and learning attitude at all times. You need to constantly reinvent the business and understand the real reasons the business creates value.

Success leading to complacency - when things are going well, the drive to improve is diminished; you let your guard down. When the environment changes, the complacent will be far behind the curve. Success also invites and intensifies competition. You need to reinvent the business even when everything is terrific - be a little paranoid. Not Recognizing, Acknowledging, and Correcting Mistakes - do everything you can to validate your assumptions, monitor competitors, establish and evaluate your metrics, etc.

Only you can ask yourself the hard questions.

Attempting to Expand from Focused to Comprehensive Services - there is a natural tendency to drift over time; fight to maintain your focus on dominating your niche. The sudden adjustment from working in a large company to operating solo can be wrenching. Guidelines for making the transition:.

Improv Yourself: Business Spontaneity at the Speed of Thought

Know that nothing happens unless you make it happen - the business infrastructure will only exist after you create it; no one else will. Recognize that there is no "A" for Effort - you must own risk completely; the startup world is more Darwinian. Mitigate risks as best as possible, but failures will happen. You are completely responsible for what happens to the business; claim responsibility for mistakes, then fix them.

Be prepared to sell - you must be ready to convince people that your business has merit, either as partner or customer. Engage and enroll others in your vision. Be prepared to demonstrate credibility - confident attitude in handling whatever you are discussing with a potential customer, client, or supplier will go a long, long way. You must trust yourself in order to convince others to trust you. Be absolutely focused on getting paid - cash flow is an essential concern; you must ensure the money is coming in. Think through your own support system and the extent of your need to stay connected to other people - you need outgoing connections to balance what will be a life of greater solitude than a corporate job; you need people to discuss and share your ideas with.

Personal board of directors. Never be afraid to ask others for help - there is no shame, loss or honor, or disgrace in asking another person for a favor; people tend to like helping other people out.

When someone assists you, it can help cement an ongoing relationship - they start to take an interest in seeing you succeed. Make it easy for people to help you - always be specific when asking for help.

A new book shows how a little “spontaneous creativity” can help you rule your next cocktail party.

Beware easy access to resources; it can prevent you from developing your business as strongly as possible. Excess funds can, even in small amounts, encourage habits that make you less creative, innovative, and determined. If you can launch and maintain your business with a bare minimum of resources, your likelihood of long-term success is high. You have demonstrated that you can handle anything; that you can create value while maintaining an attractive cost base, so your pricing is attractive; that you have great flexibility to adjust to changes in the market; and that you are not dependent on anyone else for additional funding.

I thought this was a fantastic book - very well written, insightful, and includes a great deal of useful material. I thought the sections on extreme outsourcing and use of ASPs were particularly helpful. I recommend reading the entire book for additional examples and stories. A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work. Accelerate your learning by deconstructing complex skills, practicing the most important elements first, and removing barriers to deliberate practice.

Download the House worksheet to learn how you can build better habits, one room at a time. Resources for Success Jane has assembled a toolkit filled with methodologies, resources and processes that will help your brilliance shine through. Building Your Brilliance House. Download Worksheet. Building Your Brilliance, the Book. Purchase via PayPal. PayPal account not necessary. For questions about book orders, email Customerservice booklogix. Uncovering Brilliance Video Series. Setting Goals. Positive Living. Managing Stress. Uncover Brilliance. Recommended Reading.

A Positive Brilliant You. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Have a New You by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman.

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