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Think like a founder

Here’s a thought for you: starting a company is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. In the beginning, the founder has pieces scattered all over the table, and is trying to figure out how to fit them together into a cohesive, credible whole. There are pieces labelled ‘Innovation’, and ‘Market Penetration’, and ‘Business Plan’ and ‘Attracting Investors’, and so on, and so on. Even for a relatively simple business, there will be many pieces spread around, all of which need to be integrated so that the enterprise can become successful.

The thing that determines if it will be successful is the founder’s sense of vision. Even if they don’t know how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, they can visualize what the completed picture will look like. Without that vision, they’ll endlessly be arranging and re-arranging the pieces, trying to figure out which part fits with the next part. In my experience, that sense of...

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The virtual haircut

The other day I went for a virtual haircut at a virtual barbershop. While I was there I was offered a delicious virtual cappuccino, which I drank from a very nice virtual cup.
Or not.

There are many activities where the virtual world can’t substitute for the world where barbers use sharp scissors to cut hair, and real coffee is drunk from real cups. Sometimes that’s easy to forget, especially at a time like this, when so much of our interfacing with the world is through our computer screens. Amazingly, many people have found that they can still accomplish a lot of their work while staying at home. Imagine describing this situation thirty years ago, and telling someone back then how whole office blocks would be closed down, and yet major businesses could continue to function, from people’s bedrooms!

Sometimes you just have to be there…


But, like my haircut and cup of coffee, some business offerings simply must happen between people, trading solid goods and...

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Who coaches the coaches?

IMPORTANT: If you are a Coach, first check in to my new Coach Assessment page.

There’s a very old TV commercial for Volkswagen, which won the gold prize at the Cannes festival in 1964. Well before your time (and mine too!), but it asks a great question: “Have you ever wondered how the man who drives a snow plough, drives to the snow plough?” The answer was that he used an ultra-reliable VW Beetle, of course. I’m interested in the philosophy of the question, and how it applies to my own work, because how does someone who coaches others find their own coaching? In other words, who coaches the coaches?

Ultimate goals


There are very few activities where we can say the ultimate goal has been reached by someone. Perhaps walking on the moon, or climbing to the peak of Mount Everest for the first time. But then later there will be someone who walks on Mars, and there are many people who have ascended Everest, only quicker, or by harder routes, or without oxygen,...

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Doing the webinar gruntwork

Hashtags, spamming, woots – the internet has given us many new terms. In fact, even ‘internet’ is a relatively new word. One that I particularly like is ‘Webinar’, because it’s exactly what it says: A seminar, using the world wide web to deliver it. What’s more, I like the concept of the webinar, because it’s a new and refreshing way of communicating, and it really works.

For a start, all the traditional problems of traveling to a seminar are overcome, and that’s not just good for the meeting attendees, but for the world’s resources. Doing webinars is definitely an eco-friendly alternative to traditional international meetings. The second huge advantage is that through a webinar you can reach your ideal, niche audience.

Think niche, be niche

There’s never any point or benefit from trying to talk to ‘everyone’, and the more niche you get, the better. That means you can then meet at the highest level with...

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What’s the point of coaching?

What’s the point of coaching? As a business coach myself, specializing in helping startups, I find it important to re-ask that question on a regular basis. If I am sure of the answer, then I can be certain to deliver what’s needed by my clients.

Building on existing skills

Is coaching just another name for teaching? Well, yes and no. Teaching is where people learn new ideas and skills, that they haven’t come across before. For example, in school you elect to take a class in French, a subject that you may have no natural affinity for - unless you’re French! The teacher will start from the absolute basics, and then slowly build up your understanding, block by patient block. A great teacher will of course help develop individual’s talents, but the teacher of French will stick to the rules, and you’ll learn the language as it is spoken. There’s not a lot of room for ‘doing it your own way.’


Coaching, on the other hand, builds on...

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Coaching

coaching marketing startups Jul 08, 2019

Crossing the finish line

I’m very interested in success, and a lot of what I do is about helping my clients to realize the success of their projects. The 6 Steps approach that I have developed over the years is designed so that it can be applied to every sort of business startup, no matter what the product or service on offer is. Sometimes people are surprised when I tell them that their startup is pretty much like any other in the challenges it faces. How can a tech company be the same as - for instance - a food company? My reply is that in raising money and gaining market attention, there’s almost no difference, and that in order to assure success, the step-by-step approach is the only game in town. And yet many startups around the globe decide that they are the exception to the rule. Their talents and uniqueness will win through, and obviously their offering will soon be racing towards the finish line. Big mistake.

So while I’m very interested in success,...

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