Entrepreneurial Mojo

What can a 13-year-old fashion plate, a taco maker, a motorcycle helmet salesman, carpenter, grocery store owner and fifth generation beer manufacturer share in common? Six sage pieces of advice that made them successful entrepreneurs. Last Saturday’s NY Times arrived on my doorstep and one particular article caught my eye. “6 Entrepreneurship Lessons From Family Businesses” told the story of how each person with an idea and family support realized their dream and what they learned.

As Financial Advisors, some sharing the business with family members and others not, these six lessons are a good reminder for all of you.

  1. Behind every successful leader is a skilled management team.
  2. Plan for succession, and train your next generation of leaders.
  3. Seize opportunities.
  4. Family members are a great source of sweat equity.
  5. The human touch pays off.
  6. Running a business is hard, but it also should be fun.

These ideas are certainly not a revelation and seem pretty obvious. But I think we tend to forget them as we get mired down in the day to day; particularly number six. Many of these items harken back to what Michael Gerber wrote about in The E-Myth Revisited. With 40% of new businesses failing in the first year and 80% in the first five, there are specific steps we must follow and mantras we must believe to survive.  Some of those key elements are listed above.

What I found inspiring about this article was how each story started with a vision and strong spirit to succeed. I call that entrepreneurial mojo. At Pathfinder, we are lucky to work with advisors who seek out help and are motivated to have successful and profitable businesses.  Often, these practices have lost their entrepreneurial mojo. They need a strong reminder of what started them down the path in the first place and nudges to push them forward.  Check out the article when you have some time.

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