Q: What one thing do you think defines the successful entrepreneur?

April 4, 2012

Q: What do you think makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur?

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

For those who know me by my blog here, my answer will surprise you. Because I’m not going to tell you that entrepreneurship is driven, foremost, by love, hope, and faith. Virtues, natural or supernatural, may fuel the mission and the vision, but love can not adequately describe the economic function of the entrepreneur. Nor shall leadership.

Great entrepreneurs are not born. They are made in hell.

Prodigy, Breathe

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Blog Soup 2011.11.06. Entrepreneurship, Start Ups, and Babes

November 6, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.06. Entrepreneurship, Start Ups, and Babes

I miss brunches. One of the many reasons that I was bummed out today because people don’t brunch in Bucharest. It’s expensive. $50 at a fine hotel. Because the restaurants don’t do brunch. It’s not a part of the culture. Sundays, generally speaking, are for hangovers.

I shouldn’t mention that any business man (or women) in Bucharest knows that $50 can buy them an hour with a beautiful young woman (or man). For chatting, petting, or whatever.

Sadly, Sunday is passing…

Yo – Triberr is on full manual. [grin] You’ll need to approve each tweet from your tribe members – if you want them to keep loving on you. I’ll be repeating this message for a few more blog soups for the obvious reasons.

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe, too many. I comment on a lot of blog posts. Maybe, too many. If you are a Triberrati, you do too.

A Triberrati is a blogger that stands out in the Triberr community. Triberr is a web app that connects bloggers and helps them to curate each other on Twitter. You can learn all about Triberr by reading any of the following posts about it.

1. James St. JohnTriberr: They Want To Change The World

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

Gary Portnoy, Where everybody knows your name (Cheers theme song)

2011.11.06

Today, I was reading from the Book of Wisdom.

Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates. To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.

And then from Matthew where Christ replies to the unprepared maidens knocking on his door at the last hour:

Truly, I say to you, I do not know you. Matthew 25:12

Anyway…

Making blog soup sometimes reminds me of Misery Bear preparing for his date. Do you know Misery Bear?

Featured

Just some of the blogs that I recently commented on:

1. Debunking Rock Star Entrepreneurship by Lee Downen

2. The Blog That Never Was by Jack Steiner

3. She’s Back by Betsy Cross

4. Is Your Business Prepared for Prime Time? by Marti Barletta

5. How Brands Can Effectively Connect With Female Bloggers by Stephanie Holland

6. Top 25 Young Entrepreneur Success Stories by Nicholas Tart

7. Winter for Alaska Chick! by Amber-Lee Dibble

Dires Straits, Money For Nothing

Blog Soup

1. Debunking Rock Star Entrepreneurship by Lee Downen

Young Lee Downen wants to share what he’s learning about the meaning of entrepreneurship. Recently, Master Downen read The Illusions of Entrepreneurship by professor Shane Scott of Case Western Reserve. He also notes being inspired by Tim Ferriss.

My comment:

Personally, I like the rock star archetype of the entrepreneur, Lee. Forgive me for contradicting you. But I believe the contradiction will provide you with a balance of information which will better help you discern your our path forward.

Behind the curtain of glamor, fans, cash, and attitude, rockstars work harder than most people. They eat pain, terror, and self defeat for breakfast. Every day. And when they don’t, they turn to drugs to keep it on. Because what they do is often the impossible, the unthinkable, and the unbearable.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating self-medication. [grin] I just want to speak with you about the difficulties, risks, and free falls, that every entrepreneur must face.

My friend Adrian Klein writes how he turns trouble into awesome:

Pain makes us understand who we are and what we are doing. Pain makes the vision clearer. Pain drives the work and the art.

You can read more about what it’s like to be a rockstar via the links below.

Grandma’s Smile by Adrian Klein

The Easter Bunny Kicked My Ass by Adrian Klein

How To Become a Rockstar by Adrian Klein

I’ll add that 99.98 percent fail to do something worthwhile- not 95 percent. But that 4.98 percent disparity refers to those who lost their hearts, shirts, who starved, who cried, and/or also devastated the wealth or savings of friends, family, and investors.

That’s not saying I don’t wish you success, Lee. In fact, I wish you everything good that your heart desires!

2. The Blog That Never Was by Jack Steiner

Writes Jack:

This is the story of the blog that never was. It is the true story of how three friends in the midst of a bad economy developed a plan to take control of their destiny by creating a dad blog.

My comment:

I’m reminded of my comment to Yomar Lopez’s comment about never finding the perfect business partner. Yomar was commenting on Laurinda Shaver’s blog post about writing a business plan.

I wrote:

There is no such thing as a perfect business partner. Because the perfect business partner is the business partner that doesn’t need you. Now let’s do some amazing things. All of us. Together.

My two cents is to get more daddy bloggers into the mix – with an eye on people who are already blogging. When you buddies are free from the divorce headaches and hangover, they can join in on the fun.

Heck, if you want a failing daddy in the mix, I’d be happy to oblige. [grin] And Yomar is also a daddy and grand daddy blogger too.

Two more cents of free advice for you and Lee Downen: Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems and moving forward. It’s when you slow down, stop, and scratch your head, it’s game over. Been there. Done that. More than a few times.

3. She’s Back by Betsy Cross

Writes Betsy:

Madeleine, cutting up paper and gluing right across from me said, “I liked when we had no power (the recent 3-day storm). You didn’t do family history.” That hurt!

“Want to know my favorite part of the 3 days we were without power?” I asked Madeleine. “When we cuddled in the chair under piles of blankets.” She smiled. She just wanted to know that I loved being with her.

My comment:

Betsy also writes:

Finding and maintaining passion are two different animals.

Obviously, I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts about business, entrepreneurship, start ups, and dreams, and I have to say that Betsy has defined the problem for most aspiring entrepreneurs and dreamers that can’t make it go. Daydreams are one thing. Finding passion is another. And making it go is something else entirely. As Janet Callway’s blog post about Dr. Seuss’ last book reminded me a few days ago, there’s a place called waiting and a lot of people get stuck there and, oh, with no other place to go.

Of course, Leon Noone has something to say about this:

Profit is a consequence, not an objective.

Writes the guru’s guru of management consulting Tom Peters:

Marathoners call it “hitting the wall.” You get to a point where you can’t go on. But you do. And, miraculously, you come out the other side and finish the race.

Truth is, damn little of merit, in a profession or a hobby, is accomplished without running through a wall or two.

More here.

4. Is Your Business Prepared for Prime Time? by Marti Barletta

Businesses that want to thrive in the decades to come are going to have to adapt to meet the needs of Boomers.

That’s what Marti Barletta is saying.

My comment:

Marti Barletta knows things. She doesn’t just blog about things. She’s a recognized authority on communications, marketing, sales, and recruitment. If you don’t come away with big take aways from reading her blog posts, the problem is you. Not her! [grin]

As the online audience ages, their interests are changing. They’ll be thinking more about family, friends, holidays, and of things past. Perhaps, family history too. It seems to me, Betsy, that this is your moment to work on how to capture that very large, online market.

5. How Brands Can Effectively Connect With Female Bloggers by Stephanie Holland

Writes Stephanie Holland:

Bottom line, connecting with female bloggers is much like connecting with your female audience. You need to not only know who they are, you need to understand and respect them.

My comment:

The beginning of that understanding begins in understanding what my friend Betsy writes in her blog post about sisters:

The world wouldn’t be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other. Every day, we need each other still.

6. Top 25 Young Entrepreneur Success Stories by Nicholas Tart

Nick shares the stories of 25 young entrepreneurs. Here’s three:

12 year old Adora Svitak

15 year old Savannah Brit

18 year old Stanley Tang

My comment:

Out of the mouths of babes…

Check out Adora Svitak’s TED Talk: What Adults can learn from kids here.

You’ll be impressed. Then you’ll feel stupid – if you are not a kid. I did. [laughing]

If these kids can do amazing things, why can’t you? Because you are special in that unfortunate kind of way?

Don’t be RIDICULOUS! You are not special in that unfortunate kind of way.

Of course, nothing is easy. Just as my friend Amber-Lee writes in a recent blog post:

It has taken me so long to come to understand what seems like I should have always known. It has taken an incredible amount of hard work and lots of pain and drama to become who I am.

Just because nothing is easy doesn’t mean that the difficult is impossible.

7. Winter for Alaska Chick! by Amber-Lee Dibble

Writes Amber-Lee:

The weight of the snow can cause some real problems, the least of which is the crust of ice that forms on the wings and takes HOURS to remove.

My comment:

I read your words a second time:

The weight of the snow can cause some real problems, the least of which is the crust of ice that forms on the wings and takes HOURS to remove.

And two things were stuck in my head in the reading your words. How this winter will be hard on business in general and, especially, entrepreneurs. Ice on the wings. Ice on the runways. AND how this winter may be hard on bloggers. Again, ice on the wings. The image of ice on the wings came to me again as you mentioned that Twitter has cooled down on the conversations.

I hope that I’m wrong. Bill Dorman said it best in his blog post about 10000: “People need to bump around, meet some people, and well, be social.”

Entrepreneurs, bloggers, and just about anyone for that matter.


Just as you yearn for snow fall, I too yearn for snow fall in Bucharest. Snowfall brings a certain peace to a place. People slow down. Crime decreases. People become more like people – if you know what I mean.

There is need for rest and more time for the ones written in our hearts. And I yearn for snowfall to bring these blessings sooner than later. Maybe Bill Dorman will even get a few thousand more Twitter followers closer to his 10,000 target.

Note to Bill:

Your content is Grade A. Stop sweating it, buddy. Reach (aka distribution) is the challenge that you need to overcome. And everyone else too. Even our buddy, Jack Steiner, faces the same uphill battle. But once he gets his 100k subscibers, we’ll know he’s in good hands.

Amber-Lee, I know you haven’t been feeling well the last week or so, but I’ve missed you. And your comments – especially since you were gone most of August and September guiding hunters to take down big game like Moose and Dall Sheep.

I so look forward to your forthcoming reflections, inspirations, and heart-warming charms.

Feedback

If you think that this blog post sucks, let me know in your comment and don’t forget to include a link to YOUR favorite blog post.

If you think this blog post rocks, tell me why it rocks in the comment. “Awesome,””Great post,” etc. works for me. Don’t forget to include a link to YOUR most recent blog post.

Stan Faryna
06 November 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Help me to do something beautiful! Click here.


A Dark Night Ahead

February 27, 2007

A Dark Night Ahead

Sometime in the second half of 2008, Americans will be asking what went wrong. They’ll call it an economic downturn or a warning sign, but they’ll know in their gut that it’s not just a hiccup.

Americans will want to know who did it and why they were allowed to screw it up so bad. Some will bemoan the greed of home-owners who aspired to greater wealth or better lifestyle. Others will talk about the cavalier irresponsibility of banks and financial institutions, the problematic of regulation, and the greed of bankers and financiers– American, European and otherwise. The real estate bubble is going to pop.

When it comes, I will be wondering how much worse it will get. I’ll be thinking about what happens in the next 40 years. I imagine that I’ll also be looking for economic signs beyond the real estate problem.

Great Expectations

Looking forward, I fear most for America. I fear for the lifestyle of Americans. But I also fear for all those other peoples who so deeply long for an American lifestyle. The American middle class lifestyle and material expectations seems to have come at a cost that hasn’t been sustainable for a decade. Of course, I could be wrong, but if I’m not, commentators will be saying the very same things that I’m writing now within the next two or three years.

Elsewhere, peoples are impatient for the American lifestyle they know from TV and the movies. Those people will compete for such opportunity with competitive advantages such as low cost labor and intensified effort (six or seven day work days and longer hours in a day). In the next ten years, corporations will ask for more and they will provide less compensation, less benefits and less compassion for those that drag their heels in the workplace.

Ahead, greater disappointment and, perhaps, social unrest may unfurl and such a sail is likely to carry us to seas uncharted – darker waters.

Armchair Economics

Looking forward, I wonder what happens across time as debt, deficit, and disappointment grow. This will not be simply an American problem.

What can we do to set a course for a brighter future – as opposed to a long, dark night?

The necessity for discipline and new vision is obvious. In America, the role of Government must be re-evaluated. Does Government provide for the common good and individual rights in an adequate and effective manner? Certainly, partisan agendas must be left behind in order for change to become possible. Government regulation, for example, is over zealous in some areas. While in other areas, it is lackluster. The cost of health care, to mention one much debated problematic, represents the undisciplined greed of corporate interests – interests that deeply conflict with the welfare of the nation and the American people.

Beyond the problematic of rampant consumerism, debt, debauchery in the financial markets, and government spending, the diminishing investment in technology is another thing to consider.

Technology

Technology was something that we were doing right. Technology has been an important force in our economy and in our confidence in our economy. That’s why this is not the time to back off from technology investments. We need a renewal and deeper commitment to investment in technologies – technologies that can produce overwhelming value and social benefit across time: five years or more.

By design, quick payoffs do not tend to offer long term ROI. Obviously, investors should not repeat the mistakes that led to the pop of the Tech bubble. Regarding technology, value will be difficult to find when it’s more about questions of “who knows who” and “does the business plan have the right catch phrases” … and not “what it does”, “how well it does it”, and “is it relevant”.

Technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation may just provide the leverage and levers to keep us above the rising tide of doubt, mistrust, and fear.

Human Potential

More worrisome to me than the lack of investment in technology and innovation is what I believe to be a wide scale failure to realize human potential at the micro and macro level. Paradoxes are increasing exponentially. At the heart of this dark matter is the absence of virtue, honor, moral character and ethic.

At the same time that there is more want, there seems to be less of a willingness to make it happen. This is a problematic at the individual level.

At a macro level, we have powerful technologies in the modern office to multiply the performance of an employee and yet there is a foreboding sense that ROI is diminishing. Getting a computer in the office was supposed to increase performance, but if it has done so, it has also become an opportunity for the employee’s exploitation of company time, resources, and capital- personal banking, online shopping, online reading, personal email, instant messaging, online message boards, online gaming and much more.

Hope

Hope is something that can unleash human potential, become opportunity for change, sacrifice and progress. Hope can move us forward- as families, as communities, as nations and as a species. As long as hope finds fuel and reason, it can stir us to do greater things than we believe ourselves capable.

Hope can even stir us to greater ambitions than our own selfish pursuit of mistaken good and all the unsatisfying metaphors which have always represented something more beautiful than we could have imagined – whether we knew it or not.

More than a renewed enthusiasm for technology and motivational strategies for the quantitative realization of human potential, we shall look eagerly for hope. And with hope, there must come faith and compassion.

Stan Faryna
February 27, 2007
Fairfax, Virginia

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FEED UPON other popular posts by Stan Faryna:

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About Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is a member of the IAB European Leadership Council and National Director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Romania. He is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. You may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. Send your request for permission by inmail through the linkedin professional network at www.linkedin.com.