I want to talk a bit about networking with new acquaintances or renewing old contacts.  Networking is often dreaded because it sounds like being disingenuous or insincere. Good networking is genuine and sincere. I made the point in Week 1 that communication skills are crucial, and they can be learned. Warren Buffett has said that “public speaking” is the most important skill he ever learned.  So let’s discuss a few ideas on how to make networking less stressful and more successful.  In this video, I will list three key things to remember when networking and expand on why they are so important. My UBC Management students will remember this from my Management Communication course.

Late last year I wrote on this blog about my frustration with the lack of Big Ideas driving […]

Not enough consideration is given to entrepreneurial character. What makes an entreprener successful, or may lead him to fail? Starting and growing your own business requires many skills to be successful. Take a look at the business personality types and find out what you need to succeed. Are you Bill Gates, a Visionary, or an Improver like Body Shop founder, Anita Roddick?

Your business personality type are the traits and characteristics of your personality that blend with the needs of the business. If you better understand your business personality, then you can give your company the best part of you. Find others to help your business in areas you aren’t prepared to fulfill.

There are 9 key types of personality and understanding each will help you enjoy your bss more and provide your company with what it needs to grow. This entrepreneur personality profile is based on the 9-point circle of the Enneagram. Begin identifying your dominant personality theme and understand how you operate in your business.

Francisco Dao is one of my favorite bloggers. Francisco focuses like a laser beam on the tough issues of entrepreneurship with unfailing logic, sometimes tough for some to hear. In a previous post, Francisco spoke openly about the frothy enthusiasm and euphoria surrounding entrepreneurship, suggesting that there were too many entrepreneurs producing too many mediocre ideas. In this post, Franciso explores the current shift in entrepreneurial profiles, bemoaning their ignorance of how businesses work, and the embarrassing consequences.

At the request of Professor Ray Taheri of the UBC Engineering Faculty, I gave this guest lecture to all 4th year engineering students in ENGR 499 Capstone Project. From my background in entrepreneurial mentorship and entrepreneurial finance, I focused on the unique challenges engineers face in considering starting and developing a new venture. I discuss the full range of issues, but my personal emphasis, from experience, is the “character” issue. Some excellent engineers have successfully made the transition to entrepreneurship and executive management, but for others the odyssey is a bridge too far. Consequently, I place significant emphasis on honest self-analysis and appreciation of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Listening is a priceless skill.

There is a new player emerging on the cultural and business scene today: the idea entrepreneur. Perhaps you are one yourself — or would like to be. The idea entrepreneur is an individual, usually a content expert and often a maverick, whose main goal is to influence how other people think and behave in relation to their cherished topic. These people don’t seek power over others and they’re not motivated by the prospect of achieving great wealth. Their goal is to make a difference, to change the world in some way.

Yesterday, I was an invited guest at an annual “entrepreneurship” event held in Vancouver. The event is an extraordinary opportunity to connect with most of the major figures, leaders, and investors in the entrepreneurship community. It also prominently showcased presentations from a number of the most promising new startups. But the undercurrents in conversations around the room were soul searching questions about the current glut of startup accelerators around North America, and the frothy euphoria and enthusiasm about “entrepreneurship.” Some experienced entrepreneurial investors complained about the air of unreality of it all, and the excess of mediocre companies being cranked out. A very prominent and experienced Vancouver venture capitalist pointed out to me that a glut of Canadian startups only compounds the long-standing issue that Canada could not produce the necessary risk capital even if more of these companies were investment ready, which they are not. A related issues is the waste of government money in these companies. Clearly, the situation is a mess.