From my experience speaking to founders, managers and business leaders, laying people off is one of the hardest things a person will have to do during their careers.
Some thoughts on competition applied to everyday life, amongst your peers, and why it can actually be bad
As a consumer, competition is usually great – it spurs innovation and leads to more efficient pricing. In this post, however, I am going to focus on competition in life, and why it can actually be sub-optimal.
Being a good listener is one of the most important attributes you can have as an entrepreneur. You need to heed some (but definitely not all) of the advice given to you by advisors/mentors/investors, as well as take on feedback from your customers and users. It is also essential to listen to some of the ideas your team and employees come up with – if you don’t listen properly, you will regret it days/weeks/months down the line when things begin to unravel beneath your feet.
I have heard the phrase “knowledge is power” (“scientia potentia est” is the original phrase coined in Latin) regularly used throughout my life – at university, in the workplace and even in Hollywood movies. Never, though, have I felt this phrase to be more appropriate than when applied to behavioural & leadership psychology (or influencing people).
Over the course of the last year or so, I have met with, spoken to or been to talks featuring many different CEOs and start-up founders. I like to ask them about some of the biggest mistakes that they’ve made (in the futile hope that I can learn from them) or what advice they would give to an aspiring/early-stage entrepreneur. What is interesting is that the answer they all give is almost always the same.
Continue reading “Hiring (and Firing)”
Many of us in the Western world do not realise how fortunate we are. We stress over trivial things such as deadlines, deals falling through and being late to meetings. I find things as simple as dental check-ups terrifying – the disruption to my usual schedule and worry that I might need another filling/tooth taken out leaves me dreading every visit.
In this post, I’ll run through Part I of the application process (you don’t get onto NEF unless you pass Part I and Part II but, if you’re good enough to pass Part I, you should be OK with Part II – Matchmaking with Host Companies).
After a few months of skill building to transition into a more entrepreneurial career, I decided to apply to the New Entrepreneurs Foundation programme. In this post, I’ll run through Part I of the application process (you don’t get onto NEF unless you pass Part I and Part II but, if you’re good enough to pass Part I, you should be OK with Part II – Matchmaking with Host Companies). I’ll also provide some tips about what worked for me (and why) which is largely applicable to job applications. It was quite a pleasant process overall and helped me realise a few things along the way.
There are a whole load of reasons why people might want to start a start-up. It is important to know what reason yours is, because some of these reasons only make sense in certain contexts, and some of them will actually lead you astray.
What characteristics should you aim for your founding team to have, and what should you be looking for in a co-founder?
When people think of great founders, they think of people like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk or Steve Jobs – people who have this unwavering drive and vision; who can captivate people and lead them on a journey. However, what made these guys truly successful was the support network they built around themselves – their founding team. The reality is that it is almost impossible for one person to have all the characteristics of a great founder. What is possible, however, is having all of these great characteristics shared between yourself and your co-founders.
Continue reading “What Makes a Great Founder?”
A lot of the reasons why some startups succeed are out of the hands of the founders. However, there are several ingredients that you can control, and it makes sense to nail these in order to give yourself the best possible chance of success
Since entering the entrepreneurship ecosystem in London, I have been fortunate enough to meet some incredible founders and hear inspiring stories. What you quickly realise, however, is that every business has a different story and that there is no “one formula for success”. Furthermore, a lot of the reasons why some of these businesses became successful were actually out of the hands of the founders. Continue reading “The Ingredients of a Successful Start-Up”