3 New Year’s Themes (Not Resolutions) for Startup Founders

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Goals, Planning, Risk

I like the idea of choosing New Year’s themes better than making resolutions. Resolutions are too all-or-nothing. Plus, breaking a resolution has the effect of lowering the resolve in your head, often leading to dropping the resolution altogether. Themes on the other hand are not all-or-nothing. With a New Year’s theme, you apply effort to the theme topic at the pace that fits your current life situation. Even with ebbs and flows in activity, continuing to work at the theme ultimately pays nice dividends. Here are three New Year’s themes that will make you a better entrepreneur in 2015. Get those plans out of your head. Most entrepreneurs carry a jumble of really good plans and ideas around in their heads and only let them out in fits and spurts. Making a specific effort to write your plans down forces you to organize, and most importantly, choose which of those ideas make the cut. You could start by documenting a handful of big milestones for your startup. Then list the to-do items that support making each milestone happen. Choosing forward looking milestones gives your efforts focus, helps you decide which activities are most important, and always gives you an answer to the question “What should I work on next?”...

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5 Startup Lessons I Learned While Becoming a Pilot

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Goals, Investor Ready, Setbacks, Startups

As a recently licensed private pilot, I feel truly alive when flying a small plane. In a single flight I can feel pride, humility, fear, joy, and triumph. This list of feelings also crops up on a regular basis for my co-founder and me as we work to build our publishing startup, causing me to reflect on the similarities between learning to fly and building a startup. Here are my top five flying lessons that also apply to my startup efforts: 1. Practice, Fail, Learn. There is nothing stickier than a lesson learned by f’n it up the first few times. We had just landed, and the 1946 Champ rolled down the runway at good clip when my instructor told me to take over and taxi us back to the hanger. Feeling confident that we were safe on the ground, I took the stick. For the first few hundred feet I had things under control. In an instant, I felt the back end of the plane start to swing to the right. My instructor called for more right rudder, but I reacted too slowly. The plane made an abrupt left turn, the left wing dipped and almost struck the ground. Finally, the plane came to a quick stop sitting...

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