Work, work, work. Don't you need to practice?

Entrepreneurs and business leaders are known for working hard. So when do they get to practice for work? Not often.

However, did you know who the highest paid people are? Entertainers and Athletes are surprisingly; and nother interesting fact is that they spend more time training then any other occupation. So what can entrepreneurs learn from this?

If you want to be the best in the world, you have to practice. How you do that, is up to you. The point is you have to identify skills you want to improve and start working on them. Leadership, public speaking, or even technical skills that are critcal to your business have to be targeted and trained so they become second nature.

The military will train soldiers to the point that they stop thinking and just act out of habit. The idea is that they will follow their training durring the choas of battle. As an Olympic level sailor I trained so that when race day came everything was instinctual. An active brain always gets in the way of optimal performance. Practice and train the skills you desire to the point that they are second nature. It will make you a better business leader.

Did your family own their own business?

If you're family owned their own business odds are you'll be a successful entrepreneur. At least that's what all our interviews tell us. I'd say 95% of the guests that come on had a family member that owned a business. When you talk to them it was often being around that family member that lead to the development of their entrepreneurial skills.

What if you're not from an entrepreneurial family?

Find some mentors. Guests that did not have entrepreneurs in their family often found a mentor to help them along the way. I fall into the category of having a none entrepreneurial family, at least none that I knew well. Without even realizing it I built a network of people I turn to almost every day for guidance. Without the help of all these people I would have never started Belray Asset Management. - Greg Skidmore

Love of Business is Contagious

I recently spoke with an entrepreneur who owns a successful retail wine business. Just from the expression on his face, I could tell that he loves what he does. He exudes passion for wine and has the knowledge to help his customers make informed purchases. This knowledge was not gathered by sitting at a desk, or reading a book. Rather, it came from his extensive travels. To understand his products, he actually visited the vineyards and regions that produce his wine, in so doing developing a deep appreciation for each wine's unique character and history. He exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit by going beyond mere salesmanship to truly master all aspects of his business. Furthermore, he freely and gladly shares his passion with his customers. Even if you are not an oenophile, you can't help but admit that his love of wine is contagious. - Liz Kopyscinski

Our guests see things slowing.

So maybe small business is starting to feel the much talked about recession. We're beginning to get feedback that business has slowed. Not for everyone, but a few. We'll keep you posted. - Liz Kopyscinski

Enterprise Built By Wise Planning

As a business owner, you make decisions every day that can have substantial long-term consequences. How can you be sure that your decisions will help your business prosper? While the only certainties in life are death and taxes, a carefully considered and explicit business plan can improve the odds your business will succeed. Jot down your goals for the business--perhaps a growth target or expansion--and consider what you'll need to do to achieve those goals. Maybe you need to free up your cash flow, or gather new customers or suppliers? Perhaps you'll need financing to open a new location, or add a new service? Whatever your needs, consider seeking the advice of a business planner or banker. Once you've discovered which levers you can pull to affect your business, you can skillfully utilize them to help your business flourish. - Liz Kopyscinski


Some business owners actually think it is a good time to do things differently. Some owners feel you could actually steal market share at this time when others are cutting back. You may even get a deal when advertising when other do not. Some others feel it might be a good time to hire. Their are good people looking for jobs. It’s a great time to look within your own business and see what changes you might need to do to improve. - Liz Kopyscinski

Take a hard look at yourself.

Most entrepreneurs that I have interviewed work extremely hard. They love pushing themselves to the limit, yet within this never ending drive there is often a balance. Not a balance like someone who works 9 to 5 , but a balance of sorts. They still find time for friends and family. Instead they will sacrifice there own personal time and simply sleep less. They are experts in time management. The most talented and experienced entrepreneurs leverage themselves further by surrounding themselves with talent. So if you’re thinking about starting a business or if your business is struggling, you need to take a hard look at yourself. A lot of people start businesses but not all succeed. Why do some entrepreneurs succeed? They work hard and surround themselves with talented people. In fact if you ask them why they are successful they'll tell you about all the great people around them and if you did a little deeper you just might get them to admit they work harder then anyone else they know. - Liz Kopyscinski

Talking ourselves into recession

I've been surprised that in talking to the businesses owners we interview that they have not seen a slowdown in their businesses. However, many will admit they are very cautious about the future and plan to adjust their spending and growth plans. So this begs the question will this be a self induced recession for small business?

Like anything it's probably a bit of everything, but it sure seems that this recession may turn out to be a self fulfilling prophecy. - Greg Skidmore

Match Made in Heaven

Seth Godin has a great blog on marketing. If you haven't read any of his books on business marketing, you've been missing out. He's on the forefront of what the most effective businesses are doing to grow revenue. In a recent post to his blog he talks about using your website to connect with customers. If your company has a website, read his stuff. He'll help you drive more revenue. Click here to read his posting.

After reading his most recent post, I had a few thoughts. Here's a secret: local businesses have a huge advantage to capture local consumers. I'm sure at some point the big guys will figure something out, but for now the search engines favor a local niche businesses when the consumer is looking for something specific. Try googling "port chester tire repair". You won't get Costco's tire repair service (which is in Port Chester, NY), you'll get a list of local tire repair places. The best part is that you've found exactly what you want in seconds and the business has found exactly what it wants a customer with a need.

Once a local consumer clicks on a site, it better help that consumer achieve whatever they are looking to do. If I click on the link of a tire repair place I don't want a list of every tire that they sell, I want an appointment asap and the site better help me do just that. An effective website isn't about showcasing a business, it's about help the consumer get something accomplished. - Greg Skidmore