Can a Company’s Founding History Be Re-Written?

If McDonald’s history can be written, you bet it can happen! Why? The “Our Story” of the Co-founders company history page may be re-written to “My Founding Story”.

Partnerships play a key in building an idea. That is why I included P-Partner as one of the crucial 6 P’s of an Idea in my methodology for making dreams come true. There are many diverse skills required when taking an idea from a dream into a product or service. One person cannot hold all those talents in ideating, making, and marketing a concept. Even though with the size of some entrepreneurs’ ego’s— they think they can— they can’t and they don’t!

And that is where the danger lurks as portrayed in the recent Hollywood movie on McDonalds’ history. And one movie that should be considered a must view for any entrepreneur. Trust me it can happen!

So, what are some things to review when looking for a P-Partner. Basic complementary business skills are of course a requirement, but also consider these qualities too:

  • Character. Character is the most important factor. Ideas are gold and there are many gold diggers. They come across a good idea and want to be part of it. Or they are part of a good idea and then want all of it when it hits the big time. Make sure that partner has not cheated others even in their personal life. P-Partners can be a little crazy—that is a norm in the entrepreneurial world. But make sure their heart is golden and in a good place. And make sure their ego is also “in place” when dealing with company business. Again, many including myself have an ego. That is what makes us think we can change the world— just make sure the ego can be checked it in at the company front door each day.
    Loyalty. Almost goes with Character, but a step further. Has this partner been loyal in life with past business partners, marriage partners and even how they treat their children/parents? Did they try their best to balance work and life? Are they involved in some community and volunteer activities? And not only to write a check…but sweat (checks are a good thing don’t get me wrong but an easy thing). If they are loyal in life, they will most likely be loyal during the life-time of the firm and to the partners and associates.
    Bully. The world is full of bullies, but you do not want one as your partner. Some type of battles do occur in the boardroom, just make sure you have a chance to win here and there—and not always have to give in.
    Trust. And that is what is core in a partner. Can you trust they will always have your back in company good times and bad? Both the good times of the firm and the bad times in life or downturns in business. Or do they just find someone else to take your place. Sure as a firm grows so do the skill requirements, but if you are a founding member with founding stock – you should be able to keep it when the stock begins to rock. If you must spend your days protecting your “personal” interest in the idea, then that is lost to productive time in making the idea the best possible one. There are plenty of others trying to get your ideas, just make sure it is not internal ones who like what they see and the life it is affording thee.

So, yes is the answer to if a company’s history can be re-written. And why this article was written. Be wise in choosing your P-Partner when building dreams together. It takes many hard years, some tears, overcoming fears to persevere in building an idea into reality. Just make sure you get to be part of the product in both the growing and the P-Profitable years. You only have so much time on this earth. And many times, you only get one chance. Make sure you take it with someone who believes in “Our Stories”.

Charisma—and don’t have it—Hire it!

Years back, the Atlanta Business Chronicle did a piece called the, “Charisma-Can a Leader’s Personality alone keep a Company aloft?”
I was chosen as a CEO and entrepreneur to be interviewed for this article. And what first came to mind was, if as the leader of your start-up you do not have what is considered a charismatic personality—then hire some!

Why? Charisma is magical. And a talent. Some people are just born with the ability to persuade others to buy things, build things and sometimes even destroy things. “

Charisma can be bold or quiet—and if you don’t have it– Hire it! It does not mean being bold in nature, but having the skill and ability to sell yourself or idea or even belief. Being a great storyteller generally an asset these charismatic personalities possess. Just look at Steve Jobs. He was one of the best storytellers!

So, if you don’t have it…then find a partner who has some charisma or an associate who can lend some. Be a duo if you must—rather than go down as a boring bust—when pitching your business plan, elevator pitch, or luncheon learn.

The reporter asked for my name of someone whom I thought was a charismatic leader. My mind went to Sara Blakely of Spanx. We both had started our firms around the same time and met her at a networking event. Sara Blakely’s personality was dynamic. Her smarts, her sense of humor, her energy out shined most of the other speakers. You remembered her…but most important…remembered her ideas, too. And as history unfolded, Spanx went on to be a huge success.

So, my Gotta- Charisma can be an asset for the leader or member of a start-up firm. Your firm’s Gotta have it!  But of course, a company cannot survive on Charisma alone…it must be combined with good ideas, people and business plan to keep afloat!

Gotta: Don’t have Charisma-Hire It!

“Charisma-Can a Leader’s Personality alone keep a Company aloft?”, Atlanta Business Chronicle, March 3-9, 2006 Section B, page 1, 7.

Sowing the Seeds of Creativity

There is an expanding creativity gap in America’s youth—our future entrepreneurs. As reported in Newsweek (July 10, 2010), creativity in children has declined consistently since the 1990s. Another worrisome trend, most K-12 programs, while focusing on basic skills development, unfortunately offer few (if any) classes on creativity and entrepreneurship.

What does this creativity gap mean to you and our country? The implications are manifold. Today, fewer successful entrepreneurs mean lower employment and less effective leadership. What’s more, on the world stage, the U.S. is losing its edge in innovation and research and development.

How can we help close this gap? We must better sow the seeds of creativity within young minds to spark their imagination and help transform more ideas into a fruitful harvest. After all, many success stories, whether business, personal, societal or otherwise, were born out of an idea.