Business · Consultations · Public Relations

Starting Anew by Angela Ahrendts

Last month, as you might have heard, I started a new job. At some point in your career, maybe you too have made the life-altering decision to start anew. If so, you know firsthand how exciting, challenging and sometimes disorienting the first 30, 60, 90 days can be. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately myself.

I am by no means an expert at these transitions, but I’ve always tried to be consistent in how I run, exit and begin in a new business. I thought I would share a few professional and personal insights which are helping me adapt to a new sector, culture and country. (Silicon Valley can feel like a country unto itself!)

First: “Stay in your lane.” You’ve been hired because you bring a certain expertise to the team and the company. Try to resist putting additional or undue pressure on yourself trying to learn it all from day one. It’s human nature to feel insecure about everything you “don’t know”. By staying focused on your core competencies you will be able to contribute much sooner, add greater value long term, and enjoy and have more peace especially in the early days.

My father used to always say, “Ask questions, don’t make assumptions.” Questions invite conversations, stimulate thinking, break down barriers, create positive energy and show your willingness to understand and learn. Questions show humility, acknowledgement and respect for the past, and give you greater insights into both the business and individuals. And don’t be afraid to ask personal questions or share a few of your personal details. Talking about weekend interests, family and friends can give you a more complete view of your peers and partners, their passion and compassion. Building a relationship is also the first step in building trust, which quickly leads towards alignment and unity.

Also, trust your instincts and emotions. Let them guide you in every situation; they will not fail you. Never will your objectivity be as clear or your instincts sharper than in the first 30-90 days. Cherish this time and fight the urge to overthink. Real human dialogue and interaction where you can feel and be felt will be invaluable as your vision, enabled by your instincts, becomes clearer. In honor of the great American poet Maya Angelou, always remember, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I would argue this is even more important in the early days.

So remember, first impressions are truly lasting and if you want to overthink anything, overthink how others are perceiving you and your leadership. Are they quickly lining up to follow you? This could single-handedly determine the speed of your assimilation and the company’s success.


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

How to Choose the Version of Success That Fits You Best by Deepak Chopra

Success is a magic word, and I believe in it too. When people are given the opportunity, almost all will pursue some kind of success. But matching opportunity with success is trickier than one might suppose. If Bill Gates had had the opportunity to fill Mother Teresa’s shoes, or vice versa, what would have happened? We spend a lot of time testing out different choices, walking down paths that don’t in the end really work. Some people wind up with a misfit existence, and then the possibility of the worst kind of failure – being a failure in your own eyes – becomes a real possibility.

In India there’s a term for the life that leads a person to the right path of success: Dharma. The word comes from the Sanskrit verb “to uphold,” implying that the universe will support you when you find the path that is right for you. How do you know if you are in your Dharma? It’s a delicate matter, because everyone is complex enough that mind, personality, interests, education, and background pull in different directions. Even in India, where the concept of dharma is commonplace, the traditional way to follow your dharma was to do whatever your family always did, whether it was making shoes, farming, or ruling a kingdom.

Modern life gives far more latitude for choice, and yet external opportunities, important as they are, don’t solve the question of how to find your dharma. The whole issue quickly dissolves into confusion. If the universe or God or destiny wants me to live the best life, why doesn’t it send a sign I can follow? Actually, it does. In the midst of everyday life, the signals that direct us toward the best existence are constantly being given.

Positive signals – “You’re on the right track”

  • You welcome the next challenge.
  • You feel confident that you can meet the challenge.
  • You enjoy what you’re doing.
  • You feel freer today than you were a year ago.
  • There’s a potential inside you that’s blossoming into reality.
  • There’s something new to discover and explore.
  • You are being true to yourself.
  • External rewards are secondary to inner fulfillment.
  • When you look around, your surroundings fit the life you want to live.

For many generations, these signals didn’t pertain to the work a person did, they fit retirement. After holding down a job that brought only a fraction of personal fulfillment, one looked forward to getting out of the rat race, leaving the grind behind, and really living. The baby boomers, and even more so their children, refused to accept the traditional model, however, and now it’s fair to say that given the opportunity, most of us want everything on this list today, not somewhere in our distant “golden years.” On the other hand, contrary forces still pull the other way.

Negative signals – “This is where you have to be.”

  • You can’t wait to go home from work.
  • You feel underused and under-appreciated.
  • You work for the paycheck.
  • You find it hard to motivate yourself in your job.
  • There’s pressure to conform, and you give in to the pressure.
  • You don’t want to be here, but you can’t figure out how to leave.
  • External burdens and duties severely limit your choices.
  • Your surroundings contain a good deal of stress.

If you consider the difference between the positive and negative signals coming to you, it’s obvious that you want to move in a direction that takes you closer to the one and away from the other. This needs to become your project, something you take very seriously. The following elements help:

  • Respect your own feelings.
  • Don’t accept the values and opinions of others.
  • Be open to change.
  • Don’t define yourself by how much you earn.
  • Associate with people you admire and who can teach you something.
  • Express your aspirations instead of hiding them.
  • Minimize the behavior of a victim (gossiping, complaining, stewing in your own resentment, listening to the voice of self-pity and helplessness).
  • Join the team that offers you the most challenge.
  • Don’t coast.
  • Don’t settle.
  • Don’t expect too little from life, which is a field of infinite possibilities.


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

20 Successful Habits I Learned Working For Two Billionaires (Part 2) by Paul Brunson

In Part 1, we looked at general lessons I learned working for billionaires Oprah Winfrey and Enver Yucel. In Part 2, I continue with deeper insight into successful habits – specifically for business-minded readers seeking to understand how extraordinarily successful people reach the top of their fields.

Successful Habits

It’s my honor to share with you Part 2 of successful habits I learned working for two billionaires:


1) Recognize the Value of Simple Ideas

Oprah, Enver, and most of the world’s billionaires got rich not from a complex idea, but from a very simple one. Sure, there are several who do something technical – like create complex hedge funds. But most billionaires figure out how to take something we all like to do, simplify it, and bring more value to the bottom line. So, next time someone asks you to invest in a lemonade stand, don’t dismiss it so easily :-).


2) Be Patiently Impatient

Billionaires realize nothing happens overnight. As a matter of fact, it takes most billionaires decades to become successful. While patience is used for their long-term goals, I’ve witnessed deadlines for day-to-day, short-term goals articulated by my former bosses as “due yesterday.” Being nimble and having the ability to deliver faster than your competitors is what often makes the difference between success and failure. . Think about Oprah often beating a competing TV network to a coveted interview, or Enver launching a school in a country before anyone else. Don’t play with time. 


3) Be Gritty

Ask any 10 people to describe Oprah and Enver, and I bet words like “tenacious” and “relentless” top the lists. Billionaires don’t let obstacles or pitfalls keep them from achieving their goals. Just because you fail 100 times, doesn’t mean you can’t succeed on the 101st try The key is not just having the stomach for failure, but having the strength to face what feels like an endless amount of resistance… and still move forward.


4) Develop Great Oratory Skills

I’ve never seen better live speakers than my previous bosses. Coincidence? I think not. If you can’t articulate your ideas and your vision (in a compelling way) you can’t galvanize the support required to make things happen. This concept was underscored in a recent interview I did with one of the word’s leading public speaking experts, Marshawn Evans. She stated, “the more effectively you speak, the higher your chances of career success.” 


5) Grow Thick, Armor-Plated Skin

The higher your heights, the greater number of detractors you will have AND the sharper their attacks will be.This is a basic truth for everyone, but literally watching thousands of people hurl insults at my bosses (without impact) made me realize they possessed an extraordinary layer of emotional resilience. I recall when we filmed the opening scene of Lovetown U.S.A. (and Oprah arrives on a Naval vessel), while thousands cheered, hundreds complained (and ridiculed) her for wasting tax dollars by using a military vehicle.  Developing a “shield” is critical . First Lady Michelle Obama said it best: “never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so, when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.”


6) Connect with People Outside Your Community

Your ability to be of influence within your community is directly related to your ability to make connections outside of your community.  The technical phrase for this is called “bridging structural holes,” and is eloquently written about in this research by professor Ronald Burt. Both Oprah and Enver possess tremendous bridging capital. They spend a disproportionate amount of their time gathering information from communities of peopleoutside of their core (different age groups, different social class, different ethnicity, different education levels, different careers, etc) and then they share that information within their community. This is where their ability to influence and have power comes from.


7) Over-Communicate Your Message

It’s not just about speaking loudly, it’s about speaking often.  I learned this from my favorite professor at the illustrious McDonough School of Business (shout out: Hoya Saxas!). He floated this concept in class one day and it stuck with me. Don’t make people guess or assume, make sure your community understands your message, precisely. Given the abundance of content produced in today’s world, this concept has taken on even more relevance (Note: more content is published in 48-hours now than was published from the beginning of time until 2003. Amazing, right?!). Watch Oprah or Enver closely when they speak for a short or extended period of time. Their format is always the same. They begin by: telling you what they’re going to tell you, then they tell you, then they summarize by telling you what you just heard. We live in a noisy landscape and repetition, repetition, repetition is necessary.


8) Learn to Laugh at Yourself

Most of us know from experience that having a sense of humor about things can make life a little easier. And, there’s science to back that up: being able to laugh at yourself may be a sign of an optimistic personality and it might even improve your mood. Humor has also been identified as a possible factor in the development ofpersonal resilience. “If you can laugh at yourself, you can forgive yourself,”  says Rev. Susan Sparks. “And if you can forgive yourself, you can forgive others.” You can’t go more than 2 minutes in a conversation with either Oprah or Enver without them smiling and belting out a laugh (typically at their expense).


9) Be Great at One Thing, First

By focusing on one passion or strength, you can actually be more innovative. The deeper understanding you gain by doing one thing opens up creative new ideas. Ironically, limitations can lead to liberation.  As I mentioned in Part 1, billionaires like Oprah and Enver aren’t necessarily great at many things, but they’re damn good at (at least) one.


10) Know a Higher Power

Developing a relationship with a Higher Power will provide you with guidance for making decisions and solving problems. When you connect with a higher power, you can draw upon greater wisdom to help you resolve your problems.  I find it fascinating in my analysis of Oprah and Enver, that while they practice different religions, they possess an unwavering faith. I believe that faith is why they strive to have a positive impact on people and society, value integrity and hold high ethical standards for themselves and their organizations.


I sincerely hope Parts 1 and 2 of 20 Successful Habits have helped and will continue to help you blaze your own trail of accomplishments. Putting these things to work in my life has yielded not only more success than I ever dreamed, but more happiness and fulfillment, as well. If you’re ready to learn even more about making your dreams a reality, read this. And remember, dreams don’t work unless you do!


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

20 Successful Habits I Learned Working For Two Billionaires (Part 1) by Paul Brunson

I have spent decades “being educated” –  in college, graduate school, numerous professional certifications, and now a PhD program. All of that schooling and training helped shape the person I am today, but at no point in my life  has there been a more profound education than my time working for Enver Yucel and Oprah Winfrey.

20 successful habits I learned from Oprah Winfrey and Enver Yucel

Enver and Oprah are two extraordinary people. And on top of that, they’re both billionaires. On the surface, they appear to be totally different people. They are in different industries, have different family structures, practice different religions, and speak different languages. However, once you get past their written biographies and dig deeper, you will notice they possess many of the same successful habits.

I had the opportunity to work with both Oprah and Enver for 6 years collectively and those were, hands down, the best professional experiences of my life. I worked my ass off for them and in doing so absorbed everything I could.

It’s my honor to share with you what I learned from them. Here is Part 1 of the 20 successful habits I learned working for two billionaires:

1) Invest in Yourself

This is a very simple concept, but something you would think someone who has “made it” would stop doing. Not at all for these two. I saw them both spend a significant amount of time dedicating their resources to self-development  (whether it be a new language, exercise, social media classes, etc). The moment you stop investing in yourself is the moment you have written off future dividends in life. 


2) Be CuriousAbout Everything

What the average person sees as mundane or overly complicated is not viewed the same way with a billionaire mindset. I once had a 30 minute conversation with Enver about the height of the curbs in Washington DC versus Istanbul, Turkey.  Billionaires are incredibly curious; what the rest of the world thinks is a problem and complains about — that’s what these people go and work on.


3) Surround Yourself With “Better” People

I hope this is why they kept me around :-). Seriously, I never knew my bosses to keep anyone less-than-stellar in their inner circle. There were many times I thought to myself, “Damn, they have dream-teams built around them.” Jim Rohn had it right, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” 


4) Never Eat Alone

The last time I had dinner with Enver, as well as the last time I ate dinner with Oprah, there were easily 15 people at our tables, respectively. Coincidence? While most of us derive our key information from blogs or the newspaper, power players get their information from the source (other power players), directly. However, just because you can’t call up the Obamas and break bread with them doesn’t mean eating with others in your circle doesn’t carry value. In one of my favorite reads of the last few years called Never Eat Alone
author Keith Ferrazzi breaks down how you can identify “information brokers” to dine with you.  I’ve seen first hand how enormous the benefits are of this strategy.


5) Take Responsibility For Your Losses

I was working for Oprah during the time she was taking heat from the media about poor network ratings. I was also working for Enver during the closing of one of his prized divisions. What I witnessed them both do in response was powerful. Opposed to covering the losses up with fancy PR tactics, both stepped to the stage and said in essence “I own it and I’m going to fix it” and dropped the mic. Guess what?  They sure did fix things (It’s widely noted Oprah’s network is realizing ratings gold and Enver’s assets have probably doubled since the division closing).


6) Understand The Power Of “Leverage”

This is something that was quite a shock to me. From afar, a billionaire appears to be someone who is a master at everything. But, in truth, they’re specialists in one or a few areas and average or subpar at everything else. So, how do they get so much done? Leverage! They do what they do best and get others to do the rest . Here’s a great article on leverage. Keep in mind I see this done with wealthy people and their money all of the time – they use OPM (other people’s money) for most or all of their projects.


7) Take No Days Off (Completely)

I recall going on vacation with Enver several times, yachting up and down the southwestern coast of Turkey (also known as the blue voyage). Sounds ballerific, right? No doubt we had a great time, but mixed in with all that swimming and backgammon was discussion of business, discussion of strategy, planning and plotting.The best way I can describe this habit is thinking about your business or your idea like your literal baby. No matter your distance, you don’t stop thinking of him/her (and after just having a second son, I can attest to this).


8) Focus On Experiences vs. Material Possessions

When you have money, your toys are big. However, the vast majority of money I saw spent on their “leisure” was on actual experiences versus the typical car, jewelry, and clothes we’re familiar with seeing in music videos and gossip blogs. I recall one time at dinner with Oprah, I spotted a table of about 20 girls off to the side. I later found out Ms. Winfrey was treating some of her graduating girls from her school in South Africa to dinner in NYC. Experiences create memories, and memories are priceless. 


9) Take Enormous Risks

This is another one of those successful habits every entrepreneur can attest to. A matter of fact, created a great infographic outlining commonalities of the world’s billionaires and one of the most prominent was this characteristic: billionaires are not adverse to risk. What intrigues me even more about Enver and Oprah was that even at their high financial status and success level, they still possessed a willingness to risk their most precious asset (their name and legacy) on new and bolder projects. If you’re not taking risks, you’re not making moves! 


10) Don’t Go At It Alone

Nothing great in life is achieved alone. Especially in business, success isn’t a solo act. This character trait is akin to “surrounding yourself with better people.” It takes teamwork to make the dream work. 

What I witnessed from working for Enver and Oprah were characteristics and successful habits that not only apply to business “wins,” but also translate to general life success. I sincerely hope the tips I’ve shared here will inspire you to create (or maintain) great habits for your success. If you’re ready to learn more now and want to get my take on how successful business people build personal brands and an audience, read this! Otherwise, if you want to read Part 2, here it is!


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

8 Truths LeBron Teaches Us About Success & Failure On Our Jobs by Donna McCormick

Those of us who make our living from careers other than sports can learn from both the successes and failures of LeBron and the Miami Heat this year. There are some truths applicable to our business lives that we can glean from the Heat’s unsuccessful quest to win the 2014 NBA championship. I’ve noted 8 truths that can enlighten us all in our quests for significance. Let’s take a look.


  1. Sometimes, even though you know you’re talented, it’s just not your season.Like LeBron, you know you’re a champion, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Don’t despair. There will be other seasons to compete. And there might even be other teams or organizations looking to entice you to join them. There could be greater things in store for you in seasons to come!
  2. Even when you excel, the crowd around you might not be supportive of your efforts. Take it with a grain of salt.
  3. People love to love, and love to hate, a performer who is considered uniquely talented, like LeBron. Their disposition toward such a performer depends on the potential advantage or threat he/she brings to their plans for success. Realize that some people will be banking on your success, and some will be betting on your failure. Don’t take either to heart, and don’t be paranoid – just be aware and do your thing.
  4. LeBron’s muscle cramps incapacitated him for the last few minutes of the first game of the title series. It was due, in part, to the extremely warm conditions in the venue, we presume. The lesson here for all of us is that sometimes your environment is not conducive to your best performance. It’s a harsh reality, but true nonetheless, when there’s little you can do in some instances to change the environment in which you have to perform. Therefore you must continue to hang in there and do your best, until either you can walk out of your own accord (that’s called resigning in our circles), or they have to carry you out (and that’s called being escorted out in our “arena”). Again, it’s a harsh reality, but we live (and work) in a real world.
  5. You have to take responsibility for where you fall short. During the final game’s post-game press conference, LeBron repeatedly stated that the Spurs were the better team in the series. In owning up to your failure to deliver, be mindful, however, that there might be those who are more than eager to attribute the failure of the team to the inadequacies of just a few, rather than to the entire team. True champions choke failure down, while others choke up when it comes to accepting responsibility.
  6. LeBron’s two titles with the Heat in previous years is nothing to be dismissed just because of this year’s title loss. And you, too, are a champion, regardless of today’s failure. Look back to your past successes – as a team member, and as an individual. Take stock of who you are and what you’ve already accomplished.Don’t let anyone convince you that you are a loser. You know that you’ve already accomplished and overcome more than they’ll ever know.
  7. Not everyone on your team will support your efforts to the same degree and with the same passion that you have for your mission. But you cannot carry the whole team. The popular idea of “putting the team on your back” and to carry it to victory is heroic. But the reality is that Superman exists in comic books, movie theaters, and the hearts of children (or children-at-heart). Last season, you were Superman. This season, you’re the butt of jokes. It takes the entire team. Take it all with a dash of humility and keep pushing. You’re still a champion – a champion with a temporary setback.
  8. And last, whether you win or lose, your efforts, successes, and failures inspire countless people – instances which you may never realize. Countless fans love LeBron and always will. To them, he’s “the best.” He’ll always be “King James” to them. In your job, it could be the same scenario. Maybe your work was snubbed, your efforts unappreciated, or downright sabotaged in some cases. You “lost.” But maybe your attitude inspired a coworker to keep trying. Maybe your resolve encouraged someone else to go the extra mile, or to emulate your ethics or humility. Your wins far outnumber and outweigh the losses. You are still a champion!

Do the things that matter most come down to one event (project or job, in our case)? Is garnering a spot in a championship and subsequently winning the title the only measure of greatness? We know that’s not true – neither in sports nor in life. It’s the journey along the way, the lives that we touch, and the life lessons we learn that matter. It’s how we grow as worthwhile human beings, the character we build, and the values we demonstrate and teach that make our contributions significant in the big scheme of things. It’s how we improve others’ lives.

There’s a lot left in you – feats that no one has seen. And perhaps even things that no one expects out of you. But you know what’s inside. And you will prove it. Why? Because it’s undeniable. You know you’re a champion. And no one can convince you otherwise.



Business · Consultations · Public Relations

8 Ways to improve your working relationships by Norman Murray

In Public Relations, relationships are essential, the fundamental foundation of your success, and most importantly needs to be nurtured and cultivated every day.  I felt this article was right on point! 


At work, do you waste too much of your time dealing with toxic relationships?

For most working people, we spend more time at work than we do at home, so it’s important to have healthy relationships with the people we work and interact with, including employees, managers and customers. Dealing with personalities, moods and egos can be tricky. Since we can’t change them, then we must look to ourselves to be the lead in creating the most healthy environment to foster strong relationships. Here are some tips to help you put your best foot forward:


Be a Can-Do Person

Being positive is the first commandment of any relationship. Your attitude can be your biggest attractor or detractor. There are going to be off days, and these moments are more defining of your character than the smooth, trouble-free times. Anyone can handle good days well, but how do you handle bad days? How do you handle interruptions when you’re in the middle of something pressing? How do you handle when you’ve asked for something multiple times it’s still not right? How do you treat your staff when you’ve just been chewed out by your boss? If your answer is that you handle it with dignity and you roll with the punches, then give yourself a gold star. If you handle stress privately without taking it out on the people around you, then bravo. Stuff is gunna happen. If you can deal with that stuff and still keep smiling, then you are in the driver’s seat and well on the way to having great work relationships.

Always be a Value-Adder – Not a Time Waster

Go out of your way to help a teammate or colleague, whether they ask for it or not. They will be surprised and grateful. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Giving them information, covering for them, or acknowledging them in front of others can go a long way. Before long, they will do the same for you. And don’t waste a client’s time. They will appreciate if you acknowledge your limitations and offer alternate suggestions. If you simply can’t meet the need, let them go. They’ll come back – because you didn’t waste their time, and they appreciate that.

Nothing is ever “Between You and Me”

As people start to know you, they may make disparaging remarks about others to test the waters. A subtle way to avoid gossip is to respond with “Oh really?” and then exit or change the subject. What you don’t want to do is to align yourself to someone else’s cause. Stay neutral and keep a distance from any gossip.

Compliments go a long way

People love to be recognized, and compliments are a form of recognition. Go out of your way to make mention when someone does a good job or has a good idea. When the sentiment is genuine, a compliment is always appreciated. This also makes people more receptive to you, and they will look at you in a more positive light.

Don’t be a Know-It-All

We all hate the person who has the answers to everything. Why not give someone else a chance to come up with an idea now and again? You’ll be surprised how their different outlook can spark new and better ideas in you. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to ask others for their opinions even if you don’t need or necessarily want them. The give and take of idea sharing promotes engagement and buy in. The only harm in listening to their opinion is if you cut it off with a ‘yeah, but.’ Do that often enough, and you won’t have to worry about dealing with those pesky ideas of theirs anymore.

Silence is not always Golden

Just the opposite of the know-it-all, and just as annoying, is the person who never says a word in a group setting. If you never voice a thought or opinion, you either don’t have one or are afraid to take the stage. The problem is that nobody will know who you are. They don’t know how you think, and they will have no reason to want to work with you. There is a happy medium. I suggest you find it. Not to mention, if something is wrong, be the one to point it out. That takes backbone and is an admirable trait. Just don’t forget to follow it up with a solution.

Be Open to Opposing Ideas

Not everybody thinks like you do. That doesn’t make them wrong, it just makes them different. Different is okay. Different is where unique and special are born. Unique and special breed outstanding. Be tolerant of those around you who think differently. Take a deep breath, be patient, and hear them out. Wrap your mind around their idea, and you will probably see that there is some element of value in their comment. Now use what you just learned to improve your original idea. That’s how collaborative minds create brilliance.

Show Respect

The best way to end this piece is with respect. We must give every individual we work with the respect they are due as fellow human beings. Even the most seemingly incompetent person is not a bad person. Their role and skill level may be mismatched, but they are a person with a family and a heart, and therefore, should always be treated with the respect you would expect from them to you.

If you follow these guidelines, you can’t help but to have great work relationships, many of which will likely transcend work and turn into great personal relationships. What other tips would you add to this list?

Mediation for Success Skills for Managers training gives a comprehensive overview of essential managerial skills, develop the qualities needed to becoming a successful leader, and can help you deal with persistent and difficult staff behaviour. Go to for more options.


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Business · Consultations · Public Relations

The Six Stages of Entrepreneurial Growth by Gurbaksh Chahal

The journey to become a successful entrepreneur is sometimes like jumping out of space free-falling and hoping your parachute opens.

You can be sure of reaching new highs and plummeting to new lows—and then back to the top again.

It’s a journey that’s crammed with excitement; a ride in which you overcome fear; a ride that you often share with those closest to you. It’s thrilling and scary at times. It gets your adrenalin pumping. It’s exhilarating. You wonder if you’re going to crash—or soar off the rails.

They key difference, of course, for those who dare to embark on the entrepreneurial journey, is that you can’t afford to be a passive rider letting some unseen operator manipulate the controls. You have to take charge of your own destiny to make sure of a successful landing. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart.

As you progress along the way you’ll undoubtedly encounter the following experiences—phases, if you like.

You Have Doubts

There’s an image of a successful entrepreneur forging ahead, blazing a trail with grim determination. Nothing is going to get in his way as he outperforms the competition and becomes the brand leader. But, guess what? Even the most determined of entrepreneurs goes through phases of self-doubt and reflection. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have those moments. But we think it through. We review. We analyze. And then move forward until we achieve ultimate victory.

You Get Rejected

There will be many times when skeptics pour cold water all over your beautiful vision. We all want to be accepted. We all want everyone to love our ideas and support them. But sometimes people aren’t as far-sighted as you are. You may well find that companies or investors you thought would be perfect partners flat out reject you. They belittle your business plan. They trample all over your dream. Believe me, it comes with the territory. Don’t let them drown you. You can swim against the tide. You have to have belief in yourself. Embrace rejection and then move on to more welcoming arms.

You Learn to be Flexible

I look at the Golden Gate Bridge most days of my life. What a marvelous feat of engineering. What a magnificent construction project that has graced the San Francisco Bay for 77 years. It took four years to build, coming in ahead of schedule and under budget (how often does that happen these days?). But it was built following a detailed blueprint. The entrepreneur can’t make that kind of plan.

When you launch a new business the goal posts are constantly moving and you have to be adept at quickly changing course if you want a winning touchdown. Strategic planning and research are hallmarks of the later stages of developmentFlexibility, adaptability, versatility. These are the traits of a successful entrepreneur. You know how to deal with curveballs.

You Handle Responsibility

Building a major company means being able to handle the stresses and pressures of everyday decision-making that can impact thousands of lives. It’s a massive responsibility but you have to be prepared to step up to the plate and accept it. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs thrive on such responsibility. They have broad shoulders and understand that it is part of what being a leader is all about.

You Find Out Who You Are

When you’re running a fast growth business you learn a lot about yourself—and a lot about your team. It tests your character. It tests everyone’s character. It reveals strengths and weaknesses. It provides opportunity to look deep into your soul and honestly judge who you are as a person and how you can contribute more to those who share this planet with you. Look back on how you dealt with difficult situations and learn from it. It will make you a better person.

You’ll Be Successful

Dream big. Work hard. Hustle. Every entrepreneur has to have the conviction and confidence that all of the hours of time and personal and family sacrifices will pay off in the end. Your journey in itself will be a measure of success. You will have taken your life in a direction that many are afraid to go. It will test you. It will challenge you. But ultimately you will be rewarded in many different ways. Success will be yours. Know it and go for it.

Is it worth it? That’s the kind of question only a non-entrepreneur would ask. Of course it’s worth it. Entrepreneurs contribute so much to society and the world at large. Entrepreneurs keep the wheels of the world revolving.



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Business · Consultations · Public Relations · Sports

NFLPA vows increased discipline for agents by Will Brinson, NFL Writer

I’ve stated this was going to happen before this article came out. I have been working in the sports industry since 2002 and worked with many clients of #DrewRosenhaus as well other agents. In addition, I have studied the sports agency certification laws and have a certificate in#AthleteManagement. Never underestimate my knowledge of the NFL, agent to athlete, and athlete to agent relationship. I know more than you think and I’m not speaking from a #SportsFan standpoint. I am speaking from knowledge and professional standpoint with experience! In this case with #DeSeanJackson and #DrewRosenhaus, they both are in violation of business code of conduct. Why is an athlete taking money from an agent? Why is an agent giving money to a player? Both are at fault, and if I was the#NFLCommissioner or #NFLPAPresident, both would be fined quadruple and suspended for 1-2 years. This situation is unethical and immoral. Sad to say, it’s not the first, and not going to be the last.


Agent Drew Rosenhaus is part of an alleged bribing controversy.

Over the weekend a report about Redskins wideout DeSean Jackson claiming Drew Rosenhaus “bribed” him caused a stir around NFL circles. On Monday morning the NFLPA issued a memo, a copy of which was obtained by, detailing an increase in discipline for agents (“Contract Advisors”) who violated NFLPA rules.

The union stated in the memo that “effective immediately, the severity of discipline imposed … shall be increased.” More specifically, punishments will be “doubled.”

A violation that previously warranted a 6-month suspension “going forward will be doubled to a one-year suspension” and “fines will be doubled as well.” (“Repeat offenders will also be more severely disciplined.”)

The NFLPA detailed a three-strikes-and-you’re-out approach as well for agents.

In the memo, the NFLPA emphasized the importance of agents filing with the union “other agreements” they may have with their clients.

These “other agreements” include but are not limited to “relevant documents relating to loans, lines of credit, or pre-combine or pre-draft services or benefits being provided to rookie clients.”

The NFLPA issued notice to all Contract Advisors they must submit all active “other agreements” to the union within 21 days of the memo (dated June 9, 2014) or else discipline will be handed down. (Basically it serves as a grace period to file anything that wasn’t previously filed.)

“This policy is imposed in response to recent comments made by [a] number of Contract Advisors to the staff and our player leadership regarding the use of  ‘other agreements’ in recruiting players as clients,” the memo reads.

The NFLPA also made a change to legal advice requirements. Contract Advisors must “first direct the player to consult with an NFLPA attorney about his case” before sending said client to “outside counsel” for matters like “Injury Grievances, Non-Injury Grievances, Drug Policy appeals.”

Jackson is currently fighting an arbitrator’s decision that he must repay Rosenhaus much of the money Rosenhaus claims he loaned the start receiver.


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