A Closer Look …

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with Anthony Newcombe 

Let’s take a closer look … 

Topic: The most important characteristics of an entrepreneur 

Area: The impact of parents’ words on their children 

en·tre·pre·neur /ˌäntrəprəˈnər,ˌäntrəprəˈno͝o(ə)r/ 

noun: entrepreneur; plural noun: entrepreneurs 

  1. a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. 

(credit: Oxford Languages) 

Entrepreneur (my definition) – An entrepreneur represents many key elements wrapped into one.  First and foremost, he or she must be a born leader, a person who yearns to be the most responsible party in any business decision to be made.  An entrepreneur is creative, highly intelligent, and motivated to succeed at a level greater than the typical wage earner.  He or she understands that decision – or indecision – could mean the difference between a great idea becoming a great product, service, or organization – or just simply one of many “brainstormed ideas” that go nowhere. 

 An entrepreneur understands that he or she needs a roadmap to success.  By creating a comprehensive plan of attack, the entrepreneur will now be able to take educated and informed risks because all options have been weighed prior to committing one way or another.  Once all the possible angles have been carefully thought out, he or she will have shifted the odds of success as much as possible in his or her favor and will know that the time has come to seize an opportunity. 

I first wrote these words in 2013.  At the time, I had no idea that all these years later I would locate them buried in an old, abandoned email folder labeled “A.N. writings.”  Now, we’re closing in on the beginning of 2021, and my daughters (only 9 at the time) are preparing hastily for their college-entrance essays and wondering what it takes to “…one day create and open our own business and become entrepreneurs.”  Perhaps taking a moment to read dear ol’ Dad’s “writings” may help you out. 

At any rate, it only confirms the fact that our children really are always listening to us.  Our example may seem invisible to us, but we can never be certain that our children are following the tracks we are laying each and every day.  And even though we are sometimes oblivious to this phenomenon, it nevertheless exists in a very profound way – daring us always to be mindful of the long-term impact of our words. 

What do YOU think? 

A.N. 

Related links 

https://hbr.org/2020/07/so-you-want-to-be-an-entrepreneur

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**NOW: The 24-hour Customer

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FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailThe 24-hour customer

by Adrian Ott pub. 2010, 179 pps.

Sneak Peek: For book info, click FB link

What I learned from this book

I learned that all that we, as e-commerce entrepreneurs, have even less time than we originally feared to capture enough attention to get from “browser to customer.”  I also learned that very few online marketplaces even have a chance to compete with the “big boys.”  We are fighting for the brief attention a very small pool of potential customers who have an endless ability to dump us and head to a close competitor should we not live up to their expectations.

What I liked about this book

I liked the way the author recapped each chapter to provide a brief overview of what we should have gotten out of the previous lesson.  This enables the reader to go back and revisit any areas that he/ she might not have fully comprehended and/ or areas requiring a deeper dive for customization purposes.

What I disliked about this book

The only thing I disliked about the book was the tiny graph size and font.  Even with my reading glasses, I couldn’t make some of the print out – so I ended up skipping ahead because my magnifying glass was nowhere to be found.  In other words, I missed out on some of the areas I wanted to digest further. I just couldn’t see it!

Whom would I recommend to read this book

This book is a great read for anyone of any age who is (or wants) to obtain a customer base. The real lesson is in e-commerce, but I believe it would be equally helpful to those who have face-to-face customer relationships they are trying to build on.

Any thoughts?

-A.N.

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Rise of the Robots – by Martin Ford

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Rise of the Robots

by –  Martin Ford, 286 pgs.

What I found most amazing about this book

The most amazing thing about this book is the stark realization that many forms of human labor as we know it is on the tail end of its very existence.  It’s no accident that corporations have seized on both the efficiency and profitability that robots – when built and operated properly – can offer them.  Unlike humans, there are no sick days, vacations, health insurance, etc. that otherwise “inconvenience” the 24/7/365 profit machine mindset

That may seem fine in a money-making sense, but it far from solves every potential problem.  In fact, it may prove to create some brand new ones.  Unless new methods are derived to figure out how all of the millions (up to even tens of millions) of displaced workers are going to miraculously afford to buy those state-of –the-art, robotically-built products and services, then we may come to regret outsmarting ourselves in our technological prowess. 

It is something to keep in mind in our quest for perfection.  In fact, the author proposes a few interesting options with respect to how we could compensate those of us who may pay the ultimate price in this process – that of losing our careers to robots.  As one pretty insightful scientist (Isaac Newton) once put it, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  Let’s hope that we’re mindful of our actions as we move to the next generation.

What I DIDN’T like about this book

I thought this book was the most eye-opening I’ve read in several years.  As advanced as the concepts are, the author did a fantastic job in wording it in a way that even a very young person could relate to.  It is a game changer, a disrupter, and it will most certainly be cited often in the coming years.

Whom would I recommend to read this book

This book is (like it or not) a “must-read” for all working adults who may not even realize how close they are to being replaced in their occupation.  Yes, yours!  I would also strongly recommend it to all college students who are at the point of declaring majors and career-planning for the next stage of their lives.

Any thoughts?

-A.N.

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The Third Wave – by Steve Case

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What I liked most about this book

The most interesting thing about this book is how the author tied together our most significant technological advances since the 1980s with the political, economic and social issues these advances most affected. Because he has had influence on the highest levels in both the private (business) and public (government) sectors, he was able to explain all of the nuances that only an insider could.

What challenges (or dislikes) about this book

I suppose the only challenge was trying to understand how someone could build a company (AOL) into a monster valuation and then be “unhappy” with how the circumstances turned out during and after the merger with Time/Warner.

For a reader (like me) who is also an entrepreneur, it’s strange to think that anyone could be unhappy with the results he achieved. Entrepreneurs traditionally work so hard and diligently for such a long time – and often with less than satisfactory results – that one never envisions the potential for any unhappiness in this process.  It was certainly both an eye-opener and a reminder of the cold realities of our complex business world.  That said, all entrepreneurs (satisfied or unsatisfied) should thank Steve Case for being so honest with his feelings in “letting us in” to experience a moment with him that most successful businesspeople are too proud to ever let us see.
Why and to whom would I recommend this book

This book is an outstanding read for anyone and everyone who is alive and well today.  Whether we realize it or not, we are all living in the Third Wave that is described in this book.

In the beginning of the book, I was very enthusiastic about sharing this information with my pre-teen children.  They are now in what I coined their iPod stage (in obvious hopes to rapidly accelerate into their iPhone stage).  But I often wonder how unaware they are of what we had to endure in the “old tech days” (i.e. the 90s and before).

I recall (as late as 2001) making daily references to the old AOL online process: which included modem screeches, awful delays and call drops.  However, as Steve Case properly explains, it was not only all we had, but just the starting point of so many monumental gains to come.  All of our children would feel cheated if they had to climb into a time machine for a day and revert to those days, but then again, what did we say to our parents with all of their “tech troubles?”  We should be very proud of our tech advancements and in introducing it all to the next generation.

 

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