Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.

Edmund Lee

5 things to define before you start your next Venture

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This past year, I’ve done nothing but help other people get their companies started.

This year alone I’ve worked with:

Now though, it’s time to get my own company off the ground.

I recently incorporated a new company that will soon be my full-time and exclusive gig.

(If you’re on my email list you’ll hear more details about this new venture soon. If you are not on my email list, get on it here.)

Here’s the funny thing:

When it’s someone else’s company, it feels easy and natural to spring into action. But now that it’s my company, I start to think, “Where the heck do I start?”.

Can you relate?

When you’re in the role of advisor or consultant, everything is so clear. But when it’s your life and your business, things get confusing. – Click to Tweet

Fortunately for me, I’ve partnered up with a cofounder who is great at pulling us both into the next (and most important) action.

Fortunately for you, my cofounder and I have worked through a framework that can be applied by anyone at the very beginning stages of starting a business (or any major project).

The Lost Art of Finishing

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One of my proudest moments in business was selling a company to Zynga.

Not because of the money or because it sounds cool.

It’s one of my proudest moments because it was a time when I was relentless about finishing a project of supreme importance to me and my company.

The truth is the whole process was NOT glamorous at all.

I was the COO of the company and so my job was to juggle interactions with Zynga’s corporate development team, the 30+ employees in my company, our board, and our legal team.

I had to make sure that meetings were scheduled, files were exchanged, people were interviewed, lawyers were briefed, and (for the most part) everyone remained happy.

Not that sexy. But if you want to get a deal done, it’s got to happen.

The process was draining to say the least.

The deal dragged on about three times longer than we had anticipated.

On the day the deal was scheduled to finally close, a snowstorm hit the east coast.

We got word that the the State House in Delaware (which had to approve the merger) was planning on closing early due to “inclement weather”.

Hell no. Not on my watch.

3 Things to do When Life Punches You in the Gut

gut-punch2Ever wonder why we face adversity?

Life seems to be going along just fine, and then out of the blue something happens to knock the wind out of you. You’re left feeling like you’ve been punched in the gut.

  • You’re sure you’re going to get that promotion, but then you get looked over.

  • You’re sure that you’re just about to get your business off the ground, and then an unexpected expense sets you back.

  • You’re flying high after a recent achievement and then out of nowhere a jerk decides to make an offhanded criticism or puts you down in front of others.

I often wonder why this happens. And truth be told, I haven’t completely sorted out why.

I have observed a few things about adversity though, that give it redeeming value in my eyes: