For Impact


Think Like an Entrepreneur

Vision & Entrepreneurial Strategy | | Tom Suddes

Deadly fact: You cannot ‘MANAGE’ your way out of these challenging times!!!

The following appears a little bit like a ‘ramble’… but it’s actually an amalgamation of field work, thought leaders I really respect and my own entrepreneurial background.

Here are 7 things that I believe can help you FLOURISH, not just SURVIVE, in times like this.

  1. THINK BIG. Now is the time to talk about your VISION and TRANSFORMATION and QUANTUM LEAP!!!

    *Yesterday I was in two separate sessions with College Presidents and their Vice Presidents for Development. In both cases, we spent all of our time talking about Vision, Thinking Big, Quantum Leaps, the Message, our Very, Very Best Prospects, etc.


    “In times like these, you get a chance to show your STRENGTH.”
    – Jim Collins

    Now is the time to get back to your core… focus on your strength… do what you do better than anybody in the world!

    ***Nick and I looked at each other yesterday (in one of our many fun-filled brainstorming sessions) and concluded that now is the time to stop doing anything that isn’t central to our core vision and mission.

  3. “CRAZY TIMES CALL FOR CRAZY PEOPLE.” This is an old line from Tom Peters that I love. I think it was from back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. If he thought things were “crazy” then, think about what’s going on now!

    The point of this is that ‘MANAGERS’ are, by definition, NOT CRAZY.

    These times call for mavericks, crazy people, thought leaders, innovators, creative destructers (to quote Joseph Schumpeter’s definition of an entrepreneur).

  4. WHAT BOX? This isn’t just about “thinking outside the box”. This is about challenging the fact that there is even a BOX to get outside of! In times like these… THERE ARE NO RULES!!! (Beyond the obvious moral, ethical, do what’s right stuff.)

  5. ACT NOW.

    True entrepreneurs thrive in times like these… because they see so many OPPORTUNITIES to CHANGE the GAME.

    Times like these require massive amounts of CREATIVITY and INNOVATION.

    REMEMBER: CREATIVITY is about ideas… INNOVATION is about turning ideas into action!!!

    ACT NOW!

  6. WORKING ON THE ‘NUMERATOR’… NOT THE ‘DENOMINATOR’. More budget cuts are not the answer!!! (However, this is a perfect time to reallocate resources, change the people on your bus, and change seats.)

    These are the times to focus on your NUMERATOR: SALES, THE TOP LINE, NEW REVENUE STREAMS, etc.

    This is what we do. We’re constantly trying to help people increase their TOP LINE, their NUMERATOR. (It’s so much more fun talking with LEADERS and ENTREPRENEURS who understand that they need to ‘SELL’ their way out of these challenges… vs. talking with MANAGERS who want to ‘CUT’ their way out of these trying times.)

  7. STOP LISTENING TO THE DOOMSAYERS! Trust me. True entrepreneurs are spending absolutely no time whatsoever reading the front page of the newspaper nor listening/watching the three major news networks.

    In our world, if you were to believe 90% of what you read and hear… NO ONE IS GIVING TO ANYTHING because of the “terrible economy”.

    That’s just bull honky. Last week, the Chairman of the Board of Habitat for Humanity made his move from SUCCESS TO SIGNIFICANCE by investing $100 Million in Habitat’s work. (I did not see anything in that announcement where he was complaining about the “state of the economy”.)

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? ‘Managing’, ‘tweaking’, ‘cutting more from a budget that’s already showing more bone than a well chewed chicken wing’ just isn’t going to get you where you know you need to be.


P.S. In Inc. Magazine’s 30th Anniversary Edition, there is a terrific article by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Built to Last. He was asked what we might expect in the next 30 years.

His answer: Uncertainty, chaos, turbulence and risk. As Inc. says, “In other words, it’s not a bad time to be an ENTREPRENEUR.”