Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right
Today I am excited to share an Interview I did with Adam Toren, Adam’s blog – YoungEntrepreneur.com was one of the first blogs I regularly visited and learned from when I first started blogging over 2 yrs ago.
This quick Q & A will show you how Adam and his book can help you be a better Blogging Entrepreneur.
Q & A with Small Business, Big Vision’s Adam Toren
Is your new book, Small Business, BIG Vision, meant more for startup entrepreneurs or those who have been in business for a while?
It’s actually written for both. We took the most common questions we hear from entrepreneurs in all stages of business and provided practical, proven advice to answer them in the book.
For example, we have a chapter on business plans, but it isn’t intended only for startups. Our focus is on creating a fluid, ongoing planning document that anyone can use to guide their business throughout its lifecycle. Even though you might have written a business plan at the launch of your company, the advice we deliver will show you how to approach the process in a new way and end up with a plan that can be used to reenergize or refocus your business.
We also discuss financing, but not just startup funding. In the chapter on investors, we spotlight finding collaborators and creating advisory boards as an alternative to outside financing. No matter how long you’ve been in business, setting up a board of advisors is an excellent way to take your business to the next level – without giving up any equity or putting yourself in debt.
Similarly, every chapter of the book contains sound advice and examples for people in any stage of business.
In the book, you talk a lot about flexibility. Can you share with my readers why this is an important quality for entrepreneurs to have?
Sure! I think flexibility is one of the most common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. Great business owners are always looking for a better way to do everything. In fact many amazing businesses have been created out of that search for a better way. And at the root of looking for innovative solutions or more efficient processes is flexibility.
The opposite of being flexible is insisting on doing something a certain way because, “That’s how we’ve always done it.” We talk about that phrase in the book and how it can be a company killer. If you’re rigid and insist on resisting change, you’ll eventually fail. There’s no other option, because the world is changing too rapidly for anyone to thrive without adjusting to the changes.
On the other hand, if you create a company culture of flexibility, you’ll be able to respond quickly to changes in the market, the economy, technology, or anything else that pops up. That’s why we feel that flexibility is a must-have quality for any successful business.
From your experience, is there one thing entrepreneurs get wrong most often?
I would say that the biggest and most common mistake I see entrepreneurs make is giving up too soon. Bloggers are actually a good example of this.
You can find abandoned blogs all over the internet. In many cases, the person who started them didn’t experience the results he or she was looking for right away, so they quit. I’ve seen some really good concepts and well written content that I have no doubt could have been a successful blog site if the owner had just stuck with it.
In other industries, we see the same thing. An entrepreneur runs up against some unexpected obstacle and throws in the towel. In many cases, it has to do with a lack of funds or not seeing a return soon enough. But in a lot of these instances, what was really lacking was perseverance and extra effort.
If you go into business not expecting challenges, you’re in for a big surprise. But if you realize that difficulties are going to happen as a normal part of doing business, and you make a commitment to push on no matter what, you have a very good shot at success.
What one piece of advice from Small Business, BIG Vision do you want everyone to hear?
Throughout the book, we talk about the importance of vision. If a reader takes away just one solid concept, I hope that it would be that developing and following a BIG Vision is a key for building a successful business.
Without a strong, clear vision, you’re likely to loose focus and run out of steam. Your vision is what keeps you going through the tough times and guides your decisions throughout the life of your business. It’s the spark that lights your drive and determination, and it’s a reminder of exactly why you went into business in the first place.
We cover a lot of important concepts in the book, such as finding collaborators, effective planning, new media marketing, how to turn around a struggling business, and much more; and each can be supported and made stronger if a business owner starts with a great vision. That’s why we made vision a theme of the book and even included it in the title. It’s that important!
Why You Should Listen To Their Advice?
Matthew and Adam Toren are brothers, serial entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors. For nearly 20 years, Matthew and Adam have provided instruction in management concepts, marketing, and finance to emerging and distressed small businesses. They currently own and operate a successful media company, which includes several online properties and print publications.
The Toren Brothers are also the authors of the award-winning book,
Kidpreneurs.org: Basic Principles of Entrepreneurship for Kids aged 6 to12 years old and founders of YoungEntrepreneur.com, one of the largest online entrepreneur communities, and a must-visit resource for all startup CEOs, founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors.
They are also the authors of the just released book Small Business Big Vision http://SBBV.com