Seeking Awesome

Real Talk on Business, Career and Life

10 Lessons for Entrepreneurs from the IdeaBox


IdeaBox Winning Team ~ Titan Mixer Bottle


I recently had the opportunity to serve as a judge for the IdeaBox competition presented by the Business Builders Club at The Ohio State University. This was a fresh take on the typical student pitch competition. The students set up displays for their businesses so the judges and other students could walk around to meet the entrepreneurs and discuss the ideas. It was billed as “The science fair for start-ups!”.  It was pretty cool and I enjoyed being a part of it.

The businesses exhibiting ranged from the idea that was hatched a couple days earlier to businesses very close to entering the market with a beta product. There were simple consumer products as well as complex technical products. They all needed work but they all had something that could be developed.

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How To Survive Meetings

I’m swamped with work. My to-do list is out of control and I’m so far from inbox zero that I have given up. I look at my calendar and realize the weekly staff meeting is in 10 minutes so I grab a pad of paper and head to the conference room. Surely this won’t take an hour even though that is how long it is scheduled to last. OK, here comes the boss (late as usual). Let’s get going so we can get out of here. Wait, where is the agenda? I hope this doesn’t mean…”Let’s go around and everyone give an update on that they are working on”. Oh Shit here it comes.

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To be clear, I hate meetings. Unfortunately in my job I have to go to a lot of meetings. One-on-one meetings, group meetings, phone meetings, online meetings, whatever the meeting type I’ve been there. You might be thinking that meetings aren’t all that bad, sorry you are wrong. My perception of hell is a never ending meeting with the attendees updating everyone on their projects or what they did over the weekend, both suck.

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It’s My Birthday, I’ll Take It Shaken Not Stirred


“Three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.”

~ James Bond, Casino Royale

Yes, today is my birthday. As much as I don’t like getting older it is better than the alternative. I haven’t been this excited for a birthday in awhile. There is nothing special going on, it’s a Thursday after all. What excites me is that last year is over. Yeah, last year pretty much sucked but I survived.

This year will be better. There are a number of opportunities ahead and this has me re-energized. I’ve reset the blog. I’ve replaced my hip and can move without pain. My wife and kids are healthy and there is a new Bond movie coming out in November. Optimism abounds.

James Bond: “In your defense, a moving target is harder to hit.”

Moneypenny: “Then you better keep moving.”

~ Skyfall

Good advice, let’s keep moving!

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Three Areas To Watch Out For As Your Company Begins To Grow

Start upYou launched your business. You have built out the product, you are getting favorable reaction from your early market entry, you even got some early financing. Things are going great. This entrepreneurship thing is a piece of cake, right?

WARNING ~ Celebrate early success but don’t take your foot off the gas. 

There is a life cycle to business growth and even if things are working at the beginning there are a lot of different issues you will have to deal with in the future that can derail your business. I have been working with businesses for over 20 year and I know those entrepreneurs that are committed, passionate and driving forward succeed long term.

Here are a few things to watch out for early on…

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Great and Horrible ~ Same Thing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom time to time I get asked to judge business plan competitions.  I used to judge a lot of these type of things but my schedule intruded on my ability to to put the proper time into understanding the business so I now decline most of the requests.  Recently, however, things worked out so I was able to judge a competition.  As I listened to the pitches I noticed a few things that you can use for your business.

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