September 2012

Guest: Rich Christiansen, Serial Entrepreneur and Author of The ZigZag Principal http://www.cyberears.com/cybrss/18833.mp3 I recommend The ZigZag Principal, so was excited Rich agreed to be our guest today. The book argues that new companies should not go straight toward their goal, but find a profitable zig, first step that helps you get to that goal. Rich has founded or co-founded 33 business, each with less than $10K. Of those, 11 were complete failures, but 12 have become multimillion-dollar companies. He describes himself as “a perfectly good technology executive turned entrepreneur” from his time at Mitsubishi Electric, About.com, and Novell. The book was a USA Today bestseller. What you will learn: The simplicity of a straight line can be seductive. But it’s not a realistic way to go about achieving your goals because you will always come upon unexpected obstacles in the road. Zigzagging is a law of nature. Imagine hiking straight up a mountain face or skiing straight down a mountain. Either will put you in danger, but if you zigzag, you can get to your destination safely. Zigzagging requires you to be nimble and flexible, to “bootstrap,” and to be able to take advantage of multiple opportunities. Rich has spent his time in the trenches with more than 30 of his own businesses refining this model for success. The three major components of zigzagging are: Drive to profitability Add processes and resources Add a scale element By zigzagging with your business, you will increase your odds of success and be able to find balance in your business life and personal life. Great stuff, enjoy.     ...

Guest: Joe Abraham, Serial Entrepreneur and Author of "Entrepreneurial DNA" http://www.cyberears.com/cybrss/18799.mp3 [caption id="attachment_4049" align="alignright" width="201"] Joe Abraham[/caption] We are really excited to have Joe Abraham on the show today. Joe is founder/CEO of bosiDNA.com and it's award-winning Accelerator. A serial entrepreneur himself, Joe has started up, grown and exited three companies of his own and invested in over 20 growing startups. He is author of Entrepreneurial DNA: The Breakthrough Discovery That Aligns Your Business to Your Unique Strengths (McGraw Hill 2011). He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and on FoxNews, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, WGN and numerous nationally syndicated radio shows on topics related to entrepreneurship and small business growth - and serves as advisor to  entrepreneurship programs domestically and around the world. In 2005, Joe launched a boutique startup incubator/SMB accelerator in Chicago where he launched a dozen startups with various entrepreneurs. Every one of those startups are still in business today. In the fall of 2008, while working with some of those companies, he stumbled across the discovery of Entrepreneurial DNA and proceeded to call itBOSI (for Builder, Opportunist, Specialist and Innovator). Two-and-a-half years of R&D later, the book Entrepreneurial DNA laying out the discovery and findings was complete. Today (in his late 30′s), Joe runs bosiDNA.com (a tech venture) and BOSI Performance Institute that provides training and consulting services surrounding BOSI.     ...

Guest: Alan Butler, Founder Gutter Guard and Radio Host on AM 1190, "Butler on Business" http://www.cyberears.com/cybrss/18800.mp3 At age 20, with a ladder and $50 Alan Butler started Gutter Guard, and he borrow both of those. After 26 years of adding products and other manufacturing companies to his portfolio of enterprises, he sold the company. He retired from manufacturing in 2000 but is currently working on a couple of new inventions. Alan has "about a dozen" patents. Currently Alan hosts his own daily radio show from 10am to noon, originating from WAFS 1190 AM. Called "Butler on Business," the show features Alan's own unique brand of business insight and political anger. Alan was born and raised in Atlanta, graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy and attended Georgia State University before dropping out after a few months to devote his energies to manufacturing and selling gutter guards throughout the country. He loves SEC football, especially Tennessee.  He is married and has two children. Topics that came up in the interview: Is college good for everyone? Marrying an entrepreneur. What it feels like to sell a kid, or a company. The political failure of both parties, especially with respect to small businesses. Deducting expenses. Going 10 years without taking a single day off. The importance of SKUs to Home Depot and other big boxes. The value of hard work. Great stuff.     ...