From Broke to Breakthrough: Peter Voogd and 6 Months to 6 Figures

I recently listened to the audiobook of 6 Months to 6 Figures by Peter Voogd, and his perspective really resonated with me. And not just because we have a shared past of door-to-door sales (I sold vacuum cleaners, he sold Cutco knives). Voogd went from broke to a game changer who practically defines the word “hustle.” In his book, and in this interview, he shares keys to success for fellow entrepreneurs.

“You only know how strong you really are until being strong is the only option you have. ”

-Peter Voogd, Author of the Best Seller 6 Months to 6 Figure

Watch the full interview with Peter Voogd:

On the go? Listen to the whole interview here:

Inspiration vs. Habits.

A lot of us entrepreneurs are inspired, which helps us drive action, but Voogd emphasized the importance of productive habits: “Inspiration is short-term and feels good in the moment, but it’s hard to sustain because you don’t have the habits.” One recipe for success he described was the habit of asking himself “What did I do well? What can I do better?” after every single meeting or presentation.

Circle of Influence.

Voogd further explained how taking it upon yourself to figure out these effective habits is unnecessary: “It takes people so much longer to get to an end result than they would’ve got if they actually reached out to people that are already playing the game at a higher level. They will tell you what the best habits are.” Identify the top five people in your industry and reach out to them. Stop making excuses and, as Nike advises, just do it. You’ll probably be surprised by how easy it is to get a hold of even famous people, who can then help you drastically shorten your learning curve. Watch Voogd explain his circle of influence epiphany →

“You have to realize that everyone who has a network now once didn’t. The first step is increasing your level of certainty that you can connect with people like that, whether you have anything to offer or not.”

-Peter Voogd, Author of the Best Seller 6 Months to 6 Figures

“The Unrequired Things.”

6monthsto6figuresAlong with establishing effective habits, Voogd spoke about how going above and beyond is the key. One way to go the extra mile is having utter confidence in selling yourself: “You have to believe wholeheartedly that the product is better for [your customer], and they are better off having it than if they don’t.”

The second unrequired thing is writing down the internal reasons that drive you to do what you do. You might come up with 20 to 30 reasons, then boil them down to four or five core ones. Voogd underscored that reasons come first, results come second: “Too many people just go after results, without having strong enough reasons, and if they go through challenges, they don’t have any reasons to pull them through the challenge.”

The Million Dollar Question.

A great story Voogd shared was from when he was a sales manager in his early 20s, striving to hit a $1 million sales goal that was thought to be unattainable. You can probably guess the outcome, but don’t miss how he did it →

“Anything is possible to those who value their goals, their dreams, and their visions over their current excuses or reality.”

-Peter Voogd, Author of the Best Seller 6 Months to 6 Figure

The One-Page Productivity Planner

Voogd shared the details of his one-page productivity planner. The exercise here is to simplify and focus on what really matters. Get the gist below, download his template here, or watch him explain it 

  1. Brief vision-statement. What’s your ideal outcome in six months?
  2. Your BIG 5 Goals for the next 12 months.
  3. Your Top Five Reasons, the most powerful ones that drive you the most.
  4. Your Key Values, to connect to what’s most important to you. For example, a few of Voogd’s are are flexibility, autonomy, and impact.

Download the 1-Page Productivity Sheet >>

Talk about impact! The Game Changers Academy Voogd founded has trained and inspired over 4,500 entrepreneurs, and his podcasts, videos, websites and social media reach over 200,000 people monthly.

Want to learn even more from outstanding young entrepreneurs?

On July 30th, I’ll take the stage with Santiago Jaramillo, one of Inc Magazine’s “30 Under 30″ for a special launch event in the brand new offices of his growing mobile tech company, Bluebridge. Get your tickets now!

Peter Voogd Interview Transcript show

Entrepreneurial Tips from a CPA CEO: Neil Berman on Founding, Leaving, Returning to and Growing Delivra

When the stereotypical entrepreneur is a 20-something with a sales or marketing background shooting for the moon, Neil Berman stands apart. He had a career in accounting before founding Delivra, an email marketing service provider that’s a “unicorn” in its own way.
The company itself is a rarity in the software world: it’s profitable. I spoke with the CEO about the advantages his accounting background gave him and what’s in store for Delivra.

Watch the full interview with Neil Berman here:

Dot-com Boom Beginnings

The year was 1999. Adoption of the Internet was rising rapidly, and Berman wanted in on “what I felt was a really big thing.” A former employer had once told him that if he could find a business that met three criteria – faster, better, and cheaper – he should go for it. Berman’s wife was working for the postal service at that time, and when he compared email communication to regular mail, Berman felt it met all three: “I stuck my stake in the ground and went from there.”

Entrepreneurship, CPA-Style.

Until then, Berman was an accountant: “I still belong to the Indiana CPA Society.” Working on the public side of accounting, he gained an inner look at many companies and what made them successful… or not. When starting his own company, Berman just didn’t buy into the classic entrepreneurial model of raising money, growing as fast as possible, and selling out. Between his conservative mindset and desire for independence, he opted to not seek investors and instead grew organically, initially starting Delivra out of his own home.

“I’ve seen entrepreneurs with great ideas, but the faster they grow, the more money they lose. Then their business collapses, and they don’t really understand why.”

-Neil Berman, Founder and CEO of Delivra

To this day, the company is opening a new regional office every three months without having to raise money or get a bank loan. When mentoring others about entrepreneurial finances, Berman said, “I find that either their eyes glaze over or they’re afraid to ask questions because they don’t want to appear stupid.” He emphasized that it’s vital to understand your business’s key performance indicators, especially what you have to do to break even. “If you’re in school today, take some of those accounting classes that you hate,” he advised wryly. “I didn’t like them either, but it’ll be useful information someday.”

On Walking Away…

NeilBermanLike fellow CEOs Steve Jobs and Howard Schultz, Berman left his own company and returned, but for a very different reason. Six years ago, Berman’s wife became ill and passed away very suddenly. Devastated, he hired a team of five to run the company’s functional departments in his stead and traveled the world: “I didn’t know if Delivra was going to be my future. I had to get grounded again.”

…And Coming Back.

Two years ago, Berman did return: “Coming back home to email software felt comfortable for me. I loved the software business and wanted to take it to the next level.” However, while the company was still profitable, competition had considerably heated up during his absence, and sales had flattened: “What we were doing previously had stopped working.” Berman jumped back into the saddle and set about determining Delivra’s future.

On Consultants and Dirty Laundry.

Since he knew the business, the market, and the competition, Berman had a vision for Delivra’s path forward but hired consultants to help him make a more informed decision. After “doing what consultants do” – surveying and interviewing customers, staff, and people both inside and outside of the industry – they presented a recommendation that aligned with Berman’s hunch but was better defined and more actionable. When working with consultants, Berman stressed transparency: “You need to be communicative about everything. Air the dirty laundry.”

“The Magic Differentiator.”

DelivraToday’s email marketing industry is competitive, but Delivra is investing a lot of money in product development to offer clients a robust marketing solution. But perhaps its biggest differentiator is its focus on building relationships with clients via its expanding network of regional offices and offering them product enablement help up front: “We find that to be a magic differentiator. Although it costs more, we’re going to close more sales, and that’s how we’re going to grow the business.”

A Crash Course on Email Deliverability.

Delivra takes pride in helping its customers’ emails reach inboxes the right way: “Today, delivering email with the blizzard of spam that’s out there is challenging. It’s part science and it’s part art.” Watch Berman’s crash course on email deliverability and list hygiene →

How do you try to apply a financial mindset to your entrepreneurial venture? Comment below!

See Delivra for Yourself on May 14th!

It’s pretty awesome to see what Delivra has built in Indianapolis, Indiana. We use Delivra at Verge and I’m blown away by the people at this company. Come meet them for yourself at Delivra’s open house on May 14th. Hope to see you there! Click here to RSVP →

Transcript: show

Entrepreneurs Answer: What’s the Best Startup Lesson You Learned?

What did I learn from that?

This question is a powerful follow-up to every major action you take building a new product or business. But it’s not often that we slow down enough to ask this of ourselves.

We recently asked a handful of entrepreneurs in the Verge community what was the most important lesson they learned in the last year. Luckily, they were able to slow their roll enough to share some thoughtful responses:

It’s a tough question to answer because it often requires humbling introspection. It means giving ourselves a good hard look in the mirror and taking ownership of where we are with our business. And we may not always like what we see.

The lessons are there, but they’re often shrouded by emotion and ego. So, here’s strategy for cutting through the head trash and getting to the good stuff:

1.) List your wins.

What did your business do that you are really proud of? It’s OK to brag here. This exercise is just for you. Make a list. (pro tip: caffeine, moderate alcohol, or even physical activity can be a productive catalyst here).

2.) List what’s wounded.

What did your business do that you are ashamed of or embarrassed by? Oh, c’mon… humble yourself here. You know your business screwed some things up this past year. Find your battle scars and business wounds, and make a nice long list. (pro tip: if you are prone to depression, maybe don’t drink alcohol while you do this). Get through it, and then move on to the next step . . .

Why Start a Business

3.) Ask yourself a simple question.

What was the main decision that led to this outcome? This question works for both wounds and wins. What you’re searching for here is the immediate action that led to the wound or win outcome.

Depending on how large your business is, this may not have been your direct action. Trace it back to the exact who and what of the action that produced your specific outcome.

4.) Keep asking that question.

Now that you’ve identified the direct action that produced your outcome, trace that momentum back a step further. What action or thought process was made by your business that produced your final outcome-producing action? When you find the answer, ask the question again:

What was the main decision that led to this outcome? Boil it down until you trace your steps back to your original entrepreneurial decision.

5.) Write down your answers.

You can map this thought process in a mind map. Or you can write it down as a short story, narrative, or whatever really brings this to life for you. But write the full sequence or strategy down for each big outcome. This ensures that you soak up and synthesize the knowledge that’s been lurking beneath the hustle and bustle of running your business.

When you get all of this out of your head and onto paper, it’s easier to remove the ego and emotion from your business wins and wounds. That’s an important step because emotion and ego have a tendency to distort your perception and prevent you from understanding the larger forces at play.

Once you have your winning strategies and wounding sequences identified, you can take action on your new insight. Develop new habits and business systems that based on these strategies and sequences. Like the entrepreneurs who shared their big wins and wounds from the past year, you can leverage your experiences to build a stronger business.

Make this next year the best one yet!

Entrepreneurs Answer: What’s the Best Startup Lesson You Learned?

What did I learn from that?

This question is a powerful follow-up to every major action you take building a new product or business. But it’s not often that we slow down enough to ask this of ourselves.

We recently asked a handful of entrepreneurs in the Verge community what was the most important lesson they learned in the last year. Luckily, they were able to slow their roll enough to share some thoughtful responses:

It’s a tough question to answer because it often requires humbling introspection. It means giving ourselves a good hard look in the mirror and taking ownership of where we are with our business. And we may not always like what we see.

The lessons are there, but they’re often shrouded by emotion and ego. So, here’s strategy for cutting through the head trash and getting to the good stuff:

1.) List your wins.

What did your business do that you are really proud of? It’s OK to brag here. This exercise is just for you. Make a list. (pro tip: caffeine, moderate alcohol, or even physical activity can be a productive catalyst here).

2.) List what’s wounded.

What did your business do that you are ashamed of or embarrassed by? Oh, c’mon… humble yourself here. You know your business screwed some things up this past year. Find your battle scars and business wounds, and make a nice long list. (pro tip: if you are prone to depression, maybe don’t drink alcohol while you do this). Get through it, and then move on to the next step . . .

Why Start a Business

3.) Ask yourself a simple question.

What was the main decision that led to this outcome? This question works for both wounds and wins. What you’re searching for here is the immediate action that led to the wound or win outcome.

Depending on how large your business is, this may not have been your direct action. Trace it back to the exact who and what of the action that produced your specific outcome.

4.) Keep asking that question.

Now that you’ve identified the direct action that produced your outcome, trace that momentum back a step further. What action or thought process was made by your business that produced your final outcome-producing action? When you find the answer, ask the question again:

What was the main decision that led to this outcome? Boil it down until you trace your steps back to your original entrepreneurial decision.

5.) Write down your answers.

You can map this thought process in a mind map. Or you can write it down as a short story, narrative, or whatever really brings this to life for you. But write the full sequence or strategy down for each big outcome. This ensures that you soak up and synthesize the knowledge that’s been lurking beneath the hustle and bustle of running your business.

When you get all of this out of your head and onto paper, it’s easier to remove the ego and emotion from your business wins and wounds. That’s an important step because emotion and ego have a tendency to distort your perception and prevent you from understanding the larger forces at play.

Once you have your winning strategies and wounding sequences identified, you can take action on your new insight. Develop new habits and business systems that based on these strategies and sequences. Like the entrepreneurs who shared their big wins and wounds from the past year, you can leverage your experiences to build a stronger business.

Make this next year the best one yet!

Before You Start, Ask Yourself….

work hardHow bad do you want it?

Whether you’re building a business, writing software, or writing a book—you have no idea what your limits are until you push them. You only know how badly you want it until you look back and see.

You’re consistent.

You keep building the thing that only you can see on the horizon. It’s that image on the back of the napkin that keeps you going. It’s the release of a deep breath you’ll feel when you finally solve the problem, create the value, build the thing.

You know you can see the future, so you keep chipping away at it.

But inevitably, things don’t take shape in the way you anticipate. There’s an obstacle that jolts you as it hits your body, interrupts your groove, and challenges your vision.

Doubt creeps in.

But you’re consistent.

doubt-creeps-in

You go back to what you know. You remember why you started. You find the energy to continue your groove or tweak your approach.

It feels right to have your tools in your hands. And so you keep chipping away at it. Every day. Building.

If you pick up your head and see how far you have to go, it can paralyze you. So instead, you look at how far you’ve come—today, this week, this year.

The fear is always there. So you starve it of oxygen.

With a vision as big as yours, there will be times when you feel like you’re going to crack. There are more splinters out there waiting to snag you.

So, how bad do you want it? Badly enough to be consistent?

Learn this Sales Secret from the Philippines to Earn More (and be happier!)

Philippines street vendor sales

Me haggling for my first taste of balut (don’t google that if you have a weak stomach)

“Salamat, po!”

That’s what the street vendors say here in the Philippines after they close a sale. I’m in heaven over here in Manila, where I get to practice my negotiating skills. Something fresh stimulates my brain each time I buy something in this haggling environment.

Whether you sell services, software or other products in your business, there’s in a hidden secret in Filipino culture.

You see, “Salamat” means “thank you.” But more importantly, “po” is a term of respect that does something interesting to the sales process.

It’s like saying “sir” or “ma’am” back in The States. Now, obviously that would feel kind of weird to go around to business meetings back home saying “Yes, sir” and “Hello, ma’am” (annoying and disingenuous). But, honestly…

There’s power in politeness.

Here in the Philippines, I’ve found myself smiling more. Sure, I’m flat-out happy to be here in the tropics. But, I’m confident that a lot of my smiles are reciprocating the happy Filipino faces who smile at me—in the market, on the street, in the elevator—everywhere.

What I was doing was involuntary.

It’s called mirroring and it’s works like magic (when used appropriately).

filipino smile

Smile first.

Mirroring isn’t just reflecting the physical mannerisms of the person with whom you’re communicating. It’s matching people’s phrases and inflections, their tempo, and tone.

Usually when entrepreneurs and sales leaders discuss the phenomena of mirroring, they focus on how to become the mirror. But, I’m telling you…

Sometimes it’s best to set the tone.

When people smile at you, what do you do?

Nine times out of ten you smile back, right? Well, it’s the same thing with your tone and respect. It can be the key to a new relationship or opportunity.

You can build mutual respect by being the first to show respect. You can build trust by showing you trust the other person. Be bold by bringing enthusiastic respect into your business.

But you won’t unlock any benefit if you don’t make it a priority.

So, see if you can try it out today.

Just try it with a close friend or colleague. Be the first to smile. Be extra respectful, energetic, or optimistic. It’s based on the same principles we discussed in “How to Get Seed Funding.”

If you get called out on it—good. Just tell the other person you’re trying something new that you hope will help you build deeper relationships (business and personal).

Register for Verge at DeveloperTown

Register now for Verge at DeveloperTown >>

Then, up the experience level and dive in. These tests will only do good things for you and your business.

More than 50 people registered yesterday for next Thursday’s Verge event. So, today there will still be space for you to RSVP and test your tone-setting and mirroring skills in the deep end.

Unfortunately, I won’t make it back for the festivities. But you’d better bet I’ll be watching the livestream of 2 excellent startup pitches and a fireside chat with Thaddeus Rex, who will show you another dimension of sales.

Register HERE if you can be in Indy next Thursday. Or stay tuned to the livestream and conversation at #VergeHQ on twitter.

So, where else could you try out setting the tone this week? Let me know what you’re thinking down in the comments…

Salamat, po!

 

How to Get Seed Funding: Do This First

relationship-2Want to get seed funding for your startup? You won’t get very far if you spend all of your time developing your pitch.

“Too many founders put all of the focus on pitching their project and not on building a relationship,” says Gerry Hays, co-founder and managing partner of Slane Capital. And I hate to say it, but I was one of those people.

Most investors don’t have time for your un-calibrated seed funding pitch.

When I first met Gerry, I wasn’t seeking seed funding. I was a senior at Indiana University (IU) in his non-traditional venture capital class who frequently abused his office hours to gain insight for my own business.

I was working on building my outsourcing and web development business. And Gerry was nice enough to help me find my way through a slow build (and eventual sale) of my business.

But Gerry isn’t your average seed investor. As an associate professor at IU, Gerry has a sense of moral obligation to help first-time student founders. Well, that and he’s just a genuine guy who wants to help. The harsh reality for entrepreneurs is that your pitch likely won’t find the patient ears of a Gerry Hays.

Most seed investors won’t give a damn.

And they shouldn’t. Since starting Verge nearly five years ago, I’ve heard literally thousands of pitches to active investors. Most founders forget the most important thing.

A pitch is a conversation.

If your pitch is script or a static series of slides, you’re doing it wrong. Even if the format of your pitch opportunity doesn’t allow for open dialogue, there’s a conversation going on between the ears of your listeners. And that conversation is built on the foundation of your relationship with that audience.

get-seed-fundingSo if you want that conversation to come to life, give it some oxygen.

You won’t accomplish this by suffocating your audience with stats, features, and projected financials.

Find out what gets your prospective investor excited. I’m sure you’ve already done your homework on what kinds of deals your prospect invests in (right?). And you’ve probably already tailored your presentation to appeal to the goals of their seed fund or angel goals.

But who is Johnny Angel when he’s not coaching entrepreneurs or writing checks?

If I hadn’t eventually gotten to know Gerry Hays outside the classroom, I don’t know if I would have ever sold that business. And Gerry has helped me in more ways than as a mentor.

A good seed-funding conversation doesn’t have an end.

How can you help your potential seed investor?

seed-investor-relationshipPeople will always have problems that keep them up at night. Yes, even investors. So as an entrepreneur, it’s your job to care enough to help them sleep a little easier.

Good seed-stage investors also give seed funding to founders they want to genuinely want to help. And if you’re going to bring on active investors, you’d better be a good mentee.

Ask for help and follow up with frequent updates. Make your investor a part of your story and your relationship will grow along with your business.

Gerry and I are still friends. We’ve collaborated on a few projects and have grown the Verge community together over the years. But it’s the relationship that is the most valuable piece of our history (and it was essential for any business to take place).

So, next time you reach into your pocket for the the clicker to start advancing your pitch deck, ask yourself:

How can I build a relationship?

 

Why Your Business will Insanely Benefit from Entrepreneurial Travel

I hit publish on this post from Terminal A in the Indianapolis International Airport. My sleepless night filled my suitcase and prepped my place for sublet (thanks, Airbnb).

PhilippinesNow that the journey has officially begun, let me tell you how I came to be venturing off to the tropics for two months.

“I’m thinking about spending my 25th birthday in the Philippines. Want to come?”

Nadalie’s big brown eyes flattened out as a grin to swept across her face. The silent close. My girlfriend used the silent close on me!

And it worked.

That’s how it all started earlier this year. As spontaneous as it sounds, this Southeast Asian adventure is more than a half-decade overdue.

Reward work ethic

“Once I get to the end of this product launch,” we tell ourselves, “then I’ll give myself a break.”

Hi, I’m Matt Hunckler. And I’m a chronic goal setter.

Goal setting has become a powerful part of my daily, weekly, and quarterly routines. It’s kind of disgusting, really.

Over the decade or so of my professional career, I’ve gotten better about setting realistic targets and consistently hit them. But like many people who love the things they’re building with their businesses, I’m just plain bad at following through on the rewards I promise myself for when I hit those goals.

So, what happens to us? Why don’t we have our cake?

As we cross that finish line, our brains give us a hit of dopamine and that gets us excited. Excited enough that we start thinking about where we can get our next fix. So, we dangle the carrot out a little further.

Nadalie helped me cut the thread. And this voyage is an unrealized carrot for a number of my big goals over the past 5 years: selling my first company, complete my full entrepreneurial fellowship, stick it out through two turbulent startups (1 success, 1 failure), launch a new multi-day conference… you get the picture.

I finally found the right way—and more importantly, made the time—to celebrate these milestones.

Anchor a shared experience

Life is about creating shared experiences with people we care about. At least, that’s my take on things.

That’s why building a business can be so meaningful. And despite what our history of time allocation might tell you, life is about more than business.

ManilaSo, I’m creating some new shared experiences in the Philippines for the next two months. Tomorrow night, Nadalie and I will land in Manila, a fast-paced business region of about 12 million people.

Whoa, hold on!

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. But I’ll be immersing myself in a new culture with my girlfriend, who was born less than 17 kilometers from what we’ll be calling home base for the next sixty days.

While I’ll still be checking in with the team, this is an experiment in turning off the screens. We do have a handful of meetings set up with some great entrepreneurs who have build successful tech companies in the Philippines. But we’ll also be exploring many of the 7,000+ islands in that small area of the Pacific.

I’m not sharing this to brag. But rather in hopes that it might inspire a reader or two to put down the work-ohol for a minute and consider the benefits.

Shift perspectives

Last night, eighteen of our core entrepreneurial community filled the front yard of Verge HQ inside DeveloperTown. The table talk got me excited about the opportunity ahead of me.

Verge Team Dinner

Travel gives you space—especially non-business travel. And space gives you a chance to really breathe.

Distance from the daily grind gives you perspective to bring back to your team, your projects, and your community. And while I will do some remote working, I think the real value I’ll bring back to my businesses will be the ability to shift perspectives.

Does this sound crazy to you? If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

 

When to Quit: Why It’s Good to Live Life Like a Lean Startup

Six months ago, I quietly left my role leading product and marketing at a startup.

Social Reactor received most of my energy, focus, and time in 2013. And it’s taken the past half of a year to find the perspective on what made it an exceptional learning experience and why parting ways was the right decision. high-school-bball

Back in high school, my basketball coach used to shout like a maniac during the end of the fourth quarter, “Leave it all on the floor!”

It’s easy to find the energy right after tip-off, but when do you dig deep and give it everything you’ve got? The isolation of entrepreneurship, late nights, and ramen meals can leave us feeling empty if there isn’t a big “win” at the end of the game.

Despite building some beta software with the team and building strong partnerships with incredible clients, I wasn’t able to get Social Reactor to where I wanted to see the business by the fourth quarter. But I never questioned myself: “Did I leave it all on the floor?”

There’s only one way I’ve found to be that confident in a decision. And in some ways, it’s like living your life like a Lean Startup.

Build, measure, learn.

That simple phrase has evolved from my startup mantra to my life mantra.

Define your hypothesis and why you think taking a specific action will ultimately help you reach your life goals. You should know why you’re doing it and how you’re keeping score.

If you’re not checking in regularly with yourself, you’re missing the measurement part. So, define check-in points. I like to do this quarterly because it gives me the freedom to keep my eye on the ball during sprints. But it also ensures that I’m always learning and getting better.

Pivot (when necessary).

When I laced up and got into my last game, I knew what it would take to win. I also knew that, as with any business, there was no guarantee of victory.

But, I defined the rules by which I’d play and what I would do if initial assumptions weren’t validated. During my time with Social Reactor, we had a lot of variables to manage. But we still found ways to work together to run our tests by eliminating uncertainty. We tried new plays and reviewed game tape frequently.

But ultimately, pivoting is about overcoming obstacles, getting around the defender, and finding a lane to the hoop. It takes a whole team and an entire playbook to consistently put points on the board.

Fail faster.

You shouldn’t always wait until the end of a quarter to changeup your strategy. There are a lot of reasons you might need to call a timeout, for instance when you start seeing most or all of these happen:

  • when you don’t feel confident enough to recruit the best people and partners you’ve worked with
  • when you’re wasting time fighting the wrong wars internally
  • when the team is no longer behind the vision and you don’t have the energy to get people running in the same direction again
  • when you start spending time worrying about investors losing their money or your team wasting their time
  • when it feels hard all the time

That last one is important because it should feel easy when you’re winning. If you never feel like you’re winning, you’re probably doing something wrong. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to continue down a lane. So, call a time out when you need it. Photo Credit: Indianapolis Monthly

Silicon Valley glorifies failure. But I assure you, it is not glamorous.

When the buzzer went off for me, I was burnt out.

I was lucky to have the chance to learn directly from the inventor of voicemail and play the game of business with an all-star team. I’m so lucky that my friends, family, and business relationships supported my leap back into the venture-backed business arena. Because it really takes a whole program (fans and all) to win championships.

Last year, I left it all on the floor, giving my all for a startup that I believed in. Not only did I learn a ton about social media and content, but I got valuable perspective in product leadership and building a business with a vision.

I stayed under the radar to give myself time to reflect and to define the next game I want to play. I’m excited about the momentum we’re building with Verge and the successes we’ve already seen this year in our community.

And for tomorrow’s post, I’ll share with you what game we’re winning and why it’s taking me half way around the world.

How Do You Balance the “Infinite Task” of Entrepreneurship?

“It’s an infinite task,” Miles said.

I reflected on my own work experience as I sat across from Mark Miles, CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. And I could relate.

There’s no “going home at the end of the day,” for most entrepreneurs. Our brain never fully shuts off and lets us rest.

But rest is so important to the productivity (and growth) of a business. While checking our email and working on “vacations” make us feel important, it can be a dangerous addiction.

Entrepreneurial EnergyStudies show that the more we relax, the more productive we’ll be. So, how do you find freedom from our business when we need it?

Mark Miles found ways to bring his family with him during his travels around the world. He also got comfortable with delegating more and more of his tasks as he built his team.

These were only a few of the strategies Miles used to maintain his energy and build momentum in his organizations. And many of us still battle with shutting down at the end of the day.

How do you manage your energy when entrepreneurship is an infinite task? How do you unplug?