New Articles

How Can You Tap Into Your Superpower? 5 Tips For Becoming A Visionary Leader.


How Can You Tap Into Your Superpower? 5 Tips For Becoming A Visionary Leader.

The business world moves fast – faster than ever before, thanks in large part to new technology and higher expectations from customers in an ultra-competitive landscape. And for leaders, it’s about constantly moving their company forward or being left behind.

Being “in the moment” is crucial, but one key factor separating successful companies from mediocre ones are visionary leaders who can look far ahead, see the change that needs to be made and empower others to make it happen, says Mari Tautimes, a prosperous business owner and author of #KeepGoing: From 15-Year-Old Mom To Successful CEO And Entrepreneur.

“Visionary leaders guide companies to positive change and significant growth with great ideas and long-term decision-making,” she says. “They inspire and empower their team. They unite the company with a powerful common goal that aligns departments and builds strong relationships.

“The vision stems from natural curiosity, a passion for potential, and a quest to improve not only the company but the lives of others. Being a visionary leader is a superpower. It’s being able to envision a future that’s better, possessing the drive towards that, and actively selling others on your ideas. When this superpower is tapped into properly, it can change the world.”

Tautimes offers these tips to become a visionary leader:

Create space to visualize. Tautimes says coming up with a vision, like many creative thinking processes, requires time alone to focus. “It could be getting exercise, sitting at a sidewalk cafe, or any way you can kick-start the creative process,” she says. “Develop a systematic approach to tapping into your vision. Take clarity breaks during the day, where you get away, unplug, and free think about the future and your business.”

Be a risk taker. A visionary leader creates change, and change doesn’t come without risks. Tautimes says such leaders are willing to struggle and step out of their comfort zone. “You need to have a true stomach for risk and not be plagued by this pesky inconvenience to need to know how something can be done,” she says. “You have the belief that it can be done and the team will help you figure out how. You need to keep in mind that achieving the vision and reaping the rewards are worth the pain along the way. Otherwise you’ll stop pushing forward and the dream will die. And when your team buys in and sees you stepping out of your comfort zone, they’ll be empowered to do the same.”

Communicate passionately and listen thoroughly.  A visionary leader must communicate the vision with a consistent passion that pulls everyone on board, Tautimes says. But the vision may never be achieved if the leader doesn’t listen to and accept some advice from team members. “A visionary leader doesn’t just stampede through everybody and ignore all the naysayers,” she says. “Without the support of others who can keep the visionary grounded, the project will fail. While visionaries create the ideas that shape the future, there’s usually a huge support system behind them that assists with execution.”

Know your industry inside-out. Being a visionary leader requires curiosity that leads to learning in-depth about their industry, including market trends and relevant data. “A visionary leader needs to gather lots of information, which helps them make accurate observations and define and refine their business vision,” Tautimes says. “They make connections in networking and are constantly gaining knowledge and growing. When the right opportunity comes into their view, they know when to strike.

Set practical goals that motivate the team toward the vision. ”It might take you years to reach your vision, but you have a clearly stated picture of it, and you’re excited thinking about it,” Tautimes says. “To help maintain your enthusiasm and that of your team members, and to continue momentum, set goals along the way that are milestones of progress toward the vision. Define a time frame for those next few goals.”

“Creating a vision for a business and following through on it requires boldness, commitment, communication and boundless energy,” Tautimes says. “Visionary leaders who truly stay focused on the vision while keeping everyone on board and moving forward can see great success.”


Mari Tautimes ( is the author of #KeepGoing: From 15-Year-Old Mom To Successful CEO And Entrepreneur. She rose from administrative assistant to CEO of her family’s businesses and sold them for $16 million. An entrepreneur for over 20 years, Tautimes is a speaker, trainer, EOS Implementer® and mentor, sharing her story of perseverance and success to help others create fulfilling lives.


Focus: Why It’s Essential for Entrepreneurs & How to Achieve It

From passionate to ambitious, to motivated, relentless, creative, and visionary, there are so many traits that can help an entrepreneur rise to the top, but staying focused is the one ability that absolutely every business owner must have if they want their company to go big. Learning this has been pivotal in my business journey with Kardia. Without a strong and unwavering focus, entrepreneurs won’t be able to take their company to the next level, let alone reach their maximum potential.
Why The Right Focus Is Critical for Business Owners
You can’t have focus unless you know where you’re going and what it looks like when you get there. That’s why a detailed vision is so important for your personal life and for your company too. Your vision and your focus go hand in hand. They direct each other. As an entrepreneur, that vision starts with the reason you started your company in the first place, where you want to take your company now, and an understanding of the kind of impact you want to make with it in the world. Then, everything you do needs to align with that. If not, you will get sidetracked.
It’s important to remember that focus doesn’t necessarily mean completing tasks — sometimes, people get caught up in doing the same thing over and over again and they call that being focused because they’re checking things off a list. From personal experience, that can actually backfire on you. In one of my first companies, I spent a lot of time running from task to task and putting out fires. I felt busy and I was focused on whatever was in front of me at the moment, but what I didn’t do was check in to see how my focus was lining up with my vision and the impact I really wanted to create. As it turns out, it wasn’t. I was focused in the wrong direction and that took me completely off course, which was part of the reason why the business ultimately failed.
That’s why checking in with your vision, and making sure you’re always on track with it, has to be part of your daily focus. That way you know what you’re doing matters and exactly why and how it’s moving you toward your goal.
How Entrepreneurs Can Sharpen Their Focus
Just like time management and organization can be improved with effort, so can an entrepreneur’s focus. It’s all about self-awareness — business owners need to ask themselves what they really want out of life, what they want out of their business, and what they want out of the decisions that they make each day. When they have clarity on these three factors, they’ll actually know what they need to be focused on at any given moment.
If what you’re doing isn’t lining up with one of those three things, then why are you doing it? Checking in regularly and asking yourself that question often, is a great way to make sure you don’t get sidetracked by things that don’t truly matter to you and your bigger vision.
Poor Focus Versus Good Focus
As mentioned above, not all focus is productive or beneficial to entrepreneurs. Micromanaging is a great example. The hyper-focus might be getting a task done exactly the way you want, but in the long run it’s going to put your company at a huge disadvantage because everything about your business starts and ends with you. That’s not scalable.
A much better focus, and use of your time, is empowering and inspiring people with your bigger vision. That gives them a direction and clarity on where they need to go. Then all you really have to do as their leader is help by supporting them to do their job the best they can. Let them grow and learn, rather than focusing on whether a task got done in one specific way.
The best leaders have a great vision and communicate that vision to their team on a regular basis. They help each team member understand how they fit into the bigger picture and what they should be focusing on to help that bigger vision come to life. Which is why the focus for your team meetings should include a review of what’s happened, where the company is currently headed, where things are working and where they aren’t.
The more you get your team involved the more engaged and focused they will be. And by getting them involved more often to find solutions, your company will benefit hugely from their different perspectives because new points of view lead to new and better ways of doing things. You just can’t get that through narrowly focused micromanaging.
To Wrap It All Up
The ability to stay focused is the one trait that really helps entrepreneurs empower themselves to ultimately bring their vision to life. Understanding what good focus is and what bad focus is in business, makes a huge difference to your ability to move your company forward. And when entrepreneurs can sharpen their focus through better self-awareness, bringing clarity to what they really want out of their life and business, it helps them make better decisions, which leads to better results. That means there’s a much greater probability of advancing to the next level and having your company reach its full potential.
Christan Hiscock is on a personal mission to change the conversation in the business world, moving away from the pursuit of success, to focusing on fulfillment instead. Because if you’re fulfilled, success is a given, but not so much the other way around. He can often be heard saying, “You mean more than you know,” because he believes that as people learn to understand their worth, their fears fade and amazing feats become reality. He considers this the foundation for all his achievements as the Co-Founder and CEO of Kardia and leader of 14 thriving companies. Through Kardia, which means heart in Greek, Christan is determined to bring more heart into the business world. Heart in the form of kindness, compassion and altruism. Heart that fuels, roots and guides each company to do the right things for its team members, clients and for the greater communities they serve.

A Time Of Invention And Reinvention: How Entrepreneurs Can Tap Into Creativity

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to adapt or make major changes. The challenges presented required leaders to think creatively in order to solve problems and generate new ideas that can keep their companies competitive.

Now with record numbers of people starting businesses and entrepreneurial veterans trying to stay afloat, creative problem-solving is a key separator between success and failure – and in many cases requires an inventor-like mindset, says Jarl Jensen (, the founder and president of Inventagon and the holder of several medical technology patents.

“Creativity is the most important attribute of an entrepreneur,” says Jensen, also the ForbesBooks author of The Big Solution: Deactivating The Ticking Time Bomb Of Today’s Economy. “It’s about innovative ways to tackle a problem and find a solution for it.

“You don’t necessarily have to be born with creativity. Many people have the potential to be creative; it just needs to be nurtured and strengthened. Right now we’re in an exciting place of both invention and reinvention. While you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you do need to tap into creativity to stand apart, gain traction, and grow your business in an ultra-competitive environment.”

Jensen offers these tips on how entrepreneurs can become more creative and solve problems as a result:

Be prolific – and patient – with ideas. When the proverbial light bulb goes on, it doesn’t always mean the entrepreneur has had an epiphany that will lead to riches. “If you want a good idea to start a business and build it, the most important ingredient is the love of many ideas,” Jensen says. “Because very few ideas are actually good, so you will need the patience to sort through many of them.”

Learning how to habitually plant the seeds to create ideas is the key, he says.

“Take the time to daydream on a regular basis,” Jensen says. “Visualize all the places an idea can take you. See all the people it could help. We’ve been conditioned to think we’re wasting time when we sit idle and daydream, but it is exactly the opposite. Having quiet time to clear your mind and think freely opens the mind to great possibilities.”

Collaborate; don’t make it all about your own brainstorm. Jensen says the typical novice entrepreneur will want to file patents and rent out office space as the rush of a new idea takes over their imagination. But he cautions, “Don’t be foolish about your idea; it needs time to prove itself worthy of an investment.”

Engaging others around you in discussion about the idea is imperative, Jensen says, because it results in different viewpoints, new angles, and perhaps a more refined idea that can work.

“Collaboration that drives a company forward includes the sharing of and disagreement over ideas,” he says. “It’s the vigorous discussion, the opposing voice that helps refine and improve ideas. An effective partnership stimulates creativity and builds trust among team members that each is encouraged to contribute creatively.”

Stay focused. “It’s easy to waste time with too many ideas that are not going to work for you and your business,” Jensen says. “Know your company’s North Star – its mission statement – and what it needs to succeed. Does your idea align with your North Star? Adapt the solution to the problem. Shift negative thoughts into a positive mindset to provide concentration and clarity.”

“Your success as an entrepreneur is largely contingent on your ability to solve problems effectively,” Jensen says, “and the best tool you have is your creativity, and knowing how to cultivate it and harness it.”


Jarl Jensen ( is the ForbesBooks author of The Big Solution: Deactivating The Ticking Time Bomb Of Today’s Economy. He’s the founder and president of Inventagon, a company creating simpler research and development solutions for organizations across the globe. Jensen holds patents for medical technologies that have reached sales of over $1 billion. He founded EuroMed, a company he sold in 2016, and has written five books about the economy and its relationship with society.

business relationships

5 Ways To Strengthen Your Business Relationships And Grow Your Company

Another record year for entrepreneurship could be in store for 2022. But how many of these new business owners end up succeeding will depend on more than the quality of the products and services they offer.

Creating and nurturing customer relationships allow businesses to offer a more personalized and enticing customer experience, which produces the buyer loyalty that is vital to a company’s long-term success, says James Webb (, a successful entrepreneur in the medical and fitness sectors and author of A Country Boy’s Journey To Prosperity.

Relationships are the greatest asset an entrepreneur has,” Webb says. “To retain customers, it requires a process that turns every touchpoint with a customer into an opportunity for communication, trust, and mutual growth.”

But Webb emphasizes that an entrepreneur’s success is also highly contingent upon the strength of other business relationships as well.

“Good relationships with employees bring new meaning to work, strong productivity and new ideas that carry the business forward,” Webb says. “Relationships with financial partners allow you to take risks. Mentors and colleagues can help you view strategy and processes through a different lens.

“The more you cultivate all of these business relationships, the more you, they, and your business can grow. But you can’t take them for granted. Relationships are gardens that need tending.”

Webb offers these tips to entrepreneurs on how to strengthen their relationships with customers and other business associates:

Invite customer feedback. Webb says to truly know where your company stands with customers and what you can do to improve and better meet their needs, you need to survey their thoughts about your products and services – ideally in person. “Most of the time unsatisfied customers don’t approach you with a detailed list of things they’d like for you to improve on,” Webb says. “They just leave for one of your competitors. So set aside time to get their feedback and show them you care.”

Make your customer feel valued through the entire experience. “Consider the customer experience from start to finish,” Webb says. “Find opportunities to go the extra mile and make shopping with your company enjoyable. Positive words will spread like wildfire about your business, especially on social media, and remember, negative words can spread, too. Make customers feel they’re a part of something special by making them feel special.” A key part to the customer experience equation, Webb notes, is providing good website content that gives them insight and a quick path to solutions.

Encourage a sense of ownership among your employees. Webb says giving employees a voice in major decisions, more responsibility and allowing them to own stock are ways to create a sense of ownership and strong ties between your employees and your business. “Inspiring your employees to love your business as much as you do will strengthen your company’s foundation,” Webb says. “Your business will be that much more likely to survive setbacks and grow.”

Be generous with compliments. “Employees know you can’t give them a raise every time they do a good job, but recognizing them when they do good work makes them feel appreciated and goes a long way toward making them want to stay at your company,” Webb says.

Value your vendors. People who service your company regularly are a big part of the infrastructure that keeps your company rolling. “Treat them like honorary employees,” Webb says. “Everyone from your suppliers to your web designer is an important part of your extended team, and nurturing these relationships with nice gestures and consistent communication will just make your company stronger from the ground up.”

“It’s critical to be humble enough to understand that you need great relationships to succeed as an entrepreneur,” Webb says. “I’ve seen talented people fail because they thought they could do it alone.”


James Harold Webb ( is the author of Redneck Resilience: A Country Boy’s Journey To Prosperity. His career in radiology saw him rise from a technologist to becoming a leader in the industry as the entrepreneur of several companies focused on outpatient medical imaging, pain management and laboratory services. In 2014, Webb turned his attention to the fitness sector and developed, owned and oversaw the management of 33 Orangetheory Fitness® franchises throughout North Texas. They were all sold to a private equity group in 2019. He currently owns the franchise rights for Dallas, Austin and Houston for BeBalanced Centers, a homeopathic hormone weight-loss franchise. His team has three stores open with plans for another 15 to 20 over the next four years.

small business

What Every Small Business Should Be Implementing

The majority of the difficulties associated with establishing a business stem from failing to accomplish the small things correctly. The basics will lead you to the top, as any competent instructor has stated at some time.

If you’re thinking of starting a small business, make sure you follow these 10 small business rules:

1. You must keep track of your finances.

Lack of capital, is the leading cause of small business failure. You must undertake proper financial planning and fully comprehend the business levers that might affect your cash flow.

Do you purchase stock?

-What amount of cash should you have on hand?

-Do you have a system in place to collect money from clients?

-How long do you have to wait for them to pay you?

-Do you have any loans that you need to repay?

-Do you rely on suppliers whose prices fluctuate according to market conditions?

2. You must create a data-driven culture.
The better your business decisions are, the more data you can track and utilize to make them. Business often necessitates certain “intuition feel” judgments, but it’s preferable to provide your instincts with as much knowledge as possible.

Tracking your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and understanding why they rise or fall may help you make decisions that will help you develop and stay on track.

3. You must participate in Lean Planning.

Rather of creating a long-written document that you utilize once and then file away, it’s critical to create a strategic and financial plan and track it on a frequent basis.

Planning is a continuous tool that should be used to understand the assumptions you have about your business and whether or not those assumptions are valid, or whether you need to make changes and adapt your assumptions.

60 percent of small companies in America fail due to a lack of cash, not a lack of profits—by utilizing Lean Planning, you can rapidly determine if you have made any financial assumptions that will have a negative impact on your cash. Maybe you assumed you’d get paid every 30 days on the dot.

By engaging in ongoing planning and then tracking the actual results of your business against your plans, you can quickly determine if you are getting paid every 45 days, and if so, you can increase your credit line quickly and appropriately, keeping your business cash healthy—before you get into trouble.

4. You must have a strategy in place for attracting and keeping top employees.

We are continuously on the lookout for top talent in our industry, therefore we make it a point to follow talent in our region on a regular basis and design outstanding retention programs and rewards.

Take some time to consider your company’s culture and what you want it to be, and make sure that culture is factored into your recruiting selections. We utilize LinkedIn on a daily basis to follow and acquire talent.

5. Every day, you must listen online.

Even if you just operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, your business is “always on.” Every company should set up internet alerts to monitor what their customers are saying about them, their rivals, and the market in general.

Google Alerts is a fantastic (and free) tool for “listening” to what’s going on online. Be the first to know when a consumer leaves a negative review or when someone praises your company online. Use these methods to remain ahead of the conversation and capitalize on it. You need to get a business phone number too.

6. You must engage in marketing that generates a return on investment.

Small companies frequently tell us that they have no idea what marketing is. What should they spend their money on? Is it effective? Is it better to promote on the radio or on the internet? Should they believe the Groupon or Comcast salesperson who tries to persuade them to distribute discounts to the general public or buy local TV ads? What is it that works?

What does not work?

Small company operators should begin in venues that are both free and simple to access. Begin by forming relationships with local companies and company owners. Find out what it is that they do that is effective. Find out how visitors find your website and where they come from by using Google Analytics and your website.

Customers should be questioned about how they learned about you. And if you do decide to promote, make sure you know how to track it. Make a unique offer and keep track of it. Only provide one type of service or product. Repeat your successful marketing efforts after learning what works and what doesn’t. If you won’t be able to measure the results, don’t invest the money.

8. You must communicate with your clients.

Every company should communicate with its clients as frequently as feasible. If you own a retail store, talk to your customers at least once a week (if not every day). Discover what they enjoy—and what they despise.

If you own an online business, send a brief survey to your consumers or ask a few survey questions after they check out. Make a call to them. People enjoy talking and being asked for their viewpoint. Negative feedback might be difficult to hear, but it’s important to hear it and understand how you can improve your business for your consumers.

9. You need to know your competitors.

Both your direct and indirect rivals must be known and understood. You should always be aware of your rivals’ activities, including what they are doing, how they promote, and how they price their products.

You may be the only one of your kind in your town or sector, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have indirect competition. In my town, a small do-it-yourself tie-dye store has no direct competition.

They do, however, provide activity-based events and compete with all of the other businesses that host birthday parties and group activities. They also compete with other tie-dye merchants at Saturday Fairs and Markets. Even if they don’t have direct competition, they need to know how to position themselves against all of their indirect competitors.

10. You must have a larger goal in mind: a mission.

People like to work for companies that are more than a simple money-making machine. That isn’t to say that you can’t set sales or profit targets; it only means that if your employees believe they are part of a larger purpose, they will work harder and be more loyal.

small business

Scaling a Small Business to Meet a Growing Demand: 9 Points to Cover

Starting a business is easier than ever, but making a business successful has never been easy. In addition to that, today’s focus on ecommerce can lead to a sharp increase in demand if your product gains enough attention or goes viral.

So, how do you keep up with that kind of demand? The key is to scale carefully in a calculated way to ensure your business is prepared. Here are some helpful tips to guide you in the right direction and away from some common pitfalls.

1. Make Sure You’re Ready for Growth

All it takes is one viral TikTok video or Instagram post to send a small business with an online presence from obscurity to ubiquity. The internet is fickle, but it doesn’t take much to step into online stardom — and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with new orders coming in from all around the world.

Business owners need to start by figuring out if they’re ready for growth. Is there a plan in place to scale things up, or will a slew of new orders leave the company scrambling? Don’t start pursuing growth unless the infrastructure to support that growth is already in place.

2. Identify and Address Barriers to Growth

With a plan in place, the next step is to identify any barriers that might prevent that growth. Are supply chains an issue that could create problems? This has been a growing problem throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and it may be a while before things start to get back to normal.

Are there legal barriers that might interfere with international markets? Are there barriers within the business itself, in the form of people or policies that might cause growth to stagnate? Take a close look at the ins and outs of the business before you start trying to edge into new markets.

3. Focus on Quality and Consistency

Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick two. Companies that create a good product fast can’t do so cheaply. Ones that create a cheap product fast can’t focus on quality. Speed is valuable in a world that values instant gratification so highly, but don’t compromise quality and consistency for speed when trying to keep up with demand. Focus on quality and consistency first, especially when trying to meet a new or growing demand.

Compromising quality in favor of speed is just going to chase away all the new customers when they realize they’re not getting the best you have to offer.

4. Take Advantage of Outside Expertise

Businesses may offer unique takes, new products, or previously unknown services. But when it comes to dealing with new growth, there’s always someone who has been there before. Don’t assume you know everything. This is where networking can become a valuable tool for companies facing challenges sorting through a sudden increase in demand.

Make friends in the industry and tap into their knowledge and experience. This is often the best source of information and can help small businesses navigate the uncharted waters of growth.

5. Make Sure Customers Know Who You Are

There is so much information on the internet at any given time that it’s nearly impossible to sort through all of it — and it is easy to get overwhelmed, especially for consumers working to research a new company before they start spending money. It’s important to set up a comprehensive “About Us” page to make it easy for new customers to understand what the company offers and what they’re all about. You know a good template when you see it.

It sounds simple, but it can have a massive impact on growth. The style and design of the About Us page can decide whether that impact is positive or negative.

6. Build a Great Team

A company is only as good as the people who hold it together. It’s up to the business owner to build a great team that works together well: one they can trust to get the job done.

Start by choosing experts in the field — business, manufacturing, marketing, etc. — and work with them to find the perfect balance. It sounds simple, but it’s anything but. Finding a team of people who both succeed in their respective fields and work well together is like finding the Holy Grail.

7. Look Forward, Not Back

Where a business has been before can teach a lot of valuable lessons. Learning from failures and reworking plans that didn’t work in the first place are useful tools to help ensure business success in the future. But lingering on the past will make sure a business stays there.

Don’t let the past hold you back. Instead, learn from it and look to the future. Focus on where the company is going rather than where it’s been.

8. Learn From the Competition

Nearly every industry is fiercely competitive, but that doesn’t mean new ventures can’t learn from those who came before, even if those other companies stand in direct competition.

Unless a business owner is blazing the way in an entirely new field, there is always someone who left footprints in the sand. Follow them. Figure out what they did to succeed and what didn’t work for them, and then use that information to plan your next move.

9. Don’t Stray Too Far From Your Values

The temptation is great when moving into larger markets or growing exponentially, to betray some of what made a small business appealing in the first place. Maybe that means treating employees poorly or straying too far from the values that were established when the company first opened its doors.

Don’t give in to that temptation. The values established as a company defines what it is, and maintaining that appearance is more important than any profit margin or sale.

Celebrate The Wins and Learn From the Failures

For a small business, going global or experiencing substantial growth can be an overwhelming proposition. But that intimidation shouldn’t scare away anyone savvy enough to start a business in the first place. Start by ensuring the company is ready for growth by going over all the little details and determining what might interfere. From there, simply take things one day at a time and be ready to adapt to any new challenges that arise.

The internet is a valuable tool for small businesses, but one viral video can shoot a company to previously unforeseen heights that they might not be ready for. Be careful and ready for anything. Learn from any failures and celebrate successes as they manifest.


5 Tips to Make Entrepreneurs Resilient When Challenges Threaten their Business

Many entrepreneurs discover that building a business brings difficult challenges, which in turn require resilience to overcome.

But simply having the capacity to recover and keep going doesn’t always lead to better results. Resilience in the context of long-term business success also means learning from past difficulties and, as a result, changing direction to the right path, says James Webb (, author of Redneck Resilience: A Country Boy’s Journey To Prosperity, and a successful entrepreneur in the medical and fitness sectors.

“ ‘Pivot’ has become the preferred word among business owners while trying to survive the COVID-19 pandemic,” Webb says. “For many companies now, it’s pivot-or-die.

“Resilience and the ability to pivot go hand-in-hand. Resilience is the key ingredient of success and the thing that will never let you down. And it is also about looking at different paths and taking one, acknowledging you were wrong, learning how to fix it, and doing so.”

Webb offers five tips to help entrepreneurs be resilient and pivot in these challenging times:

Hope for the upside, but plan for the downside. “In business, it’s easy to let a vision of great things ahead trick you into ignoring the real possibility of failure,” Webb says. “Every entrepreneur does it. Every great business has more than one plan. COVID has weeded out those businesses that never planned for the downside.”

Let go when your gut tells you to. Webb says that today’s business world moves too fast and leaves too many behind for a struggling entrepreneur to stay stuck in their ineffective ways for long. “You have to trust your instincts and learn when to step away, and to find another path,” Webb says. “Rather than beat your head against a stone wall, find a way around, over, or under that wall, and continue on the new path of your choosing.”

Dive in the deep end – even if you’re not fully ready. Webb has met many people in business and in life who trust the philosophy that your next move should be the one for which you’re already prepared. He disagrees. “Pursue your next path regardless of your level of preparation,” he says. “Be decisive. Be confident in the fact that if you’re smart and focused, you’ll learn faster when you’re in over your head or out of your depth.”

Learn the powers of contingency management. Entrepreneurs sometimes get overwhelmed by adversity because they are too controlling by nature, Webb says. Empowering people as a regular practice and overseeing a collaborative work culture leads to calm and problem-solving when difficulties surface. “Manage the situation, but don’t rule it,” Webb says. “Care for your people, but don’t set them up for failure by micromanaging them. Hold them accountable but don’t be a dictator. Being resilient as a company and pivoting the right way can only happen if there is mutual trust and a comfort level between the business owner and his workforce.”

See every closing door as a new one opening. Webb says when things aren’t working as they once did, entrepreneurs need a mindset that embraces a challenge and is excited by finding a new way to make things better. ”I have found that the most important lessons in life are the ones you don’t see coming,” he says, “and they bring opportunities you hadn’t considered. When a new opportunity presents itself as a better way, take the risk.”

“Resilience doesn’t just get back up,” Webb says. “Resilience finds a way.”


James Webb ( is the author of Redneck Resilience: A Country Boy’s Journey To Prosperity. His career in radiology saw him rise from a technologist to becoming a leader in the industry as the entrepreneur of several companies. After over 40 years in the medical field, Webb focused on the fitness sector, owning and overseeing the management of 33 Orangetheory Fitness® franchises throughout North Texas.

sales team

How to Build an Entrepreneurial Sales Team

The front lines that your sales team steps into have never been more challenging. Hustling for a business no longer means spending long hours and perfecting the process. Cutting through the noise and clutter requires adopting the posture, mindset, and hustle of an entrepreneur.

In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions. (Source: Gartner Group)

Today’s sales process takes 22% longer than 5 years ago. (Biznology)

So what do you do to shake things up to enable your team to find the decision maker quicker and educate and inspire the influencers to close the deal?

Incentivize risk-taking with reward

Encouraging and incentivizing risk-taking is a great place to start. Taking a bit of a risk, and thinking outside of the box, is what makes many entrepreneurs successful. Elon Musk was on the verge of bankruptcy when trying to keep SpaceX and Tesla afloat. The risk paid off, and the rise and grind mentality he brought to his team each day resulted in one of the most valuable energy companies in the world.

But in order to free teams up to take risks, they have to have the support of their manager. And, adding compensation incentives demonstrate that this is a mandate, not a mantra. 

Michael Ahearne of Harvard Business Review suggests implementing a multi-tiered sales targeting and compensation program that encourages risk-taking at the junior and senior levels. 

This type of compensation works well to incentivize top performers and minimize the negative impact of laggard performers. It’s a great way to foster a high-performing entrepreneurial sales environment.

Create a scalable sales infrastructure

In addition to risk-taking, teams need to think creatively about how to approach accounts or companies with complex networks of influencers and decision-makers. Some ideas can be:

Leverage applications like Rapportive and Email Hunter to quickly gather contact information to optimize the email capture process

Use a CRM like Salesforce or HubSpotCRM that allows your team to visibly organize different decision-makers and team members for target accounts in one location.

First, let your team experiment with these tools. Then, once best practices have been identified, take the time to document the workflows and places where tools such as these are most effective. 

Once your team has the tools and best practices in place, they can be turned loose to go after more challenging accounts. 

Rethink messaging and outreach 

Building rapport and connecting with the C-suite often requires innovative approaches to messaging and sales outreach. Boilerplate templates filled with generic phrases and industry buzzwords simply will not elicit a positive response. 

Sales teams must be encouraged to infuse their messaging and outreach with their personality and creative approaches. Not every “great idea” is going to be great. But that’s okay. As long as your sales team can self-reflect and quickly make changes so that they can use a different tactic with the next prospect. 

We suggest finding personalization opportunities in every outreach to encourage a response. Sales professionals who use personalization when contacts decision-makers at target accounts receive a 600% increased response rate

These types of strategies enable your team to find ownership in their deals – they’re humanizing each target account and beginning to develop a personal connection to the deal.

Automate and standardize workflows and technology 

Sales performance often increases when teams collaborate and have strong relationships with one another. One of the best, and most efficient, ways to foster collaboration and a spirit of entrepreneurship is with next-generation tools. GetAccept has spent a lot of time in the document tracking and sales automation world and we know the value of optimizing the sales cycle to increase deal conversion rates.

Sales visibility through the contract process is huge, because your sales team needs to know how the prospect is engaging with the proposal, regardless of what they’re communicating back to your team. 

Your proposals are being read frequently, but not closing. 

Prospects are not spending enough time on the pages most relevant to closing the deal 

Prospects are opening your proposals on Tuesdays, but not on Mondays or Fridays.

Knowing this information helps you craft more engaging, more successful documents that convert.

A sales workflow must allow for seamless integration of data between applications. As a sales team leader, your job should be to automate and optimize as much of the manual data process so your team can focus on what they are good at – selling. Your reps shouldn’t be digging through multiple applications to find a phone number they need. Integration between your prospecting tools, CRM, and sales document tracking needs to be smooth.

Socialize internal sales training

All successful entrepreneurs leverage mentors to avoid mistakes and seize hidden opportunities. Part of building an entrepreneurial sales team that is actually successful is connecting your underperforming team members with overperforming members.

Much like playoff brackets are developed in sports, where the #1 team is paired up against the worst team, and the #2 team is paired with the second-to-worst team, so should you build a mentorship bracket.

Rank your sales reps from highest performing to lowest performing. Then set up mentoring schedules for your best reps to help train, motivate, and support their mentees. Weekly coffee meetings between the two reps can result in big wins for the team:

The best sales reps feel simultaneously empowered and valued by you and the rest of management.

The “learning” sales reps feel like they’re being invested into and management wants them to succeed.

You socialize the mentoring and training process, thereby scaling sales empowerment and efficiency across the whole team.

Every quarter, refresh the bracket and re-pair the team. This will allow new relationships to form and learning sales reps to receive coaching from other team members who can provide new perspective and ideas.

As a manager, you’ll want to set up a way for your team to adopt these behaviors and add their own special touch so that it’s authentic. Leading a sales team is a demanding yet rewarding job. Seeing the team thrive under leadership that values risk, empowers team members, and removes roadblocks is highly satisfying and leads to improved morale. 

Try a few of these ideas this quarter and watch your reps mature into a successful entrepreneurial sales team.


Samir Smajic is the CEO and Founder of Get Accept, the all-in-one sales platform where you design, send, track and market your proposal to get more deals digitally signed.  


5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking the Leap to Entrepreneurship

As COVID-19 causes layoffs and extends uncertainty about employment in 2021, many people are considering new options, reinventing themselves, or trying to decide whether working for themselves is more desirable than finding another 9-to-5 job that might not last.

Entrepreneurship brings a lot of freedom, responsibility, and risks, and before people commit to taking that big step there are several important questions they should ask themselves, says Tim Mercer (, ForbesBooks author of Bootstrapped Millionaire: Defying the Odds of Business.

“Entrepreneurship is a career that offers a kind of freedom and personal satisfaction you simply cannot get from traditional 9-to-5 employment,” Mercer says. “You will never know if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur unless you take the leap of faith and experience it yourself.

“It’s a big decision, though, involving many factors and inherent risks. There is a lot to navigate and endure en route to reaching your dream destination of professional and financial freedom, and many don’t make it because they simply weren’t cut out for the challenge to begin with.”

Mercer thinks people who are considering entrepreneurship should first ask themselves these five questions:

Why do you want to do this? “Let’s be honest,” Mercer says. “If the business endeavor is just about us, we will want to give up on ourselves when things get hard. Your why, which is your purpose, has to be much bigger than yourself. You must believe in a vision of why you want to be an entrepreneur and develop a plan for how you will involve others in your vision. Sustainable entrepreneurship requires the efforts of other people.” Mercer thinks it’s imperative to write down your ‘why’ and keep it in front of you as a reminder when tough times come.

Are you being realistic? One can get swept up in the emotion of starting a business, but Mercer says it’s vital for every potential entrepreneur to be realistic in their business projections for the first two years of the startup. “Answering this question before you open can prevent some unpleasant surprises as you try to build your company,” Mercer says.

Do you have daily discipline? “You are the boss, and only you can hold yourself accountable,” Mercer says. “If it’s hard for you to stay on task or stay motivated, and you think being an entrepreneur is a fast ticket to easy street, entrepreneurship definitely is not for you.”

Can your relationships survive the sacrifices? The time commitment, Mercer notes, to starting one’s own business and getting it running efficiently goes well beyond a typical 9-to-5 job. Relationships can suffer. “All entrepreneurs have to understand that they are going to be forced to make sacrifices on a personal level with their family and friends,” Mercer says. “You have to stay focused without letting your dedication to your entrepreneurial pursuit harm your relationships with those you are closest. Communicate with them and mutually come up with adjusted expectations as you build the business.”

Can you withstand the struggles? Rejection and failure, Mercer says, are realities that new entrepreneurs have to get accustomed to and learn to overcome. “You need to understand how many times you’ll fail before you’ll succeed,” he says. “You’ll get turned down by prospective customers constantly and your self-value will be tested on a daily basis. Is your why strong enough to keep you going?”

“Overall, deciding whether you are an entrepreneur or not boils down to how comfortable you are being uncomfortable,” Mercer says. “Only time will tell if you have the people skills and business skills to be a successful entrepreneur, but rest assured that you will have to endure periods of real discomfort.”


Tim Mercer ( is the founder of IBOXG, a company that provides technology services and solutions to government agencies and Fortune 500 corporations. He also is the ForbesBooks author of Bootstrapped Millionaire: Defying the Odds of Business. Mercer was inspired to pursue a career in IT as a consultant after he became a telecom operator while in the U.S. Army. After growing up in difficult economic circumstances in the rural South, Mercer achieved success as an entrepreneur, then recovered from the financial crisis of 2007-2008 after starting IBOXG. The company has accrued over $60 million in revenues since its inception in 2008.


Intimidated By The Competition? How Your Startup Can Take On The Big Guys.

When newly formed businesses size up the competition, they may not like what they see.

Often, major players in their industry are already well ahead of them, drawing in the customers or clients they covet, cornering the market on the best employees, and pushing around through their sheer size anyone who dares take them on.

But startups don’t necessarily have to blink in the face of the big guys, says Adam Witty, himself a successful entrepreneur and the ForbesBooks co-author of Authority Marketing: Your Blueprint to Build Thought Leadership That Grows Business, Attracts Opportunity, and Makes Competition Irrelevant.

“Certainly, major corporations have plenty of advantages over startups, from the assets they have available to the years of brand recognition they have worked to achieve,” says Witty, who also is the founder and CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks ( “But you can work on creating a few advantages of your own – or at least create a more level playing field – if you approach things in the right way.”

He says some ways for budding entrepreneurs to do that include:

Know that adaptability is a key asset – and possibly an advantage. The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of attention to the importance of being able to adapt, but it’s always been critical for businesses to respond to unanticipated changes in the market that threatened their product or business model, Witty says. “Being adaptable doesn’t mean just introducing a new product to your realm of offerings,” he says. “It requires constant attention to what’s going on in the world, analyzing your competitors, and most importantly, not getting too comfortable at the top of the pyramid.” In some cases, a startup can even have an advantage here, Witty says. Established businesses sometimes get stuck in their ways, and when disruptions happen in the economy or with customer habits, they are slow to make the necessary changes. A good example of this was Blockbuster, the video rental company that failed to see the threat that annoying upstarts like Netflix posed.

Turn customers and clients into raving fans. The most profitable companies in the world boast the most fanatical clients and customers, Witty says. “Think about Apple, which does many things very, very well,” he says. “One of them is servicing the customer first. And Apple excels in communicating its mission to its audience. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh once said, ‘Customer service shouldn’t just be a department. It should be the entire company.’ To create loyalty, you must show customers that you not only are grateful for their business but that you value their relationship.”

Establish yourself as the authority in your field. Positioning yourself as the go-to person in your field allows you to create an unfair advantage in the marketplace by immediately positioning you above others in the same field, Witty says. One way to do that is by writing a book because then you are not only an authority on your topic but you “wrote the book on it.” But you can also begin to establish your authority through media interviews and speaking engagements, Witty says.

Finally, Witty says he’s fond of telling his employees, “When it comes to decision making, if we’re going to go with opinions, we’ll go with mine.”

In reality, he doesn’t want to make decisions based on even his opinion; he prefers facts and data.

“For a startup or any business to be successful,” Witty says, “you should let employees know that you are open to their ideas, but you also expect those ideas to be backed up with facts and data that demonstrate why it’s a good idea. That kind of decision making is the best way for your business to grow, prosper and dominate the competition.”


Adam Witty, co-author with Rusty Shelton of Authority Marketing: Your Blueprint to Build Thought Leadership That Grows Business, Attracts Opportunity, and Makes Competition Irrelevant, is the CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks ( Witty started Advantage in 2005 in a spare bedroom of his home. The company helps busy professionals become the authority in their field through publishing and marketing. In 2016, Advantage launched a partnership with Forbes to create ForbesBooks, a business book publisher for top business leaders. Witty is the author of seven books, and is also a sought-after speaker, teacher and consultant on marketing and business growth techniques for entrepreneurs and authors. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily and USA Today, and has appeared on ABC and Fox.