Category Archives: Enlightened Entrepreneurship

Switching from Defense to Offense

Are we there yet?

Do you know your Basic Defensive Interval? For a business start-up, it’s the number of weeks or months before you get to break-even cash flow. For an operating business, it’s how long can you survive a disaster without any revenue. You may have business interruption insurance or a disaster plan, but how much cash did you have set aside to carry you through such an event? We always knew there were unpredictable economic and business risks that we could not prevent or avoid.

None of us were prepared to manage through a global pandemic that would shut down normal business activity for two or three months. Maybe six months to two years before we get back to anything approaching normal business activity. Now is not a good time to discover we cannot survive that long without income.

We are approaching the end of phase one of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, we hope. We have slowed the spread of infections to allow health care workers and facilities to handle the case load. Is it time to start switching from defense to offense? Caution and constant monitoring will be appropriate as businesses reopen and people go back to work, but it’s time to get ready.

The tactics for good management through any business crisis or disaster remain the same:

  • Demonstrate conspicuous and effective leadership. Lead by example. Show compassion and understanding of the pressures and the anxieties everyone is feeling.
  • Assess the new business environment and the new protocols and regulations in place and the changes going forward.
  • Determine current employee and customer needs and expectations and the most effective responses from comparable businesses in your industry.
  • Stay focused. Avoid being distracted by the bombardment of pandemic news. Don’t freeze. Don’t over-react. Be calm, rational, reassuring and pro-active.
  • Don’t neglect the good news. Look for the silver lining in the dark clouds – maybe we’ve learned something beyond working more effectively from home.

Some Enlightened Entrepreneurs and political leaders are demonstrating how it should be done. You can learn from them too.

In summary:

Be brave, be flexible, be creative. Be informed, make decisions, take action. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Be better. Do better.

And take care of yourself,

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

 Learn more at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com

 Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 

 

 

 

Be better. Do better.

And take care of yourself,

Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph

Learn more at: LearningEntrepreneurship.com

Read more of Uncle Ralph's advice for Entrepreneurs in Don't Do It the Hard Way & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans - 2020 Editions.

 

Enlightened Entrepreneurship: The Next Step

I continue to promote and recommend the concept of enlightened entrepreneurship, but we do not have a common understanding of the term. Some define it as a very spiritual or humanistic approach to business and others confuse it with social entrepreneurship, where the purpose of the business is to meet the social needs of society more explicitly than the economic needs of the business owners.

My concept of Enlightened Entrepreneurship:

Business leadership that recognizes that doing better for the business also means doing better for people and the planet. Enlightened entrepreneurs manage their business to achieve its economic objectives while also recognizing and meeting its social responsibilities.

Consider the meaning of “enlightened” in the historical context of the Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, which dominated philosophical ideas in Europe from the early 17th Century. The principal goals of Enlightenment thinkers were liberty, progress, reason, tolerance, fraternity and ending the abuses of the church and state. The ideas of the Enlightenment played a major role in inspiring both the American and the French Revolutions for freedom and democracy, giving more power to the people.

Over the last two centuries, most Western societies have experienced increasing individual freedom and less dependence on central authorities with a corresponding expansion of capitalism and free enterprise. Early in this period (1776), Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations and first described the principle of the invisible hand, guiding entrepreneurs to unintentionally contribute to the greater good of society.

In his words, describing the business owner:

He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it … directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." (Book 4, Chapter 2)

But the excesses of the industrial revolution, exploiting workers and concentrating wealth and power in the hands of only a privileged few, caused social reaction in worker revolts, the rise of trade unions and the growth of the opposing ideology of socialism.

In the 21st Century, we still observe irresponsible capitalist excesses driven by greed and selfishness that exploit workers, concentrate wealth, manipulate democracy and neglect the needs of society.

The opposing forces in society are still battling: some defending capitalism and free markets as delivering prosperity to millions of people and others blaming corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and their political supporters for all the ills of the modern world.

We cannot keep our heads down and ignore these issues, while “taking care of business.”

Enlightened entrepreneurs know that they can no longer rely on the invisible hand to help them protect the public interest and meet their social obligations and responsibilities. The modern world is more complicated and modern society is more demanding. Entrepreneurs need to be more aware and more explicit in responding to the demands of the world around them.

The next step for Enlightened Entrepreneurship is for us to practice it, promote it and defend it.

Are you ready for the next step?

Enlightened Entrepreneurship: The Need, now more than ever.

 “I’m only in it for the money.”

Really? Hardly anyone admits to it; most of us are accused of it.

But we know that being motivated primarily by personal gain and short-term profit are losing propositions. We must have a higher purpose and a wider range of goals and objectives to satisfy the wide spectrum of stakeholders who affect the long-term success of our businesses.

We have to consistently satisfy the needs and meet the expectations of our employees and customers, suppliers and strategic partners, governments and regulators, our communities, society and the environment. Yes, it might be called recognizing our social responsibilities and, yes, it can still be justified by the free enterprise principle of working in our own self-interest to make more money and inadvertently benefitting society at the same time.

You do not have to be a dedicated, altruistic social entrepreneur to recognize your social responsibilities. Every business has to deliver products or services with a net benefit to society and within the limits of acceptable social and environmental impacts. An enlightened entrepreneur is aware of those requirements and manages accordingly.

 The need for Enlightened Entrepreneurship

My mission, whether it’s providing advice to entrepreneurs or commenting on current issues, is to promote that vision of enlightened entrepreneurship. It needs to be understood, supported and encouraged by business owners and managers and the stakeholders who have a vested interest in the consequences.

I didn’t invent the term, but here is my definition of Enlightened entrepreneurship:

Business leadership that recognizes that doing better for the business also means doing better for employees and their families, for customers, suppliers and business partners, for communities and the planet. Enlightened entrepreneurs manage their businesses to achieve the economic objectives while also recognizing and meeting their social responsibilities and having a positive impact on society.

Enlightened entrepreneurs manage this way not because it is good marketing or public relations or just to feel good about themselves, but because it is the best way to build a thriving sustainable business. That expectation may seem hopelessly ambitious or naïve, but I believe it is, in fact, the only way to grow a business. We should expect nothing less.

If the entrepreneur is focused only on making money, then the consequences for everyone, including the entrepreneur, are likely to be unacceptable. Growing a business is never as simple as making short-term profits. It requires looking at the bigger picture and managing assets and people for increasing business value.

Enlightened entrepreneurship is more than a moral or ethical imperative, it is an overriding principle of good business management. It’s not a new idea, it’s a logical extension of the principles of building sustainable long-term value in a business by continuously satisfying all the stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, governments and local communities. Ultimately, they will decide whether they are willing to support your business success. It is never entirely up to you.

So start thinking enlightened entrepreneurship. There is no other way that works.

Your Uncle Ralph, 

Del Chatterson

Looking for Readers & Reviewers, please.

New 2020 Editions from your Uncle Ralph

 Please take a look. Take 3 seconds, 3 minutes or 3 hours if you have time and let me know what you think. Covers or content, style or presentation. I’m looking for honest critics and cheerleaders to join my mission and help support and promote Enlightened Entrepreneurship.

Any and all feedback is much appreciated. It helps readers know what to expect and helps me to write a better book next time. Please share this email and the links below with more readers   and make the same request. Help me spread the word for more readers and more feedback.

New 2020 Editions of Uncle Ralph’s books for Enlightened Entrepreneurs – Advance Copies – Limited Time Offer. 

 For entrepreneurs to be better and do better. How to start, manage, grow and exit the business. Two simple messages in two easy-to-read books for business owner-managers: Have a plan. Avoid the mistakes.

 Practical advice for Enlightened Entrepreneurs to be better and do better. With real life stories to illustrate the tips, tools and tactics to get the results you want. Ideas, information and inspiration from Uncle Ralph’s thirty years of experience as an entrepreneur, consultant, advisor, writer and cheerleader for entrepreneurs.

 Don't Do It the Hard Way

"A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Only a fool insists on making his own."

Learn how to avoid the Seven Biggest Mistakes that Entrepreneurs make.

Only $9.95 US/CDN on Amazon.com-HardWay & Amazon.ca-HardWay Free E-book @ Bookfunnel-HardWay

 The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans 

Do-It-Yourself Business Plan?  Yes you can!

Get the Results you want. From Start-up to Exit.

Only $7.95 US/CDN on Amazon.com-DIYBusPlan & Amazon.ca-DIYBusPlan  Free E-book Bookfunnel-DIYBusPlan

Learn more at: LearningEntrepreneurship – UncleRalphsBooks

Be an Enlightened Entrepreneur.  Be better.  Do better.

And don’t neglect to wash your hands! Stay safe, be well and take care of each other.

Your Uncle Ralph, 

Del Chatterson

More summer reading!

MERGER MANIAC, Novel #3  in the DALE HUNTER SERIES is now ready for early Reader Review.

If you're interested, I'd love to hear your first impression or your reaction to the first 10 pages, or if you have time for a quick summer read of 200 pages, to send me your review comments. More stories of crime, Mafia, suspense and intrigue for Dale Hunter & Frank the Fixer.  A free ebook copy is available at @ BookHip.com/GBFVVV 
 
If you need to catch up from the beginning of the series, or you would like to share the first two novels, you can follow the links below to a free ebook for both.  A short synopsis of each novel is at the bottom of this email.
NO EASY MONEY, the first novel in the series introduces Dale Hunter and Frank the Fixer and stories of crime in the international computer business of the 1980s. It was published in September 2018 and is receiving very good response from readers and reviewers online and in bookstores across Canada and internationally.
A free ebook copy is available at @ BookHip.com/QBDRJC 
SIMPLY THE BEST, the second novel in the series, was published in May and is now also widely distributed online, in bookstores and libraries, anywhere you want it. It continues the stories of Dale Hunter and Frank the Fixer with more threats of death and disaster.
A free ebook copy is available at @ BookHip.com/LWMLBC
For more background on the the books or on my adventure as an Author-Entrepreneur, please visit or  follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or my updated my Author website at  www.DelvinChatterson.com with to the online bookstores and referral sites like Goodreads. See: Dale Hunter Novels
I have also set-up an Author Direct Bookstore to facilitate delivery of Author-signed copies of the novels to bookstores and readers at the best prices with low-cost delivery anywhere in North America.
All the tools are here to help everyone Buy, Read, Review & Recommend the books. Please!

THANK YOU for your continued support.  Helpful, enthusiastic readers are still the best resource for better writing, marketing and sales.  Enjoy your reading!
Del 
 
Author WebsiteDelvinChatterson.com
NO EASY MONEY - You never win playing by the rules...  The first in the series of Dale Hunter Crime Novels is an explosive mix of crime, cash and computers in the 1980s. Entrepreneurs face challenges every day. It's hard to be a hero. This is the story of a young entrepreneur under threats of violence from the Montreal Mafia. He wants to survive and not play by gangster rules, but it will require courage and creativity and the support of some new friends. Somebody is going to get killed.
SIMPLY THE BEST - It may be simple, it's never easy  In this second novel in the series, Dale Hunter is back in business, but so is Gino Boncanno. Hunter has already had to save himself from a murder attempt by the gangster, Boncanno. Now his new partner in Taiwan is dragging him into business with the Triads and their smuggling scheme into the U.S. The danger escalates and Hunter still has to save his family from the murderous plans of Boncanno. Hunter's escape may seem simple, but it's never easy.
MERGER MANIAC - Some offers have to be refused  Third in the series of Dale Hunter crime novels, Merger Maniac is the story of how Dale Hunter tries to survive against competitive threats in the rapidly evolving computer business of the 1980s. He's looking for merger or acquisition partners and suddenly he's approached by the aggressive Montreal Mafia to join their money laundering schemes. They are making very persuasive offers that just have to be refused.
 
Delvin Chatterson, Author
An entrepreneur and business advisor, consultant, coach and cheerleader for entrepreneurs, Del has written extensively on business topics for decades. He is now writing fiction with a short story collection in progress and this series of Dale Hunter crime novels. Originally from the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Del has lived and worked for the past forty years in the fascinating French-Canadian city of Montreal, Quebec.

Learning & Storytelling - Presentation/Seminar including Author Sale & Book-signing.

July 11th, 5-à-7 Bureau en gros, @ St. Charles & Transcanadienne, Kirkland, QC.

 

YOU'RE INVITED:

Which do you prefer - Fact or Fiction?

 Business text book or crime fiction with an entrepreneur as hero?

Entrepreneurs learn best by sharing stories - Fact or Fiction?  A boring business textbook or a crime thriller with the entrepreneur as hero?

What are the differences between my business books and the crime novels?

Real-life stories:

  • More facts!
  • More details
  • More useful to understand and apply the strategies, tactics & techniques

Crime Fiction:

  • More fun to read and to write!
  • More creative ideas and inspiration
  • Easier to remember the guiding principles
  • Introduces a new and wider audience
  • Allows more subtle cheerleading for entrepreneurs and the promotion of Enlightened Entrepreneurship

Everyone learns by sharing stories. But the choice of fact or fiction is all yours.

You're welcome to join the seminar on July 11th. All the books are available online or at your favourite bookstore. Please have a look, then try, buy, read, review and share with a friend.

Thank you!

Entrepreneurs learn best by sharing stories - Fact or Fiction?

A boring business textbook or a crime thriller with the entrepreneur as hero?

As an experienced entrepreneur and business advisor, I often tell stories as an effective means of communicating with other entrepreneurs. Storytelling helps to establish rapport based on shared experience and a good story makes the message more memorable. Sharing stories always makes for a better exchange of ideas, information and inspiration.

I have shared stories with business associates, clients and colleagues for many years and recently published two business books for entrepreneurs that included many real-life stories. I am now writing a series of crime fiction novels with an entrepreneur as hero and the stories have been made more interesting and entertaining for a wider audience. All of the books communicate messages for and about entrepreneurs through storytelling.

So what are the differences between Fact – true-life stories and Fiction – creative writing to add more drama, mystery and suspense?

What is the effect on the message delivered and the lessons learned? What are the perspectives of the entrepreneur and of the storyteller? What works best for different audiences?

The curriculum for entrepreneurs to learn about all stages of their business would include these subjects:

  • Initial choices – the concept, market positioning, strategy
  • The start-up Business Plan
  • Financing
  • Strategic Leadership & Operations Management
  • Marketing & Sales Management
  • Managing growth, performance & profitability
  • Succession plans & Exit strategy

Lessons shared on all of those subjects can be enhanced by storytelling. Let’s assess the difference between real-life stories and creative fiction for two important issues:

  1. Bank financing
  2. Business valuation

Some extracts from my two business books and the three novels will allow us to compare the stories and the impact for those two issues.

Fact: Real life stories:

  1. Financing:
  • “Don’t take that to the bank.”  Too much information that dampens the enthusiasm.
  • “The answer is still NO!” Even the best business plan may not get the financing you need, because it does not meet the needs of the lender or investor.
  1. Valuation:
  • “Your business is worth how much?” The calculated value was three million, he sold it for six million to a strategic buyer.
  • “What you want is not what you’ll get.” Don’t include your sweat equity and pride in the price, the buyer doesn’t care.

Fiction: Crime novels:

As told in NO EASY MONEY, SIMPLY THE BEST, MERGER MANIAC Stories of a successful young entrepreneur in the computer business of the 1980s threatened by the Mafia and corruption and working to save his business and his family from disaster.

  1. Financing:
  • “It’s suicide to take on that much debt,” says the banker. “There’s no way we can help finance your growth.”
  • “We’ll give you two million, just don’t be late paying us back,” says the Mafia boss.
  1. Valuation:
  • “At three million, you’re dreaming in technicolour. Wake up!” says the big corporation. “I’ll wait until you’re in trouble and buy at a better price then.”
  • “You’re worth five million to us,” says the gangster, “but you gotta hire my boy, Lenny”.

Message received and lessons learned?

What are the differences for the entrepreneur?

Real-life stories:

  • More facts!
  • More details
  • More useful to understand and apply the strategies, tactics & techniques

Crime Fiction:

  • More fun to read!
  • More creative ideas and inspiration
  • Easier to remember and apply the guiding principles

What are the differences for the storyteller?

Real-life stories:

  • Need to be an experienced entrepreneur to tell real-life stories
  • Need to be an expert in management and entrepreneurship
  • Need to be good at communicating by storytelling

Crime Fiction:

  • More fun to write!
  • Introduces a new and wider audience
  • Requires more creativity to be interesting and entertaining
  • Able to be more subtle in the cheerleading for entrepreneurs and the promotion of Enlightened Entrepreneurship

I think we still agree, Entrepreneurs learn best by sharing stories. But the choice of fact or fiction is all yours.

All the books are available online or at your favourite bookstore. You may prefer the business textbooks, but try sharing the novels with your friends, family and critics to get a little more sympathy and understanding for entrepreneurs.

Be better. Do better.

Your Uncle Ralph, 

Del Chatterson

This subject will be be presented Live!

SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION – STAPLES/BUREAU EN GROS

Kirkland, Quebec – July 11th, 6:00PM   

 

Enlightened Entrepreneurship

A wider perspective

9781496932259_COVER.indd“I’m only in it for the money.” Really?

Hardly anyone admits to it; most of us are accused of it.

Most of us already know that being motivated by personal gain and short term profit are losing propositions. We must have a higher purpose and satisfy a wider spectrum of interested stakeholders to achieve sustainable long-term success.

We have to continuously satisfy the needs and meet the expectations of employees and customers, suppliers and strategic partners, governments and regulators, our communities and the society around us.

Yes, it can be called recognizing our social responsibilities and yes, it can still be justified by the old free enterprise principle of being in our own self-interest, to make more money.

You do not have to be a dedicated, altruistic social entrepreneur to accept that every business is a social enterprise. Every business has to deliver products or services and employment with net benefits to society and a minimum of social and environmental impacts.

An enlightened entrepreneur is aware of those requirements and manages accordingly.

Be better. Do better.

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

Join our mailing listfor regular e-mails with ideas, information and inspiration for entrepreneurs.

Check out Uncle Ralph’s books:"Don't Do It the Hard Way" and "The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans" Both are available online or at your favourite bookstore in hard cover, paperback or e-book.

Under Promise & Over Deliver

But don’t Under Sell

Fast deliveryIt’s a popular mantra: Under Promise & Over Deliver

And it’s good advice to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction. Promise delivery in the next 3-5 days, then deliver tomorrow. Wow!

Customers love it. Except those customers who did not order it, because they needed it in two days.

Cautious promises may be good for customer service but not good for sales to get the order in the first place.

Maybe the mantra should be: Promise to be better than the competition, then deliver what you promise.

Be better. Do better.

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

 

 

Participative management

You cannot fake it

meetingIs your business run democratically? Probably not. Employees do not get to vote, managers are supposed to be responsible and make consistently good decisions. Let’s not confuse them with too many contrary, ill-informed opinions. We have seen too many unhappy conclusions from democratic decision-making lately.

It is easier to accept your role as lonely leader and try to be the gentle and wise, all-knowing autocratic decision-maker. “I am the owner, so I get to decide.” That’s true, but you will make better decisions with relevant input from the troops.

It’s called participative management. It means soliciting input before decisions are made and plans are set. It means seeking feedback on current operations and on the results from new initiatives. It cannot be a token effort with input that is subsequently ignored. It needs to be sincere and must include setting realistic expectations and responding promptly to suggestions, questions and complaints.

You will find that early participation in new initiatives will help develop better implementation plans and gain the support and commitment of the people required to deliver results.

Be better. Do better.

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson 

Visit LearningEntrepreneurship.com or contact DirectTech Solutions at www.DirectTech.ca for assistance on your strategic business issues, growth and profit improvement plans or your exit strategies.

Join our mailing list at LearningEntrepreneurship.com for ideas, information and inspiration for entrepreneurs.

Read more articles at:Learning Entrepreneurship Blogs. 

Click Here to check out Uncle Ralph’s books, "Don't Do It the Hard Way" and "The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans" Both are available online or at your favourite bookstore in hard cover, paperback or e-book.