Young Entrepreneur Council

You might have noticed some tweets and FB posts (if you follow me) mentioning my contributions and insights for some articles through a very cool community called the "Young Entrepreneur Council."

The Young Entrepreneur Council consists of several hundred of the brightest and most ambitious innovators and entrepreneurs across the planet. It goes without saying that I am humbled to have the chance to be amongst most of them.

In the coming weeks, I will be launching my own content column through YEC. It's called "Making 'Lenz' Meet" and it will be about bootstrapping a startup. Expect to see some detailed blog posts and intimate videos with useful information regarding the topic. I'll try to route them through my own properties as often as possible as well.

If you are a successful young entrepreneur, feel free to apply to the YEC by clicking here and filling out the application.

Guest Post: Crazy Entrepreneurs! Tips to Organize your Workflow

Today's guest post is from Jennifer Williams. Jennifer is admittedly new to the online space, but has enough of a writing and business background to make the cut as a special guest on Her knack for writing and ability to explain things will undoubtedly take her far as an up and coming blogger. If I have my way, you guys will be reading a lot more from her on this blog in the near future.

For now, enjoy her post that has been created to help you better organize your busy life as an entrepreneur.

As anyone who has worked as an entrepreneur can tell you, people with right-brain tendencies tend to have a real problem getting organized (note the undertone of working with many creatives and entrepreneurs who are almost so closely linked it’s scary). Highly creative individuals as entrepreneurs provide excellent results, but staying on task and avoiding chaos don't tend to be on their list of virtues.

If you're one of those crazy entrepreneurs hoping to make your way in the world, you may have encountered similar problems with your own work habits. Here are three simple tips to help get your work-flow organized.

Workflow Law Number One: Have a Blueprint

Your work in whatever field you work most in may vary greatly in its specifications, and that might even be part of the draw of the profession for you. That doesn't mean, however, that you can just let things happen in free-form. Have a step-by-step procedure that provides you with a framework covering all your bases. Here are some things your workflow blueprint should contain:

  • Your original sales or acquisition process.
  • What is needed for your contract.
  • Your normal deadlines and time lines.
  • Your work schedule (how time will be divided, etc.)

If it seems that a particular project should diverge from your blueprint, by all means — diverge. But at least you'll have a solid center to deviate from.

Workflow Law Number Two: "Methodical" Isn't a Naughty Word

Modern email systems and file storage allow you to label, organize, and access information more readily than ever before. Your email should be clearly divided into useful labels, and filters can even be utilized to remove some of the labor from your task. Cloud storage can be used to store work files, copies of contracts, and can save you lots of time in transferring files (you have no idea how many people swear allegiance to Dropbox these days).

A web-based CMS is a great and legally accepted way to store notes on your clients. Perhaps most importantly, you should never throw anything away.

Workflow Law Number Three: Keep a Schedule

The hardest part of being en entrepreneur is managing your own time. You'll catch many of these creative strategists playing when they should be working, working when they should be sleeping, and so forth.

One of the best solutions is to create a schedule that works well for you and that you can stick to. This can help overcome anxiety barriers, ensure consistent work, and keep your workflow moving.

As a part of this schedule, you will want to build in structured time to:

  • Evaluate and prioritize your tasks.
  • Set goals and long-term objectives.
  • Work on different projects in clearly delineated segments of time.
  • Work on acquisitions, building a portfolio, and otherwise strengthening your foundation.

You may also want to consider building in breaks and time for a meal. However, taking breaks for a "play-it-by-ear" recharge can also be a good option.

Creativity and leadership, all the fixings of an entrepreneur, is an in-demand trait in the modern world. Far more rare and desirable, however, is the one crazy entrepreneur who manages their time and projects effectively. By joining the ranks of this elite group, you open countless doors.

Jennifer Williams is a writer, turned traveler, turned blogger, who is slowly slinking her way into the social media and blogging landscape. You can follow her (extremely) new Twitter account: @JKWilliams82.

Guest Post: Selecting an Office Space

It's Monday. And that means that we have a great guest post from Debarup Mukherjee.

This topic hits close to home because myself and Endagon went through a hellish period of time searching for the right office space and tolerating a beautiful space that wasn't right for our company at the time. However, we learned from our mistakes and hopefully Debarup's article will teach you a thing or two if you are ever in the market for a space for your business.

The concept of office design has changed substantially over the years with the increasing use of high end communication devices and gadgets. You will hardly find an office space that does not make use of computers, laptops, flat screen monitors, phones, faxes and copiers and conferencing facilities.

When it comes to an online business, people usually prefer to start it from their own premises. It is only when the business has gathered momentum that they might consider renting an office space, especially when they have an ever increasing number of employees on board.

Office space comes at a substantial price, more so if these are in close proximity to the prime locations in the city. It is necessary to have an office or a brick and mortar store for your business. A proper office is required where the entrepreneur can interact with clients, conduct meetings and maintain business operations.

There are certain facts that might go unnoticed when you are operating a business. As an entrepreneur you would definitely not want your office to be cluttered and stacked with files scattered all over the place, nonfunctional equipments and missing documents. You need to evaluate the kind of equipments that you are going to need for your business.

Modern businesses are characterized by the increasing use of equipments. Some of the basic equipments that are absolutely necessary include copiers, printers and shredding machines. It is important to assess the kind of space that you would need to set up your office. If you do not have an office of your own, you can rent a space at a business center for business operations.

If you are a resident of Dublin and looking for office space in Dublin, then you need to look for a space that offers all the necessary facilities and has the necessary infrastructure.

Another Year Older...

Last week, I turned 26 years old.

To most, I am looked at as still being a very young entrepreneur.

To some of my newer competition, however, I am old and can begin to be labeled as "out of date" or even "out of touch" with the marketplace that I exist in.

Fortunately for me, I still feel very young. I think that as the web and the newly accepted behaviors of marketing continue to get younger and fresher, I will still have a leg up on most, having been present and active at (or even prior) to the inception of social media.

I read everyday. I exercise everyday. I enjoy life everyday.

It's because of these three things that I am still growing everyday in each of the most important facets of my life.

  • My business(es)
  • My health
  • My family

Age is just a number.

Like a Game of Telephone...

No matter how loyal employees might be, they will never see the vision of the company the same way the founder(s) or creator(s) do(es). It's because of this that small business owners need to make sure they are hiring the right people that try extremely hard to find something as close to that vision as possible. In order to achieve this, those business owners need to be around them to exude the passion and intensity they want from those employees.

This is much more of an obstacle for larger companies. With so many tiers of management, the most important visionaries are separated from the individuals completing most of the everyday tasks. Of course, they hire managers and division leaders to filter messages and run the operations, but some of the most important aspects of the work gets lost in translation along the way.

This process can cause a rift between expectation and production, and the only person the managers can blame is the new employee that supposedly "didn't get it."

How is that fair?


Good vs. Evil.

Light vs. Dark.

Horizontal vs. Vertical.

How do you compare and contrast elements?

Principles with similar weight but opposite meanings are very interesting anomalies. The juxtaposition between the two components itself makes the two similar, yet they are so obviously different in meaning.

Is this how you analyze your competition in business? Do you forecast industries within your niche (vertical) or do you compare your operation to companies of similar cultures and age (horizontal)? In a way, all businesses are just as different as they are the same.

After all, aren't all businesses striving for the same goal of profitability?

Where Do You Think?

Good ideas and inspiration don't just come out of the blue. If they do, you have a brain that is one-of-a-kind.

Normal people have to think their way through tough decisions, sticky situations and are even able to take a topic and turn it into a great idea with a few simple thoughts that usually involve "what ifs."

For me, most of my thinking gets done in three primary places.

  • At the gym
  • In the shower
  • In the car

Notice that "the office" nor "the bed" isn't mentioned here. That's because both require complete mental focus. Stray thoughts take away from productivity at work and sleep at night.

Although inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime, you need to find some time throughout the day to let your mind do what it does best. Rather than disrupt your rituals throughout the day, set some specific times aside to expand on ideas that may have come to you while you were doing something that required focus.