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“A Great Time for Entrepreneurs” says Collins

Inc. magazine asked Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Built to Last, what we might expect in the next 30 years. His answer: uncertainty, chaos, turbulence, and risk. In other words, it’s not a bad time to be an entrepreneur.

Below are some excerpts that will give you some idea of what the times ahead may be like and the mindset that will be required to prosper.


If you haven’t noticed, companies who are surviving, or better yet prospering during these turbulent times are companies who are lighter on their feet. They can change gears, move quickly and adapt. It’s not about being able to predict, it’s about being prepared when the unpredictable happens.

“It is only in times like these that you get a chance to show your strength. In the end, I think we need to have absolute faith in our ability to deal with whatever is thrown at us. And we need to have a complete, realistic paranoia that a lot can be thrown at us. It’s our ability to put those two contradictory ideas together: We need to be prepared for what we can’t predict and, at the same time, have this total, unwavering faith that we will find a way to deal with all of it. And I believe we will. I don’t believe the world will treat us well, but we will figure out how to do very well.” – Jim Collins.

As a business owner…

  • Did you plan for the possibility of an economic crisis?
  • Did you prepare your customers, clients and staff for this?
  • Did you have a plan to communicate quickly and effectively with your clients and prospects?
  • Are you and your team set to communicate new strategies and tactics with ease?
  • Are your systems and processes flexible and efficient?
  • Are you gearing up and/or prepared to move into new markets, integrate new technology, leverage new opportunities swiftly?
  • Do you have retained cash flow to sustain your team and maintain momentum in your business even in an economic downturn?


“You need a laserlike focus on doing first things first. And that means having a ferocious understanding of what you are not going to do.”

- Jim Collins

Special 30th Anniversary issue; Jim Collins on How to Thrive in 2009

Special 30th Anniversary issue; Jim Collins on How to Thrive in 2009

Most of us have heard the wisdom, “do not put all of your eggs in one basket”. But let’s be honest, just how many baskets can you manage and just how many eggs can you juggle? If your goal is to be successful, wouldn’t you need to put all of your eggs in one basket. We’re not trying to balance an investment portfolio here. I highly recommend finding a professional consultant or coach to guide you to what works best given your strengths (that which you are most passionate about, good at and is most profitable) and your ideal audience (clients who are fun to work with, have similar values, are profitable and easy to access). Now there is a basket worth putting your eggs in!


Have you ever thought of just how powerful your passion, vision and values are to growing your business and creating a culture around the relationships you have with your clients?

As you read the Jim Collin’s view on the evolution of entrepreneurship it will become clear that your values, passion and vision are all that truly differentiate you from your competitors. It’s why people work with you, they like what you stand for. And often times, it’s because they stand for exactly the same thing.

People do business with you because they relate to what you do, why you do it and what that means to them. Growing your business is about helping your clients understand what your business and you are all about — it is not simply marketing and selling what you do.

Jim Collins defines the evolution of entrepreneurship as follows:

I. Easier access to capital mechanisms including venture funds, angel networks, private equity and search funds

II. The idea that entrepreneurship is a learnable process

III. The entrepreneur itself has turned from a bad word into a good word

IV. A big shift away from seeing the essence of entrepreneurship as the creation of a better mousetrap to viewing it as the development of a better process

V. We’ve gone from the traditional THREE stages of entrepreneurship to the FOUR stages of entrepreneurship.

  • In Stage One entrepreneurship, you have a great idea. That’s fairly primitive, but it’s what people thought about entrepreneurship in 1979.
  • Next, we went into Stage Two, in which you build a successful business.
  • Then, in the 1990s, we got to the next stage: building a great company. That is different, because a great company will have, over time, many successful businesses. I think that may be why Built to Last spoke to entrepreneurs. It was about the company as the ultimate creation.
  • And now, I’m thinking we might be on the cusp of a Stage Four. I’m putting a big question mark next to it, but I think we might be in a stage of going from a great company to a great movement. A movement. Something bigger than the company.



Challenge yourself to build your company based on your passion, your values and your vision. Put that out there for your clients and see just how powerful you and your business become. Start building a movement in your community, marketplace and industry.

Click HERE to read “Jim Collins: How to Thrive in 2009″

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