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The Art of Starting a Business, Ministry or Whatever.

 A wonderful online talk by Guy Kawasaki about how to be an entrepreneur. Guy Kawasaki is very well known in Macintosh Computer circles as the Mac Evangelist. He began working for Apple Computer when they were first developing the Macintosh computer and his job was to "evangelize" programmers to write software. Since then he has gone on to start a "venture capital" firm which invests in technology companies.

This talk is apparently based on his book, The Art of The Start. He covers 10 points to starting your venture. I think these points apply to any kind of venture, a for profit business, a non-profit business or even a ministry. Here are the 10 points with brief comments in parenthesis by yours truly:

 

1. Make Meaning (If you're going to be successful at it, it has to be something that's important to you.)

2. Make Mantra
( Guy is a Christian and he's using "mantra" here in place of the phrase, "mission statement" for some very good reasons he explains.)

3. Get Going (The most important point here is the need for a few soul mates on your quest to create meaning. These are people who are as excited about the venture as you are. I'd call these guys "owners." I.e. they own the mission, they're not just doing it for a paycheck or to help you, or out of a sense of obligation, they're doing it because it is important to them.  The other day Becky was out in the tent setting up for SuperChurch just getting a few things ready and I told her thank you. She asked me what I was thanking her for. I said, "For always being here and helping and teaching the kids." Becky said, "You don't have to thank me, I'm an owner. This is my thing." Now that's a soul mate.)

4. Define a Business Model

5. Weave a Mat  Milestones, Assumptions, Tasks (This was the best point of the talk. He explains the steps you must take at the begining. Set some goals, make some assumptions and then test your assumptions in the marketplace and make necessary adjustments. Most of us just kind of wishful think this stage. Not really setting forth any means of testing if we're succeeding in our enterprise. He also sets forth the principle which in the Marquez family is known as going to the post office.)

6. Niche Thyself (The area of the market you should be aiming for. You can't be all things to all people. Decide what you're about.)

7. Follow The 10/20/30 Rule (How to make your sales pitch successful. Not just pitching for money but anything. Includes his rules for PowerPoint presentations.)

8. Hire Infected People (Included here is the "shopping center test" for hiring employees.)

9. Lower The Barriers To Adoption

10. Seed The Clouds

and finally…

11. Be a Mensch ( Very interesting conclusion especially from a ministry standpoint.)

The original program I linked here is no longer available so this version of the talk may not cover all of the above points. 

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