Tag Archives: Silicon Valley

Driving Your Business!

23 Apr

Drive thy business or it will drive thee. ~Benjamin Franklin

To think, that a man who lived and died over 200 years ago could be quoted on practical matters in 2013 — and that his words are as true today as they were when he first spoke them.

We think of Benjamin Franklin as one of our country’s founding fathers, remembering him as a great statesman of a fledgling country. But Ben Franklin was much more than that. He was also a writer, printer, publisher, newspaper owner, the first political cartoonist, scientist, inventor, environmentalist, civic leader and businessman. As a serial entrepreneur it seemed that everything he did he succeeded at.

Born a common man, Benjamin Franklin epitomizes what our country has become – a nation of opportunities for all its citizens. Where, with an idea and the willingness to work hard any individual could go from rags to riches in just a matter of years. And not only did he find success in his own businesses, but helped others to succeed by franchising his printing operations to others to open print shops in other cities. Mr. Franklin would be very comfortable living and working today in Silicon Valley.

With all his various quotations you may wonder why I chose this one to write about today. I chose it because in my many years in business and in assisting other business owners, I saw how people who started their business with the best of intentions, soon became slaves to these very enterprises. Devoting their lives to their work and  missing out on the very things that bring true meaning to life; a loving relationship, children, God, community and hopefully upon death to be called a “Mensch,” a good person.

Probably no one that you meet today will have as much business experience as Benjamin Franklin. So take his advice to heart. Drive your business. Work hard. But don’t forget that work is only a small part of life.

With Love,

Michael

Where Do I Begin?

14 Dec

Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.  ~Richard L. Evans

Everyone needs a hero or two. Especially if you’re starting a new venture. If you’re up here in Silicon Valley there are plenty of heroes you can look up to: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Gordon Moore, Guy Kawasaki and many others.

But, the problem with emulating a wealthy or successful person is that we recognize them at the height of their career. They have arrived. Some are even lauded for their “overnight success.” But the true lesson of how they succeeded goes back to when they had nothing but an idea and a dream.

First, very few successful people can be classified as an overnight success. What lead up to that success was usually years of hard work, first learning a craft and then practicing that craft over and over until they were the best of the best at it. For Bill Gates it was learning to program computers starting in high school. For Steve Jobs it was his tinkering with early computers and his belief that he and Steve Wozniak could build a better one.

Every successful person started from a place just like the place you are right now. I know that place. It’s scary. Having started a number of successful (and unsuccessful companies), I know the fear and doubt that come from stepping forward with only an idea and a belief in yourself that you will succeed. This is the place where everyone starts.

Starting a new career, company or even a new relationship, all come with risk. Remember risk is nothing more than giving up the known for the unknown. But along with the fear you are going to experience, will come doubt. Doubt that you may not be capable or talented enough, or in the case of a new relationship, lovable enough. Believe me – you are enough.

Inherent in you are all the things you need to create your dreams. Know that the path may not always be easy, but the people and the resources you will need for success are already on your course. They’re waiting for you. All you need to do is overpower your fears and take your first faltering steps.

To new beginnings,

Michael