SPI BLOG  

All Participants in SPI are invited to contribute to this BLOG.

Please contact Angela Corrieri at (443) 619 - 4968.

 

You….Your Team….and Consultants

 

Surround Yourself With The Best.

People who share your vision and will work with you to reach your goals.

 

YOU are the passionate driver of your business.  

YOU are the Chief Salesperson.  YOU are the Team Leader.

YOU cannot outsource this.

 

Anyone who wants you to pay them is either an Employee or a Consultant.   Lets repeat that:  anyone who wants you to pay them is either an Employee or a Consultant….they had better have a plan to add value to your business...and deliver the value.   And YOU must document what they are to deliver, and how much they will charge — exactly— for delivering it.  Finally— you must ensure that before you pay anyone — they deliver according to the agreed up on Results.

 

You must conserve your cash.  Ask potential employees to take a commission on sales or shares of stock until you get some sales.   For Consultants, ask them to defer and reduce their charges in return for a few shares of stock— no more than 1% of your company if they work for you for 5 hours each month for 3 years. 

 

Tell them “I pay on results”, and only the good ones will stay.

 

The Sounds of Consultants:

If someone comes to you and says something like:  “I really like your business idea and I want to help you.” (sound good so far?)

They continue:  “I can help you by showing you how to fill out X form or Y registration”  or  “I can work on your Business Plan”  or  “I can open doors for you”   or “I can get you meetings”  or  “I will do my Best Effort’………..            or anything that sounds like this.

 

Then they say:  “I charge $mmm per hour”.

Or, they will say:    “for $x,xxx per month, I can cut your time to contract by 50%, with Y agency or Z company”.

 

Your response?   Here it is:

à Forms or Registrations:  I will take the time to learn to do these for myself, and will continue to do this until I get some sales.  I will spend a few hours in the evening or weekend to get these done.

à Business Plan:   only I can work on and complete my Business Plan.

à Open Doors:  I will make the call and get in the door myself.

à Meetings:  ditto.  I will make the call myself.  I have to do the homework anyway on what the potential customer needs and will buy. 

à Cut your time to Contract:  Ask them for 3 clients that you can call to confirm that statement.   Ask to talk to their worst client. Then go to the next steps below.

à Best EffortThere are only Results.   A startup or small business cannot afford a best effort without results.

à Charge Per HourChange this to ‘Charge Per Results’.  And pay only when results are delivered. 

à Charge Per Month:  this is called a monthly retainer.                               STAY AWAY from these arrangements unless your sales are at $10 million per year or more.

 

Tell them “I pay on results”, and only the good ones will stay.

 

Prepare:  The internet is chock full of FREE information for you.

Contracts:  a) make sure you have a Consultant Contract that you can tailor to your needs….for the consultants that work for you, and for you to use when you are consulting;  b) Before any work is done:  be careful to detail all work to be done, by what date/ time, and what the charge will be after results are delivered.

 

If you have any questions, would like to tell your story, or want us to discuss your topic, email me:  acorr@startuppartnersinc.org

 

This Entrepreneur’s Journey by:

 

Angela Corrieri, President, Startup Partners, Inc., and

                 President, Mobile Digital Systems, inc.

John Gaughan, Vice President, Startup Partners, Inc., and

                  Program Manager– Aberdeen, Data Matrix Solutions, Inc.

Dennis Hiebert, Vice President, Startup Partners, Inc.,  and

                 Entrepreneur, and Awarded STEM Mentor

 

 

Please Note:  This is not intended as legal advice, but, rather Operational and Startup Information of past experience.  Your situation may be different than those explained here.

 

 

 

 

Education…Learning…Reinvention

By Angela Corrieri

 

What is education?

Thoughts of a formal education brings to mind sitting in lecture halls, reading books, writing papers, producing projects, and earning a diploma— oh yes, and other fun activities.

 

How about the thought that education is any experience where we learn something? 

Something useful to us so that we may solve problems or build something.

Anytime we gain a skill or add to a skill.

 

How about that a formal education is learning how to learn?

Do we need a formal education?  Do we need a diploma?   Many times we do, especially when we first start out.   There are needs of society that sometimes we must meet in order to place ourselves in better position.  Earning a diploma is a measurement of our achievement, and which meets some of society’s needs.

 

In some cultures, including mine, education is held in high regard.  Everyone in the family is encouraged to obtain as much education as possible.

 

So where does this “learning how to learn” fit in?

It should fit into our lives ….always— throughout our lives.

The reason is that conditions and needs around us constantly change.

To equip ourselves with the skills and capabilities to meet those conditions and needs…

we must constantly learn.

 

New techniques and technologies in teaching—improved ways to present topics so that students can relate, absorb, and produce.

New technology in electronics, communications, software.  Technology changes constantly— faster, smaller, improved and increasing number of functions.

New discoveries in medicine and chemistry improving our health and our lives.

New perspectives in viewing historic events to better understand those around us and ourselves.

 

The more we learn, the better we are able to improve our lives, improve others’ lives, produce improved products, provide improved services, use new and more effective ways to work together collaboratively.

 

Education and Learning allow us Choices for Reinventing ourselves.

If today I am a carpenter, tomorrow I can be a doctor.

If today I am a taxi driver, tomorrow I can be a lawyer.

If today I am an administrative assistant, tomorrow, I can be a scientist.

If today, I work in the field harvesting lettuce, tomorrow I can be an owner of a business.

 

It is our choice.

And, we can Reinvent ourselves more than once.

 

All of the above are honorable professions.

Some require long hours for little pay.  Others give us the opportunity to choose how long we work and how much pay we take home.  It doesn't matter what we do— as long as we enjoy what we do— and as long as it is our choice.

 

We can choose.   And the increasing number of choices we have improves our lives.

 

The following men and women have achieved greatly.  They didn’t have much when they started out.

They Chose to learn and increase their choices.

There are many men and women who have achieved greatly.  Read about them and how they started and kept trying….they didn’t give up.

 

If they can do it—so can you.

 

 

Example 1:   Dr. Alfredo Quinones, Director– Brain Tumor Program, Johns Hopkins-Bayview

Alfredo Quinones was a migrant worker in Fresno, California, pulling weeds in the cotton and tomato fields.  He spoke no English.  One day he told his cousin that he wanted to go to school, learn English and leave the farms.  His cousin looked at him and said, “are you crazy?  This is your future.”

 

Alfredo took English classes at a community college.  He worked hard to learn English, and even tutored other students who were also learning English.  From there, Alfredo’s life turned around.  Alfredo eventually won a scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley.  While there, Alfredo considered several choices of study and decided on Medicine.  He worked tirelessly and excelled in his work there.

 

After Berkeley, Alfredo earned a position at Harvard’s Neurobiology Lab, and distinguished himself for successes in his research by working hard and working smart.

 

Today, Dr. Alfredo Quinones is a Neurosurgeon—the Director of the Brain Tumor Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview.   Dr. Alfredo Quinones lives in Bel Air, MD.

 

 

Example 2:  Ann Winblad, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, Partner in Hummer-Winblad

Ann Winblad was born in Red Wing, Minnesota, one of six children.  Her father was a high school basketball coach, her mother was a nurse.   At the age of 7, Ann earned her first dollar picking strawberries in Minnesota, at 10 cents per pint.  Ann earned all A’s in school, was a cheerleader, was named class valedictorian in high school, wanted to be a biochemist when she grew up. 

 

Ann attended a small college in Minnesota, and was in an experimental program where the students could choose the classes they wanted — without having to take any pre-requisites.  She chose Math and Business courses, and computer programming, which she enjoyed and excelled at.   On graduation, Ann received several job offers, and accepted a computer programmer position from the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. 

 

At the Federal Reserve, Ann had a tough time with the 9-to-5 routine.    There seemed no commitment to building something,  there was no pride in what was being accomplished.   The final straw was a situation where Ann noticed that every day around 10:30am, the main frame computer system they were all working on would slow to a crawl since everyone was working the 9-to-5 schedule.  Ann suggested to her supervisor that a flex-work-schedule would reduce the slowdown.  Her boss was a timid fellow, so she did it in such a way that suggested the idea came from his boss– the department head.  

 

When the changes were put into place, productivity sky rocketed— and the department head took all the credit for it.   Not only that, the department head wasn't going to honor his commitment to pay for the advanced degree coursework Ann was taking since women didn't need advanced degrees.

 

Ann decided that she had to get out of there— and took three of the top programmers with her.

With $500, Ann and the three programmers started a company with the trademarked name, ‘Open Systems’, and developed the first PC  general accounting system.  It was 1975, and there were no dot-com millionaires to emulate, no high-tech venture capital to seek out.   They sold this Accounting system nationwide.

Six years later, they sold the company for $15.5 million in cash.

 

Ann could have retired, but “I loved building systems…besides, I was too young”.   Ann began doing consulting work for Microsoft, IBM, and Price Waterhouse.  The whole technology world was growing exponentially.   John Hummer approached Ann about starting a venture capital firm for high-tech startups.  They raised $35 million in 18 months, and began investing in software startups.   In 1989, there were no other venture capital firms that focused on high-tech startups.    Hummer-Winblad has made a significant return for its funds by making the right choices of high-tech companies to invest in.  

 

Today, Ann Windblad is one of 20 Most Influential people in Silicon Valley.

 

 

 

Example 3:    Dr. Andrew Grove, Co-Founder and former Chairman, Intel Corporation

Andrew S. Grove escaped from Hungary to the United States in 1956 at age 20. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1960 with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree, and received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963.

After 5 years as a researcher at Fairchild Semiconductor, Dr. Grove participated in the founding of Intel Corporation in 1968, where he became, in succession, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Executive Officer and, finally, Chairman. He stepped down as Chairman in 2005, and remains a Senior Advisor.

 

There are many contributions Andy Grove has made, some are not well known.  One of them is that when Dr. Grove heard that the renowned Physicist, Stephen Hawking could no longer speak.  Andy turned to his staff at the Intel Research Laboratory, and asked them to develop a voice synthesizer for Dr. Hawking.   It was successful, and Dr. Hawking has been able to communicate through that device since 1985.

 

Dr. Grove has written three books.  Read them to learn about how Andy Grove did it:

“High Output Management”, August, 1995

“Only the Paranoid Survive”, April, 1998

“Swimming Across: A Memoir”, November, 2001

 

 

 

Example 4:   Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America

Secretary of State and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was born in Park Ridge, Illinois.  Her father was an entrepreneur, owned his own small business, and with hard work and persistence became successful.  Secretary Clinton’s mother helped with the family business and raised three children, instilling in all three,  the importance of independence, pursuing their goals, speaking their minds, and to keep an emotional equilibrium.  

 

Secretary Clinton worked very hard at school studies, and was active in student government and school newspaper.  At Wellesley College, Secretary Clinton was out of place — a Midwest entrepreneur’s daughter in an Ivy League school.  No matter, she excelled in her studies, was elected President of the Student Body, and became the only student to deliver the commencement address.  In 1969, Secretary Clinton became one of only 27 women at Yale Law School among 235 law students.   Secretary Clinton gained valuable perspectives on how the law could be used to help people, especially children, and has carried these perspectives in all of her work.   At Yale, Secretary Clinton met Bill Clinton.  After graduating Yale and working in Washington, DC for a year, Secretary Clinton said yes to Bill Clinton’s proposal to marry, and moved to Arkansas.

 

In Arkansas, Secretary Clinton worked as an attorney at a law firm becoming the first female partner, devoted her time to advocacy including co-founding the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and as First Lady of Arkansas when Bill Clinton served as Governor, she led or participated in many initiatives to improve conditions in Arkansas, including leading a task force to reform Arkansas’ education system.

 

In 1992, Secretary Clinton became First Lady of the United States, and immediately became involved in improving many programs including health care, children’s health insurance programs, adoption and safe families, and foster care programs.  After serving two terms the President, First Lady and daughter moved to New York.

 

In New York, Secretary Clinton was the first woman elected U.S. Senator in a statewide election in 2000, and re-elected in 2006.  Senator Clinton continued her hard work and used her perspectives in making decisions on  engrossing issues including the Iraq War. 

 

In 2008, the new President Barack Obama, appointed Hillary Rodham Clinton to be Secretary of State.  As Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton has brought all of her learning, experience, and perspectives to advise and guide not only our President, but also many leaders of other countries.  Secretary Clinton has put into place institutional changes seeking to maximize departmental effectiveness at the State Department, and also promote empowerment of women worldwide.     

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton, born in Illinois, the granddaughter of immigrants, was refused when she applied to NASA to be an astronaut because women were not accepted in the program, is one of the most powerful women in the world, and a tremendous role model for women everywhere.

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