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Showing posts from April, 2015

On Venture Capital

Investors are smart people. They are constantly looking for good investment opportunities. The best way to get the attention of investors is to come up with a really good, disruptive idea. Document it well, develop compelling strategies for taking it to market, and build a top quality management team with a blend of entrepreneurial enthusiasm and past success - all managed by a high-quality CEO with a track record of previous success.

Investors are risk-aware, so you need to do everything you can to reduce the risk of your proposition. Prove the concept, develop your product, make a few sales. Create a happy pill for a survey contract for a few happy customers.

The farther you can take the company without capital, while reducing risk and creating value, the better your chances of raising equity capital and the higher your evaluation is likely to be.

Think like a Venture Capitalist, you must get inside their head and understand the frequent stumbles and pitfalls in business plans as we…

On Leadership

Leadership can bring to mind a variety of people: A political leader, pursuing a passionate and personal cause, an explorer cutting a path through a jungle for his group to follow, a CEO developing his company's strategy to beat competition, a coach motivating his team to victory, and even the ultimate, unlimited leader our God above.

Leaders have vision, passion, and determination. They make life exciting, inspiring, and set the direction for success. 
Choosing a good leader is paramount to a successful company or franchise. Typically it's track record or proof of concept that are evaluated in choosing a leader. More importantly though, leaders must understand people, after all they are the chief psychologist.

Communication is important because leaders have to deal with hierarchical systems - lawyers, accountants, managers, sales, marketing and business development. They have to hire and dismiss personnel.

Leaders deal with spinning plates and are able at any given time to so…

On Entrepreneurship

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Entrepreneurship is essential to business today. Successful entrepreneurs exhibit key elements, disruptive ideas, and creativity. This can be tapped into with focus.

Successful entrepreneurs solve a compelling problem; they come up with a way of doing something that does not presently exist. They might solve a problem that has never been solved before. Or they might come up with a better solution than existed before. But “better” can’t mean “just a little bit better.” It has to mean “enough better to compel customers to buy the product.”

The most successful entrepreneurs have a protected idea. They have an idea that cannot easily be copied by their competition. This might mean the idea is covered by patents. Sometimes it means that portions of the process are trade secrets and cannot easily be reinvented or reverse engineered. One way, or another, the company should have a sustainable “unfair competitive advantage.”

Successful entrepreneurs have a product or service that customers will f…

On Social Media

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In my experience using social media, since it's creation, this is a bit of my advice. If you would like more info or to ask a specific question contact Mike Will Downey at mike@5IV0.com

Strategy

Create a strategy with the specifics of your brand in mind. 

These brief questions will help us to study your customer base and gear content targeted not only about your brand, but aspects of their life they care about that relate to what you do. 

With proper planning you will release fresh, personalized content related to your brand and what you want people to associate with your business. 

Mission statement. What are you are looking to accomplish with your blog? MS: To enrich the lives of teens and young adults through inspiration, education, and active style.

What are elements from your brand that lead to specific topics that you want discussed on your Blog/Facebook/Twitter/etc?

What content will stick with that will spark and keep the interest of your current followers and help get more?

Wha…

On Living

Excelling in life is difficult. Just living life can be difficult at times. You really have to own it. Along my journey I've learned many things to help with daily life. Listen up.

Keep an open mind. Consider all possibilities. Look deep inside yourself. Pray to God every day. Make everything you say simple enough for a 5 year old to understand. Will what you say or write inspire someone to take action? Will it move someone?

Balance mind, body, relationships, and your environment. Stand up straight even if you are looking at your phone. Be aware of what is in front of you. Be an active listener. 
You've got to allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Do nothing out of guilt, or for prestige, status, money, or approval alone. Be generous with your words, time, and resources and give credit to others. 
When people try to tell you who are you, don't believe them. Build pockets of stillness in your life. Meditate, go on walks, ride your bike going nowher…

On Screenwriting

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Writing a screenplay is not easy. You will need discipline and you will need to learn the structure, character development and format. Not to worry, that is why I have condensed ten years of experience, hundreds of books and movies, into this article.
I have written seven screenplays now, two television scripts, and two music video scripts. Only one of those films has made it to the big screen. Breaking into screenwriting often times requires persistence and focus and many, many years.
Story logic, character development and structure are paramount when writing a traditional script. Each film follows a six stage plot structure.
Robert McKee's Story tells us that you must be good at the nuts and bolts of a scene. Each scene hinges upon the other scene and everything must continue to move forward. A good story is a detective story - the audience wants to know what is going to happen next? Keep them guessing. You never want to be predictable. Scenes need to turn on at least one value…

On Business Planning

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Business Planning is a process in which you have to really hone in on your business and get to the point. This way investors, customers, employees, and partners can quickly understand your product or service. Below I will share my expert experience in starting, selling, and funding businesses, as well as writing business plans.  
Start with a business plan summary. Make it simple. Don't assume anyone knows anything about your business or industry.

Don’t get bogged down trying to describe products or technologies--if the risk exists, just talk about what the technology is used for. Try to answer the questions in the outline crisply and directly.  In the beginning, there isn't time for long explanations.  People are busy and you want to capture their interest. You can elaborate later.
Don’t exaggerate. Be as factual as possible.  Be prepared to defend any claims you make if possible. Quantify claims whenever possible.  (Don’t say, “we’re going to make the best widget in the indust…

On Intention

Picking the right intentions involves our intuition. It requires an awareness of our inner desires, the stirring of our heart. It is about bringing ourselves into alignment. The alignment is with a desired aspect of life that we are working on. Because it is about aligning ourselves, setting intentions also comes with addressing our resistances. Inner work may be required when we observe that we are out-of-alignment. Throughout the year, based on our ongoing experiences, it may be necessary to make any changes to our intents as appropriate. The process does not generate any sense of perceived “failure” or not living up to our resolutions per se. Setting intents is not a once-a-year activity; rather it is a process that naturally unfolds as we evolve. Because of this, I keep an intention-setting journal by my bedside to keep track of changes arising throughout the year. It is interesting to note how my intents have shifted to today’s. Power Words for Visioning
From studying the the science…

On Struggle

Do you ever feel like you are struggling?

Struggling to fit in, find love, money, help, or material items? Struggling with depression or anger? We all struggle. #1 reason seeing the doctor is anxiety - STRESS!

The solution is simple. Identify the problem within yourself. Take the time to look inside yourself and learn what makes you happy within first. Deeply learn who you really are and why?  

Next look at how your environment is... If your environment is sick..  you have the wrong friends… too many drugs .. too much liquor… it’s not conducive to your well being and growth. You won’t evolve. Instead of trying to fit in…Ask yourself why? What is causing this?

Look at how you got to that struggle. Society conditions you to adapt to an environment that doesn’t promote your spiritual growth or evolution as a human, but we try to adjust to society or people who are not aligned with us. Why would you conform to that if you’re fine? Stop trying to control your outcomes.

If you are struggling,

On Words

The Power of Words

A careless word may kindle strife;
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instill;
A brutal word may smite and kill.
A gracious word may smooth the way;
A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lessen stress;
A loving word may heal and bless.

Q & A

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What's a quick introduction about you?
I graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Communications. I attended University of Denver University for a Masters in Business Administration and completed a one year business mentorship program at Harvard University.
I have over 20 years experience running various businesses ranging from music publishing, event production, real estate management, and sports marketing.  

I’ve been independent since I was 16, funded all of my schooling myself and struggled hard to run my businesses. Along the way, I learned many valuable life lessons that have helped me establish who I am today.
What kind of a childhood did you have?
Growing up in Granville, Ohio on a farm was not easy. I was bullied and outcasted because I grew up on a farm and had no fashion sense or much parental directions. I wore heavy, thick rimmed glasses and wore whatever my parents could afford, which usually meant, mismatched or dorky clothes. Because of m…