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Welcome to the WISE newsletter, a program of
The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The early bird gets the worm

Likely many people in the U.S. have heard the saying "the early bird gets the worm." It conveys that the person who shows initiative will succeed. What is initiative? We might say that we know it when we see it:
  • Initiative is when a person is willing to get up early and drive several hours in order to attend a training session, one that might not have immediate benefit, but that will have a long-term benefit to his or her business.
  • Initiative is following-up with new contacts with a "hi" or "thank you" in order to begin to build a lasting connection.
  • Initiative is starting a new business "on the side" while going to school or working full-time.
  • Initiative is working long hours in order to ensure that your business is on solid footing.
  • Initiative is saying "yes I can" and then doing it.
  • Initiative is going to a training session, then using what you learned. (Surprisingly, most people do not use things that they have heard at a lecture, presentation or workshop.)
Every successful business needs managers and employees who have initiative.

Do you have initiative? What have you done in the last week to show it?

"An idea is worthless unless you use it." -- John Maxwell

"Don't wait for your ship to come in; swim out to it." -- Unknown

"Success comes to the person who does today what you were thinking about doing tomorrow." -- Unknown

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Free AntiVirus, Spyware, Firewall Software

Bella Online has gathered together a list of software for keeping your computer free from viruses and spyware, as well as firewall software, that you can use for FREE. As Kim Lynch of Bella Online says:
If you don't have anti-virus and anti-spyware software along with a firewall installed on your computer then your playing Russian Roulette with your system and sooner or later your going to lose.
You might think that you are immune, however, it is very likely that if you are not using a firewall, along with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, that you are infected but just don't know it. The best thing to do is to try out some of the free software, find what works for you, and then consider purchasing the software so you get online updates and support.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

In her own words: Gail McMeekin

In coaching, I often tell my clients to "design me," which means having them tell me specifically what they do and don't need from our relationship. -- Gail McMeekin
Imagine not only doing that with those who are coaching or mentoring you, but also with business partners and other colleagues. Imagine sitting down to meet with those who are supportive of your efforts and starting the meeting by say, "This is what I need from you today...." Maybe it is someone who will just listen, maybe it is advice, maybe it is the opportunity to brainstorm without criticism. Now imagine the benefits you would receive...!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Article: Charting their own course: Indian women in business

Women entrepreneurs often run into problems (limitations) that their male counterparts do not. This article talks women entrepreneurs in India and gives information on how women are using microcredit loans. The article state:
...while men experiment with enterprises as varied as agricultural implements and steel furniture women are more content with incense sticks and carpentry. This gender bias is also accentuated by bank-run special loan schemes. The Punjab National Bank for example has schemes for financing women for tailoring, boutique, cyber cafes and PCOs.

Where loans are put to newer uses, the reasons are often not only of the woman's making. For instance, Meera Gupta, a Kannauj based rice mill owner who took a Rs.10 lakhs (1,000,000) loan from UPKGIB, attributes her choice of enterprise to her family background. "My father had been in the business so it was a natural choice", says Gupta, who employs 13 people in her business with annual sales of Rs.47 lakhs. (4,700,000)

Other factors matter too. Marriage and consequent migration, an inability to raise even the minimum equity fund for a loan, lack of confidence, gender stereotypes, unsupportive husbands all conspire to keep women away from loans. Even where these are taken they may be under pressure from the family and even be put to unproductive uses.

In the article, the word "crore" means 10 million (10,000,000).

Technorati tag:

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Article: Women tap the power of the blog

"A survey by Perseus, a marketing research services company, indicates that 56 percent of all blogs are created by women and that women abandon fewer blogs than men do." What to hear what women find as benefits of blogging? Read/skim this article. Lisa Williams, a blogger and former analyst for Yankee Group, said, "Blogging has made me an entrepreneur. It's taught me entrepreneurial skills, how to make connections, how to tolerate uncertainty. It's empowering. Everyone should do it."

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Women-21.gov is a web site sponsored by the U.S. government to provide information and assistance to women entrepreneurs. The web site includes articles, tips and tools on the following topics:
  • Access To Capital
  • Affordable Healthcare
  • Doing Business Internationally
  • Employee Healthcare
  • Employer Law Guide
  • Government Procurement
  • How to Market Yourself Better
  • Public Policy
  • Retirement Security
  • Tax Tips
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • ...and more
To view information on these topics go to Women-21.gov.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Windows Vista

By now you have heard that Windows Vista -- the new Microsoft operating system -- is coming. (The Vista is coming! The Vista is coming!) The system requirements for Vista have been announced and -- thankfully -- Microsoft has also created the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor which will tell you if your system is Vista-ready. The Upgrade Advisor is a piece of software that downloads quickly and works just as fast. People are saying that you should not just meet the minimum requirements for Vista, but beat them. Keep that in mind if you are going to be purchasing a new system soon.

BTW Microsoft has discontinued support of several operating systems: Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me. In addition, computers running Windows XP need to install SP 2 (service pack 2) in order to be "in line" with what Microsoft is doing.

Thanks to Michael Sauers for the pointer to the Upgrade Advisor.

Event: Federal Dollar$ and Sense Workshop

You're Invited to the
Federal Dollar$ and Sense Workshop
The Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce
572 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
7:30 a.m. -– 12:00 noon

Featuring experts in...
  • Marketing on the Internet
  • Marketing to the government and prime contractors
  • SBA procurement programs
  • Surety and fidelity bonding
There will also be opportunities for networking with federal government agencies and prime contractors

For more information and the registration form, go here.

This event is free and open to all that are interested.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Self-employed older workers

The Economic Development Futures Journal has a summary of a Rand study on older self-employed workers. Don Iannone of the Economic Development Futures Journal writes:
...older self-employed workers are financially better off than workers in the wage and salary class as measured by household income and wealth, but are less likely to have a pension and health insurance on their current job. Those who become self-employed after age 50—about one third of older self-employed workers—also have lower levels of income and wealth and lower rates of pension and health coverage compared with those who became self-employed earlier in their career and self-employed. Women, whose share of self-employment among older workers has been growing over time, also exhibit lower income, asset, and employee benefit levels than their male counterparts who are self-employed.
Reading this, then obviously the question is how can we help women become self-employed but with the income and benefits that they deserve? What structures and services can we put in place to ensure that women entrepreneurs succeed?

Monday, July 03, 2006

How to read a business book

Is there a method to reading business books? According to the web site Innovation Tools, the answer is "yes." They have summarized advice from Andrew Hargadon and both web pages are worth reading.

Once of the pieces of advice that Hargadon gives is to read skeptically.
Most business books are made of three roughly equal parts. The first part is just plain obvious. It's the head-nodding claims about how critical leadership is, what changing times we live in, or how we need to be happy in our work. This stuff makes sure the reader is reading the right book -- a little like when the flight attendant tells you where this fight is heading. The second major part includes the ideas that are common to most every business book on the subject: leaders are visionary, innovation is about breaking the rules, etc.... This is valuable knowledge the first time you hear it, and also why the second book you read is less enlightening. The last third of the book is what'’s the unique contribution of the author. When you've got a good sense of the first two thirds, you can begin skimming books looking for this last, elusive bit of value. But beware! The rule of thirds applies here too: 1/3 of this unique contribution will be brilliant, 1/3 will be obvious, and 1/3 will be complete malarkey. You'll have to figure out which is which.