7 crucial startup lessons no one teaches you in business school

Every early stage startup faces challenges and very few become successful without experiencing some setbacks. To be a startup founder you need to be resourceful, relentless, and resilient to overcome all the obstacles you face. And while attending business school may help to prepare you, "the real learning happens when your business is tested in difficult situations," says startup founder and CEO Zeynep Ilgaz. From hiring and firing friends and managing multicultural teams to handling lawsuits a...
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Why founders and CEOs need to delegate

Are you tempted to do everything yourself? If so, you're not alone. It's a common dilemma for startup founders and CEOs. It's easy to see why entrepreneurs would want to maintain total control of their products, their marketing, their sales, their finances, and their delivery systems, but it isn't realistic. The art of letting go and delegating can be a hard task to learn, yet it is vital to the success of your startup. Why delegate One of the most important and perhaps obvious reasons you shoul...
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10 steps to structuring your funding pitch

When pitching your business to potential investors, too much exuberance can be a bad thing. While passion and enthusiasm are important, investors are looking for evidence of how competent and trustworthy you are. Thorough research and preparation is key to presenting a compelling pitch that shows you understand the market and have realistic expectations for growth. Here, Scarlett Cook shares a guide to structuring your pitch with some top tips for avoiding the common mistakes that signal ov...
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4 things I've learned from running a startup for 10 years

No one succeeds alone. There's a proverb that says "it takes a village to raise a child" and founding a company is a lot like raising a child. It requires the input of an entire community to gain experience, learn and grow. And while there's no "one-size-fits-all" guide to success, there are some universal truths that can help you steer your new venture in the right direction. Here, artificial emotional intelligence pioneer Rana el Kaliouby shares what she's learned about four key...
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Building the right network for your business

Building a network is one of the most important things you can do to help your business thrive—and building the right network is crucial. Although networking events provide opportunities to meet people who can support you and your business in some way, it takes time and patience to cultivate authentic relationships. Here, founder and CEO Isa Watson shares her top tips for successful networking, including how segmenting your relationships and knowing how to prioritize them will help you buil...
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The 2-day goal setting process that will make 2019 your best year yet

While many business leaders prefer to set aside time towards the end of the year to plan for the next, it's not too late to put together your annual plan for 2019. What's important isn't when you do your planning; it's how you do it that matters, says business coach Bruce Eckfeldt. It's important to remember that annual strategic planning is a decision making process that's less about setting numerical targets and more about "making tough but important choices," says Eckfeldt. Her...
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Why founders need to learn these three things to scale their business

Being a founder often means having to perform almost every role in the business while you have limited resources for hiring. As the company starts to grow however, you'll have neither the time nor the expertise to cover every functional area of the business. And trying to do everything yourself is going to hinder your performance, limit your creativity and distract you from the strategic decision making that will determine the company's future. By cultivating a strong team of leaders to run...
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Advice for first time founders

First-time startup founders face a steep learning curve and they often learn the most important lessons "through brutal experience." While every startup is different and what works for one company may not work for yours, being aware of the pitfalls can save you time and money, and guide you towards making better business decisions. To help you avoid making the same mistakes other startups made in their early days, this blog post shares the answers founders gave Zach Dixon when he posed the ...
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Letter to a would-be entrepreneur

The romanticized vision many people have of a successful entrepreneur is rather like seeing an Olympic athlete's medal winning performance without taking into account the gruelling training schedules and years of dedication they've put into achieving their success. While being an entrepreneur can be fun, exciting and rewarding, building a successful business can also be challenging and stressful—and not everyone is cut out for it. In this open letter to an aspiring entrepreneur, Maynar...
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11 painful moments CEOs and founders thought their business was sunk — and how they turned it around

Knowing when accepting failure is the better option and when to keep fighting is a dilemma most entrepreneurs face at least once. Making the decision to close the doors on a business you're passionate about is a tough call to make. And usually, the longer you delay the greater the risk of digging yourself deeper into a financial hole. Yet sometimes all it takes a flash of inspiration or a lucky break to pull the business back from the brink. Here, Shana Lebowitz shares how some of the most succe...
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