“May I ask you a question?”
In the hallway of the Sharon Hotel he
turned to me, Roy, an entrepreneur trying to establish his 3rd start-up, “why, why does this always happen to others?” “Why does what happen to others?” I asked.
“That a millionaire sits next to them on a plane and lights up to their idea, that Microsoft and Google see them at an exhibition and fall in love. A senior at Intel drops everything and joins them and two weeks later, the venture capital funders decide to take them to the investor roadshow in San Francisco. Why does this always happen to them? What is the X-factor, he never gives up, causing the investor to pick this entrepreneur and say no 9 or perhaps 90 others?”
He paused for a moment to breathe and continued, “You know those charismatic entrepreneurs, the ones with contagious energies, the ones who enter a room and the temperature in it changes? Hate them… tell me, were they all born a ‘Steve jobs’?
“Let me tell you a fresh story” he continue, “my friend, a student at a college in the Negev sat in economy class , by chance next to a 50 year old hippie with torn jeans and a tie dye shirt, 2 months later, the hippie guy invests $2 million! I was upgraded to business class on the same flight and,
“Just a second”, I tried to construct a sentence, “what you’re really asking here is whether we can learn to be a ‘top business entrepreneur’- someone to whom the world says ’yes’. Are there tools that allow the entrepreneur to learn to be ‘lucky’?”
“Exactly”, he raised his voice slightly, “what is the ‘E factor’ that makes us hit peak performance at the right time and is there even such a thing as learning charisma? Learning leadership skills? Can I be kind of a ‘great entrepreneur’ as such? “
We found a quiet corner near the reception. “The truth” I said, “this subject has intrigued me for years.
It began in situations that I experienced and I knew that I had to be at my best but I did not know what was required to make sure it would happen.
For example, a specific meeting with a big client in Scotland- I got there with the mindset that I am forbidden to lose this deal, I knew that the client in this transaction, ready for the deal, would sort us out for long, but what entered Martin’s room space, the VP of marketing at Bank of Scotland, whose annual advertising budget was 80 million pounds was a cloud of stress and tension, energy of a cemetery
that I brought with me… I had no chance.
“What you bring up, is perhaps the most fascinating and the most elusive topic in the business entrepreneur world today. Even in academia they are still trying to crack it. Once, when they spoke about a successful entrepreneur with leadership skills, the rules were clearer. They mentioned
his ability to choose the right idea and set the vision
and strategy, to manage a budget, do marketing and to surround himself with good people that has managerial skills.” “One moment”, he takes out newspaper clippings from the financial times and begins reading: “Finnish developers of the game ‘angry birds’ reap $42M from venture capital
deposits. Microsoft pays $8.5 billion to entrepreneurs, Swedish Zennstrom and Dane, Friis, founders of SKYPE. Chinese founders of established social network Ren Ren sweep $742 in NASDAQ issue. And 30 year old Israeli Iris Shor sells her company, PlanPlatform for $26 million. You
understand, and we have the best technology in our field” He ‘gave me the look’, I realized he’s speaking to me in a half-cynical tone but what I’m dying to know is whether there is method in his madness.
“You tell me first, I knocked, whether you agree that the game today is always changing?”
“Of course, speaking of entrepreneurs today, look at what’s happening around us, nations rise and falls, the game rules are changing, the way we market, get customers, market forces are changing, more sophisticated investors and competition is changing like the autumn wind. Business entrepreneurs
and new and veteran investors are running to join
“ok so what do you think is the most important role of the entrepreneur today?”
“Mm, I think the central role of the entrepreneur today is to wake up and hear- yes. Yes from customers, yes from investors, from the partners, from the wife, that is mainly to be a champion at creating relationships.
I want to offer that today, in order to bring extraordinary results, you should get used to a new term - E-Mindset - Entrepreneurial Mindset - Active workshop.
“It sounds like something in the mental field. You’re not getting me into the spiritual realm now, right?”
Roy gave me the look again.
“No, no, it is something very practical. E-Mindset - a conscious personal conduct that brings one to “performance on”.
In the game with new rules, it’s imperative to make use of new tools and new thinking.”
“Sounds to me like to open your mind”
“Yes, it’s actually a change that could be called consciousness expansion, not in the spiritual sense but rather a very practical step. How do I enlarge the lens and get access to the spring of wonder tools, capabilities and opportunities.”
“So, what in fact is this mindset?”
“Look, someone once said that in order to create extraordinary results, we need to see possibilities that have not yet been seen, to free creativity that has not yet been released and to do things that we haven’t done yet .. The E-Mindset model refers to three dimensions: Entrepreneurial thinking development, management of state of mind - to ‘performance on’ and acquired charisma.
“I don’t think I understand, please explain”
“OK, developing entrepreneurial thinking leverages - meaning multi-layered thinking, which analyzes reality not only through the binoculars of ‘how much cash I have in the bank’, but rather also taking into account the relations, visible and invisible assets, the possible connections on social networks, reputation, the additional cards we have and the
cards we haven’t seen yet. The question “what around me that isn’t leveraged, can be leveraged?”
”Could be a good start. For example the entrepreneur, Winerzuk from the USA, whose wine sales have increased 10 fold in 2 years when he began to use YouTube videos for demonstrations and tips on wine. (Hundreds of thousands of hits) - Think about it, people buy wine without smelling or
tasting it. To increase sales from $4M to $50M is no longer growth; it’s kind of a quantum leap! Also what iPhone did in the cellular market can be classed as this kind of leap - an example of leveraging entrepreneurial thinking. Another relevant question is, whether to produce a new collaboration,
new services, enter a new market? How can we leverage relationships that we have on social networks LinkedIn, Facebook and professional networks? The second component is – management of state of mind to ‘performance on’
- Refers to an internal environment management (thoughts) and external (people, situations) in producing performance and extraordinary results. For example, an entrepreneur approached me after a lecture:
“I’m looking for an investor for an amazing business idea, I just need to settle the $300 000 debt from my previous venture, and complete the process of divorce and I’m on the horse”
We have tools that facilitate planning and self-management in order to give us the opportunity to arrange meetings, presentations, negotiations, crises, performance on.
“Just like athletes, who rise at the right time and right place. The term I like - In the Zone - as the football player catches a ball and starts running, he locks on the target, has a goal and all his focus is towards it. And acquired charisma? - That’s exactly what you’re looking for, no? These are tools to create high communication and managerial skills and relationships - and how to turn into someone that the
world says yes to! I once went with an entrepreneur to a meeting with British investors who expected that another business plan was coming. The entrepreneur, a young man of 26 stood up suddenly and asked: Which is stronger, the crocodile or the bear? Suddenly, a different energy entered the room, a discussion began on which is stronger ... Some said the one, some the other.
“It depends where”, the entrepreneur said smiling. “In the river the crocodile, in the forest the bear. Just like our software company”, he explained.
“We focus on medium-sized companies between 50-200 employees where we are No. 1.”
“Well he was born like that, no?” Roy asked
“With the help of a set of tools, everyone can move forward from where they were.”
“I completed my MBA at an institution that is very highly regarded, and don’t remember talking about these things ... Mm... The truth is if it’s really possibly, it’s frightening.”
“Roy, you have no idea how right you are, the subject is only now beginning to enter academia, the understanding is that it is not enough to focus only on classic business tools such as the business plan, budgeting, etc. Natural evolution in technology and innovation brings development, new tools and a desire to crack the field. It was 7pm; we were right
by the sea.
He says, “If I invite you to come have a beer, would you say that I learn and implement quickly?
Or I’m just being annoying!
Entrepreneur, investor and EAI360 Acceleration Program Manager