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We’ve Moved!

I’ve moved my New Venture Mentor blog to be a part of my larger site so that you have easy access to everything I’m doing.

Please come check me out at www.CateCosta.com!

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Speak Up!

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you all the latest project I’ve been working on: Only Honest. Only Honest is a platform for political discussion. It’s your public square where you can control the debate and make your opinions heard.

Our goal with Only Honest is to give control of the political debate back to the American citizens instead of leaving it in the hands of the politicians and pundits. It’s a venue for you to stand up and be heard and we want to make sure that Americans of all walks of life are represented – including entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and small business owners.

If you have an opinion about ANYTHING that you’d like to share with the American people and the politicians and pundits who are supposed to represent us, please visit www.OnlyHonest.com to sign up for an account and stand up for what you believe in. Also, very soon we’ll be announcing how you can win prizes for sharing your opinions.

We’re incredibly excited to finally launch this forum and we look forward to seeing you there!

Summer Vacation

Hi Everyone:

It’s time for a little summer vacation!

The sun is out, the weather is warm, and I have a new company launching next month, so I’m going to take a little vacation from this blog for a bit. Keep following me on Twitter (@cate_costa) for important tips and info to help you continue to grow your business. I’ll be back at the blog in the fall.

-Cate

New Venture Mentor Update

No video today. I am getting some new equipment so that hopefully I can improve the picture quality of my videos.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter so you don’t miss anything. I tweet all of the latest news, tips, tricks, tutorials, and advice so you’ll get a lot of great information about running your small business from Twitter that doesn’t make it to the blog.

Identifying Your Entrepreneurial Type in Order to Shape Your Small Business Goals

A very brief post by Marissa Mayer about How to Avoid Burnout got me thinking about the different types of entrepreneurs and the associated different definitions of entrepreneurial success.

Some people start companies because they want to be billionaires, others are forced into it by layoffs, others seek autonomy and independence, others just want to be able to make it to their kid’s soccer game. These different types of entrepreneurs have very different goals and, therefore, very different definitions of success. A lifestyle entrepreneur, the type of entrepreneur whose primary motivation for starting a business is the desire for a particular lifestyle, not necessarily the desire to be a billionaire, can’t measure him/herself against the same ruler as the person who wants to be the next Bill Gates or he/she will always feel like a failure and be unhappy. By the same token, the entrepreneur who is willing to sacrifice everything else to make billions can’t measure him/herself against the lifestyle entrepreneur’s ruler or he/she too will always feel like a failure and be unhappy.

Mayer suggests choosing the thing that “matters to you so much that when you miss it you’re resentful of your work.” My guess is that this key thing was a big part of the reason you decided to be an entrepreneur in the first place, so don’t lose sight of it.

If your deal-breaker item is being at your daugter’s ballet recitals, don’t get so caught up in making money that you miss one. This sounds so simple, but many entrepreneurs get so caught up in running the business and trying to be “successful” by someone else’s definition of success that they often lose sight of what their goals were to begin with. In order to be happy with your choice to be an entrepreneur, you need to constantly remind yourself of what your deal-breaker item is and then let that inform your company’s strategy. Entrepreneurship is too challenging and comes with too many headaches to be an entrepreneur and not get out of it what you’d planned to.

If you want to be a billionaire you need to seize every opportunity that comes your way, work long hours, be at all of the networking events, and basically do everything in your power to make your business grow. If that means missing birthday parties and college reunions, you’ll be able to deal because you know you’re focused on your true goals. However, if you want control of your work/life balance and the ability to spend time with family, you shouldn’t create a strategy for your company that creates exponential growth because that strategy requires your undivided attention – undivided, as in your family comes second, always.

Most entrepreneurs actually fall into the lifestyle entrepreneur category, so its important for the entrepreneurial community to remember that success isn’t always defined by a 10-digit valuation. More often than not, it’s defined by the ability to turn off the smart phone during a weekend away and enjoy the time with friends and family.

There is no right or wrong goal for your company’s growth. The important thing is to be honest with yourself about whether your company’s goals and strategies both align with your deal-breakers.

I know that this post was a little lighter than usual, but I think it’s so important for entrepreneurs to stay focused on what they set out to achieve and run their companies, not be run by their companies. As an entrepreneur, you need to constantly remind yourself that you are in control. You choose what to do when. So decide what you want, set goals that will get you there, and constantly re-evaluate your progress to make sure you’re always moving toward what you want.

Happy Friday!

Weekly Roundup: Mar. 13 – Mar. 17, 2012

Here’s this week’s roundup of tweets:

The Moment I Knew for the Huntington Post

Seven Traps CEOs Hit When Shopping at the CMO Store by Dave Peterson for SandHill

US Angel Fund Rounds Grew 40% in 2011 by Cromwell Schubarth for Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal

Alone in a Crowd: how Crowdfunding Could Strand Startups by John Tozzie for Bloomberg

LGBT Workplace Protection Petition

How to Increase Lead to Customer Conversion by DJ Heckes for SCORE

SEO: I Know I Need It, Now What? by Rachel Blankstein for SCORE

3 Fundamental of Building a Great Business by Karl Stark and Bill Stewart for Inc.com

Small Business Optimism Hits Four Year High for the Washington Business Journal

Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem by Cate Costa for New Venture Mentor

10 Steps to a Powerful Climate by Glen Blickenstaff for Inc.com

How Facebook Timeline Could Impact Small Businesses by Diana Samuels for the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal

Finding Better Ways to Increase Employee Performance by Ray Silverstein for the Phoenix Business Journal

Credit Unions Could Make More Business Loans, If Bill Survives Ire of Banks by Kent Hoover for the Washington Business Journal

3 Signs Your Users Ate Lost: Jared Spool at SXSW 2010 by Dan Costa (no relation) for PC Mag

How to Improve Employee Health and Wellness with One Simple Change to the Office Decor by Cate Costa for New Venture Mentor