“The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 14,000+ influential business owners with 193 chapters in 60 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond.” The Business Builders were fortunate enough to bring in 5 members from the Columbus Division of this organization to conduct a panel styled Q&A. What you see below is the top 5 questions from the meeting. You can learn more about The Entrepreneurs’ Organization at their website: https://www.eonetwork.org/columbus
Top 5 EO Panel Questions and Answers:
Is it possible to balance running your own business while working full time?
- The short answer is yes, but you have to hustle.
- It is a good idea in terms of risk mitigation, but it can eventually affect the success of your idea/business. The reason is because you can never give one or the other 100% effort, so you end up only putting partial effort into both. Eventually you have to commit. The younger you are, the more time you have to fail. Don’t wait too long and miss out on the opportunity. Take the leap.
- There is never a perfect time to quit your job and go all in on your business. It has to be a leap of faith. If you wait around for that perfect time you’ll be waiting forever.
What do you wish you would’ve done in college that you didn’t do?
- Pursue your interests in college and abuse your resources. Students often take for granted the resources they have and focus only on the social and academic aspects. College is the only time when you will be surrounded by so many like-minded people willing to help you. Don’t miss out.
- Develop relationships with professors and administration. Not only will they help you figure out your passion, but they will lead you in the right direction as well.
- Travel Internationally. It will help you get out of your comfort zone, develop new relationships, discover strengths and weaknesses about yourself, and ultimately be a good time. There is no better time to do this than in college. Use the freedom of being a student to your advantage.
What value do you guys get out of EO?
- The biggest advantage is being able to talk to other CEOs and founders. When you surround yourself with like-minded people that all have a common goal, the possibilities are endless.
- Confidentiality is another key factor. Nothing leaves the EO room and this allows the members to actually open up about the problems and issues that their businesses are facing and get things done. It doesn't have to be business related either. Any type of outside stressors that might be bringing them down can be talked about and advice can be gained.
- They also have forums of around 10 people where they can talk about specific problems that their business is having and gain solutions for those problems.
What concerns do you have to be aware of in such a highly e-commerce dominated world?
- Be aware of the culture that you want your company to have and make sure you’re actively implementing that culture. Nowadays, there is so much work that can be done from home, but it is not always advantageous to do this. It is different for every company, but having a physical office where everyone gathers and works together is much healthier for the culture of your company than working remotely.
- For any business owner, being away from your business is stressful. This is where being able to work from anywhere comes in handy, but it is both a blessing and a curse. One of the biggest misconceptions about entrepreneurship is the hours. People often think that entrepreneurship is easy because you make your own hours, but what they fail to realize is that entrepreneurs are always working. Vacation is never just a vacation.
- One solution that helps manage the day to day stress of an entrepreneur is the use of technology. If you are able to use software to manage your company, your life becomes 10x easier. Let the software keep track of orders, customers, and so on while you spend your time actually working on your business.
What skill sets should every entrepreneur have and what things should every entrepreneur never stop doing?
- Management of people. You have to know how to work with people, motivate people, and communicate effectively with people. Everyone has baggage and you have to be able to deal with that baggage and not let it bring down your business. The way you create culture in a company is through management. It starts from the top.
- Negotiating. As entrepreneurs, you are always negotiating. Whether it's with a client, a customer, or an investor, you have to be able to get what you want out of a deal.
- Never stop working on your business. It is easy to get so caught up in the day to day aspects of your business that you forget to actually try and improve it. Your business can’t grow if you don’t put in the time to grow it. As the famous saying goes: Don’t work in your business, work on your business.
- Never forget your passions. As an entrepreneur, in the beginning you do everything, but as your business grows, pieces of your job begin to be handed off to other employees. Although it is important to spend your time doing the most valuable things, you always need to make sure you are spending time doing what you’re passionate about. By including these passions in your day to day work life, the grind becomes much more manageable.
For this week, The Business Builders decided to mix things up a bit with Take the Floor by having the EO Panel be the judges. They listened, gave feedback, and were able to offer $100 to the top two pitches. As aspiring entrepreneurs, we are always selling, and it is about pitching over and over again that brings about success. Take the Floor offers you an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone on a weekly basis and improve the skills of pitching that are so fundamental to entrepreneurship. Get out of your comfort zone and Take the Floor at the next meeting, you might just go home a little bit richer.