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Monday, August 20, 2012

The best guru for entrepreneurship and startup for your company

There is Magic In Your Head, USE IT.

There is no shortage of advice on the web by all the great gurus providing management, entrepreneurship, and startup guidance.  If you are reading this article, you are in one such site now.  The experience levels of the different “EXPERTS” vary over a wide range from having received a degree in school to the super experienced former executive having run a very large company. 

When you started your company, you may have identified people to serve as advisors, mentors, and board members.  You based the selections of these individuals on backgrounds and relationships and you feel they complement the business and bring value.  The decision to bring this level of expertise is the correct thing to do and they will add value.

Many of the online gurus discuss innovation and creativity and carry articles on their blogs on the topics.  The numerous gurus on startups cover many of the same topics because the topics are so common to all companies.  It can be rather daunting to determine which of these people are the best or even have relevant experience to their discussion topics.

You may recall the discussion previously of how to add innovation and creativity to your business.  The highlighted key topics were: 1) Identify the problem, 2) Encourage the team, 3) Problems should have markets, 4) Engineer or re-engineer for performance, 5) Move quickly, and 6) Develop IP strategy.  These topics relate to creating and developing new products. Related topics may go for solving problems or re-engineering your company. 

When your company has needs for change or problem solving, identification of the problem is the first step.  Gathering all the information needed to evaluate the problems and potential solutions are next.  This is where all your resources provide you with information, discussion and feedback.   The online gurus may even be great sources of information at this point. 

Solving any problem or being inventive in finding solutions requires careful analysis and evaluation of all the possibilities that exist.  The advice you receive will be from individuals with prior experiences that may vary greatly from the issues you are currently facing.  This is the time to put the advice in perspective and analyze the data relative to your situation.  All that great advice may not even apply to your issues!  You will learn in building your company that many people are willing to help.  They are all well intended.  Some will have better credentials and more relevant experiences than others will. The application of the advice to your unique issues may never be part of anyone’s experiences.

Problem solving, inventiveness, and creativity tend to come from proper analysis and that little bit of inspiration that hits you in the middle of the night or when you least expect it.  Your solutions or new products come from the novel ideas generated when you really understand all the issues and have the appropriate understanding of where the company needs to go.  Great solutions may be suggested, but the determination of their applicability must come from the leader of the company.

In short, the real guru is YOU and not all those people that are providing the advice.  They cannot possibly be in your shoes and take your company forward.  They will not live with the aftermath of a decision or a failed product.  In the end, the person running the business that must weigh all the facts, make the decisions, and PIVOT when the decisions are not optimal.  YOU are or will become the GURU for your company or the company will never be what you envisioned.

Taffy Williams is on Twitter by @twilli2861.  Email questions to twilli2861@aol.com. More is available via his company website ,  photo website, or “LIKE” ColonialTDC on Facebook.  You can also find him in the group Startup Group on Linkedin. Other articles are in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com.


  1. Taffy,
    Exceptional post and insight-
    Too many people SELF assign the "title of guru" without the real world credentials. Unfortunately, too many people start accepting those gurus and absorbing their non-experienced and misrepresented thoughts as fact.

    GREAT job-setting the record straight!

    1. Bill Thanks for the comment. I have been reading many articles lately wondering what real experience the people have. I also was thinking over all the people I worked with over the years and realized they helped with the thought process, but I had to determine what to do and how to implement. By the way, one of your previous rants kept me thinking this issue needs to be addressed. Thanks for helping!

  2. Great post Taffy. I loved the way you wrapped it.

    You are so bang on. My concern, like you, is not that so many people out there do not have the de facto authority to truly be gurus, because many do. The real problem is that, as I tell my clients, each business in each industry in each community has 80% unique genetic material. More things that have critical impacts on decision making are entirely unique to that situation, than are common with other businesses.

    As a consequence I often find myself even questioning the concept of 'best practices' as that often implies a blanket approach with a very high possibility of succeeding, when that probably isn't true.

    You are so right, in the end, you are the guru. Slow down, listen, then act.

  3. Thanks Clemens, you are right. Nearly every business has such unique aspects that general comments from experts must be adapted to be of any value. This is a very important point and it is critical that business owners realize the need to fit advice to their issues.

    Thanks for the comments!

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