You Get to Talk to Jim

One of the benefits of being a VT KnowledgeWorks member company is having its executive director, Jim Flowers in your life and, well, in your business.

I've been a member of VT KnowledgeWorks for 16 months now.  During that time, Jim Flowers has served as team member, mentor, consultant, expert, guide, and friend.

For an example of what Jim Flowers brings to both start-up entrepreneurs and seasoned company founders – who know him either through being member companies, members of Presidents' Council, or both - here's an excerpt from Four really useful habits from his blog So you want to launch a business…:

1. I try to stay in touch with what really matters. 

What really matters to me is not what other people tell me should matter.  It's what my own deepest inner voice tells me.  It's what I think about when I find myself awake in the middle of the night.  It's what I want to share with the people I love.  It's my vision of an ideal world.  It's how I want my life to work out.

2. I commit to relevant actions, not outcomes. 

I can control the actions I take.  But, except in trivial cases, I can't control the outcomes they will produce.  Life is simply too complicated.  There are too many uncontrollable outside influences.  If I arbitrarily decide that I will sell 100 widgets, I may or may not succeed.  If, on the other hand, I commit to improving the specific skills, techniques, and work habits related to selling, my effectiveness will definitely increase.  If I can master the details, I will then sell as many widgets as the marketplace permits me to sell.

3. I constantly test my vision and my actions against my fundamental principles. 

I assume you have principles.  I do.  Most people appear to have at least a few.  Some wise person once told me this.  "If you can't talk about your vision with your grandmother, think it over just one more time.  If you wouldn't want your action to appear on national television, reconsider your commitment to that action."

4. I do my best to stay focused. 

Just say no to more good ideas!!  I like Jonathan Mead's take on this.  He says that people who can ignore their good ideas "don’t chase the stuff that seems to have potential, but doesn’t really matter. They only do the stuff they must do: what they’re insanely passionate about and what they were born to do."  Focus also preserves a person's precious supply of MOXIE.  That's a big, big deal for an entrepreneur trying to succeed in a risky startup situation.

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VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley of Virginia and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA)

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