BRIDGING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL GAP

Comparing the young entrepreneur preparing today to those of us with forty years of experience in entrepreneurship, there are differences but there are also many similarities. That is why we are using this book as a way to bridge the entrepreneurial gap. Within each chapter, you will see that today's entrepreneurs must consider how to leverage traditional business principles (old rules), as well as modern technology, tools, and channels (new rules) to be successful in the modern global business environment. Our own experiences as longtime entrepreneurs have shown us that it is critical to employ both old and new rules to jump ahead of the competition and leap over the challenges along the way.

For us, it is really nothing new. Adrie was an original entrepreneur. Having left school at age sixteen, he continued another sixteen years of night school to complete his education and began building successful businesses as he went. Back then, there were no support groups or organizations where entrepreneurs got together. What is different today is that the newer generations of entrepreneurs are much better equipped to handle the challenges and forces within the global business environment. They have a box of tools to navigate the often murky waters of the global business environment. However, within this environment, perils are also lurking that can compromise the reputation or growth potential of a business, especially when using some of those new tools, such as social media and mobile marketing, incorrectly. It is easy to be caught short by these when the typical behavior is to cut corners in hopes of becoming profitable quickly.

Instead, as this book will point out, we believe strongly in the notion that life experiences affect your business savvy. Your ability to bring your maturity and cognitive development into play when dealing with associates and clients can yield significant dividends. Success in entrepreneurship is not about learning a new skill or mastering a task; it is about being attuned to one's environment in order to know when it is time to capitalize on the situation and when it is time to hold back and ride out a particular storm. Things as simple as manners, respect, and integrity still go a long way in business — even today. Although passion and drive will always get you a certain way down the road, it is attention to these basic principles that will help you complete your course.

Despite knowing the new rules, it still pays to turn to a coach who has played by both sets of rules for a long time. Learn to recognize the value of wisdom that someone who has spent years on starting up businesses in all types of market cycles possesses.

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