Archive for March, 2009

Zatori Launches

Yesterday was the launch of Zartori’s latest venture, an online Bikini Store called

The Bikini Shop

The Bikini Shop

Its a project that i’ve been deeply engaged in from a strategic side and i’d consider it to be one of the most, if not the most efficient business models and plans drawn up to date.

For those of you who tend to follow entrepreneurs only after their one proven successful business you rarely get to see the most exciting aspects of start up which is the first few months where daily jumps of 100% or even 1,000% increases can be the norm. This is one to watch, i stake my reputation on it!

Entrepreneurs – Just say No!

One big reasons start up businesses fail is because they are so busy trying to do everything that they don’t take the time to do anything really well. Customers, suppliers and stake holders all have their own interests to focus on. Sometime entrepreneur’s spend so much time trying to make everyone happy they forget that the reason they started the journey was because they had an end in mind. If what your currently focusing on isn’t helping get you to your goal then just say no!

Just Say No!

Just Say No!

Business owners should regularly look at the customers that they spend the most time appeasing and work out the cost of doing so – often you’ll find that they customer who takes so much of your time is in reality not the profit center you think. Sometimes it’s better to take a Jack Welsh approach, fire your bottom 10% – it forces continued growth! Now i wouldn’t be as full on a Mr. Welsh, but the theory stands to offer some insight! Don’t be afraid to fire customers, or suppliers for that matter, that are counter productive to you meeting your goals.

Preston House Abbeyleix

Last night i had the most amazing meal. Based in the heritage town of Abbeyleix Preston House restaurant is bucking the Economic trend – Offer incredible food at a reasonable prices and always very busy! In a particularly tough time to go into a particularly tough business (food) – Preston house has hit a home run!

The food is definitely 5 star quality, in fact in puts many 5 star places to shame, without doubt this restaurant is going to become very famous. So if your ever in Abbeyleix it’s a must check out for any foodie!

Along with the fantastic food the wine list is amazing and i’d strongly recommend a glass of Prosecco di Valdobbiadene “Jeio” – tastes like a very expensive champagne mixed with a scoop of cream. Its mind blowingly good.

I know this is off usual blog talk topic but i love seeing people raising the bar in any business. This is my new favorite restaurant, hope to see you there sometime!

Tip: ring ahead to reserve a table 057 8731432.

Entrepreneurs by definition are just like big Children

Today the question was put to me would i consider myself a big risk taker, launching yet another business and in the worst economic climate the world has ever seen. If you calculate and measure the possible outcomes then business is about probability not risks. The only risk is blind faith or lack of research.

Entrepreneurs are like 6 year old kids with ADD

Quite simply that’s the best definition for an Entrepreneur, before i explain why i’d like to tell you a story.

Young Entrepreneur

A six year old boy sits in Pre-School and his teacher, as part of the art class, instructs the children to draw a picture of anything in the room they like. Then places a flower in a pot on the teachers table for inspiration. Most of the children begin to draw a picture of the flower, except for one little boy who is busy, tongue hanging out of mouth, drawing a picture of a very strong man with massive muscles.

The teacher questions the boy “I asked you to draw me something in the room, what is it you are drawing for me”. Without looking away from his masterpiece he replies “God!”.

A little taken aback the teacher tries to clarify that she had meant an item in the room after all not even the parish Preist knows what god really looks like.

Confused the boy looks up at the teacher and without missing a beat slides the paper across the table – “You can show him if you like!”

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

To be in business you must absolutely believe in what you do and in your product or service. Like children entrepreneurs haven’t had the drive and creativity beaten out of them by social norms and pressures.

A child can be perfectly happy and may be indifferent to you giving them a new toy. However try to take that toy from them and prepare for world war 3. Why is this? Well it comes down to focus. The only thing of importance in their whole world at that moment is re-gaining control of the toy and since they are so focused there is nothing that they won’t do to get what they want. There is no such thing as taking no for an answer, failure is incomprehensible (but hey if they do fail… is that a bright shinny thing over there, time to move on).

So is that the extent of the commonalities? Not really. Entrepreneurs are stereo typically – inpatient, imaginative, ask why a lot (repeatedly), frustrated when they don’t get their way, loud, easily distracted… The list goes on.

The mindset of an entrepreneur is so far away from that of an employee’s, if you are making the jump to the new rich ask yourself – “What would a six year old do if confronted with this problem!”

When you want to blog about something but shouldn’t

So we all have times where someone really ticks you off, when you feel like letting loose and calling them on “it” but quietly biting your tongue! Well i’m not going to let loose just yet but someone is currently walking a very very fine line with me and this Vid is the perfect visualization… Hehehe I love the evil guy on my shoulder sometimes.

The Irish Property and Credit Crisis

While everyone was thinking that wall street and other financial experts were really intelligent here’s really how simple what they do is.

Markets always go up and down in waves, there is such no think as a sure thing in business. Guess where Ireland is in this cycle? The way i see it we’ve only seen the tip of the forsaken part of the cycle. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how the housing prices are now “reasonable” and therefore go back up – the fact is economics don’t care about reasonable.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

My personal predictions: Obama (despite being a great president) will devalue the $ strongly, £ will get devalued and they will wish they went in on the Euro when they were up at 1.4, Property in Ireland will continue to decrease until there isn’t any ego left in the industry.

On the positive there has never ever been a better time in History to launch a new business and there is going to be the biggest shift in wealth that the world has ever seen in the coming 4 years.

As Leo Burnett said – reach for the stars and you may not always reach them, but you won’t end up with a hand full of dirt.

The Crab Bucket effect

If you put a crab into a crab bucket on its own, it’ll climb out. However if you put two crabs into a bucket they will both stay in the bucket. The reason for this is that as soon as one starts making its way out of the bucket the other will pull it back in. Funny how human behaviour, despite our superior complexities, is still basic as a crab not wanting the other crab to make it out of the bucket. For me and (I suspect) every other entrepreneur this is a dilemma that we all encounter at some stage.

Crab Bucket

Crab Bucket

Friends, family, teachers and even college professors, whether intentionally or not have a tendency to try to pull you back into the crab bucket. Social norms and established protocols dictate that there is one way to play the game of life. If you’re not playing their game in their reality then they get uncomfortable and will do almost anything to put you in your place according to the extinct rules the ingrained in school.

There is a massive discomfort when someone’s potential outgrows the norms surrounding them. In the same way that once the four minute mile was broken then many more followed, success breeds success – and to get there one must resist those that try to pull them down. All too often the weight of the people pulling you down is the only reason that would be entrepreneurs fail to jump the hurdle.

What if your success meant that you earned a multiple of what your friends or family members made – would you then be the outcast? If you earn the success would you be comfortable in deserving it?

In the same way that drug addicts associate other drug addicts and immature girls are attracted to immature boys, sometimes entrepreneurs and others aspiring success in their field must make some hard choices about those that consistently drain their enthusiasm and energy.

What it comes down to is boundaries

Tony Robbins once put me onto an inspiring concept that has stayed with me through the years. Within your circle of comfort is where the majority of people live their lives. However if you go outside your circle of comfort then an amazing thing happens. Not only does your level of comfort expand to achieving that task but your whole circle expands so now many unrelated things that once were considered outside your zone of comfort, in the area known more commonly as FEAR, become within your comfort zone.

Zone of Comfort

Zone of Comfort

In the same way that skills learned being the captain of a rugby team might help you as a team manager in work years later or as a parent trying who needs to motivate their kids to do homework. Expanding your comfort zone has many potential and unforeseen benefits.

Once you have expanded your boundaries it is important to become very protective about who you let in and out. In the same way you wouldn’t encourage a known thief into your house you should consider your newly created expanded comfort zone – something worth protecting. Build windows to see out into the zone outside your zone for further growth and doors to allow people into your personal space but also to keep those out that are just going to steal that which is more precious than money or possessions – your enthusiasm and energy.

It’s interesting that when you do move your boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable; real friends will adjust to accept you for what you are. It just takes a little time for you to make the transition out of the crab bucket and let them know you haven’t entirely left them behind.