Entrepreneurship, in Balancing 5 Acts.

I’ve noticed an interesting quality about entrepreneurs, which is their ability to operate and control many different areas of focus, rather than specializing in one discipline. Unlike large companies, entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of specializing personnel to specific disciplines. Rather, entrepreneurs must focus on a vast multitude of different skill areas. This diversity of knowledge, and practise (tasks, activities, projects) has profound implications. Entrepreneurs who master the following acts, will guide their firms to riches and dreams to reality.Balancing Acts in Entrepreneurship

Act 1. Entrepreneurs need to be able to operate at least a moderate skill within each discipline. While some disciplines are harder than others, the more complex and inherently difficult that discipline is to learn the more valuable it is. Entrepreneurs who posses and acquire valuable skills naturally become more successful. In a pinch, they can sell their skills. If they invest their skills in their enterprise, they stand to reap the full value of that skill, not simply the market value of the skill’s labour. While it is true that inherently valuable skills will save entrepreneurs from  having to purchase those skills from others, the real benefit comes from reaping the rewards of adapting the skill towards a valuable purpose withing the business. This act alone does not guarantee success. Being too specialized means entrepreneurs run the risk of missing an important link, say, sales, or marketing, or distribution, which defeats the whole point.

Act 2. Successful entrepreneurs will devote time to the most valuable and meaningful activities, and delegate low-value activities to others. Any worker who earns the fruits of their labour independently, rather than as a staffer with a fixed wage in a company, inherently needs to invest time in order to reap the benefits of those investment.

Act 3. Entrepreneurs, and sales Why do people use coupons? They don't value their time very high.people (employee-entrepreneur hybrids)  understand the value of their time,  become highly conscious of it, and are motivated to conserve time. These self-employed individuals will invest time in planning. They may even invest time in inventing solutions that save them even more time (cough! longboard. Cough cough…)

Act 4. Successful entrepreneurs willKnowledge Marketing invest time reviewing the raw data, compiling that information and making an informed decision about the direction they take their business. They will invest their time in exploring the market, exploring relationships, networking, investigating opportunities and listening to proposals.

Act 5. A. Entrepreneurs will learn from others, emulate the success of others by  applying the same principles and lessons, listening to the wisdom of others, especially unique, obscure and isolated ideas that are not mainstream. They will combine ideas or expand on them. They will tinker, copy, create, draw, imagine, vision and ideate. Do you have a problem? Generating ideas about how to solve it (i.e brainstorming) is the fastest and most effective way to improving your situation. But this works if, and only if Act 5. B. is accomplished.

5. B. Successful entrepreneurs are actively doing something right now. Not vaguely sometime in the future. Not later, tomorrow or sometime. They are planning and acting on their goals actively, every day, every month of every year. It’s that simple. Work on your ideas. Get what you want. Act Now.

What happens when you get what you want? Let’s just say this is a never-ending story, because after all, success is relative.

Install a Canadian English Language Dictionary on Firefox!

Do you see squiggly red lines under Canadian words like “colour” instead of American words like “color”?

I did. It bugged me, and, if you’re like most Canadians, it will bug the *hit out of you too. Most people solve this problem by simply asking Firefox to “add to dictionary” the Canadian spellings of the words that turn red. I’ve spent countless minutes, maybe even hours (in total) on adding Canadian words to dictionaries on my computer. That doesn’t solve the problem of the American words appearing as if they are spelled correctly, causing typos that you may not even catch.

No more!

There is a very easy solution for this! Go to: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/canadian-english-dictionary/ and download the Canadian dictionary. (It’s fast & free) Image

Your flow will no longer be interrupted because your browser doesn’t speak Canadian!

Oh, and Chrome does not have an extension for a Canadian-English dictionary (or at least not on the first page of my search results). Too bad for you Chrome users.

Candian English Dictionary Firefox Add-On

Candian English Dictionary Firefox Add-On

2 Lightning-Fast Actions for your Address Book!

If you’re serious about your career, business or social life, becoming a member on Facebook and LinkedIn is a MUST.

For the purpose of this post, I’ll assume that you’re already on these sites and have already built out a sizeable network of friends, acquaintances & current/former employers, coworkers & suppliers.

If not, get on it! All it takes is a search and a click “add connection” for LinkedIN or “add friend” for facebook. You might want to invest 30 minutes in your profile, since, afterall, hundreds if not thousands of people will likely have access to it.

1. Add your Facebook contacts to your address book. 

Go to: http://danauclair.com/addressbooksync/ Follow the easy instructions to download the program. Once in the program, you’ll be able to quickly import all your facebook contacts, merge duplicates (if those contacts are already in your address book) and add contacts that don’t already exist in your address book from facebook. It will also add a facebook picture to every contact, and create a link to that individual’s facebook page for quick access from Address book. Unfortunately you’ll have to perform this export/import periodically as there is no built-in automatic syncing.

Estimated Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Do it now! Seriously don’t put it off, you’ll spend 5X more time thinking about doing it than it takes to just do it now.

2. Add your LinkedIn contacts to your address book.

Maciverse has a great article on this with step-by-step instructions. Check it out at: http://www.maciverse.com/quick-tip-imported-linkedin-contacts-to-address-book.html. Unfortunately you’ll have to perform this export/import periodically as there is no built-in automatic syncing.

 

Estimated Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Do it now! Seriously don’t put it off, you’ll spend 5X more time thinking about doing it than it takes to just do it now.

3. Sync with gmail.

Gmail has built in automatic syncing with iCal and Address Book. Simply go to your application’s preferences and set it up!

Estimated Time: 2 – 5 minutes

Keep it real!

 

 

 

WANTED: Graphic Designers, Illustrators and Artists

Let’s make a deal.

  • Would you consider your art “definitely not crap” awesome?
  • Can you produce art that is engaging, professional and interesting to look at?
  • Do you have a style that you feel would ‘fit’ the Plunder brand?
  • Would you like to meet with the CEO of Plunder Ventures to present your work?

The Opportunity
Plunder Ventures is a sales agency that specializes in Generation-Y targeted consumer products. We are in the ‘design phase’ of launching what will be our flagship website.

Theme and Style

Plunder Ventures has always envisioned a dark, edgy, over-the-top motif for our brand. Don’t tame your ideas. Anyone who knows the founder (or who has peered in his notebook) knows that an out-of-the box idea is a prerequisite.

Contact Tristan to schedule a meeting or phone call: Tristan.Parlette@gmail.com

Our first storm…

Perhaps, you’ve been reading my blog for a while or you’ve heard me drunkenly ramble on about my business ideas and plans. You may recall a business I described called PlunderSome.

Oh, she will be a mighty fine ship.

Andrei Calinescu and I cofounded the vision and the partnership. We both agreed to give it a go. However, building that a ship capable of getting us to that vision proved extremely difficult.

PlunderSome is the founding inspiration behind Plunder Ventures. Six months in. I can’t believe it’s been half a year since I embarked on my journey to build PlunderSome, the worlds best *ucking toystore. (Another working slogan was “Cool. Shit.”). Today, while our man-power is down, decision making is up, and a new course is being plotted under a new model.

Plunder Ventures is a business that brings awesome products to Canadians. That will always been the defining value behind the company. Less crap, and better stuff for everyone. We wanted to create a place where you didn’t wonder “hmm, is this shit I’m buying going to be good?” Plunder Ventures’ is founded on the principle that it ALL has to be good, no matter what the price point.

In the beginning, we went to go about filling that toystore. It took time, but once we compiled our toys, we quickly realized that the business wasn’t going to get anywhere without a plan, and that arranging deals needs a process. So the two partners went about creating a business plan.

Each plan crumbled under the pressures of time, prompting the next plan. While writing so many incomplete plans have been a costly time expense, the cost of switching is worth every second, even considering the business model is now on its 3rd reconstruction. All of those changes in ‘plans’ offered valuable lessons from the past, and important implications for the future.

Lessons such as creating a task-management structure, and defining processes to evaluate performance is improving how Plunder Ventures’ guides work towards the direction of the founder’s goals.

Reality checks, however harsh, cannot be construed as failures. They are triumphs, since an accurate depiction of reality, free from our own self-delusions is something that most of us rarely achieve.

True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing, Socrates, the Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC – 399 BC) once said. Over 1,500 years later and his words hold true. He is of course right, but what’s so frustrating is that there’s just so much you can know, if you look. And the more you look, the more you know.

The world, at your fingertips. The web, your most valuable tool, and your biggest distraction. There had to be a more efficient process for dealing with mountains of data. I speak not only the data that was flooding into our minds from the articles and documents and audiobooks, but the accumulated data and information mountain- equivalent to a 1000 businesses of yester-year piled up on my desktop and the towers knowledge that we could climb, if only we had the time and the mechanism. TMI- a term most often reserved for older people talking about their sex lives- is a problem we were having day in and day out as documents, research and unstructured data drowned our productivity and hinder our ability to inch closer towards the prize.

And there was one- a solution that is. Strangely enough, it was a skill that I found deep in the bowels of the internet- a remote island of knowledge that many others, but certainly the vast minority, of all people had learned. This would fuel a vast change in the technology used in Plunder Ventures’ market research engine, and bring the future a lot closer, a lot faster.

Over time, I became obsessive, fussing over every little detail, spending hours and hours plotting away with the business. I neglected the practicality of many things. My plans were scattered about my life, large and unrefined, and largely impractical in the short term. But they were grand all-right.

My partner helped ground me. Bring me back to reality, the right now that we all need to be aware of too. What can be done immediately, and what needs to be done first are important steps, instead of figuring out the whole ocean.

I have spent many a day ploughing through words to meet the hefty business plan requirements that have so far taken months and months away from productive labour. It’s a plan that has felt like it is never going to end, not for a while anyways.

I know it’s not over, and I’m coming to the realization that planning is never going to go away and that ‘completing’ a business plan is only competing a story told to those you want to inspire behind your business with compelling arguments and financial proof.

Today, Plunder Ventures is alive and well, after receiving some recent “structural” upgrades.

Plunder Ventures Inc., a corporation, is the new business and vessal designed to take Plunder Ventures to that next level. Plunder Ventures Inc. is taking over all ownership of Plunder Ventures’ partnership’s dealings. The new company, will continue to pursue its vision, and navigate a course though the marketplace.

The plan is not complete, but it’s getting there. Things are getting clearer by the day, and I am convinced of what Plunder Ventures is destined to become. One by one, I will upgrade every piece of this ship, automating manual processes, partnering with other companies, investing in relationships, and developing offerings.

Oh, and my other goal is to recruit 100 sales people by the spring. You heard me. Stay tuned.

I sometimes look back in time, and think to myself “If I only knew then when I know now!” For Plunder Ventures, this saying holds resoundingly true.

Toronto Boardmeet 2011 Video!

Finally, the day that I actually get around to posting video from the meet is here! Yay, we can all rejoice in seeing 900 longboarders zoom by! Enjoy. 😉

 

 

Toronto Board Meet 2011- More Popular than Jesus in the City!

On Saturday, September 9th, I attended the 2011 Toronto Boardmeet. The Boardmeet is an absolutely massive congregation of longboarders.

The total attendance was more than double what it was last year. From the counts I’ve heard, this years numbers topped 900 longboarders! That’s over double last year’s showing of over 400.

The route began at St. Clair and Yonge at David Belfour Park. View Toronto Boardmeet Route 2011 in google maps for the exact route we took!

As always, I’ve uploaded large pics and scaled them down. Feel free to right click to view the pics bigger and in more detail!

Boardmeet Gathering at David Balflour Park

Nos Energy Drink Truck

Nos Fuels Longboarders?

Time for trouble.

The Longboard Mob Approaches

Calinescu and Others Lead the Pack

Boarding down Yonge Street.

Down we go!

May have exaggerated the lighting on this one for added epicness.

Over 900 longboarders stopped traffic along Bloor St.

Gathering from the Stature's Perspective


Attendance
  for Jesus in the City Paled in Comparison to the Boardmeet

A Glimpse of the Turnout at Queen's Park

Tons of girls at this years meet. Could I grab your number real quick?

Longboarding is an all-ages sport!

Longboarding down University Avenue. Sorry Cars! (Longboarders please note and appreciate the insincerity in that apology)

Phew, finally made it to Nathan Phillips Square. Time for a head count!

This may take a while. Line up. All of you.

... I said ALL OF YOU!!!!!

Time to mess up King Street's day!

Time to live it up in Kensington! Lovin' the longboard circle around the kiddie pool!

Thanks to everyone who came out to show their support for this awesome pass-time of ours. And a special thanks to the organizers, because without them, this wouldn’t be possible!

– Tristan Parlette, Cheif Executive Longboarder @ Plunder Ventures & Longboardable.ca

Longboardable

 

Plunder Ventures is Designing a Longboard Brand!

Let’s just call the customer Mr. Confidential for now, but I assure you, this is completely real. We’ve set up the significant distribution on this deal and we’re working to come up with ideas. Lots of ideas. But our ideas aren’t good enough! We need your help in getting the ball rolling on some new paradigms, and to give us feedback on the designs people suggest while responding to this post.

What We Need From You

Design Ideas – comment on this post or send ideas to  tparlette.hba2011@ivey.ca

Design Opinions – indicate your interest in evaluating ideas

Designs – Do you have a design that would work perfectly? Read on!

Raised Boards Queens Park Toronto Board Meet

Longboarders at Queens Park, Toronto

What’s Important:

  • Safety
  • A great ride
  • Something that’s differentiated, that people will want ‘just cause’
  • Undeniably cool looking products
  • Your creativity!

We Can Control:

  • Deck Shape– Don’t be fooled by the picture above, we aren’t stuck with a pintail shape.
  • Materials– We will likely be working with moulded & cut plywood, unless you can convince us otherwise.
  • Components 
  • Graphics on the back
  • Wood Colour
  • Grip-Tape Placement & Cut

Target Market Insights

  • Males are traditionally 75% of the end-users, and females 25%
  • (That means that likely 75% or more of skater parents are Dads)
  • Parents – Christmas Shopping for youth aged 9- 14
  • Parents – Christmas Shopping for youth aged 15- 19
  • Parents – Christmas Shopping for youth aged 19- 24

*** Scroll down for Timeline

A great father-son activity.

Skater Dad Enjoys a Day of Longboarding with his Son.

Timeline: 

Ideation- Internal Ideas: Work out internal costs & constraints, try to gauge what the various stakeholders think they want.
Week 1: August 25th – August 31th. 
Ideation- External Ideas: Get forum input, artistic community ideas, blog & stumble upon input. 
September 1st 2011 – Septeber 6th 2011
Design Selection & Development: Share responses & submissions and ask the communities for feedback and preferences.
Week 4: September 7th 2011 – September 14th 2011
Design Finalization: Choose final designs and submit them to our manufacturing partners to be turned into official SKUs with manufacturing that can be scaled to demand.
September 14th – October 1st

Product Launch: Mid October 2011The earliest that product will be available for sale. 

And you may be wondering, “why would you design a longboard brand to launch in the winter?” Simple! We’re making it a longboarder’s Christmas this year! Ho ho hope to hear your ideas 🙂

Contact

Submit any ideas in the comments or to the email below.

Send your design idea with your name, phone number, and location (country, state/province, city) to tparlette.hba2011@ivey.ca

And as always, make sure to check out: Longboardable.ca !

www.longboardable.ca

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