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STU CRAIR FOUNDED Digital Workshop Center in 2006 with a simple idea: to help people build useful skills, not just get degrees.

This great business delivers technical education: web design, graphic design, business administration, and so on. Their much-needed content is supported by training that’s always live, which means more personal attention to students in the room.

What tweaked my interest recently was an announcement that they’ve developed a partnership with Homeless Gear to provide technical training – for free – to people in their Hand Up program.

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LegacyLEGACY CAN BE A SCARY WORD. It conjures up images of millionaires who want their ego to last beyond their death.

And nobody wants to think about death.

So I confess that I bring up the concept with just a little trepidation.

But let’s look at it this way in regards to your business:  Do you want your company to have an impact which lasts beyond your own involvement?  Read the rest of this entry »

small giantsTODAY I’M HEADED TO DENVER for the Small Giants Summit.  This is a fantastic opportunity to interact with other business leaders who thoughtfully reject the pressure to take their companies public.

We make a lot of assumptions in our culture that bigger is better and that growth is even mandatory for survival.  The Small Giants Community shows us that you can have much more impact as a privately held company, and there’s an appropriate size for a business at which it is most effective.

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Moon shotTHE US SPACE PROGRAM was actually conceived in 1960 under Eisenhower, but John F Kennedy really launched it in a speech on May 25, 1961:

“… I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”

Having grown up during this time, the Space Race became a powerful foundation for how I viewed the world.

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On a missionLATELY I’VE BEEN WORKING with an increasing number of business owners who are out to change the world — in great ways!

For instance, I spoke with the head of a local medical clinic who is tackling the rapidly escalating costs head-on. They’re using a different model that relies much less on insurance companies, helping to give patients the tools they need to keep themselves healthy.

I can point to the rapid growth in what had been called “alternative medicine” but in fact is now quite mainstream. Chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists and naturopaths abound.

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MissionTHIS WEEK I WAS HONORED to give a presentation for Fort Collins Startup Week titled Build Your Business on a Powerful Mission.  We had a great discussion and explored some really neat territory about mission-driven startups.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to hear more.

One of the participants asked a really great question:  What does a mission statement actually look like?  You need to capture something with power and clarity when you’re looking for great partners, employees, and investors.

I promised that I’d expand on the answer to that question here.

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consious-businessBUSINESS IS TO MAKE MONEY.

Right?

Well, I was honored to be a member of a panel discussion this week with Amy Ross about Conscious Capitalism.  The question came up:  What is the purpose of business, if not to make money?

Because that seems to be the universal assumption of our economy and culture.

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Community FoundationCOMMUNITY FOUNDATION of Northern Colorado is a local organization which helps connects peoples’ (and companies’) charitable strategies to the causes they support.

I had never heard of such a thing, so when I talked with Ray Caraway, their President, it really opened my eyes.

Their business proposition is fairly simple:
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WE ALL GET DISCOURAGED.  It’s a part of the human condition, and a constant struggle.

PersistenceBut the fact is that those who reap great rewards are not so much those who are smart, talented, or lucky.  It’s those who are persistent learners and adapters.

“Rewards” in this case might be monetary goals, fame, impact, or spiritual development.  Doesn’t matter.

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OUR CULTURE celebrates self reliance.  CowboyWe applaud the “self made man” as if such a thing could even exist, and we have a deep desire for independence and autonomy.  The USA holds up the archetype as cowboy or business mogul as one who courageously takes on all challenges and doesn’t rely on anyone else.

It’s a wonder that society can exist at all!

The truth is that we deeply need each other throughout our lifetimes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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