Tips from Great Entrepreneurs

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

As I contemplate the needs of people around the importance of story, people, and place an article in the April 9,2012 edition of Fortune Magazine caught my attention.  It was not so much the subheading stating that “great ideas are hard to come by” that had me stop as it was how some of the greatest entrepreneur’s came by and implemented their “great ideas.”

The author, John A. Byrne, also pointed out that “big ideas of the ground-shifting variety are rare – hard to pull off.  But that’s the difference between the dreamer and the doer” (p. 69).  What if you applied what some of these entrepreneurs accomplished to your own life?  Then personal ground-shifting big ideas might be less rare and more doable on a personal scale if you consider what coaching has to offer.  Coaching is, in part   not just about dreaming of a better life…a better way to work…having better relationships, it’s about putting your big ideas into action with the support of someone who can cheer you on and hold you accountable.

Disconnect to Reconnect

Jeff Bezos goes on solo retreats where he limits his distractions and this allows him to get more creative (p. 74).  What I like about this is that Bezos doesn’t place any demands on what these retreats generate, but by surrounding himself with the right people his “big idea” could simply be something that “morphs and builds” into something else.  Wilderness coaching offers the opportunity to disconnect in a mini-retreat by immersing you in the natural world even if it’s just for an hour.

The idea of mini-retreats is not only a great way to reconnect and refuel but by making it a part of your own process – and a priority when you see the benefits that come from it – it can then become sustainable.  Solo retreats can even be held as you need them or as you can schedule them.  The simplest way I found to retreat, detailed in Redefining Success:  Creating a Future Fit for the Person I’m Becoming, was to intentionally unplug for a long weekend with the focus on taking a “pro-active” rather than “reactive” stance to my career.

Purposeful Living

The other example of a great entrepreneur that caught my attention was John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods.  What sets this company apart are guiding principles such as being committed to “highest-quality natural and organic products available,” a desire to “satisfy and delight the customers, and promote environmental stewardship” (p. 81).

Having guiding principles is not only a great way to focus your business but yourself and your career as well.  It helps you to identify appropriate opportunities and recognize when you need to take action.  By identifying your guiding principles you are identifying your core values.  For example:

  • What are you committed to producing or delivering the highest quality of?
  • Who are the people in your life you would like to “satisfy and delight?”
  • How does the environment factor into the way that you want to work?

Whether you answer these questions for today, for this season of your life, or for your entire lifetime, the answers not only give you focus but they can also help you to identify the purpose you see for yourself and the life you’re living.  If you’re not already in line with your values then these are just the right kind of ‘big idea’ that can shift the ground under your feet.


Redefining Success:  Creating a Future Fit for the Person I’m Becoming

The 12 Greatest Entrepreneurs of Our Time

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About Tiffany A. Dedeaux

Tiffany is an ICF Career Coach and a cross-pollinator of ideas with a background in broadcast journalism, social and ecopsychology, and coaching. Tiffany’s nearly two decades of experience has helped her to identify the power of story in connecting us to each other as well as to our environment. A believer in the power of reflection, practical application, and celebrating victories, Tiffany understands that the more we all live our dream, the more we can model it for future generations.
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