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The HBS Blog offers insight on Delaware corporations and LLCs as well as information about entrepreneurship, start-ups and general business topics.

Anatomy of an Entrepreneur
By Carleigh Lowe Monday, July 13, 2009 has a very interesting article that discusses the results from a study that explores what makes entrepreneurs tick. Let us know why you were motivated to become an entrepreneur, we would love to hear from you!

Below is an excerpt:

The study, titled “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur,” led by co-authors Vivek Wadhwa, Raj Aggarwal, Kristina "Z" Holly, and former BusinessWeek tech editor Alex Salkever is an attempt to get a feel for the background and motivation of American entrepreneurs, including their level of education, socioeconomic status, and work experience. The team set out to uncover what makes entrepreneurs across high-growth industries tick, surveying 549 successful business founders between August 2008 and March 2009. The study found they were 40 years old on average when they started their first companies. About 90% were well-educated and came from middle-class or upper-lower-class backgrounds.

Read the full article here:

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Top 10 Questions Leaders Should Ask Themselves
By Carleigh Lowe Friday, July 10, 2009

If you are a business owner, then this is a must read. The Management Craft blog has a terrific article on the 10 Questions Every Leader Ought to Be Asking. This post does a great job at reminding leaders that they thrive when there are problems to be solved. Now, more than ever leaders can create positive change because the opportunity is readily needed and available. The writer, Lisa Haneberg then presents ten thought provoking questions to get the creative juices flowing to lead the way to new solutions and ideas.  Below is an excerpt:

  • What’s the new opportunity that we are not seeing? How might we learn from other organizations, both competitors and non-competitors?
  • How might new trends in how people communicate and work open up new ways to improve our organization? What does the workplace look like when we are focused and in action?
  • When a meeting feels flat and perfunctory, what’s going on? What’s on people minds that they are not saying? What question could I ask that would open the discussion back up? What’s possible if I had the courage to do this?
  • What is “my best work” and how can I ensure I do that today? How can I enable my team to do their best work?
  • If we were starting this organization from scratch, how would we design it? What would we do if resources were not an issue?
  • What’s the craziest idea that just might work?
  • What are the most irksome/damaging barriers facing me and my team right now and how can I reduce or obliterate them?
  • What is my manifesto (driving philosophy and passion) as a leader and how can I ensure my team understands it? What is our team’s manifesto?
  • What’s possible now that was not possible last year/month?
  • Do I have my team focused on doing the work that matters most? How can I optimize how we spend our precious time?

Read the full post here:

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Small Businesses are Bootstrapping Their Way to Success
By Carleigh Lowe Thursday, July 9, 2009

I found a great article by Denise O'Berry on the American Express OPEN Forum; Small Business Owners Taking Control to Survive The Recession. It has some great stats about small businesses and gives a fantastic book recommendation; The Recession-Proof Business: Lessons from the Greatest Recession Success Stories of All Time.

Here is an excerpt of some of the stats presented in the article:

Many small business owners see hope on the horizon.

  • 88% see opportunities for their business despite the current economic environment.
  • 61% expect their businesses to grow over the next 12 months.
  • 57% believe that now is a good time to invest in their small business. Smaller businesses and newer businesses tend to see the most opportunity right now.

Small Business Owners taking Control to Survive the Recession


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Book Review: Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went
By Jake Cornelius Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Recently I noticed that something like a hierarchy of Western currencies has developed. These are the Swiss franc at about ¢80, the US Dollar, the Euro at $1.35, and the British Pound at $1.55 or so. Those are where they are at today. Not long ago the Dollar was about equal to the Euro, and a Pound cost $2.00. Before World War I, the European countries used a gold standard to keep currencies at a steady and predictable value relative to other currencies. After WWI, they had to go off gold because their gold holdings were spent, in the US, to pay for the war. The US then had so much gold, that it was forced to tie its currency to gold. None of the major economies are on gold anymore; currency values are now sorted through market value based upon the supply and demand of the currencies. Of course, this is pretty much common knowledge, but in considering the current hierarchy and how it got there, I read John Kenneth Galbraith's Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went.

One would be hard pressed to find a better biographer for money. Galbraith, who passed away in 2006, was an economic advisor in some capacity or another to all presidential administrations since FDR, usually maintaining a simultaneous teaching position at Harvard. He also authored 33 books, primarily on economics and economic history.

Money is a short history that begins with 4000 years ago with the first use of exchanging precious metals for goods; a quick dash through official Roman and Byzantine coinage; the 200 year era when tobacco was the major currency in North America; and ending with state of the US Dollar in 1975, when the book was written. Along the way, Galbraith explains how the incredible wealth in gold and silver from the New World changed the nature of European economics; how the Bank of England and the Banque de France developed out of less than upstanding finance schemes; the birth of the 'greenback' and the decade long debate about whether or not it was constitutionally permitted to issue a common currency. Galbraith also explains issues and controversies of Keynesian economics, the creation of the US Federal Reserve and how the Great Depression got so bad.

Most economics books are slow and boring: not this one. It's a quick, easy and interesting read. Galbraith has a sharp sense of humor and expresses his contempt or adulation for others and/or their ideas. His belief that economics are culturally influenced adds to the interesting tales of peculiar money-oriented activities in mankind's history. This book gives historical perspective to anyone interested in money.

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Your Story: Clean Cut Interlocking Pavers, LLC
By Carleigh Lowe Monday, July 6, 2009

Your name: Richard H Bell III
Name of your business: Clean Cut Interlocking Pavers, LLC
Your background: A young entrepreneur who started my first business at the age of 13
Your chief characteristic: Determined, artistic and hard working
Your regular reads: Cape Gazette, Construction Journal, EP Henry Magazine and the BJ’s Coupon Book
Clients, customers, and constituents: Homeowners who want to enhance the look of their home with quality eco-friendly hardscaping. We also do commercial and municipal jobs such as the sidewalks and crosswalks on Second Street in Lewes, Delaware (30,000 sq ft)
How long have you been in business? 12 Years
Where do you do business? Delaware
Your concrete inspiration: Since the young age of 4 years old I have always enjoyed working outside and using heavy equipment
Your big dreams: To help people create the vision they have for their home and yard by working with them to design and build their outdoor living space using pavers and walls
Your first success: At the age of 13 I bought a truck, a bobcat and a trailer. The only problem was that I did not have a driver’s license to get to my jobs, so I had to start hiring my older sister’s boyfriends.
The status of your business: 15 employees
The future of your business: Continue doing quality work for a good price
Your greatest challenge in business: As the business grows I have had to learn how to delegate
Business pet peeve: Keeping the trucks clean and making sure the pavers are cut straight
Your favorite entrepreneurs, pioneers, mavericks, artists, and heros from real life and history: Joe Montana and my dad
The greatest rewards of your entrepreneurship: Providing a good life for my family and feeling a sense of accomplishment when the job is done.
Your idea of happiness in business: Happy customers
Your present state of mind: Staying focused on the positives while facing challenges
Your business advise: Have a vision, work hard and do the job right the first time
Your favorite motto: No Excuses
Your favorite business book: Good to Great by Jim Collins
Your one sentence business story: At the young age of 13 I knew that I wanted to use heavy equipment and work outside so I followed my dream and created a business; through the years I doubled my business every year and have grown to be a full service design/build landscaping and hardscaping company.

Clean Cut Interlocking Pavers, LLC.

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