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Designing Company Culture image

  A company's culture is so important and not be overstated.  Every single company that I know who's "successful" had a great company culture.  And it wasn't by accident.  The founders I know and work with were aware of their company's culture and did everything they could to shape it and guide it in the right direction.  It rarely happens without effort, energy and a plan (much like success).  Most people can think of jobs they've had where culture was poor if it existed at all.  A good culture is typically obvious the second you walk in the door and can be felt by the energy of employees and environment.  So where do you start if you've never designed culture ...

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The Emotional Cost of Being a Startup Founder image

I think society and the press glamorize the life of a startup founder from the show Silicon Valley to entrepreneur magazine and the Inc 5000 list.  In reality, it can be a lonely and emotionally draining experience whether you're solo or have cofounders.  Some people don't view emotions as a cost since most think of costs in terms of customer acquisition, hiring talent, technology, etc.  The emotional cost is often not discussed enough. had a great post detailing this and have included it below.  Hopefully, this helps you if you're already on the journey or about to make the plun   The Emotional Cost of Being a Startup Founder Source:   If you’re interested in starting a dialogue and learning how we ...

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SAFE vs. Convertible Debt For Raising Capital image

Until recently, I never heard of a SAFE, which stands for simple agreement for future equity.  SAFE was created by Y Combinator to provide simpler, more easily understood seed investment.  There are key differences between SAFE's and convertible debt and as an investor or founder, you need to be aware which is best for you.  In Austin, I have only seen 1 SAFE investment and countless convertible debt offerings.  It could simply be that SAFE's aren't as well understood or used in Austin and it's easier to go with what people know. Recently, there's been a few articles claiming that they're bad for founders and other article rebuffing that notion.  Techcrunch recently released a post entitled "Why SAFE notes are ...

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Starting With Why image

  Why do you do what you do? Simon Sinek's book, Start With Why, is in my opinion a must read for everyone.  In this book, Simon points out that companies that start with why have much greater success than ones who lead with what or how.  And how great leaders inspire action.  Even though his Ted talk is a few years old, I think it's worth re-watching.  In fact, I have a reminder that goes off every quarter to re-watch the video to ensure that we're always leading with our why. Proper's Why: We believe when people are confident in their investment strategies and financial plans, they feel more safe, secure and happy.  When they feel more safe, secure and happy, all ...

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S Corps: What You NEED To Know image

  Let me start off by saying we don't provide legal or accounting advice on the internet or directly to clients.  That being said, we're in meetings frequently where we learn interesting facts and strategies that may help other clients and contacts we work with.  Please check with your attorney since they might recommend an LLC, S Corp, LLP or C Corp depending on your specific situation.  Also, there may be tax law changes coming in the near future.  For now though, these are the key points with S Corps. What is an S Corp? An S corporation is a special type of corporation created through an IRS tax election. An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation by electing to be treated ...

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Learning is a Lifetime Journey image

One of the most important things you can do for yourself as a founder is strive to be better.  Learning is a lifetime journey without an end and making this a priority could completely change your point of view.  One of the greatest free resources you have to accomplish this is right at your fingertips: Blogs.  These blogs are there to provide you information when you are stuck, spark creativity, and possibly take you in a whole new direction you may have never imagined you could go. Every founder/entrepreneur should read regularly to understand new trends or benchmark yourself against the market trends.  Researching these blogs will provide you with key insights from experienced business owners/investors who can help you ...

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Top 10 Books Every Early Stage Founder Should Read image

  Knowledge isn't power.  Applied knowledge is power.  If you want to apply knowledge, the first step is learning more.  And if you want to learn more, reading is one way to obtain more knowledge.  In this article, I’ve made a list of the 10 best books I think will help you lead your startup to success. Are you an executive or founder and think we missed a book that's critical to success?  Please send us an email so we can add it to our list. 1. Awaken The Giant Within – Tony Robbins Wake up and take control of your life! From the bestselling author of Inner Strength, Unlimited Power, and MONEY Master the Game, Anthony Robbins, the nation's leader in the ...

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How to Hire the Best Sales and Customer Service Teams image

One of the benefits of working and meeting with countless founders, entrepreneurs and senior executives is hearing all sorts of stories.  I have found a common link among successful companies when they are intentional in succeeding in an area of their business.  Meaning, their success was not accidental and if it happened to be by chance, they quickly noticed it and created rules to succeed.  One of these areas is in hiring.  There are more divisions within a company besides sales and customer service, but  I believe these to be critical to most businesses.  Below are two stories I have heard that have stuck with me. Hiring World Class People A company I know wanted to bring in the best salespeople ...

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Trademarking Your Business – It’s an Expensive Mistake When You Don’t image

I was having a conversation with a colleague recently and was discussing some of the challenges that were met along the way when she brought up the subject of intellectual property. If you are a business owner or an owner of something that is of high value to you, especially if you spent time, money or sweat equity in its development, take heed. My colleague shared what happened to her almost 5 years after she opened her business without intellectual property protection of her business. Here is a recap of that part of the conversation: “ Like most business owners, one does their due diligence by researching the availability of the intended company name, doing a domain name search and filling out ...

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