How this very special entrepreneur reached his Entrepreneurial Business Success?
Dr. Kevin Gazzara represents a different kind of entrepreneur – that’s why there is so much to learn from his journey
What are the practical steps needed to reach ongoing paying customers and business growth?
Dr. Kevin Gazzara answers the definition of a different kind of entrepreneur. Actually, the word ‘Entrepreneur’ wasn’t even relevant for Kevin for most of his 18 years of working at Intel.
However, Kevin made a promise that at the age of 50 he would leave Intel and go share his knowledge and vast experience with the world.
Kevin worked for Intel Corporation, holding management positions for Management and Leadership development, Intel University for the US, the Graduate Rotation Program, mentoring programs for Intel’s worldwide Human Resources Organization, and more.
He is also a faculty at Grand Canyon University, University of Phoenix, Drexel University, and Ohalo College.
In the fascinating interview I had with Kevin, I told him that during my 32 years of working with many international and national companies I’d never come across such an impressive, clever, well structured, and focused Human Resources policy and implementation like Intel’s.
I was fortunate to learn about it in a workshop during my masters and was able to hear from friends who work there how well it was implemented.
Well aware of the value of the knowledge he carries, combining the Intel Method with his own experiences, Kevin understood he had a lot to share with the world regarding how companies in general, and entrepreneurs in particular, manage their people and how to keep them happy and professional while providing high value to their company on the one hand, and to their own personal and professional development on the other.
Listen to my interview with Kevin on the REACH OR MISS podcast, episode 106.
Because I want to share the knowledge and experiences Kevin gathered about becoming an entrepreneur.
“We learned early on that you have to use the 80/20 rule, particularly when you’re starting out. You need 80% of your time doing sales, selling, and nurturing your clients. Then the other 20% is development of your content. As entrepreneurs, we fall in love with our content and we want to work more on that than on selling.”
Kevin told me.
He shared their failure with one of their first clients who they didn’t capture while doing more development and not paying enough attention to nurturing them. It ended with the clients leaving to work with a competitor.
About what you need before becoming an entrepreneur
I’m a researcher, Kevin said. I need to know that I’m making an informed decision, so I researched many successful entrepreneurs inside Intel as well as outside, and it turned out that there are five things you should make sure of before your first day of entrepreneurship.
I found there were 5 things any entrepreneur needs before starting their entrepreneurship:
These 5 things came up as a consistent pattern with the successful entrepreneurs I’ve talked with. They all said you really need these 5 things in order to be successful:
- You need a stick or something unique that you offer that nobody else does.
- You have to have a network. Not only do you have to have a network, you have to be able to tap into your network in order to get work, get your name out there, and build and grow your business.
- You need a social presence. You need to be out there interacting and maintaining your presence.
- You need to write a book, specifically, a hard cover book.
- You need to have enough money saved that you can spend 18-24 months making no money doing consulting.
When I look at this list I’m sorry there wasn’t anybody to tell me these 5 bullet points before I established my entrepreneurship.
I was full with knowledge and experience from more than twenty years in the corporate world, so I was sure I had everything needed to work with entrepreneurs. But unfortunately, I was wrong and it took me several years and a lot of money to realize that, and to make the shift to what I am doing today.
When I asked Kevin about the most important factor that led to his success, he talked about accountability.
You have to identity your strengths and weaknesses, he said. Try to do more of what you like to do and most importantly, partner with someone, an accountability or capability coach or partner, with someone who will hold you accountable so that you do what you say you’re going to do.
In today’s world, especially as an entrepreneur without a boss that will count your successes and failures closely, it’s so easy to get distracted. “What’s helped me most is having an accountability partner and being able to act and on the other side, to hold other people accountable so that you can set expectations that will allow them to grow.”
In Kevin’s story, the factor of success was they committed at a conference to deliver the book and did it in 6 months from idea to printing. “The book was a major part of our success!”
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