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THE BLOODY TRUTH
12 REASONS
WHY HOT
ENTREPRENEURS FAIL
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
Three, five maybe fifteen years ago, you were a
hot entrepreneur in the consumer, fashion or
tech space. You were the cool startup, the one
getting tons of attention, calls from VCs and
interview requests. You were growing rapidly and
could do no wrong. Things have started to slide.
Now the fresh-faced startups are getting all the
press.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
There are real leadership reasons, for the slide.
They are painful and bloody revelations. Do you
have the courage to read on?
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
1. Numbers don’t lie. There are reasons for your
slide or stagnant sales. When sales dip there is
always a reason. You can blame the economy, the
weather or currency fluctuations, but there are
always other painful reasons that leaders often
don’t want to face.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
2. You surrounded yourself with friends in key
leadership roles. When people start companies
they often surround themselves with friends,
relatives and available people who will take a
lesser salary to work with other friends. You chose
talent on price not quality. These early managers
aren’t necessarily the ones to lead a company
through growth or tougher times. It is also very
hard for entrepreneurs to hold them accountable..
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
3. You aren’t focused on the priorities.
Many companies start to lose focus on the core
business or model that created their success.
For instance, Lululemon’s lost sight
of their "fashion driven" model, while edgier
competitors sprouted up and sales lagged.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
4. You have no strategic business plan.
Entrepreneurs get distracted by personal or
rewarding side projects, instead of the mundane
day-to-day. Your employees see this and lose
focus as well.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
5. You are frequently absent. Human nature
hasn’t changed for thousands of years. When the
boss is away, the mice will play. You are more
interested in your trip to France, building a new
house, or just losing daily discipline. Your
tardiness or absenteeism is taking a toll on
momentum.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
6. You isolate yourself. You have started to
believe your own self-importance. You surround
yourself with gatekeepers who thrill in protecting
you from information. You hide your email
address and cell number, like state secrets. Your
ear is “no longer on the ground” and have
created your own reality. You stop
communicating and are now the Emperor
With No Clothes.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
7. You tolerate bad behavior. You want everyone
to like you so you never set any standards for
office discipline. You allow lateness, texting in
meetings, inappropriate behavior and outright
fighting. You fill the office with perks like beer on
Fridays, games and free food; but hesitate to set
a tone that everyone’s time is money and the
business is why everyone is here, in the first
place.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
8. You micro-manage. You feel your input and
decision-making are critical in every area. You
never heard one of your own ideas you didn't
love.
This takes accountability from the players, slows
down the business and demoralizes everyone.
Are you deciding on the brand of coffee for the
kitchen?
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
9. You lose the pulse of the market. When you
started you were front and center with customers
and on top of the competition. You now live in
your bubble and rely on second-hand input from
subordinates.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
10. You build a team with no diversity. You took
the easy out and hired friends from your alma
mater. In fact, you thought only guys from your
alma mater were worth hiring; or perhaps you
hired all young hipsters, MBAs or like-minded
WASPS? Congratulations, you have created a
one-dimensional organization lacking creativity
and divergent ideas.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
11. You protect the high-performing sociopath
in the office. This cancer in the company is
allowed to wreak havoc on the organization,
because they have big talent in some area or a
personal relationship with you. Their wide-
reaching influence demoralizes everyone and
has a serious impact on sales.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
12. You have no succession plan. In fact, you
have surrounded yourself with weak players. You
prefer to have control and if you get hit by a bus
the company’s going down the tube. the tube.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
Great leadership takes continued humility, the
willingness to listen, change and make hard
decisions.
Innovative new products and good sales come
from strong motivated teams with clear direction.
Success of the company starts from the
leadership at the top.be.
L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S
dix&pond ©2014
Dix & Pond Consulting, is a Boston-based fashion and consumer
product development, branding and executive coaching company.
We assist clients with creative, strategic and leadership issues.
Clients include retailers, wholesalers, investors, entrepreneurs
and research analysts.
Dix&Pond Consulting
Follow Me On Twitter Follow My Blog
Contact Stephanie Bernier
dix&pond ©2014

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12 Reasons Why Hot Entrepreneurs Fail

  • 1. THE BLOODY TRUTH 12 REASONS WHY HOT ENTREPRENEURS FAIL L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 2. Three, five maybe fifteen years ago, you were a hot entrepreneur in the consumer, fashion or tech space. You were the cool startup, the one getting tons of attention, calls from VCs and interview requests. You were growing rapidly and could do no wrong. Things have started to slide. Now the fresh-faced startups are getting all the press. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 3. There are real leadership reasons, for the slide. They are painful and bloody revelations. Do you have the courage to read on? L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 4. 1. Numbers don’t lie. There are reasons for your slide or stagnant sales. When sales dip there is always a reason. You can blame the economy, the weather or currency fluctuations, but there are always other painful reasons that leaders often don’t want to face. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 5. 2. You surrounded yourself with friends in key leadership roles. When people start companies they often surround themselves with friends, relatives and available people who will take a lesser salary to work with other friends. You chose talent on price not quality. These early managers aren’t necessarily the ones to lead a company through growth or tougher times. It is also very hard for entrepreneurs to hold them accountable.. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 6. 3. You aren’t focused on the priorities. Many companies start to lose focus on the core business or model that created their success. For instance, Lululemon’s lost sight of their "fashion driven" model, while edgier competitors sprouted up and sales lagged. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 7. 4. You have no strategic business plan. Entrepreneurs get distracted by personal or rewarding side projects, instead of the mundane day-to-day. Your employees see this and lose focus as well. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 8. 5. You are frequently absent. Human nature hasn’t changed for thousands of years. When the boss is away, the mice will play. You are more interested in your trip to France, building a new house, or just losing daily discipline. Your tardiness or absenteeism is taking a toll on momentum. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 9. 6. You isolate yourself. You have started to believe your own self-importance. You surround yourself with gatekeepers who thrill in protecting you from information. You hide your email address and cell number, like state secrets. Your ear is “no longer on the ground” and have created your own reality. You stop communicating and are now the Emperor With No Clothes. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 10. 7. You tolerate bad behavior. You want everyone to like you so you never set any standards for office discipline. You allow lateness, texting in meetings, inappropriate behavior and outright fighting. You fill the office with perks like beer on Fridays, games and free food; but hesitate to set a tone that everyone’s time is money and the business is why everyone is here, in the first place. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 11. 8. You micro-manage. You feel your input and decision-making are critical in every area. You never heard one of your own ideas you didn't love. This takes accountability from the players, slows down the business and demoralizes everyone. Are you deciding on the brand of coffee for the kitchen? L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 12. 9. You lose the pulse of the market. When you started you were front and center with customers and on top of the competition. You now live in your bubble and rely on second-hand input from subordinates. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 13. 10. You build a team with no diversity. You took the easy out and hired friends from your alma mater. In fact, you thought only guys from your alma mater were worth hiring; or perhaps you hired all young hipsters, MBAs or like-minded WASPS? Congratulations, you have created a one-dimensional organization lacking creativity and divergent ideas. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 14. 11. You protect the high-performing sociopath in the office. This cancer in the company is allowed to wreak havoc on the organization, because they have big talent in some area or a personal relationship with you. Their wide- reaching influence demoralizes everyone and has a serious impact on sales. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 15. 12. You have no succession plan. In fact, you have surrounded yourself with weak players. You prefer to have control and if you get hit by a bus the company’s going down the tube. the tube. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 16. Great leadership takes continued humility, the willingness to listen, change and make hard decisions. Innovative new products and good sales come from strong motivated teams with clear direction. Success of the company starts from the leadership at the top.be. L E A D E R S H I P L E S S O N S dix&pond ©2014
  • 17. Dix & Pond Consulting, is a Boston-based fashion and consumer product development, branding and executive coaching company. We assist clients with creative, strategic and leadership issues. Clients include retailers, wholesalers, investors, entrepreneurs and research analysts. Dix&Pond Consulting Follow Me On Twitter Follow My Blog Contact Stephanie Bernier dix&pond ©2014