Recently, David Cameron said that he wants to change attitudes towards enterprise in Britain. Along with this, he wants to spur enterprise in the country, to create a legion of start ups. Why? Because we are at serious risk of falling behind and one only has to take a look over the Atlantic to see how good things can be.
I wonder if the word 'bossy' is a western term, I can't quite imagine having been in the Kiberan slums someone ever being referred to as bossy. A survivor yes, bossy, I doubt it. So, if you are fortunate enough to have strong-willed girls in your life make sure your words and actions promote their natural leadership skills, empower them not destroy them.
Next time you're in your local pharmacy, take a detour to the men's shaving aisle. When you get there, scan the shelves in front of you. You'll see high-gloss packaging, lots of "Fusion" and "Turbo" and "Mach" brands. It's almost like you're in the Formula 1 pit lane, isn't it? The choice seems abundant.
A few months ago, I spent an extremely enjoyable afternoon at my old school giving a Careers talk about start-ups. Interestingly, the most pressing question that emerged from these 6th-formers was whether they were about to waste £27,000 and three years of their life on a University degree if what they were really passionate about was starting their own business.
Over the years I have done extensive research, read endless authorised biographies, studied body language and carefully observed the communications skills of highly successful people. I learnt it wasn't about luck but about choosing the right attitude, taking action, changing behaviour, taking one step at a time, one goal, one priority at a time, a day at a time.
Britain relies heavily on entrepreneurial migrants to launch businesses, create jobs and grow the economy. As we strive to improve our national economic performance in a highly competitive global market, our politicians, education system, businesses and the media cannot afford to ignore such an important source of economic dynamism.
I just love entrepreneurs, I'm in awe of their vision, willingness to try something completely new and their stubborn determination. But sometimes, their stubbornness prevents them from seeing necessary truths - truths that could save them from bankruptcy, truths that could make them a mountain of money.
There are many important decisions SME owners have to take in the early stages of their business, and one of the most important is making that first hire. Depending on the individual company, this could be done immediately, within a few months, or even a year after starting up. There is no singular approach, but it must be the right decision at the right time. The key question to ask yourself is whether you can justify making a new hire, in terms of cost and workload. I experienced this when I started my first recruitment business - it was four months before I had enough money in the bank to be able to take someone on.
In 2014 of course it is not really politically acceptable to assume that it was me that made a mistake. It is always someone else's fault; the bank mis-sold the endowment policy, the credit card company mis-sold the payment protection insurance, the council should have stopped me building on a flood plain, MacDonald's is to blame for my obesity and so on.
One of the biggest mistakes we entrepreneurs make when it comes to our business is we think we are 'supposed' to work 24/7. And we feel guilty when we are not! Many of us female entrepreneurs work for months on end without a single day off. What's more, many of us average 16 to 18 hours a day. Sound familiar?!
Steam, as a natural element, provides a daily supplementation and mood boosters in a natural and fun way. In an age where "healthy is king", the value chain of this company has the potential to ice-break the market and add a new significant element, to the wellbeing/well-living industry, which counts for billions, just in the US.
The best businesses are the ones which really stay in tune with their customers' needs. These days there are so many tools to analyse results, and so many ways to interact with the people who buy your products or services, that there really is no excuse for failing to grasp what they are thinking. The needs and behaviour patterns of your customers can constantly change - and your business should adapt accordingly.