Sheltowee Outpost

All Posts Author: Alex Day

An Entrepreneur's Thoughts on Cultivating Innovation in the Fortune 500

Jun 22 2014
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An Entrepreneur's Thoughts on Cultivating Innovation in the Fortune 500

I was recently invited to speak to a group of executives at a Fortune 50 company on innovation and engendering an innovative environment. I was hesitant at first because I am an entrepreneur and I have never worked for a big company. What value could I bring to this group? I then realized that anyone who innovates and develops new products or technologies is an entrepreneur. Now they are not entrepreneurs in the classical sense of the word. But remember that an entrepreneur is someone who assumes a risk. When you are innovate you have to take risks. Bringing a concept to senior management that is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars of investment requires a risk. You are risking your credibility and your career. If that project blows up, guess who is going to be blamed?

So after I thought about it a while, I was comfortable that I could bring value in a conversation with this group. Innovation and creativity just require risk. Any time we challenge the status quo there will be significant resistance. Humans are conditioned not to innovate. Ask any entrepreneur. You find that your friends and family have ALL the reasons your idea will not work. The flaws in your plan and concept become immediately apparent, and they are suddenly an expert on why you should really just get a nice and secure job.

The Importance of Consistency

Jun 13 2014
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The Importance of Consistency

There are a few things that are absolutely required to be an entrepreneur.  One that gets a lot of attention is persistence.  This is a trait that comes easy for me.  I am too stubborn and bull headed to ever give up.  Another item that I am going to discuss in this post is consistency.  Consistency is a trait that does NOT come naturally to me.  It is something on which I continue to work.  But in this post, I am going to avoid flagellating myself for a lack of consistency, and instead cover why I think it is important and something for which I (and any entrepreneur) should strive.  

To achieve any modicum of success in business, every individual must cultivate relationships.  The reality of the matter is, is that relationships are what drive business.  Although some people would like to think that their business is driven by cold hard facts and logic, the fact of the matter is that businesses are driven by relationships.  People tend to do business and buy from people with whom they are comfortable.  This is a key differentiator amongst good sales people.  

Why I Switched from Google Apps and Dropbox to Office 365

Feb 13 2014
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Why I Switched from Google Apps and Dropbox to Office 365

I have always been an early adopter. I love technology and I love gadgets. This has worked out well for me, but rot always for my co-workers. As I am wanting them to try out some of these new gadgets. Well, with a bit of maturity now, I realize that we early adoptees are a rare breed. Not everyone is cut out to be an early adopter. But with this new found wisdom, I do think I have developed a good sense of when things as ready for the general public.

I was using small form factor PCs (predecessor of the tablet) many years ago. I was using a windows tablet PC over three years ago. It definitely was not ready for Primetime and the general consumer at the time. Well I believe that I have assembled and tested a set of tools that will truly work well for the Small business person.

As part of this blog, I will go over the systems that I have adopted to help me and my team maximize our efficiency. I will share with you some of the things that have worked for me, and some of the things that have not. I will also walk you through my experiences of trying to maximize digital tools for managing and getting the word out about your small business.

The first thing I want discuss is the core aspect of the platform I am using. The most important part of my system is Microsoft's Office 365. Yes, Sheltowee LLC is a Microsoft partner, and we make a very small amount of money on our clients who sign up through us. We are not an MS Partner because of the "big money", we are a Microsoft Partner, because they offer the best platform to help small businesses and help our clients and portfolio companies.

A sharp axe is good, but you gotta be sure to chop.

Feb 01 2014
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A sharp axe is good, but you gotta be sure to chop.

"If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I would spend six of it sharpening my axe"... Abraham Lincoln- I love this quote.  But as an entrepreneur I have to be careful with this quote.  I often find myself having nine hours and using ten hours to sharpen my axe.  That is to say that I prepare and prepare and prepare, but don't execute.  I want to use this blog as an example.  You will notice that my first post was back in November of last year.  Am I sitting here in February of 2014 and not listed another post because I have not been writing and working on the blog?  No, I have written a number of articles that I will post in the near future.  But I have been "sharpening my axe' since the last one I posted.  I keep thinking, "I am not going to start posting these until I can drive traffic to them".  Well, maybe if I post them I can generate traffic. 

Introducing the Sheltowee Outpost.

Nov 24 2013
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Introducing the Sheltowee Outpost.

I am Alex Day and I am the Founder of Sheltowee LLC. This blog is going to cover some topics about which I am very passionate. These include entrepreneurism, technology and innovation. You will also be hearing from other members of Sheltowee on this blog. Sheltowee is made up of a group of entrepreneurs who have built companies and created value, and all of it is done here in the "fly over" state of Kentucky. I hope that you will find the information in this blog informative and useful. This first article will give an introduction to the blog and discuss more about what you will be reading in future posts. Please let us know what you like, and what you don't like. Entrepreneurs and innovators seem to be a popular topic these days. The term "entrepreneur" has become a part of pop culture. Let me give you a bit of a background on what an entrepreneur really is. It is not some 15 to 25 year old that comes up with an incredible idea and makes hundreds of millions of dollars. ...