Every business – small or big is embracing marketing automation for tasks that range from simple to complex. This way businesses are spending more time on targeting leads, building engaging content and driving greater conversions.

A common practice for most first time founders is that they constantly seek advice and mentorship in a bid to accelerate growth. A common pitfall however is that much of the advice they get can be misleading. Getting too much advice from supposedly individuals who even though mean well can lead to a path of failure.

This piece is derived from Mike Butcher’s talk at Startup Turkey 2015. In 2016: Startup Turkey will be on 25-27 February. Get ready for best speakers and startups from Eurasia!

The point here is what’s news? See what I want you to think about is not what PR is, what press releases are. What news? because if you’re trying to talk to the media, the media is interested in news. Something that’s new obviously.

Every entrepreneur can achieve a lot through hard work, but when you do everything with commitment and persistence you are able to exceed even your own expectations. In 2016 you can rocket your business with a lot of work, but you can also do these 10 effortless things that can help you to achieve exciting results.

Stop multitasking – or at least do not do it the way you do it now!

If you want to save yourself valuable time, you should forget about multitasking. It simply does not work – the only thing it does is to switch your focus between things, which can actually make you waste time, not save it.

Keep the meetings short

Don’t let endless meetings to take all of your time. In order to do so you should try to keep the subject of every meeting on point. Keep it simple and invite only the people that should be there – this is the key to having productive meetings, which actually bring results.

Listen to your critics

The times when you listen to people comment on your work is not the most exciting experience, yet it is very useful to listen to what your critics have to say. Don’t take everything personal. Just make sure that you are listening to the right people, whose opinion can help you to improve your work, to become better at what you do, to get inspired and motivated.

Challenge yourself

Choose to accept challenges and to take them as opportunities. Think about all obstacles as ways to become better. Say “Bring it on!” and give your best. You may be surprised by the things that you can achieve if you are brave enough to take the step.

Become better listener

Before you speak, be ready to truly hear what the person in front of you has to say. Don’t rush. Improve your listening skills and soon you will be able to enjoy better conversations, to have more productive meetings and to establish stronger connections.

Network, network, network

Make this year the year of establishing meaningful connections and valuable business relations. The best place where you can meet new people, to get inspired and motivated by world known mentors and to enjoy a beautiful venue is the upcoming Startup Turkey 2016 Conference. Learn more about the event here.

Take care of your health

Listen what your body has to say. Make better food choices, include more natural movement in your daily routine, relax more and limit stress – these are just some simple things that you can do to make your work performance even better, to feel and be healthier.

Learn something new every day

Try to improve your skills and knowledge. Read books, watch movies or listen to inspirational and informative TED Talks. Make room for new knowledge in your daily routine and it will sooner or later pay off.

Don’t be afraid to take tough decisions

Don’t be afraid to be tough when you need to. If you have to let a bad employee go – do not postpone it. Don’t be afraid to speak up your mind, to say No when you mean it. Don’t hesitate when you should be certain.

Do what you love

Business requires many sacrifices and needs a lot of work, which is not always as enjoyable and fulfilling as we would like it to be. Trust your gut, do what you love every single day and try to spend your time with fulfillment so you can be sure that your startup is really making a difference. Be happy along your entrepreneurial path and you will see better results in everything that you do.

In entrepreneurship, every step towards development and growth is inspired by great vision and ambition for innovation. The world needs more visionary leaders to create and build products and services that bring value to our lives and solve important problems. Entrepreneurs must know the value of strong leadership and must aim to becoming visionary leaders, leaders who are able to predict the future market trends and are able to plan and act accordingly to these predictions.

04 January 2016

2015: MY PERSON OF THE YEAR

Writer: Peri Kadaster

As I write my last post of the calendar year, I am stunned to think back at all of the change we experienced in 2015, both locally in Turkey (2 elections!) and globally (HP split! so did Ben Affleck and Jen Garner!). With regional tensions, a shaky lira, and polarized electorate, there are many potential obstacles that may greet Turkey in the new year. However, these challenges provide a unique opportunity to entrepreneurs in that times of confusion and/or resource scarcity require the discipline of laser-like focus on mission, product, and capital allocation that can, counter intuitively, help adept entrepreneurs be poised for unique success in a time of uncertainty.

This is an extract text from the great fireside chat between Prof. Erhan Erkut and Steve Blank on October 5, 2015 at Startup Istanbul Conference. It has great insights on the lean startup building blocks and tools for entrepreneurs.

Erhan Erkut:What are some of the risks that an entrepreneur faces and how would the entrepreneur mitigate them if the MBA program is not gonna do it for them?

Steve Blank:So one of the biggest both benefits and problems with being a founder of a company is that a founder is driven by passion and faith. And in fact on day one, A startup is closer to a religious organisation than anything else.You are actually driven by your belief that you see something that no one else does.And in fact that’s not only the reason you will succeed that’s also the reason that you will fail.Because very quickly for a startup to succeed you need to turn that faith into facts as rapidly as possible. The mistake is thinking that just because you believe that therefore it exists.And the whole idea about the lean startup movement says you know there are no facts inside your building, So why don’t you get outside and try to get some facts as early as possible.And that was my contribution to this portion called customer development.

And so the Lean Startup Movement actually does three things. It says let’s take all your hypothesis and by the way I use this word hypothesis because at Stanford where I teach the students pay 50 Thousand Dollars a year and their parents want to know they learning very big words. But outside of Stanford the word Hypothesis means guess.And if you really think about it most of your startups are based around a series of untested guesses. Though you might believe and you might have convinced other employees to join and you might have convinced investors to give you some money, the odds are most of what you have are a series of untested guesses.

And what we gonna do is have you write down those guesses and we gonna use something called the business model canvas by someone named  Alex Osterwalder. I would have added Alex’s book to your reading list.This book is called business model generation and in one single diagram one piece of paper we could put all your guesses,all the guesses.

Who’s the customers ? What am I building for them? What’s the distribution channel? How do I get,keep and grow them? What are the profits and losses and costs?etcetera.

Then the second thing we gonna do is get out of the building.Physically and sometimes virtually and test those hypothesis by doing the third thing agile engineering and building Minimum Viable Products.

And so the lean startup consists of those three pieces.

Business Model Design to articulate or write down your hypothesis, customer development to get out and test them and agile engineering to physically build iterative and incremental versions of the product before you do what we call first customer ship.In a lean method you are continually testing the product, almost from day one and it’s not just code it could be a powerpoint, could be a wireframe, could be just data to get some early customer feedback and what’s interesting is the lean startup maybe five years old yet MBAs had 100 years of management stack and we kind of just building our stack of tools for entrepreneurs.

Oscar Osterwalder came up with the business model canvas, I came up with customer development, Eric Ries came up with the insight that agile engineering is the best way to build MVPs.And so all of us have just been adding to this management stack and others, the books you mentioned as well. And so entrepreneurship and tools for entrepreneurs, all of you are now the beneficially in the 21st century of all this new thinking and how to think about startups.

Again I wanna emphasize if you are doing the same thing you would have done in a large company, you are going to go out of business.

BIG IDEA! Don’t believe that just because you believe so it’s going to happen.

Another thing that’s a challenge is that sometimes a very simple bet on real estate has a much higher return than startups with a lower failure profile. In fact in many emerging markets investing in a real estate plays probably just an index better on the overall country’s growth and a simpler way to get access to that growth than startups.