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My Un-Retirement to Serial Entrepreneurship Journey

HUMAN STOP BUTTON – FIXED MINDSET

The human species is the only animal that has a built-in stop button that inhibits or stops our forward progress in living out our dreams, passions, and ambitions. In all areas of our lives and endeavors we often don’t start or give up.

In 2019 after 2 weeks of retirement, I unretired, after having a good laugh on my behalf. Just like in the Monty Python film Holy Grail:

I came to realize that I was not dead yet. I decided to live the last ⅓ of my life as an entrepreneur. When it came to my career I realized I had developed a fixed mindset about retirement.

GROWTH MINDSET VS. FIXED MINDSET – HBR Catherine Cote

“Someone with a growth mindset views intelligence, abilities, and talents as learnable and capable of improvement through effort. On the other hand, someone with a fixed mindset views those same traits as inherently stable and unchangeable over time.

For example, as an aspiring entrepreneur, you need basic finance skills to create your business’s budget and prepare its financial statements. If you have a fixed mindset, you may think, “I’ve never been good with math, let alone financial statements. I’m not cut out to run my own business.”

Now imagine you approach the situation with a growth mindset. You might think, “I don’t have a background in finance, but I can learn and practice those skills until I feel capable.”

The concept of growth and fixed mindsets was coined by psychologist Carol Dweck in her 2006 book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

According to Dweck, challenging situations can be catastrophic for those with fixed mindsets because of the implication that if they don’t already have the skills or intelligence to complete a task, there’s no chance of improvement.”

When you have a growth mindset, you believe you can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed, which makes every challenge a learning opportunity. Given the numerous challenges entrepreneurs face, a growth mindset can be a powerful tool as you work toward your venture’s success.

What we soon learned with the clients we worked with was not the product or service that was preventing them from either launching or scaling the start-up, it was their own mindset.”

NOT GOOD ENOUGH – THE WALLS WE BUILD

We soon found what was stopping our solopreneurs from scaling was primarily a fixed mindset OUR PAST – et in some key aspects of business or life itself. Along with a fixed mindset in some or many key elements of their start-up entrepreneurship journey we found there were three emotional behaviors that stalled or stopped their business growth.

  1. Limited Belief: About Themselves Or Abilities (Imposter Syndrome).
  2. Stress: Fear Of Future Loss Or Failure
  3. Overwhelm: Fearing Too Much To Do And Won’t Achieve It At All

THE JOURNEY BEGINS – PLAYING IT SAFE

My first business start-up was called E2E Digital Journeys, its purpose was to provide SAP Operations consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses. It was an area that I knew well as I had worked as a SAP Operation Manager for a global enterprise service provider. It lasted about 9 months when my partner who was younger than myself was stopped by fear and uncertainty of entrepreneurship and returned to the corporate world.

ME AND JUNIOR – NOT PLAYING IT SAFE

Only those who’re high on the herb can truly appreciate Marley. Lean back, enjoy life, and really listen to him. ‘…every little thing is gonna be alright…\

―A.K. Kuykendall

My next venture was to fulfill a dream of mine of working with my son. The company’s name was Empathy North and works primarily with Cannabis start-ups. Our purpose was to help start-ups navigate digital marketing and sales. Our clients hired us primarily to assist them in digital marketing and sales.

Note: Junior aka Nick Ward has his own start-up called  Evergreen Copy. Copywriting & Editing: Websites, Blogs, Newsletters, Press Releases

THE NEXT ONE – GOODSTUFF 

Just like the hair eClub for Men, we like it so much we joined the company. I actually replaced my morning hot beverage with the “good stuff. My son and I via a sweat equity agreement became minority shareholders in ViraOne Canadian company that makes a nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest superfood mix that tastes amazing! Packed with plant-based superfoods and supergreens. The hero of the product is medicinal mushrooms. We are working on a growth strategy to expand into global markets and additional products.

BUSINESS MADE SIMPLE – OLD FRIENDS RECONNECT

“If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to far go together” _African proverb

In 2021 I reconnected with an old friend and tennis partner Peter Henry who since 2014 was working on a start-up company of his own called GrowthLogic. He began with the premise that business should not be difficult and not require an MBA to understand it and start your own company. Business Made Simple.

“GrowthLogic we believe uncomplicating business fosters innovation and prepares the entrepreneurs and growing businesses to solve global challenges facing the world. Our simplified methods and tools help to unlock the full potential of inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs.” Peter Henry CEO GrowthLogic & Advantage10

Along with Peter Henry and myself, Bob Orlic, a multi-talented founder visionary at BIGBOT Studios Inc. Director / Writer / Editor / Animator / VFX creator and Blair Henry a former CEO corporate and NGO trainer working with 56 aids agencies in Botswana and in Nepal working with NGOs dismantling the caste system. We formed a start-up of our own called Advantage10.

The purpose and vision behind Advantage10 is; Business Made Simple. for entrepreneurs, innovators and start-ups anywhere on the globe. We help our clients with a hands-on approach to increase their business competence, and scale their business, while bulletproofing their mindset.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

“What makes it unique is that we recognize that success in business and life can not be achieved without an equally important balance of IQ and EQ. We integrate the logical, structural, and social-emotional in everything we do; business process management, project leadership, education, coaching, and consulting”.

My next venture is launching a new venture with a former colleague based in India Malgus Digital, it is India based company whose vision, understanding, and experience are global and transcends cultures. Our intention is to become an ally for our clients as they navigate their success in exploiting the opportunities discovered in Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). 4IR represents a new era of innovation in technology – one that’s enhancing human-machine relationships, unlocking new market opportunities, and fueling growth across the global economy.

What makes it unique is that we recognize that success in business and life can not be achieved without an equally important balance of IQ and EQ. We integrate the logical, structural, and social-emotional in everything we do; business process management, project leadership, education, coaching, and consulting.

OFFICIALLY OLD – NOT DEAD YET!

On April 5, 2022, I reached the age of 65, eligible in Canada to collect my Government Pension and my Old Age Security check. When it comes to old age I have made the transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset and now with a self-imposed life

‘AND MILES TO GO BEFORE IS SLEEP’

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Chris Ward
Chris Wardhttps://advantage10.com/
Chris is a Global Citizen and brings empathy, passion, service, and vision for nearly 40-years of global IT leadership to the table. Chris recently un-retired in 2019 from Siemens/Atos and launched a new career as a Serial Entrepreneur. His latest ventures are; Founding Partner at Advantage10 which is a global business education company providing service to entrepreneurs and innovators. Advantage10 simplifies business by applying systems thinking to projects and showing how business can be a place of motivation and healing. Chris is co-owner of Viraone.com, makers of a superfood product. He serves as a Board Advisor on two India-based Digital companies. FutureXReady.com MalgusDigital.com. He divides his “un-tirement time between Jamaica and Canada. He Serves as Volunteer Digital Record Department for the National Baha'i Community of Jamaica And Cayman Islands. “The earth is but one country & mankind are its citizens”. - Bahá’u’lláh

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