How Social Incentives Prevent Critical Honesty About Players in the Entrepreneurship Support Space

Yesterday I wrote about how the elevation of unimpressive women and POCs hurts the fight for equality and I’ve written in the past about “pretangels” and the damage they do to the ecosystem. Both situations – fake investors and incapable ecosystem leaders – are able to happen for the same reason: nobody calls them out.  Continue Reading

Elevating Untalented POCs and Women Hurts the Cause, It Doesn’t Help It

One of the issues that every industry struggles with is the lack of diversity in senior leadership, both gender and racial and ethnic. Unfortunately, some folks seem to think that plugging any random person of color or woman into a role, regardless of whether they’re actually qualified or talented, is a good way to combat this. It’s not.  Continue Reading

A PSA About Your Tax Minimization Strategy

This week I have a quick PSA for you to make sure you’re not shooting yourself in the foot with your tax strategy. This is going to be a super quick post, but I hope that you’ll take it to heart.

As you all know, I’ve served literally thousands of entrepreneurs – and I don’t mean because I have thousands of followers here on YouTube. Between Venture Catalyst Consulting, the volunteer work I’ve done, and the non-profits I’ve managed – I’ve seen a broad spectrum of business owners from a number of different industries and backgrounds. One thing that is incredibly common, seems like the smart thing to do, and then often comes back to bite you in the butt is the vast majority of entrepreneurs’ desire to get their tax bill down to almost nothing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I hate paying taxes just as much as the next person, but if you’re a business owner you need to take a step back, think about your long-term goals, and then work with your accountant to determine the best tax optimization strategy for you; not the best tax minimization strategy.

A tax minimization strategy is just as it sounds – you will manage your business and your finances in such a way that you’ll pay the smallest dollar amount in taxes as is legally possible each year, focusing just on that year.

The problem is, when you do this as a business owner you’re potentially making your business look less successful than it is. If you plan to work in your business forever, shut it down when you retire, and self-fund the entire time, that may not be a big deal. If you ever want to get a loan, however, or sell your company, you’re making life harder on yourself. Lenders and buyers want to see that you make money, not that you eek by.

What your tax strategy should be each year depends on your business and your goals and you must work with a qualified professional to determine what that should be. However, make sure that you’re not opting for a tax minimization strategy by default when it could end up costing you big a few years from now. I’ve had enough clients get stuck in their businesses for 3, 5, even 10 years beyond when they intended to sell because they’d been utilizing a tax minimization strategy the entire time and found out that that made them unattractive acquisition targets. Don’t let that be you.

Let’s Be More Critical of This Entrepreneurship “Hero’s Journey”

Many of our favorite success stories follow the “hero’s journey.” This isn’t unique to the world of entrepreneurship, but there is one particular “hero’s journey” tale that is incredibly popular right now, is intimately tied to entrepreneurship theater, and that we should all examine a little more closely.  Continue Reading

Providing Googleable Information Isn’t Entrepreneurship Support

Very quick post today but it’s about a topic that I think is incredibly important for those who fund ESOs to take note of: entrepreneurship support should not be about sharing facts, figures, and well-known tools like the Lean Canvas, it should be about providing individualized assistance to the entrepreneurs we’re trying to serve.  Continue Reading

Are Affinity Group Accelerators Helping or Hurting Minority and Female Entrepreneurs?

Recently, an interesting report from ICIC and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation about high tech incubator and accelerator programs revives the question of whether historically oppressed and/or underrepresented groups benefit from programs that segregate them from their white male counterparts.  Continue Reading