We all hope for success in a new year, and among the most energetic success seekers are entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, and those who are looking to build a better career.
For our annual Survival Guide, we compile the best tips for business and career building. We also reprise some of the best advice from 2003. For 2004 we focus on three stages of career planning: Jo Leonard counsels those entering the workforce, Dina Lichtman tells of her fight against ageism, and Ron Paxton recounts his mid-career switch (www.princetoninfo.com/200312/31231s01.html).
Whether you are looking for a job or looking for sales leads, a good directory can be invaluable (www.princetoninfo.com/200312/31231c05.html). And no matter what your job, you need to be adept at using the Internet. So watch your E-mail etiquette and note Jeremy Caplan’s list of must-have bookmarks (www.princetoninfo.com/200312/31231s03.html). Our "poster child" entrepreneurial company is Checkspert, which was started by two IT consultants who forecast the downturn in consulting and came up with new products and a new company. They dotted their Is, crossed their Ts, and managed to land a scarce resource, a $250,000 low-interest loan from the state. Now they are ready to ship products (www.princetoninfo.com/200312/31231c01.html).
Another stellar example is provided by Abhay Joshi of Discovery Semiconductors, who leveraged government loans to expand his firm. Here are ways to find funding for your business get advice for technology companies, and make networking contacts. Some help comes from the Small Business Administration and some from state and local government (www.princetoninfo.com/200312/31231c02.html).
Once your business has grown too big for the family’s kitchen table, where can you find space? See the list of incubators (www.princetoninfo.com/200312/31231c04.html).
But we are reminded that success is not always measured in dollars, cents, and square feet. This was one of the lessons of Bob Clancy, who died of lung cancer on Christmas Day. Clancy had helped Glenn Paul found the computer store Clancy Paul, and he invested in Paul’s current business, dotPhoto. "Bob was a wonderfully generous person," writes Paul. "He served on many community boards and he even created an award to honor community volunteers in the Princeton area. Always a Marine, Bob celebrated those who quietly contribute, whether in charitable work or business."
Clancy had his own definition of success printed on cards that he gave out to people when they might need a different perspective. Paul says he remembers more than one Princeton executive quoting from "What is Success?" attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson:
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you lived.
This is to have succeeded.