Letting Ideas Flourish: Unleashing the Power of Startups

This post is adapted from a guest post I wrote about a month ago that can be found here. As I work with hopeful entrepreneurs and those in the early stages of their startup, I am continually inspired by their unwavering commitment to pursue their dreams. Unfortunately, I’m often discouraged to see their enthusiasm squelched when they find themselves to be outsiders trying to break into a startup community that only caters to a specific type of entrepreneur. We owe it to aspiring entrepreneurs to be diligent in creating more inclusive startup communities. First, let’s make it easier for entrepreneurs to turn ideas into successful startups. Second, creating strong communities of support for startup businesses must become a top priority. Let’s see how we can … Read more

Why Entrepreneurship Part 3: Social Impact

So far in this series, I have discussed who can be an entrepreneur, what it takes to be successful, and explored the freedom that comes from starting your own business. In this final post, I want to show the ways that entrepreneurship can be used as a tool for social impact. Small Business Worldwide It is hard to find worldwide figures, but in the United States, small businesses employ half of the entire workforce and create about 64% of new jobs. These numbers are likely higher in less developed countries where unemployment rates are high. High unemployment rates in these countries encourage some individuals to be creative and find ways to make money when jobs are scarce, resulting in many unofficial small businesses. While these … Read more

Get Started Growing Series

Last spring, I wrote a series about startup success for a faith-based blog and it was recently chosen for the Editor’s Pick for the first half of 2017. I may be a little biased, but I think the content is really good. No matter what your background, I think you will find some useful tips and information throughout this series. Here are links to all the articles in this series: Get Started Growing: Maximizing Startup Success It Starts With You: Maximizing Startup Success Understanding Your Customer: Maximizing Startup Success Starting Small: Maximizing Startup Success Iterations Through Feedback: Maximizing Startup Success   Sign up for Expat Essentials Click here to sign up for our Expat Essentials newsletter so you don’t miss out on future book reviews … Read more

Why Entrepreneurship Part 2: Freedom

In Part 1 of this series, we learned entrepreneurship is not easy. In fact, it is usually really hard and takes long hours to be successful. When I started my training business, there were many days when I would leave the house at 6am and not get home until 7pm, including weekends. During one particularly busy season, I remember coming home late one evening to see my toddler jumping up and down when I got home. He was so excited because he hadn’t seen me that day. While this sounds terrible, you need to know that it wasn’t everyday. Despite the long hours, in some ways I felt incredibly free. I was free to: Create the job I wanted Be flexible with the hours I … Read more

Two Things the 2007 Kenya Elections Taught Me About Business

I’m interrupting my “Why Entrepreneurship” series because last week’s presidential elections in Kenya brought back many memories from the 2007 election and its aftermath. Most of these memories are hard and painful, but others make me grateful for my time and experiences in Kenya and those are the ones I want to share in this post. 1. Be Ready for the Unexpected Driving back from climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro on December 30th was one of the most frightening times in my life. The election results were supposed to be announced at any moment. We pulled into Nairobi in the late afternoon and there was no one on the streets except for a few police and military trucks. If you have ever spent any time in Nairobi, … Read more

Why Entrepreneurship Part 1: The One Thing That Makes a Successful Entrepreneur

While entrepreneurship may not always be the easiest way to way to get yourself overseas, it is the most sustainable, provides the most flexibility, has the least amount of risk, and allows for the greatest social impact. In this series we will explore who can be an entrepreneur and the benefits I mentioned in much greater detail. In this first post of the series, we will explore WHO qualifies to be an entrepreneur and the one skill all entrepreneurs MUST possess to be successful. Who is an Entrepreneur? Many people believe that to be an entrepreneur you have to have certain personality traits or meet a mysterious set of unwritten criteria. Or, they believe that you must possess a specific set of technical skills. This … Read more

Where Should I Go? – 3 Considerations for Deciding Where to Start Your Overseas Business

When starting your overseas business, deciding where to pick up and move is not always an easy decision. Some people feel a pull toward a certain country, whether it be a specific job opportunity, a family connection, a leaning that is rooted in your faith, or a fascination with some aspect of the country or the culture. Others of us are less tied to one particular place and are willing to consider multiple options. For those of you who fall into the latter category, this post is for you. My aim is to help you consider important issues and equip you with some tools as you think through your options.   Cost of Living for Expats One of the most important things to consider when … Read more

3 Key Steps for Cross-Cultural Startup Success

As you prepare for life as an entrepreneur in a cross-cultural context, there are several key steps to prepare you and ensure your business is set up for success. When we decided to spin off our team building and leadership program into a for-profit business, our launch team did several key things to ensure our success. Today, I’ll be sharing some components of that process to give you some things to think about as you begin your journey. Do It Right Our launch team wasn’t new to Kenya. Occasionally, circumstances may require you to launch your company immediately, but ideally, you want to have some time on the ground to learn the business landscape and meet the right people. Since we were familiar with the … Read more

2 Essential Relationships for Expat Startup Success – Part 2: The Guide

In the first post of this two-part series, we talked about finding the Monk of the culture, an experienced expat who can help you adapt to your new host country.  Today we will talk about the Guide, a local mentor who will be instrumental in your success. When I think of the role of a guide, I naturally think about a tour or safari guide.   An experienced guide shows you things that you would likely fail to notice on your own.  If you were to walk through an art museum, you may see and appreciate the beauty of the pieces you observe.  However, if you have a skilled guide, those same pieces develop a whole new level of meaning.  You will learn the historical … Read more