Aging Entrepreneurs!

The number of new entrepreneurs age 55 and over has nearly doubled since 1996.  Please refer to the graph below.  This has happened for several reasons.  One is that we live longer which allows for a second or third career. Another reason is the real estate and stock market challenges we had about 8 years ago seriously depleted retirement savings and next eggs.  Additionally some are forced into retirement early and find they need to supplement their income.  Finally, there are children returning home that need help and even parents needing support (the co called sandwich generation). 

If you are one of those considering staring a new business be sure to do your homework and find a trusted advisor that has actually started and managed businesses and know exactly what needs to be done. Having walked the talk is critical!!

Hawaii SMB Update! All about small & mid-sized businesses in Hawaii.

Please join me for this SMB update event!  All about SMB's - small and mid-sized businesses.  

Dr. Akina asked me to send you this note.

-Kelsey Meehan

Dear Reg,
I don't get angry a lot. But when CNBC pronounced Hawaii the "2015 Worst Place for Business", something inside of me cried out and said that this has just got to stop!
At the Grassroot Institute, we have tracked dozens of polls ranking Hawaii near or at the bottom. And they all point to the same things: excessive government regulations and high taxes.
If you agree that it's time to fight back, please join us for an exclusive panel at the next Grassroot Calabash luncheon on Monday, November 16 from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM at Pacific Club.
Our expert panel will include Tom Yamachika (President of Tax Foundation of Hawaii), Reg Baker (our Small Business Administration Rep.), Representative Gene Ward (Co-Chair, House Caucus on Small Business) and others.
I hope you too are angry at our small business climate and will join us to see how we can all make a difference before it is too late.
Register here to reserve your place.
Much aloha,
Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.

James Kerr of SuperGeeks Explains Milennials & Technology

I have known and worked with James Kerr for almost 25 years.  James is a leading edge thinker and innovator.  He is published regularly in various publications and a successful public speaker.  James offers unique perspectives on current topics usually with a technology twist.  Below he discusses how to successfully integrate Millennials into your company.  Please enjoy!

Integrating Millennials Into Your Company

By James Kerr (October 2015)

Mohammed Ali, the legendary boxer, authored the world’s shortest poem:
“Me. We.”

He shared it during a speech at Harvard in 1975.
I spent a good chunk of my youth thinking only about me. Who did well in school? I did. Who earned
his black belt? I did. Who put himself through college? Learned how to fly? Traveled the world?
But you know the truth. None of us are silos of success. None of us actually achieve anything by
ourselves. Instead, we accomplish with the help of others.

We learn independence at a young age and that’s good. Eventually we discover interdependence is
even better. There are no rich hermits.

At the office, our challenge is to build strong teams and to nurture the good work from everyone.
Together. And focused on stuff that matters.

The first impulse of many young entrepreneurs is to do it all themselves. This is the proverbial
17­hat syndrome. Move­out­of­the­way­I’ll­just­do­it­myself type thing.

We know that doesn’t work. At least not in the long run.

An organization based on a superstar is not worth much. If you are the sole lynchpin, the one
person who makes everything happen, then your business is on vacation when you are. It sleeps when
you do. And it’s out sick when you are.

You can’t sell that business easily. At least not for what you think it’s worth. And you can’t
escape the work until you do.

Key is the ‘we.’ To hire, train and motivate a cohesive group of talented people who truly care.
And to do it in a way that ultimately makes you obsolete.

This week I’m giving a speech to group of executives on how to integrate Millennials into the
workforce. The title is ‘Generational Change: How Emerging Technologies Are Changing

The Workplace And Why It Matters.’ (I will record a version of the presentation and share it with
you. Let me know if you are interested: )

To remain competitive, leaders and managers must leverage multiple generational teams. This means
developing the ability to hire millennials and keep them engaged. Here’s a brief summary of what
I’ve learned:

Stereotypes are entertaining.

Each generation has its share of negative stereotypes. Boomers are narcissistic and Gen Xers are
slackers. With role models like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber, Millennials are
even more narcissistic than Boomers. Millennials want fame and fortune but they don’t want to work
for it.

But none of these stereotypes are fair. We can just as easily say Boomers value loyalty, Xers value
work­life balance, and Millennials value innovation and change.

With so much debate over the true nature of any given generation, it’s probably wise to leave the
stereotypes at the door.

First, try to understand.

Childhoods matter. When you and I were kids, we watched the Walter Cronkite with our families. TVs
had just 3 stations back then and cartoons were available only on Saturday mornings. We hung out at
malls and played outdoors. Think about it: We were the last generation to play in the streets.

Millennials, on the other hand, grew up with AOL and the internet. They were the first to get toys
like the tamagotchi and they danced the macarena.

Their childhood was marked by school shootings, 9/11 terrorist attacks, AIDs, and divorce.

It’s no surprise Millennials are global thinkers. They are patriotic, they want to be the next
great generation, and they want to right all the wrong they see in the world.

Harness that.

Be open to change.

Millennials are the most educated generation and they are extremely tech savvy. Think Mark
Zuckerberg. Be prepared to upgrade your IT.

Millennials are internet­centric. They probably have a web­based way of doing what we’ve always
done the ‘old school’ way. And their way is probably more frictionless and less expensive.

Use millennials to re­imagine your assumptions about efficiency and quality.

Beta test.

Millennials are hotly competitive. They want to shine, they want to do meaningful work, and they
are at ease in teams.

Frame your corporate mission into smaller subsets. Give your teams clear expectations, demonstrate
how success fits into the bigger picture, and challenge the Millennials to innovate.

Create a real sense of ownership. Keep them focused. Do this via tangible projects and highly
socialized teams. Value competence over titles. Try to stay out of the way.

Millennials want to please. They look to the workplace for direction. Give it to them.

Upgrade your toolset.

There are probably an infinite number of reasons why your organization is not using newer
technologies like Slack, Hangouts, and Instagram. But Millennials won’t understand why you continue
to hang onto the status quo.

To retain young talent, you must have a youthful company. Less bureaucracy, flexible schedules, and
decentralized operations are enticing to Millennials. Those themes also make good business sense.

Regardless, the way you are doing things is probably in need of a makeover. Make it happen.

Don’t go cheap.

The industrial revolution served us well. It taught us to simplify our processes into smaller and
simpler steps so we could ‘dumb down’ the work. This led to the division of labor and the ability
to make things less expensively through reduced labor costs.

The internet has changed everything. Now, anyone can make almost anything and sell it almost
anywhere, anytime. At first glance, it seems like this democratization of the market is leading us
to commoditization, where there’s little in the way of differentiation and where price seems to
drive the sale.

But it’s the not the way to go. Instead of competing by racing to the bottom on price, we should
strive to deliver superior service, exceptional quality and remarkable customer experiences so we
can stand above the rest.

At the end of the day, this requires investing in people who are willing to do the hard work ­ who
consistently bring attentiveness, creativity and enthusiasm to common interactions.
If we want excellence (and we do!), then we have to pay for it.

Access to Capital Opportunities

Exciting day today!  Hosting and moderating a luncheon roundtable discussion with the SBA Administrator, a US Senator, a US Representative plus Hawaii dignitaries and the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce. 

We will be discussing access to capital for SMB's and what can be done to make it easier.  The SBA offers many different programs for accessing capital and training on how to do it.  The SBDC can actually get into the details with SMB's and assist in the process.  participating banks and credit unions also provide guidance and support. 

If you or someone you know needs guidance with access to capital opportunities please ask email me.  I'd be happy to help!