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What it Takes to be Tomorrow's Entrepreneur

How much has the world changed in the past 15 years?


Let’s take a walk back in time...

  • Cell phones were sporadic and bulkier.
  • Chubby laptops were the way to take computers with you.
  • Businesspeople carried Palm Pilots.
  • The Internet was taking the world by storm (though no major social networks, yet).

All of this, only 15 years ago. With everything evolving so quickly, what will society resemble in the future?!


The Trends

If you’ve seen Facebook inundated with venture capital and webinar ads, you’re not the only person. Some are calling this the Age of Entrepreneurship—it has never been easier to start a business, gather resources, and educate yourself in the history of time.

After so many layoffs during the Recession, many people lost faith in job security and took matters into their own hands. No longer feeling they could rely on employers, a new wave of entrepreneurs took up arms. This trend has only grown, even with the Recession fading out. Add to this that more Millennials are maturing and saturating the workforce, bringing their values for meaningful work and expression.

According to the 2015 Global Entrepreneur Indicator, 90% of US entrepreneurs are open to starting a new business today and 86% expect a revenue increase over the next 6 months.  The attitude of society right now is extremely hospitable to emerging entrepreneurs.

Technology is also fertilizing the soil. So many sophisticated tools are available to the average person now that weren’t 15 or 20 years ago—anything from CRMs to online team management systems to an array of creativity suites.

You can use Elance to find partners and use Fiverr, Etsy, or Amazon to set up shop. Social networks can be useful in marketing strategy. And portable devices and Cloud computing allow for the ability to work anywhere, anytime.


What can we predict about where entrepreneurship is headed?


These trends will only become stronger. Here are some specific changes we will likely see, though.


Build Community

Many entrepreneurs believe that communities of entrepreneurs will become more common. Steve Case, Co-Founder of AOL, says, “The next generation of companies will…require more partnerships.” With bigger problems to tackle and heightened competition, working interdependently will be essential. Of course, technology will aid this process, but in person interactions will also be important.

You can prepare for this by networking with people in your field with diverse skills and talents. Instead of seeing them as competitors, see them as allies working for the same causes and toward similar goals. They can offer valuable insight, camaraderie, and support. Be willing to provide these, as well, in a spirit of humility and generosity.

Embrace Millennials

The youth are the future. Millennials will one day be running things, so seek their vision and help. They might have different values than you—that’s okay. Reflect on what those values are, how they might be important, and how you can embody some of them in your business. If you are a Millennial, remember to collaborate with multiple generations to gain different perspectives, but also stay true to your ideals.

Keep in mind that the newer generations are more committed to doing work they love and are not strictly bound to any one job. If you have younger employees, see how you can help them build and utilize their strengths. Appreciate them, but don’t hold onto them desperately, because they will pursue another avenue or a higher position in another company if they feel it is right for them.

Future entrepreneurs will have adaptable and malleable teams in a constantly changing world, and they will seek to empower their employees, because that will be the hot ticket to finding great team members.

Loosen the Reins

Forbes predicts 50% of all business employees will work remotely by 2046. This, among various other factors, means the old hierarchy is going to need a eulogy. You’ll be ahead of the times if you open up to some of your employees telecommuting. Also, attempt to make the actual workplace a bit more fun, personalized, and welcoming. Google is an excellent example of this strategy.

Instead of being the commander, invite feedback and constructive criticism from your employees…and really listen! Trust and develop them more, taking away superfluous layers of management. Help them to organize their own teams and support each other, and don’t be afraid to “walk amongst” them. Businesses in the future will be a lot more fluid and employee-friendly.

Keep an eye on the trends. As an entrepreneur, it is absolutely vital to stay current if you want to stay afloat. It’s even better if you have an edge. The world is changing quickly. If you close your eyes for a minute, a whole new environment could await you when you open them. 

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy New Year to our brothers and sisters overseas in the Far East!

This year is the Year of the Sheep (also goat). The sheep is the eighth sign in the Chinese zodiac, and is considered auspicious because 'eight' symbolizes peace, harmony, and prosperity.

And what else could we hope for in our relationships with colleagues and staff, as well as family and loved ones?

So take a moment to reflect on your old relationships, toast to new ones, or set off a firework in honor of all the contributions you received from your community, near and far (East)!

Kong Ren Consulting unleashes the leadership potential in your people so teams can thrive. To learn more about our programs and trainings, click here. To receive great, useful content each month, sign up for our email list here. To discuss how we can support you, your organization, and teams, contact us today! 


Contest Announcement: What is YOUR Relationship with Technology?

Join us for our next webinar "What is the Right Relationship with Technology?"

You can register here.

Technology continues to consume more of our attention. Besides the ever-present computer screen at work, some of us wake up with screens, or fall asleep with screens as well. What impact is this having on us as a social being?

This tidal wave of information from our devices continues to challenge us in ways previously unimagined. Too much information drowns us. We begin to miss important details that seem obvious to others, or worse we drown in a puddle of perceived inadequacy at our own inability to manage the load.

We believe there is a code or set of behaviors that creates an empowered relationship to technology, that which has us maintain what is most important about being human, while also benefiting from the access to information that creates our modern conveniences, or sustains our livelihood.

By discovering this ‘code’, we can fully embrace the advances of our new technology without fear of losing integral aspects of what makes us human.

We will explore these concepts in our next webinar "What is the Right Relationship with Technology?"

I’d like to invite you to join us a live for this casual conversation.

We want to hear your perspectives on how the world is changing as a result of our relationship with technology , and your strategies for living in right relationship with it.

But here's the catch…you have to submit your ideas by commenting on our Facebook wall by next Tuesday April 8th to qualify. We will choose up to four people to join us live for the conversation with our panelists.

From Portland to Shanghai

Gazebo in Yu Yuan

As I open my eyes to what’s possible since adopting our company’s mission to ‘create teams that thrive’, particularly in cross-cultural environments, I see the important integration of old Chinese traditions (Confuciunism, Utilitarianism, “For the greater good”, etc.) with Portland-style living (accountability, sustainability, social good).

I see that as I’ve become more integrated into the Asian community of Portland, I’m reminded of how deep traditions can go, and the power of tradition as it survives—even a transoceanic journey.

We can find similar elements of Chinese culture show up in Seattle or London as we would in Beijing or Shanghai. The ‘distance’ between these cities is decreasing. Portland will soon need to respond to this opportunity, and this is an exciting time to become a part of this expansion.

Portland is the West Coast’s fourth largest freight gateway for international trade. Will the deeply humanistic, family-oriented traditions of China translate to the needs of a modern regional trading hub?

The future is simple, though at times we perceive it as complicated. Community is something that is understood internationally. Thus, this is a magical time to harness the potential of global community for our internationalized future. Let’s get ready together!

Matthew Koren unleashes the leadership potential in your people so teams can thrive. He is based out of Portland, OR. To learn more about his programs, click here. To receive great, useful content each month, sign up for his email list here. To discuss how Matt can support you, your organization, and teams, contact him today!

Your chance to win!

As many of you know, I'm hosting the upcoming webinar on Mindfulness in the Workplace on Nov. 25th at 1:30 PST.

I have a surprise for you!

A few of you are going to have a chance to be in the room with our panelists during the live webinar. That means during the Q&A sessions, you'll get your questions answered directly by one of our experts.

To be one of those lucky ones, reply comment on this post with:

  • why you want to be in the room with us
  • one question you want answered above all else

Winners will be chosen by the panelists, will receive a one-year subscription to Mindful Magazine, and most importantly will be able to join the live stream on the day of the event to interact with all of us real-time!

Of course, you have to be registered to win!

So hurry up and make your comment, then head on over to our snazzy info page to make sure you are eligible for all the amazing benefits of this event, including a link to the recording of the event that you can watch afterward on your own time.


Hello World. Let’s Do This!

I often ask myself,  “Who do I want to be?” It’s been on my mind for a while. Just like you, I’ve gone through many options: lifeguard, day camp coordinator, yoga teacher, that call center guy, entrepreneur, sales guy, manager, coach, consultant, etc. I even traveled the world and back. You’d think something would stick!?

Hint: what you think you’re looking for is typically no further than your own backyard. In my case, it was nestled securely inside my heart between fear of success and self-consciousness.

Who Do You Want To Be?

I always wanted to be a computer programmer because I loved strategy games (that was after I decided being an astronaut would require too much math.) Then, I thought being a psychologist was the closest major in college to what I wanted to do. I wanted to figure people out and help them, and unlike astronauts, I didn’t need to take lots of math to be a psychologist =  Bonus!  

However, psychologist wasn’t my true calling but I learned that I love working with people and helping them make sense of what seems to be a crazy new world. This new world is a wonderful place to play, thrive, and live your dreams, but we often forget how powerful we are due to so much information coming at us. I’m here to help you sort through it all. My passion is your passion: creating a great life and feeling good Yes, it’s totally possible.

Today I’m announcing it to the world, to you, and here it is:

Over the next few weeks on this website you’ll see my thoughts and videos on topics related to my new work. I’ve worked with over 30 corporate clients and many more individuals doing team management and leadership development, and after six years being in the thick of it myself and with my clients, I realize I have the gifts necessary to deliver increased profitability and employee engagement which help executives develop their unique leadership style, and the high-performing, globally distributed, culturally competent teams they need to support them.

I hope you’ll get inspired, share my content, and enjoy the ride. Of course, let me know what you think by emailing me at I’ll be in touch again soon!

Matthew Koren is a team management and leadership consultant and executive coach based out of Portland, OR. To learn more and receive great, useful content each month, sign up for my email list here.