Bo Burlingham is an editor-at-large of Inc. magazine and the author of five books, including Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top, which has been praised by thought leaders like Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, and Jim Collins.
Today we discuss Bo’s fascinating journey, and how the very image of entrepreneurship has fundamentally changed over the past few decades – a shift that is highlighted in Bo’s previous book, Small Giants, which features the stories of small companies that value greatness over growth; companies that have the opportunity to get bigger a lot faster, but chose not to because they have other goals that they consider more important.
Forbes also continues to update a list of Small Giants, annually. And at this point in time, the hardest part of creating the list is narrowing it down to just 25 small giants every year – entrepreneurs are, increasingly, using their resources and drive to create a huge impact.
In the book (you can read an excerpt here), Bo identifies six characteristics of Small Giants:
- They have a relationship with the community that they’re located in; they not only give back to their communities, but their personalities are shaped by the communities in which they live.
- They have a close, personal relationship with their customers (which they sought to develop).
- The only relationships these companies value more than their customers is their relationship with their employees. They try to create what Bo calls a “culture of intimacy.”
- The leaders know who they are, what they want out of business, and why.
- These leaders also have a passion for what the company does.
- And of course, finances are also important: these companies have a large variety of business models that protect gross margins.
The face of entrepreneurship is still changing – with the change being led by these Small Giants and the next generation of entrepreneurs both brave and passionate enough to make an impact.
Don’t be a podcast junkie…
- Learn more at BoBurlingham.com
- Connect with Bo on Twitter: @BoBurlingham
- Read Bo’s articles on Inc.com: inc.com/author/bo-burlingham
- Join the Small Giants community at SmallGiants.org
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