I spent a great deal of 2014 writing and talking about best practices for entrepreneurs, marketing and startup creation. We explored the cult like following of Game of Thrones, asked how companies can leverage intrepreneurs, compared your entrepreneurial mindset to Jay Z and Benjamin Franklin, and debated the topic of entrepreneurship education in a 3 part series for Forbes and TweakYourBiz.com. We also discussed motivational factors for entrepreneurial, best practices for crowed sourcing and lectured on the difference between internationals marketing and global marketing. On radio and podcast, we explored branding on a tight budget and workplace balance for small business owners. I ended the year giving a few keynotes at Southwest University, SUNY Empire State College, University of the Pacific, Syracuse University and presenting at McGraw-Hill Education’s Annual Sales Conference. On that note, I think we need to start the year with a bang by highlighting some of these key takeaways to help you jumpstart your business or bring that startup idea to fruition. Here are my top 6 startup takeaways from 2014: #1. How to Improve Entrepreneurship Education – Explained by “Real” Entrepreneurs: I reached out to experts from across the country for their advice on this matter and came up with 10 recommendations for how to improve entrepreneurship education, from successful social entrepreneurs, endowed professors, researchers, business owners, startup founders, and researchers. Here are the easy-to-implement ways universities can put their degrees on the competitive map and empower students effectively, readying them for productive careers. Read More: 10 Ways Universities Can Improve Entrepreneurship Education (Forbes) Top 10 Reasons Why Universities Need Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (Forbes) What Entrepreneurs Had to Say About Improve Entrepreneurship Education (Forbes Recap) #2. Jay Z And Benjamin Franklin Can Teach You Something About Serial Entrepreneurs I know many of you are expecting me to mention Jay Z, Russell Simmons, Mark Cuban or Daymond John when describing a serial entrepreneur, but I’m about to flip the script. I’m going to set this off by citing the godfather of serial entrepreneur, Mr. Benjamin Franklin. Many serial entrepreneurs, like Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, have mastered the art of risk taking and strategic innovation, embarking on projects that once were thought to be unwise, but that ultimately turned out to be successful. The bottom line is that most serial entrepreneurs possess distinctive traits, and here are our top 10. Read More: 10 Characteristics Of A Serial Entrepreneur: Are You Jay Z Or Benjamin Franklin? #3. There Is A Difference Between Being Globally and Internationally Known Let’s quickly clarify a few things before we get into the nitty gritty of international marketing and global marketing. Both terms sound similar, right? And the word ‘global,’ in a way, correlates with ‘international,’ right? But the correct answer is ‘no’. They are not analogous. Read More: How Global Marketing Is Different From International Marketing #4. Don’t You Want Your Business to Have Game of Thrones Branding Power? All businesses dream of unlimited customer loyalty—the kind of sheer devotion you see in cults—but very few effectively implement the right set of tactics, goals and vision to create a cult following. In today’s global economy, astute branding can be a powerful lever to make money, win market shares and assert competitive dominance. Several ingredients contribute to successful branding, but the most prominent center on inspiration, differentiation, usefulness and consistency. Read More: Game of Thrones: 10 Examples To Create A Cult-Like Following #5. Startup Synergy Is Developed By Your Human Capital All newly developed startup teams will go through some turbulence. Many of these individuals have never worked with each other professionally and often have very little business experience if they are college students. In the age of Facebook, Kickstarter and Groupon, startup teams are getting younger, more ambitious and diverse, but the synergy amongst team members is not always there. This is why even the most innovative and creative startups can learn from established companies about effective human capital management (HCM) and team development. Read More: Achieve Startup Synergy Through Better Human Capital Management #6. What Companies Can Learn From Their Intrapreneurs Beats by Dr. Dre, Gmail, the Facebook “like” button, Java, Sony PlayStation. These products, icons and services, and many more, are now part of our lives – and some of us could not imagine living without them. But very few know these names were the result of innovative, smart intrapreneurship, way before the word was even invented or became mainstream jargon. Intrapreneurs are employees who work within companies but still retain some level of entrepreneurship. These professionals benefit companies, themselves and the public in several ways. Read More: The 10 Intrapreneurs Commandments: How Companies Can Benefit Conclusion I hope you enjoyed reading my tips and lessons learned for startups and entrepreneurs. We have witnessed a lot of innovation and creativity taking place in the last few years. Much of the new technology that helped to change the game for entrepreneurs happened during the recession period. This shows you how resilient entrepreneurs truly are. I am excited to see what new discoveries are awaiting for us in 2015 and looking forward to sharing it with you. Read Sian Phillips’ interview with Dr. Emad Rahim on #TYBspotlight: The Amazing Life Of Dr. Emad Rahim: Genocide Survivor To Entrepreneur Images: ”Corporate Business People Seminar Start Up Conference Concept/Shutterstock.com“ ______________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.