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Archive for 2005

Entrepreneurs Will Knock You Over

This past weekend’s StartupNation radio show featured an interview with entrepreneur Emily Blumenthal of Yasmena. She tells the story of how she got her product to be featured on QVC. She saw her opportunity and literally knocked people out of her way to make it happen. You can listen to the story here – it’s [...]

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Your Niche May Be Right Under Your Nose

Many people possess an undying entrepreneurial spirit, even if they aren’t officially in business. The night before trash day, I encountered a man surveying my trash–specifically an old sliding screen door we discarded. “Do you mind?” he asked. Of course I didn’t, but I was curious about when he planned to do with it. “Scrap [...]

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Big Changes for a Key Employee.. and your reaction

Continuing on the theme of throwing scenarios at you that you respond to, here’s one that we (as business owners) have to be ready for…because it could happen when we least expect it… — One of your key employees walks in to have a private talk with you. He has a serious situation he’s dealing [...]

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Ideas floating in the ether

It’s grey today in Michigan – someone owes me big for taking away a sunny summer day. In honor of a somewhat dour Sunday, I wanted to share a a somewhat dour (but hopefully moving) message once told to me by a bright young venture capitalist: an idea entitles you to very little. Here are [...]

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Are you reactive or proactive?

It occurs to me that most of the success I have had in life has been in spite of any discipline or focus on tasks. This is beginning to create problems at my new company, and I am determined to fix it. Not only does Charisma Sciences have our coaching service, but we are also [...]

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Lunch from hell

We’ve been to some real doozies of business lunch meetings…including some awkward situations where we had to make on-the-spot judgement calls on what was appropriate to do. Just to make sure we’re acting appropriately, we thought we’d tap your thoughts about proper etiquette during a business lunch. Here’s a typical scenario: Harry calls you at [...]

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An opportunity to work with a fellow entrepreneur

An entrepreneur named "Matt S." contacted us this week. He’s looking for help. Here was his initial email to us (via our “CONTACT” link at StartupNation.com): Hi– I’m desperate to launch a couple e-business ideas, but need a more tech-savvy partner. Would you have a resource for finding business partners? Love the website, by the [...]

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Incredible outpouring of help

We owe a BIG thanks to the people who stepped up last week as volunteers to test drive our soon-to-be-released "10 Steps to Start Up" online process. You know who you are–BRAVO!!! We’ll be working with you closely in the weeks ahead. When the 10-Step program is released on StartupNation.com, we’re planning to list out [...]

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What is a Niche?

It’s an entrepreneurial mantra: find a niche and fill it. Not so obvious, perhaps, is the definition of a niche. Over lunch today with my very inspiring friend Scotty, we were discussing a retail idea of his, and how to market it. The idea itself is very unique, and has the potential to serve a [...]

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Flex-Time- Is the Concept Coming or Going?

Do your employees make their own hours? This week, the subject of “Flex-Time” kept popping up on my computer. USA Today said the practice of flexible hours and allowing your employees to work at home has stalled. Major companies aren’t offering the option, and many employees fear that having such an arrangement puts them a [...]

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Knowing the right moment to start up your dream business

How do you know the right moment to actually make the leap–to start your dream business? One of our best friends is a woman–we’ll call her "Jan" for privacy–who works for a big corporation in a CRM capacity (customer relationship management). She sits in a cubicle with an entire department of other CRM people in [...]

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Desire

I was a bright-eyed 15 year old at the Detroit Auto Show in 1995 when a then-conceptual Audi TT was on display. "I will have that car by the time I’m 21," I told myself. Five months before my 21st birthday, I was driving away from Fred Lavery Audi with a new, Brilliant Black Audi [...]

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What Are You Wearing?

I get my clues from a variety of sources, but I need your help with my wardrobe. Have times changed? Has the dress code for business changed? Can you have success in casual dress? Let me get to the point: Can I wear my jeans? First some questions. Who (no names please) was the most [...]

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Website Traffic Tips from Overstock.com founder

This past weekend on StartupNation Radio we were joined by guest host, Patrick Byrne, founder and CEO of Overstock.com. The theme of the show was all about creating a web presence that takes your business to new heights. Patrick should know… his company is on a course to do a billion dollars in revenue this [...]

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Who Calls Your Phone?

Joan Isabella’s recent post about answering your phone struck a chord with me. I remember how much we spent buying and servicing our ridiculous Lucent phone system back at my last company, and not even having a dial-by-name directory for all the cash we dropped on it. More importantly, though, the post reminded me of [...]

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Shedding light on an unforgettable impression

Following on the theme of our previous blog entry, you might get a kick out of this story. We’re focusing on an unforgettable impression someone made on us by going to lengths to do something nice (and smart). Maybe it’ll spark an idea for you in your business dealings… We recently went to a conference [...]

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Who Answers Your Phone?

I love it when a human being answers the phone. Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of trying to telephone a list of 67 people. I’ve spoken to five of them. In the process I have encountered every imaginable type of answering system. Among them: – The automated voice gives you [...]

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Who’s On Your Superstar List?

I ended a recent blog with this statement: "I’ve got my superstar list. Who’s on yours?" A superstar list includes people that you’d love to have on your team in some capacity. They could become employees, partners, advisors or part-time consultants. I believe you should have a list of 12 that you constantly cultivate. Keep [...]

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Your family are your most important people

I have an exterminator who comes to my house to take care of pests. In the winter he plows snow. Paul has owned his pest extermination/snow removal business for 25 years. Every time he comes to spray or trap or dust or plow, I follow him around and ask questions. We talk about the technology [...]

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Taking Responsibility

Obvious? Maybe. For me though, it wasn’t clear until I’d screwed it up a few times: you have to take responsibility for everything that happens at your business. At times in the past, I’ve been in situations where our company was stumbling, and I *did not* do everything I could to bring it back on [...]

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