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The StartupNation Blog

Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Happy New Year!

Kindergarten began this week and I’m hoping that it means I have more time to spend building my company. So far, it has meant more trips to Target and bigger piles on my desk. My life is changing and I’m anxious to see how it changes my work. My schedule is in a state of [...]

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Behind the Scenes in the StartupNation Radio Studio

It’s 25 minutes until StartupNation Radio hits the airwaves for this week’s show. We’ll be broadcasting all over the country and the phone lines will jam up within minutes once the show begins. But right now it’s just Heather Cohen, our star associate producer and myself with our engineer Paul Roy in the studio. The [...]

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Home Based Business Tips

Starting a business has never been easier. The internet allows you to reach a global market and setting up a business in your home is an extremely popular way to test the waters in the evenings & on weekends. Before I joined the StartupNation team in early 2004 I ran a home based recruiting business [...]

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An eBay Businesswoman Takes Care of Her Son

One of my favorite “start your own business stories” is of Brandi Ramos in southern Illinois. An army veteran, single mom with an autistic son, Brandi was motivated to start an eBay business so that she could earn a living while spending time at home with her son. But what to sell? She simply started [...]

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Welcome to the Sandwich Generation

I think I can safely mark in my calendar that yesterday I became an official member of the Sandwich Generation. My son started kindergarten and while he was there, my sister called from the hospital to say my Mother’s doctor thinks we should consider a nursing home for both of my parents. To boot, kindergarten [...]

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Rehiring Employees

I was always told that once you leave a company to work for a competitor, you can’t return. Have times changed? A couple years ago, a friend quit his job to work for the competition. Within a week, he was back at his original job. The first job paid less, but the new company was [...]

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Everyone Says They Want the Big Order

Everyone says they want the big order. But beyond all the techniques and tricks of the trade you’ve heard about how to crank up your sales, here’s an ever-looming challenge entrepreneurs have to deal with: Would you take an order–sell, basically–a product or service only once it’s clearly developed, locked, loaded, and ready to go? [...]

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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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