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The StartupNation Blog

Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

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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Connecting The Dots

The answers are often within us. That’s not to say you don’t have to work hard, research and struggle through, but your gut instincts can be the key to your success. I was reminded of that when I read Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read it or [...]

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Desperately seeking sales

We recently received a plea for help from an entrepreneur who just started up a consulting business. She was having a hard time getting initial customers. A lot of people who are just starting up have the same challenge–they’re desperately seeking sales. It’s tough to ramp up sales volume when you’re a new business without [...]

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eBay Live! update

Well, folks, if you were ever wondering whether eBay is still in fashion, we can assure you that it is–more than ever! Our most recent Success in the US tour stop was in San Jose where eBay threw a half-week-long eBay jamboree called eBay Live. About 11,000 bright-eyed, semi-costumed (some might say ‘crazed’) eBay enthusiasts [...]

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School’s Out!

You may be painfully aware that the school year is over. If you work out of your home, the noise level is a dead giveaway. No matter the age of your children, your work and their needs are most likely colliding. I’ve talked to entrepreneurs who are trying to tough it out through the summer [...]

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Hire the ones who smile

Whenever you need to add a new person to your team, make the decision easy on yourself: just hire the ones who smile. Smiling is awesome. The act of smiling makes a measurable positive impact in the physiology of a person. Smilers are obviously more upbeat and smiling is darned contagious. The StartupNation team just [...]

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Salesforce for cheap

I’m no marketing genius, but I know that certain products and services require repeat exposure to prospects before they will convert to customers. I’ve heard that the magic number is 6 or 7 points of exposure. Think of how much business you could be losing if you are not following up with interested prospects. Now, [...]

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Preparing for the worst

Sometimes reality smacks you pretty hard in the face. As I prepared for vacation, I got smacked but good. There was a tragic car accident and my nephew was killed instantly. In a daze, I rearranged my travel plans and headed home to be with my family. After four days, I caught a couple of [...]

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Help a fellow entrepreneur!

We recently recieved a call for help (via our "Contact Us" button) from a fellow entrepreneur named Jim. Here’s what he wrote: message: Jeff/Rich: So, do I just let it fold? I started my passion play 18 months ago that I’ve been thinking about for 3-4 years. Wireless Tech Radio is a one hour per [...]

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Your employees represent YOU

My fiance Suzanne and I went to a movie last week and wanted to purchase the tickets before grabbing a quick dinner prior to the show. It was a boutique theater that plays "artsy" films which we love (the film we saw is Mad Hot Ballroom, a documentary on the New York City public school [...]

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V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N

Does the mere idea of taking vacation freak you out? I am a one-woman show in my business. With the exception of some computer and clerical stuff, I do everything myself. So, when I go away for a week, there is no one here to take messages, no one to deal with the problems that [...]

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Great on paper, but do you hire her?

We’ve been throwing lots of challenges at you lately–like… what would you do if you had an opportunity to sell a product but knew it wasn’t really what the customer wanted? Or what would you do if someone dangled startup money in front of you, but it came with some serious strings attached? Well, this [...]

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