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The StartupNation Blog

Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

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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When raising money, use the Goldilocks Approach

Love the instincts and wisdom you entrepreneurs demonstrated in the “Show Me the Money!” blog challenge! There are two really important principles to remember when seeking funding for your business. 1. Make sure you have an ‘alignment of interests.’ This is when you and the provider of the money have similar goals for the investment. [...]

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Serial College Dropouts Anonymous

I was just part of a mass email from my buddy Tom, who is an awesome guy and also has an unreal golf swing. Here’s the first paragraph: — An unholy event has occured about which some of you have already heard rumors. I wanted to clear things up right away before anything gets out [...]

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He shows you the money (but do you take it?)

Today’s Scenario: You’ve been unemployed for three months, but you’re doing something about it. Yes, you’re ready to take control of your destiny and start up your own business. You’ve come up with a life plan after poring over the simple process we provided you in our life-changing book. (shameless plug) You’ve also developed a [...]

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Start Your Dream Business Through Your Own Daily Experiences

The inspiration for starting a business can come from so many different sources. It happens every day and very often it is spawned from our daily experiences. The two inventor winners from our StartupNation/INPEX promotion, Dave Hammond and James Acevedo, came up with their inspiration through their vocations. Dave was a medic in Vietnam and [...]

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Are you willing to say, "Don’t buy that from me."?

A customer walks in the door of your boutique pet store. Even though there are four national brand "big box" pet product retailers in your vicinity, this customer chose to come to YOUR store. Cool. She’s looking for a dog toy to keep her dog occupied during the day while she’s at work. She strolls [...]

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The Extra Mile

You know that friend of yours who everyone wants to be around? That’s my friend Johnny. Not only is his warm and laid-back personality magnetic, but he is consistently surprising me with those little extra steps he takes. Its often that "extra mile" that can make a difference between huge success and middling achievement, and [...]

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Are You LinkedIn?

A few years ago, my co-worker Ryan and I were discussing fun business ideas over a sushi lunch. What if there were a way to leverage the connections of our first-degree relationships, for either business or personal reasons? Maybe you could find a new customer, maybe a new girlfriend – and because you could see [...]

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A business practice we admire – Classy Follow Up

As you know, we’ve been blazing trails all over the country on our book tour. Along the way, we’ve been reminded of a business practice we recommend you consider adding to your mix. It’s a really simple one. We call it, "Classy Follow Up." After our recent Denver appearance, we received the kindest correspondence from [...]

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Entrepreneurs that LOVE America

If you’ve ever travelled overseas, you might agree: we believe there’s no country on earth that sets the table for entrepreneurs quite like America. Faisal Hazime knows this. We snapped this photo of him (with a Verizon Treo) at his restaurant, Pita Cafe. He’s proudly holding the StartupNation book — he’s mentioned on page XIV [...]

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Start With A Plan

Over the Memorial Day weekend, we built a wooden play structure from a kit. It is very hard work and I learned a couple of important things: 1) Carpenters and landscapers probably don’t have very nice fingernails or soft hands. 2) You really need a plan. Without the instruction manual, we would have had no [...]

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Careful if you’re seated next to a Sloan brother!

We were on a bunch of flights last week on our book tour, Everywhere we went, we asked people if they’ve got a good idea for a business. Pretty much EVERYONE said, "yes." But they also hemmed and hawed and gave all sorts of reasons why they either "won’t" start up, "would have, but…", "can’t", [...]

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Your Summer Internship

A quick note: if you’ve made your way over here from thefacebook.com, look me up on U of M’s campus. Another quick note: the new Coldplay album is unbelievably great. Anyways, its that time again. Finals are over, the birds and the bees are falling in love, and you’re a few weeks into your summer [...]

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Road Trip!!!!

Our L.A. – San Fran – Chicago road trip is complete. Actually, it involved 4 flights ending up back at the StartupNation HQ in Michigan. What a blast we had! The photo is from our chicago breakfast panel sponsored by Washington Mutual. Entrepreneurs were IN THE HOUSE! and they were looking for answers to their [...]

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