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The StartupNation Blog

Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

I”ll Tell Two People and They”ll Tell Two People

Brandi, who sells big and tall men’s clothing, was an inspiring guest on the StartupNation radio show talking about her EBay store. My fellow blogger, Joel, also wrote about how she created her company so she could spend more time with her son. But something else struck me about her story. I couldn’t help repeating [...]

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The future: global micro-brands

Walking the Via del Corso here in Rome, an American is exposed to all sorts of designers and boutiques that are uniquely Italian. You can find the same spirit in the Soho area of New York and on Haight Street in San Francisco, but secretly and quietly, this spirit is going global. The micro-brand is [...]

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Fleshing out our latest promotion

Well, the "Fleshers" have it. They’ve won the battle (see previous entry, "War of words"). Thanks for the corroboration folks! (did i spell that right?!). Now, to flesh out our latest promotion, I wanted to call to your attention the opportunity we’ve created jointly with Overstock.com, Microsoft, and Bobvila.com for all you home-based entrepreneurs. We’re [...]

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Lagniappe

With fabulous memories of New Orleans during better times, I was reminded last night of a New Orleans’ term , “lagniappe.” It means “a little something extra,” like an extra cherry on top of the sundae, or the prize in the cracker jack box. The word is used mostly in Louisiana and Southeast Texas, but [...]

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Powered by Entrepreneurial Spirit

The power is out at StartupNation headquarters right now. Word is that someone cut a power line & it may be up to 5 hours before electricity is restored. So, do we take the rest of the day off? Go for a long walk, or take a nap? It was fascinating to see the StartupNation [...]

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Reinventing yourself and your business

Milton Hershey, David Bowie, and Bill Bradley did it. “Madonna” and “The Donald” have made careers of it. We were talking about entrepreneurs in many fields who reinvented themselves once, twice, or on a regular basis. Here’s a list of some of the ones we mentioned, and I hope you will add some of your [...]

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Summer of ’05: we will miss you

The leaves on the ground and the Michigan football victory on Saturday aren’t the only reminders that fall is upon us – there are also the roving masses of new and returning students here in Ann Arbor, and the almost complete unavailability of thefacebook.com as we all pound its servers uploading photos of ourselves from [...]

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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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