The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Archive for “Get Inspired”

Buy One, Give One

Referencing my prior post on Creative Capitalism, here is another business with a 1 for 1 model. A new project by California eco-urban design firm LJ Urban aims to make giving more concrete—quite literally—by matching its sales of homes domestically with funds to build homes in the impoverished African nation of Burkina Faso. Urban has [...]

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Small Business Profile: OutspokenMedia.com

To follow up on a previous post requesting feedback on topics and offering to highlight members of the community, I learned of Outspoken Media, Inc.—an internet marketing startup that was founded in January by three women who wanted more for their clients. Partner Rae Hoffman just finished 20th in the recent Startup Mom competition, an [...]

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Small Business Profile: Heinz Marketing

To follow up on a previous post requesting feedback on topics and offering to highlight members of the community, I learned of Heinz Marketing. Matt has held positions at companies such as Microsoft, Weber Shandwick, Boeing, The Seattle Mariners, Market Leader and Verdiem. In 2007, he started Heinz Marketing to help clients focus their business [...]

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Join in on my webcast, Details below

My good buddy and ally in advocacy for small business success, John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing has organized a great webcast happening at 9a Pacific this Wednesday. It’s all about strategies for success in starting and growing a successul business in this environment. Use this link to find out more and to register. I [...]

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Partner: Beat The Economy Together

I wonder if products have the same experience people do, that when they meet their match, they feel like they are “home?” I’ll bet the product manager of this doosey has earned his bonus: Hillshire Farm ham and turkey + reusable Gladware = Green, Money Saving, The-Big-Corporation-Proves-It-Can-Still-Listen-To-Customers   What partnerships could you consider in your business? [...]

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PR Opportunity: ABC Casting Call

StartupNation PR Team Connects you to a Casting Call for an ABC TV show about Entrepreneurs and Inventors! Do you have the next great moneymaking idea? StartupNation is working closely with the wonderful folks at Mark Burnett Productions/ABC to help them in their search for entrepreneurs, inventors, businesspersons, dreamers, promoters, creators, innovators, etc. We hope [...]

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Incorporating Mini Movements Into Your Business Model

When you consider your business model (which includes your marketing efforts), you generally concentrate on these core components: Why will people pay you? (money, votes, donations) What does it cost you to sell your item…margins? What protects you from competition, price-feature battles? How will you turn an agnostic audience into loyal customers? Early on when [...]

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Woohoo! for Leading Moms featured on ABC News

So excited to share that the 2009 Leading Moms in Business are catching the attention of major media! ABC News’s Tory Johnson just ran a feature on the winner of the 2009 StartupNation Leading Moms in Business Competition. See the video… The competition was sponsored by VerticalResponse, a leading email marketing company that we use here [...]

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Diversify Your Revenue Streams: Spin What You Got

I picked up a book in the airport recently: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. It’s a fast read and has enough tabloid photos to keep you interested. Her come-sit-by-me-and-dish point of view is disarming and I genuinely enjoyed her tales, her vulnerability and her wit. More importantly, I respect what she is doing. Wishful Drinking [...]

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Creative Capitalism: one for one, from day one

Recently, I was contacted by a PR firm (Attention) and asked if I would profile Blake Mycoskie on my blog(s). I’m ashamed to say how long it’s taken me to turn this piece around, however seeing the latest ATT commercial featuring Blake after a long day of meetings (at my day job) shamed me into finishing. My [...]

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Our ROI Revealed – What It’s All About

Usually, the acronym, ROI (“Return on Investment”) is reserved for use in characterizing how much money you get out of a deal as an investor. It’s basically a financial stat. But the ROI for us at StartupNation is something quite different, which I realized as soon as I received this unsolicited email at 7:41pm. Beyond [...]

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Pick Good Influences For Your Advisory Board

Obviously John Wooden is not on my advisory board, but he is in my Pantheon-of-Wonderful-People. Quote to consider No written word, no spoken plea Can teach our youth what they should be; Nor all the books on all the shelves It’s what the teachers are themselves. Given to John Wooden by his Father upon Graduation [...]

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A Lawyer Comes Clean….

Hello.  My name is Jessica Eaves Mathews and I am a serial entrepreneur. There.  I said it. I am coming clean.  It is high time I admitted that not only do I love helping my law clients set up and run their own businesses, but I have a *fond* attachment to setting up my own [...]

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The beginning of the end … of the bad economy

I received a press release today that deserves a few minutes of your scanning. It’s the monthly consumer confidence report issued by The Conference Board. It shows that consumer confidence actually trended up this month for the first time this year. Is this a sign that we’re going to start hustling and bustling again? Well, little by [...]

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My Most Passionate Encouragement to Start Up

Check out this NYC regional TV show with Brian Lehrer as host (and me silenced in the first few minutes but then unLEASHing my enthusiasm about why now is a great time to start up, once my mic starts working, that is…) I give a five point prescription for steps to take to pursue your startup opportunity [...]

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Get some…(free) education!

Recalling my earlier post about (FREE being a good price, and FREE love… I’m a big fan of “if you have a gift at something, you share it.” Perhaps it’s all that Catholic school (no lights under a bushell, and such) but I think this journey is a lot easier when people give one another [...]

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How to Conquer Your Business Startup Fears with Mind Mapping

Let’s face it. The first step is always the hardest. Whether you’re trying to quit smoking, start graduate school, or learn how to play guitar. It’s that first step that leaves us feeling awkward, inadequate, and questioning our conviction. Taking that first step toward entrepreneurship is no different. We question our business skills, product performance, and financial competency. The dreaded, “what if I can’t do it?” question creeps into our daily thoughts. We start reasoning that it might be better to “just wait another year.”

These fears are extremely common and unfortunately well founded. Reports show that as much as 50% of all new start-ups fail within the first year. That is not exactly encouraging odds. However, we all have a choice when it comes to creating our destiny. We can use statistics like these to confirm our business’s certain death, or gain confidence from the fact that you could be part of the 50% that become a success. In the famous words of Zig Ziglar, you just have to eliminate your “Stinkin’ Thinkin’”.

One of the tools I use to overcome my fears is mind mapping. It’s a terrific tool that can help you isolate the source of your fears, bring much needed perspective, and help brainstorm solutions to your sticking points. There are several “mind mapping” tools out there and many are free to use. I prefer to use the tool by Wisemapping since it’s free, allows me to add notes and web links, and I can publish or share the completed map.

To demonstrate my fear mind mapping strategy, I’ve created an example below.

Startup Fear Mindmap

First, I outline my top fears associated with starting the business. I then brainstorm how I can overcome those fears. My final step will be answering those questions. My goal is to find a positive solution to each of the questions I’ve asked. For example, for the question, “Can I reduce my startup costs with outsourcing?” I would research potential manufacturing possibilities until I could answer the question with a “yes.” If I can’t find a way, I then brainstorm ways to overcome the obstacle. A “no” isn’t necessarily bad, it just means you need to tweak your business plan to compensate for this reality. Try to be as thorough and honest as possible with your mind map. The goal is to solve your sticking points on paper before you’ve invested your time and money. I use this tool regularly for many of my business decisions including product launches, partnership agreements, and even potential marketing opportunities.

It’s amazing what this simple exercise can do for your confidence level. You are no longer living in fear of the unknown. Instead, you are on a mission with a powerful road map to your business’s success.

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Let’s face it. The first step is always the hardest. Whether you’re trying to quit smoking, start graduate school, or learn how to play guitar. It’s that first step that leaves us feeling awkward, inadequate, and questioning our conviction. Taking that first step toward entrepreneurship is no different. We question our business skills, product performance, [...]

Continue Reading

Experience Businesses: Sarah’s Smash Shack

If you position it right, you can market anything — especially if it aligns with a core human need. In this case,  Sarah’s Smash Shack was conceived to relieve people who are stressed-out. Could the timing be any more appropriate? Customers in San Diego can choose fragile tableware from the Smash Shack Menu—for example a [...]

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