Recently, a fellow mompreneur-in-training tweeted me and wanted to know what I think makes a successful mompreneur? I knew that I could not answer her back in a 140 characters or less so I promised her a blog post on the subject. I immediately thought about the wave of emotions that accompanies being a mompreneur. [...]Continue Reading
Archive for “Inspiration for Entrepreneurs”
Guy Kawasaki is no stranger to entrepreneurship, having co-founded several businesses including Garage Technology Ventures, and Alltop.com, which is, as he describes, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web. He’s written ten books including The Art of the Start, The Macintosh Way, and his latest, Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, releasing March 8th, 2011, available on Amazon.com, and in bookstores everywhere.
I’ve read hundreds of business books, but never have I read a book like this. In a nutshell, Enchantment is all about how to make people fall in love with you, and when people fall in love with you, you can accomplish anything.
This book is part inspiration, part motivation, and part practication (I just made up a new word). With inspiring stories and practical steps, Kawasaki explains all the tactics you need to put together and launch your own enchantment campaign. Kawasaki’s lessons are taken from his experience at Apple, but many of the stories are very personal stories from average, every day people. (These stories happen to be some of my favorite parts of the book.) Buy the book on Tuesday March 8th, or any day and you will be able to experience “enchantment” for yourself.
In honor of the release of Kawasaki’s new book, I asked him to give us his perspective on small business marketing today. Here’s his insightful and unedited response. Enjoy!
What do you see are the biggest challenges for a small business owner today?
Sales, sales, and sales. My saying is, “sales fixes everything” because as long as you have cash flow, you’re still in the game. As a friend once told me, the leading cause of failure of startups is death, and you die when you run out of money.
Is that different than what it was a few years ago?
It’s been like this since the recession hit. Every day, I wish for just one more bubble because this time I’ll know what to do! But I believe that business is cyclical, so it’s not wise to panic. A rising tide floats all boats, but a receding tide makes the big, bloated boats hit rock bottom.
How have you seen business owners overcome these challenges? (What’s working?)
More than anything else, these times are a test of will–how much are you willing to gut it out and grind it out. If you can survive these times, you’re pretty set to take on anything. I have great admiration for the companies that continue to put out great products and services with less money while maintaining high levels of customer enchantment. It’s much easier to write the book and make the speech than actually deliver results.
As far as marketing, what strategies do you use to market your business?
Right now, I’m mostly marketing my new book. To do this, I believe that “nobodies are the new somebodies.” That is, I don’t focus on only the so-called experts and powerful people. I like to work with as many people as possible because it’s impossible to know who will really make you tip.
Is there a strategy that doesn’t work?
I’ve never been one to throw money at a problem…for two reasons, I never had the money to throw and I hate wasting money in any case.
What advice do you have for business owners who are just starting out?
Prototype, prototype, prototype. Get to market. PowerPoint and Excel are secondary or even tertiary in importance. Get to market and get cash flowing.
These are primarily information sources. Startups also need ways to reach and serve customers. For this, God provided Twitter and Facebook. These two sites are entrepreneur’s dreams because they are fast, free, and ubiquitous. The book that I recommend to startups is If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. This book provided the inspiration that changed my life. It’s not solely about writing–it’s about the human spirit. Every entrepreneur should read it.
Online Quiz: How GREAT Are You?
Online Photo Contest: Submit your Most Enchanting Photo for a Chance to Win!
“Like” Enchantment on Facebook
Wendy Kenney is the best selling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Biz, Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business, available on Amazon.com. She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Newsday. For more information go to http://23Kazoos.com.-->
Guy Kawasaki is no stranger to entrepreneurship, having co-founded several businesses including Garage Technology Ventures, and Alltop.com, which is, as he describes, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web. He’s written ten books including The Art of the Start, The Macintosh Way, and his latest, Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds [...]Continue Reading
I started my Saturday this past weekend with a midwest to westcoast flight. By the time I was over the Rockies, I was so excited to get to work on the new ideas filling my head that I couldn’t WAIT to get off that plane! I had just finished reading through Josh Linkner’s brand new book, [...]Continue Reading
In October, 2010, I woke up and announced to my family that I was going to start a business. It went something like this, “Good Morning! Today, I am going to become a mompreneur. Have a great day at school.” I know it sounds a little flippant, but there really was no other way of [...]Continue Reading
Hi gang, How do you get your product noticed in our current sea of product noise? Obviously, the way to be noticed is to wrap yourself inside a giant egg and be carried somewhere by the entire cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, right? Yep, you’ll be noticed for sure. Lady Gaga was certainly [...]Continue Reading
A little while ago, I was asked to give a presentation for a group of entrepreneurs. They wanted me to talk about what I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made in the past. I shared with them 10 very important business lessons I learned the hard way. Rather than make one really long post, I [...]Continue Reading
Hi gang, I really dislike the phrase “weight loss”. “Weight loss” implies something accidental, like “wow, I’ve lost my keys,” or “Wow, I must’ve lost my mind when I bought that Wham CD”. Believe me, I have not “lost” weight. I know exactly what I did with it and where it went, thank you very [...]Continue Reading
Even if you like working for someone else, you have probably had a business idea that you haven’t told to anybody. Chances are, in a few months or years someone will start the business you’ve been dreaming of. That’s when you’ll tell all of your friends, “I had the same idea years ago. I knew [...]Continue Reading
Hi gang, No, I don’t know exactly what number a Gagillion is, but does it matter? The point is that Apple is one of those amazing companies that has defied all odds. Let’s face it – 10 years ago, this company was going down. Steve Jobs was out – their small but feverish fan base [...]Continue Reading
I don’t know about you, but I grew up dreaming of running my own business. One of my sources of inspiration was Entrepreneur Magazine. I’d go over to the bookstore, flip through each monthly issue and get TOTALLY psyched about the possibilities ahead of me. Rieva Lesonsky was Editor of that magazine at that time, and so, [...]Continue Reading
My very dear friend and client Kathy Lancaster, is appearing on The Today Show tomorrow morning with Kathy Lee Gifford at 10 AM EST with her amazing fashion accessory Kapelli Ear Covers! How did she do it? Kathy and I have been working on her manufacturing project for one year now, and her shipment of [...]Continue Reading
What will help products reach MILLIONS of consumers? T.V. of course! The Military Shopping Channel (MSC) will be a fabulous new shopping model that will have access to over 12+ MILLION active duty and retired military personnel, and their families. Holy Toledo! After returning from Tampa, and visiting with Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington, I am [...]Continue Reading
Introducing… Love Seatz LoveSeatz began as an effort by inventor Anne Daniels to make her mother’s nursing home wheelchair as attractive and comfortable as her favorite chair at home had been. Several incarnations later, it has evolved into a unique, stylish, practical and personal part of her daily life. LoveSeatz are semi-fitted slipcovers which easily [...]Continue Reading
If you have an idea for a new product based on your personal experiences, you should definitely look into creating it. Just look at today’s interview. After having a difficult time finding a piece of clothing that would give her the ability to “manage” her cleavage in comfort at work, Julie Crotty quit her job, conducted [...]Continue Reading
Come visit me and my brother Jeff, presenting at the W Hotel in Boston this coming Tuesday! Sure, getting ahead in the current market is no small feat. But with the right guidance, inspiration and contacts, you can make it happen. One night only, in Boston – Tuesday October 19th at 3pm [...]Continue Reading
Some of you StartupNation folks have already appeared on Shark Tank and you know the exposure (and possibly money) it can bring you. Well, Shark Tank is back. The producers of the ABC reality series are on a nationwide search to discover the next successful – and possibly wealthy – entrepreneurs, inventors, businesspersons, dreamers, promoters, [...]Continue Reading
Care to join me in Vegas? If you’ve been looking to, A) take your business to the next level; B) network with great people like you who run their own exciting businesses; C) meet experts who might have breakthrough ideas for you; or, D) need an excuse for a boondoggle to Vegas… then early October [...]Continue Reading
This question has been in my heart and thoughts lately as my pet project, FitandFearLESS.tv, finally launches. As always, there are naysayers. Naysayers that question what a childrenswear designer could possibly know about the crazy world of online entertainment. As I take my first steps in this new venture, I’m often asked “I know this [...]Continue Reading
No, the invention of the month is not the girl in the bikini; it is the clever floating bookstand she’s using to read in the hot tub! Each month, I like to provide the StartUpNation inventor community with one invention that seems to catch people’s attention, whether it’s the creative nature and uniqueness of [...]Continue Reading
Hi gang, How does worm farming + raving + poker playing = Zappos? What everyone knows about Tony Hsieh is that he’s the Zen Master of Culture at Zappos, a wildly successful shoe website that was just sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion – not bad for 10 years work. I think what most people [...]Continue Reading