Lessons from 5 Successful Entrepreneurs

There’s no road map when it comes to entrepreneurship, since every company’s path is different.

But you can learn a lot from the people who’ve come before you, who’ve stumbled and fallen and picked themselves back up.

We asked several highly successful entrepreneurs who spoke at the Iconic conference in Boston in September to share some of their biggest business lessons. Read on to see what the founders of brands like Sam Adams beer and SoulCycle had to say.

  1. Life is Good co-founder John Jacobs: Learn from failure.
  2. Sam Adams brewer and founder Jim Koch: Don’t chase money.
  3. SoulCycle co-founder Julie Rice: Put your ego aside.
  4. KIND founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky: Focus on one great product.
  5. RYOT CEO and co-founder Bryn Mooser: Have a thick skin.

Read more via CNBC from Iconic Tour.

Photos from source.


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How to Set Up a Home Office

Working from home (sometimes called a SOHO for Small Office Home Office) is a luxury only few of us can afford, but it’s also a challenge to set up an office without spoiling the design aesthetics of the house, especially when space is at a premium.

Keeping it professional is simpler if you are a lawyer or a doctor with the luxury of a separate chamber. But if you are a freelance writer who needs just a laptop, the temptation of turning the bed or dining table into a work station is difficult to resist. Here are some useful tips to get a home-office up and running:

Create your own space

List out your needs

Use simple furniture

Personalize the space

Dos and Don’ts

To read the details of each tip, kindly visit The Economic Times.

Photo by The Economic Times


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Small Businesses Embracing Cloud at Extremely Fast Rate

Microsoft conducted a survey with more than 3,000 small businesses in 13 countries and their study revealed that the use of the cloud by small businesses will double in the next five years, with other reports saying the more than 20 percent of small businesses using the cloud will triple in the next three years. In addition, micro businesses use of the cloud will triple in the next two years.

The Microsoft survey identified five major reasons small businesses are going into the cloud:

1. Cost savings versus traditional premise based solutions that involves large upfront expense especially if the need involves large enterprise grade systems.

2. Increased access through mobility and convenience of anytime, anywhere computing.

3. Greater security is top of mind of small businesses where the thinking is that their data is secure in the cloud as it is in premise based systems.

4. Unlimited storage without investing in more hardware and software.

5. Getting more not only of the best apps but those that provide enterprise grade versions and are free of use.

Forty percent of small businesses today use at least one cloud based business application, including customer contact applications like www.justgocloud.com which is free to use but brings the power of a large call center solution to the small business owner.

Source: Customer Think Blog

Photo by laurajo at Flickr.com


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Book List for Successful Entrepreneurship

Here are 26 books every budding entrepreneur should start reading on becoming successful, as compiled by Business Insider. It’s either the BI’s recommendation or coming from venture capitalists, CEOs and startup founders.

  • “Predictably Irrational,” by Dan Ariely
  • “The Four Steps To The Epiphany,” by Steve Blank
  • “How to Change the World,” by David Bornstein
  • “From Resource Allocation To Strategy,” by Joseph Bower
  • “Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, And Made A Fortune Doing Business My Way,” by Richard Branson
  • “How To Win Friends And Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie
  • “The Zigzag Principle,” by Rich Christiansen
  • “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” by Clayton Christensen
  • “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins
  • “The Startup Game,” by William H. Draper
  • “Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” by Peter Drucker
  • “The Ascent Of Money: A Financial History Of The World,” by Niall Ferguson
  • “Never Eat Alone,” by Keith Ferrazzi
  • “The World Is Flat,” by Thomas Friedman
  • “The E-Myth Revisited,” by Michael E. Gerber
  • “Outliers,” by Malcolm Gladwell
  • “All Marketers Are Liars,” by Seth Godin
  • “The 48 Laws of Power,” by Robert Greene
  • “Delivering Happiness,” by Tony Hsieh
  • “Steal Like an Artist,” by Austin Kleon
  • “Founders at Work,” by Jessica Livingston
  • “How Successful People Think,” by John Maxwell
  • “The Smartest Guys In The Room: The Amazing Rise And Scandalous Fall Of Enron,” by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind
  • “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” by Robert Pirsig
  • “The Lean Startup,” by Eric Ries
  • “Start With Why,” by Simon Sinek

To ready more about each book, click to Business Insider’s War Room

Photo by eiteu at Flickr.com


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Support ANTI-SOPA Protest!

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Small Businesses in the U.S. Turn to Clouds and Tablets

Small business owner

Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) in the United States are increasingly using tablets, along with cloud computing and virtualization technology, and are spending more money on technology than they have in recent years. Nearly half of SMBs have adopted tablet computers and cloud services, while IT budgets for the second half of 2011 saw the greatest jump in more than two years.

The study of 1,200+ IT professionals was conducted during the fall of 2011 via the Spiceworks Voice of IT® Market Research Program. It reveals that 50 percent of SMBs have deployed or plan to deploy tablet devices, 46 percent use cloud services, 61 percent use virtualization, and 31 percent plan to hire IT staff.

Read more at Spice Works

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Your Virtual Success in an Online World

If you operate a virtual business, or are thinking about one, “Your Virtual Success: Finding Profitability in an Online World” is a book resource you should pick up. It offers an easy to read, yet content-filled set of actions for you to take to…

  • Transform to a virtual business from your normal job
  • Launch a virtual business quickly
  • Develop niche branding and image
  • Sell and market your business virtually
  • Qualify and hire virtual talent– from anywhere!
  • Test and increase your business

The author Alan Blume’s virtual model has resulted in large six-figure deals with people he’s never met face to face—and never will— and small sales that would never be profitable in a traditional business environment. In the book, he demystifies the cost-effective, leading-edge, Internet-based tools that are available to almost everyone, as long as you know what questions to ask and where to look.

Your Virtual Success shows any entrepreneur, sole proprietor, partnership, or existing business how to:

  • Leverage new Internet tools to grow your business faster and more profitably;
  • Utilize free or low-cost online resources to hire, manage and expand your business;
  • Rapidly create a new, work-from-home virtual business while minimizing the risks of a traditional startup.

Sources: SiteProNews | Barnes & Noble

Photo from GFXtra.com


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Obama Creates APEC Business Travel Card for Americans

U.S. President Barack Obama right, talks with Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva left, during the Gala Dinner at the APEC Summit in Singapore, 2009.(AP Photo/)

United States President Barack Obama signed a bill Saturday while in Honolulu, Hawaii, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit. The “APEC business gold card” bill, as Obama labels it, intends to make it easier for U.S. business travelers to access Asia-Pacific nations more freely and quickly.

The APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) allows pre-screened business travelers easier entry to most of the 21 APEC member economies. The card removes the hassle of individually applying for visas or entry permits for every visit. It also allows multiple short-term entries into participating economies during the three years the card is valid. Card holders also benefit from faster immigration processing via special APEC fast lanes at major airports.

The participating APEC member economies are: Australia, Brunei, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The legislation was unanimously approved by the Senate earlier this month after being introduced this summer by Sens. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

Read entire story at Boston Globe

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How to Tell a Good Company Name from Bad

If you're not confused, who is?

Several years ago, Watkins created a boiled-down 12-point ‘Smile or Scratch’ test to help businesses test their brands or product names — posing the question, “When you hear the company name does it make you smile or scratch your head?”

  • Simple — a straightforward no-brainer concept.
  • Meaningful — something consumers can get and that connects with brand focus.
  • Imagery — visually evocative.
  • Legs — it lends itself to wordplay.
  • Emotional — it makes a connection with the audience.

Or is the name…

  • Spelling-challenged — it isn’t spelled how it sounds.
  • Copycat — too similar to competitor’s name.
  • Random — disconnected from the brand.
  • Annoying — hidden meaning or forced.
  • Tame — flat, uninspired or not descriptive.
  • Curse of knowledge — the average person wouldn’t get it.
  • Hard-to-pronounce — unapproachable, complicated words.

Read entire article at San Francisco Business Times

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CRM Solutions for Small and Mid-Size Businesses

Image from DestinationCRM.com

Here’s a mini-magazine white paper about a few CRM solutions for small and mid-size business (or SMB), of course, sponsored by the companies themselves. But sponsorship aside, it’s always good to learn from experts in this eBook “Best Practices Guide for Effective CRM for Small/Mid-Size Businesses.” It covers the following:

  • Customer Service CRM in Growing Businesses: Challenges and Solutions. (eGain)
  • Waiting for a Workforce Optimization Solution that Fits? Wait No More. (Calabrio)
  • Go Mobile! With AT&T’s Award-Winning Mobile CRM from SalesNOW. (AT&T)
  • 5 Tips for Amplifying Customer Engagement. (Parature)
  • Social CRM Playbook. (SugarCRM)

Download the eBook/White Paper at DestinationCRM

Image from DestinationCRM.com


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