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This week I had to drive to a restaurant I’ve never been to before. When I’m driving to unfamiliar places I use my car’s GPS system. So I looked up the address of the restaurant. Its website simply stated the street name but no street number.
I don’t know about your car’s GPS system, but mine insists on me typing in a street number before it will even allow me to progress to typing in the street name. In the past, when I haven’t known the street number, I’ve typed in a random number in the hope that I would spot my destination (if it’s a store, cafe, or place with signage) by driving up and down the street. Tip: this is not productive. Especially if you’re on something like Epping Road or Pacific Highway. [...]
You gotta love someone who is prepare to put themselves out there. That’s why I like this YouTube video so much. Mike Larsen is normally a pretty straight-laced, serious corporate guy who recently jumped ship to found his own startup, InsideTrak.com.au. In order to spread the word about his new business, he’s done his very own Ricky Gervais impression in this online video.
His antics – which included taking out an advertisement on his competitor’s website – inspired this week’s Enterprise post. [...]
This week I popped into the Lululemon store in Balmain. Now, if you’re familiar with Lululemon you’ll know that it’s the sort of place that sells workout gear, sports bras and yoga clothes. As I’m currently on a health kick, I picked out some pieces to inspire me and headed to the checkout.
An odd collection of books
When I got there I spied a row of books that looked like they were for sale. I was expecting to find books on meditation, health, fitness and mung beans. But instead (as you can see from the picture), the books included: [...]
I love stories about entrepreneurs. I’ve sure you’ve figured that out by now. It always amazes me how much some entrepreneurs will put it all on the line to turn their business dreams into reality. It’s not just the financial commitment, it’s the stress and sleepless nights that go with it. So when I heard John Allen and Mitch Fraser’s story, I wanted to share it.
John Allen and Mitch Fraser know what it’s like to fail. Three years ago, their entrepreneurial dreams were dashed and they almost walked away from what has now become successful home loan comparison site, Tomorrow Finance.
Allen, 28 and Fraser, 29, learnt a hard lesson after investing a combined $80,000 into a business that they thought would disrupt the home loan industry.
Tomorrow Finance works in a similar way to a mortgage broker. But while mortgage brokers often receive trailing commissions (which they receive for the life of the loan), Fraser and Allen negotiate one-off fees with the banks. Because the banks don’t have to pay ongoing fees for the life of the loan, Allen says this results in a cheaper home loan for consumers.
Taking the plunge
The pair had so much faith in their new idea, they plunged headfirst into the business at the end of 2009 and spent the next four months negotiating arrangements with banks. Allen quit a job at professional services firm PwC and moved back home with his mum. Fraser scaled back his own web development business in order to focus on the new venture. [...]
So many wonderful things going on – bulk orders of my book, foamy peas, limos, articles and reviews … and a partridge in a pear tree. No, wait … not just yet. [...]
Two heads are better than one. Even better when there are three heads or more. I’m talking about tapping into a brains trust of people who can give you advice about your business. That’s where an advisory board can help, particularly if you are a small to medium sized business. That inspired this week’s Enterprise post.
Last week, an up-and-coming entrepreneur asked me to be on her board of advisers. As she’s just starting out in business, it’s a smart move. She wants to tap into the brains of people who have had more experience than she has, and soak up their advice.
When I first started my business, I didn’t seek advice, mentoring or coaching of any kind. But I wish I had. It took me a few years before I had my first mentor and it transformed the way I approached my business.
Members of an advisory board to a small business often participate on a voluntary basis. However, depending on their level of involvement, payment (or an equity stake) may be involved. There are few formalised rules over how a board of advisers should be run, so it’s up to you to determine what will work for your business and what you need to do to get the right people on board (pardon the pun). [...]
You may remember that a few months ago I did a crazy thing. I drove from Melbourne to Sydney (that’s not the crazy bit) with my three furry babies in the car (that’s not the crazy bit either). Apart from my two fluffy white cats and one fluffy white dog, the only other thing accompanying me on that v-e-ee-e-r-r-ry l-o-o-o-o-o-o-g trip was 11 hours of Tim Reid’s fabulous “Small Business, Big Marketing” podcast.
Yes, my iPod did not have a single song on it. But I had many hours of Tim Reid (more famously known as Timbo Reid) in my ears. He kept me sane on that long journey. Well, initially. After 11 hours … well, I was going a little bit nuts. [...]
“Power Stories” keeps powering on … on the radio, on a podcast and right next to Richard Branson on the bestseller lists … all the while I’m inspired by Kelly Exeter and exhausted shepherding the furries to the vet … [...]