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SmallBusinessExpo.com

The Idea.

            Small Business Expo.com is a resource for small business owners.  Armchair entrepreneurs can get insight and compare products and services they would need for their business.  It is designed to facilitate the starting of home bases business.  It provides a recommendation into the services that an entrepreneur should be utilizing.

 Why this idea is the best.

Any one who has started a business knows that it is hard.  An entrepreneur looking to start their own company basically has three paths.  The first is to work in Corporate America for several years to gain experience and then branch out into a niche that they identify.  The second is to buy a franchise and the third is to start a home business such as with a network marketing company or other small scale enterprise that they run in addition to their career.  This site provides resource to anyone who is interested in traveling any one of these paths.

The founders bring their own expertise from launching their own company.  They have provided a framework that other entrepreneurs can build from.  The site has four practical categories: Services, Equipments & Supplies, Software and Franchise & Opportunities.

For example, through this site a person can easily search through the services section and find a category for merchant accounts.  This one utility would allow any small business to charge for their services in a professional manner that will increase their revenue; charge.com claims the difference can be as high as 400%. 

The educational component is invaluable.  The website has business podcasts and webinars that would benefit entrepreneurs at all levels.  Specifically, the topic of education is marketed as the main benefit of many home based business ideas.  I think this would provide perspective that many arm-chair entrepreneurs are looking for and would be interested.

Why You Need to Take 50 Coffee Meetings

Why You Need to Take 50 Coffee Meetings:

50 coffee meetings. It should stick in your head as a metaphor for networking. For getting outside of your comfort zone. For starting relationships today that won’t pay off for a year. It’s the entrepreneur’s equivalent of “10,000 hours.”

Anybody who has spent any time with me in person will be tired of this advice because I give it so frequently. It is a piece of actionable advice that if you put into practice starting next week will start paying dividends in the near future. There’s a direct correlation to your future success.

5 / week = 250 / year. Imagine the human progress you could make with 250 short, relationship-focused meetings.

Here’s why it’s critical:

1. Recruiting. Are you looking for great engineers? Talented brand sales people? A smart young marketing exec? If you wait until you need to fill somebody in a roll you’re losing valuable time as an entrepreneur. You should always have a steady stream of “friend of the firm” hanging around your company. You invite them to cocktail parties. You send them update emails. You don’t have budget for them – not yet. But when you do, you’re ready to go.

You don’t have time in your day to always be interviewing. But here’s the oxymoron – you need to ABR (always be recruiting). How do you make that happen? 50 coffee meetings. If you want to read more about hiring at a startup check out: 1. Attitude over Aptitude and also 2. Hire Fast, Fire Fast.

2. Job Hunting. You’re a candidate. You’re thinking about your next big gig. You want the primo role. Hot company. Senior title. Lots of responsibility. The moment a big job is advertised you’re fawked. Why? Cuz there are 20 people who have the exact qualifications as the job spec will suggest. But they don’t have your hustle, your energy. You won’t land the big jobs unless you’re in there shaping the discussion about what the company needs, convincing them that they need you before they’re even ready to hire.

This takes 50 coffee meetings. You know the drill – “informational interview.” Life is an informational interview. Everything you do applies to this lesson. Yet too many people never do it. They sit and wait for job specs to be posted on job boards. Or whatever the equivalent metaphor is for any other parts of their business.

We take action when we need results. We wait until things are urgent & important. That’s not effective.

And one thing is certain – you can’t look for a job remotely. It doesn’t work precisely because it violates the 50 coffee meeting rule.

3. Relations with journalists to drive better coverage of your business long term? 50 coffee meetings. Help them write other stories. One day they’ll write yours.

4. Raising money from angels and VCs some day? 50 coffee meetings. Turn dots into lines. Don’t listen to people who advise you otherwise. They’re wrong.

5. Understanding customer requirement? 50 coffee meetings. “Get out of the office” says Steve Blank.

6. Are You a VC? Get out of your offices and go have coffee meetings. Preferably at startup HQs. Why do they always need to come to you? Increase your deal flow. 50 coffee meetings. Office hours. JFDI.

I know I’m getting repetitive. It is with great intent. Whatever amount you’re getting out and talking with prospects, customers, employees, recruits, competitors, press, investors, potential investors … it’s never enough. (unless you’re a conference ho … then it’s too much ;-) )

For almost everybody else I work with I know that a little more dedication to coffee meetings would have a positive impact. Your biz dev discussion that goes nowhere today will plants seeds in somebody’s mind 18 months from now.

Yet most of us resist the coffee meetings seeing them as a distraction from: shipping our release, refining our business plan, working on our new website, etc. You have to do both. Wake up early. Turn coffee into late-night drinks. Never eat lunch alone.

Go on. Get our of your fraking office and make it happen.

Image courtesy of Fotolia.

here be dragons

here be dragons:

Medieval mapmakers often noted the risk of an unknown kind by the notation “here be dragons”. Attempts at controlling extreme risk should come with a similar warning. Just like the sailors of yesteryear, financial institutions will go into unknown territories and, just like the map makers of that era, modern risk modellers have very little to say. here and here

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A Look At the Fundamental Premise of The Book of Mormon Musical

The Book of Mormon Musical is about a Mormon missionary that is called to minister in Africa. He arrives in Africa and confronts realities of life for which he finds his dogma insufficient at best.

I was interested in the churches role and influence in Africa so i looked up some numbers. Just the facts; no song and dance.

 
Immunizations (with other organizations) 42,465,500
Clean Water 3,953,601
Vision Care 133,709
Neonatal Resuscitation Training 53,130
Wheelchairs 37,853
Food Production/Nutrition 1,000
Other health initiatives total 100
Total beneficiaries 46,644,893

Africa Church Statistics

 
Total Church Membership 318,947
Converts (1/1/10 – 9/30/10) 16,198
Stakes and Districts 104
Wards and Branches 961
Missions 18
Temples 3