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Entrepreneur Magazine

Entrepreneur Magazine December 2019

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Entrepreneur magazine is the trusted source for growing your business and offers surefire strategies for success. Whether you are just thinking of starting a business, have taken the first steps, or already own a business, Entrepreneur offers the best advice on running your own company

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United States
Entrepreneur Media Inc.
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
the way to sell yourself

A MAN recently connected with me on LinkedIn, and sent me this note: “Let me know if you ever need a writer.” I guess he’s a writer? I don’t know! But I do know this: The phrase “Let me know if you ever need a…” shows up a lot, in my inbox and surely yours, too. I’ve come to think of it as the eight most deadly words in entrepreneurship—because that phrase is the death of opportunity. We should all step back and think: Have we used these words? Have we used similar words? And if so, have we failed to seize the moment? “Let me know if you ever need a…” Let’s break it down to understand. First, consider the aspiration. This is written by someone hoping to provide a service. If they’re…

6 min.
you can’t control everything

To most people, Diane von Furstenberg is a fashion icon—the creator of a famous wrap dress, who built her namesake company into one of the most recognizable in the world. But von Furstenberg does not see herself this simply. She believes she’s a constant work in progress, having moved through multiple phases of her career and, even at the age of 72, happily on to the next. The transition hasn’t been without its bumps: She announced a handpicked successor for her company in 2016, but he resigned a year later. (She then picked another.) While she’s still involved in the business, she’s also thrown herself into new work—dedicating herself to a wide range of philanthropic causes, serving as chair of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and more. After…

3 min.
when your best employee has the worst attitude

1/ Don’t excuse it. “This is an interesting question—and the way it’s phrased says a lot about how we view productivity. It’s all too often that we make excuses for ‘performers’ who have a temperament that negatively impacts those around them. I’d approach them with a true desire to understand what’s driving the bad behavior, but if it doesn’t improve with the support I’m able to give, I’d remove the employee.”—STEPHANIE NADI OLSON, founder, We Are Rosie 2/ Consider the source. “Identify the reason for the attitude. Perhaps it’s in response to his or her manager’s bad attitude. In many cases, an employee may not feel comfortable or know how to deal with this kind of a situation, and that unhappiness may manifest itself in a negative demeanor. It is so important to…

3 min.
first, get investors. then, make the product

As an interior designer, Nicole Gibbons was used to friends asking for decorating advice. And in 2016, one needed help selecting paint, so Gibbons consulted a well regarded brand’s website—and found it impossible to navigate. The lightbulb went off: She could create a direct-to-consumer paint brand that offered a curated range of colors, an algorithm to point shoppers toward their ideal shade, and a simplified way to sample hues. But her interior design business was already a fulltime job, so Gibbons didn’t move forward until, she says, “I woke up on New Year’s Day 2017 and was like, It’s now or never.” Here’s how she went on to build Clare, raising money before she ever had a product to sell. 1/ Go all in. After deciding to build a startup, she talked…

3 min.
what if your product doesn’t sell?

Jesse Wolfe had a crazy idea: He wanted to build the Ben & Jerry’s of hummus. He created a brand called O’Dang Hummus in 2014, whipped up some wacky flavors, and started selling at farmers’ markets. Customers loved it. New employees eagerly joined to help O’Dang grow. Friends and family invested, sharing Wolfe’s vision. Then, three years later, he gathered all his employees and partners to make an announcement: They were no longer selling hummus. “We had the whole room up in arms, especially investors,” Wolfe says. “They were like, ‘We invested in a hummus company! We bought the hummus dream! I don’t understand!’” He had a good reason. He’d just gone through one of the hardest transitions an entrepreneur can make—when you test the market, discover flaws in your original plan,…

3 min.
cofounder meet-cutes

MEET-CUTE/ The classifieds Mike Serbinis and Dan Leibu COFOUNDERS/ League IN THE LATE ’90S, Mike Serbinis (left) needed a developer to help him build cloud-storage startup DocSpace. So he placed a classified ad in the paper. “It was like: ‘Started awesome internet company! Developer wanted! Call Mike!’” says Serbinis. “There was no Monster or Indeed or anything like that. You either found people at a café or you went to meetups or you placed ads.” Dan Leibu (right) responded, and the pair scheduled a call. “I was totally unimpressed,” Serbinis admits. “I was like, Not the right guy.” Still, they agreed to an in-person follow-up, and face-to-face, startup sparks flew. “We immediately got into an argument, and Dan was not afraid to spar,” Serbinis says. “This was not the guy from the phone—this…