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Turn Passion Into Productivity

Turn Passion Into Productivity
Lessons from Five First Time Entrepreneurs Who Capitalized on Creativity

We’ve all heard the success stories of legendary people like Steve Jobs, Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey. Mark Zuckerberg, once a Harvard drop out, is now a household name. But what about the little people- mere mortals who turned an idea into an enterprise?

Thanks to websites such as Amazon, Etsy and Ebay, as well as infinite resources for small business owners, the chance to own your own company is more possible than ever. The growth of social media has only encouraged the growth of small businesses, offering affordable marketing that’s been proven to pay off. From online teddy bear boutiques to fast paced food trucks, the time to be an entrepreneur seems to be now.

So what are you passionate about? Tea? Landscaping? Watches? Instead of pushing paper for the rest of your life, turn your hobby, interest, or obsession into a profitable business- just like these entrepreneurs did. Learn five vital lessons from first time entrepreneurs that turned passion into productivity.

Turn Everyday Frustration Into Opportunity
Joi Sumpton, Founder of the Step-n-Wash

Joi Sumpton’s life changed in a Barnes and Nobles bathroom. Tired of having to hold her kids up to public restroom sinks, Sumpton was struck with a brilliant idea. What if she didn’t have to? A few sketches, brilliant product development, personal investment and a year later, Joi has launched a successful business out of mere frustration.

Her innovative product, a retracting step stool for public bathrooms, has made life a little easier for parents and guardians everywhere. The Step-n-Wash website states that “thousands of businesses” have installed the Step-n-Wash to increase the safety and hygiene in their public restrooms. Joi’s experience shows that with some imagination, simple, everyday hassles can be transformed into opportunity.

Make It A Family Affair
Ashley Schoenith, Creator of Ice Milk Aprons

Tallahassee native Ashley Schoenith started Ice Milk Aprons with one intention- to spend more time with her grandmother. Inspired by her seamstress grandmother’s love for cooking and entertaining, Ashley decided that aprons were the way to go. After long weekends of brainstorming, fabric selection and sewing, Ashley successfully launched Ice Milk Aprons in 2008.

Unfortunately, Ashley’s grandmother passed away before the launch, but Ashley is still inspired by her. According to the Ice Milk Aprons website, Ashley hopes that families will “pass down traditions” with the use of her sleek, sophisticated aprons. Ice Milk Aprons are available online, and in various stores in Atlanta, where Ashley and her husband reside.

Find New Functions for Existing Products
Fred Meyers, Queensboro.com

For New York native Fred Meyers, the start of The Queensboro Shirt Company wasn’t about fashion- it was about function. A huge fan of Lacoste polo shirts, Fred wondered if there was a way that the same comfort could be achieved minus the alligator patch. After graduating from business school, Fred decided to go into the custom shirt business full-time.

As the first company to offer custom embroidered shirts in small quantities, Queensboro has continued to be a key player in the corporate apparel business. For over twenty years, Fred has focused on top-notch customer service and high-quality products to gain customers in a competitive market. Living up to it’s reputation of outstanding customer service, Queensboro.com promises that customers won’t find “a company that will work harder to make you happy,”.

Fulfill Needs in a Highly Specific Market
Julia Erickson, Aaron Ingley, Barre Nutrition Bars

For ballet dancers Julia Erickson and Aaron Ingley, the start of Barre Nutrition Bars came from their own need. Julia was tired of scrambling for heavy snacks that weren’t nutritious. She decided to make her own energy bar, and from some mere kitchen ingredients, Barre was born.

After signing on her partner and fellow dancer Aaron, the two have taken the ballet world by storm. The pair are dedicated to providing a light, yet filling and highly nutritious snack for their fellow dancers. On their website, realfoodbarre.com, they explain that “Dancers do eat,” and discuss the benefits to their vegan friendly, no sugar power bars.

Think Way, Way, Way Outside The Box
Bryan Silverman, Star Toilet Paper

Bryan Silverman, Duke University student and Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2012, found a market in an unexpected place: the bathroom. In an interview with Business Insider, Bryan revealed that when his brother first pitched him the idea, he “pooh-poohed it”. Luckily, he came to his senses and realized the potential for toilet paper marketing.

Hoping to revitalize traditional marketing, Bryan and his brother, Jordan, started Star Toilet Paper in 2010. The Eco-friendly, easy to read toilet paper is safe to use, and offers a creative alternative for businesses to offer coupons, promotions, and ads. The trend is already catching on for Star Toilet Paper, acquiring them clients such as Allstate, Pita Pit, and Smoothie King.

Citations:

Melissa Weidenborner is a content creation specialist and freelance writer currently working in SEO and Social Media. In her spare time, she blogs about vintage goods, food, lifestyle and online marketing. Follow her adventures on Twitter @vintageandnerdy.

 

 

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Facebook bought out Instagram for $1 billion on Monday

Facebook bought out Instagram for $1 billion on Monday, April 9th. Since then, there has been different opinions circulating the internet and chat rooms about whether or not this is going to ruin or make Instagram better than it was before.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced that he wanted to buy out Instagram because Facebook had been searching for years to find better ways of sharing beautiful photographs. This was a good deal for the nine workers of Instagram because it made them instantly rich! Most people still feel that Facebook is trying to dominate the app and make bad decisions with it, such as adding advertisements that were previously never seen on Instagram. Yet, some people still feel that Facebook is just trying to make photo sharing easier and more exciting for Facebook users. There has been much chat and discussion on the issue and there is much controversy surrounding it still.

It seems that Zuckerberg does not want to make changes to the app however. He insists that he wanted Instagram’s “talented” workers to join his team and produce more features to help both the app and Facebook succeed. He also insists that he wants to help Instagram grow through Facebook to popularize it even further. Zuckerberg states that he does not want to make any changes and all the features of Instagram will remain and not be limited despite people’s fears of this.

The staff of Instagram is extremely pleased with the offer to join Facebook and surely they will want to keep their same users of Instagram despite this change. People are frantically trying to delete their Instagram account and are expressing their fears of changes that Facebook will make to it. It seems, however, that these fears are just that and actually, no changes will be made. If anything, Instagram will only become better, not ruined.

Unfortunately, many people seem to be abandoning Instagram as seen on Twitter and other chat rooms even though it has been insisted that Instagram will still continue to remain separate from Facebook. All that the two companies want is to expand their networks and create better social network experiences for people around the world.

There is no end to Instagram as some people seem to think. Instagram is going to continue to grow and become even better as it would have even if Facebook had never become involved.

Ludwing Hernandez Mezee.me Chat Site.

 

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Facebook To Buy Skype?

Charlie White15 hours ago by Charlie White73

Two reliable sources say Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is talking to Skype about either buying the company or forming a joint venture, according to Reuters.

One of the sources said Facebook is considering a buyout of Skype at a price of between $3 billion and $4 billion.

The other source told Reuters the deal won’t be a purchase by Facebook but rather a joint venture between Facebook and Skype.

Skype and Facebook are no strangers. In October, when Skype released its version 5.0 software for Windows, it included a Facebook tab that let users chat or call Facebook friends via Skype, right from the Facebook newsfeed that can be viewed from within the Skype application.

Facebook isn’t the only one chasing Skype. One of the sources talking to Reuters added that Google was also in “early talks” with Skype about a joint venture.

Update: When we contacted Skype Wednesday night, the company responded, “As a practical matter, we avoid commenting on rumor and speculation.”

Let us know in the comments what you think of this deal and who stands to gain the most.

 

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Choose a Partner, in Business or Life, Who Compliments You

 

I tend to be an Uber Type A with a huge drive and, much of the time, not so much deliberation.  Whether it is a result of ADHD or Aspergers, my efforts are largely organized in the “ready, fire, aim” format.  If there is weeding to be done, the section in front of me is done in an hour.  A similar section will take my wife three hours.  The difference?  Her section will be absolutely perfect.  The ground will be as pristine as if it had just come out of a bag from Orchard Supply. The section that was entrusted to me will be 95% weed free and  there will be a cloud of dust where I was as it becomes clear to me that another project is ripe for attention.

When taking a product to market, particularly in a start up environment, this can be a good thing.  It is relatively simple to blast through setting up accounts and profiles on FaceBook, YouTube, hotmail, and a blog or blogs on WordPress. Optimize your website once, and you are ready to go to market, right?  Not necessarily.  It takes someone with an attention to detail to go beyond the glossed attempt to appease the god of Google.com, set up a FaceBook community and post an occasional YouTube video.

Someone, eventually, has to be disciplined enough to set up the analytics, maintain the content of the website and schedule the myriad maintenance activities that accompany a proper and productive social presence.   So much of what goes into nurturing this market presence, particularly online, is structured and methodical.  Most of the truly successful internet marketers we see are literally there all day every day.  Sure, they have eventually built up staff to handle many of the mundane activities, but only gradually. This only happens after many months, or years, of doing much of it by hand and in person.

The challenge is to know what to focus on, write it down, make a plan, and stick to it.  There are folks I know out in the social media world who have made their entire marketing strategy play out on FaceBook.  They have FaceBook activities, FaceBook fans, FaceBook walls, FaceBook photos, you get the idea.  All they concentrate on is FaceBook.  My kids started me on that, so professionally it didn’t seem as attractive as Linkedin.

I became a Linkedin junky, spending an hour a two a day starting groups, teaching courses, and blogging about it. A good professional network on Linkedin can be 500 people or more.  Mine is around 475 now, and the original goal was only to hit 100.  That seems to be an area that is relatively easy for me to treat with focus.

If you don’t find the focus in a particular area, and some great visionaries never really do, you need to find a partner or group to act as your fulfillment engine.  There was a great man at a local non-profit who had this blessing/curse.  He would have a new idea every week.  Most were actually pretty good ideas, except that none of them ever came to fruition.  Why?  Another idea came along.  To this type of idea junky, it is like an adrenaline rush.  It is easy to get worked up all in a froth and see the amazing potential of this new and exciting concept, only to lose enthusiasm for it as the mundane task of implementation (the details) emerges.  The task of actually making these things happen is far less exciting, but critical to any kind of forward movement.  If you’re stuck on your own for a while, as you start up, you have to take the discipline upon yourself and learn from others.

 

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