How Cameo Survived a Public Relations Nightmare

By confronting the issue head-on, the startup regained its customers’ trust. July 11, 2019 4 min read This story appears in the July 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Listen to Cameo’s founder discuss his PR nightmare on our podcast Problem Solvers. Steven Galanis was in his office one day last November when he got a text from a guy who works for NFL legend Brett Favre. “This is bad,” the text said. “What do we do?” And that’s how Galanis learned of the crisis about to consume his company — and threaten its very existence. Galanis is the cofounder and CEO of Cameo, a platform that allows fans to pay celebrities for quick, personalized videos — ­wishing someone a happy birthday, congratulating them on an accomplishment, and so on. The talent includes actors, athletes, YouTube stars, and more, and each sets their own price, from a few dollars to […]

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Entrepreneur Insider Video of the Week: How to Get Media Coverage

Watch this free Q&A with Entrepreneur editor-in-chief Jason Feifer, in which he reveals strategies for getting press for your business. Read_More Related posts: Entrepreneur Insider Video of the Week: Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Journey Is Cannabis Media Coverage Fair and Balanced? This Week in Weed: The Dallas Cannabis Club?? Register for Entrepreneur Insider’s Free Fireside Chat With Ellen Latham, Founder of Orangetheory Fitness Franchise An Insider’s Guide to Keeping Your Video Budget in the Black How To Setup Metrics to Optimize Your Digital PR Team’s Press Coverage 5 Cannabis Stats Every Entrepreneur Should Know (60-Second Video) The Week in Entrepreneur News Quiz — Test Your Smarts!

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Sun-Maid Raisins Has a Bold Plan to Reinvent Itself. (Watch Out, Fruit Roll-Ups!)

The storied company’s new CEO is tackling a big challenge: a recognizable brand but a declining business. May 29, 2019 4 min read This story appears in the June 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Hear the story of Sun-Maid’s changes on our podcast Problem Solvers. Harry Overly got an unexpected call one day from Sun-Maid, the raisin company with the famous red box featuring a grapes-­carrying girl. It needed a new CEO — was he interested? “What is the appetite for risk?” he asked in response. Because Overly, a food industry veteran, knew the job wouldn’t be easy. Two decades ago, American-­grown raisins represented 45 percent of global raisin sales; today it’s less than 20 percent. And Sun-Maid, which grows its product in California, had barely marketed itself during that time, which meant it had a lot of catching up to do. The company promised it was willing to […]

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To Succeed, Just Follow This Six-Step Plan

Stuck trying to figure out what’s next? Just start moving. April 11, 2019 5 min read This story appears in the April 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » You are six steps away from your goal. So am I. So is everyone.  And I mean it! Regardless of our circumstances, career paths, or past accomplishments, we are all six steps away. But here’s the kicker: We can never see more than one step ahead. This is a little mental trick I came up with recently as a way to help a friend of mine. He’s stuck in his career, working a job he hates but unsure of what to do next. “How do I know what direction to move in?” he asked me. Should it be music, which is his first love? Or tech, which he’s interested in? Or content production, which he’s developed a knack for?  Related: The Best Way […]

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Should You Compete With (and Potentially Kill) Your Own Business?

Adam Schwartz’s t-shirt company was struggling. Instead of saving it, he built something new — and better. April 10, 2019 4 min read This story appears in the April 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Some entrepreneurs try to reinvent their brand. If business is suffering, they’ll pivot repeatedly to spark that magical product-­market fit. And as Adam Schwartz’s T-shirt company began suffering, he initially tried to do the same thing. Then he came to a different philosophy: “Kill your business with a better business,” he says. In other words, if a business isn’t working, take what you learn and launch a competitor. That mentality just led him to a $41 million exit. Related: This Romper for Men Kickstarter Campaign Raised Over $50,000 in a Day The original business was called BustedTees — a brand that sold jokey T-shirts with slogans like “Bigfoot: Hide & Seek Champion” and was heavily […]

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The Best Employees Have Side Hustles — Here’s Why

How does an entrepreneur get started? By busting out of someone else’s box. January 18, 2019 4 min read This story appears in the January 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » People often tell me how their entrepreneurship journey began. And it regularly starts like this: “I was working at [insert big company here], and they disapproved of my side hustle, so I quit.” Then the person’s side hustle became a full hustle, and now they’re more satisfied (and maybe even making more money) than they ever were before. I heard this just last night, in fact, before writing this column. A woman told me about working at a big bank and leaving when her superiors gave her a hard time about a financial literacy program she’d started on the side. Related: 12 Entrepreneurial Traits That Will Tempt You to Quit Your Job Immediately What a stupid bank. What a big, dumb, […]

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5 Ways to Seize the New Year, According to Entrepreneur’s Editor in Chief

2019 will be your year of change. January 8, 2019 8 min read This article is excerpted from Entrepreneur magazine editor in chief Jason Feifer’s monthly newsletter, The Feifer Five. Each month, he sends out five insights to help you think bigger. Subscribe here. How do you evaluate a year? Sure, we can harp on the bad or celebrate the good. I’ve certainly done both. But I prefer to focus mostly on the things I set in motion — the stuff that only began in 2018, but that will become bigger and more important to me in 2019 and beyond. A year isn’t an isolated block of time, after all. It’s an interlocking part. Our work in one year should strengthen the next. With that in mind, here are five big things to think about as you springboard into 2019. 1. Never stop changing, or you’ll become a video store. Image […]

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What Cannabis Businesses Can Learn from the Sex-Toy Industry

Social media won’t accept advertising from either industry. Here’s the work-around. December 6, 2018 4 min read Any green entrepreneur knows the problem well: Major social media platforms won’t run cannabis ads. They’re shut out of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and even spammy services like Taboola and Outbrain — the places most startups rely upon to drive sales. In response, cannabis companies often throw money at influencers, hoping to at least gain some presence on the sites. And at conferences, people in the industry ask each other, “How are you growing in a Facebook-less world?” But the best answers may not come from other people working in cannabis. They may come from someone like Polly Rodriguez, whose company, Unbound, sells sexual health products — another industry shut out of social media advertising, but one that’s been around longer than most cannabis companies. That means she’s had more time to work […]

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5 Ways to Seize Opportunity, According to Entrepreneur’s Editor in Chief

It’s all about how you look at things. October 3, 2018 7 min read This article is excerpted from Entrepreneur magazine editor in chief Jason Feifer’s monthly newsletter, The Feifer Five. Each month, he sends out five insights to help you think bigger. Subscribe here. What is opportunity? Oftentimes we treat it as something to find, like a nugget of gold underneath the soil. But in truth, opportunity is something we create. It’s in the way we approach something, or the permission we give ourselves to lead. That’s what this edition of the newsletter is about, in ways big and small: It’s about recognizing and seizing opportunity. And here’s your table of contents: 1. The thing all leaders have in common.2. When the problem is also the victory.3. Our problem managing our time.4. Where to find new opportunities.5. An ancient consumer need. Let’s get to it!   1. The thing […]

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When Times Are Tough, Give Your Team This Pep Talk

It’s one that LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman has given many, many times. October 3, 2018 3 min read Entrepreneurship is not easy. Not every day will be a good one. And what do you do then? Step one: You remind yourself that you’re not alone. “At some point — and usually at many points — the startups I’ve founded or invested in hit dark days,” said LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, now a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners, on his podcast Masters of Scale. “The company faces an existential threat. It will live or die on how the emergency plays out. The team is tired. The team is discouraged. The team is scared.” To reinvigorate them, you move on to step two: Find the words that’ll inspire them. Related: 10 Truths and Tips on Scaling an Amazing Company From the ‘Oracle of Silicon Valley’ When times are tough, Hoffman said […]

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Why This CEO Fired Himself and Asked His Friend to Take Over

Matt Bodnar was always good at solving problems. But when he became CEO, he saw his company struggle under his leadership. So he made a drastic change. September 18, 2018 4 min read This story appears in the October 2018 Entrepreneur. Subscribe » A few years ago, when Matt Bodnar was the CEO of a small technology company, he got lunch with a fellow CEO friend. This friend was frustrated; his company was struggling, and he wanted a change. So the two spent 15 minutes or so talking through solutions, and then, to his own surprise, Bodnar said the words that would change his life: “Well,” Bodnar asked his friend, “what if you just took my job?” Related: 10 Actions That Highlight You as a Leader “We kind of laughed about it,” Bodnar says. “And then he was like, ‘That’s not a bad idea.’ ” Bodnar had been coming to accept a difficult truth: Although […]

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Here’s How People Successfully Work With Friends, Family and Even Their Spouse

The key to a happy life: Clearly defined roles and responsibilities. September 10, 2018 4 min read This story appears in the September 2018 Entrepreneur. Subscribe » When I say that my wife and I wrote a novel together, people’s first reaction is almost universal: “You’re still married?” The idea seems terrifying — but we loved it. The project took us three years, and though we had disagreements along the way, we kept each other motivated and focused. (And it’s coming out this October! It’s called Mr. Nice Guy.) If it worked for us, I suspect it could work for many entrepreneurs. Ambition can be a lonely road. Isn’t it nice to have support? Related: The Science Behind Working With Your Spouse This got me wondering: How many people work with friends and family — and how’s it going for them? To find out, Entrepreneur partnered with SurveyMonkey Audience to survey 1,007 […]

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5 Ways to Stay Focused Through When the Journey Gets Tough

Don’t miss the fourth point. It’s also the key to a happy life. July 30, 2018 7 min read This article is excerpted from Entrepreneur magazine editor in chief Jason Feifer’s monthly newsletter, The Feifer Five. Each month, he sends out five insights to help you think more entrepreneurially. Subscribe here. It’s going to happen: Along your entrepreneurial journey, you will be frustrated. Derailed. Feel lost in the woods. But that’s normal. Good, even! Enduring these challenges will prepare you for the even great ones ahead, and will open your eyes to the many inspirations around you that you hadn’t previously considered. That’s what this list is all about: The inspiration that can come from anywhere. We’re going to Maine for lobsters, Oregon for ice cream and more. Let’s go. 1. What Danica Patrick can teach you about change. Image credit: Nigel Parry   Recently, I met an entrepreneur who’d built his […]

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She Raised Millions From Investors … Then Almost Lost It All

Raquel Tavares had just finished raising a round of funding — and then her team looked at the company’s numbers and realized they were almost out of money. July 18, 2018 1 min read This is an episode of our podcast Problem Solvers. Each week, an entrepreneur reveals how they overcame an unexpected problem in their business — and were happier and more successful as a result. The show is hosted by Entrepreneur’s editor in chief, Jason Feifer. Listen below, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Raquel Tavares, founder and CEO of a ghee company called Fourth & Heart, had just finished raising a round of funding — and then her team looked at the company’s numbers and realized they were almost out of money. How did this happen? The answer is simple: The company wasn’t properly tracking its inventory and cost of raw materials, and now it was […]

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How MailChimp Cured Its Growing Pains

The email marketing company’s staff was once a disorganized mess. But before fixing that, its co-founder had to fix himself. July 10, 2018 4 min read This story appears in the July 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » This is an episode of our podcast Problem Solvers. Each week, an entrepreneur reveals how they overcame an unexpected problem in their business — and were happier and more successful as a result. The show is hosted by Entrepreneur’s editor in chief, Jason Feifer. Listen below, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. MailChimp’s tiny staff could once fit around a table, so they often did — gabbing over coffee, and dreaming up new directions for the business. By 2009, though, that team had grown to 300 people. At a company cookout, co-founder and CEO Ben Chestnut looked around and realized he barely knew anyone. So he called a meeting, hoping to […]

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How This Entrepreneur Saved a Damaged Brand (Remember About.com?)

Learn how Neil Vogel took over the old internet giant About.com and transformed it into a thriving company called Dotdash. May 15, 2018 2 min read This is an episode of our podcast Problem Solvers. Each week, an entrepreneur reveals how they overcame an unexpected problem in their business — and were happier and more successful as a result. The show is hosted by Entrepreneur’s editor in chief, Jason Feifer. Listen below, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. How do you give new life to an old company? Bring new vision to a place that lost its own? And how do you bring your team — and your new audience! — along for the change? Those are the challenges Neil Vogel faced when taking over the old internet giant About.com and transforming it into a thriving company called Dotdash. Related: This Entrepreneur Shares How He Sold the Product That Everyone […]

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What Thomas Edison, Sarah Michelle Gellar and T.J. Maxx Can Teach You About Savvy Entrepreneurship

Among the lessons below: the brilliance of a “treasure hunt merchandising philosophy.” April 25, 2018 8 min read A Note From The Editor Think your company has what it takes to make our Top Company Cultures list? Apply now. Apply now » This article is excerpted from Entrepreneur magazine editor in chief Jason Feifer’s monthly newsletter, The Feifer Five. Each month, he sends out five insights to help you think more entrepreneurially. Subscribe here. This month, I have five lessons for you from five unexpected sources: 1. What Sarah Michelle Gellar can teach you about confidence. 2. What Thomas Edison can teach you about stubbornness. 3. What T.J. Maxx can teach you about consumer behavior. 4. What supposedly phone-obsessed millennials can teach you about humility. 5. What a startup called Musicbed can teach you about being a thought leader. OK! Let’s get going!  1. Don’t get down on yourself — even the pros get nervous! I wrote Entrepreneur‘s April cover story about Foodstirs, a […]

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This Entrepreneur Shares How to Name Your Company — or Fix a Bad Name

The founder of PolicyGenius walks us through the rigorous process she went through to scrap a confusing name and create one that led to success. April 24, 2018 2 min read This is an episode of our podcast Problem Solvers. Each week, an entrepreneur reveals how they overcame an unexpected problem in their business — and were happier and more successful as a result. The show is hosted by Entrepreneur’s editor in chief, Jason Feifer. Listen below, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. A company’s name is one of (if not the) biggest early decisions a company founder will make — and they often get it wrong. Google was first called BackRub, Best Buy was Sound of Music, eBay was AuctionWeb and Policygenius was KnowItOwl. In this episode, Policygenius’s founder walks us through the rigorous process she went through to scrap a confusing name and create one that led to […]

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Stop Sacrificing Your Future by Clinging to Your Past

Here’s the most important lesson you can learn from your past. April 24, 2018 5 min read A Note From The Editor Think your company has what it takes to make our Top Company Cultures list? Apply now. Apply now » This story appears in the May 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » I was at a bar recently with MICK, a successful DJ who spins for celebrities and big brands, and we were discussing his future. He has ambitious plans to expand his business, but like any entrepreneur, he’s also concerned: Can he pull it off? What if he isn’t equipped for the next steps? Related: 5 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Keep Moving Forward A day earlier, I’d heard a different example of that same fear. A friend in media was considering changing jobs and asked for my advice. She’s a rock star at her publication. “But at this new job, […]

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The Entrepreneur’s Identity Crisis: ‘Am I My Company?’

A founder learned the hard way that entrepreneurship means exploring unknown paths, sometimes leading entrepreneurs to a very different place from where they started. March 6, 2018 1 min read A Note From The Editor Think your company has what it takes to make our Top Company Cultures list? Apply now. Apply now » Introducing our new podcast, Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer, which features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur’s editor in chief, spotlights these stories so other business can avoid the same hardships. Listen below or click here to read more shownotes. Glenn Kelman thought of himself as a software guy. Then he became CEO of a real-estate company called Redfin, but insisted on seeing it as a software company. Confusion reigned. Cultures clashed. For Kelman, it would come to highlight an often-unspoken business challenge: Entrepreneurship […]

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