Mark Wahlberg’s Secret to Becoming More Disciplined

The actor and entrepreneur’s greatest business asset is his own diligence. January 14, 2020 12 min read This story appears in the January 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Hollywood movie premieres tend to follow a script: Tons of press and industry VIPs pile into a theater for a private screening and then migrate somewhere nearby for a blowout party. I was part of this scene in 2010, when the Mark Wahlberg movie The Fighter debuted. We watched the film, then went to a hip hotel, where elevators were to take us to a club on the top floor…except the hotel lobby was not equipped to handle all of us at once. Hundreds of people soon overwhelmed the place. We were crushed together, shoulder to shoulder, while a few measly elevators took small bunches of us upward. It took a while. People were annoyed. Then we heard a booming voice. “Make […]

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Are You Meeting (and Setting) Customers' Expectations?

To succeed, the value of what you offer must be greater than what people expect. Read_More Related posts: The 5 Best Digital Marketing Tools for Understanding Your Customers Customer Satisfaction Segmentation: Customer expectations extend beyond the end users of your products 5 Strategies to Keep Your Customers Long-Term in 2020 How to Keep Up With Customer Expectations B2B Marketers’ AI Expectations 2018-19 Don’t Let Go of Expectations … Put Them to Work in Your Marketing Balancing Your Associates’ Expectations With Your Company’s Needs Want More Customers? Get Quality Referrals From Existing Customers.

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Michelle Pfeiffer’s Fragrance Brand Took 20 Years (and Plenty of Rejection) to Build

She wanted the fragrance industry to be more transparent.The fragrance industry said no. So the actress took matters into her own hands. December 31, 2019 15+ min read This story appears in the June 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Hear Michelle Pfeiffer discuss her company on the Entrepreneur podcast Problem Solvers: When Michelle Pfeiffer calls someone, they generally answer. It’s a benefit of celebrity. And so, many years ago, when Pfeiffer wanted to solve a problem, she assumed the solution would be that simple. “I did what, traditionally, a lot of celebrities do, because that was really the only thing that I knew,” she says.  She wanted a fine fragrance company to create a “transparent” product — that is, a perfume or cologne that would list every ingredient it contains, just like you’d find on the side of your morning cereal box. Nothing like this existed, but perhaps, she […]

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The Pivot That Helped This Founder Get Into 10,000 Stores

Jesse Wolfe created a delicious hummus that people loved, but he struggled to make big sales. Then he spotted the opportunity in his failure. November 21, 2019 4 min read This story appears in the December 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 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 […]

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Every Successful Person Feels Like a Loser (Even Me)

The fashion icon knows that things will go wrong, and that she’ll have doubts — even today! But she says there’s just one thing entrepreneurs can always control: themselves. November 21, 2019 7 min read This story appears in the December 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 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, […]

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How to Sell Yourself

The opening sentence of our pitch is our most important. And too many of us are getting it wrong. November 19, 2019 4 min read This story appears in the December 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 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 […]

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How to Win Over Dissatisfied Customers

Some people aren’t nice when they don’t love your product. But you can change them. All you need is a little psychology. Read_More Related posts: How To Create A More Likeable Brand And Attract More Customers The 5 Best Digital Marketing Tools for Understanding Your Customers How to Use Online Videos to Attract Massive Customers Here’s How to Earn and Keep the Loyalty of Your Customers 7 Email Marketing Funnel Ideas for Turning More Subscribers into Customers Want More Customers? Get Quality Referrals From Existing Customers. Use the data you collect from customers to help customers How to Turn Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

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Why Netflix Co-founder Marc Randolph Doesn’t Regret Stepping Down as CEO

The experience made the entrepreneur rethink what a leader really is. October 9, 2019 7 min read This story appears in the October 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Listen to Marc Randolph on our podcast, Problem Solvers: Marc Randolph speaks with rare humility, like a man with no regrets. “The decision to step down as CEO and bring Reed [Hastings] in,” he says, “was probably the best decision I ever made at Netflix.” Randolph and Hastings cofounded the company in 1997, with Randolph as CEO and Hastings as the company’s main investor and chairman of the board. But two years later, the company was stalled out, and they made an emotionally fraught change: Randolph stepped aside to become president (and would leave the company four years later), and Hastings stepped in as CEO. The company thrived, and Hastings became the man to reap most of the glory. Now Randolph […]

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2 Chainz Just Bought a Music Festival. His Advice To Entrepreneurs: Take Chances!

‘Investing is a good thing – period,’ says the new co-owner of Atlanta’s A3C Conference and Festival. September 27, 2019 9 min read Rapper 2 Chainz has a message for entrepreneurs: If you want to succeed, your risk tolerance must be high. “I come from gambling,” the artist says. “I come from hustling. I come from taking chances.” That, he says, was good preparation for life in business. 2 Chainz is known for his lavish spending — see, for example, basically anything he’s ever wearing — but his behind-the-scenes dealing is starting to get more attention. He’s invested money in Lyft, Lime and other hot tech startups. Now, he’s revealing a new role: co-owner of A3C Festival & Conference, a multi-day tech and culture event in Atlanta that he hopes will become the region’s SXSW. A3C has been around for 15 years and now draws an annual 30,000 attendees. It was sold earlier this year to The Gathering […]

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Need to Make A Change? Do It Immediately!

Timing will determine your future. Change now, or be forced to do it later. August 21, 2019 4 min read This story appears in the September 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » I want to see change coming to a major industry? Just watch a little kid in front of a TV. I did it earlier this summer. My 4-year-old son and I were on a JetBlue flight, and he started flipping around the in-seat TV channels. This was a foreign experience for him; we cut the cord at home, so he’s grown up with apps like PBS Kids. Now he had dozens of live channels at his fingertips, and he landed on Nickelodeon, which was also foreign to him. SpongeBob SquarePants was on, and he was hooked. Riveted. Giggly! (Although he thought SpongeBob was made of cheese.) Then a commercial break began. Related: You’re Not Approachable Enough. Let’s Fix That. […]

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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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