3 Reasons Why I Gladly Welcome Competition

When it comes to facing the crowded field, I say: Bring it on. August 12, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. After vying endlessly for the attention of your target market, you’ve hit the jackpot: They understand your brand identity, and they’re buying what you’re selling. Suddenly, the competition swoops in with a trendy product, a viral campaign or a celebrity spokesperson. Now you feel like the kid in the back of the class wildly waving your hand and shouting, “Pick me! Pick me!” to no avail. Setting your company apart in your industry is an enormous challenge, and it can be devastating when a competitor steals your thunder. But there’s no need to fear competition. In fact, you should embrace it. What I’ve learned over the last 14 years of building my business is that competition will always be around and, if harnessed […]

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Why Having a VIP Backer Like John Legend Can Boost Your Business

July 4, 2019 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. I’m a big believer that every startup should bootstrap its fund-raising. Bootstrappinng forces you to be creative, and it allows you to stay lean and maintain control of your brand. When my husband Theo and I started my healthful flavored-water company hint in 2005, we self-financed and fund-raised from friends and family for the first two years.  Related: How to Work with Celebrities and Boost Your Social Media Presence But after a lot of sweat and tears, we decided that in order to grow the company the way we dreamed, we had to seek outside investment. Image credit: Kara Goldin Since then, I’ve been fortunate to raise money through both angel investors and a family office. One source of funding that I get asked about frequently is John Legend, the singer-songwriter and pianist who is the youngest person ever […]

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My Top 4 Takeaways From This Year’s Annual TED Conference

In case you missed the annual meeting-of-the-minds mega-conference this spring, don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here’s the best advice I got there. May 22, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Whenever the annual TED Conference rolls around, I always make sure to budget time and money to attend. You’re probably familiar with TED Talks from streaming them online, but TED’s main conference takes the learning we get from one other to an even higher level. This past April’s event in Vancouver featured five full days packed with bold and exciting lectures from some of the most brilliant and inspiring people on Earth, touching on everything from relationships to astronomy. Related: The Top TED Talks of 2019 So Far — and What You Can Learn From Them Here are a few key points that I found extremely insightful and motivating, and I hope you do, too.  […]

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How to Become a Master Communicator by Following This One Rule

If you’re ever talking with strangers at a networking event and want to identify the most successful person in the group, look to the one who’s quiet but really listening. March 5, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you’re ever speaking with strangers at a networking event and want to identify the most successful person in the group, don’t look to the “biggest” talker. Reason: The ability to keep quiet and listen to what others have to say is a common and critical trait of the most successful people out there. Related: 6 Communication Tips to Strengthen Your Company’s Culture Listening, in fact, will open your mind to new ideas faster. Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson said in this Entrepreneur video that he tended to move “things along just by paying attention to what employees are saying.” When people know that they are being heard, they […]

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The 5 Worst Tips I Received When Starting My Business

The key to seeking advice is knowing when to ignore a suggestion that goes against what your gut instinct is saying. February 21, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. At every stage of my journey as a startup founder, I’ve sought advice from mentors, industry experts and other entrepreneurs. Whether my aim was to gain insight into the unfamiliar market I was entering or obtain guidance on growing a business and building a team,  I was always — still am — a big believer in hearing what others have to say. Related: 5 Pieces of Common Startup Advice That Do More Harm Than Good There is, however, a caveat here, because the key to seeking advice is knowing when to ignore a suggestion that goes against what your gut instinct is saying. Doing that is not always easy, though in some cases for me it was easy, because […]

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6 Ways in Which You Can Make Your Business an ‘Overnight Success’

Success may come overnight but much more typically, it’s built on skill, experience, and hard work. Just look at the Beatles. January 21, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In February 1963, arguably the greatest rock band of all time, the Beatles, shot to No. 1 in the United Kingdom with what was just their second single, Please Please Me.  Related: 8 Success Lessons From the Richest Person on the Planet Within months, the band’s live shows were attracting hordes of screaming fans. “Beatlemania” was born, out of what seemed a case of overnight success. In fact, most of the band’s members had been playing together since 1958 and had spent at least 10,000 hours playing live in the nightclubs of Hamburg and Liverpool (as Malcolm Gladwell calculates in his bestseller Outliers). So, no, Beatlemania didn’t spring out of nowhere. It took these musicians five years of practicing, playing live,writing […]

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Are You Listening to Your End Customer? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Be.

As an entrepreneur, you have to lead, but sometimes you have to listen as well. July 12, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. “If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” While Henry Ford probably never said this, the quote is often cited to support the idea that innovators create new markets and solutions that people don’t even realize they want. Another example is how Steve Jobs revolutionized music and mobile technology by following his own vision. The Apple co-founder rarely, if ever, asked customers what they thought. Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric But, even Apple doesn’t always get it right. The continuing unpopularity of its decision to remove the standard headphone jack from its phones is an example of something they could have consulted people about. As an entrepreneur, you have to […]

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How I Overcame Losing One of My Biggest Customers

When Starbucks pulled my product, I had to scramble to find a replacement. June 1, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. As an outsider in the beverage industry trying to find a way to reach more consumers, landing my product in Starbucks stores was a huge win. It also seemed like a natural fit, as Starbucks at the time was looking for healthier bottled drink options. Related: How the Rifle Paper Co. Founders Turned a Side Hustle Into a Thriving Lifestyle Brand The partnership was initially planned to start with a limited launch of our blackberry flavor in 500 stores, which would have been significant for us at the time. But, shortly before launch, Starbucks decided to go even bigger, placing our product in 11,000 stores across the country. I was ecstatic, but we had a major operational hurdle to overcome: Before selling to Starbucks, […]

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How This Entrepreneur Succeeds in Managing a Global Media Empire With Her Husband

Lisa Sugar didn’t intend to start a business with her husband. March 20, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Lisa Sugar started her career in advertising, but it wasn’t a job that excited her. She was passionate about writing about celebrities, fashion and beauty, so in 2005 she started the blog PopSugar.  Her husband Brian helped her build the website, and when he saw how quickly it was taking off he encouraged her to quit her job and work on building out the site full-time. She did just that, and six months later Brian did the same and joined her as they built what has become a global media empire. Related: 5 Tips for Working With Your Spouse — and Making It Work Working with her husband was never part of the plan, but Lisa says it actually makes their day-to-day life easier. Kara Goldin, […]

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Randi Zuckerberg Discovered When She Was a Kid the Importance of Asking for What You Want

When you want something, sometimes you just have to ask. March 13, 2018 1 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Randi Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur with an extremely impressive career track. She is the former director of market development at Facebook, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, editor-in-chief of Dot Complicated and creator of the animated children’s show Dot. She is an outspoken advocate for diversity in tech and created Sue’s Pop-Up Tech Kitchen to get kids, and particularly young girls, excited about tech. Related: Why Everyone Can Use Randi Zuckerberg’s Number One Focus Tip Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of hint, can relate to many of the challenges Zuckerberg faced as a fellow female entrepreneur. In this video, Goldin sits down with Zuckerberg to talk about the lessons she learned along the way, and the value of simply asking for what you want — a lesson […]

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Why Authenticity Is a Key Ingredient to Entrepreneurial Success, and How to Make Sure You Have It

Follow these six tips to ensure you’re keeping it real as an authentic entrepreneur. February 27, 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 » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become.” — Oprah Winfrey Early in her career, Oprah Winfrey was an evening news reporter at Baltimore network, WJZ-TV. But, she found it hard to emotionally detach herself from the subjects of her stories and was soon fired from the news beat. Related: 10 Qualities of Authentic People Rather than pay out the remainder of her contract, the network moved her to daytime TV. The rest is history. As a talk show host, Oprah’s authenticity became an asset and the key to unlocking […]

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