Category Archives: marketing

The world has been introduced to the latest in appcessory technology: LifePrint. Uniting our love for the iPhone, taking pictures, social media and beyond, LifePrint reintroduces us to one of the most innate of all human needs: connection.
 

The brain child of Robert Macauley, a 2008 graduate of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy, “The idea was born out of a study I read 3 years ago saying that the iPhone had surpassed all other digital cameras as the world’s most popular camera. In hearing this information, I looked for ways that iPhone photography was being monetized and realized that printing was not one of them. It just felt right to go after that space.”
lifeprint photo printer
More than another medium to further foster social media’s on-going obsession with the ‘selfie’, LifePrint reaches out to every individual. Sweeping aside any specific demographics and crossing all age-gaps because, ultimately, be you a college student, grandparent living miles away, or spouse stationed across the Globe…the ability to touch, truly HOLD an image of the person held most dear to you, THAT is what we all cherish most in life. THAT aspect of speaking to a person’s heart and bringing the emotions of life off the screen and into the physical is the foundation of LifePrint.

 

As LifePrint officially launches its Kickstarter campaign, we took some time to speak with Robert Macauley about his revolutionary new appcessory, the road that’s gotten him to today, and his greatest advice to all entrepreneurs.
robert macauley
1)   Tell us about LifePrint! What is the device and what is the mission for your business?

 

The device is a mobile printer “Appcessory” for iPhone. “Appcessory” is a term coined by Apple that describes a piece of hardware (a light bulb, a headphone, a speaker, or a photo printer in our case) and ties that piece of hardware together with an iPhone app. It’s all about enhancing the accessory through the app, thus the term “appcessory”.

 

The mission of LifePrint is to help people recapture the magic of holding photos in their hands again. Digital photographs have marginalized the importance of photos and just how powerful those memories can be. We want to give people the chance to recapture that true nostalgia that only real photographs can provide.

 

2)   Today’s world is all about sharing and being social; how does LifePrint fit into that, who do you define as your target audience, and what sets you apart from anything else currently on the market?

 

LifePrint itself is a social product. It was very intentionally designed to be more than just a photo printer that allows you to print from your iPhone. But it’s a social platform that lets people print and share physical photos in a way they’ve never been able to do before. Think of it like a physical version of Instagram.

 

Target audience is mostly High School and College students, though anyone that takes photos with their iPhone is considered a potential customer (so in this case, pretty much all iPhone owners).

 

What makes us different is our simplicity and our App. No other photo printer exists today that can easily print and share photos across smart devices.  The App allowing for photo editing and sharing across the world is truly a unique differentiator.

 

3)   Tell us a bit about yourself and the LifePrint business team. What are your different backgrounds, how did you come up with the idea, and what motivated you guys to get serious and put LifePrint into action?

 

I am a graduate of the SEA class of 2007-2008 and have been working in startups for most of my career. My background is entirely in consumer electronics and accessories in the Apple space. My main role in the past has been working for companies and finding gaps in the accessory markets for companies to exploit and grow market share. My business partner has an extremely extensive background in Sales. He was former VP of Sales for Creative Labs. We have a number of private contractors on our team who also help with design and app development, we will hire full time positions for these roles once Kickstarter is finished.

 

The idea was born out of a study I read 3 years ago saying that the iPhone had surpassed all other digital cameras as the world’s most popular camera. In hearing this information, I looked for ways that iPhone photography was being monetized and realized that printing was not one of them. It just felt right to go after that space.

 

4) What has your startup road looked like, can you share some on the process?

 

Lots of rejection and people saying they’re not interested. It took a lot of convincing of my team to get them excited about this project. In fact, I pitched this as an “Intrapreneurship” concept when I was at Belkin and they rejected the idea. I felt so strongly about it that it was one of the reasons I left the company.

 

5) You are currently working to gain funding to put LifePrint into full production. How did you decide on Kickstarter and what has that process been like?

 

Kickstarter is very friendly for Consumer Electronic products and a great way to prove out a business idea and raise funding without giving away any equity. It seemed like a very natural fit to us.

 

6) You graduated from the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy as a member of our 2008 class. What are some of the most valuable lessons and skills you took away from that experience? How have you applied them to LifePrint?

 

The most valuable lesson I learned from SEA hands down was to learn how to network and believe in your ideas. Other skills, like how to build a cash flow or write a business plan are of course critical, but the main thing I learned and took with me is how to network and take criticism in stride. It’s really important to not give up on an idea just because a few people in positions more powerful than you don’t agree. Listen to feedback and look at your own ideas critically to improve them, but at the end of the day, you need to be really sure you believe in what you’re doing. The rest is just overcoming obstacles.

 

7) What have been some learning experiences in taking the business startup concept into real-life with LifePrint? Were there any surprises along the way, and how did you roll with the punches?

 

My biggest lesson is to think critically and often about your product. Of course there’s going to be lots of surprises along the way and I’ve definitely had my share, the main thing is to feel comfortable saying to people: “I need a day to think about this,” there’s going to be lots of curveballs thrown your way in trying to start a company, don’t be too hasty with any decisions, but certainly don’t be too timid either.

 

8) What are some words of advice you would give to our current SEA class and anyone else starting on the road of entrepreneurship

 

 

Meet lots of smart people and get to know them well. If you build the right network, you’re never more than once or twice removed from the person who might hold the key to your success. The best advice I ever heard for networking was “be interested and be interesting.” Expand your horizons beyond just your business passion. Develop a well-rounded and likable personality that people will gravitate to and in turn, be genuinely interested in the people you meet. Don’t fake it just for networking, people can tell when you’re being fake, but if you are genuinely interested in what people have to say and have something interesting to say about the topic in return, you’d be surprised at how many people you’ll meet and friendships you’ll have.

 

—–

 

With the launch of LifePrint’s Kickstarter campaign, Robert and his team are eagerly anticipating when they may finally start shipping the appcessory they’ve been so tirelessly working on for years, across the United States…and into the hands to us, the photo-obsessed.

 

Thank you very much to Robert Macauley for taking the time to speak with us. Head right over to the LifePrint Website, Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitterand most importantly, support them on Kickstarter!

 

 

Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.

Here is an INSPIRING read originally posted on ‘Business to a Different Beat’ , written by our very own Jennifer Gordon, a former Board Member and dear friend of the Academy. With permission we now share and implore you to read:


peoples_pitch

Young Social Entrepreneurs of Color Uplift Their Communities from the Inside Out

Ask the young people who are suffering from economic inequity and societal trauma for their ideas to solve the problems they face. Tap into their brilliance, creativity, depth and vitality to solve the problems they struggle with every day. Nurture them with mentoring and coaching. Give them access to the tools they need to succeed. Provide them with a place to collaborate and create. Enter Youth Impact HUB Oakland’s People’s Pitch. Glorious!

Gino

“Young people of color who have direct experience with what is not working in our current economy are our greatest asset.”

—Gino Pastori-Ng, Co-founder and Co-Director of Youth SEED

The People’s Pitch was held on May 23 at Impact HUB Oakland, 2323 Broadway. Explosively creative, energetic, positive, brilliant, organic, collaborative, human and real entrepreneurship. And there wasn’t a damn suit in the room. Refreshing.

“Many young people live on the margins of society, and in order to survive they have to be innovative. When you give young people the opportunity to be creative, the ideas they’re innovating are coming

Galen Sylvestri, Co-founder and Executive Director of United Roots

from their resiliency. By giving these entrepreneurs a platform, they can take their life experiences and find innovative solutions for problems that are affecting them. These young people haven’t given up amidst the tragedies they have experienced throughout their lives and they’re using their resiliency to help the community.”

—Galen Silvestri, Co-founder and Executive Director, United Roots

 Nine teams of young social entrepreneurs, ages 16-24, from the Youth Hub Fellowship Program—a yearlong social entrepreneurship training and co-working program that is the offspring of Youth SEED and United Roots’ partnership—presented their proposals for social enterprises to create equity in low-income communities.

Edward F. Quevedo, J.D.  Business Review Panel, Youth Impact HUB Oakland’s People’s Pitch

“It was humbling and inspiring. The wonderful thing about these entrepreneurs is that they believe that anything is possible, and to solve the problems we’re facing requires believing that anything is possible. I learned so much from these young people. I learned way more than I was able to contribute. I already plan to participate again next year.”

Edward L. Quevedo, J.D., Business Review Panel, Youth Impact HUB Oakland’s People’s Pitch/Director of Mills College’sCenter for Socially Responsible Business/Research Affiliate at Institute for the Future Economy

The individuals pitching were a diverse group, with Mills College, UC Berkeley and Stanford graduates in the mix. The entrepreneurs’ individualities shone through with their business ideas. Beautiful collaboration and enthusiastic support of one another’s success made the Pitch event a rich experience. Again, a rarity in the entrepreneurship and innovation realms. This is world changing, and these youth social entrepreneurs are leading the way. They are shining examples of the way to get things done, utilizing human-based entrepreneurship and innovation, with unsoiled thinking and true collaboration. The key is self-expression throughout the process of growing an enterprise designed to benefit people, the environment and the local economy.

It Takes an Entire Village to Raise an Entrepreneur

The people behind Youth Impact Hub Oakland—Konda Mason, founder and CEO of Impact Hub Oakland, Gino Pastori-

Konda Mason, Co-founder and CEO of Impact Hub Oakland

Ng and aManda Greene, co-founders and co-directors of Youth SEED, and Galen Silvestri, co-founder and Executive Director of United Roots—lead by their shining examples. While there are seventy Impact HUBs throughout the world, Youth Impact HUB Oakland is the first collaboration of its sort with the intention to replicate the model at the other Impact Hubs.

“We’re on the proud cutting-edge of the Future Economy…of the Now Economy. Show up fearlessly and brave and know that you hold the power.”

—Konda Mason, Founder and CEO, Impact Hub Oakland

Impact Hub Oakland, a B Corporation, is a member-based co-working space and event venue for entrepreneurs creating positive impact. Youth SEED (Young Social Entrepreneurship for Equitable Development) supports the development of community-led social enterprises by providing training, resources and investment to young innovators who traditionally face barriers to economic opportunities. And United Roots—a nonprofit organization and Oaklands first “green” youth art and media center—enables disenfranchised youth to engage with the green economy, cultural healing, performing arts, digital media and technology in ways that educate, empower, inspire and transform lives.

 “[Youth Impact Hub] is the answer to the question, ‘How can businesses and nonprofits engage youth in social entrepreneurship?’ Youth Impact Hub Oakland is creating a new type of relationship between nonprofits and businesses.”

—Galen Silvestri, Co-founder and Executive Director, United Roots

Each organization needed more resources than they possessed individually, so they came together and formed Youth Impact Hub Oakland. For example, Youth SEED needed a house for their organization, so United Roots provided them with a place. United Roots needed facilitators and mentors that could offer social entrepreneurship training, and the vision to transform their storefront community center into a co-working office space for youth entrepreneurs, so Youth SEED provided the facilitators and mentors andImpact Hub Oakland provided the co-working space model.

Chris Mann, CEO, Guayaki

“I’m really impressed with Youth SEED and the Youth Impact Hub model. The program is vital. To be able to reach people at a pivotal time in their lives and provide excellent options, a set of mentors and peers to resonate with and get feedback from, is invaluable. It’s easy to get a lot of naysayers. A support network helps accelerate the idea. I’m happy that this exists and that it is thriving.”

—Chris Mann, CEO, Guayaki

And then there was the financial support. The following organizations generously contributed to help make the Youth Impact Hub Fellowship and People’s Pitch possible: Numi Organic Tea;Guayakí Yerba Mate; Nutiva; ALTER ECO; Adobe;  Telestream,Inc.; Jonas Family Foundation; Small Planet Fund; Barb Reynolds; Clif Bar Family Foundation; thePG&E Foundation; and the Superbowl 50 Host Committee.

Jason Trimiew

“Innovation is not just about tech; it can help us solve social problems, too. Programs like the Youth Impact HUB and their People’s Pitch event are the very catalysts we are seeking to invest in because they will leave a legacy of impact well after the Super Bowl is played.”

Jason Trimiew, Vice President, Community Relations, Super Bowl 50 Host Committee

Mercer—Accountable Hip Hop

Mercer Music received $1,000 seed money, plus another big check from B.L.I.N.G.

Roy Terry, Jr. and Shayne Johnson createdMercer, a hip-hop production company with a mission to neutralize the violence, sexism, and materialism so prevalent in today’s hip hop. They want to get back to the roots of hip-hop (think “Tupac”), hip-hop featuring “the new school with the old school notion that we use music to uplift and educate,said Roy, “hip-hop that uplifts women and conveys an intrinsic sense of self-worth.”

“Hip-hop is not doing its job and being accountable. We live in a world of monkey see, monkey do. Get an education. Listen to Tupac. We have a world full of people who degrade women. We have a world full of violence. We need to build curriculum for schools. It’s hard to bring positivity to hip-hop. We’re immersed in sex, violence. We don’t want to be thugs. Positive music is overlooked so much. It’s up to us to correct this problem.”

—Roy Terry, Jr., Founder of Mercer

Mercer began with four guys who had a rap group in high school. Roy’s partner, Shayne, was one of these guys and was eager to join Roy on his quest. The Youth Impact Hub fellowship opportunity came to Roy during a dark time in his life. He

Mercer pitching their business at Youth Impact Hub Oakland's

had just been arrested and wasn’t working. “I needed to re-motivate myself,” said Roy.

“I ran into Youth Impact HUB at the right time. I was initiated in such a special way …”

The artists who sign with Mercer will need to sign an agreement to abide by Mercer’s vision of hip-hop that elevates society. Lamont Thompson and Zollie Fears, who are not Youth Impact Hub fellows, are also members of Mercer.

The Biz Stoop—From Responders to Activators

Desiré Simone Johnson and her partner, Erin Clark, cofounders of The Biz Stoop

Desiré Johnson and Erin Clark founded The Biz Stoop to support black youth and teach them their rights, good self-care, and how to pursue opportunities. The Biz Stoop provides gentle immersion into the work world. They work quietly and privately to help black youth. Desiré explained, “Predatory interests won’t allow us to go in full [marketing mode]. For the security and protection of the black youth, The Biz Stoopsafeguards its multiple facets.”

“I was fortunate enough to follow up on opportunities. I had enough courage and emotional support and caring. It’s frightening for the black youth to look for work. You don’t know who you’re going to meet on the other side of the door. This fear comes from fatalism … they distance themselves. They say, ‘I’m never going to go there.’ It’s self sabotage. They give up, lose faith, lose hope. We don’t think we’re going to live. Sixteen was my cut-off time.”

—Desiré Simone Johnson, Cofounder, The Biz Stoop

A recent Mills graduate, Desiré said, “I needed a program to take me through the trauma into healing, into self-activation. I needed structure, timelines, due dates, a creative space that was Oakland specific.”

“I loved reading. I listened. I was a good listener. I was introspective. I asked myself, ‘What am I making in the world?’ I read my own poems and understood that I am more than what’s been done to me. It’s cyclical. I reached the point where I knew that I didn’t want to be in the cycle anymore.”

Desire2When Desiré was thirteen, she read God Don’t Like Ugly by Mary Monroe. “It was almost my life to a T,” she said. “No father and the men filling that role were abusers. At a certain point, you realize, ‘This is not normal.’ I was just a responder in life. I didn’t get to activate. Black children are not granted innocence. We get forced into adulthood.” The Biz Stoop takes these kids and transforms them from responders to activators.

 

Fuerza Indigena—Indigenous Blouses with a Mission

Linda Sanchez, founder of Fuerza Indigena

In addition to her full-time job at American Friends Service Committee, Linda Sanchez founded Fuerza Indigena, an indigenous women-run social enterprise. She became aware of Youth Impact Hub at a United Roots event that mentioned Youth SEED. “I went for it,” she said. “Youth Impact Hub pushed me to set the time, be disciplined. A lot of the fellows are full-time students, work full time, and/or already have kids.”

“I want to show the beauty and complexity of indigenous cultures.”—Linda Sanchez, Founder, Fuerza Indigena

Linda, a Zapotec from Oaxaca, Mexico, grew up in Orange County but moved to the Bay Area in order to attend UC Berkeley, where she received her BA degree in May 2014. Her business partner, Alejandra, 15, is an indigenous Mam from Guatemala and is currently attending high school and interning with 67 Sueños.

“Youth SEED was very nurturing and loving. I made some great friends. My mentors and peers were visionaries. I never had a moment of doubt. It was empowering seeing my peers being empowered and receiving the tools to uplift themselves.”

Linda hopes to create environmental cultural revitalization for the indigenous community. She watched her mom and aunt struggle to make ends meet. She realized that indigenous women have the skills, but don’t know how to capitalize on them. Last, but not least, Linda hopes that Fuerza Indigena creates exposure to the community and builds greater awareness of indigenous cultures. Sell a beautifully stitched organic cotton blouse and people will know a little bit more about the culture.

Plus 6 More …

Daisy Ozim’s Resilient Wellness and 13th Goddess

Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to talk to all nine teams of dynamic entrepreneurs. But just to give you an idea …

TJ Ransom and Jose Martinez’s UpBeat Games Oakland, whose first game, LUCID, is to help young people work through grief, along with a curriculum component for the schools.

Isaiah Teague’s goDDli a worker-owned cooperative selling eco-friendly apparel designed with positive and inspirational messages for “a sense of self.” Isaiah said, “My passion is fashion to help people grow in spiritual knowledge. There is so much hurt. I plan on being original and truthful with my business.”

8 Feet Tall Promotions, founded by Ajman Thrower, is already well on its way with some significant clients. It’s vision is to provide professional promotional services at discounted rates in order to help take ideas and artists to the next level … to help them make money from their own ideas … to build these Latino and blacks in the surrounding communities up. The company got its name because it began with eight people helping Oakland to feel 8 feet tall by spreading ideas and supporting its artists.

Dasha Savage of Merry Stem, bringing healthy food, nutrition education and community through growing vegetables.

Merry Stem’s Dasha Savage and JessicaSarmiento are on a mission to mend the disconnect between food and community, by encouraging and teaching residents to each grow a vegetable to share with their other neighbors, a type of barter system. The ultimate goal is for the community to get to know their food and their neighbors better. During their pitch, Dasha said, “I was an inner-city fat kid. Our modern life has wrenched us away from what it means to be fundamentally human. It’s hard to eat right when you don’t have a stove or an oven in your kitchen.”

United Roots Media is being launched by Quayshawn Presley and Malik Hardcastle as an “earned income strategy”for United Roots. Youth graduates of United Roots’ advanced training in media arts offer a variety of services through United Roots media. In response to their pitch, panel member Edward Quevedo said, “My life has changed because of your presentation.”

Daisy Ozim’s Resilient Wellness and 13thGoddess. Daisy created Resilient Wellness—a health education program for communities of color—and 13th Goddess, an environmentally friendly shoe line catering to women with longer soles. Resilient Wellness will provide “culturally relevant mental health services” to help people of color deprogram from “traumatic slave syndrome and the legacy of colonization.”

Seed Funding

affirmation

Each team pitched to a panel of local community leaders for $1000 in seed funding provided byThe Pollination Project, which funds “ordinary people doing extraordinary things…every day in every corner of the world.”

All nine teams received seed money, with five of the teams receiving it “unconditionally”—they were ready to receive the money immediately—and four receiving it “conditionally,” i.e. based on their ability to address feedback from the panel.BLING, a youth philanthropy internship group “committed to supporting other youth and their ideas to create social change in their schools and communities,” awarded an additional $2,000 to be shared among three teams.

The Entertainment

Jax--An astounding group! All siblings, with the oldest being 15, they write and compose their music.

People’s Pitch was rowdy and fun, too. The pitches were divided into three groups and, in between each group, there was seriously, outrageously, magnificent cultural entertainment. Why aren’t all entrepreneurial events this much fun? For example, there were live cultural performances from Young, Gifted and Black, Jax, and DJ Adamah. Tamales La Oaxaqueña  made the day even more delicious. And a marketplace of local entrepreneurs—which included 67 Sueños, DetermiNation Media Group, and Mandela Marketplace, RYSE and The Real Oakland—rounded out the energy.

 

In Conclusion

Gino Pastori-Ng, co-founder and co-director of Youth SEED, wraps it up perfectly:

“My motivation for creating Youth SEED is based on my experience growing up in Oakland and witnessing my most creative and innovative peers slip through the cracks. There was a severe lack of opportunities for them to engage in their community in a meaningful way, and many of them ended up dropping out of school and becoming entrenched in the criminal justice system. No one was asking them what they wanted to create in the community or providing any resources to make it happen. I’m passionate about social entrepreneurship as a tool to engage youth in low-income communities because it combines the best of activism and business. It addressees the reality of economic inequality and the need to generate revenue, while also being critical about the status quo to ensure that we are only creating businesses and organizations that support people and the planet.

“The youth we work with are the most brilliant people I know. They have been through extreme adversity, yet they are taking risks to pursue their visions for a more equitable economy. Their ideas are simultaneously simple and revolutionary. Their lived experience has provided them with a critical lens, which they are using to re-imagine their communities. They are the leaders of an emerging, new economy, and the Youth Impact HUB is a platform to connect them to the network and resources needed to implement their collective vision.”

What more is there to say?

Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.

The SEA is excited to be a part of the Big Day of Giving (BDOG) blitz on May 5!! This will be the second year for the incredible event benefiting non-profits across Sacramento. Come out and join us May 5th during 24 hours of giving!! Read all the details HERE!

Check out the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy’s Pledge Page HERE…bookmark it, tell all your friends, share the link, and help spread the word to come back to PLEDGE SUPPORT to the SEA on May 5th! Woohoo!!







Leading up to this exciting event there will be MANY other opportunities to participate in various networking and business building activities, such as Twitter Chats and Training Seminars. BDOG is something not to miss, we’ll be sharing some of the upcoming events on our social media outlets (so be sure to follow!) and encourage you to sign up for the BDOG newsletter HERE.

Get excited, then get sharing! Help spread the word!!

 
Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.

social media strategy for a business startupEvery young entrepreneur with a business startup has been told of the power of social media. Yes, in today’s business world having an online presence across these various platforms is, in essence, a must. The problem lies when a business startup isn’t leveraging these social media sites correctly.
 
Make a common social media blunder and it could all be just a wasted effort. Here are four ways to properly leverage your social media power:
 
1) Profiles and Platforms: The first thing any business startup needs to do on social media is set up their profile, completely. This sounds like an obvious, but it’s incredible how many businesses don’t include links to their website, fill out the ‘about’ sections, or omit other important information. Your customers may read your tweets but upon clicking your profile will have no idea WHERE they can find and purchase from you.
 
The second crucial aspect for a business startup in social media is figuring out WHICH platforms are going to benefit you the most. Depending on your niche market, research which platforms your customers are utilizing the most. That way you can delegate your time accordingly, social media for a business startup only works if you KNOW the platform and spend the time and energy actively engaged in it. Rather than spread yourself too thin, REALLY manage only the ones that will give you the return.
 
2) Actually Engage: gone are the days of out-bound marketing, where a business startup relied on traditional ads ‘telling’ customers what they want. Today’s business world is ruled by listening and responding to the customer. [Read our whole post HERE about inbound marketing and why you need to shift your business startup marketing plan in accordance.] This means that if you’re not responding, favoriting, and retweeting others, no one will pay much attention to you. The social media conversation has to go two ways.
 
This is where time is involved, Young Entrepreneur. It can be tempting to look for automated social media tools, but at the end of the day the real people, your customers, using social media will be able to sniff out a fake.
 
3) Balancing Brand and Human Posts: What to post on your social media sites can feel daunting at first, many young entrepreneurs are either unsure of how much they should share or worry they will run out of things to say. This is where really defining your brand and planning what kind of message comes into play. Share relevant information, news, quotes, etc. that line up with your brand and try not to veer too far off course. It’s okay to have a few humanoid “This Thai food is AMAZING!” tweets because it shows you’re a person but at the same time you don’t want to confuse people with what your brand is and what you represent.
 
Conversing is the other major role of a successful social media campaign. It also helps the young entrepreneur worried that they have nothing interesting to share: Start replying! Look for people across your niche market who have a question and respond, look at other influencers across your brand and retweet, share news tidbits. Give people engaging on social media a reason to want to follow you.
 
4) Influencers: A business startup should note that individuals are 77% more inclined to make a purchase if it is on the recommendation of someone they know, admire, or trust. A young entrepreneur should seek out major influencers across their niche market. This goes deeper than people with lots of followers, do some background checking and find out how many of those followers actually LISTEN to what the individual says or recommends. Influencers can be found across the social media platforms and also websites and blogs, an updated social media profile should give you that link.
 
In considering how to approach an identified influencer, a young entrepreneur must first get to ‘know’ them and make a list of what YOU can do for them. Often times a young entrepreneur may make the mistake of thinking from the reverse. Make your priority proving why this influencer can gain from the relationship and let things progress organically. Win them that way and you’ll have a much stronger bond and increase the chances that influencer will invest the energy to truly help you. Finally, don’t reach out to this influencer the first time with a business startup proposal…you wouldn’t show up to a first day and proclaim your undying love. Introduce yourself and establish a connection devoid of requests first.
 
Leveraging social media for a business startup is crucial for success, the catch is doing it RIGHT.
 
Tweet us, Facebook post, or leave a comment for us with your answers:
 
1) Identify the top two social media platforms most crucial for your business startup success.
2) Make a list of ten tweets that correctly portray the message and brand of your business startup.
3) Identify five influencers that you will start building a relationship with.
 
Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.

josh mathe in the footsteps of greatness bookJosh Mathe is the definition of an entrepreneur living on the edge and making the MOST of every moment. He’s created his business around his passion, “squeezing every last drop from life, and helping other do the same.”
 
Mathe pushes his body to the limit as an ultra endurance athlete and applies that same unbreakable mentality to conquering all other life challenges. His latest book, ‘In the Footsteps of Greatness’ is “One man’s journey to conquer his demons– and the entire 212-mile John Muir Trail along the way.”
 
What happens when you push your body to it’s limit, what goes through one’s mind, what do you learn from the experience? How does it change you? All of that eloquently written about in his book.
 
But for those local to Sacramento you have multiple opportunities to meet this entrepreneur-athlete and hear about the experience from Mathe himself.
 
Mathe’s Book Signing and Speaking Details:

 
Book Reading & Signing
DATE: August, 21 2014
TIME: 7 PM
LOCATION: Time Tested Books,
1114 21st Street, Sacramento
 
Book Signing
DATE: September 13, 2014
TIME: 10-11 AM
LOCATION: REI Folsom,
2425 Iron Point Road, Folsom
 
Book Signing
DATE: September 20, 2014
TIME: 9-11 AM
LOCATION: Chocolate Fish Coffee,
48th & Folsom Blvd, Sacramento
 
Book Presentation: Reading, Video Journal, Talk, Q&A
DATE: September 23, 2014
TIME: 7 PM
LOCATION: REI Stockton,
5757 Pacific Ave, Stockton
 
Book Presentation: Reading, Video Journal, Talk, Q&A
DATE: October 8, 2014
TIME: 7 PM
LOCATION: REI Sacramento,
1790 Expo Parkway, Sacramento
 
You can read more about Mathe on his website and order ‘In the Footsteps of Greatness’ HERE.
 
Entrepreneurs are of unbreakable spirit, it comes out of necessity. The same holds true for an endurance athlete. Seeing a business startup to success is, after all, a (ultra) marathon not a sprint.
 
Tweet us, Facebook post, or leave a comment for us with your answers:
 
1) How do you push your body? [Our post HERE explains how fitness boosts creativity and business productivity.]
2) How do you handle challenges and obstacles?
 
Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.

unique business cardWe talk a lot about details. For a young entrepreneur with a business startup there are no shortage of them, but it’s crucial you occupy your time with the RIGHT ones.
 
Many young entrepreneurs are driven by that type-A personality trait, perfection can’t be your goal because if you do make it that you’ll never actually accomplish anything. Some details can be stalling points to keep you from producing. A young entrepreneur must be able to ‘let go’ of some of the less important details and GRAB ON to the ones that count.
 
What are details that count? Well when it comes to marketing, a little detail can go a long way. To separate yourself from your competition your business startup must STAND OUT and stick in the minds of your niche market customers. For marketing purposes, ‘little’ details can make a world of difference. They are the factors that separate your business startup from a fleeting moment to a lifelong business/consumer relationship.
 
Details that Matter
 
* Name:
The first step in business branding is naming your startup. Take the time really brainstorming on this; don’t go with something that’s just ‘meh’. Match it to the mission of your business startup and make it resonate with your niche market.
* Logo: A logo is another detail that should never be rushed. Branding lays the foundation of many of the important business startup decisions to come and you will be creating your marketing strategy around it.
* Packaging: How your product or service greets your customers is the PERFECT opportunity to blow them away. Think of this like creating a stunning welcome mat. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, they’re used to get lots of brown boxes with packing peanuts…imagine their surprise when your business startup package delivery comes with a colorful box, not even box-shaped but an oval, or even better…a personalized thank you message. Those details take time and show your customers you care. [Related Post: Build Followers, Get ‘Likes’, Get Customers: Growing your business startup through social media]
* Business Card: People get tons of business cards, how many of them do you just chuck in the garbage or forget about? Take the opportunity to find a detail to separate your business card from the packs swimming in the fishing bowl at the Chili’s ‘win a free lunch’ contest. In the business of tea, make your business card shaped like a teacup. A cartoonist? Turn that card into a single-framed strip…get them laughing at first glance.
 
Details matter. We live in a fast-paced world and often ‘little’ details hold the possibility to GRAB attention and create a lasting memory. Have your business startup holding a distinct memory in your customers’ minds and well, your mission was a success.
 
Tweet us, Facebook post, or leave a comment for us with your answers:
 
1) What is an example of a little detail that makes your business startup distinct from your competitors?
2) What words do you want to come to mind when someone hears the name of your business startup? When they see your logo?
 
Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailThere are five areas in which it’s critical a young entrepreneur be continually improving in. How well your business startup is able to perform is directly related.
 
1) Confidence: Self confidence is an interesting thing, far too often the people with the MOST to offer undervalue themselves. Why the insecurity, Young Entrepreneur? Typically it’s because the type-A personality trait has such high standards. Clearly a good thing in driving you forward but at the same time, don’t let that type-A work against you.
 
REALIZE your value. Don’t undersell yourself or your business startup. Get a more realistic perspective on just how great you are by looking at all levels of your competition. Another example of a type-A stumbling block is only focusing on the ones better than you. Gain confidence and know that you ARE worth XXXX cost, know your value and keep improving on it.
 
2) Passion: Let passion drive you, use logic to keep you on track and focused. A young entrepreneur with a business startup should be pursuing their passion. Though, with creativity sometimes come ‘too’ many ideas can become a distraction. While there’s never such a thing as ‘too’ many ideas, we will clarify: getting off track and bouncing to the next idea before fully investing in the first.
 
Don’t let the excitement of an idea overflow distract you from accomplishing what you set out to do. Make a list to track your creative genius:
* ACTION: This category for the projects you need to be focused on right now and complete first.
* SUPPLEMENT: These ideas tend to be marketing related as ways to boost the effectivity of your action ideas. These can be done synonymously.
* LONG TERM: As the name implies.
* ONE DAY: For the items that fall under ‘there’s never a bad idea’.
 
3) Brevity: For efficiency purposes and the ability to hook potential clients/investors/connections on the fly, a young entrepreneur needs to master brevity. Our post HERE explains how to construct the perfect ‘elevator pitch’ to be used any time someone asks, “What do you do?”
 
Don’t lose your audience’s attention by rattling on or having a less than crystal clear answer. For productivity purposes, learn to fire off those emails and make your communications more effective by getting RIGHT to the point.
 
4) Cold Call: A young entrepreneur needs to have the confidence to pick up the phone (or email) and reach out. Connections are helpful but you can’t wait for them either, many incredibly profitable and long term relationships stem from a ‘cold’ introduction.
 
5) Network: With a business startup you can never have too many connections. It’s important to keep the old, build new, and nurture those relationships. Remember with connections it’s a two way street, don’t only get in touch with a person when YOU need something, make sure to check in with even a simple two or three sentence email with no ulterior motive.
 
Remember to help another person out if you have the means, and don’t always expect an immediate return. Selfless acts don’t go unnoticed and will be remembered. Worst case, a young entrepreneur can use all the positive karma they can take.
 
There you go. Five areas that a young entrepreneur should be continually improving upon. Pick one to work on TODAY!
 
Tweet us, Facebook post, or leave a comment for us with your answers:
 
1) Which of these is your weakest area?
2) In which of these areas are you the strongest?
3) How can you improve in each of them?

 
Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.

business startup swagHuman nature makes us powerless to the allure of SWAG. As a young entrepreneur you’ve certainly experienced that yourself, you are human after all. How can you leverage the power of the SWAG to kick start your business startup and gain more of a following?
 
Running a Contest

 
Promotion for a business startup is like a bloody war, you’ve got to stand up amongst the rest, prove YOU are better than your competitors. Give people a reason to check you out; from there your product or service better be able to deliver. But the first step is getting the word out.
 
By hosting a contest tied to your business startup website, you can drive traffic to the site. Certainly everyone wants to win a prize, but the KEY to making your contest valuable to your business startup in the long term, is to expertly choose the prize, promote, and follow-up.
 
Exclusivity: To up the ante of the allure of a prize, tell people that it’s in limited quantities or exclusive to this event. People get more excited if they feel like they’re one of a few getting access to this special prize.
 
Partnered Prizes: If a young entrepreneur teams up with a sponsor they will have the added weight of a partner. This helps not only in adding more opportunities to win or a bigger prize pull, but also in helping to market your contest.
 
Choose wisely the sponsors your reach out to, you want any prizes to be directly related to your niche market. If you’re business startup is targeting pet owners, you may get some quick social media followers for a prize of a new computer but how many of them will become customers for dog food?
 
Promotion: Get to spreading the news about the contest for your business startup on all platforms: person-to-person, social media outlets, your own website, and other bloggers. Here is where if you do have sponsors they can help with this process. Rules of Twitter and social media apply here: tag and tweet your sponsors and they will naturally be retweeting and tweeting to their followers. More eyes, more interested parties.
 
Follow-Up: The goal of the contest was to spread awareness and get people SEEING your business startup. Now that you’re on their radar it’s your job to prove to them you deserve to STAY on that scope.
 
For a young entrepreneur with a business startup, marketing is of prime importance and an ongoing effort. There may only have been one winner in the contest but hopefully you got a lot more social media followers, newsletter subscribers, and traffic to your blog. In executing the contest for your business startup you should have planned on the kind of content you’ll be following up with.
 
Engage with those new social media followers, make your newsletters amazing, and effectively use content marketing on your blog and website. Don’t lose those new eyes, turn them into customers!
 
Tweet us, Facebook post, or leave a comment for us with your answers:
 
1) What is a contest you can run to spread the word about your business startup?
2) What will be your prize and who are some sponsors you may reach out to?
3) How will you promote your contest?
 
Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.

creative brain businessEvery young entrepreneur is just waiting for THAT idea. That one that changes everything, the perfect solution to what your business startup was struggling with, THAT idea that is a catalyst for INNOVATION.
 
Much has been studied and written about regarding the science of creativity. Is it something that can be taught? Is it part of our make-up? It is just a rare talent that certain people are born with? Is there a way to MAKE ourselves more creative?
 
That last one, for a young entrepreneur with aspirations for a business startup, the ability to make oneself more creative is most fascination. Probably because it’s most applicable and thus enviable. YOU want to be the one who is the game-changer.
 
Whether you believe the key to creativity is in your genes or how you’re brain is just ‘luckily’ hard-wired, there are still proven ways to flex your creativity. Flex you creativity, you say, why yes. Think of creativity like a muscle, in order for any muscle to grow it must be worked.
 
Work That Creative Muscle
 
1) Train:
Marathoners run nearly every day, the laws of training are the same for anything and it hinges upon consistency. Train your creativity DAILY. Do something creative, be it writing, drawing, expressive dancing, sketch comedy…anything that gets you thinking out of the box and making yourself open to get free thought flowing. Schedule this time if you have to (I know, Young Entrepreneur, how ironic does it sound to say schedule time to be creative and free?!) and make a commitment to flex your creativity daily.
 
2) Practice Patience: If you feel awkward at first or not having much luck, still practice something because with consistency things get easier and will feel more natural. There will still be days you’re stuck in writer’s or artist’s block and when that happens don’t try to ‘force it’ and rather shift the goal of the day’s creative flex. Try writing instead of drawing, try using a different medium, come up with a different prompt/problem, etc. 
2) New Stimulus: A young entrepreneur will naturally reach out the creative outlet they’re best at. Skilled with a pen, naturally you’ll take to drawing. But training requires a new stimulus every now and again because the body and mind can start to stagnate and get stuck in a rut. Introducing something new will refresh you, get you working even more out of the box, and thinking on a new plane. So mix up the creative outlets you’re doing. 
3) Ban Negativity: Often times a young entrepreneur can get so hung up on waiting for THAT perfect idea that they wind up with nothing. Another trap is boeing so judgmental and critical of ideas that they turn it down before they even really ‘flesh’ that idea out. Here is where your creative time should be though of as a non-judgmental zone. It should feel liberating to just DO, don’t think, and see what flows out. You’ll be amazed sometimes how the most innovative business startup ideas come about from just DOING and even acting silly.
 
Certain young entrepreneurs may be born with a leg-up on the creative factor, but that doesn’t mean that anyone can improve upon and expand the amount of creativity they have. It means flexing that muscle and allowing it then grow stronger.
 
Tweet us, Facebook post, or leave a comment for us with your answers:
 
1) What is one way you flex your creativity?
2) How are you going to commit to doing free-thought and creative time daily?
 
Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.

stressed business womanStress and business are like a dancing couple. Completely intertwined and no matter how fast the beat moves the two must keep up. For a young entrepreneur with a business startup, take the ‘normal’ amount of stress and exponentially quantify it. Start stepping fast, My Friend!
 
The problem with an exponential amount of stress is there’s a very fine line between keeping pace with your business startup and leaving you a crying puddle of goo hunkered in the corner. Stress and anxiety are making us sick, killing us even. Outside of the heart attacks, panic episodes, and more extreme situations, too much stress wrecks havoc in all other areas of your life.
 
* problems sleeping
* excessive fatigue
* concentration problems
* unhappiness and depression
* reduced energy resulting in less activity/exercise and reduced ability to perform and function during exercise
* addiction problem
 
Not to mention it sure as heck can do a number on the young entrepreneur, their family, friends, and pets. Too much stress certainly is a killjoy.
 
Limiting Stress

 
Unfortunately we’ve already established that the presence of stress and a business startup are intertwined. The amount of stress and anxiety an individual experiences fluctuates too. A few days of through the ROOF, we’ve got to hit this deadline type situations aren’t going to kill you IF you’re able to give your body a chance to recover between such situations. The hamster must get off the wheel to recharge at some point.
 
Of this we know and have heard. But there are other ways a young entrepreneur can reduce the amount of stress and anxiety they feel by changing their OWN perspective.
 
Yes, a lot of the stress and pressure we may be feeling is self-imposed. By shifting our OWN reaction and attitude toward stressful situations we can dramatically reduce the negative impact they have on ourselves, our health, and even our business startup.
 
Shifting Perspective
 
1) Identify.
Pinpoint why are you feeling stressed, anxious, and pressure. Now determine if you have any control over the situation.
2) Action. Make a list of every way you CAN make an impact on the situation to make it better for you. Do all you can to set yourself up for success.
3) Let go. Once you’ve done everything within your power, it’s time to disengage, distract, and shift your thoughts, time, energy, and emotions elsewhere to something you DO have control over.
 
Clearly letting go is much easier said that done, Young Entrepreneur. But once you’ve done everything you can, you can’t sit and stew cursing that the shipment from Australia, wishing it were at your feet rather than in the middle of the ocean. SHIFT that energy into a way that is productive for your business startup. That may mean calling customers, apologizing, and using other customer service techniques to keep their business.
 
Another large way a young entrepreneur can reduce the amount of stress they feel is by improving their conversational and communication skills. Many GIANT problems stem from a lack of proper communication or avoiding it all together. Confrontations are part of life and shouldn’t be feared; if you clearly express what you need, know what is expected of you, things tend to smooth along much easier.
 
A young entrepreneur can never ditch their tango partner of stress, they CAN however ensure their own feet are able to keep pace with the music and successfully run their business startup without turning into that crying pile of goo in the corner.
 
Tweet us, Facebook post, or leave a comment for us with your answers:
 
1) What is one way you can limit the amount of stress in your daily life?
2) What is one way you can improve your communication skills to reduce your stress?
 
Take your business startup idea and write an effective business plan and enroll with The Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.