The Youth Entrepreneurship Act

I am proud to be supporting the Young Entrepreneurship Act.

To best relay the mission of the movement, I have copied and pasted some information directly from the Young Entrepreneurship Act's official website.

"Today, young people are turning to entrepreneurship to overcome a tough economy, and in the process, creating new businesses and new jobs. Now is the time to support this movement. That's why our organizations support the Youth Entrepreneurship Act, legislation designed to make it easier for young people to start a business. The Act includes student loan forgiveness programs, expanded access to micro-loans, and increased investment in entrepreneurship education. All of our voices must be heard. Sign this petition to join our coalition and help young people rebuild America."

Sign the petition to support this incredible campaign and spread the word by clicking on either the Twitter of Facebook buttons (or both!) on the website.

Let's make America more entrepreneurial!

My Entrepreneurs Unpluggd Interview

I'd like to thank Tim Jahn of Entrepreneurs Unpluggd for asking me to do this interview.

In the 20 minute discussion, I talk about paving your own entrepreneurial path, as well as my experience with my 3 most prominent ventures - Endagon, Jiggy Piggy, and Iced Tees.

Update: The embed code will not work inside Wordpress for whatever reason. So, you can head on over to my "Stalk Me" page to view the interview.

Genjuice Tour Miami

Attention All South Florida Entrepreneurs:

The Gen Juice Tour is coming to Miami on September 23rd. I have just been invited to speak at the event alongside some pretty amazing young entrepreneurs. We will each be speaking briefly on the topic of "Building a Following." It should be very enlightening and undoubtedly a great event to network with some amazing contributors to the South Florida community.

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I told the event facilitators that I would help recruit both speakers and guests for the event. So, if you are a South Florida entrepreneur and would like to attend and/or be a part of the event in some capacity, please send me an email or leave a comment below.

I'm sure I will be writing more about this event as the date gets closer, but for now, just get excited for what will be an incredible entrepreneurial experience.

Guest Post: Practical Social Marketing Tools for Entrepreneurs

Due to President's Day yesterday, this week's guest post was postponed to today. It is worth the extra day's wait though because it's from Jason Tailor. Within, he talks about some amazing social media marketing tools that every businessman needs to have in their arsenal.

It doesn’t matter what your business is, all entrepreneurs want to take their business to the next level. But with the harsh economic environment today, the barrier to entry to traditional marketing has just got higher. Fortunately, there is room to maneuver. Social media marketing enables you to promote your brand or business on the cheap! It is the ultimate connection to your target market. Properly used, it can help you gain in-depth insights to customer behavior.

There are many types of project management and internet marketing tools on the internet. There are some that will inevitably stand out. For example, tools that streamline online business operations save a lot of time and effort. On the other hand, there are also some apps that let you compile user information on social sites. Below is a short list of useful social tools:

  • MailChimp – while its name implies that it provides email marketing service, it does more than that. This tool contains a wide variety of features that makes online promotions, social networking, and data tracking hassle-free. MailChimp can also manage 500 subscribers easily and allows you to send 3,000 free emails a month. If your list grows by more than 500, you can get an upgrade for free. This tool can be integrated with Salesforce, WordPress, and Twitter among others.
  • UserVoice – if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you probably have multiple projects going on. It is difficult to keep track of everything without some help. Uservoice is specifically designed for your needs. By taking advantage of this tool, you can leverage on customer suggestion to improve your business. This will also let you know which business areas to concentrate on.
  • Get Satisfaction – once you have a responsive community, this tool will be highly beneficial. It allows you to get answers to important business questions. The information you gather here will enable you to create the right business strategy. Get Satisfaction is a favorite online tool for small businesses and even big brands.
  • Monitter – is there something wrong with your business? It’s hard to know when you’re on the inside. A lot of entrepreneurs get caught up with ideas that they fail to see the weaknesses that others can see in plain sight. Monitter basically monitors Twitter and prides multi-column results in real time. Type your keywords to get the results.
  • Basecamp – this is a project management tool that lets you juggle multiple projects while keeping sense of it all. In essence, Basecamp is designed for entrepreneurs who need to communicate with their suppliers, teams, and business partners. Progress can be monitored and the information that is send over the platform is stored for later reference.

There are many other social marketing tools you can take advantage of. This article is just an overview of some of the most popular ones in the market today.

About The Author: Jason Tailor has been a search engine marketing entrepreneur for over 5 years. He currently runs the online marketing department for Atlanta’s #1 Tree Service.

Drummers as Entrepreneurs

Yesterday, my friend Eric Schechter published a blog post on the Clickbooth blog about how being a drummer puts you at an advantage in the entrepreneurial world.

As a disclaimer for those that don't know; I am a drummer and have been since the tender age of 6. It just so happens that Eric's blog post hit close to home and touched on a lot of my personal beliefs on this topic. After all, as Eric mentions in his post, he can think of a handful of successful entrepreneurs off of the top of his head that were once or still are drummers.

Before you read further, I would like to make it mandatory for you to read Eric's post over at the Click booth blog.

Read it now!

The reason I want you to read the original post is so that I can comment on each of his 5 points in the article. Here goes:

Drummers Love Their Job

This is so true. Most drummers decide to take on the throne not only because it's by far the most fun instrument to play but because they don't want the pressure of being in front of the stage. This makes drummers the quiet assassins.... The essential element in the background... The engine.... The heartbeat... The thing you can't see that is the most important element in a working system. Knowing this and being under-appreciated for it actually makes drummers that much happier. Being a linchpin is the best feeling in the world.

Drumming Takes Practice

In high school, I treated drumming and band practice like it was my job. I didn't care about schoolwork as much because I knew I was supposed to be in my garage working on complicated Mike Portnoy grooves and patterns. Now that I can fast forward and realize where I am in my entrepreneurial life today, I see that I have the same mentality as I did back then. In my head, I couldn't miss my daily rehearsal back then. Today, I can't NOT get through my task list everyday. Just like a drumming pattern, my business life has a certain rhythm that I have learned to follow everyday.

Staying on Beat

In Eric's post, he talks about how drummers stay really focused when they're working on something. This is actually where I disagree most with Eric. I actually couldn't disagree more. Drummers are notorious for short attention spans and bantering in times of silence. Eric, for instance is ADHD (Sorry dude). I admittedly jump from task to task too quickly while I'm working. I think that a better point that could be made is how most drummers will never quit until they accomplish something. Most often it's a beat that they heard on an album. While we might get pissed off and impatient on the way there, we do always get there in the end. That's one of the most important attributes to possess as an entrepreneur.

Being the Backbone

Being an entrepreneur can mean a ton of different things. You can work by yourself, you can run a team of employees, or you can even outsource work to foreign countries. No matter what, you are the reason the operation exists and without you, everything falls apart. In music, if the drummer drops a stick, misses the snare drum, or forgets when to crash the cymbals, the entire flow of the song is off and the audience (the customers) recognize the error.

Drummers are Hard To Find

This is a great point. Just go to your local music instrument store and look over the classified postings on the bulletin board at the front of the store. What are people looking for most? It's always the drummer. What's even worse is that the RIGHT drummer isn't found until the band has to go through several of the wrong ones. The best argument for the importance of great drummers is that most of the bands that make it in the music industry had their drummer when they formed. Or better yet - the drummer was the one that put it all together in the first place.

That's the entrepreneurial spirit that is so apparent in drummers.

Thanks for the inspiration, Eric!