My husband was only 28 years old when he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.
A few weeks earlier I had quit my job to help him focus on growing our rental business. But suddenly, instead of helping him manage properties, I was helping him get through brain surgeries and rounds of radiation and chemo—at a hospital nearly 100 miles away from where we lived. Our world was completely upended.
Thankfully, he survived the Hell that is brain cancer. And even though we were absentee owners for nearly two years, our business survived, too.
But what if this happened to you? Could your business survive without you there to oversee its day-to-day operation?
So, you have a business idea. But will it be a smashing success, or a total flop?
There’s no magic ball to tell you with 100% certainty you have a winner. But there are proven ways to test your business idea before you sink your life-savings into a product or service that no one will buy.
Testing your idea will cost a little up front—in both time and money—but it’s well worth it. Because it will hurt much less to find out now that your product isn’t viable, rather than later.
Unless, of course, you’re Jeff Bezos and you don’t mind losing $170 Million on a failed idea. Otherwise, here’s how to validate your business idea before you go all in.
Most people think that you need to be well-educated, well-funded, and have a one-of-a-kind idea to start a successful business. But, that’s not true. You can be a successful entrepreneur without any of those things.
Imagine yourself in this situation:
Your company is scheduled to work a special event on a cruise ship departing the next day from Florida. You and your team are in California.
Everything is going as planned. Everyone made it to the airport on time, nobody is sick, you even have time to gather at the bar for a pre-event discussion.
Then the information display board for your flight begins flashing “Delayed.” You rush to the gate to find out what has happened. You’ve a bad feeling in your gut.
Fast forward to the next morning and your weary, red-eyed team is ready to board the ship. There’s a problem, though: your luggage didn’t make it to Florida with you.
Employee advocacy is the new influencer marketing. Or, so says a new study from Sprout Social.
And, as cliché as it sounds, that statement is true.
Today, businesses of all sizes—from retail giants like Macy’s, to smaller service-based companies like Boostability—are empowering their employees to be brand ambassadors.
And they’re getting incredible results because of it.
Here are four ways employee advocacy is helping these companies succeed, and why you should consider empowering your staff to be brand ambassadors as well.
3 Ways Storytelling Fuels America’s Largest Monthly Car Show (and How You Can Apply Them to Grow Your Business)
What do Kenny Rogers (a retired Major League pitcher), Michelle Beck (a small-town vocational teacher), and Magnus Walker (a famous fashion designer), have in common?
They all share a passion for automobiles.
And because of that passion, they’ve restored and showcased vehicles at America’s largest monthly car show, Caffeine and Octane.
“People are so different,” says Bruce Piefke, the entrepreneur behind the show. “But cars bring them together. For me, that’s what makes the show great—all these stories where people connect.”
And he’s used these kinds of true-life-car-love stories to transform the once struggling event into—not only one of the most lucrative car shows in the U.S.—but also a thriving media brand.
Here are three ways Piefke uses storytelling to fuel Caffeine and Octane’s success and how you can apply them to grow your business.
"Put yourself in a position, treat people right, and maintain your reputation. You never know what opportunities will come from that."
When Bruce Piefke took over a monthly Atlanta car show from Auto Trader magazine it was generating more in expenses than revenue. In three years Bruce grew Caffeine & Octane from 3,000 to a record 20,000 attendees in a month. He signed on some big sponsors and spun off a hit tv show. More...
"I've had my share of wrecks. I've broken bones. I've had my ego bruised many times."
Entrepreneurs naturally want things to go fast. In this episode of Main Street Hustle we meet an entrepreneur who really knows how to go fast. Elaine Larsen - a two-time Jet Dragster World Champion tells us that in racing and in business the faster you go, the safer and smarter you have to be. For Elaine and her co-owner husband Chris, this means setting strict workplace rules and putting each employee through a rigorous training program. Everyone at Larsen Motor Sports knows everything there is to know about the race car, about safety, and about being a brand ambassador. More...
"This is the dream. Brewing beer. I work for myself."
For years, Chris Coyle was brewing beer at home for friends and family. In 2013 he stepped out of the garage to open his own brewery and taproom. With no experience in business, no experience running a bar, and no experience brewing beer on a larger scale, Chris and his wife sold off what they could and got to work opening the New Smyrna Beach Brewing Company. What they didn’t know is that a Federal Government shutdown would keep them closed with no money coming in for two months. more...
"The hustle is real."
In this episode of Main Street Hustle we sit down for coffee with Kristan Serafino, a celebrity Hair Stylist and mens grooming expert whose client list reads like a who’s who of Entertainment A listers. Now, Kristan won’t divulge her clients names but a simple search of her instagram feed or a review of her online portfolio shows her work with Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Craig, Matthew McConaughey, Shawn Mendes, Norman Reddus, Kelsey Grammer and Michael J. Fox, just to name a few. Her work has appeared on the covers of just about every fashion magazine including GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Cosmopolitan. She’s been an on air guest at QVC and a brand spokesperson for a line of beauty products. You can follow Kristans work on instagram and twitter @serafinosays. More...