The Gray Twilight That Knows Neither Victory Nor Defeat

Branson and MullenwegHere’s something cool. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress was on Necker Island recently. In an interview that filmed him against a backdrop of luscious green mountain tops and azure blue waters, he admitted,

“It’s not necessarily the idea you started with that’s going to work, but if you keep working on it, new doors open up”

Businesses take a long time to gain traction and momentum. You’ll have spurts of growth, but quiet times can sometimes make up for them. The funny thing that you’ll find is that when your business actually does take off and take quantum leaps, you may not like it so much. Whereas once upon a time, it was about making people believe in your product, now it’s about sustaining trust, relationships, innovation and cash-flow to feed your people.

If you’re about to take off, I’ve recently uncovered some jewels that you might find a little bit awesome.

Basecamphq.com is a neat little gem for project management that I stumbled upon today. If you want to make life seriously easier and spend less time organizing and more time doing, hook up with a site like that.

Another amazing innovation is squarespace.com – it takes all the hard work out of building websites and gives you the freedom to be creative and feel good – absolutely everything is taken care of with a small monthly subscription fee. It also uses the award winning cloud computing system!

With technology and innovation like this, there’s alot of great things that you can achieve in business.

Alas, I conclude with this striking quote,

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat”

-Theodore Roosevelt

With Love,

Little Miss Entrepreneur

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An image can be bought, but a reputation must be earned

The business of selling ego is clearly thriving in our Global Financial Crisis. There’s certainly one thing that some Ferrari, Lamborghini and MBA owners never learn: An image can be bought, but a reputation must be earned.

For example, an MBA Graduate today threatened an investigation of one of my registered businesses for “academic misconduct” in stealing ‘his idea’, while offering partnership with…his business plan, and lastly, attempts to “buy us out” with $100 and the reminder of starving children in Africa.

What kind of reputation is he forging for himself exactly?

Tiger Airways. I gave them a chance last night, wasn’t aware of their 45 minute Pre-Check-In policy and missed my flight. At no point were they understanding, so I flew with Virgin 10 hours later. It’s apparently a clever strategy to make you book another ticket.

The average person tells 10 people about bad customer service experiences.

A reputation is everything, and so is a bad one.  Karma likes to strike back with a vengeance.

Little Miss Entrepreneur

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

cute-dogWe grow up to be so trapped in the kennels of dogma that the day the economy shakes us into redundancy, we’re like lost little puppies looking for another leash. Reality is negotiable.

To be honest, I don’t think the leash was ever really there, only the shelter of dogma that woke us up at 7 for work and 9 for church. Reality is utterly negotiable, but only if you try making a few deals with life instead of dealing the cards you were dealt with.

Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week won a kickboxing championship after a silly dare that put him in the ring armed with the discovery of a loophole: push your opponent out of the ring three times and you win. No need to bargain elegantly with life – just do it!

Scotty Nguyen, the world Prince of Poker, stayed behind in Sin City after a road trip and gambled away until he was broke each week  and mastered the art of Poker. He later became a dealer and than a multimillion dollar world Poker champion. Go broke 10 times and I’m sure you’ll become a millionaire too.

Victoria Beckham, a plain suburban girl who happily declared that she’s “not that good at anything” has reached international ‘it’ girl status and wealth by simply being wildly ambitious and brilliant at self-promotion. I never said you needed brains or looks, sometimes a dose of healthy ego is all the doctor ordered.

And finally, Antony Todd, who designs parties and interiors for the New York elite, was once upon a time a Hawthorn-born psychology dropout. He happened to land a lucrative account with a Park Avenue client to arrange flowers for a party worth $150, when the whole thing cost him $250. But, she called on him again, as did Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Moral of the story is sometimes you’ve got to give more than you get. Karma can be a great partner in crime.

‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination’ – Oscar wilde.

Little Miss entrepreneur

Rockstar entrepreneurs unleashed

rockstar2I don’t like the magical MPs and CEOs that I meet who whip out their phone and smash 1200 jobs down the drain, but I do like the creative people who achieve big things with rockstar personalities and visions that make the cookie-cutter kids on Small Street squirm and squeal in disbelief.

I am titillated by the young and narcissistic, Rockstar MOVERS and SHAKERS of this generation, who pick up the goddamn phone and turn power meetings into the NEXT big web 2.0 technology to hit the masses. Or the next condom company to leave us quivering in excitement with its naughty campaigns. Expect some Rockstar Gen Y names to hit the Big-time this year.

  • Guy Vincent. Bringing to you new social media e-commerce platforms.
  • Josh Lefers brings to you legendary sex and the sex of legends – Legends Condoms
  • Ant Hampel brings to you live brand experiences and corporate events that blow your mind – Think Creative
  • Phillip Kingston brings to you a graphic design Innovation to change web development forever – Silk
  • Alex Young brings to you a whole new and sexy ‘.mobi’ generation – Mostyle
  • Luke Harvey-Palmer brings to you a world-class initiative and serious boot in the butt to get working – Job Camp

What more can I say? I like masterminds and creators and am mighty proud to be working with many of these Rockstar champions. So if you want to gain my respect, have attitude, believe in your cause, create something big, inspire a tribe and impact. That’s it!

Little Miss Entrepreneur

The recession is all part of nature’s “Economic Darwinism”

I’m sure all you saucy minxes out there are jumping  in anticipation for sequels of sexy business romantic novella. Something that has been tugging away at me lately is the doom and dominance of this plague called the recession.

What do you do when your venture capitalists and ‘angel investors’ suddenly cut off your lifeblood and jet off for playtime in Macau or Monaco instead?

Here’s the deal. Every once in a while, a phenomena called Economic Darwinism invades our planet and with a whoosh of its magidevilish wand, shatters the spirits of the ambitious and crashes upon the publicly listed liabilities. If you’re a start-up, small business owner or entrepreneur, bad luck.

You’re going to have to do what you did in the beginning, go back to basics and back to the drawing board. Life is a game of survival, so harden up now. Truth is, if you were an employee made retrenched, you probably weren’t pulling your weight and bringing in the value of at least three times your salary anyway. Otherwise, why would they fire you? The time is now and now is the time to redefine.

A job can mean a plethora of opportunities that existed way before this recession ever happened. It means freelancing, contracting, franchising, self-employment, relocating and innovating. You are being pushed, but that’s absolutely ok – we all need to be pushed sometimes, sometimes in a small way, and sometimes in a big way that hurts. Really hurts!

The cleverest and strongest survive, and the weak fall upon the darling doll. One thing that’s exciting is that there is a giant sea of intellectual capital floating about, wafting in and out of a test and legacy we call life.

Little Miss Entrepreneur

How Two Millionaire Rockstar Entrepreneurs get sacked from their own companies

steve-jobs-and-dom

So what do Dominic Carosa, founder of Destra Corporation worth $100m, and Steve Jobs, founder of Apple (priceless), have in common? Both are college dropouts, both began their business from their garage, both became rockstar entrepreneurs before 30, and both have been sacked from their own companies.

You’re probably asking the same question I am. How the hell did two of our coolest and hottest entrepreneurs get sacked from their own companies?

Here’s the scoop.

April 8, 1983: Steve Jobs lures John Sculley, President of Pepsi, to Apple by telling him “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want to a chance to change the world?”

May 24, 1985: John Sculley fires Steve Jobs, founder of Apple.

May 2000: Dominic Carosa floats Destra on the Australian Stock Exchange minutes before the US market crashed

April 23, 2008, 12AM: Destra fires Dominic Carosa, founder of Destra

As Apple and Destra grew, Steve and Dom hired people who they thought were very talented to run the company with them. All went well for a while for both companies, but than visions diverged! Now the thing with public companies is that millions of dollars may pour in overnight, but the entrepreneur relinquishes their power and is forced to bow down to shareholders and a board of directors whose compulsory meetings can seriously screw things up. Richard Branson would also know.

1986 – Virgin goes Public, raises £30 million

1988 – Virgin goes back to Private

“Our year of being a public company, was Virgin’s least creative” – Richard Branson

Moral of the story?

We must take care not to make intellect our god. It has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot rule, only serve.
– Albert Einstein

Entrepreneurs thrive on creativity and creation. Dom, Steve and Richard are commercial gods of creation, whose world apocalypsed in the hands of people who hailed no such worth in creativity.  Choose the right people with the right visions and values, and they are your greatest asset. Choose the wrong people with different visions and values, and they are your most destructive liability.

All the best to every rockstar entrepreneur out there,

Little Miss Entrepreneur

Why James Bond gets away with the “Quantum of Solace”

james-bond-brand

Hands up how many of us here actually know what the ‘Quantum of Solace’ really means? It’s the new James Bond movie, and it’s set to skyrocket, pull in millions at box office and make entertainment history like every James Bond movie.

Anybody? I thought so. Even I struggled! According to Webstar’s online dictionary, the term ‘quantum’ refers to the smallest amount of some physical property, and ‘solace’ refers to the comfort you feel when consoled in times of disappointment. Thus, in the new James Bond movie – ‘The Quantum of Solace’ most likely refers to the tiny amount of comfort between two people.

Why am I explaining the meaning of James Bond’s “Quantum of Solace”? Because it doesn’t matter. This, my intelligent readers, is the power of branding. For any other producer launching a blockbuster movie, the title of the movie would probably never have been chosen. Why? Because customers are judgmental, don’t know what to expect, and decide if they like some things too quickly.

If you’re an entrepreneur, think like James Bond. There is huge power in building not only a powerful company brand, but a powerful personal brand. Women go to watch James Bond to indulge in a sophisticated, dangerous man, and men want to be that type of man. You want a brand that doesn’t let your people down, yet keeps them enticed. Brand appeal is sex appeal. Appeal to all the senses with your brand, and make sure that if you were a movie playing where people shut their eyes, they’d still know that it was you. Make people remember your flavor, it’s attractive. If you need to know how to develop, package and market your brand, check out theChief Brand Officer

Little Miss Entrepreneur

A corporation is much sexier than a mere business

7-habits-of-effective-entrepreneursMany independent contractors don’t realize the benefits of setting up their own company. As a person conducting business activity in Australia and internationally soon, I realized how totally naive it was of me not to set up my own corporation. So this is exactly what I am doing.

One of the huge bonuses of operating under a corporation is image. Outsiders and prospective clients are often more impressed by an nation-wide incorporated company name than a mere state-registered business name. People who know a thing or two about business know that it costs more to set up a company than merely to register a business name in a state. This often results in prospective clients more willing to do business with you because they have the perception that you are more serious about your business.

There are so many benefits of having your own corporation, if you think about it – for a small initial investment (about$A860), and legal and accounting advisers you can trust, you own a CORPORATION! Rocket science? For all the benefits, I think not.

Any business is an entity that requires a structure, and in general – there are bad entities, and there are good ones. Bad entities are generally sole trader and general partnerships. Why are they bad? Well, if your business screws up, you screw up. The creditors will be running after your house, your car, anything of value that is attached to your name! It’s like a marriage. If you’re a man with kids about to divorce, you better have some cash under the mattress (or offshore accounts!) because the wife can literally wipe you clean of every single cent and asset that you own. Lesson? Pre-nups. No actually, it’s that you should operate under good entities and have a good relationship with your partner.

If you’re a start-up company, it’s likely that you’ll operate as a proprietary company (X Pty Ltd). This way, you get incorporated, protect your assets, limit liability, pay a flat company tax rate of 30% instead of the disgusting income tax rate of up to 46.5% for individuals.

If you’re an entrepreneur and setting up your business, and Australian, definitely think about registering an Australian company. I suggest checking out the Australian Securities and Investments Commission site (http://asic.gov.au), Australian Tax Office (http://ato.gov.au), and read “Own your own company” by Garrett Sutton, corporate attorney to Robert Kiyosaki.

Best Wishes,

Little Miss Entrepreneur

Generation Y-Not: Why Paris and Bongo make millions this NYE

paris_hilton_pumpsShhh! Listen carefully. Can you hear that? It’s the bewildering crash of an era capsized in convention. Mighty minds that once forged our economic victories now scramble in the dust of generational defeat. The time has come.

Armed and unbridled with the competitive prowess of youth, pubescent young things are stampeding the corporate battlegrounds. Programmed with an agenda to create, innovate and kill, they wield triple-edged swords to cripple traditional business in its tracks. Wait a second. Did I say pubescent?

Pubscent and prolific. The tables have turned with the turn of the century, and spawned the marvellous birth of Generation Y-Not. Conceived in the starcrossed fate of evolution, these new troups come armoured to survive and engineered to thrive. They’ve evolved quantum leaps from generations that battled and bled on the frontline in boardrooms. These kids would rather champion the ancient martial strategy of crawling through backdoors on the backs of friends and favours.

Their boundaries are shattered, the world is smaller, their vision bigger. The corporate fuddy-duddies who died on their feet and in defence can be respected, but revered they are not. The Modern World instead hails the likes of Generation-Y princess Paris Hilton, greenie Miranda Kerr and entrepreneur Richard Branson. It is they whom sow the power of rebellion and relationships, and reap multi-million dollar fortunes. In the “Art of War” by Sun Tzu and Laurence J Brahm’s book “When yes means no: How to negotiate in China”, I see that Generation Y-not aren’t too different from the Chinese who fight in business as they did in ancient war.

Stiff shirts and uptight MBAs – such learning does not get one far in China as learning how to drink, smoke and sing karaoke songs, which can actually pull negotiations out of a stalemate situation and bring them onto a personal level…

Personally, I’d rather make my millions partying with Bongo and taking the cheek out of Lord King and British Airways than slave the conventional 20 years to success. Prepare to applaud more of the pubescent and prolific Generation Y-Not, the world is their stage and the curtains are drawn. Performance is their birthright.

All the best in love and war,

Little Miss Entrepreneur