Today’s roundup starts with a report advising the White House to help the growth of early stage companies and includes stories about Seth Godin’s advice on customer engagement and how Wall Street protesters need to stop yelling and begin launching new businesses.
Hallelujah! It looks like entrepreneurs have a few champions in Washington. As Sudeep Reddy of The Wall Street Journal reports, a private sector board of advisers titled The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness released a report today suggesting—among other startup growth ideas—for Congress to cut corporate income taxes in a company’s first three years and to change immigration laws to allow promising foreign students to stay in the country and start companies. Maybe there is light at the end of the economic tunnel after all.
In more good news, Reuters’ Jason Lange reports that small business confidence is up for the first time in seven months, per the National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index. Lets hope this translates into booming October sales.
Think about the last time you walked into a boutique. The salesperson may have greeted you with a ‘welcome, are you looking for anything in particular?’ type of question. Since you were just browsing, you probably answered in the negative and left a few minutes later. As Seth Godin writes on his blog, this is not the way to engage customers. Instead, consider asking questions that require in-depth answers, but are relevant not only to your clients but also to your products/services. Watch your loyalty points rack up.
In a wild departure from the hundreds of adoring stories about Steve Jobs, Forbes’ Gene Marks writes that the technology genius was actually a complete jerk. He ran Apple in an authoritarian manner, was incredibly secretive about new products, attacked the press when a leak was discovered and was even verbally abusive in his personal life. It was this attitude that made him so successful. The lesson? Show some teeth from time to time—you, too, could turn into a billionaire.
Occupy Wall Street sure is getting a lot of ink lately. As Carol Tice of Entrepreneur blogs, if protesters really want to make sweeping change, they should start their own small businesses (or at least shop at some). If each sign-holding person in cities across the nation did that, our country may not need such a movement at all.
All of you SBOs that spend hours looking for the most influential entrepreneurs on Twitter, this one is for you. As Matt Wilson of Under30CEO writes, the top 235 young entrepreneurs to follow range from economists and founders to authors and academics. Fire up your TweetDeck and get ready for information overload.
Entrepreneurs may feel as though they are always fighting an uphill battle, but as Leo Babauta of Zen Habits writes, things don’t have to be so difficult. Next time you feel yourself drowning, consider simplifying, letting things go and focusing on the things that really matter. Ahh, time to meditate.