Sunday, July 15, 2012

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

It's believed that E.E. Kenyon first told this joke in 1955:

The absent-minded maestro was racing up New York’s Seventh Avenue to a rehearsal, when a stranger stopped him. “Pardon me,” he said, “can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?”

“Yes,” answered the maestro breathlessly. “Practice!”

Practice.  It's what we do in life.  We chart a course, taking each step deliberately, anticipating that we'll achieve our end goal or envisioned future.  Sometimes there are detours and lessons learned, and sometimes it's a clear, fine journey.  Each step along the way, though, we get the chance to practice new management styles or practice new marketing tactics, or practice a different way of thinking.  Through practice we grow, accomplish and become the people that we're suppose to be.  If a company encourages its employees to practice, grow and become who they're suppose to be with impunity and acceptance, at the end of the day, isn't the business better?

What do you think?


Where have we been?

Life happens; but we're back with more great content for entrepreneurs.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Habif, Arogeti & Wynne on CNN Espanol Today

OrgPR LLC Client, Habif, Arogeti & Wynne's Ana Fuyivara, CPA, is shown here getting ready to be interviewed by CNN's Gustavo Valdes.  The topic is Obama's tax plans.  How will business owners be impacted.  Airs today at 4:35 p.m./e and or 7 p.m./e.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Interview with Wade Hughes: Wed. Aug. 10

Last week Bold Ventures welcomed Wade Hughes, Managing Partner of The Intersect Group- a national finance, accounting, and information technology staffing and consulting firm. Wade explained a very important issue surrounding jobs: How companies decide whether or not to Off-shore, Near-shore, On-shore, or Re-shore jobs. Off-shoring is when companies send jobs, for example in finance and accounting or IT, to places like India. Near-shoring is when they go to somewhere like Costa Rica. On-shoring jobs is when the jobs are kept in the United States for Americans. Re-shoring is a new trend involving taking those Off-shored jobs that are in foreign countries and re-shoring them back to America. Hughes explained that what may have once been a good economical decision for companies, now the cost of Off-shoring jobs is changing. Financially, many companies are finding it more profitable to re-shore off-shored and near-shored jobs back on-shore. While that may be a mouth full- it’s a very good thing for job seekers in America. Personally, Hughes is aiming high for The Intersect Group. He sees the company changing the playing field and striving to create opportunities for many people to excel and maximize their own potential.

Interview Highlights:
A lot of people are not interested in the permanent job anymore and there isn’t as much loyalty in support function positions. People are moving around a lot more. The Intersect Group is the perfect vehicle for those people.
Hiring is: “Certainly more of an art than a science.” And The Intersect Group is a very fast paced, sales oriented culture. Some people are a natural fit and others are not.
Advise to entrepreneurs: “Jump in the fire.”

Speed Bio:
Age: 44
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
College: University of Alabama: “Roll Tide”
Degree: Accounting Degree
Siblings: One brother, Tommy
Mentor/Most Admired Business Leader: Warren Buffett
Lemonade Stand or any other entrepreneurial endeavor growing up? “Fireworks stand!”

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Wednesday August 3: Darryl Payne & Stuart Dunkin

Hi everyone, Jenna Sykes here. This week I had the honor of guest hosting Bold Ventures Radio.
We had Darryl Payne as our first guest. Darryl is the founder and President of North Georgia's own Hometown Home Health, a durable medical equipment company. Hometown Home Health provides people with needs for home-bound medical treatment with equipment such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, and home oxygen. With an increase in obesity in America, sleep apnea has become a widespread problem that Darryl's company sees every day. On a broader level, the issues of reimbursement from companies like Medicare and poor leadership in Washington has made being in the health care industry quite challenging. His insights on what needs to change- from consumer confidence to what YOU can do right NOW to help- Darryl and his company, Hometown Home Health, are leaders in surviving the current economic and political climates.
Interview Highlights:
11 Years straight of solid growth and debt-free
New reimbursement guidelines from insurance companies are consistently disheartening
My Favorite Sound Bite:
"Oxygen is one of the largest products that we do- it is certainly one of the greatest expenses on the medical equipment side for Medicare- and it continues to get cut. It’s cut so much now that I’m afraid the consumers are going to be in to experience less favorable results in their home setting. They get home, they have this piece of equipment, it may or may not be working properly, it hasn’t been serviced in six months, and patients end up going to the hospital just for a simple medical equipment issue. They spend one night in the hospital and that basically costs more than a year of good service."
Speed Bio:
Age: 48
Hometown: Decatur, GA
College: Georgia State University
Degree: Respiratory Therapy
Most Admired Business leader: Truett Cathy
Passions/Hobbies: Guitar and gardening
Lemonade stand/Other entrepreneurial endeavor? None other than a landscaping company as a child... and selling fishing worms
Our Second interview this week was with Stuart Dunkin, founder and CEO of Data Profits. Data Profits is a supply chain planning and solution firm for the retail/wholesale market. Their services include replenishment, forecasting of business, analyzing the business environment for customers while helping them understand what products are doing well, what products are not doing well, how much they need to buy, and how much goes on the shelf. What makes Data Profits different is that it provides "unified" forecasting of replenishment and sales. They provide the ONLY market trend indicator out there. This company, lead by Stuart, is redefining the retail industry.
Interview Highlights:
Stuart built his first computer in 1978
His highly competitive football past helped shape his business mentality today
What’s the biggest challenge for your industry: Online communication and time management... and choosing a good place for lunch
Advise for aspiring entrepreneurs: 1. Have an exit strategy 2. Have a good advisory group 3. Be honest with yourself 4. Have fun
My Favorite Sound Bite:
What would you say drives you personally as an entrepreneur: “The checkbook. (Laughs) The real story is, the idea that if I can make money for my customers, that’s a good thing. If I can help my customers be more efficient, more profitable, then they can in turn hire more people. And we’ve seen that with some of our customers already. If they can be more successful, they can put more people on the map, I think that’s a good thing. I think money sometimes has a negative connotation and it really doesn’t need to be. So what drives me is the idea of: Can I help my customers make money?”
Speed Bio:
Hometown: Germantown, Tenn.
College/Grad school: Third generation Auburn grad, Emory Grad school
Degrees: Majored in Football and Women (Mechanical Engineering) and later got a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Business Administration
Use degrees? Yes
Sibling/Only Child: Younger Brother (Tennis Pro) and Older Sister (Entrepreneur)
Mentor/Most Admired Business Leader: His advisory group
Lemonade stand/Other entrepreneurial endeavor: Played in a band and Comedy nightclub magic in college

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Live Blog, Wednesday July 27, w/ Nazim Ahmed

Our guest: Nazim Ahmed, Co-founder & CEO of DNA11
What is DNA11? Personalized digital/bio-metric art company.
They literally photograph your personal DNA & turn it into abstract artwork.
How I did it come to be?  Adrian & Nazim, best friends since 4 years old, founded the company. It began as just a creative project and was never meant to be a business. Eventually, it took over their lives.
Launched in 2005; clients in over 50 countries.
They've added more products since the DNA portraits got popular. EX: Fingerprint art, Kiss art
Canvas Pop: Can have any personal, digital photograph printed on canvas.  They launched this sister company of DNA 11 a couple years ago and have been growing both ever since.
How is DNA11 staying ahead of the game?  Internet has been integral part of success because it is a niche concept. They are constantly coming up with new concepts and ideas- always trying to stay ahead of the curve.
They are an on-demand business, so they don't have to invest in inventory. That definitely helps from a cost perspective.
What does DNA11's competitive landscape look like? 6 years ago nobody was making art from DNA, but today they are.  Flattery in the form of imitation. The key is to keep innovating.
What are the emerging trends? DNA11 is very much in the personalization market. There is a trend toward personalization everywhere. They see lots of companies offering these personalized products. DNA 11 also trends toward consumer genomics.  Introduced genomics into the mainstream.
Future?  Focused on creating new products with great design and applying their art to different mediums.
They are very excited about a new launch around October.
They've had a number of celebrity clients, like Elijah Wood. ( He auctioned his DNA portrait off for charity. 
What has been the biggest personal challenge? Only launch something that you are in love with and passionate about.  You have to believe in the vision. Stay focused and learn to say no to projects you aren't passionate about.
The Art Factory= their studio. It is an energized environment where all can work together to create ideas.
If you love what you do and have a strong vision and great passion then that is one of the most important things.  When that goes away, it's time to find something new.
Personally in next 10-15 years: Nazim wants to "inspire as many people as I can around me and set an example for them."
When asked if his entrepreneurial spirit was fostered at home, Nazim said that education and minimizing risk was pushed heavily in his family.

Live Blog, Wednesday July 27, With Tara Guerard

Soiree by Tara Guerard was founded in 1996 as an event planning and design company.  Tara began thinking that her company would just design parties.  Eventually, they became known for their weddings and began a letter press invitation company, The Lettered Olive. Soiree is known for both their attention to detail and being customized to every clients style, taste, and needs.  They provide their own flowers, decor, and design in house. Tara jokes that so far, her company has done almost 500 weddings and have an impressively "low divorce rate."

Economic climate: Tara says they count blessings every day that the company is doing well- and very well. The business has thrived through it all.  Not until this past year has she had to step back and look at what they needed to do differently (since they had growth each year until about 2 years ago, when it unfortunately went flat).  Budget is the biggest concern of clients today.  Now they have to talk about money first, not last.  This was a new development in the last 12 months. 
"Competition either makes you better or bitter."
Tara says that she gets most excited about TV appearances and really enjoys teaching and doing conferences. Anything design gets her the most excited.
Two books out from Tara provide tips, ideas and how-to's.

Background: When asked where she gets her "artistic eye," Tara believes you're born with it, but would never have described herself as an artistic person growing up.
Background in Food and Beverage.  Was a Psychology major.
What spurred her entrepreneur spirit? First-born, highly energetic, driven, hard worker
What are the biggest challenges? Not enough hours in a day.  Having to be a good wife and mom by means of finding balance.  "When at home, I'm at home and when I'm at work, I'm at work."
Biggest challenge as entrepreneur: Keeping balance. How can I improve? How can I be better?
The biggest goal Tara has is to be like Martha Stewart.
Next step: TV. She's in talk with production companies.
Advice for aspiring event planners: You have to know the food and beverage service first and the rules of service. Tara never hires anyone without that experience.
Advice for entrepreneurs: Know your business like the back of your hand. You have to start at the bottom and learn your way to the top.