Category Archives: Startup Best Practices

How to ask for help

I was recently helping a good friend with some logistics for an event she was organizing and I got a little frustrated, because I knew I could have contributed more if she would have asked for my help earlier. This inspired me to say: “Emmi, I am going to write an article about how to… Continue Reading

How Freecycle helped me bootstrap

I have a confession to make. Thanks to having worked for only customer revenue funded startups, I have become somewhat of a frugal nut. I love free stuff and I cringe at paying asking or retail price for anything. Anytime I pay MSRP, I feel like I have committed a sin. Whenever I would run… Continue Reading

The Biggest Mistake Of My Career

I made the biggest mistake of my career when I lived in Chicago – I rarely networked.  I went to maybe 1-2 events per year and made an occasional phone call. My excuse was that I was too busy for it. In retrospect, I cringe when I think about how many business opportunities and great… Continue Reading

Random Lessons From 12 Years In Startups

I wrote a post several weeks ago about the many lessons I’ve learned from my entrepreneurial father.  Now I would like to share some tips from experience I have gained working in a startup world for 12+ years. These are things you definitely learn from rolling up your sleeves and working, not from a classroom or a… Continue Reading

How To Build Your Startup Core Team

I had a really fun conversation with a founder of a great company with fantastic potential today and we covered many topics, one of which prompted me to write this article. Securing money and investors are not always the biggest issue keeping startup founders awake at night. Assembling the right team from the very beginning… Continue Reading

Customers, not shareholders, pay your bills

I had to get several insurance quotes last week, since my current agent was not living up to my customer service expectations (especially considering the amount of commission they receive).  Only one of the three companies I contacted impressed me, and this prompted me to write this article and discuss how to better serve your… Continue Reading

Lessons learned from moving startups to new offices

I recently read a great article “Entrepreneurs: Beware the curse of the new building” by Steven Blank, who is a down to earth and experienced entrepreneur I greatly admire. While the case he describes is a bit dramatic and partly stems from deeper issues, many of his points were definitely something I have seen. The one… Continue Reading

5 Ways To Build Diverse Teams

I’ve had the pleasure of working for companies “as diverse as the United Nations” during my career. These organizations have greatly benefited from having very diverse teams and are doing well even in this horrid downturn. Why is diversity important? Customers are diverse, so varied teams are much more likely to understand what your customers… Continue Reading

Delegate work, not responsibility

I am a firm believer that delegation is key to building a scalable business. We can bring in all the technology in the world, but if we can’t delegate properly, our companies have no chance of scaling well. I have had the pleasure of spending many years in very rapidly growing companies and have made… Continue Reading

Is the Startup World a Refuge From Age Discrimination?

As I network heavily, a common topic of conversation that comes up is how “older” workers feel that they are being discriminated against in this market due to their age. I will not argue this point, but there are three points I would like to bring light to: It is not your age that turns… Continue Reading

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