April 24, 2014 - no comments. Written by in Entrepreneurship, The DOcast.

Jeff Herman: Hustling the Deaux (The DOcast)

Jeff Herman in his Bootstrapped Doughnut Shop

Jeff Herman in his Bootstrapped Doughnut Shop

When Jeff Herman went on a trip to Mary Lee Donuts, he realized there was a crucial gap in the doughnut market in Baton Rouge, and he asked himself how hard could it be to build a better doughnut shop? (famous last words) He was 23 years old and fresh out of college, armed with only his ambition, drive, and small amount of capital, he managed to bootstrap his startup Tiger Deaux-nuts into a thriving, yet almost secret, grassroots business.

In this episode I talk with Jeff in his first kitchen about the challenges of bootstrapping, building a devoted following, and what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.

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April 14, 2014 - one comment. Written by in Mental Hacks.

Just Focus.

If you chase two $100 bills in the wind, both will escape.

If you chase two $100 bills in the wind, both will escape.

In the world of multi-taskers, the ability to simply focus on just one thing is now a unique thing — it’s also a common characteristics of thought leaders like Steve Jobs, Aristotle, and Mark Twain. But, how can you focus when you have hundreds of things that need to be done, and done right now. Let me introduce you into a little procedure I like to call, the daily thought.

Checking email before you start the day will put you into a reactive state of mind. Simply focus on your list before someone else’s, put your phone/computer off or a silence treatment. Airplane mode is now work mode.

What’s the Most Important Thing you can do today?
Every morning, after I help my wife get the kids ready for school, I grab my notepad and pen, then write down the top 5 things that I must do today. Even if it’s something little or something huge, if it’s on my mind — it’s on paper, but on only 5 things.

How long will each take?
On the right side of each item in the list, I put a number in quarter increments to how long that item might take (.25, .5, 1, 3hrs).

What’s most important?
On the left side of each item in the list, I put a number (starting with 1) on the single-most important thing that I need to do. It’s not always the single-most important thing I want to do, but mostly the thing you don’t want to do is what you need to do most.

It’s amazing how focused you can be when you prioritize. When you prioritize the important, stuff gets done.

Block out the calendar
On my digital calendar, I put everything that I need to do in the calendar and how long it will take. It’s easy to see how fast you day can fill up, how you don’t have time to get distracted, how being focused is the key. Sometimes, you can finish up before noon and feel great. But, if you wouldn’t of done this, you would jump to the next goal.

Just Focus.

February 28, 2014 - no comments. Written by in Entrepreneurship, Food Industry.

Food Incubators: Get on the Shelf in Months

Our Human Assembly line, one bottle at a time

When I had the idea to take my salad dressing to the grocery shelves, I didn’t know a thing about the food industry. All I knew is that I had to make it in an FDA approved kitchen. I looked and talked to everyone I knew that had a kitchen; I could make it in a food truck and wash their tuck in return, I could use a restaurant on a Sunday night when their closed, I could make it at my house if I kept the dogs and kids outside — these where the options floating through my head. Not only did I find a kitchen, I found a proven system that can bring your food idea to the shelves.

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February 17, 2014 - no comments. Written by in Entrepreneurship, The DOcast.

Derek Sivers: Systematizing Friendliness (The DOcast)

A talk Derek Sivers from his home in New Zealand.

A talk with Derek Sivers from his home in New Zealand.

In the early dawn of the internet, it wasn’t easy for an independent artist to sell their music online — so Derek, an musician himself, decided to create a system where he could. Then his friends, and friends of friends, wanted to do the same thing — that’s when CD Baby was born. It later became a lean sales machine producing over $100 million dollars in sales and servicing over 200,000 musicians. Derek later sold CD baby, giving proceeds to charity, in 2008 for $22 million — he’s also a best-selling author, musician, programmer, world traveler, and circus ringleader (to get over his fear of public speaking.)

I have the pleasure to speak with Derek, via Skype from his home in New Zealand, to talk about marketing, automation, and how it applies to product-based companies.

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