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Confessions of a Globe Trotter: How to Travel Smarter

July 8th, 2011

Posted by to Uncategorized

The snow fell heavily the night we landed in Boston. My vice president of client relations and I were there to meet a prospective customer the next morning. It was meant to be an in-and-out trip, and I packed everything into a single carry-on bag. My colleague checked luggage and it was lost. While we landed the client, it wasn’t before a midnight trip to the only open Wal-Mart in town and a lecture from me on the importance of never checking bags when traveling for less than two days. When it comes to travel, I feel very much like Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter. Always telling people around me…

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Day 5 in Egypt – One Journey Ends, Another Begins

July 1st, 2011

Posted by to Small Business Marketing

Every day in Egypt has felt like two days squeezed into one. Today was different. It felt like a week had been squeezed into a day. Early in the morning, all the delegates took a bus to the Smart Village for the final day’s activities. That’s when the fun began. All 18 teams made their final business pitches. What did their companies do? What was their revenue model? How would they stand out? It was wonderful to see how far the groups had come in just 5 days. They were articulate, confident, and had taken our feedback to heart. We knew that choosing the final four winners would not be…

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Day 4 in Egypt – Done in 60 Seconds

June 30th, 2011

Posted by to Small Business Marketing

I now know what it feels like to run on two hours of sleep because that’s exactly what I’ve gotten for the past two nights. And, oddly enough, it seems like there is enough energy and excitement in the air to keep me going. We heard that there were riots in Cairo, but were safe in our hotel from the hubbub of the rest of the city. At breakfast Wednesday, I posed a question to all the U.S. and Danish delegates. If you weren’t an entrepreneur, what would you be? This lead to a discussion about what entrepreneurship really means. Is it about making a profit or doing good? Did…

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Day 3 in Egypt – The Gloves Come Off

June 30th, 2011

Posted by to Small Business Marketing

For two days, the young Egyptian entrepreneurs we’ve been mentoring have been focusing on business challenges my fellow U.S. and Danish delegates and I have given them. On the third day, we told them it was their turn to challenge us. We picked four of their suggestions, which we felt would apply to the majority of their fledgling companies. But they still had work to do—they had to come up with solutions. The first group I met with had an excellent start-up idea revolving around group-buying websites. They didn’t have any business plan, nor a PowerPoint. They just had a really good idea with some sense of the direction forward….

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Day 2 in Egypt – An Entrepreneurs Pursuit, Passion and Perils

June 30th, 2011

Posted by to Small Business Marketing

It’s day two of the NextGen boot camp for young Egyptian entrepreneurs in Cairo, and the day starts off on a disappointing note—four teams dropped out of this week’s event, forfeiting the business competition. I couldn’t believe anyone would give up such an amazing opportunity, and was told the reasons were rooted in the realities of life here. Some of the entrepreneurs couldn’t make it because of the disastrous transportation system in Cairo, while others had been called into work. I felt deeply for them, because I realized that it couldn’t have been an easy choice to make. It boiled down to a matter of their current jobs versus their…

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Day 1 in Egypt – Let the Entrepreneurship Begin

June 30th, 2011

Posted by to Small Business Marketing

Recent images of protests in the streets, the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” and Rick Riordan’s fictional Kane Chronicles (about ancient Egyptian magic) were the first things to cross my mind when I was planning this trip to Egypt. Not exactly helpful, but it was all I had before I arrived here Sunday for my first day as an American delegate at the Egyptian Competitiveness Project’s latest initiative—a boot camp for aspiring Egyptian entrepreneurs. The genesis for this trip took place in 2009, when President Barack Obama and Denmark’s prime minister decided to do something to help Egypt’s economy, and they felt entrepreneurship was the answer to reviving it. Obama…

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Part 2: Tips for Overcoming Social Media Fears in the Medical World

June 16th, 2011

Posted by to Uncategorized

[Note: This is the second part in a four-part series about the potential that social media holds for physicians and health care professionals.] Only 16% of hospitals in the United States are currently engaging in social media. Yeah… 83% of those hospitals don’t solicit feedback from people who follow their Facebook feeds, and less than 40% even post daily content to their pages. So why is it taking so long for the medical world to catch the social media wave? Photo courtesy of 123rf.com Obviously there are a lot of initial concerns with implementing and monitoring social media in the medical world. While these fears (which we will touch on…

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New to Twitter: How-to Find Influencers to Maximize Efforts

June 13th, 2011

Posted by to Twitter Marketing

Setting Up a Company Twitter Profile The day you decide to get your company/brand/self on twitter is the same day you should commit to reaching out to ten people/companies/organizations multiple times in the coming weeks. Twitter itself is overwhelming to someone new on the site. There are many key steps you must take to really prepare yourself to use Twitter both efficiently and effectively. Because of this, I would like to take today to help you out with a very, very important (and often confusing) step. Getting Acquainted with Twitter as a Business Tool: Steps 1-3 The first step being, read as many articles as you can about appropriate and…

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Digital Wallets, Mobile Payments, and What You Need to Know

May 26th, 2011

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How smart will our smart phones REALLY get? Well, Google just announced that they have created an open platform for mobile phones to send and receive payments using NFC technology. They’ve already partnered with Citi, Mastercard, FirstData, and Sprint, and are open to accepting more partners. Trials have already begun, and by the summer it will be official. By 2014, the majority of phones will have NFC technology. So, here are the answers to your most pressing questions: What is NFC? NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It is a wireless technology that lets devices communicate to each other over very short distances (roughly 4 cm). It can work between…

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Business Week Article: Questions to Ask Before You Start a Business

May 16th, 2011

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Who does a 33 year old man from Zambia turn to when looking for entrepreneurship advice? In this case, to Business Week columnist, Karen Klein. I was honored to have my two-bit included in the article: “Separating Yourself From the Pack When it comes to your business itself, make sure you have differentiated your products or services from others already on the market. Getting customers to try something new or work with a new vendor is tougher than it sounds; we’re all creatures of habit. “Make sure you know and can demonstrate a significant differentiator to separate yourself from the pack for your startup to succeed,” says Shama Kabani, president…

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