Have you seen this math problem on Facebook? The answer provides good advice for Entrepreneurs

My son recently shared a link on Facebook to the following math problem.
40 + 40 x 0 + 1= ? Do you know the answer?

Is it 1?
or 81?

I have to admit my first guess was wrong! And last time I looked I am not alone in guessing incorrectly. There were about 300,000 people who were right there with me!

What is the correct answer? 41. Why is this the correct answer? because of an important math rule I have long since forgotten since my days in Algebra in High School. That rule is based on the order of operations. You must do the higher order functions first. Multiplication is considered higher order function than addition.  The right answer comes from first multiplying 40 times 0 than doing the addition.

I remember thinking once I completed High School I would forget the likes of Algebra, Pre Cal and the other forms of torture I endured in High School. I am a liberal arts major so I only needed what I deemed as practical math.

However I think there is  a lesson in this equation that helps me as an entrepreneur. Much like that logical world of mathematics some things come first in business too! There is an order to operations that is in place. It is definitely important to plan and replicate your idea before you add.

So my take away from this math problem? always take a step back before you tackle a problem and make sure you tackle it in the right order!

What do you say? Any other math problems teach important business lessons?


There is the old saying when it comes to a breakfast of ham and egg the hen is involved and the pig  is committed. Commitment is the key to being a success at almost anything. It is essential for the entrepreneur.  As an entrepreneur when you are sick, busy, or wanting to go on vacation there is no one else to answer the phone, sell the product or otherwise mind the shop. You can’t delegate your responsibilities. You may have other people who are a part of your business.  However the entrepreneur is where the accountability ultimately lies.

Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the “right stuff” to turn our dreams into reality.

 James Womack

What ways do you stay commited?

Tools to Help You with Your Website

Happy Fourth of July!

Many entrepreneurs ask me questions about SEO and websites. This weekend while celebrating the Fourth I gathered with some fellow entrepreneurs and we discussed our websites. While I am no expert I love to share what I know and the tools I have found helpful.

One tool I love is Hubspots’s website grader. http://websitegrader.com.  This free site gives you up to date advice in how to improve your site. It assigns a “grade” which being a type A personality I love to follow the suggestions it provides to improve my grade.

Another site I like is backlink watch http://www.backlinkwatch.com. This site is also free and provides you with details on what backlinks you have and the page ranks of these back links.

Also check out www.Alexa.com. Downloading the Alexa toolbar allows you to see your traffic rank. It is a free tool that not only lets you watch traffic ranks for your site but others as well.

For  Ipad users and owners you should check out all the great SEO apps! For less than five dollars each you can get some great stats on your site. I love SEO Ranking. It tells me my keywords and how my site is doing for those words. There is also an SEO course. It contains short videos to help educate you quickly on how to improve your position in search engines.

What tools do you like? Please share. As entrepreneurs we often have to wear many hats. I know for this entrepreneur I am loving my new role of understanding SEO.

Social Media and The Entrepreneur

I read a statistic from Laura Dugan of Mediabistro about Twitter that surprised me:  92 percent of people have heard of Twitter but only 8 percent are using it.

I have found that I have met and networked with more entrepreneurs from my time on Twitter than almost any other mechanism.  I find myself wondering what percentage of the 8 percent using Twitter are entrepreneurs? I imagine it is a high percentage as I believe many entrepreneurs are often early adopters.

So please weigh in Twitter users and entrepreneurs!  Do you use Twitter? If so, what motivates you? Are you an entrepreneur?

If you are an entrepreneur and can help, read here!

Today I want to tell you about a potential exciting endeavor Start BIG is considering.

We have been approached to provide training for female entrepreneurs in Kenya. If you have experience with Kenya and entrepreneurship I would love to hear from you. I am in the process of creating courses and handouts. I am seeking information on Kenya.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Keywords and other curves in the road

I heard a story once about four new mountain bikers. These bikers were learning from fantastic guides. One guide was in the front of the group and another behind the group.  The line of bikers proceeded through a rigorous mountain course. Everything was fine until they approached a narrow path with a sharp turn. The first biker took the turn to fast and careened off the path. The second biker seeing what happened to the first slammed on the brakes falling head over the handlebars. The third biker swerved to avoid the second. The fourth and final biker listened to the guide behind him. This guide yelled look past the curve! Look past the curve! The fourth biker looked head on the path to the other side of the curve. Keeping his eyes fixed on the place he was headed he effortlessly piloted through his fallen comrades to the other side of the curve.

What do we need to learn from this? We must always keep our destination in focus! We must look past the curves we will undoubtedly encounter when starting our own Big thing!  As an experienced entrepreneur I still get some of those curves right now for me it is Keywords. I will post on what I have learned about Keywords in a future post. But for today I will share with you a more macro lesson. Look past the curve! See your destination so you can make it through the turns!

Domain Name

Right up there with trademarking your company’s name is giving thought to your domain name. You  want to pick a domain name before beginning the trademark process. It is important that your website name be your domain name, and they all be either your brand name or something that is closely related. People tend to think of the URL and the website name as one in the same.

Whether your domain name should be short or long can be debated. I talked about some of the SEO ramifications in a previous blog. There are many additional items to consider. Hyphenation between words can make it easier for search engines but more challenging for consumers. Consider first picking a .com versus a .net or other.  It is true .com still has more credibility that it is worth paying a little bit more. Again many consumers will assume sites end with .com.

If you are having trouble picking out a domain check out Jacob Gube’s 12 tools for finding a domain name.

So go out and Start BIG today and figure out your domain name.

Tanja Newbauer: Inventor and Entrepreneur

Tanja Neubauer, Inventor and Entrepreneur

As part of my series I am introducing you to an entrepreneur who is a good example of picking a great name  and trademarking! Tanja Neubauer is both a give big and a start big story!  Tanja is a soccer mom and SAP whiz and now she is an inventor too!  Tanja has a patent pending and a trademark logo for the Fring-ez. 

Fring-ezThe Fring-ez is a tool that provides an easier way to cut fringe on the popular No Sew fleece blankets. It is an adjustable clear acrylic cutting template. It allows a person to place the fabric’s edge in it and run a pair of scissors down a row of slots to cut fringe all the same length and width in a straight line. It can accommodate four ply of fleece and can adjust to cut fringe that’s 2-, 3- or 4 inches long and an inch wide. It can be used on any kind of material to make fringe on items such as blankets, scarves, pillows and sleeping bags.

Have you always been inventive?  Not really I am not crafty at all however I always looked for ways to make a job easier and more efficient.

How did you come up with the idea? I was having a hard time making a fringed fleece blanket for my great niece. I don’t sew, and I’m not a crafty person at all. I had a terrible time cutting because I can’t cut straight.  I could not find a suitable cutting tool, so I invented one.

How do you market Fring-ez?  The Fring-ez, which sells for $19.95, plus shipping, can be ordered on Amazon.com, Etsy.com and at my website: Fring-ez.com.  I also now have a mini Fring-ez for half-inch-wide tab for small fringe.

So you are not just an inventor but also an entrepreneur?  I guess so! It all came together from September to October. My first marketing venture was at the November Holiday Gift show at Hara Arena.  I am not only inventing but I have had to learn how to source fabricators, understand packaging and all the other aspects of starting a business.

Where else are you selling your product?  I currently have 200 Fring-ezs in stock, which I sell on Amazon and at area shows, including at the recent Bargain Mania at Veteran’s Memorial in Columbus.

What are you most excited about?  I am hopeful that my template will be featured on a national craft show!  I am most excited about helping others. I hope the success of  Fring-ez will allow me greater resources to help the homeless and other community outreach programs. In the past year I have become very involved in with church and their outreach programs.

What has been your greatest surprise? My entire family looks at things differently. At first my kids (Neubauer and her husband, Scott, both IT consultants, with six children between them.) did not understand why I was pursuing making this product. They are now seeing ideas for new products in many things they do every day!

StartBIG Tip 2 Trademark your name!

So you have a great idea and you are ready to go into business. My Tip 2 is to Trademark your name.

What is a trademark? According to Wikipedia a trademark or trade mark or trade-mark[1] is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.


A trademark may be designated by the following symbols:

™ (for an unregistered trade mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand goods)
℠ (for an unregistered service mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand services)
® (for a registered trademark)

If you go to the United States Patent and Trademark office they provide many useful tools to help you determine what type of protection you need for your idea or product.  My advice is that if you are going to establish a brand you consider a trademark.  You will not want to create a reputation, following, or traffic to a logo, label, or brand only to have someone try to trick consumers that they are  you! http://www.uspto.gov/faq/trademarks.jsp

When talking to new entrepreneurs and inventrepreneurs they often ask should I have an attorney I don’t feel qualified to tell you if you do or don’t. I know that for me the cost to do this through an attorney was minimal and my time was better spent working on the launch of my business.

Here is what the US Patent and Trademark office says:

You are not required to hire an attorney, but if you decide to prepare and submit your own application, you must comply with all requirements of the trademark statutes and rules and may be required to respond to legal issues raised by the USPTO. Because the application process can be complex, many applicants choose to appoint an attorney to represent them. If you choose to appoint an attorney, we will only communicate with your attorney. The USPTO cannot help you select an attorney. However, the American Bar Association website includes information on how to find local attorneys who practice trademark law.

For me all of my hard work to come up with the idea and then execute on the idea is well worth the investment in an attorney to help me get my trademark.

According to Fredric R. Abramson http://www.evancarmichael.com/Legal/2113/Why-Trademark.htmlThe world is competitive enough. Why let someone take what you have worked so hard to build, when there is a remedy to prevent them from doing it? A trademark will be able to help you protect and brand your business without having to worry about competitors using and diluting your brand, and confusing your customers with a product of lesser quality.

So go get your BIG on and StartBIG come up with that great idea and name/logo and then trademark your name/logo!

Little Tips for Starting your own BIG Business

I thought it was time I lived up to my twitter claim! Every time I meet someone who is fleeing corporate America to follow their dream of being an entrepreneur I have the same conversations. This is why I started this blog. When I began blogging I focused on how to come up with your “BIG” idea.

Fleeing Corporate America

Now I realize that most of the time I spend talking with entrepreneurs they already have the idea they are just needing the information in how to follow that idea through to a business. My goal is to share with you all the little things I have learned along the way. I will use plain english. I am not an expert in any one field. I will not talk in abbreviations like SEO SOM etc! I did not major in Business or Finance. I will share with you the good, the bad and ugly of what I have really experienced.  On my  journey I have encountered so many people who are trying to sell you one video or one idea that will help you get rich quick! I am not about that at all! Instead I will share with you what I have learned along the way the good, the bad and the ugly! I will encourage my network of entrepreneurs to also share with you what they have learned. These will be practical tips. There is no magic bullet but to engage with others learn as much as you can and have passion for your product or idea.

My goal is to write a post every day this week and next on what I have done to start my own business.

Tip number one! PICK YOUR NAME CAREFULLY. One lesson I have learned is that it is important to have a unique name. In today’s internet economy this is even more important than when I first started. When I started my consulting company I used the name A-Squared. This name was not unique. I thought it clever because I partnered with another consultant also named Amy. I soon found out we had many other businesses out there with the same name.  I did not know to trademark my name. (that will be tip 2)!

A Unique Name that is searchable is more important now that the internet is essential to business success. It is hard to believe that when I started the internet was not the best marketing tool!

When launching a new business now the internet is key. I have just completed a soft launch for my  e-learning site. It has the name “getyourBIGon”. We have had tremendous success in driving traffic to the site. We are around 79000 in the Alexa rankings in the US and climbing!  Sounds good right? Well I called my SEO advisor and said we are getting buyers and new visitors but we are struggling with google. He almost yelled at me when he said what you do you mean you are struggling? You totally own “getyourbigon”! He was correct. We own the run together getyourbigon but we have yet to own get your big on. It seems that most people who are not SEO gurus..do type the spaces between the words  when looking for us!

He assures me that it is good to have phrase. He also assures me that the phrase is unique. As we build awareness and take all the necessary steps we will be number one for the phrase get your big on! We are working on owning the phrase! I will let you know what we do it get there.

One of my lesson’s learned is have at least one unique term that people will search for your business. Luckily my client base knows me well and searches Amy Diederich! They can find my sites this way.

This week I had lunch with a budding entrepreneur and inventor. I will devote a whole post to her. She is off to a good start. She has Trademarked her product name. If you google this term you will find her Although when talking to her she picked he name much the same way I did based on being clever.

Tip One: If you are starting a new business- do your research pick a unique name. Don’t make the mistake I made with Asquared. Research the impact of the name you pick. Have a phrase to go with your name!

Now go out there and START BIG!  Go get your big on by Starting BIG!