• January 2013

Toast 2013 Barefoot!

As we ring in 2013, we toast the infinite possibilities of the coming year.

At Be Inkandescent business magazine, we are also celebrating the start of our fourth year as the national go-to business magazine for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.

Since we launched the magazine in January 2010, our readership has quadrupled, and our advertising sales have soared. As a gift to our readers, we made easier to read the 800+ articles we’ve published to date by adding a new SEARCH page.

We are profoundly grateful to all of the readers who have supported us, and to you we raise a flute of Barefoot Bubbly—the brand founded in 1986 by our January Entrepreneur of the Month, Michael Houlihan. With his business and domestic partner Bonnie Harvey, they sold to Gallo in 2005. What is their recipe for success? Scroll down for more.

Also in this issue:
A Toast to Creativity

  • Are you ready to grow your business in 2013? Whether you need more employees—or a new job that’ll let you express your creativity—be sure to check out our new JOBS page.
  • Do you buy your wine because you like the artistic wine label? If so, you aren’t alone. Here are six of artist Michael Gibbs’ favorites. What’s your favorite wine label? Send us a photo, and we’ll post it on our social media pages. The first three who respond get a free, 30-minute PR consultation!

We wish great prosperity to you and your company in 2013, and in hopes of inspiring you, we leave you with this idea for a New Year’s resolution from Benjamin Franklin: “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”

Here’s to your indelible success!Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, InkandescentMagazine.comfounder, TheInkandescentGroup.compresident, InkandescentPR.com

“A Toast to Creativity,” illustration (above) by MichaelGibbs.com

How Michael Houlihan Took Barefoot Wine to the Big Time

MICHAEL HOULIHAN, Co-Founder, Barefoot Wine

When Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey started Barefoot Wine in their laundry room in 1986, the lifelong domestic partners dreamt that someday their wine would be a national bestseller. In 2005, that dream became a reality when they sold to E. & J. Gallo.

Since then, the couple has helped dozens of other entrepreneurs find ways to expand their brand—often with little money and no industry experience. How?

“We were pioneers in what we termed ‘worthy cause marketing’ and performance-based compensation,” Houlihan explained when I reached him by phone at his California estate. “We held a comprehensive view of customer service, resulting in the National Hot Brand Award for outstanding sales growth in 2003 and 2004.”

Scroll down to learn how Houlihan’s experience and innovative approach to business have made their company an international success.

Be Inkandescent: Tell us what made you and Harvey want to get into the wine business.

Michael Houlihan: We didn’t really want to get into the wine business. What we wanted to do was help out a friend, a grape grower, who wasn’t getting paid for his grapes. We negotiated a trade with the bankrupt winery that owed him money. They couldn’t pay him in cash, but they could pay him in bottling services. So, all of a sudden we had all of this bulk wine grapes, and all of these bottling services, so we created Barefoot to liquidate the debt.

Be Inkandescent: What made you name it Barefoot?

Michael Houlihan: We liked the word Barefoot because it was as far away as humanly possible from nose-in-the-air wine snobbery. Back in the 80s, most of the wines were pretty darn snooty and exclusive. It seemed like you had to have a degree in viticulture just to appreciate wine. But wine is fun, and we wanted to have an image that people could relate to. Barefoot seemed perfect because it is how wine was originally crushed. And when you see a bare footprint in the sand, it is a sign of recreation. You don’t know if it is a man or woman; you don’t know if it is gay or straight; you don’t know if it is Republican or Democrat. All you know is that that is the impression a human being makes on the planet. It is very inclusive, and cool. We wanted to put everything that’s great about California in a bottle.

Be Inkandescent: As a fan of Barefoot since living in San Francisco in 1991, I think you have accomplished that goal. Now, tell us about how you and Bonnie Harvey (pictured right) went from this great brand, to selling to Gallo. Was that always your plan to sell it and have an exit strategy, or did it come about some other way?

Michael Houlihan: That’s a great question because it’s something that entrepreneurs need to know. Basically, people go into business for one of three reasons: They are trying to create a job for themselves that they are going to have their whole life; they are trying to create a legacy that they can give to their kids; or they are trying to create equity in their brand value to monetize it. We were always focused on choice number three.

Be Inkandescent: It is one thing to have a great concept and a cute label and a great product, but it is quite in another to attract a big boy who is going to actually acquire you and monetize your brand value.

Michael Houlihan: That’s right. When you are planning to develop a brand and sell it, you have to get out there and market and merchandise your brand throughout the country before you can ever attract a buyer. And the way you attract a buyer is you take something they don’t have in their portfolio, and achieve the critical mass that they want if they are going to see your value. When Barefoot sold, it was making 600,000 cases a year—and it was only in 18 percent of the market. But we were in all 50 states, 100 supermarket chains, and 28 foreign countries. Now, that was attractive to Gallo.

Be Inkandescent: That’s amazing. How did you accomplish that kind of reach?

Michael Houlihan: Every day, from 7 a.m. to about midnight, seven days a week, we worked. We traveled constantly, and were very hands-on. Too many entrepreneurs get into business and think their ideas are going to carry them. They are kidding themselves. You actually have to get out there and sell it yourself. No one is going to do it—but you. We did it the hard way: we hustled. That is why our book is called, “The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built a Bestseller.” The key is the hustle part.

Be Inkandescent: Tell us about the book. In it, you and Harvey point out many of the misconceptions that entrepreneurs have when they get into business.

Michael Houlihan: Let’s take someone who wants to get into the wine business as an example. They might think that to do so, they need a vineyard, a winery, 100 oak barrels, and all sorts of other expensive supplies. The truth is that they don’t need any of that. What they need first and foremost is purchase orders, so that they can understand what their customers want, and how to deliver it.

Be Inkandescent: And at Barefoot, you were able to realize early on that your customer was primarily female.

Michael Houlihan: Right. Our research showed us that she was buying wine when she bought groceries, that she wanted it to taste the same from year to year, and that she wanted it to be priced right. We started by bringing in a female winemaker, because we knew she’d have insight into our customer. Then, we put together a product that was non-vintage—the opposite of what was happening at other wine businesses at the time; and we priced it right, at $6.99/bottle, based on today’s standards. We wanted to honor the fact that women were buying from us, and we wanted to give them what they told us they wanted—including affordable wine and recipes. [Hungry? Check out this recipe for Barefoot Merlot Glazed Brownies.]

Be Inkandescent: That’s great advice for all entrepreneurs, because it can be applied to every industry. What lesson did you learn the hard way?

Michael Houlihan: Oh, boy. The hardest lesson that we learned was that it doesn’t matter how cute your label is; it doesn’t matter that you have the greatest slogan in the world; it doesn’t matter if your wines are all medal winners; it doesn’t matter if your price is the best price on the shelf. If your product isn’t there, customers can’t buy it.

Be Inkandescent: So distribution is the key. The same was true for Seth Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea, and our Entrepreneur of the Month in December 2012.

Michael Houlihan: I’m not surprised. When you are selling a product like tea or wine, you have to develop your product with a focus on distribution. That means that initially, at least, you have to go out and make all of the sales yourself. But you can’t be everywhere all the time. So eventually we hired people in every state to monitor sales, monitor the distributors, monitor the grocery stores and the wine shops, and make sure that our product really was always on the shelves, always available for the customer.

Be Inkandescent: Do you think that’s a common mistake for many entrepreneurs—trusting other people to look after their brand and product and make sure it sells?

Michael Houlihan: Yes, and it’s a huge mistake. Too many small business owners think that other people have an interest in selling their product, and that they are going to take care of it. They don’t. There are too many products out there. So the products that win are the products that have been policed by the owner, handled, watched, and loved on a regular basis. We never thought that we would have to spend so much time in distribution. We thought it was going to be on making wine and marketing and coming up with cute slogans. Boy, were we wrong.

Be Inkandescent: What lesson made you say, I love being an entrepreneur?

Michael Houlihan: I think that was when we won the “Hot Brand Award” in 2003. It’s given out by the publishers of Wine Spectator Magazine to wine products that have sold increasingly more over three years. It is a tall order, and we won that two years in a row—and we did it without advertising. Rather, we worked with nonprofits around the country and relied on them to spread the word, and it really paid off.

Be Inkandescent: Working with nonprofits is the essence of your “worthy cause marketing” effort, yes?

Michael Houlihan: Absolutely. We knew that we had to sell a ton of product to survive. Unfortunately, many supermarkets told us they wouldn’t carry Barefoot because they never heard of it. We knew we had to build the brand, but didn’t have millions to spend on advertising. So we got creative. Bonnie and I are humanitarians, and both of us worked with nonprofits before we got into the wine business. So it made sense to let more people know us by offering the wine to nonprofit groups that were fostering causes that we held dear. They used it for their fundraisers and silent auctions, and someone from our staff was always there to help. It worked out great. We got their membership to have a social reason to buy our product, and we liked that Barefoot stood for clean beaches, gay rights, better education, and conservation. It was the best kind of advertising.

Don’t stop now! Learn more about Houlihan’s new book, “The Barefoot Spirit,” his background before Barefoot, and his three decades love affair with his domestic partner Bonnie Harvey on The Inkandescent Radio Show.
Also check out Houlihan’s 11 Ways To Harness Your Barefoot Spirit.

11 Ways To Harness Your Barefoot Spirit

No Money? No Problem

Many entrepreneurs kick off their ventures on a budget so lean it’s beyond shoestring—it’s dental floss! That’s especially true in an era where credit is almost impossible to come by. Michael Houlihan, one of the founders of Barefoot Wine, explains how to get the biggest possible bang out of very few start-up bucks.

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
Co-Founders, Barefoot Wine
Co-Authors, The Barefoot Spirit

­You have a new start-up and you couldn’t be more excited. You know you’ve got a winning idea and you’re certain customers will love it. There’s just one problem, and it’s a doozy: lack of funding. Yes, even in the best of times, it can be hard for cash-strapped entrepreneurs to pay for what they need. But now, with a sluggish economy and tough restrictions on who can get credit, your frustration is threatening to overwhelm your passion. More and more you’re starting to wonder: Should I just cut my losses and throw in the towel now?

Not so fast. While you do need some money to get started, you can seriously reduce the amount if you take advantage of some key bootstrapping strategies. It was the use of these very strategies that enabled me and my business partner, Bonnie Harvey, to found and grow Barefoot Cellars, the company that transformed the image of American wine from staid and unimaginative to fun, lighthearted, and hip.

Trust me, I know what it’s like to try to start a business when you’re basically broke. Bonnie and I were originally so strapped for cash that when we began making our wine in the mid-1980s, our administrative office was the laundry room of a rented farmhouse in Sonoma County, California. But despite our humble surroundings and shallow bank account, we were determined to find a way to make our dream a reality.

Over the next two decades, we learned how much we didn’t know about making wine­, bottling it, selling it, marketing it, and competing against other labels­. Barefoot Cellars came close to producing its last bottle many times during those years.

Even if you’re very familiar with your industry, you face an uphill battle when you start a company. But ultimately, being undercapitalized was a great thing for Barefoot. It forced us to think creatively and to be resourceful every step of the way. In order to survive, Bonnie and I had to develop processes and procedures that worked, that succeeded solely on their own merits­—not because we were constantly throwing money at every problem that cropped up.

Barefoot Cellars turned out to be a big success, and we sold it to E. & J. Gallo in 2005. Now we are passionate about sharing with other entrepreneurs what we learned the hard way.

Read on to learn about 11 cost-saving measures that helped Barefoot Wine survive and grow in its laundry-room days, and that might just be lifesavers for your start-up, too:

1. Start in the garage. Hey, this strategy has worked for many aspiring bands (at least until Mom cut the electricity and silenced the electric guitar), and it can help your start-up survive, too. Unless your company needs to operate in a specific type of space, wait until you have gained more momentum to start writing rent checks. Whether it’s an attic, a garage, a spare bedroom, or even the kitchen table, go anywhere that won’t make a dent in your bank account.

Barefoot’s first office was a laundry room. It wasn’t glamorous. It certainly didn’t scream, “The people who work here are a force to be reckoned with!” But it held our files and a desk­—which, by the way, was an old door laid on top of a couple of old sawhorses. And most importantly, it allowed us to get the job done without spending any extra money.

2. Get your family to help. The same people who cheered for you at Little League games and came to your annual piano recitals when you were a kid haven’t changed the way they feel about you. As long as you are humble and appreciative, you might find that they would like nothing more than to help your start-up succeed. So even if you have to swallow some pride in order to admit that you aren’t Super Businessperson and can’t do it all by yourself, ask family members to stuff envelopes, put together email lists, file paperwork, catalog inventory, and more.

Retired grandmas, aunts, and uncles would love to make a difference in your life, and they’ll probably be thrilled to do something new and help the family business get started. Remember, each relative who offers to help out takes the place of an employee you’d otherwise have to pay. And who knows, they may do a lot more for your start-up than just add manpower.

Family members can also provide objective opinions and commonsense insight. In our case, Bonnie’s mom came up with the name “‘Barefoot Bubbly” for our champagne­, and it was a huge hit.

3. Assume someone else’s excess inventory. Who says you have to start from scratch when it comes to producing your product? If it’s feasible in your industry and for your particular product, try to acquire another company’s unsold merchandise. If you can repurpose it, improve it, or otherwise incorporate it into your product, you’ve just saved yourself time, effort, manpower, and money.

At Barefoot, we bought bulk wine in tanks, juice from grapes before it was fermented, and grapes themselves. We would do whatever was needed to make each batch into a wine that fit the Barefoot specifications. Sometimes we would even contract with other wineries to make wine to our specs! Since we did not rely on owning and maintaining our own vineyards, we saved a ton of money, which is one reason that Barefoot became known as an affordable, yet quality, wine.

If you go this route, just be sure that you never, ever compromise on quality when working with someone else’s inventory.

4. Outsource everything except quality. Yes, you’re passionate about your business, and it’s natural for you to want to control and oversee every aspect of it from day one. But look at it this way: Until your financial balance sheet is more stable, what little money you have will be best spent on marketing your product so that you can make money, develop a customer base, and build momentum. Then you can start funding a production facility if you so desire. Just remember that oversight is critical­—anything you outsource will ultimately bear your company’s name.

With outsourcing, you usually pay only when the product is produced­—and produced to your quality specs. Remember our laundry room? Well, it was only an office­—a command center, if you will. Bonnie and I outsourced wine production, bottling, and manufacturing the logo that went on the bottles. If we’d had to pay for all of that space, equipment, and manpower up-front, we never would have gotten Barefoot off the ground.

5. Use “worthy cause marketing” to advertise your product or service. No matter how unique or useful or amazing your product is, your company will never succeed unless potential customers know you exist. In other words, you need to advertise. This is one area in which Bonnie and I stumbled into a stroke of genius. In a nutshell, since Barefoot didn’t have the budget for traditional marketing, we spread the word about our wines by partnering with nonprofit organizations (NPOs).

Specifically, we sought out organizations that believed in causes close to our own hearts­—environmentalism, civil rights, education, the arts, and more. In this way, we gained access to huge numbers of potential customers and gave them a “social reason” to buy Barefoot wine.

When Barefoot Wine was starting out, Bonnie and I donated wine and manpower at our partner NPOs’ events. We were able to help the NPOs, talk up our product, and conduct market research by talking to attendees. We also recognized the NPOs on our website and publications, and vice versa. It was very much a grassroots effort, and because we worked hard, had fun, and believed in what we were doing, it paid off for us and our partner NPOs.

Consider adopting this strategy for yourself. Start by seeking out NPOs­—small, local ones are best­—that resonate with you and your product.

6. Trade the goods and services you have for goods and services you need. If you think that bartering is a thing of the past, think again! When you look in the right places, you’ll find that there are still many entrepreneurs and companies that are willing to accept goods and/or services in lieu of a cash payment. Many start-ups besides yours, especially in their early days, will actually prefer this option to spending money, just the way you do.

Specifically, a good place to start might be with any suppliers that are also start-ups. They are cash-strapped like you and probably need to spend money they don’t have. Find out what they need and see if it’s something you can provide. Perhaps your product is something their supplier needs.

If your own inquiries don’t yield any results, there are many barter companies that specialize in these kind of trades. The main thing is to remember that your product can be valuable to someone who is willing to trade to get it. Just be sure that any trade you make is legal, and realize that there can be tax consequences.

7. Forge strategic growth alliances with suppliers. This one comes down to plain old common sense: There are no drawbacks and many advantages to having a good relationship with your suppliers. Remember, as your company grows, you’ll become a bigger and bigger customer, which in turn will help your supplier to succeed.

It never hurts to remind your suppliers of this fact. And when you’re on good footing with them, you’ll find that they’re willing to help you by providing special discounts and extending your credit because they like the way you pay your bills. Barefoot’s relationship with our bottle supplier in the early days stands out to me in particular. They extended highly un-bank-like credit extensions to us many times. I explained that I could either pay what we owed now and not have any money left over to grow, or I could wait to pay and continue to grow. The glass company recognized that everyone would benefit more in the long term if Barefoot was allowed to grow now, and they always extended the credit we needed.

One last thing: Make sure never to give your suppliers a reason to doubt your goodwill or integrity. Call them as soon as you know you will be unable to pay on time, and give them a workable payment plan. They have bills to pay, too, and will appreciate a timely heads up. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly the kind of customer they want long-term.

8. Give discounts for cash and large-volume purchases. This strategy is another win-win proposition. Start by offering retailers a discount if they’ll pay cash for your product, or if they purchase a large quantity. Right off the bat, they can chalk up a win because they’ve saved money, and you can, too, because you’re ahead of your bills.

This strategy continues to pay off over time, too. Say a buyer has just received a large shipment of your product. Chances are, he or she will want to put them on special and advertise them in order to sell them faster. After all, until the products are sold, they’re just taking up valuable warehouse space. It’s easy to see how this benefits both parties: Your product becomes more visible and (hopefully) draws in new repeat customers, and the retailer makes money from sales. Now that you and the customer are smiling, you can start the process over again.

9. Sell your product overseas. “Going international” with your product is another good way to make cold, hard cash that you can then reinvest in your business. Giving credit to overseas buyers is risky due to legal challenges, so most international transactions are cash sales based on a signed ocean-going bill of lading through a letter of credit. It’s kind of like an escrow account where you get paid when the buyer takes possession.

Admittedly, this strategy will take a significant amount of research and preparation up-front. But if you determine that selling your product overseas is a viable option, your work can pay off big-time. Remember, the trick to juggling payables and receivables is timing. If you have negotiated longer terms with your suppliers, you can actually get paid through international sales before you have to pay your own bills. And if you can negotiate it, you can then pay the supplier earlier for a discount.

10. Produce just-in-time inventory. Just-in-time inventory is (as the name suggests) a product that is produced just in time for the sale rather than one that is produced ahead of time and stored in a warehouse. The advantages of this strategy are obvious. First, you don’t have to spend as much money up-front creating a product stockpile. Second, if you play your cards right, you won’t have to spend money renting or buying storage space.

Third, if you are able to get a purchase order from your customers up-front, you can manufacture only the amount of product that will be sold, thus keeping you from wasting money on excess production. If an up-front purchase order isn’t practical, operate with the minimum inventory you need to satisfy your customers, assuming a reasonable growth factor that you reassess every month.

At Barefoot, we bottled our wine just before it was shipped so that we didn’t have numerous cases waiting for orders and racking up storage costs. By the time the wine was bottled, we knew it would be paid for and shipped quickly.

11. Ask a lot of questions. When you’re starting a business with a tight budget, you literally can’t afford to make mistakes­—and that means there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Before making any kind of commitment that will cost you money, ask lots of questions (and then ask some more) until you’re sure you’re moving in the right direction. You’ll save money because you aren’t guessing or making incorrect assumptions. For instance, we asked many questions so basic that many in the industry had stopped thinking about them: Which demographic buys the most wine? How do you sell it? How does this work?

The answers allowed us to get a fuller picture of the wine industry than many long-time professionals had. For example, we learned that it would be smart to aim for supermarket customers who wanted a solid, reliable wine, but who were put off by fancy labels and French terminology.

We asked questions on a more granular level too. I’ll never forget asking one supermarket chain’s gruff wine buyer what our logo should look like. He told me, “Don’t make it a hill or a leaf or a run or a valley or a creek. … Don’t put a flower on it. And for crissakes, don’t make it a chateau. Make the logo the same as the name. … And whatever you do, put it in plain English. … And make it visible from four feet away. The shopper has to be able to see it when she’s pushing her cart down the aisle. Now get outta here. I got work to do.”

Turns out, that advice was solid gold, and I didn’t have to pay a dime for it. All I had to do was ask a question.

Ultimately, launching and growing a successful business isn’t so much about how much money you have as it is about identifying the resources you have and using them as effectively as possible. And once you do build up momentum, the cost-saving measures and innovations that helped you to survive in the early days will help your company continue to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

To learn more, visit www.thebarefootspirit.com.

Conflict Resolution

Got the New Year's Blues?

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three.”

– Marilyn vos Savant

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Many people prefer to play it safe when it comes to business matters. Are you willing to take risks in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success?”

– Steven Schussler

It is to no purpose to turn away from the real nature of the affair because the honor of its elements excites repugnance.

– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Persist and persevere, and you will find most things that are attainable, possible.”

– Lord Chesterfield

With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.”

– Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

– Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc.

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.”

– Robert H. Schuller

The world I believed in, back in my most innocent, uninformed, childish mind—is real.”

– Martha Beck

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

– Steve Jobs

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what nurtures creative thinking.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

‎That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

– Robert Frost

If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”

– Joseph Addison

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”

– Arthur Rubinstein

If you do not tell the truth about yourself
, you cannot tell it about other people.”

– Virginia Woolf

Almost anyone can start a community, but it takes real talent and commitment to get people to show up and keep coming back.”

– Andy Sernovitz

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs.”

– Barack Obama

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.”

– Aristotle

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

‎No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
 what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

We are perfectionists. We are hungry to work all the time. We are entertained by every aspect of business and we never want to stop working.”

– Suzy Welch

The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.”

– Marcel Proust

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”


Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

– Eckhart Tolle

Anything not worth doing well is not worth doing.”

– Warren Buffett

The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

I always maintained that the greatest obstacle in life isn’t danger, it’s boredom. The battle against it is responsible for most of the events in the world — good or ill.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.”

– Michelle Sedas

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

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