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How to Create a $217,660,000,000.00 Importing Company: Alibaba’s World by VP Porter Erisman

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The presentation you’re about to see was made especially for our clients at the Importing Empire Jumpstart Group. Porter Erisman, the former VP of Alibaba and author of Alibaba’s World, gave an insider’s look at how Alibaba was started, how it’s grown, and where it’s going.

The video was never meant for a wider audience but we had to share it with you. The content is just too important.

Alibaba’s IPO in 2014 was the biggest in history. The company is worth $217.66 billion and probably the most important company in e-commerce today.

You may not have heard of it unless you’re starting or running an importing company, but you’ve almost definitely used a product sourced on Alibaba today.

If Porter’s presentation interests you, you’ll love his book, Alibaba’s World, where he covers the story in even more depth and gives a lot of valuable strategic advice for entrepreneurs doing business today.

I enjoyed digging through his book over the last week and put together highlights for you here:

Click Here to Get Your Free “Alibiba’s World” Notes!   

Oh yeah, we’re also giving away 20 copies of Alibaba’s World! All you have to do is enter here:   Alibaba’s World Below the video you’ll find:

  • Timestamps to help navigate to the most relevant pieces of the video.
  • Porter’s top 10 tips for entrepreneurs.
  • Jack Ma’s first speech to the team at Alibaba.
  • A short excerpt from Jack Ma’s speech after their first IPO in 2008

Without further ado, Porter Erisman, former Alibaba VP:

[click to continue…]

What You Need To (And How To) Outsource Today: Avoiding the “I Can Do That” Trap

[Kyle: This is a guest post from a Gina Smith. She’s going to show you maybe the most effective productivity hack out there: hire more hands.]

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The words, “I can do that”, can be like nails on a chalkboard when they are spoken by a small business owner or entrepreneur.  One of the most common mistakes made when opening a business is trying to wear too many hats. 

As a small business consultant, I come across aspiring entrepreneurs in all types and stages of business.  Most have gone into business for themselves because they have a certain skill, talent or aspiration.  It always baffles me when a business owner has invested in an impressive office or workshop space and hired employees to produce and deliver their product and/or services but then chooses to handle their own marketing, information technology, tax filings, etc.  Really?  And, the kicker is in 99% of the cases, the business owner has no prior experience in any of these areas.

Have you ever heard of the saying, “it is better to do a few thing well than many things lousy?”  When a business owner is also the hiring, marketing, fulfillment, tax and IT manager, problems will inevitably arise.  While it may not be necessary to hire full time employees to handle certain functions, you can consider outsourcing these tasks to an experienced and reliable individual or company. [click to continue…]

Honesty IS the Best Policy in Business (Usually): How to Make Honesty Your Competitive Advantage, Drive Sales, Increase Profits, and Make Life Better in General

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It doesn’t always pay to be good.

There are huge stretches of human history where the only way to win has been to lie, cheat, and steal.

Luckily for those of us who suck at being bad, goodness is paying off.

Particularly honesty.

It doesn’t always feel this way. We see people getting ahead by doing bad every day. Sometimes it’s in the news. Sometimes it’s in the office.

So, honestly, honesty doesn’t win in every situation or domain. And not every type of honesty wins either.

Nobody wants to lie. It just seems to be the only option sometimes. Especially when we’re feeling weak or scared.

But honesty is quickly becoming the best option in the most interesting and profitable areas in life and the economy.

Early on, all my chips were on honesty. It wasn’t a choice. It was a struggle though.

Common wisdom says that you should be honest to be a good person despite the general understanding that getting ahead sometimes requires lies and thus giving up your good-person status.

This assumption that you have to lie to be successful is not just poison for society but also ineffective in the long-term.

The lifetime of a lie is shrinking and the compounding effect of honesty is increasing. We’ll get into the mechanics of this later.

My goal is to prove to you that honesty is the best policy. Not just for being a good human, but to get ahead in business and life.

The remainder of this post will be broken down as follows:

  1. Honest Stories. I will tell you three personal stories to demonstrate how honesty plays out in relationships, networking, and business. These stories will help frame the rest of the post, especially the business story.
  2. What Honesty Is & Isn’t. This section will help us understand and define honesty in a way that is useful and powerful. A lot of people are confused about what is honest and dishonest behavior and so fail to be functionally honest. (Hint: Having no filter isn’t honesty.)
  3. Dangers of Honesty. We’ll look at some of the main ways people get scared off from being honest, and why most of the fear of these possible outcomes are unwarranted.
  4. Benefits of Honesty. Some of the most important reasons to be honest.

Time to tell some truth… [click to continue…]

How I Started A Startup from Scratch and Turned a Profit in Less Than 6 Months

This is a guest post from the founder of 48hourslogo.com, Chris. He’s awesome. And generous with his startup experience.

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I graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Electrical Engineering and got a job as an application engineer in Silicon Valley.

48hourslogo was one of several side projects I initiated. Luckily, it turned out to be the one with the most potential and allowed me to quit my engineering job and fully focus all of my attention on my own startup.

I have always enjoyed reading StartupBros and thought that sharing my own startup story may provide some interesting insights for some of you. I’ll show you how I came up with the idea, how I had the site built, how I got customers and designers, and some ways we’ve grown the company. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Why 48hourslogo?

Like most people launching logo contests for their first time, I was amazed by the selection of logo concepts presented to me when I started a logo contest back in 2010. I liked it so much that I decided to drop my earlier business idea and start a logo contest website of my own.

The idea behind 48hourslogo is quite simple: Instead of paying an average of $400 to have 30 or 40 designers competing on your logo project, customers can spend a third of that and have 10 or 20 designers competing.  This is plenty for bootstrapping founders. [click to continue…]

9 Game-Changing Startup Strategies You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2015

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Your head is probably hurting right now from the sheer volume of articles you’ve read about what you need to do to make it successful.

Let’s start by quashing an assumption: You don’t need to know everything, ok? You’re going to find it far easier to start your business if you just give it a go, and learn by doing.

However, things change quickly in the online world. What worked for a business launch five years ago – even two years ago – isn’t necessarily what is going to work today. But there are some simple strategies you can adopt from the outset that will help you get a head start.

Ignore the noise. Get these nine strategies embedded in your business. Then launch and learn. [click to continue…]