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Established Community Backer ***
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When you hear the name “Maxie McCoy,” words like “courageous,” “bold,” “motivating” and “inspiring” may come to mind. If they do, then Maxie is succeeding in her goal of turning her namesake business into a widely recognized brand. Three years ago, this award-winning author, speaker and coach set a lofty goal for herself: to help billions (with a b!) of women boost their productivity, turn their dreams into a reality and believe more deeply in themselves.

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Established Community Backer ***
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martyrich_pic.jpg Co-founders Marty McDonald and Rich DeMatteo of Bad Rhino, a social media marketing agency, saw the power of peer-to-peer connection long before Facebook and Instagram were household staples. In 2008, Rich leveraged social media to launch and grow an online career blog, Corn on the Job. Marty began dabbling in online marketing in 2002 as a side gig while working in staffing and talent acquisition.

The two brought their skills and passion for online marketing together in 2011 to form Bad Rhino, a small business helping other small businesses put their best marketing foot forward with savvy social media strategies. We spoke with Marty about the link between a killer social media presence and increased sales.

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Established Community Backer ***
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A couple decades ago, when Julie Goldman was planning her wedding, she wanted to walk down the aisle on a beautiful runner. She needed something that suited a Victorian mansion and complemented the autumnal colors she loved. Julie quickly discovered her only options were plastic tablecloths made for kids’ birthday parties or flimsy paper that could easily rip or wrinkle. So Julie made her own runner, painstakingly designing, painting, tea-staining and decorating every inch of it by hand.

 

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Established Community Backer ***
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My oratory muscle is soft and flabby. As the owner of my own editorial services business, I know I need to be able to share my expertise with existing or prospective clients without my voice quavering or my heart pounding. I decided a "Speaking Circle" was just the “workout” my public-speaking muscle needed.

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Established Community Backer ***
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good_bethanytran.jpg Bethany and Otto in his workshop in GuatemalaAfter returning home from a trip to Guatemala where she witnessed extreme poverty, Bethany Tran couldn’t get the great people she’d met out of her mind. So she dreamed up a business model that created jobs for skilled Guatemalan workers and textile weavers manufacturing super cute shoes for women.

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Established Community Backer ***
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Lee Glickstein has spent most of his life afflicted by extreme public speaking anxiety. He traced his own anxiety back to childhood when he felt judged, mocked or simply ignored by his family during their nightly dinner conversations. His desire to help others overcome stage fright and live a richer, more rewarding life as a result, inspired Lee to launch his own business called Speaking Circles International. Here, Lee explains the Pleasure Principle of Public Speaking and his unique approach to helping people become confident on a stage, behind a podium or simply during a dinner-time discussion.

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Established Community Backer ***
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Caroline McAbee was used to incredibly long days and a tedious a commute as director of operations in both the high-tech and non-profit industries. Eventually, she burned out. Caroline decided to quit her job and take the summer off. During that “wonderful” period, several different friends asked if Caroline would help them launch their new businesses. She did -- and realized financial and business consulting was her true calling.

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Established Community Backer ***
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When helping others is the inspiration for starting a business, the motivation to succeed is huge. Not only are these entrepreneurs in business for themselves, they're also In It for Good. In this series we'll meet social entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders and global thinkers who are working to make the world a better place. 

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Established Community Backer ***
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Like many web-based business owners, Taughnee loved the freedom to travel and work wherever she chose, so when she met the love of her life -- who happened to live in Croatia -- she took her biz overseas in 2015. We spoke with her about the reality versus the dream of working anywhere in the world and how she’s dealt with the global transition while also making her brand more relevant in today’s business landscape.

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Established Community Backer ***
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As temperatures rise, so do opportunities for creative, summer-themed marketing. There are so many fun ways to celebrate the season by while also bringing in the cash. Here are some ideas that can help heat up your summer sales.

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Established Community Backer ***
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As we join the celebration of July’s National Independent Retailers Month, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak with Meaghan Brophy, the editor of Independent Retailer (IR) magazine. Meaghan keeps indie retailers in the know about current market and demographic trends. She understands what matters to them because she’s often out and about on Main Street, U.S.A. talking to small store owners about their struggles and their wins.

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Super Contributor *
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Are you constantly growing?  ( mentally)

 

Your mind is your most important asset, by far -- inspiration comes from many fountains, inc. the world of podcasting, where many thought leaders share their accumulated, or in progress, stories, states, & strategies! 

 

Here's the Top 10 that SBSL & its founder, me ( SJ ) subscribe to & learn from often. 

 

Feedback welcome -- what are yours?    And if you've not yet heard of any of these, thoughtful insights welcome on what you learned after doing so :)

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Established Community Backer ***
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beachread.jpg Book, check. Sunglasses, check. Whole uncut pineapple, what?!Here’s a roundup of all the great people we met and things we learned during June’s “outdoorsy” month. Check it out and then tell us: what are you doing outside this summer?

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Established Community Backer ***
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Meet Matthew Jensen, his family owns The Electric Boat Company, a thriving business in Seattle that lets customers toodle around Lake Union with a boatload of friends, family or with business colleagues.

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Established Community Backer ***
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Some of Tyra Lovato’s clients know her as trusted, reliable, number-crunching accountant. Others know the New Orleans-native as the rockin’, shakin’ leader of dance classes like My People’s Cardio and the always-smiling Restorative Pilates instructor. No matter which “hat” Tyra is wearing, her desire to help people do better and live life to the fullest fuels her entrepreneurial drive. Motivated by a personal commitment to bring out the best in everyone she meets, Tyra is a certified fitness and nutrition coach who has built her business around an inclusive, holistic approach to wellness that’s energizing, inspiring – and incredibly fun.

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Established Community Backer ***
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Longtime L.A. cyclist Gloria Hwang rarely used to wear a helmet, but she got her wake-up call when a close friend died in a cycling accident. Soon after she started Thousand, maker of sleek, stylish bicycle helmets that look cool enough for its fashionista founder to wear. gloriahwang.png

 

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Established Community Backer ***
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Personal trainer Kristin Jackson had spent more than two decades exploring and teaching different kinds of exercise including Pilates, yoga, water aerobics and even hula hoop. For herself and for her clients, Kristin focused on “typical” training goals like building a strong core, keeping shoulders back and maintaining excellent posture. But when she was hit by a car in 2011, Kristin discovered the muscles and muscle patterns she’d worked so hard for were hindering her recovery. In her quest for healing, Kristin turned to somatics, a gentle neuromuscular practice that helps people regain flexibility, get rid of pain and move with ease – and with joy.  

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Established Community Backer ***
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Muriel Bartol and her husband, Matt Rolletta, have always loved biking for recreation, for transportation and to get to know their surroundings at a slower-than-a-car pace. But a few years back, Matt was struggling to find a single pair of pants that he could wear throughout his typically active day when he cycled to school, to work and out to meet friends. So Muriel and Matt designed a pair of functional, durable, stylish “knickers,” imagining they might one day sell a few pairs to friends. Instead, thanks to a mention in the New York Times, they were suddenly swamped with orders. Today, Muriel and Matt are still basking in the entrepreneurial glow of unexpectedly launching a successful outdoor apparel business. 

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Established Community Backer ***
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Kelly Watters is a 4th-generation entrepreneur, and her husband, Will, comes from three generations of business self-starters. So when they decided to start a sustainable technical-apparel business together, Kelly and Will knew they’d be working long hours, juggling multiple roles and responsibilities, solving unexpected problems and trying to stay positive along the way. Turns out, everything they anticipated about launching, running and growing Western Rise has come true. Also true? Kelly and Will love building an outdoor-retailing business together. As Kelly explains, “I’m the CEO, CFO and COO. Will is the creative director, and he manages all the product and works directly with the marketing team. We get more efficient at what we do every year – so we just keep taking on more projects! We love building something we believe is amazing.”

 

 

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Established Community Backer ***
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Gwen Sullivan has spent years working in the sports and fitness industry, but she’s spent far longer feeling like she was a “fitness misfit.” As a kid, she played sports but always preferred the team element to the workout itself. Later, as a busy adult juggling working and parenting, fitness felt like a chore. When Gwen discovered she wasn’t the only one feeling resentful in the gym, she decided it was time to make a change. She’d stop focusing on reps and steps or minutes and miles and start finding activities that she simply enjoyed. This shift in thinking inspired Gwen to create Joyn, a website that curates community-oriented, inclusive group classes designed for fitness – but far more importantly, to promote movement and joy.

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Established Community Backer ***
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Ben Gucciardi was earning his M.A. in global educational leadership, working in youth development for underserved families and playing a lot of soccer when he had an idea. The California native realized soccer could be a tool to help struggling kids learn to better communicate, connect and collaborate with their peers, parents and teachers. Could he build a program around his favorite sport (at one point, Ben played soccer semi-pro) to help disadvantaged youth?

 

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Established Community Backer ***
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Before Michelle Kagarmanov moved back to her home state of South Dakota, she was the program director of a non-profit working with refugee students in Minneapolis. She and her husband were ready to start a family of their own, so when her dad, aka “Pops”, called to ask if she’d run a newly purchased Black Hills RV resort with cabins, a restaurant/bar and off-road vehicle rentals she saw it as an opportunity to be near family, as well as to make her own schedule.

With motorized sports ranking as the number one outdoor recreation activity in the U.S., their Mystic Hills Hideaway caters to a year-round clientele of ATV, UTV and snowmobile enthusiasts who come for the 500 miles of US Forest Service trails directly accessible from the campground. We spoke with Michelle about how they balance the seasonality of running an outdoors-based business and how they’ve found ways to hire more staff so the family can enjoy a little recreation time, too.

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Established Community Backer ***
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Diana Marie Estey has long been an outdoor enthusiast and a health and wellness buff, and she’s always relished having the freedom and creativity to do her own thing, too. Years ago, when she was working as an outdoor educator in three different states, Diana started running her own weekend trips on the side. She loved offering clients thoughtfully planned excursions for cross-country skiing, kayaking, yoga and more. Eventually, Diana opened her own business, Alive Anew, offering instruction for individuals and groups in outdoor fitness, yoga, meditation and mindfulness. In addition, Diana began leading weekend retreats in New England and Northern California and longer hiking and yoga retreats in Baja and the mountains of Europe.

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Established Community Backer ***
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Lucas Zhao skated into the photography business - literally. Inspired by the great outdoors and his love of skateboarding, he's turned his passion into his profession.

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Established Community Backer ***
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In 2006, Ryan Loften was working as a bike mechanic, a waiter and a “manny.” Juggling all these roles wasn’t easy, but Ryan decided to add “entrepreneur” to the mix. Inspired by his year of mountain biking solo through Nepal, India and Southeast Asia, Ryan wanted to share his love of biking and exploring the great outdoors with kids in his own Northern California community. (Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais is the birthplace of mountain biking.) His plan? To run week-long summer mountain biking camps for kids ages 8-14. The first season, Ryan rode with 50 kids throughout the summer. Now he and his coaches ride the rocky trails with more than 300 sweaty, dusty, tired and very happy campers.

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Established Community Backer ***
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For me, June is all about open-air markets - the perfect time for local farmers, artists, and artisans to get outside and meet their customers face to face. 

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Established Community Backer ***
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Elisabeth opens up about her struggles with depression and anxiety during her first year of business and how she learned to cope and to heal. We appreciate her candid conversation about a sensitive topic. We hope others in our QB Community read this post and remember that they, like Elisabeth, are not alone in experiencing the ups and downs of running a business.

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Established Community Backer ***
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Stocksy_txpbe95edb6zix100_Small_482094.jpg qbcommunity.com Nani Waddoups has more than two-decades experience as an entrepreneur, and that doesn’t even include her past six years running a private therapy practice in Portland, OR. As a seasoned small business owner and a professional counselor, Nani is uniquely positioned to offer up self-care strategies for staying centered and grounded -- something particularly important for entrepreneurs working around the clock to build a successful business.

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Established Community Backer ***
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Nani Waddoups has a long and remarkably varied history as an entrepreneur. Although she went to college intending to become a psychologist, after graduation, Nani instead ended up working for herself in the design industry. For more than 20 years, she worked as a self-employed florist, importer, specialty contractor, interior designer, garden designer and house stager --  the list goes on. In 2008, however, Nani realized she’d never forgotten her dream of becoming a professional counselor.

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Established Community Backer ***
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From the age of five until 17, Anna Matuszewski (mah-two-SHEV-skee) spent her childhood training for the Olympics in figure skating. When she injured her knee, the door to the Olympics closed. Happily, another opened, this one leading to a career as an independent ice skating coach and choreographer. Eventually, Anna’s passion for dance led her to start a “floor” choreography business with clients like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Nordstrom, AT&T and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

Since Anna’s parents and her three siblings all own and operate their own businesses, perhaps Anna was always destined to be an entrepreneur. We caught up with her in Seattle in between tour dates to talk about how she’s grown her business over two decades, how she balances single motherhood with worldwide performances and why she spends her free time making art films.

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