An obstreperous little advertising agency, indeed. Your story on Wexley School for Girls ["The Wexley Way," March] is the kind of article that keeps me coming back to Inc. year after year. Wexley's success reinforces the truism that playing it safe just leads to slow death. The founders of Wexley were successful out of the gate doing traditional ad work, but they shifted gears to align their vision with clients who actually got it. This article will go up on the office corkboard next to a quote from Karl Wallenda: "Life is being on the wire; everything else is just waiting."
Creative director, Mind Venue
Norm Brodsky's advice to the photographer Lisa Kristine [Street Smarts, March] was great, because it was a real-world case study. Small businesses need to know how to cut expenses, increase sales, and retain talent in this economy. Our company works with beauty salons and day spas, and we constantly talk to our customers about going through all their expenses with a magnifying glass. Rent is always a significant cost, of course. But costs from insurance, legal, and accounting providers can all be negotiated. Every dollar saved goes right to the bottom line.
CEO, The Mikal Corporation
I agree that cutting sales efforts is the wrong idea during a downturn. This recession offers great opportunities. At some point, the economy will turn around, and it might even be better than ever. I'd even consider pushing sales efforts while trying to cut in other areas that aren't as necessary. Take your time and look for the best solution.
Joel Spolsky's column on start-ups really hit home [How Hard Could it Be? March]. If nothing else, "fiddling with the dials" of my own start-up teaches me something new every day.
But having complete faith in yourself and your product 100 percent of the time can get exhausting. I just launched a Web venture, and although I know the process of getting the word out does not happen overnight, I can't help sometimes being discouraged when I look at my analytics. Hearing Spolsky's message reminds me how I need to keep chugging away. Constant education and growth are what being an entrepreneur is all about.
Royal Oak, Michigan
Your article about tests for hiring salespeople ["He Can Close, But How Is His Interpersonal Sensitivity?" March] was an interesting read. I've looked at various test-based interviews for salespeople. Some of these systems analyze the top salespeople in an organization and match all applicants to the "DNA" of the top-performing people. But what about selling to different geographic regions? Also, these tests may not address how well the hiring manager fits with the sales staff. Those relationships can make all the difference in a salesperson's success. In my experience, most sales professionals end up leaving their jobs because of bad chemistry with their manager.
Managing principal, Sixth Sense Group
Montclair, New Jersey
Congrats on Inc.'s 30th anniversary from a crazy entrepreneur who, for the past 30 years, has enjoyed and related to Inc. Reading your 30th-anniversary issue [April] was like going to a reunion. Well done.
Founder, GreenOps Recycling
I just read your Editor's Letter in the 30th-anniversary issue, and it connected completely with me. I am a 24-year-old opera singer and entrepreneur. A little over a year ago, I started a Web design business that focuses on building websites for opera singers.
I've always approached my business and my singing with the same mindset, determination, and discipline. It's incredible how the only difference between a performer and an entrepreneur is the medium. My company is really starting to gain recognition, and I'm already expanding. Thanks for the great advice.
Owner, Inspired Revolutions
Calling your story "We Asked, You Twittered" [March] was like Alice on The Brady Bunch waving a peace sign and shouting "Groovy!" to Marcia and Greg -- not a lot of street cred. In the Twitterverse, we tweet about things; we don't Twitter about subjects. I realize that the world of Web 2.0 terminologies moves fast, but for a magazine purporting to be on the cutting edge, it's important to get the lingo down.
We decided to check directly with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on this pressing matter. Stone responded in an e-mail: "Ultimately, whatever gets used more will probably win out, but my personal thought is that Twittering is the verb that refers to the act of creating a tweet, which is the noun. However, you may catch me tweeting one day, so don't hold me to that!"
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