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Entrepreneurs Speak Up

We asked and you answered at the Inc. 500|5000 Conference.

Straight Talk From top left: Jacquie Morgan, Mark Swanson, Lee Wochner, Adil Adi, David Doggette, Hassan Bawab, Daniel Schmidtendorff, Jennifer Scully, Sonny Clark, Brooks Bell, Jesse Lipson

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We asked attendees at the 2010 Inc. 500|5000 Conference how they were feeling about business and their businesses. We also gave them a chance to open up a little. Here's how some conferencegoers responded.

When did you start your first business, and what was it?

I had a magic-trick business. I sold my first card trick when I was 14.
-- Jesse Lipson, CEO, ShareFile

When I was 11 years old, I bought and sold investment-grade comic books through the mail.
-- Lee Wochner, CEO, Counterintuity

What's your company's coolest employee perk?

We take the entire company somewhere, and everyone gets one guest. This year, we're going to Aruba.
-- David Doggette, CEO, 2HB Software Designs

Free beer from 3 p.m. on.
-- Brooks Bell, CEO, Brooks Bell Interactive

What's your No. 1 indulgence?

I own 52 colognes.
-- Hassan Bawab, CEO, Magic Logix

Remote-control airplanes.
-- Sonny Clark, president, Advanced Network Solutions

What do you do to relax?

I'm a perennial chick-flick guy. I blame my mom.
-- David Doggette

I'm a pilot, so I fly.
-- Mark Swanson, CEO, Telovations

Moderate drinking and watching TV.
-- Jesse Lipson

What kind of kid were you in high school?

I was the kid who put a live squid in the librarian's desk drawer.
-- Mark Swanson

I skipped the prom to go to the International Science and Engineering Fair.
-- Jacquie Morgan, co-founder, BalancePoint

What's the weirdest thing in your office?

Probably me.
-- David Doggette

A 3-D picture of a cat standing in front of an artist's palette. Never buy art from a gas station.
-- Jesse Lipson

Name one thing about you that would surprise your employees.

I smoke a hookah all day at home.
-- Hassan Bawab

That I'm extremely empathetic.
-- Daniel Schmidtendorff, CEO, Communication Company of South Bend

I used to be a hockey cheerleader -- that's a cheerleader on ice skates.
-- Jennifer Scully, CEO, Clinical Resources

What's one lesson you learned from your worst boss?

I will never lose my mind in front of my employees.
-- Lee Wochner

Don't send e-mails asking employees to do things on Christmas.
-- Mark Swanson

Command and control techniques don't work.
-- Jacquie Morgan

Who do you wish would friend you on Facebook?

My daughter's boyfriend.
-- Mark Swanson

Warren Buffett. I want his connections.
-- Jennifer Scully

Tiger Woods, before the scandal.
-- Adil Adi, CEO, WorldLink

Tiger Woods, after the scandal.
-- David Doggette

If you never had to worry about making money, what would you do?

I'd write Gospel music.
-- David Doggette

I'd be sitting on top of a mountain doing yoga.
-- Adil Adi

I'd fly first class and own a lot more shoes.
-- Brooks Bell

IMAGE: John Davis
Last updated: Nov 1, 2010

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