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10 Great Entrepreneurs Talk about their Start-up Days

Entrepreneurs aren’t known for keeping things to themselves, and at Inc., we’ve been listening as they speak their minds for 30 years. Here, what Bill Gates, Jerry Yang, Mary Kay Ash, Frank Perdue, and others have said about their start-up days.
10 Great Entrepreneurs Talk about their Start-up Days
Gordon Segal on Salesmanship
When Gordon Segal appeared in Inc. in 1985, the founder of the furniture retailer Crate and Barrel was literally running around his store, dashing from associate to associate, preaching they were in the business of selling, not distribution. “This is a business built on personality. Personality and imaginative merchandising,” he told his floor staff. “You’re selling a candlelit dinner by poolside, not a piece of wax on a stick. You’re selling romance, not flatware.” Segal knew getting consumers to buy your plates or wine glasses would take a lot of persuasion, which demands passion and panache from everyone in the company.
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