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Calling all Social Entrepreneurs! Being a social entrepreneur means you are passionate about a cause. In addition, you must be passionate about leading a business.

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Calling all Social Entrepreneurs! Being a social entrepreneur means you are passionate about a cause. Besides, you must be passionate about leading a business.

Nonprofit, forprofit, hybrid, you’ll want to run your organization with supreme efficiency. How you execute determines how effective you are in delivering your product or service. In this case, your product is serving the community — be it addressing global poverty, energy efficiency, organic farming, solar solutions, electric cars, or socially conscious travel. So let’s get started on some quick tips to help make you and all entrepreneurs the best they can be — so we can deliver excellence to our clients all across the world.

What’s Your Best Guerilla Marketing Tip?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 22, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Guerilla Everywhere

Guerrilla marketing is really about being present everywhere. Be in “Positive Stealth Mode.” That means wherever you are, you’re thinking about how you might be able to spread the word, bit by bit.

Practically, this is how it works. Have some small cards, 4×6 ready to go and carry them with you. When you are at museums, they often have a table featuring community events with ordered cards. Place them there.

Starbucks has community bulletin boards. Tack a few cards there, one with the front of the card, and then one of the reverse side of your card. Do this as well at the library, the local school, the PTA, Junior League, Small Business Association, church, Chamber of Commerce… you get the idea.

If you want to take it to the next level, you need to go Guerrillas Marketing. Identify the key places above; assemble a team (could be interns and students) and have them regularly frequent these places to ensure your cards are consistently present.

How Can a Couple Make a Business Partnership Work?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 10, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Share, Separate and Meet

To stay together as a couple, I’d “separate” when it comes to business. Try to ensure that your skills are complementary in what you are covering in business.

You came together most likely for two reasons. First, you shared the same values. Second, you had separate, distinct attributes that helped one another.

So if you are going into business together then I’d follow this rule of three: Share, Separate and Meet. First, you share the same values and ‘the why’ behind your business. Once you enter it on that common ground, then separate by focusing on your distinct skills.

Finally, come together and meet. Share what you are working on, lessons learned, and how you can become better both individually and as a team.

To stay together, and thrive! as a couple, share, separate and meet. Have fun!

How Can You Get the Inside Scoop on Your Competition?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 2, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Outdistance Your Current Self, and Often, Your Competition

To watch your competition, watch yourself. There is an extent to which you want to stay focused on your own product and your own service. Your primary energy should be your own efforts to achieve excellence. By constantly striving to improve what you offer; how you do it; ways in which your client service can excel to greater heights, you will outdistance your current self, and often, your competition.

Don’t get overly distracted by what others are doing. Stay focused on what you know you are good at. Continue to build your unique and core competencies.

If you have to look, sign up for GoogleAlerts with your competitor’s name. Then quickly get back to the important work you were called to do.

How can you be better than your best today?

What Are the Best Ways to Thank Your Team?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 19, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Give Ownership, Give Voice

Thanking your team is essential. Do it often and do it joyfully. It’s one of my most favorite things to do!

Our team at UniversalGiving works very hard. And it is so important to not take it for granted. So thank them and thank them in many different and diverse ways. Here are two.

Give Ownership. Show you trust them. Develop them, be there for them, train them… and then let them rise to the challenge and begin execution. Provide positive and constructive feedback and then “put them out there again.” They will learn through exciting opportunities, whether refining their writing, working on a marketing partnership, or outreaching to a Fortune 500 company.

Give Voice. Tell them 1-1 you are grateful for what they do. Send it out in team emails, recognizing each team member, so that everyone’s valuable skills and contributions are made manifest. Say it verbally in a team meeting.

It is a balance. You can’t say it all the time as it might seem over the top. Listen to your instincts and when you hear the call to recognize, don’t hesitate.

One of the most powerful things you can do to recognize someone is to call them and thank them and say “You’re doing a wonderful job today, and I wanted to thank you. That’s it. I just wanted you to know, and for you to take the time to recognize it. Please know how much I appreciate your consistent work and positive attitude.” Do not add on a ‘to do.’ I know that’s tempting as we as CEOs have a lot we want to accomplish! But just let the conversation rest in genuine appreciation. It’s one of the best ways you can thank someone — without agenda.

What Is Your Best Fundraising Tip?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 18, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Start Before You Start

Start fundraising before you even think of your idea.

That sounds illogical. The point is that any outstanding fundraising is based on long-term relationships. That means cultivating and caring about relationships pretty much since day 1. I’d say age 10 is a good start!

Even when we are young we cultivate relationships of influence. Family friends may support you. A teacher. Someone you knew from camp might some day be the head of a company – or a bank. Care sincerely about people, as they might come back into your life. When you need to ask for funding, the relationship, the respect, and your personal reputation will already be there.

Don’t wait to build relationships…they are the foundation of all good fundraising. It simply means you are asking people to be involved in your life, who already are involved.

How Can a Small Business Find a Good Attorney?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 10, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Advisory Board Kicks In

There are sometimes you access your board. Sometimes you access your advisory board. In this case, you could go for both.

I believe many advisory boards are underutilized. They become high level names which are nameplates. But they are people who have important relationships — first of all with you. So I’d use an opportunity such as is to outreach to them and ask their advice.

In particular, seek advisory board members who have had entrepreneurial, startup, or small company experience. They can recommend smart, nimble, less expensive attorneys. On the otherhand, larger firms often have probono resources or cuts for smaller companies.

The most important element is that you feel you have a champion within the firm who believes in your company or cause. They will work harder for you, save you time, and do all they can to help you succeed.

If you legally don’t need or have an advisory board, create one anyway. It’s helpful to have people who support your vision. And it’s easy for them to outreach, make a call on your behalf. They feel good and that they are being helpful, which they are.

What Lesson Have You Learned From the Recession?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 4, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

One Year in the Bank

Always have one year in the bank.

We make it a part of our financial policy, which is approved by the board. This recession, we didn’t let anyone go, we didn’t reduce hours, we didn’t cut benefits. People who needed to leave, did leave, and we were left with a very tight, culturally sound, and strongly executing team. And in even later in the recession, we increased some people’s hours, benefits, and brought some on salary.

Have a year in the bank. You’ll save money and time in demoralization, rebuilding your culture, and rebuilding your team. Give yourself, your organization, and your team that security.

What Challenges Face Women Entrepreneurs?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 29, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Principle Over Personal

As women, we have a nature that can be described as perceptive, intuitive, sensitive and caring. I do believe these qualities make us personable leaders. They make us aware of the importance of relationships in all walks of life, personal and professional.

The other side is that we can personalize. We may “feel” too much, emotionalize, or be too sensitive. That can skew judgment to what we feel, which is not always based on principle.

Adhere to principle. Stick with the right thing to do. Some people may not like it. Some people might call you insensitive. You might not ‘feel’ good. But you will rest at night knowing you operated to your highest level of integrity.

Principle Over Personal.

How Would You Use 60 Seconds to Become a Better Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 27, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Gratitude and Focus

If I had 60 seconds to improve myself, I’d first start with gratitude. I hope we can get off the hamster treadmill of go-go-go with little time for reflection. Entrepreneurs are not animals…We’re critical thinkers striving to change the world.

So start with gratitude. Review what has gone well. Reinforce it: What you focus on will be drawn more readily into your life. Be thankful, emphasize, be grateful, be humbled, be excited by all the good that has already occurred!

Now we’re ready to focus: How can I create more good in my life and the life of others? What value can I provide? Today alone, what are the top 1-2 priorities which can bring about more of this defined goodness and value into our business world and communities?

How Do You Find the Ideal Retail Store Location?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 15, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Qualities Coupled with Convenience

Retail Location depends on qualities. What are the qualities of your customer?


Fun? (amusement park)
Kidlike? (where most families might live)
Sophisticated? (high end neighborhoods)
Multicultural? (urban cities)
Stingy? (Find out what frugal people MUST have and build an easily accessible store around their needs).

Couple that with convenience, that it is easily accessible, and you should have a winner!

What’s a Unique Place to Invite Clients to Meet You?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 12, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Come See Me On Stage

That’s right. Invite your clients and prospective clients to come see you on stage.

I perform Improv in San Francisco and Los Angeles at Groundlings (Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow), Upright Citizens Brigade (Amy Poehler), Second City and Bay Area Theatre Sports. You get up on stage, ask for a suggestion from the audience, and create a scene from nothing.

Invite your clients to see this. They will see your quick thinking. Your ability to think of solutions.

They will also see your courage. Your ability to tackle a new situation. Your joy. Your sense of humor. Your teamwork.

They will want to work with you because they will know you will work hard to creative ways to make your business succeed.

Extra on Client Service: Have a ticket waiting for them at the door.

What Do You Recommend for Continued Growth This Year?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 5, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Not Win-Win, But They Win

In most relationships, we think about Win-Win. But for now, we’ll should think about “They Win.”

Think about what a potential client needs, not what you need.

This is hard to do. You care about your business, and you would sincerely like to build it. You’d like to increase sales. Yet in this economic time, relationships are built slower. Close times are longer.

So start with them. As always, cultivate that long-term relationship. Find out what is important to them, and if you can help them, do it. Yes, even if it isn’t entirely related to your business. Prove your value, and, quite simply, be helpful.

In the longrun it will come back to you. You may not know exactly how, or from what source, but caring about a potential client’s needs in a very wholistic, selfless way will come back to help you.

How Do You Handle a SuperStar Worker Who Is Also Distracting?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 29, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Customize Your SuperStar

Customize your SuperStar. If they produce great results, wonderful. However, if they are also distracting the team or you, then provide a customized schedule. Perhaps they work as a consultant; perhaps they are part-time. You might have them work from home for part of their day. However, be careful that your culture is consistent, equal and honors all employees’s preferences. I wouldn’t reward distraction by telling the person they get to work from home.

My larger question is this: Superstars are great on Execution and Attitude. You have to produce strong results and be a strong contributor to your corporate culture. And that means maintaining a focus on the vision; being positive; and helping all team members achieve their goals. Good ideas? Welcome them. Distraction? Let them use their own time for wanderings not relevant to your goals. So… are they really the superstar you think they are?

What Can You Do When a Partnership Is Falling Apart?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 17, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Stop It. Or Focus.

This is a hard one. If it’s that bad – then you simply need to stop the partnership or partnering with a team member. This is especially true if it conflicts with your values. Remember, this will take more energy, by ruminating about it, worrying, staying up at night. It can also take more energy through extended, unproductive conversations…Be prepared to bolster yourself for the conversation which may be highly uncomfortable.

If you can’t Stop It, then Focus. Figure out the 1 or 2 key areas you must maintain. Determine the guidelines of what you need to achieve – and no further. This is one of those times when your drop your standards of client service. That doesn’t mean you can’t be pleasant. But be firm in your focus, how much energy you devote and where it will be spent. Move on quickly to more positive partnerships and spend your time there.

Next time, listen to your SGI: Spiritual Gut Instinct, which always tells you the right thing to do.

Where Do You Recommend Entrepreneurs Go to Recharge?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 10, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Inside Your Mind

Go inside your mind. Find peace. Go over your gratefuls. Affirm all the good in your life. Be at peace first with yourself and your creator, or the universe, or whatever Truth connects you. From this foundation you will find more peaceful relationships naturally occuring with others. You are predisposed to peace, which recharges your batteries.

And for just fun? Do Improv. Be a character. Transform yourself and get into a totally different realm! If it’s not improv, what is it for you? Is it running a race in the wilderness? Knitting on the beach? Creating art from old coke cans?

How Do You Address Low Morale?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 8, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Listen Compassionately

Often as entrepreneurs, we want to make it better. We want to fix it, improve it, and move on!

Understanding the pulse of morale takes listening. What are the reasons for low morale? You have to start there. It could be a cut in hours or pay, not feeling as if they are growing in the way that they want, wishing they had more access to the CEO, or, their own personal issues. All are very different, and should be treated uniquely.

Your solutions will be unique. Once you have listened compassionately, you’ll find you could spend perhaps a few minutes more with an employee and it makes the world of difference. Maybe they want to have a team event, more transparency in communications, or flexible hours. Having said that, you and your leadership team need to determine what you can and cannot take action on, clearly describe the principles by which you are operating, and let the culture stand from there.

You will find some people turn around and are so grateful you have listened. Others may continue to gripe. Some will respond in kind and feel a greater connection to your vision, organization, and culture. Others will naturally exit. Others you may have to ask to leave. It’s not an easy situation. And it takes patience and care to address each particular situation.

But listen compassionately. Start there. Then, make the decisions on what you can and can’t change. Describe the principles behind your decisions. And then let your team either back you up or move on. Your organization and culture may not work for everyone. But you must stand by your leadership team’s principles and values, which will carry your culture and vision through the longterm.

What Are the Best Resources for Entrepreneurs Online?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 2, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Start Young

Well, let’s start young. One of the best places is Sparkseed. Sparkseed invests in young college-age entrepreneurs who want to create a business or nonprofit, that also has a social cause. They have competitions, provide seed funding & resources to help you succeed. It’s so important in an economy where often you have to make your living happen!

Unreasonable Institute helps support young social entrepreneurs with mentorships, classes, tools and an institute gathering. They are inspiring this generation to get started.

Other key ones that expand into the adult group and are international:
MassChallenge: invites entrepreneurs to submit business plans from all over the world.
Foundation for Youth Social Entrepreneurship: supports entrepreneurs in more than 10 Asian countries.
Global Social Venture Competition

What’s Your Best Marketing Tip for Entrepreneurs?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 23, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Authentic Voice

Use your authentic voice. Big companies have a spokesperson. They have a Communications department. They offer official statements, and before they can submit one, it can takes days, weeks, months for approval. At that point, part of the authenticity is lost…and late.

Entrepreneurs just speak for themselves. Use your blog, your website, and speaking engagements to make your services more personable. Let them see the person behind the organization. Let them know why you do what you do. Bring out the meaning behind your product or service.

Your clients will feel and be more attached to your presence. Your knowledge. Your expertise… Your authentic voice.

What Gadget Increases Your Efficiency?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 18, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Don’t Answer and Delete

One of my favorite and most efficient tools is my Blackberry.

And the first rule of thumb here is “Don’t Answer it.”

I get all my calls at the end of the day. In that way, I don’t react. I can leave voicemails for people at night and still have efficient turnaround, being responsive.

The next way I use it is “Deleting.” Before you get on a plane, you’ve got 20 minutes. Go through all your ‘easy’ emails. Not the ones that take a lot of writing, but the ones that provide you information and you can then delete, or, merit a quick response. Set it up so your Blackberry deletes on your server as well. In that way when you return to your computer, a good 15-30 emails are cleared away, and your inbox doesn’t overwhelm.

So that’s my answer. Use your Blackberry, but Don’t Answer and Delete like crazy!

What’s the Worst Business Advice You Ever Received?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 10, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Pack It All In

I was young in my career and meeting with a fairly older, single woman. She was a successful venture capitalist. I don’t know that I would consider her life successful. She traveled the world incessantly and was on every important board. But she seemed tired and joy was scarce. She told me to “Pack it all in.”

I didn’t. I kept my balance. I started a nonprofit and I did creative improv. I took care of my very young nephews & nieces. I loved life and I loved the people in my life. Pack in balance.

What’s Your Best Tip for Brainstorming Business Ideas?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 2, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Don’t Think, and the Answer Will Come

That’s what we do in Improv. Don’t think. We actually have t-shirts sometimes that have a red circle through Think!

Why? Because sometimes our conscious brains can only take us so far. And that far is not enough. So we have to go back and access our natural instincts, intuition, and connection with people to find the answers.

And then the answers come naturally.

The creativity flows. New ideas… different ways of viewing the world… come into your experience. Put out your request for help sincerely in your mind, and then let the answers surround you. You might find the answer speaking to a homeless person and watching how industrious they are. At church. A marketing message on a billboard. It will come, it just won’t come the way you think it would.

Stop your brainstorming. Shut off your thoughts. Put an eternal hold on that “Creative Strategies Session.” Don’t think, and the answer will come.

What’s the Worst Thing That Could Happen to an Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 2, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Losing Yourself

You will probably face a lot of joys and a lot of challenges as you grow your endeavor. Enjoy it all. What seems challenging, if you let it, will make you a better person. Not just a stronger person — but a smarter, more compassionate, caring, humbler, and yes — stronger person.

The worst thing that can happen is to lose your integrity. To lose your relationship with yourself. To lose your inner Truth. To have some type of disconnect that doesn’t truly represent who you are.

Don’t Lose Yourself. It’s the greatest contribution you can make to our society. Everything else you give will be a facade if you don’t have your own foundation of values.

How Do You Suggest Finding a Good Accountant?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
January 28, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Go with a Hub

Go with a Hub providing accountants. Accountants can be challenging to determine the right fit. You’ll need someone good with numbers. Someone who can communicate effectively. Someone who fits well within your team.

If you go with a larger organization that sends out accountants to numerous organizations, you’ll be able to determine a good fit. If someone doesn’t work out, you don’t have to start entirely over. The “Hub” of accountants can send you someone new. Determining the right fit is not just about the numbers, but about being able to communicate effectively with someone, as well.

What Do You Recommend For Making an Entrepreneur’s First Million?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
January 11, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

How Long is the Line?

The line of people. And not just any line. It’s the line of people you have served through this venture positively. Imagine it to be long. Think of spreading your value, integrity and service to as many people as possible. Sometimes it relates to your product. Sometimes your service doesn’t relate. But you are always helping, always serving.

And the line of fans and loyal customers grows.

And so your first million will appear.

But the focus is on the line.

What’s Your Creative New Business Idea?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
December 29, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Fly Me To Work

I’d like to commute above. If I could, I’d don a jet pack that could allow me to rise above the traffic and fly to work. If people are paying as individuals to fly into space, we will be able to fly into work.

It’d have to be ecofriendly. If it polluted more, then you’d have to pay 100x more than it takes to commute via car or public transportation.

I love the wind, air, nature and views. And I’d pay to not be sitting in a car!

What Do You Predict for 2010?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
December 8, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Be the Good News

It’s seems it negative or slow growth news these days. I say don’t join this crowd.

Be the good news. Make someone’s life better by a small innovation. People want to reward meaning. They will pay for a sincere product, especially if they trust you. Focus on making these connections.

My prediction is that people will gravitate towards honest entrepreneurs who they can touch. People who will provide a relevant service. People they can talk to. Be someone’s good news.

What Would Your Significant Other Say To You re: Your Business?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
November 23, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

More Than OK

Most times in business, “OK” is the enemy. It has no special ring to it. It has no quality, no differentiator, no enthusiasm behind it. But here, I think my spouse would say “It’s more than OK. It’s great you are positive; that you care so much. And it’s fine, it’s more than OK, to rest a bit. It’s OK to take time for yourself, your family, your books, a walk, or quiet time by the fire. In fact…It’s necessary to being the kind and giving person you want to be.

It’s more than OK.”

What Book Do You Recommend for Women Entrepreneurs?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
November 20, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

The Leader of the Future

Frances Hesselbein was a mentee of Peter Drucker. This 90-something leader is still going strong, speaking internationally, and helping women leaders and entrepreneurs all over the world. Here is the must-read:

The Leader of the Future by Frances Hesselbein, written with Marshall Goldsmith

She’s inspiring and practical; there is no end to her energy!

What is Your Best Tip on Guerilla Marketing?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
November 3, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Empower Interns!

College and young professionals appreciate getting true on the ground experience. With a solid manual and practical activities, interns can do many legwork and outreach for you. We’ve had interns as young as 19 outreach to journalists and attain blog links and interviews.

Do make sure that the interns are getting great professional experience. For those proven, meet with them and help them with their career path. You can also offer to write a letter of recommendation.

How Can an Entrepreneur Achieve Their First Million?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
October 20, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

No Quick Way to Quality

You want your first million.

There’s no quick way to it, if you want it to last. There is no quick way to quality relationships, which means you want your first million to remain continued, returning revenue.

So do your best to find the right partners, who are focused on the same values as you. They want a long-term relationship and mutual win-win, too.

Find this “type of million” — and you’ll soon be closing, and maintaining, your next million.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the relationship.

How Can You Get Free Entrepreneurial Support?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
October 1, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Go Get a Quick Advanced Degree

I’d get an advanced degree at Harvard, pronto. That’s what I do.

Harvard Business School Publishing Society lists a host of articles, blogs, thought leaders on super subjects. Some are philosophical, but many are practical, on the ground tips.

Go get a second degree by studying the thought and recommendations of Harvard professors, guest speakers, entrepreneurs, who freely share their wealth of wisdom. We’re fortunate they do so!

How Can You Embrace Competitors You Once Wanted to Destroy?
Asked by Mike Michaolowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 17, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Competitor! Wait, Collaborator?

I don’t ever wish to destroy my competition.

Your competitors demonstrate there is a market need. Be grateful there is a need for your service.

Think of your competitor as someone you might collaborate with, if the values are in synergy. It might not be now; but it may well be in the future.

Keep a positive relationship with, and view, of your competitors. It does not mean you are in constant communication, but you are open. Life and relationships are constantly evolving.

How Do You Get Through a Dark Day?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 9, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Run a Marathon

Run a Marathon. You’ll find it interesting and educational, both about life and yourself. When I have been through a challenge, I’ve often said, “If I can make it through this marathon, then I can make it through this challenge.”

It inspires and elevates you; and accomplishes a goal. So then yes, you can be inspired to plug through, and “accomplish” through this challenge or dark period you are facing.

How do you get through a marathon? What is the ultimate strategy?

It’s step-by-step. If you made it through the last step, you will make it through this one. The only reason you wouldn’t is if you told yourself to stop. So don’t stop. Make that next step. And the next, and the next, until you are done.

The night sets; it’s dark; but there are stars and glowing, guiding moon to help you with your way. Find the ‘brights’ in the night you are facing. It may be a long night. But remember that that sun IS coming up again tomorrow. It will come. So take that next step, and get going on that marathon.

How Can You Land Your First Client?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 1, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Commit to “Open the Deal,” and Make It Ongoing

It’s your potential first client. Ensure you demonstrate the multiple ways you can help affect their business, even if you only start with one service or work with one business unit. In that way they will see you as a long-term, multi-faceted partner with whom they can expand their business relationship with in the future.

While in these meetings, be a great listener. Sales are not really about ‘closing the deal.’ Listen to their goals and painpoints. Examine if your services can address these needs. True partnerships are about long-term relationships. You never really close the deal; what you want is to cultivate a trustworthy, long-term, mutually valuable engagement. That means it is open — and ongoing.

Be Open. Commit to “Open the Deal,” and Make It Ongoing.

What Gives You Confidence?
Asked by Jen Matlack
August 28, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Have a Grateful Day

What gives me confidence: Being grateful. This manifests itself in appreciating all things, and appreciating people. You will feel stronger and can live a more vibrant, caring life.

I try to state my gratefuls in the morning and the evening. The challenge now is to do it throughout the day.

Here is what a beautifully confident day can look like:

Wake up with 5 things you are grateful for. Be grateful for the beautiful rose on the walk to work, and do take time to smell them, and several times if you can. Say hello to the homeless person. Really ask your dry cleaner sincerely how they are. If it’s sunny, bask in the warmth. If it’s rainy, be grateful for our earth’s nourishment, flowers, trees, and farms. Walk slowly. Take time to great your team in the morning. Before a meeting, be grateful for any positive discussion or new idea. After a meeting, be grateful for any positive advancement or development. Sit down with your children and really get into their world, playing in their realm. Cook a meal and be grateful for all the food we have here, and, that we get to choose what we eat. In many parts of the world, they don’t have the luxury of choosing. Or they quite simply don’t have enough to eat. In the evening, be silent and rest in the peace. Go over five gratefuls from your day.

These are moments, vignettes, people — all a part of your community. Weave gratitude, and recognizing others, into your daily life. You will feel strong, vibrant, more authentic, caring, and confident.

How Can You Improve Your Collections?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 27, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Peacefully Persistent

When you have to collect funds, it’s not an easy task. Be peaceful and persistent.

In some fundraising situations, the seeker might get impatient or become too persistent due to their needs. We can be different.

Try scheduling consistent messages that are kind, concise and clear and, also provide helpful or insightful information tailored to their interests. You can follow up persistently, but it might be over a long course of time. Remember to provide space if you haven’t heard back. Be positive. Most people want to help someone nice.

Be peaceful, be persistent, and you will attain the other important “p” word — profit.

How Can You Raise Money Fast?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 18, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Be Inspired and Be Specific!

Any great investor is inspired by both the leader and the challenge at hand. Your job is to be upbeat; inspired, stating your request compellingly: “I want to build this part of our corporate product out to this segment market. It has been proven to do well for us. This is the time to move quickly and establish brand recognition, saturating this target market. They will either buy now or think of us in the future.”

Don’t fundraise from need. Fundraise from strength and specificity.

How Can You Think Out of the Box?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 6, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Stand On The Box

Don’t just think out of the box. Stand on the box.

Imagine yourself standing on that darn box because you have the smarts, intuition and creativity to command your organization to the next level. Imagine yourself surveying the future from the height of that box. Take a long, long distance view. What do you see? What do you hope people will be saying about your organization? In 10 years? In 50?

Now step down from the box, walk over to your desk, sit down, (or stand for those of us ancy entrepreneurs with standup desks), and get to work on your top 1-2 priorities that will bring that decade vision into reality.

It’s not out of the box. It’s on the box. Command your vision. Start thinking bigger. Look for and reach out to the horizon of your success.

How Can You Get Ready to Be an Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 4, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Right Now. Write Now.

Start writing down your thoughts. If an executive summary is too overwhelming for you, then begin with bullet points. Separate it into the company’s vision, operational business units and their function, and organizational culture. The first one goes into your executive summary for investors. The last two are how you want to organize your business and the culture you want to instill.

Don’t start without your Executive Summary. If you come across an investor interested in your verbal idea– earlier than you thought — what will you have to show him or her?

Write it down, Right Now.

How Do You Set Priorities?
Asked by Stephanie Calahan, Calahan Solutions
August 3, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Don’t Settle for Jello

If you’re trying to set yourself up to succeed, it’s all about setting yourself on firm ground. Don’t settle for “Jello” priorities. Think about the top 1- 3 items that will put a stake in the ground for your business today. Ask yourself: Would I speak about this with a reporter? At the dinner table, proudly, with my significant other? If I were accepting the Nobel Prize? Seriously. It could be new corporate contracts. A large marketing partnership. Big media coverage. What would significantly change your business and our world?

Don’t settle for wishy-washy. No one wants to set their business on “jello” ground. Set it on a firm foundation by identifying and going after your few big wins every day.

How Can You Best Break Up a Business Partnership?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 30, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Find a Win For Your Partner

Try to find a Win for your business partner. Could you check in with them to get their advice on a certain topic once per quarter? Is there something of value you can provide them that doesn’t hurt your business? Find a way for them to feel as if they gained something. They might not accept your offer, but they will appreciate being appreciated.

They were your business partner at one time and provided some type of value. Balance that value with the need to protect your business and move on.

What Lessons Have You Learned as an Entrepreneur?
July 30, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Stay Open in How You Build Your Team
I was volunteering in Cambodia with people handicapped by the mines. I met a lovely Cambodian woman, and we stayed in touch. Five years later, she moved to the U.S. and needed a job. She is now my data entry specialist for the past two years. She fits right in with our global culture, and coming from Cambodia, is grateful for her position. Try to stay in touch with people, as you may find future team members from all across the world.

A second lesson learned: Build your long-term team through interns. We have a full team of volunteers and interns. Those who prove themselves over time, we oftentimes convert to paid team members. It’s a great recruitment tool for us and a positive work experience for our volunteers and interns.

Be A Creative CEO

Don’t just be a workaholic. Have an outside interest. I went on a date with a guy, and he took me to an Improv show. It didn’t work out with the guy, but I thought, “I wonder if I can do that!” Soon I was up on the stage. It took years of work. But now I can make people laugh and laugh at myself.

Critically important, it helps small business communications. The intuition, selflessness, authenticity and teamwork you need on stage — are exactly what one needs to be a positive team member.

Lesson learned: Have an outside activity that makes you a better person out and in the office.

How Do You Avoid Distractions When Working From Home?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 28, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Balance and Value Your Tasks

Agree to get 1 or 2 major items from your list done first. Keep a positive quote in front of you to keep you motivated. Have your water bottle filled, so you have no excuse to go get a drink. Set a goal: 2 hours? 3? Time lunch, so it is a reward and normal break in your day. Finish the day with ‘easy’ to-dos. Finally: this is your present-day and your future. Stay on these proposals and focus. It’s not just a paper…it’s the future manifestation of your business and vision for your life!

How Can You Balance Parenthood and Entrepreneurship?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 23, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Be Present!

Be present. Doing both things at once (reconciling bills while trying to help your children with their latest painting) makes no one feel good. Your time for work is time for work; your time with your children is truly for them. Everyone will feel valued. Then they know when “Mommy needs to work and help people,” and “Yay! Mommy is all mine!” Be present.

If you have a newborn, then that’s not necessarily always the case. You can reconcile the books, talk to the client with your baby if you feel it is not disruptive… but even then, divided attention can show through. So strive to be ‘in the moment’ with each person you are with.

How Can You Gain Confidence as an Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 14, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Gratitude Brings Confidence

Be grateful. We’re in a country where red tape is low, entrepreneurship is encouraged, and creativity is part of the American way. Many countries don’t encourage an entrepreneurial culture, and we have it.

Gratitude for being able to start a business, gratitude for the freedom to decide where to work, gratitude for the ability to work, to decide where we live, to decide which healthcare plans we’d like (again, all in comparison to how other countries operate, and specifically developing nations) makes us realize…

How much we have.

This gives us humble confidence to continue pursuing our dreams, step by step.

Gratitude brings a sense of joy, peace and then confidence so that we can maintain our course. Go for it – – and be grateful along the path!

How Can You Overcome a Business Challenge?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 16, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Find Something Going Well

To get unstuck, I would truly live in the present moment. Right now, can I think of positive thought? What is going well? No matter how tough it gets, there has to be something that is going well. We can even resort to nature. Thank you that the sun is shining. Thank you that I have a great father or wonderful relationship with my sister. Thank you that I have a wonderful new bed that allows me to sleep peacefully. Thank you for the rosebush on the street that blooms so radiantly and is free for all of us to smell and enjoy. If you are in America, thank you that I have the right to vote, that I have the right to choose hundreds of places to eat from every day.

You will realize your wealth – your true wealth — and more will come.

For the challenges that seem to keep you stuck, remember, it will pass. The mountain will pass, and at some point, you get to start walking downhill. So keep climbing, keep being grateful, and…. keep going.

My 97-year-old Oma and grandmother, one of my best friends, once told me,” Whenever I feel down, I find something to be grateful for, and I find someone else who is in a worse situation and helps them. It helps me be grateful.”

To get unstuck: Find something to be grateful for.

How Can You Find a Hidden Talent?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 10, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Take an Improv Class

An Improv Class will encourage you to think across so many genres: different movies, countries, accents, periods of time. Then you must become what is needed for the scene: an alien, an 18th-century aristocrat, a 60-year-old truck driver, a 5-year-old girl. Get your different voices out, walk with a certain gait, dance, sing. Transform yourself on stage, and you will discover more passions and hidden talents within!

How Do You Stay Focused?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 28, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Envision the World You’ll Create

Do not get overwhelmed by all there is to do. Quickly picture what you hope to achieve: Envision it, imagine yourself standing there, amidst all of your products or happy customers, or actually seeing and living how you want to change the world…be in that world and know that it exists. Allow yourself minutes to feel this and experience it, then come out of this state of mind and pull out a pad of paper. Write down at the top: Motive to Serve the World by Doing X” and then write the Top 3 Must-Dos for the Day and the Top 5 Hope I Get To Them. Start Doing!

What’s Your Best Advice for Growing a Business?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 21, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Entrepreneurial Minds

An entrepreneur of a small company who wants to grow doesn’t have to hire like-minded entrepreneurs, but they have to hire entrepreneurial people. There’s a critical difference between being an entrepreneur (who is also entrepreneurial) and hiring entrepreneurial people. Entrepreneurial people don’t necessarily want to start their own organization or necessarily have visionary ideas. Still, they are willing to do what it takes, create systems on the spot, not get scared off by the becausen processes aren’t yet in place (in factlish creatively creating them). Your team can’t just be willing to do one thing.

How Can You Become an Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 25, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Like Raising a Child

Any good entrepreneur has to have passion and perseverance. You have to absolutely love it, live it, nourish it, cherish it. It’s like a child in that there are exhilarating highs and lows, but worth it all. Second perseverance. Run that marathon. And run another one. And then another. This is not a 5K and most certainly not the 100-yard dash.