≡ Menu

No matter how smart, capable, or hard working you are, at some point you are going to need help turning your great idea into reality.  In today's show my guest is Matt Cooper, the Vice President of Enterprise for oDesk, the largest global freelance platform out there.  Matt and I talk about what a freelance contractor is, how you find them, how to choose and manage them once you do find them, as well as things to watch out for when hiring and working with a freelance contractor.

Overall, I am immensely satisfied with the concept of freelance contractors and only wish it existed the last time I started new companies, way back in 2000.  It was because of my positive experience with the concept that I decided to invite someone from oDesk to come on the show. 

In Today's Expert Interview You Will Learn About:

  • The concept of freelance contractors, how they work, and how they can help you.
  • The changes in the global workplace that enable freelance contractors to thrive as a concept benefitting both the contractor and the client.
  • The types of talent that make practical sense to hire as freelance contractors.
  • How they get paid.
  • Tips and things to watch out for when recruiting and hiring a freelance contractor.

[continue reading…]


No matter where you are with your great idea, at some point you need to figure out your computer infrastructure. Today we have a special guest to help you do that.  We’ll talk about where to start, what to think about, and we’ll even get into some of the more common mistakes startups, entrepreneurs, and idea people make when it comes to this critical element of turning their great ideas into reality.  

My guest today is Keith Schoolcroft, founder and CEO of a local tech support firm called A Couple of Gurus.  I’ve known Keith for over a decade now.   We both met early on after having recently launched our own great ideas at the time; that is, our own companies.  We both went onto to achieve wonderful success, often because of the business partnership approach we took to things early on.  In the podcast I comment on why you should be wary of that word "partner" and then discuss why such wariness did not apply to Keith and his firm.

[continue reading…]


This episode is about bringing legitimacy to your great idea or startup.  Ok, so you have some great ideas, you’ve maybe even considered starting a business or have already done so.  But how do others view you and your idea?  Do they treat you like you are for-real, maybe even worth listening to?  Or, like so often happens, do you just come across as yet another goober with a crazy idea?  In today’s show I want to tell you why bringing legitimacy to your great idea & start up matters so much and how you can do it.  It’s all coming up!

Hey it’s episode 7 – feeling lucky.  What’s your predisposition?

As a reminder, the QI podcast is now aimed primary at innovators, startups, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who is quietly working on their own great idea.  Here you’ll get the advice, tips, and inspiration you need to make it a reality.   

All right, it’s all about, “helping you turn your great ideas into reality” so let’s get started.  Because there’s a lot here today you can find detailed show notes posted at QI.com.  

Before I start, let me remind everyone that I am not an attorney and you should not take anything I ever say as legal advice.  Everything I ever say here on the QI podcast or in the blog is to be viewed as general guidance or my own opinion.  You must always get the best advice you can and follow the guidance of those professionals who best know your personal situation.  

[continue reading…]


Today I want to talk to you about something that sounds simple:  Your goals.  I know, right, duh, of course you have goals.  Don’t blow this off – we’re going to go further today.  In today’s show I’m going to walk you through an exercise you can do from time-to-time to bring clarity to your goals and better focus to your efforts.  I will show you how just sitting for one hour to think through some deceptively simple questions will not only give you amazing insight into yourself, it will also help you prioritize and better position yourself for success.  Note:  These are show notes only from the QI-006 podcast episode.  They are not the full transcript. 

Get ready, you may end up surprised at what you learn about yourself!

Before I get into the goal-setting exercise I have for you today, as a reminder, the QI podcast is now aimed primary at innovators, startups, entrepreneurs, and anyone else working on their own great idea.  Here you’ll get the advice, tips, and inspiration you need to make it a reality.   I changed the show format recently and am loving the new direction!  In fact, I even put in a new tagline which is now on the banner of the website, “Helping you turn your great ideas into reality”.

[continue reading…]


I decided to post the short take-aways from the piece I wrote yesterday on Intuit’s botching of a one-day sale promotion of their QuickBooks product. I'm not doing this to trash Intuit. I still love their software and they will soon enough get this marketing boo-boo behind them. Rather, like Intuit, I too learned these lessons the hard way and thought they were worth a stand-alone entry on those merits alone. Good luck! -john

Make the Most of Your Marketing Campaigns – 5 Quick Tips

Lesson #1:  Failing to anticipate a competitive response could make your seemingly great promotions not appear so great to your customers when they go live.

Lesson #2:  Make sure you test, and then test again before putting a new promotion or marketing initiative in front of your customers.  Don't let your customers find mistakes you should have found yourself!

Lesson #3:  Make sure you've got adequate resources lined up to handle the response if your promotion is successful – or if something goes wrong.  At minimum, you need to think through the contingencies. 

Lesson #4:  Make sure you've got all hands on deck and prepared BEFORE you go out with a highly visible marketing campaign or promotion.  But do not promote beyond your organization's capacity to respond. 

Lesson #5:  When you or your team mess something up, the best way forward is a post-mortem from which you learn, not blame.  That's hard but critical. 

Bottom line: When planning you next marketing campaign or promotion, learn from the mistakes even an old hand like Intuit made this week and you will go far toward ensuring its success. Sometimes it's the basics that matter most.

Full disclosure: Like I said above, I still love QuickBooks software and strongly encourage startups and entrepreneurs to use it.  But if you choose to buy Intuit products (QuckBooks, Quicken, or TurboTax) by clicking on the links to the right I do earn a small commission on the sale for which I am most grateful.  I suggest, however, that you use this Amazon link instead to buy QuickBooks as it will save you $100 at time of this post.  


Today Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks(tm) accounting software, gave startups and entrepreneurs a great lesson in how not to run a promotion. I outline what Intuit did wrong and what we can learn from it.  I also reiterate my respect for the software itself, marketing foibles aside.

Before I trash the marketing geniuses at Intuit, I need to first affirm my conviction that QuickBooks remains a must-have software for any startup or entrepreneur taking themselves seriously.  It's so feature-packed, at such a reasonable price, you are foolish if you still keep your accounting records in a spreadsheet or, worse, the proverbial shoebox. 

So I'm definitely not picking on QuickBooks software. I've relied on it for more than a decade in my businesses. For my personal finances, I rely on Quicken which is also made by Intuit.  To me, there's simply no substitute for either. (Full disclosure: If you buy QuickBooks or Quicken by clicking on these links or the links to the right I do earn a small commission on the sale for which I am most grateful.)

What I am critical of today is the way Intuit has botched a one-day promotion.  Instead or winning fans, I'll bet they've got a lot of annoyed people questioning their credibility.  Let's just say that in the time I was on hold waiting to talk to people at their call center, I went from a cold start to getting this far in writing this blog posting (it was nearly a 20 minute hold time mid-morning today). 

[continue reading…]