Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

May 1, 2012

What’s Going On With Rizzo Tees? An Update

I started Rizzo Tees back in 2007 with the entrepreneurial dream of growing it out of control. I wanted to build a big, strong, healthy business, and of course I wanted to leave my CPA/Accounting life behind. While Rizzo Tees remains small today, I was able to escape the accounting world over two years ago. I’ve mentioned this several times (here and here), but I can say it once more: you have no idea what this career change has truly meant to me.

What of Rizzo Tees now? I’ve had a few people tell me they’ve noticed a change in my content output over the last year. They say I’ve moved away from t-shirt promotion and more towards discussion of new media strategy. I believe they are right. I’d say my job at Falk Harrison has a great deal to do with that. Finally, a job that I can enjoy!

Rizzo Tees remains in business, tees are still in stock and people are still buying them (especially the bacon ones). But my interests have changed in important ways. Listen to the podcast below to hear more about the direction I’m headed.

Click here for the 5-minute podcast.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Nov 16, 2010

Business Tip – Get People To Write Stuff Like This About You

My number 1 business tip to aspiring entrepreneurs: get people to say things like this about you.

“I really think Rizzo Tees is an example of a company who has it right – leverage social media, provide a simple online storefront with great products, and provide stellar customer service. When you combine those three things, you truly have something special.”

This means:

1. Be nice. Nice to everyone! Be nice to your customers. Be nice to your service providers. Be nice to the IRS when they audit you. Be nice!

2. Ship your product as fast as you’d like to receive something as a buyer.

3. Be hyper-attentive to mistakes you’ve made. Don’t be all paranoid. If a customer says “I never received my product,” don’t say to yourself “Man, I really think they received the product I shipped them. I have a delivery confirmation. I think they’re just trying to get another one for free.” No they’re not. And if they are, that’s no more than 1% of your customers. If your glass is half empty, go back to being an employee somewhere – just quit business altogether!

4. Finally, when someone does praise you like this, freak out a little bit! It’s extremely exciting when someone takes time out of their day to write a blog post about you. Praise them back, comment on their blog, and appear to be as thankful as you probably are. If you’re not touched by such positive comments, you may not have what it takes to conduct business in this new socially connected economy.

If my blog had been up and running in October 2009, I would have written this post back then! Thanks you Trey Connell for your continuing support of Rizzo Tees.

Nov 8, 2010

My Interview On The Rise To The Top

Recently I did a Skype video interview with my good friend David Siteman Garland, which he posted on his website, The Rise To The Top. I was honored to be featured on his site, and judging by the amount of retweets and Facebook shares, it’s been one of his most popular interviews ever. Quite humbling, I have to say.

I’d like to keep the momentum going. For those of you on Facebook and Twitter, I invite you to go tweet out the interview

—-> HERE <—-

… or just watch it below if you’re lazy lol. Thanks to everyone for your support!

Apr 21, 2010

Link Roundup on Rizzo Tees – What I’m Reading 4/21/10

Playing the part of Internet DJ, here’s a sampling of what I’ve been reading the past few days.

1.) 50 minutes of Peter Shankman – how can you go wrong?  Peter talks about self-promotion, and it just so happens that his Help a Reporter service allows us to easily do just that.  If you’re not using HARO, start today!  I have used it several times with great success.  Every single opportunity doesn’t result in a “hit,” but you will respond to enough chances that you’ll start getting press attention.

2.) Can the Care Bears really teach us about being a successful entrepreneur?  Entrepreneurship is about hard work, good product, good timing, and confidence. I have low points in my own entrepreneurial life… times when I wonder if its all going to work… times of true stomach-churning self-doubt.  If you can’t handle watching the 5+ minutes of Care Bears, just know that you have to believe in yourself in order to make your own luck, and eventually succeed.

3.) The difference between salad and garbage is….. timing!  Sonia Simone at Copyblogger reminds us that direct marketing can completely flop if not truly targeted.  Additionally, becoming an expert in a very specific niche can turn into successful inbound marketing, which I’m finding is a much superior way to market my product than outbound marketing.

4.) Chris Brogan implores you to stop adding him to your email newsletter.  Bottom line – spamming people is bad. I am certain that I have, at one time or another, marketed myself in a way that could be construed as spammy.  Maybe it’s one extra tweet about one of my products, or a Facebook wall post about my bacon t-shirts on a bacon fan page.  Brogan talks about the rash of email newsletters he receives that he’s relatively certain he didn’t subscribe to.  Marketers of Earth: you are just pissing people off with this!  Maybe there’s an argument that for every 10 people you piss off, you’re reaching 1 person with your MLM message…. volume = $$$.  It’s the v1agra spam email mantra – carpet bomb the Internet with your wares and sales will come.  It’s a sucky life to live – don’t market your product in this way!

Apr 7, 2010

Entrepreneurship is Hard Work

What does it take to succeed as an entrepreneur?  I think it takes:

  1. A great idea
  2. Great tools
  3. Patience (hugely underrated)
  4. AND hard work!

(whoops, I left out funding. Don’t forget the money!)

What do the fancy cars sitting outside of businesses teach us about the need to work hard?

Here’s the link to a podcast with my thoughts on the matter.

Mar 17, 2010

It's OK To Be A Business On Twitter

I recorded this video back in December 2009 in response to some hating I was witnessing on Twitter.  I saw people reacting negatively to the presence of businesses on Twitter, and not just the MLM teeth-whitening jerks.  As a business, it is true that poor marketing in any form can and should backfire on you – this includes Twitter.  If you yap yap yap about your business, never join the community, never help others…. you will meet with adverse results, and you might even have a few people tell you how they feel about your business.

That aside, my point in the video is that there are many small business entrepreneurs out there that live their business – the business is them, and they are their business.  This is their life’s passion.  So if you’re on Twitter and you’re passionate about the TV show Lost, and someone else is passionate about their startup business, there really is no difference there – it’s just two people rapping about their passions in life.  Respect the entrepreneur!