Start Up Blog

Definitive Advice

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 22, 2012

Advice is an interesting thing to give because by it is opinionated in nature. It is influenced more by the previous experience of the giver, more than it is by the taker. Because advice we give is usually one of many possible courses of action, there will always be doubt in the recommendation. The only way of really knowing what advice to take, only becomes evident after it has been taken.

Where doubt is an omnipresent reality, the best advice we can give is definitive advice. Advice which is acted upon quickly and fervently. When advice increases self belief in the receiver, it is often more valuable than the advice itself.

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What to spend our money on

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 30, 2011

The common question we hear is: Are you a spender or a saver? It’s the wrong question. Any smart person needs to be both. A more relevant question is what is worth spending our money on, and what things should we resist the temptation to spend on. Given that any good entrepreneur needs to have an live a lean life, not just in their startups but in their life, I thought I’d throw together a top10 list of what to spend on So here it is:

Top 10 things to spend money on:

  1. Books & newspapers
  2. Education
  3. Annual vacation
  4. Gifts (non lavish) for family & close friends
  5. Sports & exercise
  6. Fruit & vegetables
  7. Comfortable accommodation
  8. Public transport tickets
  9. Internet access
  10. Insurance

These are the things that we shouldn’t even think twice about spending on. They add value to our lives and make us better people. In the long run they pay for themselves.

Things which don’t appear on this list, and things we should make what I call our ‘Considered purchases’.

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The truth about confidence

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 15, 2011

Some one said these words to me the other day:

“It’s easy for you. You are confident being in front of people and speaking in public…”

I thought for a second and then told him the truth about confidence. Which isn’t verbatim, but it went something like this.

Confidence isn’t something people are born with. In fact, it doesn’t really exist. Confident people are those who are prepared to make themselves ‘uncomfortable’. People who are prepared to risk pain and or embarrassment to get something done. They embrace the risk of failure and get so used to failure, that people believe it comes easily for them. They assume it is ‘confidence’. But it’s just that these people accept the tension of being uncomfortable, as well as the potential for failure. And this is the truth about being confident.

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Selling a vision

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 2, 2010

Aj Kulatunga of  Dream Build Inspire Lead asked me via twitter the following question:

Quick advice. #1 Tip for selling a vision ?

So I thought it was worth sharing the answer here because the answer had to be delivered in less than 140 characters.

It’s about their vision, not yours. You need to demonstrate what’s in it for them. Not you. Let them own it. Perceived co creation.

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Perishable goods & websites

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on February 17, 2010

Our websites are no different to perishable goods at a supermarket.  It’s not surprising given how well trained we are to check everything is up to date. From milk to computer hardware we want the latest version available.

So when someone finds your website via Google and the last blog entry is from last year, or the Copyright legal date is 2008, it’s a bit like the milk which got lost at the back of the fridge. We won’t touch it, there’s no limit of options and it is safer to elsewhere.

The good news for web entrepreneurs is this: It’s easy to keep things current. A simple blog entry once a week. A twitter feed in your side bar. Anything which shows your people you’re still in the game. That you have a pulse.

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The Thomas Edison Strategy

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on February 8, 2010

In business, demand is invariably more important than supply. If demand doesn’t exist, supply is irrelevant. If demand exists, supply will eventuate.

I happened upon a quote from one of the greatest inventors / entrepreneurs in history Thomas Edison. Despite the simplicity of the idea, it’s very profound.

“I find out what the world needs, and then I proceed to invent it.”

This is some pretty good advice for any entrepreneur. It’s better to make what you can sell, than try to sell what you can make.

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Don’t take any advice

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on November 30, 2009

While watching Eddie Murphy on Inside The Actors Studio Interview – he said some amazing things which I thought were great for entrepreneurs. When asked by the audience what advice he’d give to any aspiring actors this is what he said:

The advice I would give an actor is not to take any advice from anyone. Because I remember when I was younger, I would ask for advice… because with actors when you make that choice, you know it deep down, and you know in your heart, you know what you wanna do and you know what your abilities are and lots of time advice could screw you up. A great advice story was from Rodney Dangerfield. I did the comic strip in Fort Lauder Dale when I was like 16 or 17 years old and Dangerfield walks in. And the whole room was ‘Oh Dangerfield is here’ – everyone bumped all the comics and no one wanted to go up cause Dangerfield was in the room. And I was so confident back then I was like Mr Dangerfield, I want you to watch my show… I want you to watch.. He said, Oh yeh, I’ll stick around kid. And he watches. And I did my thing, and I was really dirty (with my language) and after the show, he said… ‘Hey kid, you said a lot of bad things there, hey watch your language”. He gave me a big speech about my language and the words I was using, and it really took the wind out of my sails, and I was like WOW, cause I really killed that night…


Then 5 or 6 years later, I’m at the bathroom at Caesars Palace, and Dangerfield comes in and he’s in the urinal right next to me, and I haven’t seen him since that night. I look over and he looks back and said: “Hey, who knew?”

Startup Blog would love to know what advice have you ignored to advantage?

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Simple startup advice – Ben & Jerry’s

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on November 25, 2009

Today I was fortunate enough to meet Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Jerry is not only a smart guy, but a nice one too. I asked him one simple question for entrepreneurs and here’s what he had to say:

(More detailed insight will be the topic of subsequent blog entries)

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Insights for Entreprenuers

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 20, 2009

Yesterday I caught up with Fiona Boyd who is an incredibly successful internet entrepreneur who started and sold www.artshub.com.au

She gave me some great insights into entrepreneurship and here are some of the sound bites I was so compelled with I had to write them down.

“When asking for input into your business or startup, never ask for more that 2 pieces of advice. Ask them for advice which is both perceptual and low cost.”

‘Think about your business in terms of the sequence of events. This is more important than the model itself.”

“The right words, in a certain order, make people do stuff.”

“Free creates lose caboose behavior. Think of your business like a nightclub. Free entry makes us feel as though what’s inside isn’t as valuable as when there is a cover charge.”

‘What can you do to bring the money forward? It might be as easy as asking your customers.”

‘What are the steps to money? How can you reduce the number of steps?”

Absolute gold as far as startup blog is concerned. Fiona has also written a book called ‘Niche Content Millionaire’ which I’m guessing (I haven’t read it yet) is full of awesome ideas…. simply because she has the runs on the board and has done it.

Startup blog says: Only take advice from those who have the done what they espouse.

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Don’t be shit

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 24, 2009

This is brilliant piece of communication from Rory. It just resonates with me, and I’m sure it will with you.

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Thankyou Rory.

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