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Janska’s outerwear

JANSKA PRODUCES STYLISH WOMEN’S WEAR and is based here in Colorado.  Jan Erickson started this venture 2003 based on an experience she had with a friend who was incapacitated at the time.

Jan’s friend was a talented, respected woman.  But when dressed in a hospital gown, her self-esteem took a hard hit.  More importantly, others in the facility treated her as more of a nameless patient than a vibrant individual.

Jan had the idea to develop a line of wear which was accessible to those with limited mobility, while also being incredibly comforting and stylish.

Janska was born.

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EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE SUPPORTERS.  SupporterHumans are social beings, and we have a fundamental need to be encouraged, even to look good in front of others.

In business this can be particularly difficult.  A company is a bit of a faceless entity, so people aren’t as accustomed to stating things in a polite way like they would to someone’s face.

Quite likely, you’re awash in a sea of criticism.

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THERE’S A WELL WORN STATISTIC below-257882_640which states that 95% of businesses fail in five years.  Or something like that.

I’m not even going to bother looking it up, because it doesn’t matter.

This is just a way to discourage people, to make me somehow feel better than you because I was able to land a real job while you’re … frittering your life away trying to do that “start your own business thing.”

It’s not real.

And it doesn’t matter.

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MANY OF US STRUGGLE to keep the energy going.  knight-321443_640Running a business is hard work!

It can be a deep test of character.

I’ve found that persistence is partially an innate characteristic, but is also a skill which can be intentionally developed.

I was amazed (and grateful!) to discover that my 2-year-old’s weakness was having the attention span of a goldfish.  Read the rest of this entry »

OUR COMMUNITIES ARE DIVIDED by languages and cultures.  ShareLingo is a new company that’s taking this challenge head on.

ShareLingo 1There are a lot of language education programs and tools out there.  You can purchase programs for your PC, connect with online resources, and take classes at school.

ShareLingo has a different approach:  To focus on co-learning, forming community and personal friendships.

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UNITE FOR LITERACY Unite for Literacyis a great organization that makes books available to children in the United States and around the globe. They provide no-cost reading material to emergent readers – both young kids and those learning a second or third language.

A great concept for a charitable non-profit, right? Sure. But these folks have a unique for-profit business model that’s part of an emerging trend in companies which do good while making money.

Michael McGuffeeI had a chance to talk this week with Unite for Literacy’s CEO, Michael McGuffee. He, Mark Condon and Kurt Hoeven started this company a couple of years ago, based on 20 years of powerful experience working with families who live on Native American reservations. They saw firsthand what happens when kids lack a connection to written language, whether English or their mother tongue.

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BILL TRACK 50 bill track 50 logois a great little company focused on helping people to be better integrated with what’s going on in our government.

It’s a straightforward idea:  There’s loads of public information about what’s going on in legislative action, and people need to have a simple way to track it, pull information together, and use it for their own decision making.

Wait a sec:  All this information is publicly available, right?  Why would anybody pay to get it?

That’s a darned good question.

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YOU WhitewaterHAVE A POWERFUL VISION:  You’re going to save the natural river with your ice cream business.  You’re putting together your plan, things are pulling together, but then you have a nagging feeling.

You’re losing sight of your vision.

Sure, the passion’s still there, but you’ve realized that you’re spending the bulk of your time just doing all the logistical stuff.  Health department requirements, suppliers, inventory, opening a new location, advertising … it’s pretty overwhelming.

How are you ever going to have time to save the river?

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