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October 25, 2012 - Image 44

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-10-25

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It takes more than a good idea to launch a business.
Get advice from those who've done it.

Jackie Headapohl Managing Editor

et's face it. You're tired of
working for somebody else,
the 9 to 5 grind, the corn-
mute, the boss, the annoying
co-workers. You have a great
idea — one that might even
change the world or at least
how people live in it. You've
always dreamed of launching a business
You've read about other people doing it.
Why not you?
Why not you?
"Right now is an amazing time to
start a business," says Josh Linkner,
CEO and managing partner of Detroit
Venture Partners, founder, chairman
and former CEO of ePrize and NY
Times bestselling author of Disciplined


arra Stoller is a former attorney who
wanted to give back to the commu-
nity and had a passion for health and
beauty. She couldn't find organic beauty
products, and figured other women
were looking for
them, too. She
opened Ecology,
an organic beauty
boutique in
Birmingham, with
business partner
Marla Shapiro.
Carra Stoller
"My background
as an attorney
probably smoothed the way," she says of
the process of opening her own busi-
Ecology launched on "super speed."
She first had the idea in February, and
the store launched in December."Defi-
nitely not the norm."
Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs:
"Just do it. Start. Step one is to make a


44 November 2012 I


Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive
Breakthrough Creativity. "People tend
to underestimate the opportunity in
today's economy, but remember, both
Walmart and Microsoft were launched
in a changing economic landscape."
OK, it's unlikely that you'll be the next
Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. But be-
ing Jewish gives you a leg up, according
to Linkner. Entrepreneurship is hard
work. It takes grit, persistence, commit-
ment, time, energy, blood, sweat and .
tears, and resiliency. "As Jews, we have a
rich legacy of resiliency, a rich heritage
of overcoming odds," Linkner says. "We
don't make excuses."
If you do plan to go for your dreams
and launch your own business, no whin-

commitment. Come up with an idea that
you are passionate about, an idea that
ignites a spark inside of you," she says.
"Also, count on everything taking
longer than you anticipate."
Her biggest assumption, she says,
was that she would get support from
the Jewish community. "I thought they
would just flock to my store, but it's still
a struggle," she says. "So I advise people
not to count on one community or de-
mographic for your support. Branch out."
Marketing the business is hard work,
she says."It's a full-time job. But I found
the best marketing to be word-of-mouth
advertising. Give customers a great ex-
perience and they'll share with others."
She got the funding she needed
from a private bank that took the risk
and invested in her dream."But don't
turn away from your ideas because of
money," she says. "If you have the will,
there will be a way!'
Stoller, 35, lives in West Bloomfield
with husband, Andrew, and daughters
Matilda, 4, and Ruby, 7.They belong to
Temple Israel. ,rc


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