March 26, 2017

Boost Your Productivity With Rebecca Howard

There are only so many hours in the day, so making the most of your time is key. As someone who’s been self-employed since the age of 23, Bella Bambino founder Rebecca Howard knows the ins and outs of fostering productivity. Inheriting her late husband’s business put her face to face with plenty of challenges, but with an eye for entrepreneurship and perseverance, she was able to take the company to the next level – watch Rebecca tell her story on MSNBC!

On her journey, she’s learned a few major lessons. First, there’s no magic potion to increase productivity [Read more…]

Top Female Poker Players Making a Living Off Gambling

Women Poker Players Jennicide Jennifer-LeighIn today’s day and age, you can make money off of virtually everything, even poker, if you are good at it. Although in gambling, many often way that the house has the edge, things are a little different with poker. Instead of playing against the casino, you are pitting your skills and luck against other players.

There are some female players who are changing the game – they’ve developed enough skill to become the best in the world and have cashed in hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars after winning tournaments. In fact, those who are at the top of their game, routinely win large sums of money.

Want your own chance to win money playing your favorite casino games? Play video poker games at Royal Vegas Canada. This site is one of the best of its kind on the internet, with generous welcome bonuses, top notch security, quality graphics, and many chances to enter into some poker tourneys to see how you rate against other players.

Interested in learning more? We’ve compiled a list of some of the top female poker players making a living off gambling. [Read more…]

YouTube Marketing Made Easy with Stacia Kennedy March 31st

Stacia Kennedy Video Marketing Pro and Online Marketing MentorBy Stacia Kennedy

Are you looking to get your product or service in front of more people? Have you considered using Video to reach a larger audience?

Did you know that 93% of consumers start their search online?

And wouldn’t it be great if YOUR video was the first thing Google displayed in search results?

In 2006 Google bought out YouTube for 1.65 Billion Dollars, what do you think happens when the biggest internet search engine takes over a company like YouTube? [Read more…]

Experienced Mercer Island Entrepreneur Shares Keys to Success in Business and in Life

Fortune and Freedom by Jim HirshfieldJim Hirshfield brings more than 30 years of prosperous entrepreneurial experience to his new self-help book “Fortune and Freedom: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Success.”

Any budding entrepreneur with questions about a business dilemma or how to balance personal and business life will find some tried-and-true, applicable wisdom in Jim Hirshfield’s new book, “Fortune and Freedom: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Success” (ISBN 9780979812705, Millennium Ventures Press, 2008). Hirshfield’s qualifications include an MBA from Harvard and 26 years experience as the CEO of a cable company he founded.

“Fortune and Freedom” outshines the myriad of other available [Read more…]

10 Great Examples of Successful Business Partnerships

Entrepreneurship is the new black! It seems that there has never been a better time to start a business. Since 2011 annual start-up rates have increased from 440,600 in 2011 to a record-breaking 581,173 last year, according to the think tank Centre for Entrepreneurs. Next year it is anticipated this number will exceed 600,000! However, when people talk about successful entrepreneurs, the picture of a single (usually male) person is the image which comes into most people’s minds, with Virgin, Topshop and others taking the lion’s share of references.

Our research has shown that many of the businesses which make it are actually founded by more than one person and support the adage that two heads are often better than one! After all, with some of the biggest companies in the world (Google, Microsoft and Apple) starting up with more than one founder, more and more entrepreneurs have seen first hand what could be gained from joining forces with another like-minded entrepreneur and are choosing to use this to their advantage.

But, don’t simply take our word for it; here we list 10 successful business partnerships that prove it true. Living proof that partnerships can lead to profits!


NotOnTheHighStreet was founded by two award-winning entrepreneurs, Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish. The duo wanted to find the most original items from the best creative small businesses and bring them together in one place, making it easy for people to browse and buy. Founded in 2006 on a kitchen table, NotOnTheHighStreet has since become one the fastest growing e-commerce businesses in the UK.

Nearly ten years later, the company is a huge success with thousands of small businesses on board, a team of over 200 people and sales of over £100m.

Not only have they helped themselves, but the two women have also helped many other entrepreneurs, by providing them with a platform to sell their products, many who have gone on to generate millions in turnover themselves. With a shared love of craft, a great friendship and the same morals, these two women are clearly a great business partnership.

2. Social Chain

The two founders of Social Chain, Steve Bartlett and Dom McGregor, both started out working with different online student communities. Steve had created the online community Wallpark and Dom ran the popular Student Problems page on Twitter. When the two met they became fast friends and then later business partners.

They are now described as a leading a ‘group of twenty-somethings in Manchester taking over Twitter in Britain’ all whilst making hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process.

With similar backgrounds, and laid back personalities (they came up with their business idea under a palm tree in Thailand!), it was obvious from back then that these two would succeed in making a great business partnership. The duo founded Social Chain in 2014 and proved us right as Social Chain has now become the UK’s largest Influencer Marketing Agency.

3. Pret A Manger

Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe, the two founders of Pret A Manger, worked together on the business for over two decades and recently made themselves at least £50m each after selling the business. The revolutionary business changed the eating habits of millions of office workers across the country after the two stumbled on the idea when they attempted to find a decent place to grab lunch on their break. They spent five years working on the formula together and aren’t the lovers of crayfish and rocket sandwiches just glad that they did!

With the same industry background, once the duo found this gap in the market, they were a force to be reckoned with.

Co-founder Metcalfe has since taken the Pret A Manger formula to start up a new chain of restaurants, Itsuwhich has also become a huge success.

4. WhatsApp

Former colleagues and friends, Brian Acton and Jan Koum left Yahoo to travel around South America. The WhatsApp idea, initiated by Kokum, gained inspiration from the old iPhone App Store. With many teething problems in the beginning, Kokum was close to giving up, but Acton was always there to encourage him to continue. Acton also used his strengths to persuade 5 ex colleague to invest in the business.

WhatsApp now has a user base of over 900 million. Obviously, the duo has different personal strengths, but playing to these is a winning combination. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for a whopping $16 billion.

5. Mumsnet

Internet phenomenon Mumsnet was founded by two friends, Carrie Longton and Justine Roberts. With humble beginnings, the website started from a back bedroom over ten years ago and has since become one of the most influential forums in the world.

In fact, Mumsnet is the UK’s biggest network for parents, generating over 70 million page views per month.

Many wouldn’t mix business with friendship, but these two took the risk and it has definitely paid off. Both women have stressed the importance of having the right work life balance and clearly this is a key part of their success.

6. Carphone Warehouse

Old school friends Sir Charles Dunstone and David Ross founded Carphone Warehouse back in 1989. Sir Charles Dunstone, invested £6,000 of his own savings and began selling mobile phones from his flat in London.

Now the company has more than 2,400 stores across Europe, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and both founders have become billionaires.

Back in 1989, both men shared a vision of expanding the mobile phone from its current niche market to the mass market. Thanks to this forward thinking from Dunstone and Ross, mobile phones have become an essential part of our lives whereas, previously mobile phones were only for rich businessmen.

7. Yoomoo

The strongest business partnerships are sometimes those not of blood, but the bond of marriage, as is the case with husband and wife team Daniel and Amanda Gestetner. These two stumbled on their business idea on a trip to the US in 2009. The couple saw for themselves how popular frozen yogurt was across the pond and decided to bring the idea back home with them.

Harrods clearly thought the couple were on to something and allowed them to open the first Yoomoo bar in their store. Yoomoo has since become the number one frozen yogurt brand in the UK.

With a shared desire to succeed, their business partnership has no doubt been strengthened by their great personal relationship.

8. Marketing Runners

The fast growing start-up Marketing Runners was founded by two passionate people who have a range of successful business interests and by combining their skills, the two founders wanted to work together to see what they could achieve.

Derin Cag, founder of successful business platform Richtopia and Tim Campbell MBE, first ever winner of BBC The Apprentice hosted by Lord Sugar and founder of Bright Ideas Trust must be pretty pleased with their joint venture, as in a relatively short space of time, Marketing Runners has become a player in the digital marketing, public relations and creative space assisting brands and personalities with the easiest way to generate leads and raise their profile.

9. Bremont

Most family members couldn’t think of anything worse than working with each other, but these siblings have a great business partnership. Bremont founders brothers Nick and Giles were spurred on to sell watches after the death of their father. The two inherited some practical mechanical experience from their father and we’re sure he is incredibly proud of the success they have achieved and who wouldn’t be?

The duo have recently won many awards including, Breakthrough Brand and Watch Brand of the Year.

10. Rocket Internet

Our last company has to be Rocket Internet. Founded in 2007 by three brothers: Marc, Oliver and Alexander Samwer, who all were infatuated with American tech firms, the company has gone from strength to strength and now employs over 30,000 people.

Oliver is considered the driving force behind the company, with full support from both of his brothers. With their productive working relationship, it is no surprise that these brothers have become successful members of the exclusive billionaires club.

In Conclusion

Our research has shown that starting and growing a business could be an incredibly arduous and lonely task, as most people are doing the exact opposite by working hard for others and following someone else’s direction. The 10 great examples of successful business partnerships above show how, through those difficult periods of start-up and growth, having someone who can support, compliment and challenge you goes a big way to creating that formula for business success.

Why Entrepreneurs Aren’t Meeting Their Full Potential

Don’t Let These Seven Things Stop You from Achieving Your Full Potential

By Akshay Nanavati
You’ve finally decided to take the plunge into the wonderful world of entrepreneurship. Congratulations! Of course, I know you want to do your absolute best. As you embrace your new resolve to succeed, keep in mind that there will always be challenges along the way. Shared herein are seven things that can keep you from reaching your full potential; that’s if you allow them to. But first, you must be aware of them. And here they are:

(1) Unwillingness to Learn – Valuable life lessons often come wrapped in a variety of packages. Everyone may not look the same as you or have the same thought processes as you, yet their experiences could add value to where you aspire to go. It will be important to keep an open mind so that you can recognize the wisdom of good counsel when you see and hear it.
(2) Not Standing Up For Yourself – If you don’t stand up for yourself, why should anyone else? Take a moment to self-reflect and identify everything that makes you special. In so doing, you’ll discover that there is no need to be ashamed of your ambition or potential. Actually, it will inspire others to recognize and celebrate you as well.
(3) Pleasing Everyone at Once – Seeking to please everyone all at the same time can be more frustrating than you probably will desire. The energy exerted in trying could be redirected to where your focus should be in the first place: reaching your goals. Make a determination to, first and foremost, be true to yourself. Then your desire should be to please the ones who really matter.
(4) Ignoring Your Gut – Most times, your gut instincts won’t lead you wrong. One of the greatest disappointments in life is realizing you should have followed your “first mind” after seeing the subsequent detriment of not doing so. There’s nothing wrong with heeding that inner voice. Plus, it helps fortify your efforts to take authority and do things in a manner that you believe is best.
(5) Low Standards – “There’s nothing too good for me” is a wonderful outlook to have. You should never feel like you have to settle for less than the best. And if you’re worried that you may miss the mark, you have already missed the point. Keep in mind that missing the mark is not a problem; aiming too low most certainly is.
(6) Always Looking Ahead – If you fail to plan, you also plan to fail. It’s just that simple. Those who intend to get ahead in life have intentions to do so on purpose. You have to be able to see the big picture and then be willing to have a plan to bring to the vision to life. Of course, life is full of uncertainties. But your task as an entrepreneur – which, by the way, means “risk taker” – will be to create a tangible plan that will help you move forward.
(7) Afraid To Be Yourself – The best person you could ever seek to be is you! Appreciate those unique and admirable qualities that make you the awesome person that you are. Accepting and loving yourself can help you to become your biggest cheerleader.
Now that I have shared these seven factors, internalize them and make them work for you. There is a world of opportunity out there waiting just for you!

EY announces Finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 in the Pacific Northwest

EY today announced the finalists for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s great to see a couple of Bellevue-based companies on the list:  Limeaid and Smartsheet.  It would be nice to see one of them win it all. after Bellevue-based businesses were snubbed out of the competition last year.

The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.  These business leaders were selected by a panel of independent judges.  Award winners will be announced at a special gala on June 5, 2015 at Sheraton Seattle Hotel.  To find out more about the Pacific Northwest program please visit  #EOYPNW.

The finalists are:

Avalara, Inc. | Scott McFarlane, Co-Founder & CEO | Bainbridge Island, WA

Avvo | Mark Britton, Founder & CEO | Seattle, WA

barre3 | Sadie Lincoln, Founder & Owner | Portland, OR

Blink UX | Karen Clark Cole, CEO | Seattle, WA

Context Relevant | Stephen Purpura, Founder & CEO | Seattle, WA

Dave’s Killer Bread | John Tucker, CEO | Milwaukie, OR

DiscoverOrg | Henry Schuck, CEO | Vancouver, WA

EagleView Technologies | Chris Barrow, President & CEO | Bothell, WA

ExtraHop Networks | Jesse Rothstein, Co-Founder & CEO; Raja Mukerji, Co-Founder & President | Seattle, WA

Hydro Flask | Scott Allan, President & CEO | Bend, OR

Life Flight Network | Michael Griffiths, CEO | Aurora, OR

Limeade | Henry Albrecht, CEO | Bellevue, WA | Jonathan Sposato, CEO | Seattle, WA

PitchBook | John Gabbert, Founder & CEO | Seattle, WA

SET Creative | Sabina Teshler, Owner & CEO | Portland, OR

SmartRG | Jeff McInnis, President & CEO | Vancouver, WA

Smartsheet | Mark Mader, President & CEO | Bellevue, WA

Treehouse | Ryan Carson, Co-Founder & CEO | Portland, OR

Trupanion | Darryl Rawlings, CEO | Seattle, WA

TUNE | Lucas Brown, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer; Lee Brown, Co-Founder & Chief Architect | Seattle, WA

ZoomCare | Dave Sanders, M.D., CEO | Hillsboro, OR

Now in its 29th year, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in over 145 cities in 60 countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year national program.  Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall National Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 14, 2015. The US Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Monaco, June 2016. Additionally, venture-backed companies that win an Entrepreneur Of The Year Award regionally are also eligible for the Venture Capital Award of Excellence at the national level. The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are sponsored nationally by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America.  In the Pacific Northwest, sponsors also include Merrill Datasite, Union Bank and Scherzer International.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

About EY’s Strategic Growth Markets practice
EY’s Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary teams of elite professionals provide perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at, or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, an EY member firm serving clients in the US.