The Most Excellent and Creative Business Cards

Image via huffpost.com

Image via huffpost.com

The internet might encourage us to use less and less paper, but business cards are still an important part of business branding and networking. If you don’t have one while you’re at a networking event, it is very likely that the people you talk to will very quickly forget your name and what you do.

Huffpost posted a cool rundown of some of the most creative, memorable business cards that are amazing extensions of the businesses they represent. Check some of these out:

Image via huffpost.com

Image via huffpost.com

This one is for a yoga studio and it rolls up just like a yoga mat. Memorable and interactive!

Image via huffpost.com

Image via huffpost.com

This one is maybe a little too hands on, but it gets the message across.

Image via huffpost.com

Image via huffpost.com

Love this one! It’s more than just a business card, it’s a to-go sized cheese grater that guarantees it won’t be thrown away.

If you’re going to treat yourself to something really nice while you’re making business expenses, it should be a business card that makes you feel really proud of yourself and that you are eager to flaunt. Even if it isn’t your style to do something a little bold like these cards, you can still choose something unique and classy that goes above and beyond the standard white rectangle with black lettering.

Vista Print continues to offer various templates that you can use for free for 250 business cards and you’re only charged for shipping. However, they aren’t too expensive if you want to upgrade to better paper quality and to have them remove their logo from the back.

You can also check out moo.com for more interesting cuts on business cards.

Learn more from Aaron Parkinson by connecting with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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Avoid Becoming An Entrepre-NO

Image via iiemt.org

Image via iiemt.org

Entrepreneurs have a bad reputation sometimes, especially when they try to sell people on ideas that just don’t work. The really bad ones are known for not being particularly genuine as they regurgitate lines they’ve memorized into speeches that they hope will make people want to join their businesses.

The thing is, being an entrepreneur shouldn’t be about working hard persuading people to do anything. It should be about being a self-made business person who cares a great deal about his or her business idea and puts in the work necessary to see it come to life. The reason we have big fast food chains is because an entrepreneur once started with a small idea and then grew it into a huge business. If you look into the origin stories of some of your favorite fast food restaurants, you’ll find that they started as very small businesses from people with very big ideas.

To avoid becoming an entrepre-NO, consider the following:

  • When you talk to people, do you look for opportunities to change the topic and talk about your business?
  • Do you see people as people, or as customers? (Yes, there IS a difference.)
  • Are you genuine when sharing your personal story to others?

As soon as someone gets even the slightest hint that you’re only ever thinking about your business, they are immediately turned off. This is because not all people are in the mindset of meeting others for the sake of putting money into a startup, at least not without knowing who you are first. Ask yourself, “Why should anyone invest in my business?” Before anyone even considers making an investment in your idea, they will want to know you first to gauge whether you’re reliable, trustworthy, and smart.

A great entrepreneur knows that people matter, so in conversation, you want to learn as much about the other person as possible. You can talk about yourself, but you shouldn’t be the sole topic of the conversation. Ask them about what THEY want, what they do, and then see if there is anything you can do to help them before you consider how they can help you.

Find out what motivates others as you speak with them. What drives them to work as hard as they do? What are the things they most care about? What are their values? What you learn from these conversations will teach you a lot about the kind of business owner you should become because your business will be most successful when it does something to improve the lives of others.

In sum, the difference between being an entrepreneur and an entrepre-NO has a lot to do with how effectively you relate to others and whether you approach them with the intention of serving them, or serving yourself.

Learn more from Aaron Parkinson by connecting with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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