Inspiration & AdviceOur 19 Favorite Tips from Oregon Entrepreneurs in 2014

Entrepreneurs get plenty of advice, and not all of it is good advice. That said, it’s always helpful to hear from those who have been in the trenches. And that’s part of what OEN is all about—helping entrepreneurs talk to one another, inspire one another, and share their battle scars.

We combed through a year’s worth of video footage, blog posts, and tweets to share with you our 19 favorite tips from our entrepreneurial community in 2014. Budding entrepreneurs, take note!

Sean Thorne of Hallspot

“Problems aren’t problems, they are opportunities to improve. In the course of a day, 10-100 things go wrong. If we were to get depressed 100 times a day, that wouldn’t be productive.”
– Sean Thorne, Hallspot

Jim Plymale of Clinicient

“Coach more. Shoot Less.”
– Jim Plymale, Clinicient


Junea Rocha

“Know your product better than anyone else. Understand how the consumer is buying it, understand how your business is structured, and where your margins are.”
– Junea Rocha, Brazi Bites

David Yudkin of Hotlips

“You have to have a plan to scale up. If you just employ yourself you’ll be working your butt off for a long time.”
– David Yudkin, HOTLIPS

Franklin Jones of B-line

“Look for that intersection where what you believe in meets what your community is looking for.”
– Franklin Jones, B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery

Kim Malek of Salt & Straw

“Don’t take advice! Listen to other’s experiences but create your own path forward.”
– Kim Malek, Salt & Straw

Greg Bell of Water the Bamboo

“Part of the reason people help me is because I ask. Be willing to ask for help, be willing to help others.”
– Greg Bell, Water the Bamboo

Peter Herring of trovi

“Be in business for a purpose, not for money – money is a by-product of purpose.”
– Peter Herring, trovi

Devin and Gary Fleenor of Howling Sun

“Brand, brand, and oh yeah… branding. There are many great products out there, but what really catches the consumer’s imagination is branding. A great product will keep them coming back.”
– Gary & Devin Fleenor, Howling Sun

Cory Carman of Carman Ranch

“It’s not the idea that’s brilliant, it’s the implementation that’s brilliant.”
– Cory Carman, Carman Ranch

Matt Murphy of Proper Course

“Ideas are easy. Execution is difficult. Grow a thick skin and stick with it.”
– Matt Murphy, Proper Course Co.

Tito Chowdhury of FashioNXT

“Your calling doesn’t always come to you from the sky. Get involved, try different things. Always put yourself in situations that challenge you. “
– Tito Chowdhury, FashioNXT

Emma McIlroy of Wildfang

“Find a way over, under, around, and through the walls. Quitting is not an option.”
– Emma Mcilroy, Wildfang

Scotty Iseri of FUNDA

“Listen twice as much as you speak, and sort out the good from the bad afterwards.”
– Scotty Iseri, FUNDA

Scott Fouser of Gruntworks

“Be constantly aware of your blind spots. It’s super easy to drink your own Kool-Aid. Knowing where your gaps are will prevent you from making the big mistakes.”
– Scott Fouser, Gruntworks

Balki Kodarapu of Dreampath

“Delivering measurable value to your customers is a top priority before anything else—and that includes raising outside capital.”
– Balki Kodarapu, Dreampath

Tyson Gillard of The Outdoor Project

“You are only as strong as the rest of your team, so you better have a great team.”
– Tyson Gillard, The Outdoor Project

Aaron Killgore of Live Forest Farms

“Have a complete business plan with financial projections ready and money in your pocket before you launch. That’s it.”
– Aaron Killgore, Live Forest Farms

Pierce Louis of Dirthugger“There are so many opportunities, and it’s tempting to chase them all, but you have to stay focused on your core. What do you do, what customers do you serve, and how do you make money?”
– Pierce Louis, Dirthugger

What’s your number one piece of advice for a budding entrepreneur?

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