Inside LaunchStreet business podcast innovation podcast JJ Ramberg

Successful Entrepreneurs Believe in Themselves

You know, being entrepreneurial and growing a business is tough work. It got me thinking, what are those either big mistakes or smart decisions entrepreneurs make time and time again? I mean, we aren’t reinventing the wheel every time right? With that question, I brought JJ Ramberg onto Inside LaunchStreet. You probably already know who she is… host of MSNBC’s “Your Business,” which focuses on business and entrepreneurship and she is the founder of She is also author of the best-selling book It’s Your Business – 183 Tips That Will Transform Your Small Business. She also recently launched a podcast Been There. Built That, where she interviewed leaders of billion-dollar businesses. We have a great conversation about the challenges small businesses face today, and how to break through the clutter. She’s helped thousands of businesses on her show and we find out some of the stories that even with all that experience surprised her.


Listen now to this episode on Inside LaunchStreet:


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Key Takeaways:

[1:58] You might be surprised to learn that JJ read the complete series of Game of Thrones before it was on HBO.

[2:55] JJ started Goodshop the same time she began appearing on MSNBC’S Your Business. She noticed that she was experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. She learned that successful people stay confident even in the low lows.

[4:17] How do you stay confident in the low lows? JJ finds that the common threads among successful entrepreneurs are that they believe in themselves and are willing to take the risk. They weigh the risk and feel like it’s riskier not to take the risk.

[6:50] Tamara and JJ discuss that as your business gets larger, the risk gets bigger.

[8:46] JJ shares some of the challenges small business are currently facing.

[10:35] Tamara and JJ discuss the need for patents vs. proceeding to launch without a patent.

[11:40] JJ shares her top innovation advice for small businesses. It is that innovators should think about product innovation as process innovation. Take a good look at how everything is working as a company. First, strive for simplicity. Second, make sure that everyone understands company goals.

[13:54] JJ and Tamara talk about the impact of letting the wrong person linger. Sometimes, your A players on one level, are not your A players on another level. JJ shares that straight out of graduate school, she worked for She was the head of marketing and business development. As the company grew, she didn’t have the experience to run this growing department. The company had to hire someone that was more experienced to meet the increased demand for marketing and development.

[16:33] How do you set goals in a way that the entire company understands? It’s a conversation, repetition over and over. You must talk about what you are doing today and how it fits in with the goals.

[18:21] What does it take to break through the innovation noise?

[23:18] JJ talks about why innovation needs to extend beyond product development and why the focus needs to be on the business approach. She shares a story about a plumbing company. Their competitive advantage is the way they provide the service. JJ shares that Zappos has changed the customers shopping experience.

[24:52] JJ’s podcast, Been There, Built That, has interviewed CEOs from billion dollar companies. She has found that the founders all have one thing in common. They believe in themselves. John Foley, founder of Peloton, talked with JJ and said, ‘if it were all to fall apart, would my life really be that bad?’

[29:34] Connect with JJ at Goodshop and on Your Business. Buy JJ’s new book The Startup Club: The Big Idea, by JJ Ramberg, Melanie Staggs, and S. Taylor.

[31:42] JJ is currently excited to launch her website and is excited about her recent book release for entrepreneurial teens.

[32:20] Listen in to find out if now is a good time to start a business.

[33:10] JJ’s final piece of advice to LaunchStreet listeners is to find a trusted team of people that can give you advice. You can shortcut your learning curve if you ask questions. She believes that most people don’t mind sharing things they have learned.

[36:56] Tamara shares her ‘a-ha’ moment of this episode. It’s that it’s important to identify if it’s riskier to innovate or riskier not to do it. She challenges listeners to stop and think about the risks of not moving forward with your innovation.



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