Rich Sloan

Rich Sloan is chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation and host of StartupNation podcasts. He is also co-author of the acclaimed how-to book, StartupNation: America's Leading Entrepreneurial Experts Reveal the Secrets to Building a Blockbuster Business. Rich encourages you to make a comment under his blog posts or send him a personal message at member nickname, "Rich," here at StartupNation.

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Continuing on the theme of hallmarks of true entrepreneurs, boldness is certainly one among them.

But there’s "smart boldness," and there’s just plain "stupid."

An example of smart?

Take Tina Norris, creator of Foot Petals, a company that sells patented shoe pad inserts for women’s dress shoes. They’re basically a super premium, improved version of the standard pads you’d find at the drug store.

Recently, as she described on StartupNation Radio, she decided to take a bold step (pun intended), to add a new product line of premium pads for men’s shoes.

It’s a whole new customer, and maybe even new retail outlets, but she understands the product, the manufacturing, the distribution process, the branding, has the customer service in place, and can build on all her great press in the women’s fashion arena/celebrity circles. That’s a smart risk and a good kind of boldness.

Now let’s look at an example of just plain stupid.

Check out this link to a product idea that went the way of the dinosaurs. I notice if you move your mouse back and forth really quick, like sanding with sandpaper, it causes an extreme acid-induced psychedelic experience:

Smart boldness, the trait of successful entrepreneurs, involves really thinking things through, creating a rationale, calculating the risks and making sure you’re building on strengths and likelihoods. "Stupid", on the other hand, is just, well, check out that link…

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