Feedback 10/03

Letters from our readers
8 min read

This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Great Job, Coach!
I just read your recent article in this month's issue, "I Did It My Way" ("Success Coach," August). Very informative and interesting. I am 52 years young and have never owned a . . . yet. I have recently invented a piece of training equipment for players. I am nervously working toward starting my own business that will manufacture and sell this equipment directly to football teams.

Everyone around me, friends and family, looks at me with a lot of skepticism and little support. They don't come out and say it, but I know they are thinking there's no way in hell I am going to pull this off. But I know I will. I am taking baby steps each and every day. Each day I have a task to complete that adds to the final goal.

I will buy Wolter's book and read it from cover to cover. Thanks for sharing his advice with us readers.

Larry Murphy
Via e-mail

I love Romanus Wolter's work. He really gets it, and he's so inspiring. Thank you for sharing his passion with the rest of us as we climb up that hill.

My [own] passions are leading me into my own cookbook and TV show, Gourmates. I was feeling low after a long divorce, and I kind of lost my get-go, but after reading a few of Wolter's columns, I've been motivated again. Keep it coming!

Ava Ashley

I [have just] read Romanus Wolter's fabulous "Success Coach" column in Entrepreneur. Well done! Where can I get a copy of his book quickly?

Chris Cavanagh
Beverly Hills Television

Editor's note: Romanus Wolter's book, Kick Start Your Dream Business (Ten Speed Press), is available on

Muzak to Our Ears
It was refreshing to read your July "Marketing Buzz" column [on the use of in retail environments]. We're a record label that specializes in selling music to the gift industry in what we call the "play and sell" market.

The struggle we have in selling our music to wholesale buyers is that many do not want slow music playing because they say it puts employees to sleep! We politely inform them the CDs we offer that feature slow music are actually bestsellers at our consumer interactive listening stations. These stations allow the consumer to sample the music directly and not just hear what is playing overhead. We have released more up-tempo titles due to this "revolt" [against] slow music, and though we have success placing these CDs in retail, reorders do not happen as quickly. We are, however, finding much more success in the spa market, where the whole point is to slow down.

Your article is something we've known all along, but it's hard to convince store owners that the music they play is there for more than just keeping their employees awake!

Christopher Peacock
Pure & Simple Music Inc.
Eastsound, Washington

I wanted to thank you for the article on "Mood Music" ("Marketing Buzz," July). The company I work for, Muzak, invented the concept and is still going strong 80 years later as the leading audio-branding company, with such high-profile clients as Crate & Barrel, Gap and Peet's Coffee.

Check out for more information. I can't wait to use this article when talking to prospective clients! Thanks again.

Erin Coull
Account Executive
Muzak of Northern California
San Francisco

Hello, Hobby
I found the article "You Can Make Millions From Your Hobby (Fun Money)" in the April issue very interesting. My husband and I were able to turn our hobby into our business about five years ago. The best part is, we enjoy our work every day, and we are literally able to take our children to work with us.

Almost by accident, we started publishing a magazine called the Grand Scales Quarterly (, which reports on Grand Scale (or riding) railways around the world. We have also purchased a second magazine, the 7+RAILROADER ( We have also produced two videos dedicated to this niche, with more to come.

One of the most appealing aspects of our business is the annual tour we host. In 2002, we took U.S. rail fans on a 10-day tour of the Grand Scale railways in the United Kingdom. What a wonderful time we had! This October, we will also be hosting our second Grand Scale Convention. The convention is a great way for people interested in the hobby to meet and visit with others. We have vendors and guest speakers available. Everyone has a great time in a relaxed atmosphere. And everyone gets to play trains.

So yes, one can make a living with their hobby. And, like us, you can make wonderful friends and have a great time. Plus, with our business, we spend much more time with our children, and they are literally seeing the world with us. All in all, a great way of life. I would recommend it to anyone!

Susan Robinson
Marketing director/Associate editor
Robinson & Associates
Red Bluff, California

Plenty to Go Around
I've just read the article "Idea Overload" in your Expert Center ( I, too, suffer from the same mental disease! My first thought was maybe to publish a book or Web site of all those crazy, but probably viable, business ideas, and/or to consult with people to help them come up with a business idea that suits them. That way, we idea people can continue to use our abilities to do the opportunity-spotting we enjoy so much!

The problem is, when you keep getting ideas on top of ideas, every day, year after year, the thought of following just one of them is too much to bear. Even in the process of planning and researching one idea, more ideas just keep on coming! Personally, I'd rather enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that my ideas have helped someone else find purpose, fulfillment and success.

Leanne Bandte
Canberra, Australia

Keep on Movin'
Great article ("Bootstrapping Your Start-Up," October 2002 I like to read articles like yours for reassurance, especially when I'm so tired, I can't see straight. I found your words to be very energizing. I've been on my own for over a year now, and no one could make me turn back now! Keep up the good work!

Mimi Jackson
As You Wish Custom Clothing
New York City

Helping Hand
I just wanted to say how much I enjoy the offline/online editions of your magazine. I'd like to thank you and your staff for providing information I've found useful in becoming a successful entrepreneur. Your magazine has played a large part in my success throughout the years-in high school, I would read it at the library in my free time while my friends were out having a good time. Now I'm going to be featured in a national online magazine as an entrepreneur to watch. I'll be the first minority, the youngest and the only person to sell a company under the age of 25 that the magazine has ever spotlighted.

As a young and successful entrepreneur, I feel there are not enough quality resources on which people such as myself can depend to effectively start a business as well as continue to operate a company through good and bad times. To build a strong foundation, you need the proper tools-the tools that allow you to make informed decisions, the right decisions.

With the in a slump and many business owners struggling, now more than ever, we have to dig deep within ourselves and rediscover that inspiration that first motivated us to take the risk of owning a business. That is why many of us, including myself, are truly thankful for your magazine's contributions to uplifting our spirits and allowing us [to get] a glimpse into other people's lives as they reap success and also failure. This glimpse offers us a great opportunity to learn, react and adjust to the ever-changing world of . Thank you for your guidance.

Allan Mooney
Founder and CEO

Correction: The phone number for Twice Is Nice Encore Bridal Creations ("Smart Ideas," September) is (704) 509-0702.

In "Where's Big Brother?" ("Smarts," July), a quote attributed to Martin Froomkin, a law professor at the University of South Florida, should have been attributed to Michael Froomkin, a law professor at the University of Miami School of Law.

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