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What's the Big Idea?

Feeling stuck in a rut? Rethink your predicament, make a plan, and succeed.

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This story appears in the February 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Jack felt burnt out--his constant marketing had produced minimal progress and few customers. He tried multiple advertising tactics, including networking and asking for referrals as his business books suggested. However, he was missing his "big idea"--the one formula that would generate numerous qualified leads.

Opening himself up to new ideas, Jack held a brainstorming session with a few professionals he trusted. His colleagues honestly told him of their difficulties referring business to him because they could not understand the benefit his product offered. Instead of traditional advertising, they recommended that he speak at large gatherings of his target market, explain his product and then answer questions about it.

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