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What's the Big Idea?

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

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

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

Opening himself up to new ideas, Jack held a brainstormingsession with a few professionals he trusted. His colleagueshonestly told him of their difficulties referring business to himbecause they could not understand the benefit his product offered.Instead of traditional advertising, they recommended that he speakat large gatherings of his target market, explain his product andthen answer questions about it.

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