Entrepreneurs Shine the Spotlight on 2010

One of my favorite things about this blog is interviewing entrepreneurs. My grandparents were very entrepreneurial, so I’ve always appreciated the strength and spirit required to create—and sustain—your own business.

To help kick off the New Year, I asked several of the entrepreneurs profiled here to give us a peek into their predictions for 2010.

Nicole Bembry, owner of Immortal Dog

Nicole is one of the hardest working people I know. She started her unique pet supply store—featuring fresh baked dog biscuits—in Seattle during a harsh economy and has busted her you-know-what to make it work. In addition to running the business, she makes the dog biscuits herself and has used more than 400 pounds of flour this year!

What does 2010 hold for Nicole and Immortal Dog?

“2010 will be a year of growth in customer base as well as community awareness of Immortal Dog—we will work hard to be involved in more community events and give back to our neighborhood.”

And how will 2010 be different than 2010?

“2010 will be different as it may be the year I cannot do this all by myself any more—I may need to hire someone to help out.”

Tracy Ewell, entrepreneur and makeup artist

You met Tracy here in July, when she shared her journey of building a business in Louisiana—which was lost in Hurricane Katrina—and then rebuilding in Atlanta. The economy took a great toll in Atlanta, so Tracy returned home to New Orleans. Since then, Tracy has been marketing, leveraging social media and drumming up new business.

Here’s what Tracy predicts 2010 has in store for her and her business:

“2010 will be all about freelancing on TV shows, movies, and commercials, working with brides, debutants, and the private clients whom I teach. It will also be the year I possibly start a big business. This time the business will focus on a different audience and be backed by big bucks! It will also be the year I get health insurance and start focusing on my physical self.”

So, Tracy, how will 2010 be different than 2009 for you?

“2009 was all about transitioning myself from what doesn’t work to what does. Learning hard lessons and re-establishing what is important all over again. 2010 will the opportunity to express all that I have let go of and learned from.”

Chris Reams, owner of Skip N Whistle

Like Tracy, Chris also re-built his business after it was lost to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. If there’s only one thing you learn from Chris’ experience as an entrepreneur, it’s that you have to pick yourself up—’cause no one else is going to do the hard work for us.

What does 2010 hold for Chris and Skip N Whistle?

“It holds great promise and validation of all our hard work for the past year. It always takes a little while for a new business to gain the momentum needed to feel full of success, and we are starting to feel proud and happy that we made it through some growing pains. It’s Christmas right now, and sales were great for us. We are hoping that every new customer will stick with us and develop a relationship with Skip N Whistle. We can’t rest on our laurels, now more than ever we need to keep the fat trimmed, streamline everything and plan well. 2010 will be a year for a lot of social networking and alternative media for our business. 2009 was a year of working 15-hours days, every day. 2010 will not be much different, but we will have employees helping us out more; we’re recruiting an army.”

And how will 2010 be different than 2010?

“2010 will be fun. It will be rewarding, thrilling, and not without hic-ups. We’re ready. We’ve been to boot camp, now we’re ready. We’re a little older, and wiser. That’s business for you, better than any school can teach.”

From all the comments here as well as conversations with friends and family, it seems like many people are approaching 2010 with renewed optimism. I certainly am. How will 2010 be different for you? What are you most looking forward to in this New Year?

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