Interviewing You: the Entrepreneur

Published on: December 5, 2007 |Tags: , | Categories: Articles

Interviewing You: the Entrepreneur

I have been preparing questions for a series of upcoming interviews with a few budding and successful entrepreneurs. As I was chatting with Jarkko on IM, he asked: “Are you sending the questions out to entrepreneurs or posting them on your blog for visitors to answer?”

I suddenly realized, we have almost 500 subscribers and many of you are indy or run companies and blog as well. If you ask me, your answers are definitely going to be way more interesting than anyone I line up.

So, I challenge you!

Answer the questions I wrote below on your own blog. Come up with your own interesting question you wish you could ask other entrepreneurs. Explore the journey from technician to entrepreneur. Then link back here and comment so we can all go check it out.

I will compile a complete list of the respondents and do a brief promo of the top 10 most interesting responses! Peter & I will pick one lucky person with our favorite interview and one person who came up with the best original question not on our list and buy you each one book from my personal reading list.

The Interview

What’s your personal mission statement?

What’s the biggest mess you’ve dealt with this year?

What current entrepreneurial efforts consume your time?

Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? When do you get most excited?

Boxers or Briefs? or as Naomi says, Bikini or Thong, duh?!?

What do you do when you’re not [designing | programming | managing | writing | toiling for the wo/man]?

What one thing made the biggest difference when getting started?

What’s your exit strategy?

What is the last thing that made you belly laugh?

Have you ever been in business before?

At what point do you consider yourself successful?

What was your first experience with a computer?

Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates in a jello wrestling match, where’s your money?

Where do you do your best thinking?

What does your average daily work / life balance look like? How much time do you work, play and sleep?

If I could introduce you to anyone, who would it be?

What stops you from giving up when you are frustrated?

If Chuck Norris and Steven Hawking had a baby (hey it’s my damn interview), would you vote for her for president?

Alrighty then, because wordpress is being lame, I am going to list the blogs that have posted responses:

Free Promo, Free Books, and Free Insight


Shane and Peter Challenging Entrepreneurs to an Interview, Part 2

Bikini or Thong: My Response To The Challenge

Boxers or Briefs?

Shane & Peter interview the titans…and me

Interviewing me … the Entrepreneur

The Job Interview that Never Was

An Interview with Me

Interviewing Myself for Shane & Peter

Boxers Or Briefs — and other less important questions

Shane and Peter’s Interview

Few Entry, None Exit Strategy

Interview yourself: Shane

Interviewing myself .. who is apparently an entrepreneur

Shane and Peter’s Interview

An Entrepreneurial Self Portrait

I thought I was done with interviews

My Self Interview

Shane & Peter are My Homeboyz

The Interview

Interview with an Entrepreneur

Interviewing Yourself: Me (Joshua Clanton)

Interview Yourself: Eric Davis

The Only Interview that Matters

Interview Yourself: WAH(web)Mommy

Interviewing Myself as an Entrepreneur

Interview yourself: Lodewijk

Interviewing You

100 Responses to Interviewing You: the Entrepreneur

  1. ses5909 says

    Looks fun, count me in. I really look forward to reading the answers.

  2. Jarkko Laine says

    Those are some great questions. I’ll make sure to devote one post this or next week to answer them too :)

    Looking forward to hearing what others have to say about these questions. And of course also your “official” interviewees.

  3. James Chartrand - JCM Enterprises says

    I’m in. Upcoming in a day or two.

  4. Pingback: Web Content Writer Tips from JCM Enterprises » Blog Archive » Free Promo, Free Books, and Free Insight

  5. James Chartrand - JCM Enterprises says

    Uh, make that an hour or two…

    Enjoy the read:

    Jamie’s shot at free books and fame.

  6. shane says

    I can’t wait to see everyone’s response! Thanks Jamie for being the first!

  7. Charlie // Ignite Lving says

    Oh hell yeah. I’m all over this one. Thanks, Shane! Perfect for a little holiday goofiness.

  8. Pingback: Me. «

  9. Timothy Coote says

    Mine’s up. It’s a cool idea and I had fun talking about my favorite subject (me!).

  10. shane says

    Timothy – funny response and great quesiton!

    If you had the choice of making a million dollars by selling to a million people for a buck or selling to a hundred people for ten thousand dollars each which would you choose?

    I’m not sure – I can see powerful arguments for both. After all, I believe that the amount of money someone imparts ot you is in direct proportion to the impact you are having on their life. So the 10k appeals to me in that way.

    On the other hand, imagine reaching a million people, even in the dollar way. I mean, think of all those things that cost less that a dollar that seriously improves your life. Like that little plastic thing on the end of our shoe lace. Life was so frustrating before that. Or velcro.

    oh and regarding the work / play balance. I bow down to a truly wise response!!!

    You kick ass man. Good post.

  11. Pingback: Web Content Writer Tips from JCM Enterprises » Blog Archive » Shane and Peter Challenging Entrepreneurs to an Interview, Part 2

  12. James says

    @ Tim – good one. Answer up.

  13. Lodewijkvdb says

    Those are great questions! Count me in too!

    I’m an entrepreneur (how can you not be if you’re one?) without my own company at the moment. But in January that will change :)

  14. Lodewijkvdb says

    Totally offtopic, but I just realized you have a funny bug in your comments :)

    Last month I was wondering why every comment was timed at 11 minutes past the hour…and now it’s 12 minutes. That made me scroll back to October, and there’s it’s 10 minutes ;)

    Solution: m -> i
    mail me if you need help :)

  15. Timothy Coote says

    Thanks James.

  16. Jonathan Fields says

    Hey Shane,

    Here you go, my friend.

    Jonathan’s profoundly entrepreneurial ramblings

    PS – extra bonus points if you can guess which question I answered, “hair” to, without even looking!

  17. shane says

    Harry – that client you both mentioned sounds like a crazy trial. Freelance survivor, holly cow – I sympathize! (want to write a guest post about it?)

    Johnathan you’ve got your entrepreneurial guns blazing wide open (and is running a frequently digged blog to boot):

    1. Growing my yoga center, Sonic Yoga NYC
    2. Finishing a book on careers for Random House
    3. Launching my Awake At The Wheel blog
    4. Marketing & direct-response copywriting through my company, Vibe Creative
    5. Preparing to launch a series of entrepreneurship and career-change trainings and products, both live and online
    6. Making sure I am having fun along the way!

  18. Harrison McLeod - JCM Enterprises says

    Wow, I’m flattered. Sure, I’d like to guest post. Thanks, Shane!

  19. Jarkko Laine says

    Okay, my post is out too. I was going to go to bed, but thought that I’d just take a brief look at the questions before that… That brief look turned into an hour of writing, and now it’s 1.30 and I’m still up…

    Boxers or Briefs? Shane and Peter Interview Their Readers

    I blame you for being tired tomorrow morning, Shane ;)

  20. shane says

    Weird – wondering why we are not getting linkbacks from Naomi, Jarkko & Johnathan in our list?

    Thanks all of you – these are awesome. I will post a proper comment in a minute.

  21. James says

    @ Shane – you didn’t get linkbacks from Harry or me either.

    @ Jarkko – cool post.

  22. shane says

    Oh shit – naomi that is funny!!! You tell em Jamie!!!

    What is the last thing that made you belly laugh?

    With a one-year-old in the house, you laugh a lot. You have to – the only alternative is shooting yourself. My favorite is probably this one.

    Jamie and I are at a bar, and he goes up to get more drinks. This guy comes over while Jamie’s gone, not realizing that I’m attached, and starts trying to bust a move on me. Jamie gets back with two drinks in hand and, in true diplomatic Libra form, asks the guy if he can reach in front of him to put my drink down. (It should be noted that Jamie is so calm, it’s like he’s actually dead.) Dude gets all indignant and looks from me to Jamie and says, “Hey, man. I got here first. Wait your turn.”

    Jamie shows the guy his wedding ring and says, “It is my fucking turn.”

  23. ses5909 says

    Alright, I held off on reading anyone else’s response until I completed my interview, so now I get to go reading theirs!

    Here is mine:

  24. Charlie / Ignite Living says

    Hey gang! This has been a blast! I read all of your posts and couldn’t resist doing one myself.

    Thanks for the laughs and inspiration!

    Here’s mine, enjoy:

    The Job Interview that Never Was

  25. James says

    What’s interesting is the potential for this little Interview to be the next, “TAG! You’re IT!” It’s created a strange ripple effect and spiderwebbed out like mad. I wouldn’t normally seek out blogs on inspiration, freedom, personal life, etc, but now I’ve had the opportunity to dip in on a couple of those blogs by default of reading the Interview.

    Cool. Very cool.

    Is Naomi our group mascot, btw?

  26. Jonathan Fields says

    Hey Shane,

    Thanks for bringing us all out of the woodwork with your question. I got to visit some new blogs, read some really funny stuff and subscribe to a few more feeds!

    Have a great weekend, all!

  27. Harrison McLeod - JCM Enterprises says

    I’d like to revisit some of these questions next year and see how they’ve changed with everyone.

  28. Charlie // Ignite Living says

    Oh, hell yeah. This should be a yearly thing for us. Maybe even every six months.

    I’ve had a blast with this too and have visited some great sites. There are some very talented and/or funny and/or insanely competent people out there. Enjoyed “meeting” you all.

    And I second the motion for Naomi as mascot!

  29. Rose says

    Hey… so when are Shane and Peter going to answer their own interview questions? Then Naomi can’t claim Peter doesn’t exist.

  30. shane says

    Rose – you got it – I just started to plan my questions out 5 minutes before you posted. it would be cool to do something similar in a year.

    As for mascot – fine – but only if she will dress up as contractor girl anime style.

  31. James says

    Hm. I am lodging a protest. I think I’m the only fool running around answering everyone else’s bonus question.

    Do I get extra points towards free books for being the first one to complete the Interview challenge?

  32. shane says

    called my dad and told him I love him. He sounded so happy. James you rock – thanks for the advice

    You definitely get kudos! We are all getting there – most of us though have the ability to focus (see see – I did read your comment) and only take measured pauses before going to read and post replies (business to run ahem ahem).


    I love your comments james and am really glad to have you as part of the crew.

  33. Naomi Dunford says

    With all this chat about mascots, everyone is trying to ignore the fact that James is trying to pathetically cheat his way into free books.

    Frankly, I’m disgusted. A little proud, but mostly disgusted.

  34. shane says

    ohhh comment aikido … with a few words .. the conversation direction is completely turned .. and suddenly james is in a wrist lock on the ground tapping out.

    Personally I am down with the mascott, though I am not quite sure what it really means. What do I get out of it?

    Oh and from the place of total bias – go check out Roses answers – I may be the last person on the planet to have seen that you tube video but it was FUNNY – and her question was a good one.

    on a final note – I want to thank sara for making me aware that we have a google pang rank of 6 and that we should be proud of it cuz its a good thing. So in celebration – I have linked to all of you in the article – supposedly that is a good think to have a higher ranking blog link to you?

    SEO MASTER SHANE PEARLMAN STEPS UP TO THE PLATE … and swings … no meta data on their posts … ssstrrrikkkeee … he swings again … who is alexa and why should I talk to her .. strikke … swing .. you mean PR isn’t personal record .. ssstrike .. your out


  35. James says

    @ Shane – Man, I think you just made my day. Knowing you did what you just did makes me feel pretty good.

    @ Naomi – You’re just jealous you didn’t think of it first. *tries to look cool while he dusts himself off*

  36. Todd Esposito says

    I’ve just seen your blog for the first time yesterday, via IttyBiz, but I like the idea, so here’s my stab at it, for what it’s worth.

  37. Harrison McLeod - JCM Enterprises says

    @Shane: I’d watch that wrist lock if I were you, James is pretty slick.

    @James C.: Free books? Behave.

    @Naomi: I would think a fuzzy mascot costume would keep you very warm this time of year. I’m just glad it’s not me. August in Las Vegas is warm enough, thank you very much.

    @Rose: Loved the You Tube!

  38. lornadoone says

    During our bi-weekly meeting, Tamara and I whipped out your questions and had such a fun time answering them together. It was a great exercie for gauging each other and for starting some good conversations. Good times, I tell ya’.

  39. Dren says

    Hi everybody!
    I’m so new at these things and I’m so excited in the discovery of this world new to me that I hope my enthusiasm’s entropy is larger than its dissipation! :)

    I love your posts, and I simply needed to participate in answering your interview!

    Here’s my humble contribution:


  40. shane says

    ohhh some good ones!!

    Welcome Todd … I’m way down with your boxer or briefs answer:

    Boxers or Briefs? or as Naomi says, Bikini or Thong, duh?!?

    Maybe the most important question on this survey. No, I’m not kidding. On the face of it, this question amounts to nothing more than petty voyeurism. I mean, who REALLY cares? Are you going to look at the web site my company built for you any differently if you know the answer to this?
    But it does speak to our culture, and an issue raised early in the Internet era, during the heady days of 9600 bps dial-up and CompuServe. The trend spotted then was that even though we (individuals) were all becoming more connected via electronic media (e-mail was just taking off, forums were it, usenet was widely.. um… used), we seem, sociologically, more distant from one another than ever. Pundits pontificated on the collapse of the social order and all kinds of other disasters. Of course, it didn’t come to much (yet… I’m not giving up the bomb shelter). But now look around you. We all have 30,004 “friends” in our FaceBook and MySpace accounts, we’re LinkedIn to 1,257,498 other people and yet when you walk down the street, nobody says “hi” because we’re all listening to our iPods. I HATE iPods, not in and of themselves, cuz they’re pretty cool, but because they provide yet another way for us to isolate ourselves from one another. Don’t even mention those damned “Self-Checkout” lines at the supermarket.
    We reach out electronically, via the ever-expanding IP network, because we can’t or won’t do so in person. I find this discouraging. Yes, it’s very cool to converse with a fellow developer 12 time zones away via e-mail and IM or a FaceBook app, but I’m much happier if I’m sitting in a little Wine-and-Cheese shop, sipping and gnashing, talking about Important Things with people I just met through a friend-of-a-friend’s-cousin’s-older-brother’s-sister-in-law.
    But that’s just me.

    I have been totally fascinated by the social networking revolution. I have always felt that you could build powerful friendships online. Pre-internet I was on BBSs chatting with people (and stealing porn) – guess I really am a geek – and made a few powerful friends. Today I think of people like Naomi, who I probably talk to as much or more than my in situ friends – she is frankly more accessible.

    And yet, it makes me wonder how sustainable it is without a tactile (see sara I used it!) connection. I am so visual and it plays a massive role in my life.

    So what does everyone thing? Is the online social network sustainable. Can you make a lifelong friend online? What if they go commando?

  41. Jonathan Fields says

    Oy vey! Two thoughts.

    One, I’d kill for a latte.

    And, two, before anyone picks a mascot, don’t you think some kind of photos in a fuzzy animal suit would be in order?!

  42. Harrison McLeod - JCM Enterprises says

    @Shane: I have made a lifelong friend online; his name is James.

    And if he goes commando? All I have to say is we at JCM Enterprises will disavow any knowledge of his actions. This comment will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim…

  43. Timothy Coote says

    I told you guys this felt like the beginnings of a community. Great stuff everyone.

  44. shane says

    Hey this is cool … Marija just posted her response over on facebook slate – a whole new blogging possibility I was unaware of.

    phew .. excitement wore off. damn .. can’t even leave comment.

    Thanks Marija – what is your masters in and what country are you camping out in right now?

    @Tim – that would be quite cool huh. It is our dream for our blog – not a place to blab at the world, but a starting point for dialog revolving around those life issues we face as technicians and entrepreneurs. You guys (and ladies) rock and we are totally overwhelmed by the great comments and participation! Send this on if you have any friends you think would have fun answering!

  45. Naomi Dunford says

    @ Jonathan – I’m not paying for the costume in question from my own pocket. I will happily provide photographs in a highly public way if someone sends me a suit.

    A suitable suit, though. I don’t think my mother-in-law would like to see this in her feedreader:

    “Naomi From IttyBiz Dresses As Anime French Made To Secure Mascot Gig At Shane & Peter”

    I don’t really know what image I’m going for but I think I can fairly safely say that ain’t it.

  46. shane says

    What’s wrong with anime french (or american) made! not a 1/4 as sexy as say brazilian made. Though a maid suit .. a whole different story. The french were smart!

    Now, I am glad we worked that out and the girl next door mascott outfit will be in the mail on monday. You’re welcome Jaime.

    With that said – I am terminating the mascott dialog.

  47. Dren says

    @ Shane – my master thesis is on the Self-employment and Entrepreneurship in the SEE Countries, A Comparative Study Of Macedonia and Kosovo (Serbia). The preliminary research is moved in the proceedings of the 9th Portorose Business Conference in Slovenia. That’s where I am currently camping out ;)

    Keep up with the great posts everyone!

  48. Paul Bonser says

    Alright, I thought of my extra question. This one is for those who are already comfortably living off just their own business:

    How long from the time you started did it take to make enough from your own business that you didn’t need another source of income?

  49. shane says

    @ Paul – that’s a great question. A year and a half. I was teaching part time and coding on the side, encoding audio and setting up my first online classroom. I was able to find 2 consistent large clients who paid enough to sustain me by the middle of my second year. That said, we really didn’t need much money at that point, as we were renting and living a rather restrained lifestyle. I think my second year I grossed somewhere between 30-40k if I remember.

    Times have changed quite a bit and now our personal expense basis is around 7.5k / month. So the business clearly does a fair bit better. It took 4 years for me to break the 100k take home marker.

    @Dren – Now that sounds interesting! What is the problem you are studying?

  50. James Chartrand - JCM Enterprises says

    I had an application form for welfare filled out and ready to submit. It had been sitting on my table for two weeks. I scraped together change for cigarettes and had a revenue of $100 a week teaching horse-riding lessons to kids on Sundays.

    Harry had a full-time job and somehow, someone said something to the effect that I should see about writing for money online.

    The first week, I made $20 and felt proud I could pay for my own smokes. The second, I made $40. I started hitting close to a hundred.

    That was in March. By November of the same year, I had long quit the riding lessons job (for other reasons besides lack of time), I had a full-time salary from writing, Harry had left his old job and was working full time, and I had 35 writers on the team.

  51. Todd Esposito says

    @shane On the “is social networking sustainable” thing, I think the jury is still out, but my personal inclination is to say that you might be introduced to someone, and even learn enough about the to call them friend, but at some point, to make the rubber meet the road, so to speak, you’ll have to meet in person.

    I don’t say this to belittle those on-line friendships that I have formed (and would like to be forming here, to be sure), nor those of others. But, to take an example, I met a guy “across the pond” via a previous business I had, and we became friends over hundreds of e-mails, forum posts and the like. But we didn’t truly cement that relationship until a year or so later when we met in person at Linux Expo in New York, NY. Alcohol was involved.

    Just my $0.02 (adjusted for inflation).

  52. shane says

    Alright Rose – you got it. My answers are up. I tried to convince Peter to answer and he might, but I won’t hold my breath. He will just have to stay a mystery.

  53. shane says

    Really you actually have to be born on American soil. Having an American parent and nationality from the time of birth is not enough to run for president?

    Awesome – takes an Australian to teach me basic facts about my government.

  54. nurasto says

    I am trying to answer the questions. I need to learn more english to handle interview hahahaha … Thank you for the interview question, so I could learn in english in same time. :D's-Interview.aspx

  55. Aruni Gunasegaram says

    Shane – it is done:

    And yes, you have to be born on American soil. Since I was not born here I could not become president of the US. The only loophole is if someone is the speaker of the house and something horrible happens to both the Pres and VP. Then the speaker would become Pres for a little while. I’m not sure what they would do if it turns out someone like Arnold S was Speaker of the House when it all happened.

  56. Naomi Dunford says

    @ Paul – 3 months, but I spent about a year preparing.

  57. James Chartrand - JCM Enterprises says

    That’s kinda dumb, isn’t it? I mean, don’t you just want a really great leader, regardless of where he or she comes from? Why is home-grown any better?

  58. Harrison McLeod - JCM Enterprises says

    Not really. Let me see if I can explain it. Someone born on foreign soil might still have a strong allegiance to that country, their motives would always be in question (not that we don’t question our own native born, but that’s besides the point). Think about it, would you want an American Prime Minister? Would you want someone from Mexico running your country? What if someone from a country at odds with yours had the right to run and take over the most powerful position your country has to offer? I don’t think that would go over very well anywhere. I’m sure each country has this built into their rules somewhere.

  59. James Chartrand - JCM Enterprises says

    Hm, point. I never even questioned our PM’s nationality; I just take whoever is in the running for granted and make my choice on best person for the job, as it were.

    A quick search and look back into Canada’s history shows that both the Prime Ministers and Governor Generals were all Canadian.

    Still, if someone from Russia or Japan or Aussie-land came here, lived here for some time (like five years or something) and went into the running for PM, I’d be fine with that. And I’d vote for them if they were the right person compared to the others.

    But anyways. I ride a tangent. And politics really don’t interest me… forgive me, carry on, back to our regularly scheduled program. I think we were at wondering if Peter really exists or Shane has dual personalities :)

  60. shane says

    I noticed susan over at vox fortis responded an posted her interview! I’ll read it along with the three new ones tonight after christmas decoration slavery is over.

  61. Dren says

    @Shane (you asked what was the topic I was researching for my master thesis) – What we (me with the team of 2 more researchers) tried to discover with the survey questions is actually study the traits associated with entrepreneurship in Macedonia and Kosovo (Serbia). (Traits as the personal need for achievement, the trade off between work and leisure time, attitudes towards risk, and individual satisfaction). Moreover, I tried to include questions regarding respondents educational background, social back ground, as well the industry/sector background of their parents, in order to determine, if there is any connection between the position of the parents and the current industry a non-entrepreneur is employed. We hoped that this connection could lead us to some clue, firstly how important are the networks and social capital (and they are extremly important in this countries)and secondly if there is any inclination towards becoming an entrepreneur. The questionnaire also included questions that try to focus on the role of economic, political, and legal institutions in fostering or restricting entrepreneurship. Institutional problems are seen in credit constraints that make it impossible to borrow and set up businesses; insecurity of property rights that provides insufficient incentives for entrepreneurs; and regulatory burdens that make setting up new enterprises difficult.
    Well, that’s briefly about this research. I believe my mentor is interested in publishing an article out of it, but we could only meet the second half of January to discuss details, so I hope I’ll be 90% done with my thesis (I would be using the data I got interviewing the Entrepreneurs, Self-employed and Non-entrepreneurs in the mentioned research. It would be interesting profiling these three groups we “pre-defined” for the purpose of the article. Can’t wait to do the factor analysis! ;))

  62. Dren says

    PS: Maybe just for fun you can answer one of the questions from my “Questionnaire for Entrepreneurs” (since I haven’t posted my additional question till now, I guess I can still use my Joker here):

    How would you rank the benefits of running your own business? (1-very important; 2-quite important; 3-somewhat important; 4-not so important; 5-not important at all)

    • good remuneration
    • flexible working hours
    • an opportunity to use your special skills, talents
    • an opportunity to use initiative
    • being your own boss
    • good career prospect
    • job that is respected by other people
    • job that serves some socially important mission
    • self-achievement

  63. shane says

    Wow, Dren that sounds absolutly interesting. Before my sanity returned, I was in the process of applying to phd programs in anthropology to study the affect of language on entrepreneurship. Do the words employed within the entrepreneurial realm of your country change the perception of how business should be run?

    In regards to you question:

    How would you rank the benefits of running your own business? (1-very important; 2-quite important; 3-somewhat important; 4-not so important; 5-not important at all)

    1 • good remuneration
    1 • flexible working hours
    4 • an opportunity to use your special skills, talents
    1 • an opportunity to use initiative
    2 • being your own boss
    3 • good career prospect
    3 • job that is respected by other people
    3 • job that serves some socially important mission
    1 • self-achievement

  64. Aruni Gunasegaram says

    @Harrison – Although I was born in a different country I’ve been here since I was 3. I consider myself American. If you are a citizen, you are a citizen. This is one of the great things about America. You can be from anywhere in the world and still be able to call yourself American. I have heard this is not the same in other countries say for example England. I could be wrong.

    @Shane – can’t wait to see what your answer is to my question. Are you serious about studying language in different parts of the world as it relates to entrepreneurship? That is fascinating! I think the power of words (negative and positive) have a profound affect on people and what they are able to accomplish.

  65. Harrison McLeod - JCM Enterprises says

    @Aruni: I don’t really want to get into the whole politics of citizenship. I have very strong feelings about it and I think I’m best keeping them to myself. As you know, there are many of us here in the Southwest who have a problem with illegal immigrants and it’s a very touchy subject. I’m no expert on the law either (or politics for that matter) so when it comes to discussions like this I prefer to be thought the fool by remaining silent, than open my mouth and remove all doubt. I only know what I was taught in school. It may be totally off the mark, it may not. I don’t know the specifics.

    I’m glad to hear you’re a citizen and that you’re proud of it. It’s not something to be taken for granted no matter what country one resides in.

  66. shane says

    @Aruni – that was definitely my intention until about 2002 when I concluded that academia is interesting but not the place I would spend the rest of my life. So if I do pursue that, it will be as a hobby and probably not for a doctorate.

    I decided to ask Julie that question, since she seems to laugh at me all the time. damn no answer … “little things” … not quite what I think you were looking for. The french man in me is absolutly enthralled by turns of phrase and words games (I’m sure all you who have seen our dictionary entries are far from surprised), it is a french national hobby after all, an art form even. I guess I need to be more aware – which is a pretty cool gift I am sure I will thank you for.

    Regarding presidency – it is an interesting scenario – My mother is french and I could have been born there as easily as here in the states. Yes that minor issue presents a massive divide. Yes a man born in the states who moves to uzbekistan (no criticism, just a random choice) at 6 months and returns to the states a decade later is allowed? I would expect there to be some form of time in country requirement (perhaps there is)?

  67. shane says

    I want to give mad props to nurasto, for having the courage and taking 3 hours to answer an interview in a foreign language – and for actually successfully using humor!!!

    oh and some pretty thoughtful responses too:

    Where do you do your best thinking?

    My bathroom is the most quiet place on my neighborhood. I always crack the problem when I do some “regular” task in life.

    If Chuck Norris and Steven Hawking had a baby (hey it’s my damn interview), would you vote for her for president?

    Yes, since their baby name is Harry Potter.

    What stops you from giving up when you are frustrated?

    Pray to God. If you need human then my lovely fiance is the best supporter and nice place to share my difficulty, she tried to understand what I am talking about especially when I am talking about zorg thing like programming and such. She is the best bet to release my stress.

  68. James Chartrand - JCM Enterprises says

    Re citizenship: Alright, trust me to be the one to research claims like this, and this is thorough research Harry and I had done a while back for a fiction novel…

    No, you cannot simply land in the United States and call yourself a citizen. You cannot just happen in a country and become a native, sorry.

    You can be a U.S. citizen if one or both of your parents are U.S. citizens or if you are naturalized. Naturalization means moving to the U.S., staying there for at least five years and following a bunch of rules.

    The same rules apply to most countries in the world, including Canada.

    To Shane: Hm. Born U.S., moves, comes back… Good question. No idea. Not researching :)

    To Shane again: Dual citizenship is a golden ticket, my friend. But if you start quoting “French from France”, as we Quebecers call it, I’m afraid I’ll have to drag you out into the parking lot and knock some sense into you.

    (Kidding. We Quebecers love the French from France. They’re funny as hell!)

  69. Lodewijkvdb says

    Just a quick note that I’ll probably won’t come around to writing it soon. Someone broke into our house last weekend and stole some stuff, so there’s a lot I need to arrange to get everything back in order.

    I’ll check back in when things settle down again.

  70. shane says

    @Lodewijk – That’s horrible. I am so sorry to hear that. We were wondering where you were but figured you got mauled with projects. Good luck my friend – and safe reorganization.

  71. nurasto says


    Thank you for reviewing my answer, Shane :D. Being entreprenuer is fun for me and life should be too. This “spiritual” journey begin when reading about Are You a Freelancer or a Solo Entrepreneur? Use Guy Kawasaki’s Mantra as He Meant, I do some of entreprenuer task when I was being freelance and then because of this article, I shifting my self into entreprenuer. It’s kinda language plays maybe.

    I still need more resource about the bold difference between freelance and enterprenuer. Maybe you (and hopefully from others) could post some article to compare it or an opinion? since I have zero experience about this matter.

  72. James Chartrand - JCM Enterprises says

    *steps up to the podium*

    A freelancer is a person who works on his or her own to earn money. There is no traditional employer-employee relationship.

    An entrepreneur is a person who takes calculated risks in business to earn money. That person does not necessarily work on his or her own. He or she may just be in a position to make decisions regarding a business.

  73. shane says

    Alright me too:

    First I wrote a post on my views of the topic The Technician and the Entrepreneur

    My short answer:

    A Freelancer is a specialized independent technician, ultimately responsible for the quality of the work, whose primary focus is providing a specific service or good that they personally provide.

    An Entrepreneur is a business owner responsible for setting up systems that provide the proper foundation for the growth of a business and the generation of profit.

  74. shafiu says

    Shane, Thanks for the comment.
    I am concentrating on Aikido. Also learning a little bit of Tai Chi Chuan. Its kinda hard having to come back from class with pains in almost every joint in your body and starting work. ;)

    Oh and I am from Maldives. The paradise on earth ;)

  75. Dren says

    @ Shane
    “Do the words employed within the entrepreneurial realm of your country change the perception of how business should be run?” Actually I don’t believe it would be possible to come to any conclusion in answering your question with the data I’ve obtained. Especially because we “pre-defined” the Entrepreneurs (individuals that are OR have been engaged in running own business but are currently un-employed) and Non-entrepreneurs (employed by others or currently unemployed individuals) in the process of sampling. From the group of Entrepreneurs we separately looked at the Business (Co)Owners (those that employ(ed) other people), and the Self-employed (sole-entrepreneurs working for their own account; also this term is legally different from the businesses run by the (Co)Owners). And the we tried to get a sample of Non-entrepreneurs that have never been engaged in running their own business and are not even considering it; Non-entrepreneurs that are actually thinking of becoming Entrepreneurs and Non-entrepreneurs as in Unsuccessful-Entrepreneurs (somewhat a harsh distinction I would say).

    So there goes our respondents’ freedom to declare themselves either as employed, self-employed or entrepreneurs or whatever – we did that for them :)

    While we are at it, I wanted to ask what is the difference (in legal terms and in general) in your country between owning a business and being self-employed. And do you actually have the term Freelancer defined somewhere in the books. I read the Are You a Freelancer or a Solo Entrepreneur? Use Guy Kawasaki’s Mantra as He Meant article, but the differences between those two terms are more tapping the mind-sets of those two “types” of entrepreneurs, than setting a concrete definition.

    And one more thing, since I’ve been thinking about it these two days (but I didn’t get to write till now since I was stroked by the “really-bad-time-management” disease): I would really like to hear your reason for deciding not to stay in the academia. The reason why I’m curious about it is that I would actually like to get there to stay. I guess I feel that there’s no other profession as noble as being a Professor. I mean, having the means to inspire (young) souls and disseminate knowledge and guide and share… Well, I know I sound a bit idealistic, but it turned out that all my roll-models/mentors/heroes until now were professors I attended lectures to (OK, “all 2 of them”, but still).

    So I would like to gather as more experiences and/or opinions as possible regarding my “personal goal”.

    I remember once one professor said: you can always go from academia to business but rarely vice versa…

  76. shane says

    Wohoo – ok some good ones (hi dren – this is awesome).

    Alright – 1) I do not believe our government differentiates people in that manner. We have the following forms of business: sole proprietor, partnership, non profit and corporations (S,C..). The biggest difference is who pays self employment tax (nickname for social security, medicare etc..). In the first two, the individual pays it. In the last, the organization does and the “owners” are just stock holding employees. So in long format – it is a social differentiation based upon mindset, not tax / government categorization.

    regarding academia – I need to think that through – it will be a tough answer to formulate as my wife just finished her doctorate a little over a year ago and we have a lot of strong feeling about academia. I need to sort through them so that I can give you an honest answer. I promise I wont drop this – please comment again in a day or two if I haven’t posted it by then.

  77. michael brito says

    Mine has just been posted and it is …

  78. shane says

    Ok Joshua – now that is a powerful question and I’d love to see what everyone else has to add about it:

    The question:

    What habit/virtue do you think you need to develop further in order to succeed (both professionally and personally)?

    My answer:

    Now that a great questions. The virtue / habit I need to develop? I think while chatting with Naomi two night ago we clarified it. I need to learn to carefully manage my words. They are so powerful and can do so much good or so much harm with so little awareness. I have a genetic weakness (maybe it is nurture not nature – tough to call) – my empathy level, as in my ability to be aware of other people’s feeling is quite low. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care about people, I care greatly, at times too much, but MY awareness level of their emotional state is quite stunted. That leads to a significant danger in daily communication (I step on a lot of toes). It has its advantages, I don’t get as flustered in uncomfortable social situations (I usually don’t even realize they are uncomfortable).

    So my 2008 goal is to continue to work on increasing my awareness of people and to careful monitor my words as to not cause harm.

    There you go – a very honest answer to a super tough question.

  79. James Chartrand - JCM Enterprises says

    What habit/virtue do you think you need to develop further in order to succeed (both professionally and personally)?

    Oh man. Patience is the first that comes to mind. I’m from Quebec, and we’re instinctively a passionate, hot-headed, outspoken group of people. Knee-jerk reactions are my number one problem in business, but I’ve been working on taming them for a year – and succeeding.

    Delegation is another that comes to mind. I have trouble letting go when I know I can do a task very well. The pitfall is that I end up doing too much, wearing myself down, which leaves me overwhelmed and tired.

    Perhaps it’s just because I’m scared of losing control – after all, a lot of people depend on me to manage very well.

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  81. Peter says

    Honestly, it’s kind of odd to say, but i tend to be a very passive and accepting person. It’s really hard for me to justify force.

    I’m trying to learn to manage people. And being passive is great most of the time. But there are times i need to stand up and be stern. This is not natural for me.

    So if i am to phrase it as a habit/virtue, I would say I need to work on my resolve.

  82. Harrison McLeod - JCM Enterprises says

    I think this is where being in a partnership works to our business’s advantage. I’m severely lacking in the confidence department, but have more patience than most saints (or so I’ve been told). James, on the other hand, has enough confidence for the both of us, and often looks to me for a reality check when he knows his temper is getting the better of him.

    This year, I think I’d like to realize my full potential and start believing that I’m as good at what I do as everyone says I am.

  83. Joshua Clanton says

    I think it’s very interesting how the responses to my question seem to reveal a sort of aggressive/passive split, particularly since it is two pairs of business partners who’ve answered so far.

    I guess that goes to show the wisdom of having a partner who balances you out.

  84. Lodewijkvdb says

    This is a great thread. I’ve finally found the time to fill in my promise and do this self-interview, but first to acquire all the various questions in the interviews.

    Somewhere in the next couple of days, I’ll be ready to post.

  85. Lawrence Salberg says

    Just posted my interview to myself here. So keep me in the running. Had a fun time with it.

    My self-created question was “What is the most promising technology on the horizon and how do you see it helping you in terms of your business ideas?”. Yes, a two-parter! Just like they always try to trip up the president with! Except I didn’t trip up on it. Some people might argue that is because it was my own question, but I think it has to do with my keen intellect. Give me credit where due, please.

  86. WAH(web)Mommy says

    I’m pretty late on this, but I finally posted my interview!

  87. Lodewijkvdb says

    And finally I published mine as well, right here

    That was a lot of fun!

  88. Mishra says

    I decided to do this at the last moment, just because of Shanes challenge to do that. So here it is

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  92. Entrepreneur says

    This is a great idea. I hope you got a lot of really good feedback! :)

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