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I met a man today who shared with me his big vision for his business. He had an overview document and he presented an idea that seemed larger than life.

He had got in touch with me because he wanted to hear what I thought of his business idea and to ask about how I got started.

I didn’t feel qualified to comment on the merits of his proposal, but two things struck me. Firstly, if it took half an hour to explain to me, then how could he explain it in an online world in a few seconds…that is all the time we have to capture the hearts of our passes by (visitors). And secondly, making a new sale every time, creating a new relationship, selling in a transactional fashion over and over again can be expensive. So I asked what is the recurring income stream?

It reminded me of something I think my son said to me “Mum how do you eat an elephant …. one bite at a time.” I did not know in 2001 when we started our business how complex it would become and the diversity of audiences we would appeal to. To design it from scratch would have been too hard. RedBalloon has evolved based on listening to customers and taking on board the recommendations of the people around me.

Needless to say, I mentioned to this passionate future entrepreneur … this is why I wrote the book about our first five years in business…where do you start.

Reader Interactions


  1. Hi,
    just wanted to let you know that I’m reading your blogs as often as I can and I love them. There is always at least one piece of GOLD in everyone of them that inspires me to think about something or do something in a different way, so thank you.

    You are amazing!!


  2. Annette who I met yesterday said that she likes to cut her elephant into steaks before she takes a bite.

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