Finding Business Tips in the Movies


If life imitates art, what can the small business entrepreneur learn from a Hollywood movie? Jacek Grebski, Co-founder and Partner of SWARM, Digital Agency selected 18 movies for an article in Entrepreneur on line that he thought had something to say to this issue.

18 MoviesNot all are what you would think of as “business” movies. Erin Brockovich (above), 12 Angry Men, Merchant of Venice, and Lord of War are far from that model. But Grebski cleverly pulls out of one movie or another aspects such as creative problem solving, crisis management, negotiation techniques, building customer loyalty, creativity and innovation, perseverance, and business vision.

Check out the article. Do you agree or not? Do you have any suggestions of your own for movies that gave you some guidance or direction as you set out as an entrepreneur?

( Anthony M. Scialis is an experienced print & broadcast writer who coordinates blog, Twitter & Facebook social media content to create a focused & powerful customer engagement effort which will bridge the gap between the wants of your small business to grow and the needs of your customers to be satisfied. Follow


Boomers and Small Business Go Together


Boomer lady 1Would you be surprised to learn that the numbers of older men & women are on the rise in establishing new small businesses? They are, according to a study called The Kauffman Index: Startup Activity 2015 Trends.

The Kauffman Index: Startup Activity tracks new business creation in the USA. With an interesting approach of not only amassing data on new entrepreneurs in their first month, Kauffman also pulls in factors covering new employer businesses in their first year.

And among all that swirling of facts, figures and statistics, the Kauffman Index revealed that:

Baby Boomers (approx. 55-70 years of age) make up 25.8 percent of all new entrepreneurs in the 2015 Index. That is decidedly up from the 1997 Index when they were only 14.8 percent of all new entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile Millennials, the expected rulers of the entrepreneurial roost, have lost footing. Younger entrepreneurs (20-34 years of age) have been on the decline, down to 24.7 percent in the 2015 Index from a higher 34.3 percent of all new entrepreneurs in the 1997 Index.

Why is this?

Writing for Entrepreneur magazine on line, Peter Daisyme’s wrote the following in an article last year titled “Many Baby Boomers Are Choosing Entrepreneurship Instead of Retiring.”

“If you think the largest demographic in the entrepreneurial world is millennials, think again. Baby boomers are actually the most powerful entrepreneurial group, giving up retirement for Career Number Two (or three, four and so on.) The idea of retirement isn’t what it used to be, whether by need or by choice. ”

Boomer male 1Boomers may be ready to retire from the 9 to 5 office job that they’ve toiled at for the last two or three decades, but they are not ready to retire from work. Years of experience should not be wasted, but rather be put to use in a business they now can control to better serve customers.

For many Boomers, funding isn’t as much of a problem as for a Millennial, as the Boomer has been working for years, amassing a nice set of financial nest eggs.

Or, on the other side of the spectrum, there are the Boomers who have not been able to save, and cannot afford to retire but need to make more money.

Either way, the force of Entrepreneurship is strong in all of these Boomers. And in you if you are also a Boomer. What makes you less prepared to succeed at opening a store on Main Street USA than someone 30 years younger?

What are some businesses you could open based upon your skill sets or personal interests?

Images courtesy of stockimages at

(Anthony M. Scialis is a social media strategist focusing on blogging & tweeting as a two-step customer service effort in bridging the gap between the wants of your small business to grow and the needs of your customers to be satisfied. Follow

Business Plan Competition & Intro Session


Planning to start a small business? Take every bit of advice you can get — you don’t have to use it — just have it all standing by as resource material. And a great place for resource material is an Enterprise Center. Does your community have one? We do in Essex County, MA at Salem State University.

Biz PlanNot only does an Enterprise Center offer seminars and inform you of useful business programs, it brings in guest speakers — and ours even “puts its money where its mouth is” by way of a North of Boston Business Plan Competition.

Doesn’t matter whether it is just a business idea, or your company is already up & running  (less than three years old or an established business with a new strategic direction). As long as you are located on the North Shore, consider entering this annual competition.

  • Cash prizes – $10,000 for first place! Second place, $5,000. Third place, $3,000
  • Advice – Valuable feedback and suggestions. Judges are experienced entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders and capital investors.
  • Focus – Entering the BPC can provide the discipline and focus you need to develop and fine-tune a winning business strategy.

Participants submit a 5-part application that is reviewed by an expert judging panel and evaluated according to established criteria. Six semi-finalists are selected to present their plan in person to the judges. Three finalists go on to present their plan publicly at a grand finale at which the judges determine the first, second and third place winners.

All participants receive written comments on their submission; the semi-finalists and finalists have the option of working with a presentation coach to fine-tune their plan for the judges.

Competition deadline is 2/24/16.

But — and this is an excellent helping hand by the Enterprise Center — on Dec. 4th from 8-10am there will be a FREE How to Write a Competition-Level Business Plan introduction session. You are not just floating in the wind for this competition. Sponsored by the MA Small Business Development Center and co-sponsored by the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development, there will be tips on what’s involved in preparing the components of your application.

Bring your questions too because — yes this gets better — the Enterprise Center will provide a real pro for individual coaching: Margaret Somer, Former Regional Director, MA Small Business Development Center Network.

Need more incentive to sign up right now? Read her bio. She’s been in economic & development, a fund manager, operated home-based businesses, been a consultant and has exhibited a strong record of participation in the development of new business products and programs, community development initiatives, and public affairs and government relations.

You can’t put a price on the guidance you will receive at the How to Write a Competition-Level Business Plan introduction session. To register click here.

The Enterprise Center at Salem State University is located at 121 Loring Ave in Salem, MA. For more info call 978-542-7528 or email Lorie Skolski at

( Photo courtesy of KROMKRATHOG from )

Reporter’s Notebook: Evolving State of Journalism


Repeatedly I’ve put forth that the “traditional media” is on its last legs— and that you boys/girls and men/women represent the future of journalism.

Old News - canon rebel t2i

Old News – canon rebel t2i (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

And just what does that future hold if you want to actually earn a living as a writer? The diminishing opportunities for newspaper reporters have been much in the news.

Content curation looks to be one solid way to go. That is according to an item in the Content Curation Community Newsletter which in turn focuses on an intriguing and informative article observation:

“…marketing departments are starting to function more like newsrooms that produce unique content about their brand and report on industry topics and trends. And journalists are being recruited to oversee the content part of content marketing.”

You should read this  guest post by Holly Regan that ran recently on the Thought Leadership website.