Our answers to the questions we frequently get asked and the questions we wish you asked.
What is the problem IdeaMensch is trying to solve? Why don’t you just interview famous people?
There are plenty of websites where you can learn from experienced entrepreneurs, but there are few places that also tell you about some of the folks who maybe are just getting started. We want to provide exposure for the people getting started and pass along some of the wisdom from the people who’ve done it and who are doing it. Plus we think there’s something you can learn from both experienced entrepreneurs and newbies.
Do you ever turn down completed interviews?
Yes, but very rarely. We ask for three things with every interview.
1. You need to be a founder or co-founder of sorts – meaning we want to hear about the idea you had and how you’re bringing it to life.
2. You need to put a good amount of work into the interview. We have about 50,000 readers and it’s in everybody’s best interest for us to not publish crappy interviews. If we don’t think you put enough work into your interview, we’ll tell you and you can always make it better.
3. Don’t be an asshole. Every once in a while, someone is a total jerk to us. We’re doing this to help entrepreneurs like you, so please be respectful and nice. We have no interest in helping jerks.
What does the word Mensch mean?
In Yiddish, people refer to a Mensch when they’re talking about a good person. So many Jewish people get really excited about that. Unfortunately, and honestly, we chose that word because all the other URLs we thought of were taken. And since Mario is German, he decided to just use the German word for person, which is Mensch. So our name heritage isn’t quite as noble as it sounds. Nor is Mario’s name very German. At all. That being said, we’ve embraced the accidental heritage of our name and are trying to be as good people as we can be.
I know someone who you should interview. What do I do?
Awesome. We love it when our community refers interviews. Please share your tip here.
I was lying. I want to suggest myself. Can I do that?
Yes. We constantly brag about ourselves so why shouldn’t you be able to?
I am a PR person. Would you be willing to write a feature story about my client?
No. We don’t do that. Except if you consider our daily interviews to be feature stories. Then yes. By the way, if you work in PR – you might want to sign up for this spam.
Can I buy, lease or barter for a link on your site?
No. Next question.
Do you use affiliate links?
Yes, but very rarely. Most books are linked back via our Amazon affiliate links. And every once in a while, we’ll even link back to a product via an affiliate link. But we never link to things just because they could make us money. If you learn about a book on IdeaMensch and want to buy it, we’d love it if you could use our Amazon affiliate links. It helps pay for yacht fuel.
Why don’t you publish interviews on the weekend?
Weekends are for watching television, not work.
Would you be willing to speak at my birthday party?
Unfortunately we stopped presenting at birthday parties, bat mitzvahs, weddings and first communions. But if you’d like us to talk about how to bring ideas to life at your event or conference or to your organization or company, shoot us a message.
You asked to interview me in 1997? I didn’t then. Can I still send you my answers?
Yes. If we liked you, then we like you now. Do use our current questions, however.
What are your current questions?
A picture (should be large, at least 1000 pixels in width and 500 pixels in height, ideally with your face towards the right side of image)
Bio: 200-500 words in third person
Connect: (how can people connect with you via a link to your site, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Where are you located? City + state (if in U.S.) or city + country (if not in the U.S.)
1. Where did the idea for [insert your idea, company, organization] come from?
2. What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
3. How do you bring ideas to life?
4. What’s one trend that really excites you?
5. What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
6. What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
8. As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
9. What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
10. What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
11. What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers? (this should be an actual idea for a business, not business advice)
12. Tell us something about you that very few people know?
13. What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
14. What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
15. What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
(include websites, blogs or Twitter profiles, etc – please don’t include yourself).
Please forward these questions to one person who you’d be proud to see featured next to you on IdeaMensch. Please cc: me.
Wow, those are a lot of questions. You really want me to answer all of them?
Yes. Our goal with every interview that gets published is to a) give you exposure and b) provide a lot of value to our audience. Think about it this way, you don’t have a deadline and you get to portray yourself in the very best light possible.
What happens if I don’t answer all of them?
Sometimes we choose to not publish incomplete interviews, keeping in mind the interests of our audience. If you skip one question, no big deal. If you skip more than that, you run the risk of not being published.
I finished my interview. What now?
Awesome. Head on over to our submit page. We scheduled all submitted interviews on Sundays. Yes, while watching television.
Will you proofread and edit my interview?
We’ll give your interview a good read through, but it’s up to you to make sure there are no mistakes in it. We proofread every interview, but if you do really think yours might need a lot of extra editing – then please consider purchasing our premium edit package.
How long does it take after my interview is published for it to go live?
We receive dozens of interviews every week. Right now we’re publishing 2 per week day, so it can take up to eight weeks (and increasing) for your interview to go live. That being said, we do have a priority scheduling option, which is $20.
What? How can you charge for priority scheduling? Does that mean it’s pay to play?
It costs us about $10 to publish every interview, as we have to pay the person drafting the interview, our editor and our social media guy. We don’t charge for anyone to have their interview published here, nor would we ever do that. When someone pays $20 to have their interview published earlier, they simply get to pick their publish date. It doesn’t affect our editorial process nor the extend to which we promote the interview.
While that’s not quite the traditional journalism approach, look at the bright side – I don’t pay myself and so far have re-invested every dollar right back into IdeaMensch.
I looked at your submit page? Can you explain your terms and conditions to me?
We ask for two things.
1. We want to make sure that all the content that you actually wrote the interview, and that you have the rights to use the picture you submitted.
2. We would like to have permission to use the content you submitted on IdeaMensch.com (duh), via social media, in our email newsletter and potentially in ebooks, books courses, presentations and infographics – without having to ask you for further permission or compensate you for such. If we do use a quote out of your interview, we’ll always credit you by name and will link back to the original interview whenever possible.