Laura Petrolino is the Founder and Managing Director of Flying Pig Communications, a communications and business consulting firm which focuses on the needs of startups, small business and non-profits. She also serves as Chief Communications Officer at Ignite Venture Partners, which brings together consulting, capital, and concept incubation to build value in businesses of all sizes and stages, and across industries. In her free time she helps make the blogosphere a better place for entrepreneurs on her site 365 Days of Startups.
What are you working on right now?
Everyday I wake up, amazed at how lucky I am to have so many exciting projects to work on. I’m currently consulting with several startup business ventures and entrepreneurs. I’m also working with two non-profits (which is a niche I am especially passionate about) Stubbydog, a organization working to essentially re-brand the pit bull and Zoe, a social enterprise working to bring together a global movement of people who are committed to making the world a better place for all living creatures.
3 trends that excite you?
1) Crowdsourcing: Crowdsourcing is amazing to me in the way it truly exemplifies the power of people and community. Whether used as a form of brand marketing, fundraising or brainstorming, the opportunities and connections that crowdsourcing develops are virtually limitless. It is very exciting to think about all the possible uses of this dynamic.
2) The disappearing gate keeper: In today’s world it is more possible than ever before to start from nothing and build an empire. The barrier to entry for new entrepreneurs becomes lower and lower by the minute. This brings with it many challenges, but is also extremely empowering, now if there is a will…there really is a way!
3) The Value of People: That’s it, people are the very best trend there is. For along time our society devalued the power of people as a commodity. We replaced them with machines, automated everything and ignored the consumer’s need and voice in the market place. That has changed now, business is become more people centered again. From internal operations to external operations, human connection, innovation and opinion rules….and that only means good things!
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a firm believer that for any business, movement or idea to be successful “It Takes a Village” You might be able to do it on your own, but your scale will be much smaller than if you reach out to others and build a network of relationships that work synergistically to help each other move closer to both individual and collaborative goals.
What inspires you?
Anyone that has the courage to not be status quo. I admire those who are willing to do something positively disruptive and potentially unacceptable to move forward innovative ideas in order to make a difference, address an wrong or achieve a social good.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Stop seeing your business as a dictatorship and start seeing it as a democracy. Listen to your customers and what need they are looking to fill, let them shape the direction and growth of your business. Give your customer a sense of ownership and you’ll build loyalty, trust and organic business development.
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, I’ve read it several times now and each time I do, I gain new insight into particular clients, movements, trends, etc. It is an fundamentally cornerstone piece for anyone interested in making an impact (which is one way or another is the goal of all entrepreneurs).
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Shane Pollack, CEO of MySongtoYou.com (in all disclosure, he is a client). MySongtoyou.com is basically democratizing music. It has the potential to be the next YouTube, (but with rhythm, haha) He is a young passionate entrepreneur and developed the site after a successful career in the music industry.
What is the favorite part of your job?
The amazing relationships that I am able to build daily with clients, peers, colleagues, and others. My job is about business, but it is first and foremost about people and that is what makes it so great!
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Laura Petrolino on Twitter @lkpetrolino
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.