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Month: July 2013

It’s Pronounced “Stauffer” — “Au” as in “Faucet”

What are the more annoying things I’ve experienced in my lifetime is the fact that people just can’t seem to pronounce my last name correctly. Really? Is it really that hard? My name is Ron Stauffer. Stauffer. Stauffer. S-T-A-U-F-F-E-R. In case you’re wondering, the “au” is pronounced “au” as in “faucet.” Years ago, my dad did a bunch of genealogy research to figure out exactly where the Stauffer family came from. We’re obviously of German ancestry, but our particular family line comes from a family that emigrated to the United States from Switzerland 100 or 200 years ago. As a part of his genealogical research, my Dad discovered that were related to a bunch of other people who Anglicized their last names as “Stouffer” as well as “Stoffer” and “Stover.” Which is cool, I guess, but our family’s name is Stauffer. It’s so simple. I always like to tell people that we have the same last name as the animal cracker people (i.e. “Stauffer’s Animal Crackers“), not the frozen entree people (i.e. “Stouffers Frozen Lasagna.”) Since I’ve started studying foreign languages, I’ve learned about the concepts behind diction… things like elisions, liaisons, and diphthongs (something we Americans apparently use all the time but I’d never known about). So I think, to be technical, my family says our name with a “digraph;” two letters (a+u) which are pronounced as one...

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My First Experience Pitching A Business Idea

I love business. I love coming up with a new idea for a business; the process of building a business; marketing a business; and running a business. It’s a total thrill. When I go on sales calls and earn new business, I feel like a winner. I get the same feeling when I come up with a new idea to try out in my business that makes money. Business is like a drug to me, and it’s a good drug: like caffeine, it’s good for me. It makes me more successful, and it stimulates me to keep going. A big part of starting and running a business is being able to convince other people that your idea for a business is something worth considering. In the past, I’ve given business presentations to the public before, but I’d never actually had the chance to “pitch” my idea for a business to a crowd for their consideration. However, last year I became a member of Peak Venture Group, and one of the functions they put on is “Pitch Night” once a month at Epicentral Coworking space in downtown Colorado Springs. At Pitch Night, local entrepreneurs (or “wantrepreneurs”) get five minutes to pitch their ideas for a business, and anyone who wants to come hear it can. The bar is quite low (which is a good thing): you don’t even need to...

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