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Rock musician Bob Dylan performs at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, in this May 5, 2004 file photo.

Robert Galbraith/REUTERS

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Five lessons to be learned from the famed singer-songwriter's successes and failures

Bob Dylan might not be the first name as an entrepreneur that comes to mind, but the singer-songwriter, whose Blowin' in the Wind marks its 50th anniversary this year, has some lessons to offer to entrepreneurs, according to this Wall Street Journal piece.

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Among what you can learn from his successes and failures, according to the piece, are always to have a passion for what you're doing: The singer still does about 100 concerts around the world, even though he needs neither the money nor the fame, the piece notes.

Have a look to see more details on other lessons, which include: Always see the big picture; never be afraid to rock the boat; seek inspiration from others; and know when to go back to basics.

Size and age do matter: Smaller, newer companies more optimistic, study finds

Nearly a third – 32 per cent – of Canadian private companies see the economy as their No. 1 concern over the next year – a worry that did not even show up among the top three last year, according to early results of a new survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC called Business Insights 2012.

Yet more than three-quarters – 77 per cent – expect business to improve in the coming year, found the survey, which also said competition and discouting, and labour shortages and recruitment of skilled staff round out the top three issues for the companies this year.

Size and age matter to such sentiments. The smaller the company, the better, the better the outlook, the survey found: Among firms with fewer than 500 employees, 80 per cent saw their business improving in the next 12 months, versus 69 per cent among companies with more than 500 employees.

And 85 per cent of younger companies -- in operation for less than 20 years -- expect growth in the next 12 months, versus 73 per cent of older ones, with more than two decades under their belts, found the survey of about 400 Canadian private companies.

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Another interesting insight: "We've seen that once a smaller company reaches around the $100-million revenue mark, an owner can't and shouldn't rely on gut feeling as much as they have in the past," said Tahir Ayub, PwC's Canadian private companies services leader, in a release. "They need to start thinking about putting in the kind of infrastructure and tools which are going to help them and their management team take their business to the next level."

Maluuba dukes it out at TechCrunch Disrupt

Waterloo, Ont.-based Maluuba is the only Canadian startup to take up battle at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, according to this TechVibes piece. The 22-employee company offers what this TechCrunch piece calls "the closest thing I've seen to a viable Siri competitor on Android," Siri being Apple's voice-recognition personal assistant. The conference's Startup Battlefield is a launch competition with a $50,000 prize up for grabs. Waterloo-based Printchomp also made it to the conference's "startup alley."

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Small Business Summit

Check out the lineup of keynote speakers, panelists and others for the next Small Business Summit, presented by The Globe and Mail's Report on Small Business. The one-day event, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level, takes place in Vancouver on Oct. 4. For registration and more information, click here .

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Canadian business incubator conference

The Canadian Association of Business Incubation holds its 21st annual conference in Saskatoon from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. There will be speakers, workshops, incubator tours and networking opportunities. There will also be a pre-conference boot camp and awards presentations. For more information, click here .

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

How to move from selling a service to selling a product

This week's Challenge: Vancouver-based Appnovation Technologies Inc. has scored success offering services. Now it wants to expand by launching its own software product. Given its service background, how best for it to approach selling a standalone product? The experts weigh in. Also, check out our video about Voices.com, the latest in our series about the four semi-finalists for The Challenge Contest.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Forget the iPhone 5 – the iPad Mini might be a better bet

With today's release of the much-anticipated latest iPhone, here's one take on what might be a better option for small businesses.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.comJoin The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzTOur free weekly newsletter is now available. Every Friday a team of editors selects the top picks from our blog posts, features, multimedia and columnists, and delivers them to your inbox. If you have registered for The Globe's website, you cansign up here . Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit 'save changes.' If you need to register for the site,click here .

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About the Author
Terry Brodie

Terry Brodie is an award-winning veteran reporter and editor who has worked for numerous media outlets in Canada and abroad, including The Globe and Mail since 1996. Now a senior editor for Report on Small Business, she previously oversaw several sections of the Globe, most recently as editor of Globe Careers. More

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