Welcome to a brand new issue of Build & Balance, my pretty frequent and consistent newsletter designed to give you food for thought as it relates to success and growth in business and life. I'm focusing on innovative business ideas in this issue. I hope that by reading about some of these new businesses and concepts you're going to get stimulated in some way.

Let's get right to it, shall we? I know you're a busy person. :)
Behind the Scenes of a Big Lunch, I Mean Launch

If you're out in the East Bay, then you may have already discovered The Organic Coup , America's first certified organic fast-food restaurant. If you're wondering how those two could go together, then you're not in tune with the trends in American eating.

Erica Welton is very aware of the changing tastes of the American consumer and the organic movement. This is because of her many years of experience working for the country's largest retailer of organic food. Are you thinking that's Whole Foods? Think again. It's Costco.

Erica, and Dennis Hoover, an ex-SVP with Costco in the Bay Area, have teamed up to bring a brand new concept to fast food and they're doing it in such a precise, intuitive and methodical way that I smell success. This recent article from San Francisco Eater gives a ton of detail on the thinking and execution behind this one-of-a-kind restaurant that's thinking very big. Remember that one of the Success Secrets of Super Achievers is to Think Big.  Even if you don't care about fast-food or the organic movement, I recommend you read this article. I bet it'll stoke something in you
And Now for Something Completely Different - Betabrand

Now that you've had a glimpse in to the future of fast-food, how about clothing sold on the web? Enter Betabrand a company based in San Francisco. What they do to sell clothing online is to merge it with Crowdfunding.

Here's how it works from what I can tell. You can submit a design for a cool piece of clothing. It needs to be pretty out there like a men's suit that's a takeoff of a baby's onesie (appropriately called the suitsie) or a reversible hoodie that's gold on one side and black on the other (for clubbing and not). After submission, Betabrand may put your idea on their site. Next comes the fun part. Every day people go on to the site and vote for what they like and would buy. The sooner you vote the greater discount you'll get on the product if it's made.

If a product gets enough votes it's made in a limited quantity. A nice built-in feature is that it'll probably sell out since it received enough up votes to be funded. Get the idea? If not, check out this page on their site or this article from the New York Times.

You can make money by submitting winning designs, vote for what you like, or just buy what's already succeeded and is available now. This a million-dollar business! Looking at this business model has to get your head spinning.
A Very Personal Product Innovation

I have a bit of indirect experience with breast pumps. It's been a while, but I do recall that they are noisy and pretty inelegant. Eventually all products will be re-invented. Now it's time for a better breast pump. Enter Naya Health - again from the Bay Area - with their Smart Pump. It actually uses a water-based suction process as opposed to air. If you know a working mom who's expecting in the fall this may make a great shower gift. The company is taking advance orders now (don't you love the sound of that?) for a planned fall debut. You can learn more about this device here . You might like the sleek design of the website, too, as an indication of web design targeted towards women.
Time to Chill

Is meditation the new black? It just might be. The World Health Organization called stress the health epidemic of the 21st   century. Stress is estimated to cost American businesses 300 billion dollars per year. There's little doubt we need to do something about this. Well, there's one simple solution that works for many people at 0 cost. It's meditation. Since we're in the 21st  century there's an app for that. The one I'm recommending is Headspace, available for both iOS and Android. They have a 10 for 10 program that allows you to use the app for 10 minutes a day for 10 days to experience the difference some stillness can make in your life. I'm going to give it a try. Here's their website .
Book Recommendation: Be Still

This month's book recommendation is a new one from Pico Iyer, a very popular TED speaker. It's entitled, The Art of Stillness. Interestingly, Pico's a travel writer who's been around the world. But, his talk isn't about what it's like to go to North Korea or the Himalayas. Instead it's about going nowhere. He has found that by taking time to just be still for regular periods, he's able to be better prepared for motion and commotion. Fairly sensible thought, isn't it? The book is about how Pico does it; and how you can, too. Nestled among the pages are 2-page spreads of beautiful open spaces that make you think of calmness and serenity. If it's time for you to slow down and be still, then this book may be coming along at just the right time. At just 66 pages you'll be able to walk slowly through it in no time, giving you yet more time to be still. Find it on  Amazon .
Get Very Active

The granddaddy of small business networking and learning is coming to SF in late May (21st- 28th ). It's time for Small Business Week and they have sponsors galore and plenty of events and sessions planned. There will be a cornucopia of networking and learning opportunities there along with access to free and paid resources to grow your business. Registration for this terrific free event is now open. If you would like to attend, plan for big crowds as they anticipate 4,000 attendees throughout the week. Let me know if you plan to go as we may be able to meet up there. You can learn more about what's in store for the week and create a profile here . You can also follow the event on Facebook and Twitter .
Quote of the Day
"It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his mother more beautiful?"
- Mahatma Gandhi

That's it for this issue. I hope something here has moved you to think, reflect and/or act. Until next time, be well.

Michael Neuendorff | The Growth Coach | 650.373.2022