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3 Top Truths for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Become Better Leaders

If you want to become a better leader as an entrepreneur, you must continually hone your skills. Leading your team to victory won’t come automatically; you need to consistently work on improving your leadership knowledge. How you treat those who work for you and with you is critical. If this is the year you double-down on being a better boss, following are three top truths for entrepreneurs who want to become better leaders.

Help Your Team Understand Why You Appreciate Them

Learn to tell your team members why their contributions to your team matter, not just that you’re happy with their work. It’s one thing to know your boss appreciates you and quite another to understand why they’re glad you’re on their team. Make a habit of letting your employees know you’re grateful for their ongoing effort and you’ll build a band of loyal team mates within your company.

Trust Your Team’s Talents and Drive

Trust your team members to have your company’s best interests at heart. Micro-managing your team won’t help them grow and will reduce the time you can spend on other critical business-growth tasks. Learn to give clear directions and then trust the talent of your team to see your vision through to fruition.

Ask What You Can Do to Help Your Team Succeed

Speak with your staff on a regular basis about what else you can do to help them succeed. Do they need specific resources? Are they overwhelmed with work and could use additional staff? When your team members know you’re willing to do whatever it takes to help them be successful in their jobs, they’re more likely to come to you with their concerns and questions.

Remember these three leadership tips for entrepreneurs and you’ll increase your odds of becoming a better leader and business builder. What are your thoughts? Are there specific hacks you use to improve your leadership skills as an entrepreneur?


What do you practice daily to become a better leader?


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How to Build a Loyal Customer Base for Your Company

How to Build a Loyal Customer Base for Your Company

Customers are like gold dust to a business, and having a loyal customer base is the holy grail. Though growing a loyal customer base can certainly be a challenge, it is by no means impossible. In fact, you can accomplish this feat by following these four easy tips:

1.    Personal Communication 

In order to build loyalty among your customers, you must communicate with them on a personal level. Rather than just sending out a newsletter or mail with generic information, customize the content to specific customers. You can start by simply including their name and adding additional information over time.

2.    Announce Important Updates

People tend to lead busy lives. As such, it can be difficult for them to keep up with the latest news about your company. With this in mind, you should make a point of announcing any important updates as loudly as you possibly can. Broadcast your news across social media, email newsletters, or wherever else you speak directly with your customers. This, in turn, will make your customers feel like they are a part of the business and they are important enough for you to share major announcements with.

3.    Give Them Gifts

Gifting can be an excellent way to build customer loyalty. Your gift can come in the form of a free product, a discount, or something else that might be special to your customers. Gifting sends the message that you and your business are grateful for their continued support. 

4.    Handwritten Letters or Notes

In an increasingly digital age, a bit of an old-school approach can go a long way with your customers. Around the holidays or special events, you can make a point of sending out handwritten cards, letters, or notes that express your thanks and wish them all the best for the futureI

Whether your business is big or small, the loyalty of your customers will ultimately determine its ongoing success. By following the tips and advice outlined in this article, you can ensure that you build a sense of loyalty and community within your customer base.


How do you build a loyal customer base for your company?


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How to Find What Your Customers Really Want


Do you really know what your customers want? Or are you trying to sell them what you believe, or hope, they want? To be as successful as possible in business, you must address the first of these questions and find exactly what your customers want.

What Matters to Your Customers?

Never assume that you know what matters to your customers. It’s more than likely that you already have a good idea; but take nothing for granted. You can safely assume that your customers demand a good product or service accompanied by a reasonable price and a pleasant purchase experience. These factors are not the full story, though.

Customers are Sophisticated

In today’s world, where information about almost everything is widely available, all your customers are sophisticated. As well as quality products or services, good prices, and enjoyable buying experiences, they look for personalization. They want products and services that differ from others on the market and reflect their lifestyles.     

Pay Attention

As a result, the first step to finding what your customers really want is to realize and embrace the above points. The next step is to pay attention to your customers. Take every opportunity to do so in order to establish what motivates them. In this context, make full use of social media. Read their reviews and opinions of your products and services, or those similar to yours. You can soon build a picture of what truly matters to your customers.     

Ask Questions and Build Relationships

The following step is to involve yourself more with your customers. Ask them about what they want from a product or service. If they are critical, don’t be defensive. Take note of their concerns. In this way, you can build relationships based on loyalty and trust. Above all, show that you are on your customers’ side and intend to meet their needs as best you can. 

Overcome Problems

Customers may not just be critical when you engage with them; they may also present significant problems. You need to overcome these quickly and in good faith. And if you can’t resolve a problem, explain why. Above all, remember that such problems directly relate to your customers’ needs. Consequently, when you show a positive attitude to problem solving, you further strengthen your customers’ trust in your business.

Innovate

Innovation is at risk of becoming an overused term. But customers expect businesses to move forward and innovate at every opportunity. Moreover, not only do customers expect you to innovate, they want it. This situation applies whether your business is in the technology sector, where innovation is commonplace, or in a more traditional field. So you need to innovate. And when you do, publicize the fact widely. You thereby differentiate your product or service more clearly from the competition. Again, this is what your customers want.      

Without customers, you don’t, of course, have a business. So it’s surprising when businesses fail to invest time to find want their customers really want. Make the effort to learn more about your customers’ needs and you will unquestionably benefit.


How does your company identify what your customers really want?


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Most Valuable Tech Skills to Acquire


As the New Year rolls around, many people are thinking of career changes or a move to a new industry. One of the most in-demand jobs involves tech and IT. The skills necessary to be a pro in IT can also make you stand out in other fields. The broad field of tech greatly rewards professionals possessing these skills. With these facts considered, here are several IT skills that are valuable to add to your repertoire in 2019.

Artificial Intelligence

One of the biggest developments expected to pick up steam in the future is artificial intelligence. This makes it one of the most valuable skills to add to your resume. Recent innovations such as Siri and Alexa have made chatbots more incorporated into daily life than before. Demand is only increasing as companies integrate this technology into their applications. This means plenty of opportunities for those who know how to work with AI. In addition, AI can be applied to many industries, including healthcare, education, finance, and engineering. With these available and numerous possibilities, consider looking to add more AI knowledge into your career.

Mobile Applications

There are billions of smartphone users around the world and the number is not declining any time soon. This means more companies are investing in mobile applications, or apps. Mobile development skills in turn, are becoming more sought-after by companies. With this skill, you can build apps for other companies as well as promote your own. Augmented reality is becoming another trend within the mobile app community. As this industry grows, consider looking into courses to build apps on your own as well.

Search Engine Marketing

Many employers are searching the field for individuals with digital marketing abilities to help scale their online presence and visibility. Among the most in-demand skills are search engine marketing, or SEM. Search engine marketers apply various methods to help websites rank higher in search results – generating more exposure, traffic, and conversions in the process. This type of skill can serve you well and lead to other opportunities in both analytics and marketing.

Data Analysis

Recognizing and being able to illustrate data can help you convert numbers into points of action. Many companies benefit from having individuals who can not only develop descriptive reports, but use them as a means to facilitate innovation. This type of position carries both technical and managerial characteristics, which can provide you with a flexible set of skills to apply to any industry.

As another year comes and goes, the nature of many industries is involving. Professionals are looking to stay ahead of the curve by adding more tech skills into their repertoire. Skills such as search engine marketing, data visualization, and mobile app development can carry long-term benefits toward your career. In addition, they can be applied to many industries. Invest in these skills today to keep your career prosperous for years to come.


What new skills will you acquire this year?

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What Is Customer Journey Mapping and Why Is It So Important?

 

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When operating a business of any kind, it is important to make it as easy as possible for customers to purchase your product. After all, if they can’t figure out how to make their purchase, they are likely to go elsewhere. When trying to figure out a way to simplify the buying process, it is a good idea to make use of customer journey mapping.

 

 

What is customer journey mapping?

Put simply, customer journey mapping is a way to visualize the path that your customers will take in their efforts to interact with your business or buy your product. By walking through the process as if you were a customer, you are much more likely to notice problems and obstacles that they may have struggled to overcome. Of course, once you have identified these issues, you can then set about fixing them and simplifying your processes.

 

 

Why is customer journey mapping important?

As mentioned above, if your customers are regularly running into difficulties when trying to interact with your company or your website, they will eventually become so annoyed that they will take their business elsewhere. As a business owner who is intricately involved with the operations of the company on a daily basis, it can often be difficult to spot these issues. After all, you are likely very familiar with just about every aspect of how your business functions.

 

 

However, your customers will not have that same level of knowledge. In many cases, they may even be interacting with your company for the first time. As such, it is important to try to view your business through the eyes of a first-time user to see if there are any areas that they find to be confusing or discouraging. By understanding how these users interact with your business and where they struggle, you can then work on making any necessary improvements.

 
Though your business is unlikely to fail if you do not make use of customer journey mapping, it also won’t be realizing its full potential. By visualizing your customer’s journey and making it as easy as possible, you are likely to see a significant uptick in your company’s overall revenues.

 


 

How do you visualize your customers experience?

 


 

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How to Hire the Best People for Your Startup

 

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As just about everybody who has ever succeeded in business will tell you, it is incredibly important to surround yourself with the right people. This can be especially true in the early stages of a new startup. However, hiring the right employees at this early juncture can often be a little tricky – unless you know what you are doing.

 

Be Competitive

When searching for the perfect employees, it is important to remember that the best ones are likely already employed elsewhere. With this in mind, you will need to give them a very good reason to make the jump to your company. For most people, this incentive will be money. Don’t be afraid to pay a little extra to land the employee that you want, instead of saving some cash and ending up with a sub-par worker.

 

 

Give Up Equity And Control

Building a startup requires employees who are in it for the long haul. The best way to ensure this level of loyalty among your new hires is to give them a small amount of equity and control in the business. This will allow them to have a say in how the company is run as well as profit from its successes. You might just be surprised at how hard your employees can work when they stand to personally benefit from the results.

 

 

Focus On Culture

It can be very difficult to manage a startup that is constantly in disarray. Bickering and arguing among employees and management can often result in missed deadlines and unhappy clients. As such, it is important to ensure that your new hires will fit well into your company culture. You should be able to get a good sense of their personality during the interview stage.

 

 

Though creating a new business is never easy, it becomes a lot simpler when you have the right people behind you. By following the advice contained in this article, your new employees will soon propel your startup to success.

 


 

How do you find the best employees for your company?

 

 

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11 Time Management Tips for Optimal Business Success

 

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You hear it in business all the time: time management, time management, time management! Why is this so important? Because time management really is a critical component of any person’s success. It doesn’t matter if you are a business owner, a manager, or an employee, if you do not properly manage your time, you cannot hope to complete your daily tasks, much less take the business into the economic stratosphere. Following are 11 time management tips but don’t worry. These aren’t the same boring tips you’ll find all over the internet.

 

 

1. Let Go of Your Traditional Concept of Time

Time is no longer based on what your clock, watch, or cell phone says. Sure, you might be looking at your computer clock right now and it says it is such-and-such o’clock, and it really is such-and-such o’clock, but that means nothing to you or what you need to accomplish in your workday. Don’t worry about what “time” it is anymore. Understand that now, time to you is broken into three categories: time for thoughts, time for conversation, and time for action.

 

 

2. Schedule Your Thinking Time

Any business must have a plan and each person within the business must also have a plan. Whether you are the business owner, manager, or an employee, schedule your daily thinking time first. During that duration think about and plan what you need to accomplish that day and how you’re going to accomplish it, then include the next tip into your game plan.

 

 

3. Schedule Your Conversation Time

Again, it doesn’t matter if you’re the boss, manager, or employee, schedule any conversations required to get your tasks done during your morning think time. One major time-suck in life – not just work – is talking. Estimate how much time you spend talking with people. That’s where a majority of your day goes. Schedule talk time and stick to it so you can move on to the next tip.

 

 

4. Schedule Your Action

You’ve thought the tasks out, you’ve talked with whomever you need to converse with; now it’s time to get the work done. Schedule time for each action. This isn’t just time set aside for conference calls and meetings. Schedule your actions – the work you must do to complete each task – so you can assure you have plenty of time to get everything done. Use the timer on your cell phone if you must to signal alarms when it’s time to move on to the next step.

 

 

5. Keep a Diary of Tips Two Through Four

Keep track of how tips two through four are working for you for a couple of weeks to review where things need tweaking. Obviously, unanticipated situations can put a kink in your time management plan. You can also plan everything perfectly on paper and still have it go awry. By keeping track of how you’re actually spending your time once you scheduled it, you can revise your time management calendar to better disperse time where you need it.

 

 

6. Look at Your Diary and Plan Your Interruptions

No time management schedule is going to be full proof, especially if you’re the boss. You are going to be interrupted during your thought, conversation, and action periods, so take a look at how often this happens and then plan for it. Look at your diary and see how many times you were interrupted during your day and the duration of those interruptions, then set aside adequate time each day for interruptions.

 

 

7. Be Clear When Time is Not Set Aside for Interruptions

After you’ve scheduled tip number six, let everyone know and then stick to it. When you aren’t available for any interruptions short of your office building burning down, cocoon yourself in your workspace and hang up the “Do Not Disturb” sign. There’s a reason why voice mail, email auto-response, and closed doors were invented. Use them so you can complete your action list without interruption.

 

 

8. Keep an Open Mind

Nothing is perfect, and your time management plan won’t be either. Be open-minded to your time diary and to the suggestions of others. If you still find your day slipping away from you, even though you stick to your time management plan, talk to the person in your office who always manages to get everything done. Find out how he or she manages his or her time, and incorporate any applicable strategies into your daily plan.

 

 

9. Consolidate

It’s easy to think about consolidating when you’re trying to find room for all of your junk in your garage or attic. If you can combine those three boxes into one, you’ve just saved X-amount of space. Do the same with your workday. Look at your tasks and consolidate the ones that are similar so you work on those tasks at the same time. Once your brain is in finance mode, for example, it more efficient to complete all of your financial-related tasks before switching your brain into a different task mode.

 

 

10. Eliminate

Inevitably, when trying to store all your junk away you end up throwing things out. The same holds true for your time management plan. Once you’ve consolidated your tasks to help your brain operate more efficiently, “throw away” unnecessary steps to maximize your efficiency. Is there a quicker and easier way to accomplish a scheduled task? Eliminate steps to do it.

 

 

11. Manage Yourself

You cannot hope to be successful if you don’t manage your personal time, too. This isn’t to suggest you schedule your family time to the point of angering your significant other and children. Nor, should you do this with your friends. Rather, remain cognizant that you need plenty of time for you, too. That includes time to eat properly, exercise, and rest. Yes, it’s quicker to drive through a fast-food restaurant for lunch, but you hurt yourself in the long run if you do. If you aren’t healthy, it doesn’t matter how efficiently you plan your day.

 

 

When you consider time as something other than “Is it five o’clock yet?” you open yourself up for a more productive and less stressful workday. At first, your new time scheduling process may seem as if it’s a giant time-suck but stick with it. Once you get the hang of scheduling your time and streamlining your tasks, you’ll fly through your day.

 


 

What are some tips you use to manage your time?

 

 

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Taking Action After Data Analysis: Your Company’s Next Steps

 

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Data analysis is only the first step toward maximizing your company’s potential; once you have access to the data, you need to decide what to do with it. What are the most effective ways for your business to move forward? Here’s how to use data analysis as a basis for your step-by-step plan to satisfy customers while improving workplace performance and culture.

 

 

Identify strengths and weaknesses

You are now able to tangibly identify the areas you’re performing well in and areas that could use improvement. Throughout this process, you can also identify the misconceptions you had about performance before data analysis took place. Maybe it seemed like your strategy for a specific department was successful, but the current results show that it’s an area of weakness. Now is the perfect opportunity to narrow down what went wrong and when. Since this step can cause tension between coworkers, it’s important to perpetuate values of honesty and respect. Rather than pointing hostile fingers at employees who were responsible for weak areas in the past, make business development a group effort by focusing on ways to improve as a team.

 

 

Differentiate between what you can change and what’s out of your control

There are undoubtedly some uncontrollable elements of your business that have affected the results of your data analysis. Such factors include strong industry competitors or poor performance on the part of your suppliers. As a group, discuss strategies for combatting detrimental external factors rather than wasting time complaining about their effects. Determine which internal operations can be changed and set incremental goals to implement these changes.

 

 

Set measurable goals

Now is the perfect time for goal setting. With raw data, strengths and weaknesses, and controllable factors laid out in front of you, you can set goals with a specific timeline and plan. Create and document a 3-year plan (the timeline may vary depending on your goals). Positive wording and realism are key: break down each goal into measurable steps for each employee or department, and word your goals with clarity confidence. Your company will increase profits by 10% by doing X, Y, and Z.

 

 

Data analysis is a necessary process that gives you a solid foundation on which to base decisions for your business. Now, you have the tools you need to do so while maintaining high morale in your workplace. It might be a long and tedious process, but your hard work will pay off when you see the results in your next analysis.

 


 

How do you use data analysis to move your business forward?

 

 

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Take A Break

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If you’re running your own business, chances are you’re pretty committed to it, and quite right, too. But are you becoming a slave to it and letting it take over your life? This can easily happen, so take a minute to consider whether you’ve got the balance right. It won’t hurt to take a break – in fact, it’ll benefit you in many ways, and your business, too. Here’s how:

A change of scene rejuvenates

A break from work refreshes the mind, enhancing its performance. Switch off your phone and focus on something outside work for a while, and you’ll feel yourself unwind and relax. You’ll be able to think faster and more clearly after chilling out, whether you rest for an hour, a day or a week. Taking a step back will also enable you to view your business from a wider perspective and analyze how it’s faring overall.

Ideas come when you’re relaxed

When the mind is open and relaxed, thoughts can flow, often bringing fresh ideas just where they’re needed. Whether you’re socializing, exercising or pursuing a pastime, you’ll be picking up new thoughts to empower your input back at the office. The combination of rest and a change might even spark a brilliant flash of inspiration.

Your personal life will benefit

Making money involves commitment, but it’s important to remember that you have other commitments, too. Your partner and family need you around, and your friends will miss your company, too, if you disappear for long. Relationships require time and attention to sustain, and that means turning your back on your computer screen sometimes. A happy personal life will impact positively on your work, amply compensating for any hours lost.

Your health will benefit

Entrepreneurship is a demanding role, so it’s important to keep as fit and healthy as possible. That means controlling your stress levels, maintaining a balanced diet and taking regular fresh air and exercise, and the best way to do all that is to take time out. With a proper break, away from it all, you can catch up with healthy living, giving mind and body a boost, even if it’s just for a couple of hours.

Quality is more valuable than quantity in leadership input

Don’t feel guilty about taking some well-earned time off work now and again. You can be sure your colleagues and associates do the same. Just think how often you have to wait for replies to your messages sometimes, and let yourself take that leisurely approach, once in a while. The art of entrepreneurship lies not in hard slog but in clear vision and inspired moves, and you could get the inspiration you need while sailing the sea, climbing a mountain or sharing a meal with old friends.

The reality is you have a life to lead, as well as a business to run. By striking a healthy balance between the two, you’ll ensure yourself a happy and successful future.


How do you relax and recharge?

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Factors to Consider in Evaluating Conditions for Business Growth

 

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When you are starting a business, the future may seem uncertain. However, after a few years in, you begin to think about how to achieve better growth. Thinking about long-term growth becomes a priority. Whether or not your business has the potential to grow depends on the action you take. The decision of expanding is a very big one. It affects growth in products, customers, income, and sales. Before you invest in any major decisions to grow your business, you must take some of the following factors into consideration.

 

 

A Consistent Customer Base

Whether or not your customers are loyal and consistently purchase your product is important. You need a consistent customer base before you think about expanding. After all, they are a guarantee that you will make a given amount of revenue in a certain time period. As a result, looking at repeat customers indicates the stability of your business.

 

 

Customers Asking for More

Sometimes, the queries and recommendations of your customers are a good indication of whether it is a good idea to expand or not. For instance, if they keep demanding more products even after they run out of stock, this means that the demands of your product are surpassing the supplied amount. This might mean that you need to stock more and expand your business a result. Therefore, to know when to expand, pay close attention to your customers. Develop a CRM system and track their purchasing patterns as well as being aware of any extra requests. This will allow you to know what aspect of the business to focus on.

 

 

Growth of the Industry

Sometimes the industry you are in may not be growing or doing well. In this case, expanding might not be the best option. This is because the industry may not be as valuable or rewarding as it used to be. With a growing industry on the other hand, expanding will be both easy and fruitful. This is because the industry would be capable of supporting your company and deliver the stable environment needed to sustain long-term growth.

 

 

Demand Exceeding Supply

Are you getting more customers than what your current resources can handle? Are your employees overburdened and your store overcrowded? This is when you know that it is time to expand by getting more space and hiring more people. Consider performing a comparison of supply and demand to make a conclusion on whether to expand or not.

 

 
The factors outlined above are going to be significant in your decision to accelerate the expansion of your business. While many successful business owners do not sit on their heels, they do not make impulsive, premature decisions as well. By performing a diagnosis of your industry, business, and market, you can have the information needed to make decisions on facilitating the growth of your business.

 


 

What are some signs that you have found to signify business growth?

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A Beginner’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence

 

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Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability for someone to manage, understand, interpret, and respond emotions. It’s arguably one of the most important traits for a person to have, as it will influence all their social interactions.

The term “emotional intelligence” was coined by psychologists John Mayer and Peter Salovey. They came up with a four-branch model to identify emotional intelligence, and leading psychologist Daniel Goleman expanded the model to five branches.

 

Daniel Goleman believes that EQ might be even more important than IQ. In fact, Harvard management professor Bill George believes that companies should hire people based on their EQ rather than their IQ. How can you tell if someone has EQ? Goleman has decided on five major components:

Self-Awareness: You know what you are feeling and understand how your mood can impact others.

 

Self-Regulation:

You can control impulses and resist temptations. You always think before acting. You are also very trustworthy, open to change, and comfortable with ambiguity.

 

Motivation:

You are driven by more than just money and external rewards. Your passion and desire to reach your goals are what drive you to succeed. You take initiative to get things done and don’t let obstacles stop you.

 

Social skills:

You are great at leading others, finding common ground, communicating, collaborating, and building networks.

 

Empathy:

You are very good at understanding other people’s emotions. You know how to meet their needs when they are in a bad mood.

 

 

Why do you need EQ? It’s something that will influence both your personal and professional lives. Here are just a few reasons:

 

First of all, people with high EQ are great at managing their emotions. This means they will not blow up on someone out of anger or break down due to stress. Emotionally intelligent workers recognize when it is time to step back and calm down.

 

Second, people with high EQ are more motivated and dedicated. Motivation is one of the key components of a person’s EQ. This is because emotionally intelligent people know how to avoid distractions, stay focused, and motivate themselves. They find motivation in their passion and are willing to work hard and take initiative.

 

Third, people with high EQ are great at communication. They are extremely empathetic and know how to read facial expressions and react accordingly. This makes them better at everything from selling to negotiating. Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman discovered that people would rather do business with someone they likeable and trustworthy rather than someone who is neither, even if the likeable person is offering a higher price or a lower quality product.

 

Fourth, people with high EQ are great at learning from their mistakes. They can easily identify when they caused a mistake or accident because they possess a high amount of self-awareness. On the other hand, those without high EQ are more likely to blame others for their failure. Also, emotionally intelligent people won’t dwell on past mistakes. They will move on and learn from it instead.

 

 

Finally, people with high EQ know how to say “no.” They can establish their boundaries and set limits for themselves and others. They know how to spot a bad deal or investment and will not say “yes” just to please the other party.

EQ is a fairly young concept in the world of psychology, but is nonetheless very important. People who learn to master their EQ will go very far in life and business.

 


 

What areas of emotional intelligence can you work on?

 

 

 

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How Hiring a Good Project Manager can Help Your Business Become More Self-Sufficient

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The ultimate aim of every business is to reach a level where it can support and sustain future growth on its own, without the owner having to micromanage every aspect of the enterprise. However, achieving this goal is a significant challenge. There are many routes that business owners can take to get to this point, but some are better than others. Perhaps the best way to allow your business to become self-sufficient is by hiring an accomplished project manager. That can help your company in several different ways, such as:

 

 

Faster Customer-Response Times
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For many customers, dealing with a business or representative that is reliable, fast, and personable are critical facets of maintaining a good working relationship. Having a skilled project manager on board can help the company prioritize this level of customer care. Your customers will know that if anything goes wrong, or they have a comment to make, your project manager is always ready to listen and act. This level of service is an excellent way to show your client base that your company is trustworthy and worthy of their repeat business.

 

 

Better Business Priorities
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Given that project managers are often in customer-facing roles in your business, they are in the unique position to understand the needs and concerns of your clients. Because of this, they become valuable intelligence points. A good project manager can identify and prioritize issues before they become detrimental to the growth of the business or its relationship with a client. From the client perspective, it is always nice to feel like your voice is being heard, which is bound to improve the relationship between your two companies.

 

 

Improved Communication
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It may seem obvious, but good communication is key to making sure a business thrives. That includes not only external but also internal communication between different branches of the company (for example, corporate governance and front-line employees). The project manager is often the firm’s crucial point of contact, ensuring that open, transparent information flows throughout the business.

 

 

Increased Streamlining

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As your business continues to grow, its structure and processes may become convoluted and inefficient. Project managers can analyze and audit the various operations within your company and figure out the best way to run them more efficiently. This approach can lead to lower operating costs while mitigating any potential risks along the way. Project managers are also excellent at problem identification and resolution, so instead of putting out fires along the way, you can make sure there are no fires.

 

 

As your company continues to grow, so do the associated risks and responsibilities. Tackling every aspect of every job yourself will become unfeasible. However, by hiring an experienced project manager, you can help make your company more self-sufficient and ensure its continued success into the future.

 


 

What qualities do you look for in a Product Manager?

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Valuable Skills That Define a High-Performing Employee

 

 

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Employers and employees have slight differences in their individual goals, but both place their work towards the success of the business. From a management perspective, maintaining the performance levels of employees is just as important as improving financial results. Maximizing employee performance means ensuring they possess the most relevant, valuable skills. Here are some skills that can ensure consistent, high-quality job performance.

 

 

Ability to Communicate

As employees work for your business, they will need to have refined communication skills – especially when interacting with colleagues and clients. Having adept communication skills would also be valuable during a presentation, when writing a coherent memo, or explaining your company’s work processes to clients.

 

 

Adapt to New Situations

Employees will have to work under many different situations, which highlight the need to be adaptable to any situation. Successfully integrated employees can do better in adjusting to changes in conditions. It is also important for them to be able to expand their skills and ensure continued growth. With the business world changing, it is important to keep up with competitors and new standards for success.

 

 

Collaborate in Teams

This is another important factor that all the employees should have in order to succeed in an organization. Some jobs assigned by management are not always completed individually. Employees will need to be able to work with other members of the team to ensure the best results. Teamwork skills play a major role in this area. Employees may have to switch between the role of leader and following while working in a team setting. Regardless of these roles, every individual must be able to cooperate and work towards achieving the common objective.

 

 

Resolve Conflicts

In a large company, conflicts are to be expected. This is where good conflict resolutions skills come in. Once a conflict arises, your employees must be able to emphasize the common goal of the organization and mitigate differences. If the group cannot agree to one decision, then work to make compromises. In addition, employees can also determine ways to negotiate and come to win-win situations. The organization as a whole benefits from having an established conflict resolution protocol.

 

 

Make Critical Observations

Being able to make critical observations is one of the most valuable skills an employee can have. Whether it is news reports, consumer surveys, or competitor moves, the ability to evaluate new information and draw a detailed analysis can distinguish a high-performing employee from others. They can provide a unique advantage against your competitors as well.

 

 

With these skills considered, you can modify your hiring and selection process to see if your candidates are at the ideal level in these five skills. The success of your business hinges on whether your employees possess the skills necessary to perform well on the job. If you have this team around you, then you have a better chance at realizing your business goals.

 


 

What are some other qualities you have observed in your high-performing employees?

 

 

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How to Find Employees Who Will Succeed at Working Remotely

 

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With the rise of the internet and digital freelancing platforms, the traditional business structure of “an office” has changed considerably. More companies are employing remote workers from around the world and from all walks of life, and as technology continues to advance, the option has become increasingly accessible and inexpensive. However, not everyone has the necessary skill set to work remotely. As such, businesses need to target and hire people who can work from home efficiently and effectively.

 

 

Tech-savvy employees are adaptable

In the fast-paced world of remote employment, employees may need to switch between different apps and tech services, depending on the company’s requirements. Some individuals do not take to change well, but others are happy and willing to adapt to a new system or framework if necessary. Adaptable workers are valuable because they save your business the time and expense of providing additional training or hiring more staff, and they could apply that adaptability to other facets of their work too.

 

 

High-initiative employees work well

Initiative is an attribute, which is difficult to teach and develop. Some people are born with it, and that makes them invaluable in the workplace. Since remote employees are not usually under immediate supervision, initiative and independent thinking are essential traits to look out for in potential new hires. You may find these employees will offer new ideas and ways of achieving the company’s goals.

 

 

Self-motivation is vital

Allowing workers to do their jobs remotely presents a leadership challenge for even the most efficient business. Without the barrier of immediate supervision, many employees can become easily distracted and, consequently, not focus on their work to the desired standard. Those who can demonstrate internal motivation, perseverance and cooperation are well suited for remote work since they can be trusted to get the job done efficiently and effectively.

 

 

Remote working undoubtedly appears to be the future of employment around the world. Businesses that expect to keep up with the competition must ensure that their recruits can succeed in such an environment. By following the tips above, you will be able to do just that.

 


 

What qualities do you look for in a person that works for you remotely?

 

 

 

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The Success of Your Business is Down to You

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It has been said that firms don’t fail – their managers do. In other words, a business will sink or swim, depending how it’s steered, so if you run a business, its success is all down to you.  This may seem unfair, considering that hitches and hurdles can crop up out of the blue. But business is a flexible phenomenon and can survive change, so all you need to do is be flexible yourself. If your venture hits an obstacle, just lead it around another way. Here are some common problems where flexibility is key to survival:

 

 

Low funds

If money’s running out, don’t panic and give up. Look for ways of replenishing your finances, or making do with less. Review every aspect of the business for possible money-saving opportunities. Look beyond it, too, for potential assistance that could save the day, such as grants, cost-sharing arrangements, low-interest loans and new markets. Think about your product, as well. Would it fare better if you altered it or diversified for a broader base? Sometimes there is no clear way forward, but even if you had to sell your business, you could set up another with the proceeds, reinvesting your skills and experience.

 

 

Changing consumer preferences

If market trends are changing and causing a drop in sales, adapt your product in line with the latest consumer preferences. Suppose you made cookies, for instance, but people were developing a preference for savory snacks over sweet ones. In that scenario, you could offer a savory variation, perhaps fading out the original version and developing the new one. Think outside the box and answers will come.

 

 

Hitches and hazards

If your plans encounter an obstacle, take a different route. If, say, your chief selling outlet is due to close, look out for an alternative or set up one yourself. With one eye permanently on the horizon, you’ll see such problems coming, giving you time to prepare for them. But suppose there is no way around the obstacle. Then sell something different that won’t be affected by it.

 

 

Natural disasters

If your premises are hit by a natural disaster, such as a flood or hurricane, it may seem like the end of the road for your dream venture. But look at the situation in a different light, and you’ll spot new openings. If you really can’t get operations going again, put your profits and business acumen to a new use. You could draw from this unusual experience, too, perhaps setting up a recovery service for future victims or making a product to protect against such dangers. Another solution would be to carry on your business elsewhere. There might even be funding available in the circumstances.

 

 

Getting too cozy

Don’t get too attached to your product. See it as a source of income, and let it shift and change with the tide. Provided it’s of genuine benefit to your customers with no detrimental effects on the community or environment, it will do fine. Similarly, don’t get too set in your ways. Be prepared to alter your methods and arrangements as need be, even if that means changing your lifestyle, too. Just think – the whole business world has successfully adapted to the rise of the internet, so don’t be afraid to give your corner a little shake-up.

 

 

Personal difficulties

If personal circumstances prevent you from continuing in your managerial role, consider taking on a deputy or partner to ease the burden. But if you can’t carry on at all and need to sell the business, don’t view that as a failure. Remember, it will still be up and running, if in new hands, and you can take pride forever in being its founder.

 

Many businesses fail, so if yours is still going strong, you’ve clearly got the requisite vision and flexibility. It may be a struggle at first, but you’ll soon be cruising along.

 


 

What are some critical tricks you use to stay on-top of your Business?

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5 Steps to Getting the Capital for Your New Business 

 

 

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One of the most commonly talked-about the hurdles of starting a new business is raising capital. Startups require sufficient money for equipment, staff, offices, and product development amongst other business-related resources. Having a good fundraising plan can mean the difference between an idea that stays on paper only, and one that comes to fruition. Here are a few fundraising fundamentals that can help you source the right capital needed for your idea.

 

 

1. Know Your Capital Goals Like the Back of Your Hand

You should know exactly how much money you need for every aspect of your business, and your business plan should state this accordingly. There’s no room for vague projections based on hunches and “guestimates.” Investors want to know how each penny will be spent to help them ascertain how soon they can recoup their funds. Make sure that your financial projections are clear and feasible.

 

 

2. Create the Right Expectations

Startups typically use a phased approach to attaining investment capital. Rarely do they acquire all of their venture funds in one fell swoop. It takes time to reach out to investors and sell them on your idea. It’s common for new startups to go through various rounds of capital procurement. Be prepared for this.

 

 

3. Start at Home

Don’t be afraid to ask the people in your inner circle to assist you on your journey-you’d be surprised by how many of them may be looking for a way to invest their savings. Before applying for small business loans with banks and credit unions, consider running your business idea by your family members, friends, and colleagues to see who may be willing to chip in on its funding. If you do, treat them as serious investors and be sure to draw up the necessary paperwork to avoid possible issues later.

 

 

4. Try Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms are continuing to raise millions of investment funds for new startups. The great thing is that they offer something for everybody. Where traditional bank and institutional loan providers may have been more favorable to non-creative businesses, crowdfunding welcomes innovation and creative ventures with open arms. For example, Patreon and ArtistShare both provide platforms for fans of creative content providers to support their favorite projects via online pledges. Check out platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter for your investment needs.

 

 

5. Tap the Angels

Consider angel investors for your startup venture. Scout out angel investors online or at industry networking events. Rub shoulders with industry leaders and influencers to help spread the word of your venture and garner investment interest. Angel investors offer more leniency than small business and venture capitalist loan providers because they’re independent (i.e., wealthy individuals with money to spend how they please) and they can also offer you other types of assistance through their contacts. After all, if you win, they win.

 

 

Lastly, remember that raising capital for your new business isn’t an overnight process. It takes time to procure suitable investors who may be interested in your idea. Take the time to explore all of your investment options before committing to any one lender.

 


 

What is a useful tip you have used to raise capital?

 

 

 

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5 Tips for Finding an Ideal Business Niche

 

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If you want to start a business, you’ll need a unique market niche for it. That means spotting a gap in customer provision, or an opportunity to improve on what’s there. It’s crucial to have a clear patch for your stall to enable it to stand out from the crowd, so use these five pointers to find the perfect one for you.

 

 

1. Choose a niche that interests you

To ensure your business flourishes, you’ll need to put it before everything else in your life, at least at first, so pick a topic or an aspect of your chosen one that will sustain your interest. You’ll need to be sufficiently interested in the subject to see it through your customers’ eyes, too, and understand their needs and wishes.

 

 

2. Check out what provision already exists

Identify your potential rivals, to find out what’s already out there in the line you have in mind. Surf the internet using a range of search terms to ensure you don’t miss anything. View websites, blogs, social media sites, forums and other platforms, taking note of which competitors are most popular and why. Which ones are struggling?

Browse their customer reviews to find out why, and consider if you could provide a better service.

Try out their products and services and consider what could be done better by you.

Look up their annual profits and observe how they’re expanding, if at all.

Could you take the theme in a new direction or add an extra perk?

Who are your rivals’ customers, and could you win some of them over by offering something a little different?

Find out as much as you can before stepping in.

 

 

3. Pick an apparent market gap and put it to the test

Try to identify two or more potential gaps in provision, and try them out. You’ll need to ascertain whether there is, indeed, a gap, or whether there is just no call for the provision. It could be that your competitors have omitted that aspect for good reason.

You’ll also need to test your own interest in the area you’ve selected. Give it all your time and attention for a trial period and see how you feel by the end of it. If need be, change course and pursue one of your other potential niches instead.

 

 

4. Consider hazards and challenges

Every business encounters problems, but if you see them coming, you can set contingency plans or safety measures in place accordingly. Take a critical look at your preferred niche from all possible angles, looking out for potential hitches, then think how you would deal with them. If you foresee any major stumbling block, seek professional advice as to whether and how to go ahead – there could be a simple solution that experts in the field will know about. But if the idea still seems beset with problems, it might be best to abandon it and try a different one.

 

 

5. Assess profit potential

You will need to estimate your likely profits, both short and long-term. Get a grip on the facts and figures involved and face up to the tough questions. Is the niche wide enough to draw enough customers, for instance, and is there sufficient potential for expansion? Weigh up the different aspects involved to check if it’s really viable. Your niche might be an exclusive one, attracting only a small section of society, but those customers might be happy with high prices.

On the other hand, your product might attract numerous customers, provided you set your prices low, and this could also work out well. You’ll have other considerations to take into account, too, such as financial outlay and risk factors, so balance all these together for an accurate picture. If it still looks promising, you’ll know you’ve hit on a great little niche.

 

 

Once you’ve made sure your idea is workable, you can fly with it. Never mind the odd bump or glitch – with a flexible approach and a steady hand, you can drive it full-speed ahead.

 


 

How did you identify your company’s niche?

 

 

 

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Developing Consistent and Strong Networking Skills in Business

 

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Networking skills are required in every facet of life. However, for a businessperson and an entrepreneur, being a competent communicator and networking with others is crucial. After all, you need to know people to thrive in the business landscape. In order to develop strong and consistent networking skills, here are some tips you can incorporate.

 

 

Ask for Help

You might dislike the idea of asking someone to help you out in a tight spot or offer guidance – but doing so can have long-lasting benefits. A great way to ask for an endorsement or introduce yourself to a circle is through a personalized and customized letter. In a world where email correspondences are predominant, having a customized email template can set you apart from other professionals.

 

 

Sell Yourself as a Brand

If you have given an interview, you know that your skills are what you try to sell to the interviewer. You need to convince them why you are the right choice. In networking events, the same formula holds true. You must build yourself as a brand and convince others of your worth so that you can leave an impression. A great way to build your brand is through maintaining a strong and convincing online presence. This can help you generate awareness as you work to improve the products of services you offer.

 

 

Do Not Try Too Hard

While it is important to stand out and establish yourself and your product, hard selling should be avoided. Be as honest about your skills as possible. Avoid making false and misleading statements. This can lead to more problems down the line. Instead, keep your approach and presentation about yourself candid. Explain your journey and your choices. Make the best pitch possible, but stay honest and realistic about your aspirations and achievements.

 

 

Participate in Industry Conferences

You might think you have outgrown the need for attending industry conferences, however, they still have value. These conferences are an important platform for networking. It also allows you to develop your personal brand even further. You can choose to have a company booth or become a speaker. This is bound to attract clients and provide you with opportunities to build relationships with potential partners.

 

 

Highlight Your Offering

At any occasion, conference, or event, you will meet various people. It is important to remember that every person you meet wants to get the most out of the meeting. This is why it is important to highlight what you have to offer to them. This will save you time and allow you to deliver your most valuable points. Rather than beating around the bush, you will be able to talk about what really matters to the both of you.

 

 

The process of networking is one of the things that significantly contributes to how you grow your business in the future. Not every entrepreneur networks in the same way, but the general tools and concepts that go into successful networking can help you.

 

By following these tips, you can learn to network consistently and skillfully. This can further help you build and strengthen relationships with colleagues and other stakeholders. Consider incorporating these tips to not only advance your networking skills, but also supplement your growth as an entrepreneur.

 


 

What tricks do you use to get the most of your networking? 

 

 

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A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Cheat Sheet 

 

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Primary keywords/phrases

Before starting an article, think about which keywords or phrases someone would type into Google to find it. For example, for an article about the best restaurants in Los Angeles: “Restaurants” and “Los Angeles” would be the primary keywords.

Include the primary keywords in the article title (known as h/1). For example, “The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles” / “The Top 10 Restaurants in Los Angeles.”These can also be phrases. For example, someone who wants to learn Spanish in Peru might type “where to learn Spanish in Peru” into Google. Therefore, a good SEO title would be “The Best Language Schools/Cities to Learn Spanish in Peru.

Secondary keywords/phrases

These are usually synonyms of the primary keywords or closely related words. For example, secondary keywords for “The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles” might be:

– Food
– Cuisine
– Eat/eating
– Dine/dining
– Gastronomy

Try to include as many secondary keywords as possible at least once in the text, preferably in the introduction or subheadings (h/2), if practical. WordPress makes it easy to select different headings.

Keywords only need to be entered once. There is no longer any advantage to typing them multiple times, although you certainly can if necessary.

Keyword stuffing

This refers to putting as many primary and secondary keywords into an article as possible for the sake of SEO. Don’t do this. You’re better off writing nice flowing text with fewer keywords. Readability wins over keyword stuffing every time. Keyword stuffing used to be a neat SEO trick but is no longer viable.

 

 

 

Article Length

350 words is a bare minimum. Many SEO experts believe long-form articles over 2,000 words rank better than shorter pieces. However, writing concise, engaging, and shareable content is far more beneficial than any SEO “hack” out there. Therefore, don’t try and pad out your articles with “fluff” to reach a higher word count.

Having said that, if any article genuinely needs to be over 2,000 words, then go for it. Photos enhance SEO considerably, so try to include at least three in each post. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t add more if you want.

Instagram pics can look nice, but they don’t help SEO at all. For this reason, try to upload photos rather than relying on Instagram.

Adding keywords to photo metadata aids SEO. By metadata, we’re referring to the alternative text, the photo title, and the caption. Include an insightful and relevant caption with each picture, ideally containing a keyword. Studies have shown people read (scan) photo captions far more than the text itself.

 

 

Good caption: A craft beer at the Beef and Beer Café, Los Angeles, California

Bad caption: A beer

Smaller file size photos are better for SEO. Under 1MB is ideal, just be sure they have a high enough resolution to avoid becoming pixelated (1024 horizontal resolution is best). A 2MB file size is an absolute maximum.

Ensure all photos are relevant and add interest to your story.

Duplicate Content

Don’t copy/paste from other online sources, even in small amounts. Google penalizes duplicate content, and you could end up getting sued.

 

Social Media

Shares and likes are great for Google rankings. The more, the better.

 

Line Breaks

Avoid writing more than four sentences in one paragraph, as this effects both readability and SEO. Nobody – not even Google – wants to read a wall of text.

 

Internal links

If possible, link to other blogs or articles on your website to retain readership and improve SEO. Aim for three internal links per post and try to keep them as natural as possible.

 

External Links

Linking to an external site (i.e., Wikipedia) will tell Google what kind of a website you have. With that in mind, try to keep external links to websites that are related to your business.

 

Inbound links

When another site links to you, particularly an authority (popular) site, it dramatically improves your ranking. Some people even go as far as creating new websites specifically to link to their existing site. This is not always viable, however.

 

Content is king

It’s a cheesy industry saying, but true nonetheless. Keep the above SEO tips in mind, but always remember that high-quality content is what brings in traffic. Readability should take precedence over SEO techniques.

 


 

What are your challenges with SEO?

 

 

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5 Steps to Increase Productivity When You’re Working From Home

 

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Working from home is a flexible option that enables you to manage your work and personal life more effectively. However, many people find it difficult to stay focused without the discipline and structure of a traditional working environment. Following these five steps will improve your productivity and help to create the right structure while working from home.

 

 

 

Set Boundaries

When you leave the house to go to a regular job, a mental and physical shift takes place that prompts your brain to switch to work mode. However, when you work from home, it’s easy to allow your work and home life to merge together. Family members, hungry pets, domestic chores and ringing telephones can all distract you.

Training your brain to switch to work mode is the key to productivity when working from home. You need to create solid boundaries between your home and work life. Schedule time for domestic chores and other responsibilities so that you can put them out of your mind during working hours.

 

 

 

Create a Dedicated Workspace

Having a dedicated workspace will help your brain to shift into work mode more easily. If you don’t have space for a home office or a separate room to use, you can designate a small corner, kitchen surface or even just a chair to be used only for your work.

Make your workspace as pleasant as possible, but try to keep it free from clutter and unnecessary distractions. If you need help staying motivated, you can pin some inspirational quotes or images on the wall. Ask family members to respect your workspace and to avoid disturbing you while you’re working.

 

 

 

Map Your Working Day

Creating a daily or weekly schedule will help to organize your work activities and keep you on track. Without a schedule or task list, it’s easy to waste time procrastinating or working on unimportant tasks.

Some people work best when each day is planned out in a calendar, with work tasks divided into specific blocks of time. Other people prefer a more flexible approach, using detailed task lists organized in order of importance.

 

Choosing the right strategy will depend on your own preferences, but it’s important to plan ahead and organize your working day effectively. Mapping out your day or week in advance gives you a clear plan for your work activities.

 

 

 

Schedule Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for keeping your mind fresh. Thinking about the same problem or task for a long period of time can make it difficult to find effective solutions, as your thoughts become narrow and you lose perspective. Taking a break is often all that’s needed to change your perspective and come up with new solutions.

One of the most effective ways to organise your day is by using the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique is a time-management method that works by breaking the day into small blocks (traditionally 25 minutes), interspersed with short breaks (5 minutes) and longer breaks (15-20 minutes). If you want to try the Pomodoro technique, there are plenty of apps available to make the process easier.

 

 

 

Take Care of Your Health

Physical and emotional health have a huge impact on productivity, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein, complex carbohydrates and antioxidants, as these are all needed for your brain to function effectively.

Take some exercise every day and try to get outside in the fresh air, as physical activity and a change of environment are crucial for physical and emotional health. In addition, make the time to relax and unwind at the end of each day.

 

 

 

Working from home can make it difficult to concentrate, but making a few simple changes to your working day will boost productivity. Setting boundaries between your work and home life, creating a dedicated workspace, mapping your work day in advance, scheduling regular breaks and taking care of your health are all crucial for success when working from home.

 


 

How do you manage to stay focused when working from home?

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Empower Your Future with These Fearless Ways to Stay Motivated as an Entrepreneur

 

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Staying motivated can be one of the toughest challenges you face as an entrepreneur. There will be days you’ll question your sanity for choosing entrepreneurship over a steady 9-to-5 job. There will be weeks you’ll feel like giving up. If you make it your mission to fuel your motivation fire on an ongoing basis, you get through the tough times and enjoy the entrepreneurship lifestyle. Incorporate the following tips into your business-building efforts and you will find it much easier to stay motivated as an entrepreneur.

 

Mindset Matters

Understand that the success of your business is determined by your own mindset. You can blame outside forces all you want, but ultimately, your success is determined by how far you’re willing to go to make your company a profitable venture. Whether that means pivoting or bringing on a new business partner, your success as an entrepreneur is completely within your control.

 

 

 

Overcoming Frustrations Makes Joyous Days Even Sweeter

Know that not every day will be positive and uplifting when you are an entrepreneur. You will have frustrating days when you feel like giving up. How you handle the tough days influences the joy you feel on the good days. Learn to welcome the bad days as an opportunity to learn and you will find your good days even more enjoyable and rewarding.

 

 

 

Attack Your Future Like a Warrior Going Into Battle

Approach entrepreneurship like a warrior going into battle. Create a game plan. Develop a strategy for overcoming your challenges. Plan your actions far into the future. The more effort you put into creating a detailed business strategy, the likelier it is you will find success as an entrepreneur.

 

 

Integrate these tips for entrepreneurs into your daily business life and you increase your odds of success. Becoming an entrepreneur may be a tough decision, but the rewards are worth the effort if you stick to it and focus on building a formidable business.

 


 

How do you stay empowered an entrepreneur?

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How Entrepreneurs Can Learn to Deal with Criticism and Use it To Their Advantage

 

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No matter how phenomenal your product, as an entrepreneur you’re going to encounter criticism. From competitors unhappy with your success to friends and family who don’t understand your vision, critiques are a part of entrepreneurship. Your ability to handle criticism will not only help you build a better company, it will strengthen you as an entrepreneur. If you’re determined to improve your ability to handle criticism, following are a few crucial tips you should bear in mind:

 

– Understand the motivation of the individual offering the critique. Are they a product user hoping to better understand your offering? Are they an online troll just looking to push your buttons? Knowing the difference between an honest critique and a “haters-gonna-hate” troll is essential to how you handle less-than-positive feedback.

 

 

– The ability to welcome open feedback is imperative for entrepreneurs who want to build a successful company. Founders who systematically tune out negative feedback are destined to end up on the failed startup pile. Welcoming critiques of your business opens you up to product development opportunities you might not otherwise have considered. Instead of looking at criticism in a negative light, adjust your thinking and welcome criticism as free product-development insights.

 

 

– How you respond to criticism is just as important as your willingness to accept critiques of your business. Founders who respond with anger or retaliatory accusations expose themselves to a whole heap of online trolling. Respond from a place of honesty, willingness to do better, and sharing of knowledge; it could be that criticisms stem from a lack of understanding of how your business works and misreading your product development roadmap.

 

 

– Learn to discern between helpful criticisms and distractions. Not every critique needs to impact how you grow your company. While some criticisms can lead to product or service tweaks, others are just distractions for you and your team. Are criticisms coming from paying users or drive-by know-it-alls? Will implementing a suggested change lead to increased revenues or happier customers? An entrepreneur’s ability to understand the difference between a helpful critique from a customer and a nuisance suggestion from a troublemaker is essential for long-term success.

 

 

 

Developing a thick skin and an open heart will stand you in good stead as an entrepreneur. You need to remain focused on your business goals and not let detractors steer you off course. While some criticisms can be light bulb moments for you and your team, others are nothing more than jealousy, misunderstandings, and spite. The faster you learn to understand the motivations of those offering criticisms, the better off you’ll be as an entrepreneur.

 


 

What are you thoughts on criticism?

 

 

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5 Benefits of a Two-Person Business Partnership

 

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If you’re setting up a business, you’ll be gearing yourself up to going it alone in the tough world of business. But making your way as a solo entrepreneur could prove a bleak challenge, with no one at your side to turn to in tricky times. A partnership, on the other hand, would reduce the burden on your shoulders, also enriching your venture with extra human resources. With just one co-leader, you’d still retain plenty of power, so consider these five great assets of a two-person partnership:

 

 

1. Half the burden of responsibility

With an entrepreneurial partner, you’ll only have half the responsibility for your business, and correspondingly, only half the stress when problems arise. With the weight of responsibility lightened, you’ll be more productive and successful.

 

 

2. An extra source of inspiration

You may be a very inspirational person, but there could be times when ideas run out or don’t work, so an extra mind to tap could prove very useful. No two people think the same, so your co-leader will inevitably have a different approach to offer, adding extra qualities to the business. When you share an idea with another thinker, it can quickly develop into something more exciting, and with two brains rather than one, you’ll work through the possibilities faster and more effectively.

 

 

3. Double energy input

Running a business can take a tremendous amount of energy, but with two of you at the helm, you can share out tasks and take breathers when you need to. With double the energy, your project will run extra-smoothly and dynamically, generating more profit as a result.

 

 

4. Double the source of knowledge and skills

A partner will empower your business with an extra range of skills and information. There will be some areas where your knowledge and expertise coincide, providing a rich pool of resources, and others that only one of you can fulfill, but between you, you’ll have a wide canvass of provisions with which to power your business.

 

 

5. Social company and moral support

While you may prefer working on your own in general, you’re sure to be glad of some company at times. It’ll be relaxing and stimulating to talk over ideas and findings with your colleague, especially with your shared goals and entrepreneurial passions.

 

 

Tips for choosing your business partner

If you’re drawn to the idea of a two-person partnership, choose your business partner with care. You’ll need a strong, harmonious and effective working relationship that draws on each other’s strengths, so make sure you get on well with your potential co-leader and that they have the relevant qualities to help carry your enterprise forward. A shared vision with equal commitment will also be needed, so iron out any major differences between you before confirming the arrangement.

 

 

A business partnership does not have to be limited to two people. You can combine forces with many partners, or go it alone if you prefer, so weigh up the pros and cons of all the options, including the legalities involved, before making your final decision. With the ideal arrangement for your needs, your business will be off to a flying start.

 


 

What are you thoughts about business partnerships?

 

 

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Step Away from your Startup – How Taking Time off Can Deliver Renewed Results

 

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From lone-wolf mavericks to visionary thought leaders, all successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common: The desire to work the hours needed to win the business game.

 

It is almost a badge of honor to spend every waking moment driving your business forward. While there is no doubt that every startup needs plenty of attention to be a success, sometimes it is better for an entrepreneur to take a step back and spend a little time away, Rather than being a sign of low commitment of diminished drive, this can actually boost the success of your business in many important ways.

 

 

Restore Mental Clarity

When you’re caught up in the day-to-day details of running a business, it’s easy to lose your sense of perspective. Minor problems which have been nagging away at your for weeks can take on greater importance than they deserve, distracting you from the most important issues which need your attention. Taking a break will help to restore your mental clarity, and a change of scene will often prompt your subconscious to provide answers to those persistent problems.

 

 

 

Prove You’re Not Indispensable

While you may be the driving force behind your business, you’re not building a successful operation for the future if everything would fall apart the minute your back is turned. Taking time out lets you see just how your business copes without your continuous management, and will point up in areas of weakness in staff or procedure that you can strengthen, benefiting efficiency overall.

 

 

 

Avoiding Burn Out

Even the most driven and focused entrepreneur risks burning out if their entire life is filled with their business. Forcing yourself to spend a few days completely away from your startup can remind you of the pleasures of a more varied lifestyle, such a leisurely meal in a restaurant rather than a rushed sandwich of a working lunch. Success in business id a marathon and not a sprint, and you need to pace yourself to avoid dropping out the race early.

 

 

 

Renew Your Vitality

Even before you reach the stage of burn-out, a lack of life outside work will have a significant consequences for your business effectiveness. Without variety, your brain can begin to slow down, reducing your creativity and energy. A change of scene can revitalize your mind and renew your entrepreneurial spark.

 

 

 

High-Level View

Time away from the daily pressure of running a startup can being the bigger picture into sharper focus. You can remind yourself of where you want to be headed in the long term, rather than simply dealing with the daily details and urgent challenges your business throws at you.

 

 

 

New Energy is Contagious

Lastly, when you return to work refreshed after a break, your renewed energy will transmit itself throughout your company. Make sure that both you and your employees have scheduled realistic breaks/ vacations spaced throughout the year to keep your entire enterprise pushing forward with vigor rather than stagnating.

 

 

While stamina and ambition are the hallmarks of any successful entrepreneur, being obsessively driven is often counterproductive. Taking time away from your business will help it to flourish in the long run, so don’t give into the mistake and belief that working ever-longer hours is the only way to build a profitable company.

 


 

How do you like to spend your time away from work?

 

 

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How to Trade Value for Dollars Instead of Hours

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The largest portion of the world economy revolves around trading hours for dollars, while a small section of smart entrepreneurs know that trading value for dollars is much more lucrative.

You grow up being taught to get a good job and work hard so that after a certain period of time you may get a raise or even promoted.  But what if you didn’t have to live your life and your financial gain dependent on someone else’s time schedule?  Just think of the freedom that could bring you.

 

If you want more time and money or just want to retire early, you must have a change in your mindset and forget what you’ve been told.  Stop trading hours for dollars and get an entrepreneurial mindset.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to quit your job, it just means you need to think out of the box and use your skills and knowledge in a better and more productive way.

While some people do quit their jobs and go out on their own, it’s not always necessary.  You may not want to give up that great health insurance or the stock options your company offers, and that’s okay.

 

So many people today are starting tiny micro-businesses called side hustles.  These side hustles allow you to make extra money, be creative, and add value to your lives and the lives of those around you.

 

Examples of Proven Side Hustles

1. Create an informational product or course around your knowledge and sell it online.

2. Write your knowledge in a kindle book and sell it on Amazon.

3. Get involved in a multi-level marketing business. This is a great way to make some residual income.  Even some Avon representatives who have a large group working under them make almost $300,000 per year.

4. Start a blog in an area you are knowledgeable in and monetize it with related products to bring in the income you desire.

5. Become a super affiliate and make a six-figure income selling other people’s products

 
It doesn’t matter what area your knowledge is in because everyone knows enough about something to make extra money with that knowledge.  Don’t let your sub-conscious, your neighbors, or your relatives tell you your ideas are stupid.  Believe in yourself and move forward.

 

Remember, there are only so many hours in a day and if you trade your hours for dollars your income will always be limited.  While a stable paycheck and being a company man is good, being financially independent is fantastic.

 

Only you can change your mindset so don’t continue on the same path.  A new day and a new way of living are in your future.


 

What value do you monetize and trade in the market place?

 

 

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Can Self-Delusion Be a Good Thing for Entrepreneurs? This Author Thinks So.

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Confidence is everything in the business world. When you are meeting new people, talking to investors, or selling your product, other people will notice your confidence and respond accordingly. But what happens if you over-estimate your own abilities? According to Joseph T. Hallinan, author of Kidding Ourselves: The Hidden Power of Self-Deception over-estimation is not always a bad thing.

 

 

In the right conditions, self-deception can give you that much-needed boost of confidence. Hallinan says that if you are going through a rough time and you tell yourself that everything will work out, that self-deception can potentially improve your performance. You will be more confident in your abilities, and like a self-fulfilling prophecy, you will perform better as well.

 

Hallinan says that self-deception is akin to a psychological immune system because it “helps us stave off things that cause us to be unsuccessful in life, like depression.” It stands to reason that people who feel confident about their own worth and abilities will be in a better mood when compared to people with low self-esteem.

 

Like all things, self-deception is only good in moderation. Someone who overestimates their ability to do something may end up failing after biting off more than they can chew.

On the other hand, a lack of self-deception can be just as detrimental. Hallinan points out that depressed people have the most accurate self-assessments. Sometimes, it is good to live in blissful ignorance because the negative aspects of life will bring down your mood and self-esteem.

 

Don’t feel bad for being a little bit cocky. It will convince you to take risks and do things that you wouldn’t normally do. Want to call up that potential business partner? Want to pitch your new idea to your marketing team? Want to audition for Shark Tank? Obviously, nobody would never do these unless they had confidence. Even if you’re not successful, you can say that you’ve tried – and trying is the first step to getting something done.

 


 

What part about being delusional as an Entrepreneur has helped you ?

 

 

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What It Takes for a Startup in Silicon Valley to be Successful, According to One MIT Study

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A study by MIT researchers Scott Stern and Jorge Guzman tried to identify what separates a successful startup to a failed startup. The researchers analyzed California business registrations between 2001 and 2011 and looked at data from the US Patent and Trademark Office and Thomson Reuters. They looked at various factors to determine which ones played a role in a company’s success – in this case, a company was considered to be successful if it achieved an initial public offering or an acquisition within six years after it was founded. Here is what the study found:

 

One finding was that companies who have short names (three words or less) are 50% likely to succeed than companies with long names. Additionally, companies that are named after their founders are 70% likely to succeed than companies that are not.

 

The study also found that trademarked companies are five times more likely to do well when compared to non-trademarked companies.

Incorporated companies are six times more likely to succeed when compared to non-incorporated companies.

This includes California companies that incorporated in Delaware to take advantage of tax policies.

Furthermore, patented companies do a staggering 25 times better than those without.

A California company that incorporated in Delaware and has patents is 200 times more likely to grow than a company who has done neither.

 

Of course, none of these factors guarantee success and the research is still developing into a more complete algorithm. What is most important is that “founders need to have ambition and potential so that those choices make sense in their overall business plan,” said Stern.

 

 

 

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Changing the world is hard: how to find real radical Innovation

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When you look at the world of startups and entrepreneurs today, you will find an number of variations on the theme of disruptive or radical innovation. It seems like every new company wants to change the world as if nothing less could be worthy of their efforts. However, what most companies do today is not radical, but incremental innovation, especially as advancements in internet and smartphone technologies are consolidated and standardized.

 

Real radical innovations, such as railroads, electricity, automobiles, and the internet, may start in one industry, but they spread, changing the entire economy in their wake. Radical innovations, i.e., those that after the socioeconomic system as a whole, don’t come along all that often. Instead, most change is incremental, building on and increasing the influence of groundbreaking innovations. Because of this, there will only ever be a few people who can genuinely day they changed the whole world, and this is why so few companies dominate mature industries, such as Ford, GM, and Toyota in the automotive industry.
Nevertheless, someone has to create the radical innovations of tomorrow, even if the risk is high, and the networks of technology that underpin future drastic changes are probably already growing. Smart entrepreneurs, investors, and inventors looking to the future for foundation-changing innovation should look beyond the narrow interests of previously consolidated digital technologies. If you want to change the world, look for future radical innovations in areas that are only just beginning to emerge, such as energy storage for renewable power generation.

 


Radical innovation is a Once in a Lifetime Event

The line between incremental and radical innovations is often blurry. Every piece of technology relies on an interlinked network of previous advances to make it possible. Nevertheless, pioneering economist Joseph Schumpeter defined radical innovations as those that hit at the very foundations of existing industries.

 

Radical innovations often start in a discrete corner of a small industry, but they offer so many advantages that they rapidly expand across the whole economy. Railroad technology, which initially was developed for coal mining, ended up utterly changing the way people and goods moved across the world. The internet, designed as a decentralized network for the military, has entirely changed the way people exchange information across the globe.

Nikolai Kondratiev was a Russian economist, and the first to note the wave patterns of radical incremental innovation, giving his name to the process. The Kondratiev Wave describes an economic cycle where each radical innovation spreads through the economy via accumulative changed before leveling off and leaving room for a new wave of radical innovation.

 

Economist Carlota Perez divides this into a two-stage process. First, during an installation phase, change accelerates and spreads across economic systems. Second, in a deployment phase, the radical advancement of the installation phase is consolidated with incremental innovation and monopolization by massive corporations, such as Ford and GM in the automotive era, or Google and Facebook in the internet era.

 

There is nothing wrong with incremental innovation; its what takes radical innovation and spreads it out across the word, hopefully changing it for the better in the process. Incremental innovation works out the kinks and helps radical innovations through their growing pains. Radical innovation threatens the bedrock of previous industries, but when done incrementally, changes disassemble those foundations. For instance, Uber and Lyft incrementally innovated on radically innovative smartphone technology to dismantle the foundations of the taxi industry.

 


 

Radical Innovation Requires More Than Dreams

The problem with radical innovation is that it is often hard to recognize before the fact. Radical change requires foresight and an understanding of the needs of industry, the economy, and society at large. Even if you do recognize radical innovation, bottlenecks often stand in the way of advancement. However, those bottlenecks are often the best places to look for the start of an innovation wave. For instance, railways only became possible after a whole series of other innovations, such as precision matching and limited liability corporations.

 

Sometimes this constellation of innovation inputs comes together by itself, but often times it is a small group of individuals who make the final push. What sets these people apart is the vision they have to take an already existing technology and make it not only viable but profitable. Thomas Edison’s real genius was not inventing: he has other people do that for him. His real talent wasd knowing where to direct his innovation. He saw the potential in emerging markets electric technology to change the world, and he had the vision to recognize that selling electric power to the world required a game-changing product, so his team got to work creating the light bulb.

 

For all of the love given to Edison’s rival, and former employee, Nicola Tesla, he did not have much in the way of a realistic vision. Tesla was a genius, but he got lost in dreams of a utopian future provided for by free, wireless electric technology. Even if that were possible, however, it was indeed far beyond the technological capabilities of the late 19th Century. A realistic vision takes dreams and applies them to current technologies. Tesla’s goals did not fit with a realistic image of the economy in the late 19th Century.

 

To be fair to Tesla, knowing what that new radical innovation is realistic and how to get it to market is incredibly difficult. Most initial attempts at implementing a fundamental change fail during the first phase of a Kondratiev wave. Every pioneering company like Google leaves thousands of failed company in its wake.


 

What industry do you believe is ripe for radical innovation?

 

 

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How Entrepreneurs Can Maximize Their Time for Greater Efficiency

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Whether you are a startup founder or a small business owner, task management skills are crucial to your success. Business builders who pay attention to how they spend their time are much likelier to be successful than those who have no regard for the value of their time. If you want to maximize your time, consider the following tips for entrepreneurs.

 

Be Specific with Your Goals

  If you want to get the most out of each day, it is imperative you be judicious with your time. Be specific with your daily goals and have a clear way of measuring success.

 

Avoid Meetings If a Short Conference Call Will Do

Not every business decision requires a team meeting. Instead of attending meetings, opt for a Skype call or Google Hangout. Ascertain the reason for a meeting prior to committing your time; chances are good the matter can be resolved via video conferencing.

 

Delegate According to Team Strengths

One of the best ways to manage your time as an entrepreneur is to ensure each task at your company is being handled by the most appropriate person. Delegate tasks to the team member with the strongest skill set appropriate to the job. Wasting time bringing a staff member up-to-date on a project can cut into valuable business building time.

 

Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires attention to detail and stellar time management skills. The tips listed can help you make the most of your time so you can become a more efficient entrepreneur.

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5 Signs Your About To Succeed as an Entrepreneur

 

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It’s surprisingly difficult to sort out whether you’re succeeding as an entrepreneur. You most often will find evidence in the little things. You don’t have to wait for a fat bank account to show you that you’re on the right track. Here are a few signs that will help you figure out if you should stay the course..

 

  1. You’re Trending

People like to talk about good things, strong and exciting ideas tend to be shard to often, so if people are talking about your start-up (and not in a negative manager) you’re probably in a good spot. Take a look at various social media circles and see you’re trending, it is especially good if they’re discussing things among themselves without your prompting.

Trends are not limited to discussion. People choosing to wear your brand or using sticks with your brand on them can count for just as much. It increases your exposure and shows they’re not just please with your product, but are eager to let others know about it as well.

 

 

  1. You can Adapt.

Adaptability and flexibility are important traits for an entrepreneur to have, although it is often difficult to exhibit those traits. Sure, you may know that your product’s branding needs to shift or add a new feature, but you may not have the capital to enact these changes.

When your succeeding, you’re not only willing to adapt to the market, but you’re also able to. You have the resourced and understanding required to make the right adjustments because you have your fingers on the pulse of the audience, as well as enough revenue to power the start-up through its evolution.

 

 

  1. Your Excited Again

It is natural to be excited when you first become an entrepreneur. You’ve got a big idea and a start-up to make your dreams real. However, it doesn’t take long for the business to turn into a grind. That’s a natural part of the process. If you do something often enough, it becomes almost automatic.

But then something changes, you feel something in the air. You’re feeling a good kind of nervousness. You’re excited again. whatever the cause of this excitement, it is often a sign you are about to make a breakthrough

 

  1. Criticism is Welcome

Criticism and feedback are important parts of a successful start-up. Without both, you can’t adjust your products to fit the customer’s needs. If you can’t improve and innovate, you may as well shut it down before you spend anymore money.

Often times the problem lies in the entrepreneur rather than the customer. Customers are eager to share their thoughts if given the opportunity. It’s difficult to hear criticism of your product, but if you can take it, you’re ahead of those who can’t. Criticism is free advice.

Not all feedback will be helpful. For every customer who wants to help improve your start-up there are plenty who’re just want to bring you down. Shrug them off and focus on helpful advice.

 

 

  1. Your Overhead Costs Seem Reasonable

Early in your start-up’s life, it may be difficult to determine how much of your overhead is acceptable, or even reasonable. Despite profit projections you’re ultimately working off of an educated guess. You’re not sure how much of the market is ready, or if you can even get their attention.

That all changes once you have a steady stream of clients and revenue. After a few months, you’ll have a clear idea of how your net income looks. From there, you can judge whether your overhead seems reasonable. If not, you can make the necessary adjustments to make your business more sustainable.

 

 

Figuring out when you’re turning a corner is important as an entrepreneur. When you see these signs, you can develop those acts, and phase out things that are holding you back. You can also use this information to help keep your employees pumped and passionate. Tell them about how your overhead costs are well within expectations. Let them know how excited your customers are on Twitter and how you saw someone wearing one of your T-shirts. Share your own excitement with them and infect them with the passion that drive you to chase your dreams.

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What is Jeff Bezos’ New Glenn rocket, and what will it do?

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Blue Origin, the rocket company founded by Jeff Bezos, is still in the final testing phase of its suborbital New Shepard rocket. However, the company is already working on an orbital rocket called the New Glenn, due for a first launch in 2020.

The New Glenn will come in two versions, a two-stage model that will be a workhorse satellite launcher, and a three-stage version designed for more challenging missions, such as launching payloads into deep space. When the rocket becomes operational it will launch from LC-36 at Cape Canaveral. New Glenn will compete for launch contracts with SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, the Delta IV Heavy, and the Vulcan, which is still under development.

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Similar to the SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, the first stage of the New Glenn will be reusable. When it completes its burn and separates from the rest of the rocket, the first stage will land on a barge in the Atlantic. The stage will then be brought back to the Blue Origin Cape Canaveral facility to be refurbished and reused.

Bezos has invested $2.5 billion so far in the development of the New Glenn. The rocket has contracted for eight launches so far. Blue Origin is soliciting the United States military to provide further funding for the New Glenn for Defense Department missions.

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Besides military and commercial payloads, Bezos envisions New Glenn as the launch vehicle of the Blue Moon lunar lander. Blue Origin is keenly interested in participating in a joint venture with NASA to return to the moon under a commercial partnership arrangement recently announced by the space agency.

New Glenn could also take paying customers on orbital trips around the Earth, providing an even more profound space tourism experience than the suborbital New Shepard. Customers who have already flown on the New Shepard will be given priority for such flights.

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Techniques that will Scale your Startup in 2018

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Because the word “scaling” can mean different things to different folks, it is necssary to determine which definition to use here. For the purpose of this article we will be referring to scaling a startup as a means for growth.

 

Your Team

When an individual moves past the ideation stage of a startup, they probably have envisioned the kind of team that is required to bring that vision to life. The startup’s fonder might have used personality characteristics to round-out the team necessary to make the star up a success. These characteristics include:

Leadership abilities

Balanced Mindset

Creative thinkers

Collaborators

Marketing types

 

Along with such well-rounded individuals, however there is always the need and the option of outsourcing some of the business’ day-to-day activites to professionals who can pick up the slack and allowing the core team to focus on growing the company. Freelancers can get a job done without taking up office space of using company benefits. Outsourcing means you will not have an extra salary to pay and some projects demand more time can be accomplish by a professional to save time.

Company and Startup tasks that are best to outsource include:

Accounting

Human Resources

Blogging

Web Design

Content creation

 

Your Product

Quite a few people realize that creating a startup is the way to go in 2018. This idea is a trend with which to be reckoned. But, some outside help to determine whether what you are selling is meaningful might be necessary.

Requesting the services of a service probider with expericnce, longevity, and a network of information can be a boon for business. The servide company will have your back by providing top-notch engineers, software development services, quality assurance and project management assistance.

 

Your Customers

As entrepreneurs already know, the product is not going to sell unless the startup is knowledgable of the integrates effective online markets. It si all about the internet. Digital marketing services must be apart of a business plan of products will not sell. Making this connection to your customers is what digital marketing services do. Some examples include:

Boosting media presense

Increasing sales

Generating Viable leads and more

 

Your Funding:

For most startups, the financing of a budding enterprise depends on the teams skill at fundraising. A startup service company is the right place to sit if the business needs support on the technicalities and techniques of raising money for your idea. A marketing service agency can assist with:

Basic bookkeeping

Financial guidance

Revenue growth

Diversification

Finance design, creation and management

 

 

Your SEO Leverage

In the advertising and marketing arena, there are two central structures – search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC). SEO costs nothing, except time, but can get you to the top of that first page when done well. Google Adwords is in charge of PPC functions. Professionals can optimize your website, set up your campaigns, administer strategic planning on facebook and beef up keywords and ad designs

 

Your Social Media Marketing Plan

Digital service professionals can customize social media platforms including facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin and more. The agents tends to making the business’ brand image consistent, content-driven, video inducive and filled with trending blog posts.

 

No one said that startups were going to be easy to develop, but it is nice to know that there are professionals out there ready to encourage teams to be the first over the finish line. From one incredible idea to its fabulous launch and right on into its successful online presence, professional digital marketing firms are available to help in any way.

 

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Ways to Make Your Product Innovation Strategy More Dynamic

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With the consumer-driven nature of markets today, it is easy to note the failures of some products that enter the market. One estimate from a 2011 study found that up to 95 percent of products that hit the market fail. This illustrates the expectations and high standards that consumers carry in the market. However, it is not impossible to introduce an innovative product if you take an honest interest in maximizing the innovation output at your business. Here are a few tips you can take into account when attempting to create and market an innovative product in any market.

Understand Your Consumers

Customer sovereignty is a vital concept successful businesses pay attention to. While the purpose and intention of entering a market as a seller is to make a profit, this does not mean buyers must have all their needs placed in the backseat. In fact, customer satisfaction is a fundamental factor in determining the level of success a product may achieve within a market. Innovation can be made possible with the right kind of feedback simply because innovation must exist for the purpose of increasing sales and profits. Customers are likely to buy goods if it suits their needs. Surveying these needs help you better understand them and cater to a larger consumer base.

Build a Relationship with Your Customers

Reaching out to the body of potential customers most likely to purchase your product is important for marketing and product innovation. If you market your new product to a hyper-targeted consumer base, they can provide useful feedback and improvements that can be valuable to your development process. This means funds can be directed towards making a more focused set of improvements and changes required to have customers respond favorably to your products. If the needs of your existing customers are met, then your product has a high chance of catching on with other groups.

Generate Customer Loyalty

Consumer loyalty is a key concept in encouraging product innovation. Building a two-way relationship of trust and service between your business and your customer will lead to better product development efforts. In addition, it creates a more secure space and situation for your business to want to invest in making innovative improvements within your products.

These are just a few of many ways in which product innovation may be improved at your business. You may also note that they revolve largely around the concept of emphasizing your customer base. This is because it is the relationship between buyer and seller that affects the nature of the product being promoted. This is a concept that may be tricky to grasp, but if you can understand it, the benefits to your product innovation strategy will be profound.

In what ways can your product innovation be more dynamic?

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The Biggest Startup Acquisitions of 2018

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It’s the biggest dream of every startup founder: a larger company swoops in and buys out the whole company to acquire an innovative idea, proprietary technology or just to wipe out the competition. However, few startups are able to build their nascent business into a viable firm and even fewer can attract an outside buyer. In 2018, these lucky few startups were able to transform their years of hard work into financial success.    

1. Flipkart

India’s biggest success story, FlipKart, is the Amazon of South Asia. With over $2.9 billion in annual revenue, it wasn’t a surprise when American retail giant Walmart came calling. After a largely unsuccessful attempt to enter the Indian market on the brick-and-mortar side, Walmart opted to purchase a 77% stake in Flipkart to the tune of $16 billion. Sachin Bansal, who co-founded the company in 2008, will reportedly receive $800 million in the deal.

2. Ele.me

Founded in 2008, Shanghai food delivery service Ele.me has quickly become of one of China’s most successful startups. The company now services over 2,000 Chinese cities with its 30-minute food delivery guarantee. Attracted by its rapid growth, Alibaba began investing in the company in 2016. After Ele.me acquired Baidu’s food delivery service in 2017, Alibaba elected to snap up the startup for $9.5 billion. Co-founder Xuhao Zhang will stay on at the company as chairman.  

3. Flatiron Health

Frustrated with the slow pace of cancer research, Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg launched Flatiron Health in 2012. They hoped to use improved technology to parse oncology research across the United States. The company soon attracted more than $130 million in investment from venture capital firms like Google Ventures. Their software caught the eye of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, who grabbed the up-and-coming startup for $1.9 billion. As part of the deal, Flatiron will remain an independent entity and Turner and Weinberg will continue in their current positions.  

4. Glassdoor

The original purpose behind Glassdoor was to build a Yelp for job hunters. Robert Hohman, Tim Besse and Rich Barton had become friends while working on Expedia for Microsoft and decided to take the leap and launch a startup of their own in 2007. Glassdoor soon had a thriving business based on job recruiters and became the fastest growing career website of 2015. Japanese conglomerate Recruit Holdings offered $1.2 billion for the startup in May 2018. With this deal, Recruit has taken over the top two jobs sites in the United States; it acquired the Indeed job search engine in 2012.

5. Ring  

Inventor James Siminoff founded smart doorbell company Doorbot in 2012 when he realized that he couldn’t hear his doorbell from the garage. After a disappointing stint on ABC’s Shark Tank, Siminoff changed the startup’s name to Ring. Riding the wave of television publicity, Siminoff was able to get his camera-equipped doorbells into the hands of consumers. By 2017, Ring had more than 1 million customers and had received almost $230 million from venture capital firms. Amazon, seeing the benefits Ring could bring to their Amazon Prime delivery service, snapped up the startup for a cool $1 billion.

6. 99

In July 2012, a trio of Brazilian entrepreneurs decided to launch Brazil’s answer to Uber. Their ride-hailing startup 99 was born and soon spread across the country. It managed to attract investors from Brazil, the United States, Japan and China. By 2016, passengers were using the startup’s app to go on 4 million rides per month. As Uber expanded in Brazil, Chinese ridesharing startup Didi Chuxing began eying the Latin American market. In January 2018, they made their move by acquiring 99 for a whopping $1 billion, officially making 99 the first unicorn in Brazil.

7. Kensho

Daniel Nadler was a philosophy student at Harvard when he lured software engineer Pete Kruskall away from Google to start their own company. The two men used machine learning technology to develop their own search engine software for the stock market. The tool was soon being used by companies all over the U.S. to analyze hedge funds and provide insight into the market. Goldman Sachs and S&P Global jumped on board, investing $57 million into the growing company. In March 2018, S&P Global acquired Kensho for $550 million, setting a new record for an A.I. acquisition.

8. Naked Hub

When Grant Horsfield founded coworking hub startup Naked Hub in 2015, he never imagined that one day it would be one of the biggest coworking companies in Asia. Together with his wife Delphine Yip-Horsfield, a Harvard-trained architect, Horsfield expanded the mainland startup into Hong Kong and Vietnam. Eager to enter the Asian market, American competitor WeWork acquired Naked Hub for $400 million in 2018, adding Naked Hub’s 20 locations to its stable of offerings.  

9. Grapeshot

John Snyder and Martin Porter were no strangers to the world of startups when they launched Grapeshot in 2006. They had already developed and sold their own search engine in the 1990s. With Grapeshot, they hoped to use new technology to help companies create targeted ad campaigns. As the two men built their brand, interested venture capital firms soon came calling to the tune of $22 million. Oracle acquired the company for $400 million in April 2018, eager to add the startup’s technology to their Data Cloud platform.

 

10. Mozy

A modest web hosting company from Utah, Mozy was started in 2005 by Josh Coates, a former software engineer at Microsoft and the Internet Archive. Throughout most of its early history, Mozy flew under the radar. It was funded mainly by former NetWare developer Drew Major and Draper Associates. In 2007, EMC Corporation purchased the startup from Coates and added a home version of the company’s products. Carbonite, a backup service company based in Massachusetts, purchased the firm in February 2018 for $145.8 million.  

Whether the purchase makes international headlines or the deal is quietly put through with interest from the business community, these acquisitions gave investors some of the most profitable exits of the year. From e-commerce sites to ride-hailing startups, these 10 startups accomplished the main goal of every startup founder: a successful and profitable acquisition.

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Lead Generation From The Ground Up: Making A Start 

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Lead generation should be a priority among your business initiatives. However, green entrepreneurs don’t always have enough familiarity with the business sector to navigate some of the more advanced lead generation tactics available to them. Fortunately, they don’t need to navigate anything just yet, and neither do you. What you need to do is make a start, and it’s a lot easier than you may think. 

Here are three beginner lead generation tactics that you need to focus on before you do anything else: 

Draft a Lead Generation Proposal 

The time and attention that you put into your lead generation proposal could save you hours of time and frustration later. Without at least a rough projection on paper of how you intend to expose your product to the world, you run the risk of presenting your product to the right people at a time when they are not ready to take interest in it, or to the wrong people altogether.

Which demographic categories do you wish to sell your product to? Teenage girls? Middle-aged businessmen? Consider the media with whom those in your target demographic profile might interact on a regular basis. Teen girls concerned with getting the same message across to everyone with one click to are more apt to use Instagram than they are to use LinkedIn. By contrast, the middle-aged businessman concerned with networking are apt to spend hours finding ways to work his profile into everyone else’s.

Keep It Casual 

Start with your friends. Are any of them in business for themselves? People in business for themselves develop lasting relationships with clients in order to keep leads coming in. Many of these relationships are deeply rooted in friendship. Tell your friend that you have a product ready and that you are looking for a way to start generating some exposure for your business. Are they close with any clients who might take interest in your product or service? Would they be willing to drop your name? 

If they agree to do so, it will be because they trust you enough to trust the quality of your product and to take the offer to someone with whom they need to maintain an impeccable reputation. That alone gives you a leg up on anyone else who might be advertising services in your line of work to your friend’s client. Set your price for the transaction lower than the cost of services (remember, you will be buying a connection that you can mine ad infinitum in the future, not just a lead). If you make a sale, extend your friendship to your new client and repeat the process.

 

Follow Up 

Few customer retention strategies are more effective than following up with consumers regarding how well your product is living up to its reputation. Once you have established your first few connections, pick up the phone. Consumers who are genuinely pleased with your product or service–including customer service–will raise it to the attention of others as the need for it develops. This qualifies as an organic lead. Your job is to generate as many organic leads as possible from every client with whom you come in contact. The simple act of picking up the phone and ensuring quality service can help you keep the clients you have so you can start bringing in more. 

Lead generation is extremely important to your business, but it means working smart and being as thorough as you possibly can at ground level. Ultimately, having a specific plan of action, seeking leads through personal channels and following up with your clients will help you make a start toward building your business.

How do you plan to generate leads?

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How to Use Color Psychology in Your Marketing Campaign

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About 90% of consumers make snap judgments about brands based on color alone, and 85% of shoppers say that color is the primary reason they buy a particular product. Clearly, marketers must be careful choosing which colors they use to promote their brand.

People make common associations between emotions and colors — white with cleanliness, red with anger, and yellow with happiness. While this is mostly true, color and context have a significant influence on someone’s perception of color. For example, the red in the American Red Cross logo can represent health, but not when looking at the McDonald’s, KFC, and Coca-Cola logos. It is essential for the colors to communicate the brand’s personality effectively.

Nevertheless, specific colors are better at generating emotions than others. Here are some universal feelings and associations that each color conveys:

Red — Urgency, passion, excitement, love, energy, speed, life, health, blood, danger, warning, and anger

Blue — Trust, security, quality, high tech, reliability, intelligence, peace, serenity, calmness, masculinity, loyalty, and sadness

Green — Nature, earth, environmentalism, all things natural, money, wealth, luck, new, jealousy, envy, and greed

Yellow — Happiness, brightness, energy, warmth, fun, friendliness, and irresponsibility

Orange — Cheerful, optimistic, successful, friendly, impulsive, enthusiastic, cautious, sluggish, anxious, cheap, and ignorant

Purple — Luxury, quality, wealth, ambition, courage, and enigma

Pink — Love, nurturing, caring, sweetness, femininity, and sex appeal

Brown — Warm, dependable, rugged, the outdoors, organic, earth, natural, dogmatic, and conservative

Black — Serious, quality, high tech, power, strength, authority, intelligence, fear, evil, death, and darkness

White — Purity, simplicity, cleanliness, innocence, safety, and emptiness

Gray — Practical, timeless, high tech, stable, intelligent, old, gloomy, sad, and conservative

Gold — Wealth, money, luxury, quality, and egotism

Silver — Luxury, quality, sleek, dull, and indecisive

As fascinating as color psychology is, it’s worth noting that individuals’ interpretations of colors don’t always align with each other. What’s relaxing to one person might be unsettling to another. Still, it’s important to understand the general associations with each color and to use that knowledge to enhance your branding and marketing efforts.

What colors do you use to market your brand?

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Amazon continues to develop its Whole Foods business

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CNN Money reports that Amazon customers in its Prime program have gotten another benefit. Prime Members will get an extra 10 percent discount on groceries when they shop at Whole Foods, This discount will be on top of the 5 percent discount that customers will enjoy when they use the Amazon.com Prime Visa card. Customers claiming the 10 percent discount will use the Whole Foods app to scan in at the checkout.

similar to what customers do with discount cards at other grocery chains. The discounts start in Florida and roll out nationwide later this summer.

The discounts, combined with price cuts enacted since Amazon bought Whole Foods last year, make shopping at the formerly upscale supermarket chain very attractive to the 100 million Amazon Prime members, even considering the recent increase for the annual fee to $119. Another service that Whole Foods is rolling out is two-hour home delivery of groceries, something that other supermarket chains are starting, a service that could change the way we shop for food.

Amazon is studying a technology that would eliminate cashiers and long checkout lines. Customers would have a smartphone app that would register them when they enter a store. Every time they picked up an item and placed it into a cart, the cost of the item would be added to a virtual shopping list. When the customer leaves the store, the cost of the items taken out would be automatically deducted from the customer’s credit or debit card. The system would not only save time but could reduce shoplifting.

It should be noted that Amazon has no plans (at least for now) to roll out this new technology to Whole Foods, according to a recent story on the NBC News site. Nor do they envision the system as a way to reduce labor costs. Cashier jobs would be shifted to customer service and staffing kitchens that make ready-to-eat food.

 

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Stop Believing That Being an Entrepreneur Means You Don’t Need a College Education

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We have all heard it. Over and over again about the famous entrepreneurs who dropped out of college to make massive success being entrepreneurs. It’s true you don’t NEED a college education to create massive success for yourself. But what you do need is persistence, and that is something that college teaches you to cultivate.

Unless you are hard headed by nature, you are likely growing up in an environment where your always a winner. You haven’t had the slightest taste of the real world yet and that will hurt your shot at being an entrepreneur before you even begin.

 

To become a successful entrepreneur you have to be able to weather the storm. You have to be able to go through the highs and lows, face the “no’s” and doors closed in your face over and over again. And with the frugility of this generation, the toughness that was once a natural part of growing up is being replaced with everyone on the team earning a trophy, and parent / teacher meetings to ensure you get that A!. It’s bogus. Life does not work like that.

College teaches you to weather that storm. College is a measure of your persistence. Stop thinking of it as “useless” information you are not going to use upon graduation, and think of it as a measure of your ability to stick to something until you complete it. College is very much like entrepreneurship in the sense that you will be faced with rude teachers who will not let you turn in an assignment late, who will not be sympathetic to the traffic you were stuck in, or that you “forgot” to study for your exam. You will be pressured and faced with deadlines, where you will have to navigate to make things happen in order to sink or swim. And although in college the idea of sinking or swimming is seen in terms of a letter grade, it is great preparation for being an entrepreneur. If you ask me, I would much rather learn to sink or swim when the only thing at stake is a letter grade, as opposed to $100,000 in savings that I’ve put towards a start-up.

 

Your ability to stick-it-out in college is a huge determining factor of whether or not you will be able to stick-it-out in the real world. Whether that be a new job, or an entrepreneurial venture.

 

What is something you have stuck with that has brought you major results?

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Understanding the word DE-CISION

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How often have you ever decided to do something and fell short because of other distractions, Other obligations, you were tired or flat out did’t “feel” like it

The word DECISION comes from the Latin word Cision. Which means to cut off or “remove from”. So a decision literally means to cut off any other possibility but the one you made.

 

Making a decision has a far greater impact then choosing. When you chose, you do what is convenient, you do what you believe you are capable of. You bring with you the limitations that have been ingrained upon you through society and conditioning. When you make a decision, when you decide to do something, you do it whether you feel like it or not. You do it in the shine or rain, you do it into the night and early morning. A decision is a commitment. It is what pushes people to be great.

 

Decision is more of a process orientation. Meaning you go through an analysis and the steps of eliminating. You can easily make a decision and set up a plan to conquer that decision. Decisions can range from small to very large, and you can create a means of checks and balances that will “graduate” you to the next step, making all of the small success add up to your grand decision.

Therefore, execution and implementation follow and decision you make. The process of deciding is the first step. Then you much decide how you are going to implement your plan of action, followed by executing that plan. Make a decision and commit yourself, It will push you to greatness.

 

What is a decision you have made that has changed your life?

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Start Earning Money Today in the Growing Freelance Economy

 

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With around 50% of the working populace living paycheck to paycheck, the idea of making money part-time has likely been on your mind at times. The good news is that you can create an income stream in your spare time. The great news is that you have some talent, topic knowledge, or skill that is in demand in today’s freelance economy.

 

Currently, freelancers make up about 34% of the workforce, and this is expected to increase to 43% by the year 2020. There is some confusion about whether someone is working in the “gig” or the “freelance” market. Gigs are more on-demand services like Uber and Lyft. The company sets the rates and rules, and your income depends on the time you have to work. Most gig workers make between $300 and $500 per month.

 

Freelancers set their rates and rules for how they want to work, though gigs and freelancing are mixed if you get your jobs from one of the freelance sites like Upwork or Guru. Freelancers, depending on their skills and areas of knowledge as well as time available, are generating incomes in the high five figures. So, what work can you get through these sites to get started and build a solid income in your spare time?

Using Upwork as an example, here are the high-level categories of work available:

Web, Mobile & Software Development

Design & Creative

Admin Support

Customer Service

IT & Networking

Writing

Sales & Marketing

Data Science & Analytics

Translation

Accounting & Consulting

Legal

Engineering & Architectural

 

Within those top-level categories are 100 sub-categories. Unless you’ve been living in a bubble off a trust fund, something you’ve done or learned in your life should be an income generator for you. From a job as a virtual assistant to taking customer service requests online, there is going to be someone using this site to hire you for your skills and knowledge.

 

If you have grammar and spelling skills, writing is one of the largest categories with the most work on sites like these. With the many millions of business websites, all looking for content, writing about what you know can make you a lot of money.

 

Are you into health foods and supplements? There is a buyer on the site for an article about the top health benefits of ghee! Another buyer is looking for a blogger about arts & crafts, and one of the sample titles is “Top 10 knitting patterns of 2018.” There is more, but you’re getting the idea. If you have a skill, specialized area of knowledge, or even a hobby, someone is looking for website content about it.

 

If grammar or spelling challenge you, get help with software and services, but you will need to do a great job of editing, as you will not keep clients if you sell them sub-standard work.

 

If you’re not into the writing thing and you aren’t a technology whiz or programmer, no problem. In the customer service category are a great many jobs for work-from-home email, online chat, or phone support. Amazon has even run ads for customer support people for permanent positions.

 

It’s your schedule and your income plan. There is lots of opportunity in the freelance economy for you to build a sideline business on your terms. All you have to do is get started!

 


 

How do you make money online?

 

 

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Intelligent Machines versus Human Brains – if We Can’t Beat Them, Perhaps We Should Join Them?

 

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It’s a truism that people’s dreams are their private property, but it may not be true for long. Elon Musk, head of Tesla Inc and SpaceX, and other technology experts predict that the only way humans can increase their brainpower enough to compete with future artificial intelligence (AI) systems is by implanting electronic devices in their brains. That’s not competing with AI, of course; it’s more like joining with it.

 

On the positive side, an individual’s mental capacity could be augmented enormously by the additional processing power of implanted electronics. Such implants could enable one human brain to connect directly to another, as well as to external computer systems, and thus provide the brain with access to almost unlimited data and processing power. Also, a person’s lifetime’s store of acquired knowledge could be backed up externally and would not die, when the individual dies.

 

On the negative side, data in electronic systems, implanted or not, could be hacked unless security improves dramatically. Hackers could read people’s thoughts and manipulate their emotions, memories, and even their dreams. As serious as that would be, an even more serious problem looms on the horizon. Many experts believe that human brains will become increasingly less intelligent relative to the connected artificial systems since AI systems improve exponentially, much faster than human brains, which took millions of years to evolve to their present state. That means those systems will be processing most of the person’s complex thinking, and as the brains do increasingly less work, they will atrophy over time. They could even become redundant. If that happens, will humans still be truly human?

 

Possibly the biggest future threat of all from AI comes from machines with self-awareness, i.e., conscious machines. Based on the exponential increase in machine intelligence, many renowned scientists expect machines to acquire consciousness sometime this century, possibly even within a few decades. If that happens, they will not only be enormously intelligent, but their thoughts will be too complex for any human to understand fully. If humans can’t understand machines, the experts warn, they won’t be able to control them.

 

Even today, though machines have not yet acquired self-awareness, scientists don’t always fully understand them. In the summer of 2017, Facebook scientists shone a light on the ominous future. They hooked up two experimental “deep-learning” computer systems and tasked them with developing more accurate language translation. The scientists were surprised and delighted when the results surpassed their expectations. They became concerned, however, when they realized that the machines had created a unique new computer language to communicate with each other — a language that the scientists could not understand. They canceled the experiment.

 

Machines have become exponentially more intelligent over time, and most experts say that process will continue indefinitely. So the solution proposed by Elon Musk and others for preventing machines from taking over the world, i.e., joining human brains with machine brains, would at best just delay the inevitable. In 2015, renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking declared that creating conscious machines would be the human race’s greatest achievement, but warned that it would probably also be our last. Echoing that warning, Luke Muehlhauser, former executive director of California’s Machine Intelligence Research Institute, is quoted as saying that by building more powerful AI systems “we’re toying with the intelligence of the gods and there is no off switch.”

 


 

What are your thoughts on robots?

 

 

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How To Be Insanely Productive Every Day

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If you want to be more productive, you have to change you habits. From the moment you wake up it’s important to make good decisions about how you spend your time. Here are four ways that you can start to be insanely productive every day.

 

Use to-do lists

Before you sleep each night make a list of what you want to accomplish the next day. If you start each day not having a plan, you’re more likely to less done. Don’t add only big items to your list because that will overwhelm you. If you have a couple of big items along with a handful of smaller items, you’re more likely to get them all done. Small items might seem meaningless, but think about how you feel after you clean off the coffee table of all the clutter. It might only take five minutes, but finishing that task will help you build momentum to do the rest. Start each day by crossing one or two things off your list right away. By doing this you’ll motivate yourself for the entire day.

 

 

Put your phone on silent

Turn off sound notifications on your phone unless you are expecting something urgent. It’s also a good idea to keep your phone out of your reach so that you’re not grabbing at it every few minutes. By doing this you will improve your focus ad be able to finish what you are working on quicker than you would being distracted by your phone. If you work on the computer, keep tabs closed unless you need something for work. Avoid distractions by staying off social media websites and even your email if you are tempted to check it. The quicker you’re able to accomplish each task you need to do, the more you’ll be able to fit into a day.

 

 

Create a schedule

If you routinely forget to do things that need to be done on a regular basis, create a schedule for these items. If you clean the bathrooms on the same day every week, it will become part of your routine. You will no longer stress about when you’re going to get it done. Create a schedule for your home and family so that things get done without extra stress. If you work from home, creating a schedule is especially important for getting things done. You need to be clear about your work hours and stick to them. If you get distracted and procrastinate, you’ll get less done and end up stressed by the end of each day. By knowing what you will do and when you’ll do it, you will increase your productivity.

 

 

Exercise often

Exercise will provide your body and mind with the energy you need to be productive. If you live a sedentary lifestyle or sit for work a lot, your body needs to move more. Working out will release feel good hormones that will boost your mood. If you currently live a sedentary lifestyle, you may find that you’re lacking energy to do anything but relax. Unfortunately this won’t help your productivity. The only way to gain energy is to be more active. This will greatly contribute to your productivity.

 

 

In order to be insanely productive you may have to do things differently. Once you gain momentum and realize how much you can actually accomplish, you will be more motivated to continue.

 


 

What habits help you to be productive?

 

 

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Tips for Growing your e-mail marketing lists

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A successful email marketing campaign requires a large list of targeted email addresses. You could be sending out some great content, but there’s no point in sending it to lists containing only a few people. There are many ways you can grow a list of targeted email addresses and you should utilize as many of them as possible for maximum exposure.

 

Make it Easy

Keep your opt-in form as simple as possible. If you only need an email address, then don’t ask for anything else. More people will subscribe to your newsletters if your opt-in form is easy to complete.

 

Give them a Reason

Don’t just ask for emails on the promise that you’ll send them some great content. Instead, give them a reason to sign up by providing incentives. For example, you could offer subscribers a free e-book, give a discount on your products or services, or create a competition where users need to submit an email address to enter.

 

Use Social Media

Use your social media to promote your newsletter by encouraging your followers to opt in. You should regularly post links to your opt-in forms and tell your followers why they should sign up.

 

Powerful Call to Action

Ensure that the call to action on your website captures the attention of your visitors. For maximum exposure, you can create a simple popup with a creative headline and clearly explain the benefits of signing up in a couple of sentences.

 

QR Codes

QR codes are becoming more popular and they can be an easy way to get more subscribers. Put QR codes on all your printed material and encourage people to scan the code to opt into your newsletter.

 

Adwords

You can use paid advertising such as Google’s Adwords to appear in searches related to your keywords. This method may not be viable if your newsletter is related to an expensive niche and the cost per click is very high.

 

Optimize your Website

Putting a simple opt-in form in the sidebar of a blog post isn’t going to get many subscribers. You should optimize your website so that people can easily see your opt-in forms and the reason to sign up. For example, you could redirect visitors to a thank you page after they leave a comment.

 

Email Signature

You should also use your email signature to promote the various ways you can be contacted. Place links to your website, social media accounts, and a link to your email opt-in form.

 

With email marketing, you need to get a list of as many subscribers as possible. People need to know why they should sign up and incentives are a great way to encourage people to subscribe. After you’ve given them a reason, you then need to get your message out to as many people as possible. You should optimize your website to encourage people to subscribe and use social media to tell your followers about your newsletter. The more people who see your opt-in form, then the more subscribers you will get.

 

How do you plan on growing your e-mail marketing list?

 

Discover INLOOKIT – Artificial Intelligent shoppable beauty app

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INLOOKIT Mobile app is a direct-to-consumer marketplace and social platform that uses artificial intelligence to identify makeup and beauty products in photographs.

All other make-up and beauty apps currently use augmented reality as opposed to artificial intelligence. Apps such as Modi Face, Sephora, and Lippi use augmented reality that allow users to “try on” makeup.

INLOOKIT on the other hand uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify what makeup people are wearing in pictures. – and then allows users to shop these products directly from the INLOOKIT app.

INLOOKIT is two sided, in that it connects users to makeup products through AI, but also it allows brands to sign-up for ‘Brand Profiles’ and sell makeup products to potential customers.


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www.INLOOKIT.com


Unbeknownst to beauty gurus, large retailers such as Sephora and Ulta Beauty take upwards to 60% of every transaction that happens in their stores. This high barrier of entry makes it difficult for small brands to get in front of their customers. Boutique brands such as Winky Lux, Sugarpill, and Lime Crime can’t afford to get into Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores because of how expensive the percentage of each transaction these retailers take from each sale.

INLOOKIT helps these small brands by providing a direct-to-consumer approach to selling products. Think of it as ‘the amazon of makeup’ The relationship between the consumer and the brand becomes more transparent.

INLOOKIT will leverage it’s artificial intelligent face recognition software to bring together makeup shoppers and brands !

Check out the promotional video below:

Sign-up to try INLOOKIT exclusively! www.INLOOKIT.com


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How to Get Even More Sales Through Your Existing Customers

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Every business needs new customers, but it’s almost always easier to sell to existing customers than to find a new one. Many studies have concluded that acquiring a new customer is more expensive than the cost of retaining an existing one. In fact, the average “spend” of a repeat customer is nearly twice as much as a new one. While you don’t want to give up on your marketing efforts, paying closer attention to your current clientele will be a worthwhile advantage for your business. Below are some tactics that will make a meaningful difference in boosting sales through your existing customer base.

Remind Customers of Everything That You Do

Don’t assume that your customers are completely aware of all the products and services that you offer even if they continue to buy from you. Take the time to outline other related or complementary items that they may be unaware of or not used in the past. Thinking about what your customers are buying and additional needs that they have may trigger other items that you can cross-sell, which is an effective way to increase your sales.

Ask Them for Their View

Besides just sending a typical customer survey for gathering input on how you are doing, ask your customers for their opinion on other aspects of your business such as new offers, proposed policy changes, or even business challenges that you are facing. Not only will your clients feel appreciated and valued, they may also spur new ideas or a solution to a long-standing problem. Additionally, asking your current customers for their view is a good way to keep them connected to your business rather than the competition.

Create Incentives for Referrals

While there are many customer incentives that you can and should offer to lift sales, consider establishing an incentive program for referrals.  Be mindful that an appealing and well-executed program can produce remarkable results. As an example, you can offer a cash discount or a finder’s fee that leads to a sale.  Besides being an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your customer, think about the program as an extension of your sales force.

Don’t Let Them Forget You

In actuality, you may not see your clientele as often as you would like, so you need to be diligent with genuine reasons to remain on their radar. For instance, acknowledging birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions with handwritten notes is a good way to stay in touch with your customers. Likewise, send them newsletters offering advice and tips, but be careful not to overload them with promotional deals. In the same way, if you make it more about being supportive and caring, they won’t forget you and it reduces the risk of them looking elsewhere.

Think Customer Lifetime Value

Essentially, the concept of customer lifetime value is the amount each customer is potentially worth to you. That said, providing special attention to your customers who already buy from you can be the difference between a one-and-done customer and a long-lasting customer relationship.  Accordingly, aim to make every client interaction an opportunity to nurture customer loyalty that will prevent customer defection to a competitor. A commitment to excellent service and customer care is a recipe for on-going repeat sales.

To sum up, by applying these low-cost simple steps, you will quickly see a significant increase in sales from your current customer base.


How do you sell to your existing customer base?