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The latest news on Entrepreneurship from Business Insider

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    Terra SaundersTerra Saunders is the brains behind "breastaurant" uniforms.

    The designer and former NFL cheerleader has built a career conceiving of uniforms with a side of sex appeal for workers in the hospitality industry.

    "There's more to breastaurants than cleavage," Saunders tells Business Insider. "We want something that breathes. We don't want pantylines or bra straps to show. The girls need to feel good and confident and there's a lot of science behind that."

    Saunders has the right background to dress breastaurant staff.

    As a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys in the mid-1990s, she designed clothes for her teammates. It wasn't long before others began to notice her skills and in 1997, she launched Dallaswear Uniforms to sell apparel to professional cheerleaders and dancers.

    Twin PeaksHer first experience designing for breastaurants came in 2009, when the owner of Twin Peaks Restaurants, a chain of sports bars based in Dallas, approached her about designing a "sexy lumberjack" uniform for his employees.

    "That's when the lightbulb went off," she says. "I started a new division specifically for breastaurants." Soon after, she trademarked the term "breastaurant uniform" so no other company could claim that they design the sexy workers' outfits.

    Today, she counts breastaurants including Hooters, Double D Ranch, Whisky River, and Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke as clients, and employs 10 people in her offices in Dallas and Los Angeles. 

    Bone Daddy’s House of SmokeIn 2013, she launched Waitressville, a division off her company Dallaswear Uniforms that focuses solely on waitress uniforms.

    To make sure the clothes she designs are comfortable, her staff has to wear the uniforms for a day. The company uses its own fabric blend called Prostyle, which includes a touch of Lycra, and undergarments are typically sewn underneath the uniforms.

    "The most important things I consider when designing uniforms is the location of the business, its goals, and its color scheme," she says. "I ask them about their dream outfit, their dream person to wear the outfits, and if they're going to be bartending or carrying beer or pizza."

    "You want the workers to look great and feel happy because that's what makes more money for the restaurants," Saunders adds. " We want the restaurants to grow because it builds more exposure for us as well."

    Hooters

    Eventually, Saunders wants to design uniforms for mom and pop stores, car washes, and airlines.

    "The secret is creating a uniform that others will recognize right away. When you see a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, it invokes a feeling inside of you. We want to accomplish that at a restaurant. Branding and taking that extra step is what makes you great."

    SEE ALSO: How 'Breastaurants' Took Over The Casual Dining Industry

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    happy people

    Your relationship with your manager is a key driver of how well you do at work and how happy you are in your job. Love your boss, and a not-so-great job can become more satisfying. Hate your boss, and a great job can become one you're desperate to quit.

    Having a strong relationship with your boss can actually be pretty straightforward if you know how to go about it. Here are eight key levers that can improve the way you interact.

    1. Bring differences in perspective to the surface. Often when you disagree with your boss, it's because you have information or a perspective that she doesn't, or vice versa. When you're in conflict, take that as a sign that one of you knows something that the other doesn't, or that one of you is looking at the situation from a different perspective, and try to bring that difference to the surface. This won't solve every disagreement, but it will solve a lot of them – and if nothing else, it will help you each have a better understanding of where the other is coming from, which can make differences of opinion easier to live with.

    2. Respect your manager's communication preferences. If you're an email person and your boss is an in-person communicator, you'll get frustrated if you try to rely on email for asking questions and getting input, and vice versa. Pay attention to how your boss prefers to communicate – email vs. in person vs. phone, as well as whether there are times of day or days of the week when she's especially available or particularly inaccessible – and adapt accordingly. It can be painful to switch from your own preferred method, but it will often get you what you need faster, and make your boss see you as someone easy to communicate with.

    3. Do what you say you're going to do, or circle back to her if you can't. Most managers are frustrated by how often they can't count on employees to follow through, particularly on small commitments (which employees may think matter less). If your manager learns that she can't trust you to do what you say you're going to do, expect her to check up on you more, which can feel like annoying micromanaging. Of course, there will be times when you won't be able to keep a commitment or meet a deadline you agreed to – or when new information makes you want to change course. In those cases, simply update your boss; if you proceed without looping her in, you'll signal that she can't assume work is unfolding as last agreed to.

    4. Don't complain behind her back. Sure, everyone needs to vent about work sometimes. But if your boss finds out you've been complaining about her or aspects of work without talking to her first, you'll break her trust in you. Pay her the respect of letting her know if something seriously bothers you, and if it's not a serious concern, pay her the respect of not complaining about her to others in your office.

    5. Stay calm and don't cause drama. There's no way to avoid moments of frustration at work; they're part of having a job. But if you let yourself become angry, offended or panicky without very serious provocation, you'll become another headache your boss has to deal with, which will in turn impact your relationship for the worse. Staying calm is an undervalued professional trait that can have a real payoff.

    6. Know it's not personal. If you've ever worked with someone who takes every workplace decision personally – from work assignments to who the boss took out to lunch – you know how exhausting they are to be around. Having a reasonably thick skin and not taking your manager's or company's decisions personally will make you easier for everyone to work with – especially your boss. Similarly…

    7. Be open to feedback. It might sound obvious, but an awful lot of people get defensive when they hear critical feedback from a boss. If your first reaction when hearing critical feedback is to think about how to defend yourself, you're probably missing the value of the input, and making it harder for your boss to give you useful feedback in the future. And even if you ultimately disagree with it, it's helpful to know your boss's assessment of your work. (In fact, it can be immensely helpful to request critical feedback. Try asking, "What could I be doing better?" and see what you hear.)

    8. Try giving your boss the benefit of the doubt. In most manager-employee relationships, there will be plenty of opportunities for misreading your boss's intentions – or for giving her the benefit of the doubt. For example, you could feel slighted when your boss gives your co-worker a better assignment than you, or you could conclude that it was just random chance or that your boss had a reason for thinking it suited your co-worker better. You could take it personally when your boss cancels his meeting with you at the last minute, or you could assume that something came up that was legitimately a higher priority and that your boss is juggling everything as best as she can. Of course, if you ever see a pattern that concerns you, speak up! But start by giving your manager the benefit of the doubt, and you might find that you're happier and the relationship is a better one.

    Related Articles:

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    artist

    We would all like to become more creative. Enhancing creativity can impact nearly every corner of our work lives – problem solving, ideation, innovation.

    However, with all we are expected to accomplish on a daily basis, we rarely have time to consider our own creative blueprint — a unique set of "triggers" that can help us harness creative energy. Aligning our creative needs can be a critical step in reaching our potential.

    But, as we become busier and busier, it seems we have limited time to make room for creativity in our day-to-day work lives. We attempt to adapt to the work-life scenario that is presented, and forge on.

    In many cases, work environments simply do not mesh with the "creative core" of an individual. You may work remotely, but feel the need for face-to-face interaction with your colleagues. You may work on a team, but find you are more effective when you have time to process information on your own. There can be a clear "mismatch" between the person and the specific elements of their work environment. At some point you must stop, listen and attempt to make much needed adjustments.

    Even if you find yourself in the right career and the right job — fine tuning certain qualities of your work life may help you to become more creative. There are many things to consider. But at the core of this, are your individual needs – your creative blueprint.

    A few things to consider:

    *Your physical workspace. What makes you feel creative? There is no right or wrong answer to this question – it's a bit like a Rorschach assessment and individual to you – but it should be posed. Look around your work environment and ask yourself: What in your current space enhances your creative energy? For example, consider the aspects of sound, light and color in your environment. Whether listening to music or viewing your favorite painting puts you in the right frame of mind – find a way to incorporate these elements into your work environment.

    *Your "influencer" group. Include people in work life that you consider "creativity accelerators"– those individuals who will explore and develop ideas with you. Don't have access to a group that has these qualities? Develop one. Whether these individuals work within your own organization or are accessible through online channels, build your own "community of creativity." (Learn more about that here.)

    *Look for opportunities to collaborate. Creativity can be enhanced when we are exposed to varying functions and perspectives. Find ways to contribute to teams and projects that are somewhat outside your comfort zone — even if this means organizing dedicated time to do so. Work alone at home? Seek a co-working environment and link up with others outside your realm.

    *Idea management strategies. Do you have a system in place to capture your ideas? If you have skipped this step, you may not maximize your creative potential. Find a method to record and review your moments of inspiration. Mount a vision board in your office — or keep a notebook ever ready. (Even Da Vinci had notebooks.) You'll instantly boost your creative potential.

    *Manage yourself. Do you tend to have a "cluttered" mind that stops you from focusing your creative energy? Do you find you process information better on your own? Try to match your creative blueprint to how you work. If you need "quiet time" to process, seek this out. If you become distracted easily, develop a strategy that set limits and helps you to focus.

    *Don't force it. Consider rest and reflection within your creative blueprint. Stimulating the senses is integral to maximizing creativity, however the benefits of down time – when your brain has the opportunity to process information – is just as critical. Studies have found that your brain requires rest to perform at its peak. Build time into your day to process. Doodle, play a game or take a brief walk around – your brain is still working on a deeper level.

    You have some measure of control over your own "culture of creative." What are your creative strategies? Share them here.

    Related Articles:

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    jerry yangFrom David Neeleman to Jerry Yang to Mike Lazaridis, many founders don't make the cut as CEOs for their company.

    Of course there are many successful ones too, including Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Larry Ellison.

    The difference may come down to how well founders demonstrate the 15 core principles of leadership, according to Michael Useem, professor of management at the Wharton School and author of "The Leader's Checklist."

    "Running a larger enterprise requires a leadership skillset distinct from that required for a startup," Useem writes in his book. "Founders who intend to remain at the helm through the transition will want to master an ability to set the tenor and sustain a culture that carries hundreds if not thousands of employees in the right direction when the founder’s personal hand will no longer suffice."

    Some of these can be hard for founders, including the ability to:

    Build leadership in others.

     At a certain point, it becomes impossible for CEOs to be deeply embedded in everything that's going on at a company, which is why they need trusted leaders. This is the only way for an organization to grow.

     This can be hard for founders who are reluctant to give up control.

    "You can't do it by yourself. You have to get people to line up and help you," Useem tells Business Insider.

    Articulate a vision.

    CEOs must be able to "formulate a clear and persuasive vision and communicate it to all members of the enterprise," writes Useem.

    Doing so is essential to creating a system that can endure and expand beyond the leader.

    "[You need] an ability to get beyond personal leadership and find ways to put it into the framework," Useem says. This way whenever "anyone walks into the company and without you having to say anything, they have some fix on what you want from them."

    This can be hard for founders who are so focused on having autonomy in their own idea that they struggle to articulate it to others.

    Think and act strategically.

    CEOs must be able to analyze where a company is going and anticipate future risks.

    Staying ahead of the game is more important than ever "because the world is now more complicated and more uncertain," Useem said in an interview with McKinsey & Company. "On top of always having a great vision there will be a premium on thinking strategically and on being able to come back from setbacks, and maybe above all, on being very good at reading the increasingly ambiguous and uncertain universe we operate in."

    Strategic leadership means questioning everything, even one's own ideas, and being willing to change directions.

    This can be hard for founders who are too set on their original idea.

    Place common interest first.

    CEOs must worry about their employees, their customers, and their global impact.

    "In setting strategy, communicating vision, and reaching decisions, common purpose comes first, personal self-interest last," Useem writes.

    This can be hard for founders who may feel entitled to getting the most out of the company that they created.

    Manage relations.

    CEOs must "build enduring personal ties with those who look to you, and work to harness the feelings and passions of the workplace," writes Useem.

    Part of this is allowing people to feel ownership in the company so that they have a sense of how the vision will affect their own work and career growth.

    Different people bring different skills to a business, and a variety of skills are necessary for a company to grow.

    This can be hard for founders who care more about ideas than employees.

    SEE MORE ON OPEN FORUM:

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    RTX10TKT

    The White House is coming out with guns blazing today, saying the U.S. needs to pass immigration reform to drive entrepreneurship, create jobs and generate revenue.

    According to a new report from the Obama Administration, immigration reform will result in more highly skilled workers moving to the U.S., more businesses being launched, revenue being generated and more jobs being created.

    The report, titled The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System, has been released by President Obama’s National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Economic Advisers. It examines how the U.S. economy would be affected if the Senate-passed bipartisan immigration-reform bill became law. The Senate passed its version of immigration reform in late June. Immigration reform faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled House.

    If the Senate's immigration-reform bill passed the House, it would result in a directly related Gross Domestic Product increase of 3.3 percent by 2023 and 5.4 percent by 2033, the report says, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates. That would mean an increase of $700 billion by 2023 and $1.4 trillion by 2033.

    White House Plays Offense: Says Immigration Reform Will Turbocharge Entrepreneurship

    A primary focus of the White House report is how immigration reform would affect entrepreneurship. Here is a breakdown of what it says:

    • Keep highly educated immigrants, create U.S. jobs: The Senate immigration-reform bill would make it easier for highly skilled and highly educated workers to come to the U.S. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) doctorate and master’s graduates would be exempt from the annual caps on green cards available. Each foreign-born student with an advanced degree that stays in the U.S. and works in a STEM field creates 2.6 jobs, the White House report says.
       
    • Offer a startup visa for immigrants, create U.S. jobs: The Senate immigration-reform bill creates a new Startup visa, called the Investing in New Venture, Entrepreneurial Startups and Technologies (INVEST) visa. Entrepreneurial immigrants would be eligible for temporary and permanent visas if they can prove they have ideas for businesses that attract money from U.S. investors, generate revenue in the U.S. or can generate jobs. If all of the green cards offered by the immigration bill are used, as many as 50,000 jobs could be created, according to the report.
       
    • Immigrants are more likely to be entrepreneurs than U.S. natives: Immigrants and their children have founded Google, Disney, Procter & Gamble and 40 percent of America's 500 largest companies, the report says. Immigrants, typically motivated to improve their standing in life, are more than two times as likely to start businesses than those born in the U.S., the White House report says, citing the 2012 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. Immigrant-owned small-businesses generated a total of $776 billion in revenue and employed approximately 4.7 million people in 2007, according to a report from the Fiscal Policy Institute, cited in the White House report.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    stress

    You're a great boss. You're flexible, fair, and have an awesome open door policy, but your best employees aren't performing as you expected.  

    Here's the truth: You might be the problem.

    Here are three reasons your top employees may hate their jobs (and what you can do about it).

    1. You've got the right guy...in the wrong place. Picture a gifted child who's been shuffled into remedial tutoring; he's not going to sit quitely and do the work--he's going to get bored, distract other students, and ignore problems that he believes are below his skill set. This is more or less what happens when you put a high-performing employee in the wrong role, writes Inc.'s Jeff Haden.

    The good news: It's easy to spot a high-performer who is not maximizing his potential. He'll be the guy putting distance between himself and other employees who don't pull their weight, griping about "unfair" awards given to less worthy workers, and freelancing in areas that aren't his responsibility, according to Hayden.

    So how do you fix it? "Set high goals for the entire organization and build in both rewards (for success) and consequences (for failure). Apply both consistently and fairly," writes Haden. You can also review and modify the employee's job description, he adds. What do you expect your employee to do? What would he most like to do? What are acceptable ways for your employee to occupy free time at work? Define these and you'll find the happy compromise between what you and your under-utilized employee really need.

    2. You're not really listening. It's a fact of business: There are some things youremployees just won't tell you. But part of being a good boss is learning to read between the lines. When your employees act out, writes Inc.'s Suzanne Lucas, it could be worth revisiting the classic culprits. Everything from insufficient pay, to toxic culture, a bad client, or micro-management on your part can cause insurrection in the ranks, Lucas explains.

    The best way to deal with these complaints: Don't be afraid to ask if there is a nightmare client that no one wants to deal with, or a rotten co-worker that the rest of your team despises, writes Lucas. And once you've solicited ideas or opinions from your team--take them seriously. Carefully consider whether that bad client is worth the trouble, or if one jerk employee is wrecking your productivity.

    3. You're the boss, but you aren't acting like it. One final possibility...your employees think you're a jerk. Again, Haden writes: "One employee behaving badly is enough to destroy teamwork, ruin morale, and turn a solid business into a dysfunctional mess...that's especially true when that one employee behaving badly is you."

    Even if you're pretty certain that you're a great boss, when you run into problems with your employees it always pays to take a quick glance in the mirror, Haden writes. "The more you prove you care about your people--and that you appreciate extra effort when it's truly needed--the more they care about doing a great job," Hayden concludes.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    workingSilicon Valley tech companies are known for outfitting their campuses with cool meeting rooms that include arcade games and pool tables and hip cafeterias where all the meals are free.

    It's a smart way to let employees have some fun together while also adding a caché to a desk job, but two recent studies show an engaging environment is also good for a company's bottom line.

    According to the Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study, engaged employees are twice as likely to be productive and present than disengaged employees. In addition, a recent employee engagement survey by the Australian Institute of Management found that survey participants who were committed to their current job listed a "good relationship with co-workers" as their top reason with salary listed at number seven.

    That's good news for companies that can't afford to replicate the Google headquarters. Getting employees to feel connected can be simpler than you expect. We spoke to experts and entrepreneurs for the innovative ways they suggest companies can foster better work relationships.

    1. The swivel-head approach. Tending to office morale is easier than you might think, according to Dave Ulrich, a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and co-author of The Why of Work. "We ask managers how long it takes them to sense office morale and they almost always say less than 15 minutes. Wise leaders have their 'heads on a swivel' and are constantly observing subtle signals such as employees leaving early or displaying a lack of intensity." He says that at the first sign of office malaise, a good leader runs right into the problem and openly discusses solutions with employees. Ignoring low morale can quickly lead to lower office productivity and staff turnover.

    2. Build a culture that cares. Make sure your efforts reach out beyond your staff's high-performers. In the Towers Watson study, only 35% of those studied felt highly engaged with their company's goals – the rest felt either unsupported, detached or disengaged, a massive threat to productivity, turnover and quality. To reconnect and make sure that all your staffers feel cared about on a personal level, create listening posts throughout the organization, says Ulrich, such as town hall meetings, focus groups and one-on-ones between mentors and mentees. Also, make sure you're not valuing crazy work schedules over efficiency. "Some offices encourage a culture that prides itself on 60 to 70 hour weeks, but that schedule is unsustainable and cuts into people's personal lives," advises Elizabeth Grace-Saunders, a time coach and author of 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment. "Your employees will eventually burn out and leave."

    3. The 6" Rule. Consider what your staff has in common and use that to bring the crew together. Whether it's a company softball team or a monthly potluck, when you encourage those activities relationships can strengthen naturally. We Like Small is a digital agency based in Salt Lake City and its staff are almost all outdoor enthusiasts. "So our office has a 6" rule in the winter," says Michael Kern, the executive creative director. "If it snows more than that, and your projects can handle it, you should be out skiing." Their office also has a lot of mountain bike enthusiasts who meet up on summer mornings to do a 2-hour cross-country trail before heading into the office. "We get our work done, but we make sure to still get in some fun."

    4. Let trust guide scheduling. The 9 to 5 schedule doesn't work for every staffer and when bosses make exceptions for some, others can feel resentful and disengaged with the team. At Craft Coffee, Michael Horn's solution has been to let his staff of three decide when to make it into their Brooklyn, N.Y., office, as long as the work continues to get done. "It's a matter of trust," says Horn, the founder of Craft Coffee, an artisan coffee subscription service. This trust is repaid with honesty and extra work hours. Staffers find the flow that works for them. His lead tech Nate Berkopec finds himself more productive within the structure of an office, while Briana Kurtz, the manager of coffee relations, prefers to take day breaks to run errands or go to yoga, but logs on from home through the evening.

    5. Be transparent. Startups can be a hive of activity, with leaders and staffers in and out of the office hustling for new clients, investors, or projects. All this out-of-office time can make some employees feel disconnected or even jealous. "Some days I might have four different coffee meetings and go out to lunch," explains Horn, who says he realizes his absences could be misconstrued. To combat this, have staffers update each other about where they'll be and why, says Saunders. And if leaders are out at a conference or a corporate retreat, ask them to send a recap to their team on what happened and what you learned. As Ulrich puts it: "When employees understand 'the why' they accept 'the what.'"

    6. Make sharing easy. Workspaces should encourage collaboration and chatting. When We Like Small designed its new headquarters, it avoided traditional offices and even cubicles that can put up walls and hierarchies between employees. Instead, it created a "great hall" where staffers can gather at their computers around long table. Additional lounge areas and conference spaces offer varying levels of openness and privacy, making it as easy to share a brown bag lunch as it is to Skype with far-off clients.

    Craft Coffee found a similar set-up by renting desks at General Assembly, a shared office space for start-ups in Manhattan. Staffers had their own company work area, but also had access to common areas, where they often bounced ideas off other innovators, and conference rooms to meet with clients or hold brainstorming sessions.

    7. Get people creating. Every company has long-term pet projects that aren't always client-driven, but can lead to increased presence or future business. Get those projects scheduled and have staffers brainstorm together, showcasing talents the team might not see otherwise. Every three to six months, the We Are Small team does an inner-agency project that's not about making money but having some fun. Past projects have included an app called Smoggy that tracks air quality (since the smog in their town can be a serious problem) and the Neediest Robot project that used micro-controllers to gather data on their finicky office coffee machine. The projects do more than get the agency noticed. "Our developers and designers really get behind these projects, because it just turns into a completely creative outlet," Kern says.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    foosball table startup cultureStarting up a company is a stressful, yet exciting venture. As the founder, you are the heart and soul of your company. In the early stages, you are the main driving force behind everything the company accomplishes.

    But as success ensues and your company starts expanding, too often the startup outgrows a young entrepreneur's individual development and abilities. And with these growing pains, you will have to make decisions in areas where you lack real experience, knowledge or self-awareness.

    While expansion is what you are after, it is imperative a young entrepreneur prioritizes and recognizes the importance of personal growth. By doing so, the product and company will have a greater chance of success. The more control you take of your own growth, the better it will be for your company, your employees and your bottom line.

    Here are six tips on how to grow with your company:

    1. Surround yourself with trusted individuals.
    I am not referring to your mom or best friend. Find a mentor with the experience and industry expertise you lack but desperately need. Check out local meetup groups, reach out to organizations like SCORE or search the web for forums that feature experts in your field.

    2. Take a deep breath. 
    Don't rush into decisions, no matter how urgent they seem. Take time to reflect on all potential outcomes, and seek advice before you make any decisions. It also helps to research similar companies and examine case studies. The more information you have in your arsenal, the more likely the decision you make will be the right one.

    3. Reflect on the mistakes.
    When things go wrong or you use poor judgment, figure out how you could have made a better decision. This exercise will grow your character and help you approach similar situations more effectively.

    4. Set up clear communication channels.
    While it isn't always fun to hear complaints about your management style, it is necessary to keep on top of your company and employee morale. Make sure you have a system in place for employees to air grievances, as well as provide you a constant loop of feedback.

    5. Utilize an executive coach.
    Even with decades of experience, Google's Eric Schmidt found an executive coach and advocates that everyone else get one too. People evolve constantly, and in the fast-paced world of startups, a coach can help you focus on that growth.

    6. Know yourself.
    This job isn't easy. Lean on your closest relationships for support and develop your own sense of self. When you are comfortable in your own skin, you'll be a more mature leader.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    entrepreneur children

    There may be a better way than charting your child’s lemonade stand profits to know whether you’ve got a future entrepreneur on your hands. Much like predictors used to study diseases — diet, family history, or drug use, for example — researchers have begun to identify early-life predictors for entrepreneurship.

    In a study published in the journal Developmental Psychology, Ingrid Schoon and Kathryn Duckworth, post-docs from the University of London, looked at 6,000 employed adults from the 1970 British Cohort Study, which had followed a group of people born in the same week in 1970 from childhood to adulthood.

    The authors examined responses from ages 10 and 16, looking at predictors like socioeconomic status, paternal employment, academics, social skills, self-efficacy, and entrepreneurial intention (how important it was to "work for oneself"). Then they contacted the study participants, now 34 years old, to find out where life had taken them in terms of employment and success.

    What Schoon and Duckworth found was that by age 10, future entrepreneurs were already exhibiting specific traits — and they weren’t all the ones you might expect.

    Grades Don’t Matter: Good grades didn't generate the entrepreneurs. Individuals with lower school scores often ended up having higher entrepreneurial intention or self-employment than the top students, possibly because they weren’t as focused on class rank or report cards.

    Social Skills Matter: Ten-year-olds who were extroverted, bold, or otherwise social saw those skills carry through, ultimately faring better in self-employment.

    Self-Efficacy Doesn't Matter: Surprisingly, children's self-efficacy, or belief in their own ability to perform tasks, had no effect on their early business intentions or later job experiences. The researchers do note, however, that because self-efficacy was tested while the participants were young and in school, it may not relate to the demands of creating a business.

    Money Matters: Individuals from wealthier families frequently became self-employed, most likely because they could afford to. These children also had higher levels of academic achievement, self-efficacy, and social skills.

    Gender Matters ... Sort Of: Of the 6,000 people studied, one in every five entrepreneurs was female. In reviewing the data, the researchers found gender-specific tendencies in the predictors. For men, becoming an entrepreneur was made more likely by having a self-employed father; for women, it was tied to their parents' resources.

    So will building up your bank account or starting a business influence your child to become an entrepreneur? There's no guarantee. But knowing predictors may make it easier for parents and teachers to encourage budding CEOs from a young age--and maybe even to go easier on them if their grades slip.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    BBC workersNew York City's miLES Storefronts was just named the winner of ArchDaily and HP's Innovation Challenge, a contest that rewards innovative workplace design.

    But we thought some of the other submissions from around the world were equally impressive, showing how physical spaces can be utilized creatively from moving tables to suspended work spaces.

    We combed through the 150 submissions and picked 15 of our favorites.

    New York's miLES storefronts, a network of public shared workspaces, took home the prize for its unique ability to combine coffee-shop and office atmospheres.

    Submitted by: Architecture Commons PLLC



    Employees at the Skullcandy International Office in Zurich, Switzerland can reconfigure their desks to work individually or collaboratively.

    Submitted by: Grenettes Architecture



    The Casa Mediterráneo Headquarters in Alicante, Spain has a Klein-blue, translucent roof that filters incoming sunlight, creating a sea of blue shadows inside.

    Submitted by: Manuel Ocana Architecture and Thought Production Office



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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  • 07/17/13--08:19: 11 Habits Of Amazing Bosses
  • leading meetingMost people have worked for a bad boss, but superb bosses often don't get a lot of press. Most employees would give a lot for the opportunity to work for a boss with even a few of these characteristics:

    Gives constructive criticism
    There's a big difference between a critique and a conversation that engages the employee and helps him or her constructively plan how to change for the better. A great boss knows how to approach a subordinate with the right mix of mentorship and direction.

    Provides consistent feedback
    In today's workplace, it's not unusual for supervisors to be overwhelmed with their workloads. Often, something that's first to fall off the "to do" list is providing regular feedback and supervision for employees. A strong boss makes a point to offer feedback regularly and to comment on improvements or negative developments so the employee knows exactly where he or she stands.

    Rewards good work
    While the boss' hands may be tied when it comes to salary or benefits, a good boss recognizes the best employees, even if the recognition is nothing more than a written note filed with personnel.

    Knows how to coordinate and juggle
    All employees today are taking on more responsibilities, and it's up to each person to manage details for multiple projects simultaneously. The best bosses don't pass on the stress to the people they manage. Instead of acting as if every project is like a fire to put out immediately, good bosses adjust and delegate work based on what needs to get done immediately.

    Mentors and coaches employees
    Very lucky workers have the opportunity to serve under a boss who is really interested in their careers and in helping them get promotions. The best bosses make a point to identify and enhance their employees' strengths and direct them to projects that will allow them to shine and get noticed.

    Accepts responsibility, not just credit
    Most people have worked for bosses who are happy to take credit when things are going well, but fewer have a chance to see a real leader in action: the one who steps up and accepts blame when the going gets tough.

    Communicates clearly
    Good bosses know that communication is only as good as how it is received; it doesn't matter if you think you've explained what needs to be done if your employees don't understand what you've said. The best supervisors understand how to explain what they want done succinctly and directly, and they are available to answer questions as necessary.

    Offers challenge and support
    This delicate balance eludes most people: how can you challenge your workers to improve while providing the resources and support they need to succeed? Employees need both in order to improve themselves.

    Takes calculated risks
    Sometimes, it's a real risk for a supervisor to trust an employee with a project that the boss knows is just beyond his or her strengths. The best supervisors will know when the time is right to take a step back and allow people they supervise to take the reigns of a big project.

    Recognizes a healthy work-life fit
    Most workers loathe the idea of reporting to someone who seems to have no life outside of the office. The unstated message is, "I have no life, so neither should you." These employees often spend long hours at the office because they think it's the only way to impress the higher ups. Confident and competent bosses can motivate people to work overtime when necessary, but don't expect 100% devotion to work all of the time.

    Doesn't play obvious favorites
    If it's obvious who is the favorite at work, it is challenging for the rest of the team to come together as a unit because there's extra, unnecessary, competition. The best bosses try to eliminate this unhealthy competition that comes from trying to be the favorite and instead instill a sense of working together for the common good of the organization or department.

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    jumping

    It’s intern season again! As employers, we have to figure out how these new and temporary employees can best fit within our businesses, and, more importantly, how we can all make the most of our limited time together. We make a point of taking on one or two interns every year, and to work closely with them. Here's how we've been getting the most out of these relationships.

    1.  Treat the interns as part of the team.

    If your company has regular team bonding activities or networking events, make sure to include your interns. Let them sit in on weekly team and business meetings, when appropriate. They can learn a lot about business by just being an attendee. 

    Whenever possible, we try to treat our interns the same as we do our full-time employees. That means we expect them to contribute ideas, but we also include them when celebrate big wins and company milestones. The more the interns feel connected to your company and appreciated, the better their work will be. 

    2. Use them as more than just gofers.

    If you need someone to make you coffee, buy a Keurig machine. Viewing interns as menial labor doesn’t help you get the most out of these talented young people. Assign tasks they can learn from, and help them grow. Try having an intern brainstorm ideas for a new proposal or tackle a long-term challenge that you haven’t had the time to address. You’ll get a fresh perspective and you might be able to check an item off your to-do list. The intern will learn.
     
    3. Listen to their perspectives for market insights.

    Interns see the world much differently than you do. For many businesses, interns and their peers are also a key demographic. Ask them lots of questions and ask for their feedback on relevant projects. They may help you solve a problem you didn’t even know existed. 

    4. Take time to give feedback.

    It’s important to coach and mentor interns. While it may be faster to finish a poorly completed task yourself, spending the time to teach your intern how to do a project thoroughly will help them grow and will enable them to take meaningful items off of your plate in the future. Making the extra effort to help an intern will make it easier to assign additional work to them down the line. And you’ll be contributing to the future career of someone who’s invested in your company. 

    5. Explain the importance of their work.

    This year, our intern has been focused on pulling, creating and refining large database lists for our sales and marketing teams. You could see this as tedious, but in truth the intern is learning how to work with large data sets, identify trends and patterns, and produce a final document that’s incredibly valuable. While it may not be the most glamorous job, it is immensely important, and his efforts have added meaningful value to the company. By taking the time to explain how his work impacts the company’s bottom line, we’ve helped our intern understand the rationale for his work as well as its importance and value to the organization.

    6.  Recognize today’s interns as tomorrow’s employees.

    Your interns are there to learn, but in many cases, a summer opportunity leads to a longer-term job. Summer is an ideal time to evaluate someone’s potential as a future addition to your team--to learn about their personality firsthand while seeing how they mesh with the rest of your team. By Labor Day you will know if there’s a spot for them or not.

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    The Devil Wears Prada

    When you're trying to establish a professional relationship with someone, it's very easy to turn a stranger off with professional no-nos. You can get away with a lot more once you develop a deeper relationship with the person and when you get a better feel of how that person works. Take heed of these rules when you're communicating with someone professionally:

    Try not to contact them after work hours unless it's asked of you:

    If the other party did not suggest a time to talk after work hours, don't call them or email them after 6 or 7 p.m. unless it's an emergency or if the nature of your job requires you to contact them at night. There's nothing more frustrating than getting a 10 p.m. call to talk about work when it isn't urgent. Many of us like to clock out when work ends, so talking about job-related items can bring back unwanted memories of the daily grind.

    Leave their personal accounts alone:

    Don't contact them about work through their personal email, cell phone, Facebook, or chat when they haven't given you leave to do so. Most people don't like to mix their personal and professional lives, so don't corner them into doing it. However, if they engage you first through these accounts, it is OK to reply to them.

    Keep the punctuations and smiley faces to a minimum:

    When you don't know someone, it's a bit odd to add five exclamation marks at the end of the sentence and say things like "thank you a million times!" Don't overwhelm people before getting to know them. Being overenthusiastic can also come off as being insincere. Ease them into it.

    Give them time to reply:

    If you haven't heard back from someone, don't start bombarding them with emails, texts, and voicemail messages all in one day. Give them a little leeway and wait for them to reply you and try again the next day or even the next week if you have the time to wait.

    If they say no, don't push it:

    If they decline you, don't rephrase the same question and ask it again. The answer is no! Instead give them time to mull it over, present the issue again at a later date, and change the terms to better suit them. The more you push them, the more they'll withdraw. Remember, you can't badger someone into agreeing.

    Don't backtrack:

    Plan what you're going to say and offer carefully. Don't say something, then backtrack and change your words. It's always better to start the relationship off slow because you can then decide how you want to progress based on the results you're seeing.

    Remember that their time is precious:

    Their time is very valuable, so carefully pick what kind of communication works best. Emails are generally less disruptive so if you can convey your message via email, opt for that form of communication first.

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    talking leader taking chargePower comes in many different forms, and leaders need to learn how to handle each type.

    "Power tends to get to people's heads," psychologist Nicole Lipkin tells Business Insider. "We’re not really trained to handle power well."

    Lipkin discusses the different types of power in her new book, "What Keeps Leaders Up At Night.Her analysis uses the five types of power introduced by psychologists John French and Bertram Raven in 1959, along with two types that were introduced later.

    Legitimate Power is where a person in a higher position has control over people in a lower position in an organization.

    "If you have this power, it's essential that you understand that this power was given to you (and can be taken away), so don't abuse it." Lipkin says. "If Diane rises to the position of CEO and her employees believe she deserves this position, they will respond favorably when she exercises her legitimate power. On the other hand, if Diane rises to the position of CEO, but people don't believe that she deserves this power, it will be a bad move for the company as a whole."

    Coercive Power is where a person leads threats and force. It is unlikely to win respect and loyalty from employees for long.

    "There is not a time of day when you should use it," Lipkin tells us. "Ultimately, you can't build credibility with coercive influence — you can think of it like bullying in the workplace."

    Expert Power is the perception that one possesses superior skills or knowledge.

    "If Diane holds an MBA and a PhD in statistical analysis, her colleagues and reports are more inclined to accede to her expertise," Lipkin says.

    In order to keep their status and influence, however, experts need to continue learning and improving.

    Informational Power is where a person possesses needed or wanted information. This is a short-term power that doesn't necessarily influence or build credibility.

    For example, a project manager may have all the information for a specific project, and that will give her "informational power." But it's hard for a person to keep this power for long, and eventually this information will be released. This should not be a long-term strategy.

    Reward Power is where a person motivates others by offering raises, promotions, and awards.

    "When you start talking financial livelihood, power takes on a whole new meaning," Lipkin says. For example, "both Diane and Bob hold a certain amount of reward power if they administer performance reviews that determine raises and bonuses for their people."

    Connection Power is where a person attains influence by gaining favor or simply acquaintance with a powerful person. This power is all about networking.

    "If I have a connection with someone that you want to get to, that's going to give me power. That's politics in a way," Lipkin says. "People employing this power build important coalitions with others ... Diane's natural ability to forge such connections with individuals and assemble them into coalitions gives her strong connection power."

    Referent Power is the ability to convey a sense of personal acceptance or approval. It is held by people with charisma, integrity, and other positive qualities. It is the most valuable type of power.

    "People with high referent power can highly influence anyone who admires and respects them," Lipkin says.

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    older workers

    Older workers may not have the same tech-savvy of their younger colleagues, but they have years of experience you can't teach or replace.

    During the economic recession, companies had smaller budgets, which led to "many people [getting] promoted into management positions with little experience. But a good worker doesn’t equate to an effective manager, and some promotions hurt office morale and led to high turnover," writes Donna Fuscaldo at Fox Business.

    Fuscaldo explains that as the economy gets better, "Companies are now looking to hire people with robust management experience, which means older workers are now in demand."

    To stay competitive in today's workforce, Philip Lenowitz, deputy director in the office of human resources at the National Institutes of Health, says that companies need to make an effort attracting and retaining older workers. NIH was recently ranked as having the best retirement program in the country, and 47% of its workers are older than the age of 50. The company regularly hosts training courses and job fairs aimed specifically at attracting older, more experienced talent.

    By 2020, approximately 25% of the workforce will be age 55 or older, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Here are a few key advantages to older workers:

    1. They have good leadership skills. Older workers make good leaders because they often have stronger communication skills than their younger colleagues.

    "Older workers remember a time when communication wasn’t dominated by e-mail, instant messaging, texting or social media," writes Debi Ritter at Corp Magazine. "As a result, they have advanced communication and people skills ... face-to-face communication is an essential skill in the business world and one that junior staff sometimes struggles with; they could benefit from having a mentor."

    2. They're focused. Older people have been working their entire lives and are often not searching for the next opportunity like younger workers. They know exactly what they want to do and are focused on getting the work done. 

    "Older workers tend to be more interested in stability where a recent college graduate might be most concerned about moving up the corporate ladder as quickly as possible," Ritter says.

    According to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project, 54% of workers older than 65 are still employed because they want to be — not because they need the money. 

    The survey also found that 54% of workers age 65 and older say they are “completely satisfied” with their jobs, compared with just 29% of workers ages 16 to 64.

    3. They're loyal. Since older workers are typically more satisfied with their jobs, they also tend to stay longer.

    "Companies invest countless man hours and financial resources into the screening, hiring and training of new employees, only to find that many employees leave for 'greener pastures' after a few months as they ascend through their career path," Ritter says.

    According to a report published by the BLS, "the length of time a worker remains with the same employer increases with the age at which the worker began the job." The report found that tenure for workers with their current employer was highest for the oldest workers at 10.2 years. For those between the ages of 55 and 64, this number was 9.9 years and for those between 45 and 54 years old it was 7.6 years.

    4. They have a good work ethic. According to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, "Nearly six in 10  respondents cited work ethic as one of the big differences between young and old. Asked who has the better work ethic, about three-fourths of respondents said that older people do."

    In a report published by Randstad Work Solutions, 90% of the respondents who were older said that being "ethical" is "extremely or very important" to workplace culture, whereas 83% of Gen X workers and 66% of Gen Y workers agreed.

    5. They have strong networks. Older workers have been in the workforce longer and they've had more time to meet people and network along the way. According to a study conducted by The Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, 46.3% of employer respondents said that their older employees have stronger professional networks and client networks compared to 30% who said the same about their younger workers

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    Jeff Bezos

    Jeff Bezos won't waste any time in a meeting with you if he doesn't fully understand where the conversation is going or how it will make Amazon better.

    Craig Timberg and Jia Lynn Yang write about Bezos' demanding management style in The Washington Post:

    "In the relentlessly efficient world of Jeffrey P. Bezos, Amazon employees quickly learn when they have overtaxed the attention of their chief executive. He quietly pulls out his smartphone and starts replying to e-mails. In extreme cases, Bezos will walk out."

    Nadia Shouraboura, formerly a part of Bezos' senior executive team tells Timberg and Yang that you "better be ready" if you have a meeting with Bezos.

    "He will figure out something you haven’t thought of ... If you haven’t thought through exactly how to delight our customer, that’s a bad thing.”

    Read the entire piece about Bezos' intense management style here.

    SEE ALSO: The 8 Best Career Advice Lines From Woody Allen Movies

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    WeDidIt.JPGSulaiman Sanni, co-founder of nonprofit crowdfunding platform WeDidIt, says finding a mentor early is the best way startups can focus on the things that really matter.

    "You’d spend less time, not waste weeks, when you have someone who has already been there and done that to say, ‘Hey, this isn’t actually that important. You might as well make a decision now and move on,’" Sanni told Business Insider.

    Moving on is exactly what Sanni and co-founder Ben Lamson have done for the past two years, as they've expanded their startup from a fledgling business idea into a competition-winning service. 

    Launched in 2011, WeDidIt helps nonprofits crowdfund projects, much like Kickstarter does for individuals except WeDidIt takes the process one step further. Sanni and Lamson's company provides nonprofits with tools like fundraising coaches to help them successfully transform a video campaign into an executed project. 

    Sanni said that without the help of the mentorship he and Lamson found while participating in the Miller Lite Tap The Future competition last year, they would have been lost.

    "As an entrepreneur, in the early months, you’re doing things based off of your assumptions. You have no idea if real customers will like your product," Sanni said. "If you can get involved with a business competition where people are assessing your business plan to let you know that you’re on the right track, and on top of that give you some startup capital to put your idea into action, that’s golden."

    One year later, WeDidIt is helping other startups by acting as judges for this year's competition, alongside business mogul and Shark Tank investor Daymond John. 

    The competition, which spans over the next three months, ending with the national final round in December, awards one entrepreneurial team a grand prize of a $250,000 business development grant. 

    Though Sanni and Lamson said that they're in the midst of seeking out additional venture capital of their own, they're happy to share what they've learned in the last year with the competition's participants. 

    "Work quickly and learn from your mistakes," Lamson said. "Focus on things that are moving your business forward. If they’re not moving your business forward, they’re not worth it."

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    The most successful people know a thing or two about how difficult it is to get to where they are. They know how to bring amazing ideas to life, face difficulties, overcome failures, and how important it is to trust along the way.

    Below is an infographic compiling advice from the most driven entrepreneurs throughout various stages of their success. 

    Entrepreneur Quotes

    SEE ALSO: 27 Successful People Reveal The Things They Can't Live Without

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    leader

    Everybody talks about the attributes of a great leader, but great leaders wouldn’t exist without great followers. Ironically, you can’t be a leader until you’ve mastered the art of following.

    So do you know what makes a great follower? Understand this, and you’ll understand both how to be a better follower and how to draw them.

    To help solidify the image of a great follower, let’s examine what one looks like. Follow these steps to become the kind of follower any blogger or business wants:

    1. Pay attention

    Listening is the building block of any good relationship, whether it’s a sales manager and employee relationship or the relationship a blogger has with their community. So to become a good follower, listen to the people you’re connected with online.

    Regularly read updates in your streams, and work to remember concerns or insights others share. Over time, you’ll get to know the people you follow and will strengthen connections.

    2. Be responsive

    Join conversations you find interesting, whether on social media channels or on blogs. Bloggers notice consistent commenters, so when you regularly leave genuine, thoughtful feedback, you invite a relationship.

    Likewise, when you interact with other users on Facebook or Twitter, you create an online community. Reply to someone’s tweet or link with a meaningful response. The people you’re following will notice.

    3. Share content

    Everybody appreciates followers who promote their content. When someone posts something you like, share it and link back to the original source. On Twitter, retweet helpful links. On Facebook, share someone’s blog post or photo.

    By promoting someone else’s work, you’re being the kind of follower everyone wants. What’s more, you’re acting as a resource, which makes you someone others want to follow.

    4. Like content

    From liking Facebook posts to Instagram photos, there are more ways than ever to let someone know you appreciate their content. Liking someone’s content is a simple yet meaningful way to encourage him or her and to build community.

    5. Be genuine

    Nothing kills community faster than lack of authenticity. When bloggers or social media users smell a fake, they run the other way. So above all else, aim for a genuine voice. Post and respond in a way that is true to who you are.

    So once you’re ready to become a great leader, how do you draw quality followers?

    Part of drawing good followers comes down to luck; helpful people start following you and respond to your content without you seeking them out. But the other part of drawing good followers comes down to habits.

    What kind of message are you putting forth online? What sort of people respond to what you write? With that in mind, adapt these habits to cultivate and draw the best kind of audience:

    1. Be authentic

    Authenticity invites authenticity, so when you’re the kind of blogger or business that speaks genuinely and consistently, you automatically draw readers who behave the same way. Avoid pretense, admit what you don’t know and build credibility with your fans.

    2. Create quality content

    The surest way to draw good followers is to create quality content—the kind that stands out from the crowd. Aim to create top-notch articles and photography and you set yourself up to draw interested fans.

    3. Be a good follower

    If the above list describing good followers does nothing else, it should show that loyal fans are assets for anyone publishing content online. When you notice someone is consistently supporting your brand on social networks and blogs, you’re more likely to pay attention to him or her—and the same goes for brands that see you responding to them. So to draw more loyal fans, be one. Other bloggers can become your greatest online allies.

    4. Be thankful

    If you want to encourage loyal followers, pay attention to the ones you have. When someone promotes your content, thank him or her. Respond to comments on your blog. Notice the followers who are talking about you on social networks. By being the kind of content creator who is thankful and responsive, you invite great followers.

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    startup workers talking

    The growth of the freelance economy has become a costly problem for the Internal Revenue Service.

    Misclassification of workers as freelancers and independent contractors instead of full-time employees has resulted in billions of dollars in lost tax revenues.

    Companies don't have to pay worker's compensation, unemployment, and disability taxes for freelance and contract employees (s0-called '1099 workers'). The problem is, if you're getting treated like other full-time, salaried employees and you have the same assignments and tasks they do, you should be receiving those benefits.

    Your employer should be paying those taxes.

    “I think this is a massive problem that will be more evident in the coming years,"Jeff Wald, co-founder of Work Market, tells Business Insider. Wald's company works with firms like Lockheed Martin and Omnicom to prevent misclassification of employees, which could trigger an audit by the IRS.

    Remember when Microsoft had to pay the IRS $97 million on a benefits case brought on by long-term temps who should have been classified as W-2 (full-time, salaried) workers? This is exactly the situation that Work Market is trying to prevent.

    "You can 1099 anyone you want, but are they really an independent contractor? In the end, it's a judgment call by the government," he says.

    How do you know the difference between a 1099 and a W-2 worker? Wald says there are a few questions you should ask yourself:

    1. Who does this person really work for?

    To figure out if an employee is really a freelancer or independent contractor, ask yourself: Does she provide services for several companies at a time? Does she have an actual business? Does she have an office she works out of? Does she have marketing materials for her business? Or a business bank account?

    If you answer "no" to these questions, she is likely a W-2 employee.

    2. How do you pay this person?

    Freelancers and contractors should be paid a fixed fee for assigned projects, says Wald. Unlike full-time salaried employees, a freelancer's financial situation should not be solely reliant on your business.

    Avoid paying this person an hourly, daily, or weekly rate, reimbursement for expenses, or bonuses. You should also refrain from providing tools, such as computers, because if they are working on multiple projects at a time, freelancers should be able to provide their own equipment.

    Basically, the more financial independence they have from your business, the less risk there is in misclassifying them.

    3. How do you interact with this person?

    You need to ask yourself how you're treating your freelancers. Do they have to be somewhere at a certain time? Do you check up on them often? If the answer to these questions is "yes,"they are likely a W-2 worker.

    "An employee is told what to do and how to do it, and an independent contractor is told what needs to be done," Wald says.

    4. Is this person doing the same job as other full-time employees?

    Wald says if you're hiring freelancers so you don't have to hire more full-time employees, you're putting your business at risk of an audit.

    "If he's an individual who comes into your office, is told what to do, sits in front of a computer next to a bunch of other workers, and does the same job they do, that's a problem," he says.

    The IRS will want you to explain why one person is an employee and the other is not. If your answer is that you only needed the 1099 worker for six months, it won't be acceptable to the IRS.

    "There's a massive movement in how things are going to get done," Wald says. "It's going to be a mess for awhile as all these things shift and change."

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