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The latest news on Entrepreneurship from Business Insider

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    woman with headphones

    You’re a busy person. In between working your full-time day job, completing your responsibilities at home, and formulating your new business plan, you have a lot going on.

    While you know that reading up on how to start a company, taking night classes, and meeting with entrepreneurs to ask them how they did it is helpful, you just don’t have the time or energy.

    That’s where podcasts come into play.

    On your way to and from work, at the gym, or whenever you have some spare time, you can pop in your earbuds and listen to an informative and insightful podcast that’ll supply you with knowledge on how to start a business.

    The following are seven of the best podcasts out there that will teach you about how to establish and successfully manage a business of your own.

    1. StartUp 

    If you’re a fan of National Public Radio’s "This American Life" and want to learn about what goes on behind the scenes of a startup, listen to StartUp. The show is produced by podcast network Gimlet Media, which was founded and is run by "This American Life" vets.

    It showcases what it’s like day-to-day at a business. In season one, host Alex Blumberg discussed starting Gimlet, and season two is about another company, Dating Ring. Topics include pitching, investing, and debt, and the hosts aren’t afraid to get honest about mistakes they’ve made. It’s real and enlightening.

     2. Entreleadership 

    Entreleadership is a podcast that’s named after Dave Ramsey’s book of the same title. Ken Coleman hosts the show and interviews the top entrepreneurs of today. They talk about their stories and give tips to other entrepreneurs. Some recent guests include Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and Seth Godin.

     3. EOFire

    If you subscribe to the daily podcast EOFire, you’ll never run out of things to listen to. There are more than 1,100 episodes of the show available on iTunes that cover entrepreneurs’ worst mistakes and the times they had that aha moment.

    There’s also a "lightning round" in which host John Lee Dumas asks quick questions to "extract nuggets of wisdom" from guests. Make sure that you also follow Dumas’ blog, which contains additional educational content on running a business.

    4. Mixergy

    Andrew Warner, founder of Mixergy, is another prolific podcaster who has more than 1,200 hour-long podcasts available on iTunes. Only the most recent episodes are free, but the rest can be accessed with a paid subscription on Warner’s website. The shows include one-on-one interviews with business owners like Neil Patel of Quick Sprout and Tim Ferriss of "The 4-Hour Work Week." The host himself is a successful entrepreneur who, in his twenties, co-founded a business that made $30 million in sales.

     5. Build a Badass Business

    With a name like Build a Badass Business, why wouldn’t you want to listen? The show, hosted by Diane Sanfilippo, a bestselling author who wrote "Practical Paleo" and "The 21-Day Sugar Detox," provides business management and marking tips. Sanfilippo cuts to the chase with her advice, advising listeners to wholeheartedly pursue their passions, be self-motivated, keep on moving forward, and always hustle.

    She talks about more psychological issues like self-doubt and how to handle criticism, as well as about specific marketing topics such as repurposing Periscope videos and taking better food photos for Instagram.

     6. My Wife Quit Her Job

    When Steve Chou’s wife was pregnant, the two agreed that she should quit working and focus on parenting. So Steve decided to start an online business to make up for the lost income. Within one year, he was making more than $100,000 through his company. On his podcast My Wife Quit Her Job, he talks specifically about ecommerce and covers topics broad and specific. Some recent episodes are about how to market your online store on Reddit.

     7. How to Start a Startup

    Sam Altman, the president of seed accelerator Y Combinator, hosts How to Start a Startup. This 20-episode podcast features audio from a class that took place at Stanford University.

    The instructors, who include Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, teach about being a great founder, how to attract investors, and building a team and company culture. Each 50-minute episode gives you advice from the best entrepreneurs around.

    SEE ALSO: 100 podcasts that will make you smarter and more successful

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Hidden Facebook tricks you need to know


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    back of man's headThis post from entrepreneur Nelson Wang originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the question "What is it that nobody tells you about adult life?"

    My second startup had just completely failed. I came home on a Saturday night at midnight and there was a letter on my kitchen counter.

    It was from a law firm threatening to sue my company.

    It felt like someone kicked me in my stomach. It was one of the worst feelings in the world.

    In the last 31 years of living, I wish there were a few key lessons someone taught me as I was growing up.

    Here are the 10 things I felt like nobody told me about adult life:

    1. The most valuable currency in the world is time

    Money is valuable. Time is even more valuable.

    Time is finite. Once you spend it, you cannot earn it back.

    Use money to help you find more time. Time with your friends, family and loved ones.

    One of my family friends spent most of his life saving every single penny that he could so that he could finally live his dream life.

    One day, he was involved in a car crash. He didn't survive.

    Appreciate the time that you have now.

    2. Sometimes only you can help yourself

    Having a great support system of friends and family is absolutely critical to your well-being and success. Invest your energy and time with the people that love and support you and make you happy.

    Also recognize that sometimes only you can pull yourself out of the darkness.

    When my second startup failed, I remember feeling absolutely terrible one night as I laid in bed looking at the ceiling. I felt like I had failed as a person. Eventually, over time, I realized that I couldn't keep moping around. So I got out of bed and went for a run. I began to read books (like "Zen and Inner Peace") to help clear my mind. And eventually, I convinced myself that I would give it another try.

    And guess what? It worked. I'm on my third startup now (CEO Lifestyle) and hit 1,500 subscribers in just three months.

    3. Empathy is the key to connecting with people

    Once, my sister called me to talk about a tough situation. I didn't have an answer to the problem, so I said, "What do you want me to do about it?"

    And she said, "Nothing, I just want you to listen to me, that's all."

    That's some of the best advice she's ever given to me.

    Most of the time, we don't have a clue as to what the right answer is. And that's OK. What's more important is that you understand the other person's perspective and feelings. That's how you connect with people.

    Learn to deeply empathize. It'll make you a better person.

    4. You really don't need that pizza slice at 2 a.m.

    Put it down. Now. Your body will thank you five years from now.

    Wait, is it a BBQ chicken pizza? OK, maybe just one bite ...

    pouring drinking white wine

    5. Drinking is overrated

    When I was younger, I used to get so excited to meet with friends to drink during the weekend.

    Work is over, time for happy hour!

    And then I realized, it's actually not as fun as I thought. Sure, it's great to bond over these experiences, but are the experiences actually that great?

    When I drank, I began to realize that it's (obviously) harder to remember conversations, sometimes the person you're speaking to isn't even coherent and ultimately it doesn't end up feeling like quality time. To top it off, there are the hangovers.

    Do I still have a drink socially every now and then? Sure, but it's really rare now for me.

    I love having a sober, fun, witty, genuine conversation with someone and being able to remember it perfectly weeks later.

    That feels like a real connection to me.

    Think about it this way, if people are only having fun with you when drinking is involved, do they really like you for who you are?

    6. Your career success is heavily tied to the value you provide

    I get people asking me to review their résumés pretty often. Which is funny, because I wrote a book called "The Resume Is Dead."

    Anyway, one person asked me to take a look. So I did. And what I saw on his résumé is something I see all the time.

    A lot of people write out the responsibilities of their work in their job experience.

    Very few people write out the results.

    Sure, you might have created a new product line at the company, but why does that matter?

    Always remember to show the value of your work. This is very often tied to the success of your career.

    I bet you want some specific examples, don't you? OK, I'll give you one:

    Example 1: Created a new mobile app for Company XYZ.

    Example 2: Created a new mobile app that increased customer acquisition by 3X and increased customer satisfaction by 75% for Company XYZ.

    Which one is more compelling to you? Thought so.

    7. Love is a broad spectrum

    Love is a commitment. Love is being there for someone when things go south. Love is making adjustments and compromising. Love is realizing that it's not just about you. It's mutual. It's about helping each other discover happiness.

    Sometimes love means letting go.

    Love is a broad spectrum. Explore it and define what it means to you.

    8. You can lead with or without a title

    Companies put titles in place so that people feel like they are progressing in their career. What most people don't realize is that you can lead with or without a title.

    "I have this great idea but I'm not in a position of power to make it happen!" said almost everyone I've ever met.

    Learn to be articulate. Learn to be persuasive. Learn to sell ideas effectively. Learn to get buy from stakeholders. The title doesn't do that for you. You do that by stepping up your skills.

    Stop worrying about the title. Start leading.

    The title will come naturally.

    9. Most paths aren't linear

    What works for someone else may not work for you. Every single one of us is unique after all.

    When I was in college, I saw a lot of friends go into finance. That sounded like a great idea! I could make a lot of money right after college in investment banking, have a stable career and live the American Dream.

    One problem: I was terrible at finance. I even failed an introductory economics course. It was clear I sucked at it.

    So I thought about what my skill sets were.

    I'm passionate (Think "Tony Robbins"). I work hard. I love talking with people. And I want to help others.

    So I went into sales. I never would have guessed this is the career I would have gone into. Most of my friends became doctors, lawyers and financial analysts.

    But that's the thing. We're all different. And I had my own path to take.

    Your path in life will be different from others. Learn to embrace it.

    motorcycle

    10. You are in control

    Don't want to work a 9-to-5 job? Study people who have created lifestyle businesses and start one of your own.

    Don't want to be out of shape anymore? Follow the P90X workout, get a NutriBullet, and get in the best shape of your life.

    You're the CEO of your own life. Start making decisions that drive the vision you've always dreamed of.

    Get started. Now. Because it's never too late to live an epic life.

    SEE ALSO: 6 ways hobbies can enhance your career

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    jane lu

    Finding the right job can be difficult when you’re younger. Family expectations, choosing the right degree, and that first step into adulthood are all added pressures.

    It’s journey Showpo founder Jane Lu knows all too well.

    “[At school] I got a 99+ UAI [a high percentile rank used for college admissions], I studied commerce at UNSW, I got a job even before I graduated. I was definitely ticking the right boxes for being a good Chinese daughter,” laughs Lu as she tells her startup story at SydStart Thurday. “I mean, I even played eighth grade piano.”

    But after landing the dream cadetship with Big Four firm KPMG, she knew it just was never going to work out.

    “I just got so sick of being stuck in that boring grey cubicle,” she says.

    “There was this moment where I looked at my phone and I thought: Three hours have just passed, I’m literally three hours more dead than I was and all I’ve done is remove the second referencing from this spreadsheet … how is this my life?

    “So I quit.”

    While she knew it was the right thing to do, many doubted her decision.

    “I felt great about this (quitting) but everyone thought I was an idiot because it was in middle of the GFC [global financial crisis] and everyone was getting made redundant. And there I go quitting my job to run pop-up stores,” she says.

    Business looked great for a while but one month after starting the pop-up retail stores, her business partner pulled the pin.

    “So we shut the business down and that was the end of Fatboye Group,” says Lu. “Did I forget to mention the name of the business was Fatboye Group? Yeah, go figure,” she laughs reflecting on it.

    “I literally hit rock bottom. I didn’t have a job … and I had way too much pride to ask for my job back.”

    With no other options Lu went back into the corporate finance world at Ernst & Young, but it wasn’t long before she quit — again.

    Her Chinese heritage meant the pressure to do the right thing was immense.

    “I had done everything that I was meant to do,” she says. “I was on (her parent’s) ideal trajectory for a good career. So, I just couldn’t bring myself to tell them that I quit my job.

    “So, there was only one logical thing to do. I didn’t tell them.”

    On top of the pressure came the deception required to maintain face.

    “The unfortunate thing was that I was still living at home at the time, which meant that for six months I had to get up early, put on a suit and pretend to go to work. And let me tell you the only thing worse than being unemployed is having to get up early when you’re unemployed.

    “So, I’d get up early, put on my suit, have breakfast with my family. Catch the bus into the city, sometimes with my mum. And just wander around the CBD [central business district] trying to figure s--- out.”

    A turn of fate

    It turned out to be the best thing she could have done.

    In September 2010, Lu met a like-minded girl who wanted to start an online store too.

    “We instantly hit it off. One night over too many glasses of red wine we came up with the name Show-Pony,” she said. They subsequently rebranded as Showpo.

    But having lost money from the first business, plus a HECS (government student loan) bill , as well as having to repay KPMG $18,000 for breaking her cadetship, Lu says her debt was sky-high.

    “It was a total of $60,000 at the age of 24. Not a great place to be when you’re starting a business, or not a great place to be any way,” she says.

    “That being said, Showpo turned over $10 million last year, we’ve been bootstrapped the entire way and we’ve always been profitable.”

    She may have experienced more bumps in the road than the average startup founder, but the overall result has been a success.

    “There is no prescribed way to achieving success,” she said. “Go against the grain and follow your gut. I’m a good example of ‘if I can do this anyone can.’”

    And now that she’s made it? Well, she says all wants is to find a way to be a CEO that doesn’t have to do anything.

    “I want to do as a little as possible,” she laughs. “My [social media] handle is @thelazyceo. I want to delegate out as much as work as possible.

    “Remember: Work smarter, not harder. I’ll let you know how it goes.”

    SEE ALSO: 3 types of managers you never want to work under

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Charles Adler, Perry Chen, and Yancey StricklerIt might seem like becoming a tech entrepreneur is an expedient path to wealth.

    Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Snapchat's Evan Spiegel, Oracle's Larry Ellison, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos became billionaires through the companies they founded.

    So if you create a successful, popular website, web service, or app, you're bound to get rich, right?

    Charles Adler disagrees.

    Adler is the cofounder of crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, which reached 100,000 campaigns funded through the site.

    Instead of undergoing an IPO in 2015, it became a public benefit corporation, which means while it's still for-profit, it must meet high standards of transparency and social responsibility. The designation does not prevent them from selling or holding an IPO in the future, should they decide to.

    Adler's cofounders Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler (Adler has since left the company and now serves as an adviser) told the New York Times in 2015 that Kickstarter has been profitable "for years," earning somewhere in the range of $5 million to $10 million a year for the last three.

    You could call that success, but Adler says it hasn't led to incredible wealth.

    Adler tells Wealthsimple:

    People think that if you're going to start a tech company, you're going to become exorbitantly wealthy. The truth is most entrepreneurs don't succeed. 

    It was about empowering people. That's what drove us. That's what fueled my work ethic. I think this becomes clear with our transition to become a public-benefit corporation. And I'd say this shift in the company is a great reflection of how I think about money and work: You need to be balanced.

    "So no, I'm not some rich tech dude with a Tesla," he continues. "In fact, I usually convince myself not to buy things, and I've always been very wary of credit cards."

    Read the full story on Wealthsimple »

    SEE ALSO: Pulitzer Prize-winning author says we're thinking about money all wrong

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We tried the ‘Elon Musk food challenge' and lived off $2 a day for a month


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    While 99% of the population is going to work every day, trading their time for money ... there’s a special group of in-the-know people who are waking up to a world of financial potential that most people don’t know is possible.

    Imagine what it would be like to get emails like this every single day:

    daniel dipiazza email

    The best part is that all these sales happened while I was doing other things. THAT is ultimate freedom.

    How did I set up my online systems and go from "absolutely no idea what I’m doing" to making this type of "automatic" money?

    Good question.

    Here’s the simple blueprint for making money with an online business.

    1. Choose a great business idea, then start to build a website that attracts visitors.

    Here’s a quick tip to come up with a great business idea: Combine one of your ideas/hobbies/skills to find something that you care about and figure out how that can be used to solve another person’s problem. I’ve written extensively about how to come up with a good idea and then validate it, so I’m not going to belabor the point here.

    Here’s what to do: Create a simple website for pennies using Wordpress or Squarespace that advertises what you do, and/or the product you’re offering. You don’t need any web or tech skills to make this happen. Both resources have ready-to-install templates. You just need to know how to use the internet!

    Use regular tools (like Facebook, Instagram, a blog, etc) to start driving people to your website. Nothing secret or tricky here. Just talk to your friends, family, and accessible networks and try to start solving their problems. Identify their pain points and then go about actively solving them. This will help you finetune your idea.

    Direct them to your site to pick up their free piece of value content that you’ve prepared for them. Which is the subject of Step 2 …

    2. Turn those website visitors into loyal subscribers by offering them something free in exchange for their email address.

    Create free, helpful content and ask visitors for an email address in exchange.

    For example, you could offer a free 15-minute consultation, a tutorial video, a downloadable checklist, an infographic, a guide or other types of free content depending on your business and industry. The list is literally endless.

    Add these people to an email list and keep building that list over time. Slow but steady wins the race. You can create HUGE results with a very small email list. I know this because I was able to quit my job and commit full-time to Rich20Something with a list of about 500 members.

    If you're curious to know how I got started, and how you can begin your own journey to self-employment, you should enroll in my free mini-course on making more money. It'll take you step-by-step through the process of creating a new business using skills you already have.

    I know what you’re thinking, so let me stress it again — you don’t have to be a "techie" or know any programming! The website itself can get up and running for less that $50 in a day. And you can use an email marketing solution like MailChimp to manage subscribers, send emails, and track results for free.   

    3. Turn those subscribers into customers by asking them to buy from you via email.

    Now it’s time to make money.

    You can sell whatever you want — a physical or digital product, a course, a service, or even coaching. It’s all based on what’s interesting to you, and what you think you can help your subscribers with the most.

    After delivering a ton of free awesome content for a while (emailing your blog posts, YouTube videos, or whatever else you create), now you have the "right" to sell. Really, this means you have a core audience — no matter how small — who anticipates hearing from you, who reads or consumes your work, and who relates to your message.

    This is huge.  

    These people, your Tribe, actually WANT to buy from you. They’re eager for you to produce a real product because they trust you.  

    This satisfies our innate human instinct for reciprocity — but really it’s because they think that what you offer is valuable, and an actual product puts a price to that value.

    Here’s an example how a simple idea can be turned into a $1,000/month online business:

    Let’s say you’re a tutor who’s really good at preparing students for the SAT/ACT college entrance exams.

    That’s a pretty in-demand skill set with a high hourly rate. But after a while, you might get burned out driving from house to house or teaching big classes.

    There’s an easier way.

    Instead of going door-to-door teaching the SAT, you could make a website that gives great SAT tips and strategies for free. Create a PDF guide of your top 5 proven strategies for raising test scores and, in exchange for their email addresses, give it away to people who visit your website.  

    Continue to build that list of email addresses over time. YOUR LIST IS YOUR MONEY MAKER. Treat it with utmost care and respect. Always remember these are real people.

    Behind the scenes, you build a simple 6-week video course teaching lessons as if you were in front of a classroom.

    (I don’t want to hear you say you don’t have the proper equipment! All you need is an iPhone. Don’t believe me? Casey Neistat is an acclaimed film director, producer, and YouTube star with nearly 2 million subscribers. He films everything he produces on an iPhone. Yup.)

    Once every month or two, send an email to your dedicated email list selling the course.

    Every time you send, there’s a good chance people will buy. As the list grows, more and more people will buy.

    (Remember, you’re still peppering them with juicy content in between each sales push. That’s how they grow to love and respect you.)

    If you priced the video series at just $97 (which is quite fair, considering how much private tutoring costs) and sold just 10 of those video courses every month, you’d make a quick $1,000 automatically ... every single month.  

    From a TINY email list.

    THAT IS LIFE-CHANGING.

    • That’s enough money for you to take a vacation.
    • That’s enough money to pay off student loans.
    • That’s enough money to pay down your debt and finally start saving.

    And that’s what I mean. It doesn’t take a lot.

    From here, the sky’s the limit. You can easily tweak the "dials" of your internet business and 2x, 5x, 10x that money easily with a few changes.

    Keep growing your list and try to imagine what’s possible ...

    Daniel DiPiazza is the founder of Rich20Something, where he inspires Gen Y to take initiative and build businesses they love. You can begin your own journey to self-employment by enrolling in his free mini-course on making more money using skills you already have.

    SEE ALSO: 3 things people told me about working for myself that turned out to be lies

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Susie Moore Headshot_BI1

    Fourteen months ago, I quit my $500,000 job in corporate sales to work for myself. It was the best career choice I’ve ever made.

    Since then, countless people, from readers of my blog to my close friends, have come to me saying they want to quit their jobs, too.

    Here is what I tell them:

    1. Change is possible.


    First and foremost, you can live your life by design, or by default. You have free will and the right to choose your own path. This is your birthright. You do not have to resign yourself to endless long days and a pension plan in your current career if you don’t want to. You’re also not selfish for wanting more or different things out of your life.

    2. You’re not alone.


    According to a 2012 Gallup poll, only 13% of Americans are engaged (or feel psychologically committed) at work. Let this reassure you! But only a few of these will be bold enough to make a change. Be one of them and live without regret.

    3. Get clear.

    What do you really, really, really want to do next? Don’t be shy or limit your thinking here. Most people are much more capable than they think. List all of the potential jobs you would want to do, and start moving in the direction of the easiest one to transition into.  

    This means you must:

    4. Connect with other people!  


    How can you get around people doing what you want to do? This can be inside of your company or outside. I know an accountant who moved into HR through closely collaborating with the team, and I have people who email me almost every day asking about how to get into life coaching and blogging. Always place yourself near the people you want to emulate.

    5. Think and plan ahead — especially if you want to work for yourself.


    Want to work for yourself? People increasingly want the freedom and ownership of running their own business. Personally, I feel that the ultimate security is in being an entrepreneur.

    If you want to go out solo, plan for it now. Have a corporate exit date. Save your money. Before I resigned from my job I was making up to $4,000 a month in my side hustle, working nights and weekends. I was terrified when I quit, yes but at least there was money in the bank and a steady income stream still coming in and I knew I would only expand this when it became my sole priority.

    6. Having a day job is not an excuse for not setting yourself up with a side gig.  


    Build your skills every free moment you can and start charging for your services as soon as you are able. For many this is immediately. For example, I have coached people into side-hustling for profit pretty much overnight as photographers, math tutors, even personal stylists and organizers. Just be consistent with growing your side gig and make it a priority. Keep going. There are a million ways to make a living. As Seth Godin says, “When exactly were we brainwashed into thinking that the best way to earn a living is to have a job?”

    If you feel signs of sluggishness at work, lack enthusiasm towards your career, and you live for the weekend, do not leave it to the point of desperation to change your career. Take action NOW!

    Unless you are a trust fund recipient, have a wealthy spouse, or expect an imminent inheritance, you are just like the rest of us. We need a paycheck, a routine, and something to do with our lives most days of the week. Starting a side hustle is the smartest thing you can do to hedge against economic uncertainty and make money while making a difference doing work that you enjoy.

    I’ve coached hundreds of people start successful side hustles ranging from matchmakers to personal branding coaches, graphic designers to job interview trainers. You can be one of these people. What is your passion?  How can you cash in on it, starting now?

    As the old saying goes: A year from now, you’ll wish you started today.

    Susie Moore is a British-born writer and confidence coach based in New York City. She teaches clients how to live the life they imagined by tuning into their authentic power and unlocking the confidence to pursue what they really, really want. You can sign up for Susie's free weekly wellness newsletter (featuring her celebrity interviews) at her website, www.susie-moore.com.

    SEE ALSO: After more than a year of earning up to $4,000 a month on the side, here’s what I can tell you about starting a side hustle

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    bill and melinda gates“Share seamlessly, steal shamelessly.”

    Four simple words that sum up the value of TED Talks.

    We love these quick, easy-to-digest videos with just the right amount of important information to entertain and educate in just a few minutes.

    It’s free, high-quality wisdom from industry leaders — what’s not to love?

    Below are the top seven videos that every hopeful, driven, focused entrepreneur needs to watch before diving into the American Dream.

    Take notes, assess your ideas and business model, consider what your strengths and weaknesses are, then when you’re done watching and thinking — watch all of them over again.

    SEE ALSO: 10 TED Talks that will make you smarter about business

    Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

    Simon Sinek explains what he calls "The Golden Circle," which illustrates the "why, how and what" of an organization.

    According to Sinek, it’s not the product, service, or plan that’s most important — it’s why you, as the entrepreneur, think the product, service, or plan is important. Once you can identify your true motivation (and it better go beyond just making money), you can inspire those around you — including your team and your customers.

    Once they’re on board and aligned with your why, they’ll work toward the how and what, or the processes and products, of your organization.

    If you skip the important step of clearly identifying and articulating this point, you can only hope to inspire temporarily, which doesn’t make for a great business model in the long run.

    People respond to a cause, a purpose, a passion, a mission — not a plan.



    Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win

    Sarah Lewis distinguishes mastery from success as being able to reproduce a victory again and again.

    Mastery is a constant pursuit. It’s a race with no finish line. It’s like a mosquito bite between your shoulder blades that you can’t quite reach. It’s exhausting and elusive, but also the driving force behind competitive entrepreneurs.

    The pursuit of mastery is what drives you forward when you just barely missed out on first place, when your product is not quite right, or when you can’t seem to replicate perfection.

    Lewis describes, in those moments of “near win,” that once you accept the silver medal you can allow that near win to motivate you as you pursue your next race.

    Near wins allow us to see our future victories with a new sense of clarity and precision.

    “We thrive not when we have done it all, but when we still have more to do.” — Sarah Lewis

    Masters realize there is no end. As an entrepreneur, you’ll probably never be completely satisfied. There will always be more to improve, more to grow, more to offer.

    If you’re OK never reaching that finish line, you may be ready to begin the race.



    Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

    Seth Godin is a marketing genius. He offers those rare gems of simplicity that make us all think, “Well duh! Why have I not thought of that?”

    Godin explains how incredibly underwhelmed your audience is. Inboxes are full of static and spam, and your messages are just another fish in that overpopulated sea.

    So how do you successfully reach your clients?

    You must choose the correct audience, and you must stand out. You have to say or do something “remarkable.”

    No, he means this literally: You must offer them something to remark about.

    So what about choosing the right audience? Don’t we want to reach as many people as possible? Seth challenges that presumption. He challenges us to initiate the radicals—those way to the left (including innovators and early adopters) and those way to the right (who are considered laggers).

    It’s on those two ends of the spectrum that you find your Chatty Cathys.

    It’s those talkers who will essentially act as your marketing team. They’ll be the voice for your product, spreading the word and reputation for you. With them on your side, you can win over the middle, larger moderate group.

    When you have something remarkable, tell the radicals and let them go to work spreading the word.

    Are you worth talking about? Are you worth a status update, a tweet, a mention? Is your product or service worth stopping for? Are you worth water cooler talk?



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg received the first ever Axel Springer Award at a ceremony in Berlin. Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel gave a speech that imagined what the world would be like without Mark Zuckerberg.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    jason wachob

    We’re living in a day and age when being an entrepreneur is cool.

    Back in the late 90s when I graduated from Columbia, everyone either went to work on Wall Street, went to law school, became a consultant, or went on to med school. But that’s all changed.

    With shows like "Silicon Valley" and stories of Unicorn startups in the media, the entrepreneurial life has become a bit glorified.

    However, it's more complex than it may seem on TV. Randi Zuckerberg famously said, "Work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends: pick 3," and she’s totally right.

    I think more people are beginning to understand that the entrepreneurial path is filled with potholes and detours, but here are four things that I think most people still miss. 

    1. It could take a decade to succeed!

    When I first decided I wanted to become an entrepreneur in 2002, I had no idea how it would take shape and got involved in numerous startups. I looked at each as an opportunity to learn and to help me create a larger, more ambitious vision. It took me ten years to find that vision with mindbodygreen, but I never would have found it if I’d been stuck on discovering my dream business on day one. 

    Ask yourself: What’s your motivation for doing what you’re doing in the first place? Odds are, if you’re looking to start a business, then you want to solve a problem for people, and at the same time you desire creative or financial freedom. If it’s just the status and title alone that you want, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. 

    2. Don’t get stuck trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.  

    Some of the most successful careers and businesses came as the result of pivoting. Did you know that Instagram began as Burbn, a check-in app that had a gaming element? It didn’t perform well, so the founders regrouped and got rid of all the features except photo sharing. Then they re-launched it as Instagram, and the rest is history. This is a great example of why it’s not good to get stuck on a particular idea. 

    3. Just because you're working hard doesn't mean you're working smart. 

    We live in a culture where working 16 hours a day or pulling an all-nighter is a badge of honor. Working hard is important, but working smart is even more important. When you combine working smart with working hard, you'll be well on your way to achieving your professional goals. But if you're just grinding away for the sake of grinding away, you'll just be on your way to burning out.

    4. Goals and deadlines are important, but ... sometimes you have to say, "I don't know when. I don't know how. But I know it's gonna happen." 

    We type-As are so good at breaking down doors, kicking ass, and taking names, but sometimes we need to let go and let the universe or God or whatever it is we believe in take over.

    "Good Morning America" anchor and bestselling author Dan Harris tells a great story about David Axelrod when he was running President Obama’s reelection campaign. So many global factors — such as the European debt crisis, al-Qaeda, and issues in Israel and Iran — were out of the administration’s control.

    When Axelrod was pressed about all these seemingly never-ending challenges, he responded, "All we can do is everything we can do." To that response, I’d add: And then we need to let go.

    Reprinted and edited from "WELLTH: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Resume." Copyright © 2016 by Jason Wachob. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

    SEE ALSO: A CEO weighs in on whether entrepreneurs are born or made

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Michelle Mone phone

    Michelle Mone, the multimillionaire entrepreneur who went from being a 15-year-old school dropout to building a £50 million ($70 million) lingerie empire and being made a Baroness, released her "Be the boss" review on Tuesday.

    It's an in-depth look into startup culture in Britain, with a particular focus on getting people from poorer communities to be more entrepreneurial and enterprising.

    Mone has been working with the British government on an investigation into how to get more of Britain's poor into self-employment, and the first part of the review, called "Boosting enterprise in more deprived communities" was published on Tuesday.

    The report points out that while the national average for the amount of people who are self-employed is around 10%, that number falls to just 5% in the most deprived 10% of the UK. Mone wants to change that, hence the review.

    To conduct her research Mone, who entered the House of Lords in October 2015, undertook a six-month tour of Britain, visiting startups, charities, and NGOs from Cornwall in southern England to Glasgow in Scotland, looking for ideas about how to encourage entrepreneurship in the poorer parts of the UK.

    It's pretty dense, 64 pages of charts, case studies, and recommendations on how to increase entrepreneurship across the deprived communities of Britain, but there's a big problem with the report. It barely contains any new ideas on entrepreneurship at all.

    As Ian Murray, Labour's shadow Scotland Secretary, told the Herald newspaper (emphasis ours):

    "Michelle Mone’s report highlights many of the issues that are already known and which this Government has not done nearly enough to tackle."

    The government backed review stands on five key legs:

    • Asking already self-employed people to mentor those looking to start their own businesses.
    • Improving the already existing New Enterprise Allowance.
    • Giving startups better access to loans.
    • Getting schools and local authorities to look into ways of teaching kids more business skills.
    • Banks should lend more to small businesses.

    In isolation all of these recommendations are clearly useful. Hardly anyone would argue that getting more money into the startup community, giving people better advice on starting businesses, and teaching kids more about business are bad ideas, but they've all already been done.

    First, mentoring. Admittedly, a mentor is an incredibly useful thing to have when looking to improve any skill, particularly in business, but the government already has several mentoring schemes in place for businesses.

    In 2011, the Tory and Lib Dem coalition government launched a major initiative to increase the number of mentors for business people, including the website mentorsme.co.uk. The site is still running, and offers small business owners access to mentoring and advice on everything from HR issues to financing.

    startup entrepreneurNext, funding. The report makes three recommendations when it comes to funding. First, expanding the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) — a scheme introduced by the government in 2013 to give people access to funds when looking to start a business. That scheme has already been incredibly successful, providing, as Mone tells us, funding for 70,000 people to become self employed. All the report does is suggest a series of small tweaks to the scheme. 

    It also recommends giving startups loans backed by the government, as well as encouraging retail banks to fund more startups to "support high quality, intensive enterprise support." Again, it seems pretty obvious that giving money to startups can help them flourish and, once again, the government already has a "Startup Loans" programme, which has been in place since May 2012.

    Finally, Mone recommends educating kids more about businesses to "ensure the skills and drive of all workers," citing a 2014 report from Lord Young. The very fact that the "Boosting enterprise in more deprived communities" report cites a two year-old investigation, shows that suggesting education as a key pillar of encouraging enterprise is not a new idea.

    So there we have it, Mone spent six months and travelled hundreds of miles just to tell us what we already know — for entrepreneurs to bloom they need good access to funding, children need to be educated about how to run businesses, and that mentors are vital — and to recommend several ideas in areas where the government already has schemes. Hardly groundbreaking stuff.

    You can see the entirety of the "Boosting enterprise in more deprived communities" report here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The fabulous life of Kirsty Bertarelli, the richest woman in Britain


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    Michelle Mone phone

    Michelle Mone, the multimillionaire entrepreneur who went from being a 15-year-old school dropout to building a £50 million ($70 million) lingerie empire and being made a Baroness, released her "Be the boss" review on Tuesday.

    It's an in-depth look into startup culture in Britain, with a particular focus on getting people from poorer communities to be more entrepreneurial and enterprising.

    Mone has been working with the British government on an investigation into how to get more of Britain's poor into self-employment, and the first part of the review, called "Boosting enterprise in more deprived communities" was published on Tuesday.

    The report points out that while the national average for the amount of people who are self-employed is around 10%, that number falls to just 5% in the most deprived 10% of the UK. Mone wants to change that, hence the review.

    To conduct her research Mone, who entered the House of Lords in October 2015, undertook a six-month tour of Britain, visiting startups, charities, and NGOs from Cornwall in southern England to Glasgow in Scotland, looking for ideas about how to encourage entrepreneurship in the poorer parts of the UK.

    It's pretty dense, 64 pages of charts, case studies, and recommendations on how to increase entrepreneurship across the deprived communities of Britain, but there's a big problem with the report. It barely contains any new ideas on entrepreneurship at all.

    As Ian Murray, Labour's shadow Scotland Secretary, told the Herald newspaper (emphasis ours):

    "Michelle Mone’s report highlights many of the issues that are already known and which this Government has not done nearly enough to tackle."

    The government backed review stands on five key legs:

    • Asking already self-employed people to mentor those looking to start their own businesses.
    • Improving the already existing New Enterprise Allowance.
    • Giving startups better access to loans.
    • Getting schools and local authorities to look into ways of teaching kids more business skills.
    • Banks should lend more to small businesses.

    In isolation all of these recommendations are clearly useful. Hardly anyone would argue that getting more money into the startup community, giving people better advice on starting businesses, and teaching kids more about business are bad ideas, but they've all already been done.

    First, mentoring. Admittedly, a mentor is an incredibly useful thing to have when looking to improve any skill, particularly in business, but the government already has several mentoring schemes in place for businesses.

    In 2011, the Tory and Lib Dem coalition government launched a major initiative to increase the number of mentors for business people, including the website mentorsme.co.uk. The site is still running, and offers small business owners access to mentoring and advice on everything from HR issues to financing.

    startup entrepreneurNext, funding. The report makes three recommendations when it comes to funding. First, expanding the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) — a scheme introduced by the government in 2013 to give people access to funds when looking to start a business. That scheme has already been incredibly successful, providing, as Mone tells us, funding for 70,000 people to become self employed. All the report does is suggest a series of small tweaks to the scheme. 

    It also recommends giving startups loans backed by the government, as well as encouraging retail banks to fund more startups to "support high quality, intensive enterprise support." Again, it seems pretty obvious that giving money to startups can help them flourish and, once again, the government already has a "Startup Loans" programme, which has been in place since May 2012.

    Finally, Mone recommends educating kids more about businesses to "ensure the skills and drive of all workers," citing a 2014 report from Lord Young. The very fact that the "Boosting enterprise in more deprived communities" report cites a two year-old investigation, shows that suggesting education as a key pillar of encouraging enterprise is not a new idea.

    So there we have it, Mone spent six months and travelled hundreds of miles just to tell us what we already know — for entrepreneurs to bloom they need good access to funding, children need to be educated about how to run businesses, and that mentors are vital — and to recommend several ideas in areas where the government already has schemes. Hardly groundbreaking stuff.

    You can see the entirety of the "Boosting enterprise in more deprived communities" report here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Jaime Tardy

    Entrepreneurship is how many "first-generation rich" millionaires got their wealth, according to Jamie Masters, author of "The Eventual Millionaire: How Anyone Can Be an Entrepreneur and Successfully Grow Their Startup."

    Masters, who wrote her book under the name Jamie Tardy, studied and interviewed over 100 millionaires to get insights on how to change her own life. She was 24 years old, over $70,000 in debt, and in a job she hated.

    She learned that many millionaires did not want to be committed to working for someone else. And it wasn't just about the money — it was about the lifestyle as a whole. So instead, they went on to be their own boss. 

    But millionaires didn't just come up with one idea or one product they were passionate about to get rich. They came up with lists of things they knew and had skills for and knew there was a need for. 

    "A good business is something that solves a problem for someone that needs it solved. The value to the end customer is enough that they want to pay for it," writes Masters.

    So how do you know if you have an idea that could potentially earn you a fortune? Based on her research, here are the three tests Masters suggests to decide which of your ideas could be the one worth pursuing. By putting your idea through these three stages of evaluation, she explains, you can figure out which "fits best for your life, your wallet, and the market."

    SEE ALSO: A woman who studied over 100 millionaires came up with 18 questions to predict wealth

    1. Your life: the lifestyle test

    "Some millionaires didn't understand what commitments, schedules, and requirements were necessary before they started. If your business doesn't fit within your life plan, then you may come to resent it," writes Masters. 

    Recognizing the type of lifestyle you want is different from acknowledging the type you should want, writes Masters. For instance, she sees two ways a business generally fits into an entrepreneur's lifestyle: working insanely and selling for a big payout, or creating a lifestyle business from the start.

    Neither is better, but different people would prefer each.

    In order to figure out what type of lifestyle might be best for you, she recommends you ask yourself:

    What does your ideal day look like? Be detailed, from when and how you wake up to what you eat for lunch, what you see in your bank account, and what your attitude is like.

    How does each idea fit into that ideal day? Write a quick synopsis of what that business would require of you, and rate it on a scale of 1-10, one being those that come closest to your ideal lifestyle. Now, you can cross off the ones that don't fit.

    "I know this sounds like common sense, but many of us start on a path and don't realize where that path is leading," she writes. 



    2. Your wallet: the circumstances test

    Coming up with an idea is great, but it doesn't predict whether you will succeed ... or even able to afford it. 

    Masters suggests asking yourself two questions to estimate its impact on your wallet:

    What are your start-up costs?

    Consider factors such as:

    • buildings/real estate/leasing

    • equipment, location/administrative expenses

    • opening inventory

    • marketing/advertising expenses

    • other expenses

    • contingency fund

    What does the industry look like for your business?

    This is done through what's called a SWOT analysis: predicting the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your idea.

    Strengths are the characteristics of the business that give it an advantage over others; weaknesses are characteristics that place the business at a disadvantage relative to others; opportunities are the chances to improve performance in the environment; and threats are the elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business.  

    Once you've done this for your idea or ideas, Masters suggests doing it for at least five of your top competitors, to get an idea of what they are and aren't doing well, and how it compares to your prospective business.



    3. The market: feedback

    To pitch an idea, it's important to determine the cost, revenue, and value of your product. You also have to identify your target to find your potential customer — someone who might need and would buy what you're selling. These people should not be your family or friends. 

    After identifying your potential customers, you have to see what they think of your product. The questions she suggests to ask when you're trying to get feedback from potential customers are:

    • Under what conditions would you buy it?

    • What price would you pay?

    • Make-it-or-break-it question: When can I expect that you and I would sign a letter of intent for that purchase?

    "As a new business owner, you need to know if a customer is willing to pay for the solution before you invest a lot of money or time," writes Masters.

    If you can't get through all three tests, the product might not be a good one, she says. You'll have to tweak it or move on to the next idea on the list. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Propercorn's t-shirts.

    Propercorn, a London-based startup that makes healthy and tasty popcorn, has started selling t-shirts and jumpers alongside its snacks after customers asked to buy promotional t-shirts it made for sales people.

    The company, founded in 2011, sells a popcorn themed t-shirt and sweater on its website for £25 and £40 ($35 and $57) respectively. 

    Co-founder and CEO Cassandra Stavrou told Business Insider: "From day one, I consciously wanted to position us as a lifestyle brand rather than just a food brand. Something you’d be proud to be seen with. 

    "Amazingly, people want to know where they can buy our t-shirts. Every snack brand will have to have t-shirts for sampling, but rather than just doing a grey t-shirt with the logo on the front, we did t-shirts that we would like to buy ourselves.

    "We got so much interest that we stuck it on the website for people to buy. There aren’t many snack brands that can do that."

    Stavrou, who worked at advertising agency BBH in London prior to setting up the company, brings a design-heavy aesthetic to the company, which does all its branding and advertising in-house. That's pretty unusual for a company of its size (it has around 40 staff.)

    Stavrou says: "It all happens very organically, it’s not just ‘Let’s bring out a clothing range.’ It’s just if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it properly.

    "It’s this idea of "Done Properly", that’s the filter that everything we do goes through. It’s not about perfection it’s just about giving it an extra bit of thought and making sure everything we do is the best version of itself. It’s on every single presentation, every single pack."

    Stavrou says Propercorn has sold "a few hundred" since putting the clothing on sale around six months ago. 

    Propercorn is one of the UK's fastest growing companies, with sales of £10 million ($14.2 million) last year. It has distribution deals with Tesco, Waitrose, and WH Smith. Stavrou told BI that the company is currently in talks to raise money to fuel growth.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The fabulous life of Kirsty Bertarelli, the richest woman in Britain


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    susie romans headshot

    As one of four siblings in the Chicago area, Susie Romans was always looking for a way to make a buck.

    "Growing up in a lower-income family, if I ever wanted anything, it was up to me to make it happen," she says. "I realized around age 10 or 11 my parents didn't have extra money."

    Romans' parents were Polish immigrants holding working-class jobs, her father in a factory and her mother first as a cleaning lady, then as a daycare worker.

    But Romans, who began offering classic kid-size services like dog-walking (50 cents) and pulling weeds (25 cents) along with more elaborate projects like backyard carnivals (10 cents a ticket), "realized I could create money out of nothing if I had an idea I could get out there."

    She put her entrepreneurial drive on hold to attend college at the request of her parents, who were determined their daughter would get her degree. Then she continued to follow the traditional career path by taking a job selling telecommunications services to small businesses.

    When she moved on to a position in marketing and social media, she realized it was "another experience of creating money out of thin air," she says. "I knew if you called enough people and talked to enough people, you could create money and opportunity out of nothing."

    When her daughter was born in 2012, Romans took on a side gig in the form of a lifestyle blog, sharing her life, relationship, and experiences in early motherhood with readers. "I had these days where I'd have like 50,000 hits and crazy traffic, and I'd call my husband at work and be like, 'Something’s working,'" she recalls.

    When her son was born two years later, Romans realized it was time to reevaluate. "I was like, here I am with two kids, a corporate career, a blog that's blowing up — something's gotta give, I'm going to go nuts here!" she says. "I had all this experience, and this blog that was getting traffic, and I didn't know what to do with it. I didn't have a business model."

    For years, she had been managing social-media sites for small, local businesses on a retainer of about $350 a month, and thanks to her connections in the business community and her corporate expertise in sales and marketing, she figured she should be able to sign some clients on her own as a consultant should she leave her corporate job.

    Romans remembers friends and coworkers thinking she was delusional to quit a good, steady job. "I had it made," she says. "They were paying me well, I could work from home, and I was getting bonuses, but there was something greater. I love inspiring people and helping others, and I knew I was meant for something bigger."

    susie romans familyPlus, she felt her $50,000-a-year job wasn't keeping up with her life. "It was a very midrange position, and I was young," she says. "I moved fast in my life in every area. I felt like I needed more than that for my lifestyle, for childcare, for a house. I had this whole family and aspirations of doing things on a bigger scale."

    In late spring 2014, she pulled the plug on her day job. "I just thought, I know I'm capable of doing more," Romans remembers. "I think this girl can make more money on her own than under this company. I'm a risk-taker — I didn't have a savings plan, I had the mortgage, but I thought I should be able to bring in about $3,000, $4,000 a month on my own."

    She based that number on figures she had gleaned from other coaches and consultants who shared their numbers. "I realized people were paid more for the consulting than the implementation," she says. "I'm thinking, 'I can actually do all this stuff, but actually consultants get paid more.'"

    She started by ramping down her lifestyle blog and buying her domain name, SusieRomans.com. She bundled some of her insights into $500 packages, branding herself as an online-marketing expert based on the results from the blog she had run for years. She started promoting to local business owners and seizing opportunities anywhere she could, taking speaking engagements everywhere from libraries to the Chamber of Commerce.

    "In 90 days, I had a $10,000 month," she says. "That was when everyone around me — my family thought I was a lunatic, doing this with two babies — that's when everyone's eyebrows raised. I've been doing $15,000, $20,000 months ever since."

    Today, 28-year-old Romans charges $1,400 for one-on-one coaching and $5,500 for four months. When she realized some prospective clients couldn't afford coaching sessions, she began offering large-scale e-courses like Sweet Freedom Academy for $975, as well as smaller courses to tackle smaller subjects that kept coming up in conversations with her clients, such as how to get past the fear of failure ($100), and website traffic and visibility ($500). She now takes on only four to five individual clients a month and works 20 hours a week at most.

    While she likes the idea of following your passion, she explains that to start your own business in consulting or coaching, passion isn't enough. "Really highly skilled people and people with a high level of expertise can charge premium rates," she says.

    "Master your skill," she advises. "Get good at something, because you need something to bring to the table."

    SEE ALSO: How I started a business that makes up to $55,000 a month after quitting my job at age 29 without a plan

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    commute

    My 23-year-old daughter acknowledged the other day that I’m better than she is at finding stuff on Google.

    "That’s because I grew up with the Dewey Decimal System," I replied. "And I had to wait for my mother to drive me to the library."

    (Don’t know what the Dewey Decimal System is? Google it!)

    Last month I turned 60, which probably puts me in the upper age bracket at WeWork. I come from an era when we looked things up in encyclopedias and checked the indexes at the back of books. It turns out that all this makes me amazing at online research.

    I started my own company at 48, after a long corporate career as a brand executive. I may not know how to code, but I know lots of other stuff. Some of it’s really useful when you’re starting or building a business. I love mentoring new entrepreneurs and recent graduates. The ones who listen to me go on to do great things.

    In addition to the Dewey Decimal System, I know that I am really good at presenting to investors and clients. I have probably asked for money a zillion times throughout my career. (That’s a slight exaggeration, but it sounds impressive).

    What else? Coming up with a "plan B" is second nature for me. After seeing lots of work projects go wrong (or not go exactly as planned), I’ve developed the ability to respond quickly to change.

    And I’m good at working offline. When the Wi-Fi goes down or my smartphone dies, I have hundreds of ways to keep myself occupied and entertained.

    My daughter listens to me only some of the time, but other 20- and 30-somethings tend to consider me the "cool mom." I help them rewrite their resumes, connect them to good business contacts, and even role-play tough situations with them. Here are the top five business tidbits I’ve dispensed to my younger WeWork colleagues.

    1. Don’t take yourselves too seriously.

    You still have a lot to learn. I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. You’ll just be amazed at my age at how much you didn’t know when you were 30 years younger. Smile and laugh a lot.

    2. Know when to cling to your beliefs and know when to fold.

    A little humility goes a long way.

    3. Talk to strangers.

    You can meet some really interesting and influential people in weird places. I know you’re busy. But when you just grab lunch and run back to your office, you miss a chance to be part of a community.

    4. Say thank you when someone helps you.

    And ask people what you can do to help them.

    5. Take out those earbuds from time to time.

    You may hear important stuff. In fact, unplug from everything on occasion. Siri really doesn’t know the answer to "What is the meaning of life?"

    And, because I am a mom, I have to remind you to floss often and try to eat healthy and get enough sleep. In addition to good genes, doing these things is why I don’t really look 60.

    SEE ALSO: 8 types of people who will never be able to start a business

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Woman Working From Home

    A year ago, after months of late nights and weekends spent working my side hustle, I made the leap into freelancing full time.

    Since then, I’ve been consulting for various small businesses, helping them launch their online presence and get noticed by the media.

    Time has flown since I packed up my little corporate office and called it quits, but at the same time, I feel like I’ve packed in about 10 years’ worth of learning.

    Related: 5 Indications That 'Side-Gigging' Is More Than a Fad

    Here are nine of my biggest lessons from my first year flying solo.

    1. There's no such thing as taking a vacation.

    Don’t get me wrong —  I travel pretty frequently. I’ve think I’ve taken more trips in the year since I quit my nine-to-five than the five years before that.

    That said, I’m never truly disconnected. I’m always watching my email —  nights, weekends, holidays, you name it —  because there’s no one else to man the ship. I can alert clients that I’ll be traveling, or that I’ll have limited availability, but if something comes up, it’s all on me to make sure things are taken care of.

    2. It’s OK to turn down clients that aren’t a good fit.

    I learned this the hard way, as I’m sure anyone who works with clients does. In the beginning, you never want to turn down work. It feels so wrong when your next meal depends on it.

    But there are some projects that you can tell aren’t for you right from the start — whether it’s the work or the client themselves. Sometimes, a client with an awesome personality can make a boring project worthwhile and vice versa, but if both the client and the project seem lackluster, it’s okay to pass. 

    3. The business world spends a disproportionate amount of time in meetings.

    I. Loathe. Meetings.

    For whatever reason, the rest of the working world seems to love them, even for things that could easily be addressed via email (or even text!).

    If you don’t keep a handle on meetings, they’ll quickly eat up your entire workday. I’m learning to block off hours of uninterrupted work time where I don’t take any calls or meetings —  no exceptions.

    4. It's not personal. It's business.

    Being in business for yourself calls for some tough decisions, and not all of them will be pleasant for the person on the receiving end.

    Maybe it’s a woman thing. Maybe it’s just a nice person thing. I still struggle with making decisions I know someone else isn’t going to like. You have to make them, though, and you have to remember that it’s not personal. It’s business —  and it’s up to you to stay in business.

    Related: The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs

    5. Skills may help you get the job, but being easy to work with will help you keep it.

    After I basically just recommended being an asshole when making business decisions, I’m going to swing back the other way and say that being nice can take you a lot farther in the grand scheme of things.

    I’ve worked on lots of collaborative projects and seen freelancers who are stubborn, argumentative and downright rude go out the door as quickly as they came in. It’s the people who are easy to work with that clients want to keep around for the long haul.

    6. Plan (and charge) for time spent on minor tasks.

    If I had a nickel for every time I “looked over something real quick...”

    In reality, you should have more than a nickel —  you should have the proper hourly pay for all the client work you do, even the small stuff. I’ve learned that those quick tasks like proofreading emails and hopping on conference calls really add up. Find a system that works for you to keep track of them, and charge accordingly.

    7. Pay attention to red flags.

    One year in, and I’ve already got some client horror stories. In retrospect, the red flags were there — and I should have cut bait when I saw them.

    It’s the client who calls you at 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. at night for things that could easily wait until business hours.

    It’s the client who hires you for your specialized skills — search engine optimization, content marketing, whatever —  then argues with you over how to do it best.

    It’s the client who belittles you, threatens you or curses at you.

    Pay attention to red flags and the gut feeling in your stomach. Walk away sooner rather than later.

    8. It’s incredible what you can learn to do yourself.

    Being on my own has forced me to learn so many skills I never thought I’d have (or need), like how to build a website or how to calculate estimated taxes or how to funnel a Red Bull. Wait, what?

    Most of this learning was done out of sheer necessity, because I didn’t have the money to pay someone else to do it. I’m now convinced there’s no task I can’t handle by simply Googling my way through it, which is both a blessing and a curse.

    9. Outsourcing is key.

    At the end of this first year, my biggest takeaway is that if I want to grow into a full-fledged business, I’ve got to outsource —  whether that means taking on an intern, using some freelancers of my own or hiring a part-time employee. It’s one of the main pain points I plan to tackle during year number two.

    Are you a new freelancer or about to take the leap? What have you learned in the process?

    Related: 8 Great Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers

    SEE ALSO: After leaving his 9-5 job, this 31-year-old built a company that's earned $1 million while he travels the world

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    Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, is home to over 10 million people and developing a huge trash problem. One local entrepreneur is trying to change this, and is turning trash into fuel.

    Story by Ian Phillips and editing by A.C. Fowler

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    man silhouette

    As of this writing, I’m 22. In the last 12 months, I’ve generated a million dollars in commissions in one of the most competitive industries on the planet, where my average competitor is at least double my age with 10 times the tenure in the business.

    I have a master’s degree from a prestigious university, which I received when I was 20 after fast-tracking four years of school. I’ve traveled to more than 50 countries, completed 13 triathlons and have an extremely happy, stimulating life.

    Things are very good — but the future wasn’t always so bright.

    When I finished graduate school, I moved to California's Orange County to launch a new office for my family’s commercial real-estate business. The first couple of months were brutal, and I quickly came to the conclusion that the success we’d have (if any) would be astronomically more difficult than I could ever have imagined.

    Despite being an overachiever all my life, I found myself wondering how to truly excel in the real world when it all finally mattered.

    Related: 5 Ways Personal Growth Makes Your Business Stronger

    After reinventing the wheel for myself time and time again I’ve come to realize that the secret to millennial success in the business world is a combination of grit and creative thinking. Here are the seven mental shifts I implemented to turbo-charge my growth.

    1. Age is just a number.

    Embrace your youth wholeheartedly. If you spin your age as an asset, which can be done in a variety of ways, it can be an extremely powerful differentiator. The moment you begin to give yourself an excuse for not being successful is the moment of almost certain failure.

    If you believe you can really make it then you will make it. Besides, there is nothing people want to see more than a hard-working, intelligent and dedicated young professional who succeeds. Create a snowball of momentum that makes people want to be a part of your life.

    2. Reinvest in yourself.

    The safest investment I’ve ever made is in my future. Read at least 30 minutes a day, listen to relevant podcasts while driving and seek out mentors vigorously. You don’t just need to be a master in your field, you need to be a well-rounded genius capable of talking about any subject whether it is financial, political or sports related. Consume knowledge like air and put your pursuit of learning above all else.

    I also believe that it is critically important to spoil yourself to a healthy extreme in order to reward your hard work and avoid burnout. Consider splurging on memorable experiences and luxuries that will enhance your lifestyle. I get a weekly massage like clockwork, and it is one of the best productivity hacks I employ.

    3. Avoid decision fatigue.

    Attention is a finite daily resource and can be a bottleneck on productivity. No matter the mental stamina developed over time, there is always going to be a threshold where you break down and your remaining efforts for the day become suboptimal.

    Conserve your mental power by making easily reversible decisions as quickly as possible and aggressively planning recurring actions so you can execute simple tasks on autopilot. I know what I am wearing to work and eating for breakfast each day next week. Do you?

    Related: 7 Surprising Lessons About Success Learned From Interviewing More Than 65 Millionaires

    young man on laptop

    4. Build a resilient mind.

    The biggest differentiator between mediocrity and meteoric success is the ability to work productively for hours at a time. These long stretches are when important work is almost exclusively completed. Focus is paramount and, without intentionally developing mental stamina, you won’t be able to effectively compete with those who have systematically built up their endurance over decades in the business world.

    Fast track your skills by being mindful of distractions and recognizing when you begin to wander out of focus. Perform a thorough analysis of your daily activities each night and aggressively seek opportunities for improvement.

    5. Think big. Be big.

    The science behind goal setting and its remarkable ability to accelerate success is infallible. If you don’t already have your one-, five- and 10-year goals written out and visible to you on a daily basis, do so right now. I read mine the second I wake up every single morning. Now ask yourself, what would have to happen to accomplish your 10-year goals in just one year?

    The inherent power in maintaining consistency with your acknowledged goals can work both positively and negatively, and is cause for concern if you anchor yourself to a slower timeline of achievement. Be mindful and diligent in charting an optimal path that pushes you to your limit.

    6. Be methodical.

    Plan your work and then work your plan. Perhaps my biggest breakthrough was large-scale automation of my marketing systems. I created a process that allowed me to quintuple my marketing output while increasing my conversion rate considerably.

    The simplest way to put your own content plan in motion is to create a multi-step campaign that touches a prospect through a variety of different mediums every week for at least a month. Follow a logical order and craft your content in a persistent way, while never becoming annoying.

    Not in a sales role? You can take a similar approach to any analytical, creative or administrative position by developing rigid organizational systems that help improve your efficiency when faced with repetitive tasks.

    organized man with post its

    7. Believe in yourself.

    If not you, then who? Someone has to make it, and nothing is stopping you from being the person who accomplishes your wildest dreams. Nearly every person who has ever failed has had an excuse. Successful people have stories of the challenges that they overcame with creative solutions.

    The moment you confidently feel that there is nothing you can’t learn or develop to solve the most complex of problems is the moment of guaranteed greatness.

    If you still aren’t sure how to begin, start with a promise to work towards the achievement of consistent excellence each moment of every day. This is the basic building block and mentality with which I am building my career.

    Keep it simple and remember that success is not an entitlement. If you really want to excel, you have to get out there and earn it every day for the rest of your life.

    SEE ALSO: Why you should start a business in 2016

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    Erin CondrenIn today's startup-centric world, almost anyone can launch a business and call themselves an entrepreneur — but building a successful company isn't quite as easy.

    Erin Condren, the founder of an eponymous $40 million stationery company, says there's a simple trait that divides those who manage to bring their businesses to the next level ... and those who can't.

    She says entrepreneurs who end up being successful business owners are the people who are willing to make — and stick to — tough decisions, even if they're working with family and friends.

    "As an entrepreneur, you usually start something with friends, family, or acquaintances who you know can help you out because you can't really afford 'real' employees at that point," she explains. "When I started, that's what I did. I come from the most wonderful family ever, but every family has dysfunction and you sort of start creating this dysfunctional family in your own business."

    The ability to make tough calls and hold your ground — even when it means going head-to-head with loved ones — reveals a crucial difference between those who have the grit to run a growing business and those who don't, she says.

    For Condren, this realization arose during an early conversation with her partner. "He told me, 'As we grow, it's going to be hard, there's going to be decisions that aren't easy for you, and a lot of entrepreneurs can't hack it. Can you hack it?'" she recalls. Her response: "Yes, I think I can!"

    And she was right — she could.

    Condren just celebrated her company's 10th anniversary and has seen sales double every year since its inception. Known for its iconic day planners, the business has inspired a thriving online community and now has products available through office supply giant Staples.

    Though Condren attributes much of her success to the quality of her products, her tenacity from the start helped her turn the business from an idea into a reality.

    "Many people can be entrepreneurs, but very few people can make that step from being an entrepreneur to a successful business person," she says.

    SEE ALSO: The founder of a $40 million company explains why you should save your passion for the weekend

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    woman on smartphone textingIf you're not familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), it measures four pairs of personality preferences: Introversion (I) versus Extraversion (E); Sensing (S) versus Intuiting (I); Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F); and Judging (J) versus Perceiving (P). The 16 types are detailed on the official Myers-Briggs website, and you can take a free online test here.

    If you think entrepreneurs are a different breed, you're half right.

    Myers-Briggs researchreveals that ENTPs, ESTJs, ENTJs, INTJs, and ISTJs are more likely to have higher incomes and either be self-employed or manage more people than other personality types. Of course, these are far from the only permutations that can successfully run businesses.

    For example, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington, and Donald Trump all have different Myers-Briggs types than the ones above. And just because you're predisposed to entrepreneurship doesn't mean you're prepared to start a company; the MBTI measures preferences, not ability.

    Nevertheless, when at their best, these types embody entrepreneurial qualities that anyone who wants to own a business should emulate. Though their make-ups differ, these types have four overlapping strengths:

    SEE ALSO: A 15-minute online quiz can give you a scientifically accurate assessment of your personality

    1. They're curious.

    ENTJs become bored by tasks they've mastered and relentlessly seek new skills. ISTJs investigate all the underlying evidence for their logic. ENTPs are tirelessly motivated by the pursuit of knowledge.

    Gallup found that, out of hundreds of entrepreneurial behaviors, knowledge seeking was one of the ten most important. Stenner Investment Partners' Thane Stenner sums that entrepreneurs are "'intellectually curious.' They love to learn. They look for insights, always a better way of doing things … an 'edge.'"

    This curiosity is called entrepreneurial alertness— which economist Israel Kirzner defines as both "the ability to notice without search opportunities that have hitherto been overlooked" and one's "motivated propensity to formulate an image of the future."

    For example, entrepreneurs tend to agree with the statement, "When I notice an abandoned building, I think about what business potential it represents for me."

    But curiosity doesn't just make people want to be entrepreneurs; it makes them good ones. According to Gallup, knowledge seekers increase their company's chance of survival. Likewise, a 2015 Slovenian study revealed that entrepreneurial curiosity is positively correlated with company growth.



    2. They're creative.

    Nicknamed "inventors," ENTPs are the most resistant of all types to do things a certain way just because they were done that way before. ENTJs move whole projects forward with their action-oriented imagination. INTJs quietly envision an entirely new strategy.

    Creativity occupies the very core of entrepreneurship. According to Martyn Driessen and Peter Zwart of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, entrepreneurship is "The ability to create and build something from practically nothing … the knack for sensing an opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction, and confusion." Not surprisingly, entrepreneurs are significantly more innovative than the general population.

    A 2004 British study determined that creativity was the single most critical and prevalent trait associated with entrepreneurship. It's so key, in fact, that in one study undergraduate students' divergent thinking and creativity successfully predicted their entrepreneurial intentions.



    3. They take responsibility.

    ENTPs see possibilities everywhere and motivate entire communities to help paint their vision. ENTJs take on obstacles as a challenge. INTJs feel personally responsible for implementing their ideas.

    Author and psychoanalyst Jonathan Alpert observes the same quality in entrepreneurs: While many feel powerless when times get tough, "the entrepreneur looks at the situation and knows he has some control over the outcome."

    Modern psychologists call this mindset "internal locus of control," and it repeatedly makes entrepreneurial must-have lists. People with an internal locus of control believe that they're in control of their destiny. Studies consistently and convincingly find positive correlations between internal locus of control, business success, and even career satisfaction



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