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Article16 Surprisingly Educational Hobbies

16 Surprisingly Educational Hobbies

Question: What unrelated hobby has taught you the most about business?

Marathon Running

“Running involves discipline and a lot of hard work. You can’t fake it when it comes to finishing 26.2 miles. You definitely get out of it what you put in. Not only does it involve physical toughness, but a considerable amount of mental strength and focus as well. Comparisons can be drawn to business when it comes to knowing your capabilities, working hard, using your wits and not giving up.”

Michael Quinn
Yellow Bridge Interactive
@ybinteractive

Poker

“Poker is a game of incomplete information. You know what cards you have but are making educated guesses and playing odds based on your opponent’s cards. Business is similar...



ArticleBuild a Following, Not a Customer Base

Build a Following, Not a Customer Base

“If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business,” a reasonable claim from Simon Sinek, renowned author of Start With Why, at the beginning of his talk at last year’s 99U conference.

Sinek explains that companies like Apple have been able to build a fanatical following because they understood that business is done through people. People who are looking for connection and meaning.

Simon argues that trust is the foundation of any and all relationships, and that if business fail to create that bond with customers — they will fail to succeed.

Founders who have successfully built a true following have done so by surrounding themselves with people who believe what they believe, and spreading an honest gospel about those values — at...



ArticleThe Challenges and Rewards of the Blended Workforce

The Challenges and Rewards of the Blended Workforce

The blended workforce is made up of people who work full-time and part-time, as well as temporary workers, freelancers, and contract workers.

The so-called “gig economy,” or the rise of popularity in freelance work, that took root with the recovery from the 2008 recession and expanded with the advent of the Affordable Care Act is making the blended workforce the workforce of the future and the workforce of today. Around 40 percent of today’s labor force is made up of non-traditionally working people, including freelancers (sometimes referred to as agile talent, 1099s, consultants, contractors, etc.), temporary workers, and self-employed workers.

As with any labor force, the blended workforce offers advantages and disadvant...



ArticleNancy Duarte: Get Creative With Your Startup Presentations

Nancy Duarte: Get Creative With Your Startup Presentations

Nancy Duarte is a pro when it comes to presentations. Not just giving presentations, but starting them, finishing them, and every step in between. Author and co-founder of Duarte Designs, Nancy Duarte is a seasoned veteran when it comes to incorporating storytelling into speaking and creating connections with an audience.

The below video is the fifth part in a series of 10 in which Nancy shares the key components to making a successful pitch using creativity and critical thinking. Find out what she has to say:

Getting creative (and comfortable) with startup presentations

Back when startup presentations were nearly all slide-based, Nancy used to have a general rule-of-thumb: one slide would equal about two minutes of talking. This was a tim...



ArticleHave You Tried Wishing in One Hand?

Have You Tried Wishing in One Hand?

You know how the rest of that sage advice goes. Dreamers can only take an entrepreneurial venture so far, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t vital. However, dreamers need to be balanced with doers.

It’s the doers who get the funding – and without funding, you don’t have a business. In this video by StartupGrind, founders and investors talk about what actually gets a check written.

George Zachary of Charles River Ventures says he’s just recently figured it out after 17 years of being a venture capitalist: “Almost all the investments I wrote a check into, I had to have the feeling, ‘Would I be a co-founder of this company?’” In other words, are you barking up the right tree with investors?

This doesn’t mean a venture Zachary passed on wa...



ArticleHow to Outsource Even If You’re a Control Freak

How to Outsource Even If You’re a Control Freak

Do you find it hard not to micromanage every little aspect of your business?

Are you guilty of wishing that you could just clone yourself?

You’re not alone, but you can become far more effective when you outsource everything you don’t absolutely HAVE to be involved with. Plus, there are some tasks that — sorry — someone else could be doing much better — as challenging as that can be to admit to yourself.

Here are three essential keys to make sure that delegating part of your work is as painless (and even as enjoyable) as possible.

Choose Tasks to Delegate

These are the things that you don’t really want to do, but are scared to let go of. Some examples might include work-related minutia, like posting to social media, filter...



Article“Be Powerful”: How the Women Leaders at Plated Built a Culture of Female Empowerment

“Be Powerful”: How the Women Leaders at Plated Built a Culture of Female Empowerment

Data has shown that companies with more women leaders are also more profitable. At Plated, an NY-based company that delivers pre-portioned ingredients and recipes each week, women leaders are committed to growing and developing a culture of female empowerment and leadership from the bottom up.

BAWS (Bad Ass Women’s Society), Plated’s internal women’s group, was born from the realization that Plated was a first job or a first startup environment for many of the women working in HQ.

“Having this group here to meet and do things every week makes us happier employees who work better together on their own, so the return on investment is clear. Having a support group helps us all work better,” said Elana.

Besides helping the team work bett...



ArticleRenovating Your Startup Office: Creating a Google Space on a MySpace Budget

Renovating Your Startup Office: Creating a Google Space on a MySpace Budget

Years ago, I was having ice cream with my wife on a hot summer night and I overheard a group of 16-year-olds talking about how one of them went to work with his dad. I remember him saying:

“I went to his office and it was so boring. Everything was bright lights and pale colors. If I had to be in an office all day I’d make it just like my bedroom and enjoy hanging out there.”

I distinctly remember looking at my wife and saying, “That kid has it figured out. I spend 14 hours a day in a room I don’t want to be in with a job that I love.” I vowed one day to change that.

That was ten years ago. It apparently took a really long time for me to act on this one, but I finally did, and I have to say the kid knew ...



Article3 Essential Growth Strategies for Startups with Cameron Herold

3 Essential Growth Strategies for Startups with Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold is an accomplished entrepreneur and growth guru, having built 4 companies to over $100 million in revenue. He is also the author of Double Double, a guide to doubling revenue and profit in 3 years. Cameron sat down with us to share three of his best growth strategies for building a successful company. Read more below or watch the full video here.

Create a Vivid Vision

This “vivid vision” is a 3-4 page written description of exactly what you want your company to be three years from now. More specific than a mission statement, this paints a picture of your ideal company and makes it easy for employees to work towards that vision. Once you have the final plan, it is easy to reverse engineer and create manageable steps to get to...



ArticleGood Enough Never Is (Or Is It?)

Good Enough Never Is (Or Is It?)

One of the sayings I hear from talented managers in product development is, “good enough never is.” It’s inspirational, always calling the team to try harder and do better. It works to undermine excuses for poor or shoddy work. And, most importantly, it helps team members develop the courage to stand up for these values in stressful situations. Especially in teams that are managing by objectives (or OKRs), the pressure to deliver is intense. Under such pressure, the temptation to cut corners, to quit prematurely, or to hand off shoddy work to another department is overwhelming. It requires courage to stand up and say: “this work is simply not good enough. Sure, we could get away with it, but that’s not how we work.” Good m...



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