Week of July 9, 2018

HealthHabits5 Health Habits These Successful
Entrepreneurs Swear By

In your desire to find monetary or entrepreneurial success, it’s easy to lose focus on your personal health. You’ll have less time and different priorities than you did in your life before business, so scheduling a space for healthy habits can be intimidating.

However, if you want a better chance at long-term success, it’s in your best interest to make your personal health a top commitment. Staying healthy can help you stay disciplined, improve your productivity and of course, keep you alive longer — facts most successful entrepreneurs realize.


5 Books That Are Required Reading at Harvard Business School

Getting an MBA at Harvard will currently cost you two years of your life and a little over $150,000. That’s a little rich for a lot of folks.
But thankfully, while there’s no way to replicate the connections you’d get from actually attending, there are plenty of workarounds to help you learn a bunch of the wisdom that comes with a top-tier MBA at a tiny fraction of the cost.
Alumni have written up their top takeaways from the experiencefree online options are available, or you could shell out a much smaller amount for an online program that ends in a credential. Finally, thanks to the HubSpot blog there’s now one more option — just pick up the same books that Harvard MBA students are required to read.
In a useful post, writer Lauren Hintz lists some of the most fascinating books she found in Harvard MBA syllabi so you can nourish your brain with the same material as some of the nation’s brightest business students. Here’s a small sampling:

3 simple email tricks to achieve Inbox Zero


Yes, you can achieve Inbox Zero, that magical moment when your inbox has no emails.
For many, realizing this goal is like searching for the Fountain of Youth: difficult, hopeless, and even impossible. When it comes to correspondence, there may be no greater personal accomplishment than Inbox Zero.
But, speaking from experience, we have both achieved Inbox Zero many times, and in general, our email inboxes remain uncluttered and lean.
When you keep your inbox clean and tidy, you will likely feel more organized and less stressed. Here are three tips on how to achieve Inbox Zero.


How to Wipe a Computer Clean of Personal Data

Many families have welcomed new PCs into their homes, thanks to back-to-school and Labor Day sales, leaving older computers to be donated, recycled, or sold. That makes this a good time to learn how to perform a factory reset.

What is a factory reset? That’s when you wipe your computer’s hard drive and reinstall its operating system. Doing this reverts your computer to its pristine state, deleting all your personal information, applications, and files in the process.

Getting rid of a computer without performing a reset could put your data in the wrong hands-and you and your family at risk for identity theft.
Can’t I just delete the files? Matt Ham, owner of repair service company Computer Repair Doctor, explains that manually purging files isn’t enough.
“You’re likely to forget things like passwords saved in browsers and personal data in the deleted items folder. Or you can miss deleting some important files altogether,” he says. “Reinstalling your system before sale is a much safer alternative.”


How To Identify A Toxic Culture Before Accepting A Job Offer

Many recent graduates have indicated that they would accept a significant pay cut in order to work for a company that they felt had great values, culture, and leadership. With such a high premium on these traits, employers have been re-positioning their recruiting materials to put them front and center, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell which are really living these values, and which are only paying lip service.
Instead, candidates need to identify certain red flags and warning signs to make sure that culture they find themselves in is the one they signed up for before it’s too late.

No, You Don’t Have to Say Thank You Constantly. Here’s Why, According to a New StudySayThankYou

in an article published in the New York Times this week on Tuesday, Jennifer Schuessler highlighted new research that focused on how much people from a handful of different cultures say thank you. The study, led by Simeon Floyd, found that, when we’re going about our day informally, we express gratitude–including through phrases like “good job”–pretty infrequently. The thank yous come at a rate of only about one out of 20 opportunities.

Week of June 26, 2018

11 Behaviors That Indicate You’re A ‘Problem Employee’ProblemEmployee

Problem employees aren’t just irritating, they can also be financially draining for a business. Research shows that these employees can cost an organization up to $8,000 a day by eroding trust, reducing output and innovation, and lowering the motivation and cohesion of their work group, according to the Center for Creative Leadership.
To determine whether you’re a problem employee, reflect on your behavior.
In a recently published study, the CCL asked a sample of 214 leaders across the globe to characterize problem employees. The No. 1 response was poor job performance, followed by an inability to work well with others and not responding to coaching.
Here are the five most prevalent problem employee behaviors and how they play out in the workplace:

Exceptional EmployeeTo Be an Exceptional Boss, Here Are 11 Things You Must Give Your Employees

Think about a boss you truly respected. Think about a leader you truly admired. Think about a leader you not only loved to work for, but with.
What sets that person apart from every other boss?
Simple. They gave: generously, selflessly, and without expectation of return. They gave because their happiness–and their success–came from someone else’s happiness and someone else’s success. Yours.
And you can do that too.

CommunicationTools5 Must-Have Communication Tools

When it comes to the office, there are lots of different tools you can use for communication and planning. And, in today’s environment, where team members can be spread across the globe, it is important to find tools that are quick and easy to use…and (in some cases) free. Here is a rundown of some of my favorite must-have communication tools for team member collaboration, and planning.

How Women Can Develop – and Promote – Their PersonalBrandWomenPersonal Brand

We all know developing a personal brand is valuable, since a strong reputation can put you on the radar for exciting career opportunities. When your true talents are understood, it’s far more likely you’ll be tapped for relevant and interesting assignments – and it helps you stand out in a field of competitors. Research by Sylvia Ann Hewlett at the Center for Talent Innovation shows that cultivating your personal brand is one of the best ways to attract a sponsor – and professionals with sponsors are 23% more likely than their peers to be promoted. Your brand is also a powerful hedge against professional misfortune.
If there are layoffs or cutbacks at your company, being recognized in your field makes it far more likely that you’ll be snapped up quickly by another firm.
But personal branding has some unique challenges for female professionals. Research has repeatedly shown that women are subject to a phenomenon known as the “likability conundrum.” Gender norms presume that women should be agreeable, warm, and nurturing, and when they violate these norms – such as when they step up to make a tough decision, share a strong opinion, or promote themselves – they’re often penalized for that behavior in a way that men wouldn’t be. We can all think of examples of women who have been publicly criticized for being “too aggressive” or labeled an “ice queen” or the “b-word.”
So how can you, as a woman, navigate this conundrum and develop a robust personal brand? Here are three strategies that can help ensure your talents are recognized.

Tough Decisions EasierHow to Make Tough Decisions Easier

One of the simplest, yet most stressful, decisions I deal with on a regular basis is one I’m sure you have worried over, too: What’s for dinner?
There have been nights when I’ve stared at my phone, endlessly scrolling through Seamless in search of the perfect meal, and next thing I know I’ve wasted half an hour and I’m still hungry and foodless.
Sound familiar? Enter F.O.B.O.: Fear of Better Options. And it’s a thing.
Researchers call this phenomenon maximization. It’s the relentless researching of all possible options for fear that you’ll miss out on the “best” one, leading to indecision, regret and even lower levels of happiness.

LosersInLifeTo Be Successful Get Rid of The Losers in Your Life

Over the past five years, I’ve been undergoing a process of self-improvement that has enabled me to pivot away from a career I was miserable doing into something I love. If you would have told that when I was fired from my job in the corporate world that I would have my own content marketing company, a column on Inc. Magazine, and close to 200k followers on social media, I’d have told you were nuts.
One of the first things I learned on this journey of self-improvement I’ve been on was I needed to get rid of the losers I was associated with and listening to.

Week of May 29, 2018

Decision Making

5 Steps to More Smoothly Delegate Decision-Making

If you’re building a successful, growing business, you are most likely adding staff. To continue to grow to a fully evolved midsize business — one where others manage the employees and make the daily tactical decisions — you will need to delegate.
However, like most business owners, you probably started out making all the important decisions. How do you transition decision-making to others? It is a process. You will need to train others to take on more authority and make good decisions. We recommend the following five steps to build an organization where your employees can make decisions and operate independently.

PerfectSMContent5 Step Formula For Creating the Perfect Social Media Content

Social media marketing seems easy, right? Post a few comments, whip up a blog, launch a quick Facebook page. But as with any good marketing it’s not just about being seen, but where, when and in what light.
Most importantly it’s about keeping people coming back for more real insights into what you do and what you offer. It’s about offering real value to people. And make no mistake, the key to keeping your audience engaged is creating great content.
But how do you create the perfect content for social media? How do you know that it’s going to be shared by the people that follow you, liked, retweeted? Is there a formula for this?
My name is Linda Reed-Enever, I own a few successful businesses, and below is my 5 Step Formula to creating the perfect social media content.

6 Cases When You Should Burn a Bridge or TwoBurnBridges

In this world, relationships are everything. At work, at home, with friends, with lovers, with clients, with bosses, with the person who pulls your morning shot of espresso, everything comes down to relationships. Maneuvering through life is a matter of managing them all. Even when you fail, you get up and try again.
Not all relationships are equal. Some are better, some are worse, and some are toxic. The usual advice is to change the ones you can and walk away from those that are bad without burning bridges.
And yet, there may come a time when you have a Rodney Dangerfield moment: “I don’t get no respect at all.” Even then, it usually makes sense to walk away and chalk it up to learning. For the times it doesn’t, you need to burn a bridge.
It means to take a course of action and eliminate any escape route. This is an inherently desperate measure because it reduces any chance for compromise and change. People who constantly burn bridges over time rather than building on existing relationships find their way in life ever more difficult.
Still, you may face extreme times when lighting a torch is the only way to oppose that which you simply cannot support. Here are some of the signs that you may need to cross a bridge and take it down after you.

How Toxic Are Your Co-workers, Exactly? Pretty ToxicToxicCoWorkers if You See Them Doing These 5 Things

Over the years, I’ve witnessed many toxic traits in the workplace. But I have to tell you, there’s one that stands out and consistently holds people back: Perfectionism.
Have you seen it? Hopefully not. Perfectionism will silently poison a team and stifle collaboration. It shows up in self-defeating thought patterns and actions that typically derail productivity and morale.
Here are 5 toxic traits of people — perhaps your boss or co-worker — with perfectionist tendencies.

PuttingPublicSpeaker4 Tips for Successfully Putting Yourself ‘Out There’ as a Public Speaker

Public speaking can bring your business a lot of different opportunities. Some entrepreneurs desire to get on the stage to expand their reach and authority. Not only does it convey their expertise to the masses, it gets the word out quickly.
Public speaking is no joke. When done correctly, you can amass a serious following and begin launching your career towards your goals expediently. However, there’s some advice you need to heed to in order to grasp the opportunity you have been given on stage. Needless to say, if you bomb, the result can have the opposite effect.
To help you out, I spoke with three professional speakers to gather hints about how you can stay front and center, not only on the stage, but in the hearts and minds of your audience. These professionals are Dennis Yu, Leonard Kim, and Jared Lafitte. They can open the door to your knowledge of the stage. Allow me to enlighten you on their four best public speaking tips.

PsychologyofColorsDo you feel serenely calm when surrounded by green fields and blue skies? Have you ever asked what does the color red represent and why you feel slightly alarmed when staring at a red stop sign? Color psychology study’s hues as a determinant of human behavior, and it is used by brands to evoke different reactions.
The Psychology of Colors

Color has been known to have a powerful psychological impact on people’s behavior and decisions. And this knowledge has been harnessed all too well in marketing psychology by designers and marketers alike. Color can often be the sole reason someone purchases a product. In a survey, 93 percent of buyers said they focus on visual appearance, and close to 85 percent claim color is a primary reason when they make a purchase!

Week of May 1, 2018


What True Leadership
Is All About

Here is a fact about leadership that no one really wants to talk about — it’s a lot bigger than just yourself. Sure, leadership can bring bigger paychecks and a whole lot more notoriety in most cases, but that’s not even remotely close to defining what true leadership is really all about.
True leadership is much more than authority and recognition from the outside world. Instead, leadership is all about developing people and helping others reach their full potential. It’s about equipping others with the right tools and strategies to not only maximize the success of an organization but also the lives of individuals. It’s about breaking down barriers and leading others through the uncertainty of the future.

Negative Feedback

How to Solicit Negative Feedback When Your Manager
Doesn’t Want to Give It

In my role as a leadership coach, I consistently hear my clients say that they crave negative feedback from their managers in order to improve in their jobs, grow their careers, and achieve better business results. However, when it comes to soliciting negative feedback, they find that their managers would rather dismiss, deny, or delay it rather than speak directly, truthfully, and immediately about what isn’t working and what needs to change.
That makes sense when you consider what may be at risk when giving (and receiving) negative feedback. In her article, “How to Give Negative Feedback When Your Organization is Nice”, my colleague Jennifer Porter cites barriers to giving negative feedback that include hurt feelings; a desire to maintain professionalism (rather than having things get “messy”); a lack of role models for giving negative feedback; the prospect of an emotional outburst; and not wanting to jeopardize the “nice” culture.

With a New Apology, Starbucks’s CEO Just Taught an Important Lesson in Leadership StarbucksLeadership

Many are criticizing Starbucks for the way it handled a recent incident in which two African American men ended up getting arrested at a Philadelphia store.
The story, according to The New York Times:
Two black men walked into a Starbucks in downtown Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon and sat down. Officials said they had asked to use the restroom but because they had not bought anything, an employee refused the request. They were eventually asked to leave, and when they declined, an employee called the police.
According to the Times, the men were arrested on suspicion of trespassing but were later released, since Starbucks did not wish to press charges.
Since then, the incident has gained viral exposure and sparked yet another national conversation on the topic of race relations.

ReturnshipsIt’s Never Too Late For an Internship

If you saw the Robert De Niro-Anne Hathaway film The Intern, you might be forgiven if you think that such an internship – in which a longtime professional who retired gets to reenter the workplace – is just fiction. But internship programs specifically designed to reintroduce people to the workplace after a long employment gap are widespread, with some of the biggest names in business now using them.
The programs, sometimes called “returnships,” also help ease another possible problem: potential labor shortages. They may benefit not only older Americans, but also anyone who has taken a career break for personal, family or health reasons.


21 Things Bosses Say That Are Total BS

It’s one thing if your boss uses certain words incorrectly, and looks kinda dumb. It’s one thing if your boss describes himself (because it’s always guys who do this) in a certain way, and looks kinda pretentious.
When that happens, you may roll your eyes. But what about when your boss says things that are total nonsense?
1. “I would like to give you a raise, but (insert any old nonsense here).”

InnerCircleWhy Your Inner Circle Should Stay Small, and How to Shrink It

When it comes to networks, the bigger the better, right? Not necessarily. Carefully curate your most trusted, inner circle and you’ll be surprised at how much more valuable you’ll become to the larger community of people in the world who care about the same things you do.
We live in a time when “bigger is better” is the prevailing assumption when it comes to, well, just about anything. So it’s only natural for us to want to supersize our network of connections – both online and off – because the more people we know, the greater our chances of being exposed to opportunities that may lead to professional advancement, potential mentors, material success, and so on. But in fact, being what we call a “superconnector” has nothing to do with supersizing your network. Rather, it’s about surrounding yourself with a carefully curated group of people who you admire and respect and with whom you share common beliefs and values – people who will set the tone for the foundation of your larger network filled with people who provide value to one another. And that core group should be a lot smaller than you think.

4 Ways Focusing On Your Employees Will Change Your BusinessEmployeeFocus

The world of business is a highly competitive one, and it takes only the slightest adjustment in your business to gain an advantage over your competition.
Most businesses either focus on manufacturing new products or improving their customer service; both of which hold a vital role in the continued success with your business. What, though, about focusing on your employees?
By focusing more attention on your employees and their overall happiness within your company, you instantly increase the potential to grow your business dramatically, almost overnight.

Week of February 27, 2018

PositiveMorningHabitsPositive Morning Habits to Adopt in 2018

Feeling positive makes you feel motivated to take on anything the day brings your way. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to adopt some positive morning habits. Here are ways to bring positivity to your morning routine so you can conquer your days in 2018:

Customer Service for Small Business Owners: Everything You Need to KnowCustomerService

Learning how to deliver superb small business customer service can help you keep your customers happy, sail through mistakes without losing accounts, and boost your small business.
However, providing superb service can be a challenge at all stages – whether you’re just starting a business, or you’re an established small business owner who’s working to get your customer service right as you juggle all the tasks involved in running your business.
Need a little help improving your small business customer service? This guide will walk you through the basics of providing great service and arm you with the ideas and tools you can use to make your customers happy. If you already have a small business, you’ll get the information you need to improve your service or to fix problems that may be holding you back from reaching a higher level of growth and success.

While education, degrees, and certification are important for scoring an interview, a new study by the HR software provider iCIMS finds that recruiters place a higher value on soft skills. From an ability to communicate well to being organized, these intangible qualities can be tough to measure, but they affect everything from productivity to collaboration.
“Hard skills are what you do, and soft skills are how you do it,” says Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer for iCIMS. “Unfortunately, one in three recruiting professionals believe job candidates’ soft skills have gotten worse in the past five years.”
The good news for both candidates and employers is everyone possesses some soft skills, says Jodi Chavez, president of the staffing firm Randstad Professionals. “The challenge is determining which are strongest, and which are most in-demand for certain roles,” she says. “Companies can train employees in technical skills. Soft skills, on the other hand, are far harder to teach, which is why, in a low unemployment market, companies should be looking to hire for soft skills and train for technical skills.”
If you’re looking for a new job, these are the top-five soft skills recruiters are looking for:

5 Ways to Get Over Your Fear of Public SpeakingPublicSpeaking

We all want to be fearless public speakers. We dream of confidently striding onto the stage to give a speech or presentation, breaking the ice with the perfect joke, captivating the audience with compelling stories, handling the most difficult questions with ease, and exiting to cheers and applause.
But the reality is usually less than perfect. Often, our fears take over and we imagine ourselves stumbling on the stairs, forgetting our lines, drawing a blank, or losing the audience. It’s easy to interpret these fears as a warning that something will go wrong – a sign that we weren’t meant to be on the stage in the first place.
If you find that fear inevitably gets in the way of your ability to speak in public, we have some good news for you. You don’t have to overcome your fear in order to be a good public speaker. It never goes away entirely. Instead, it’s about having less fear – think of it as being fear-less.
We both have some experience in what it takes to be fear-less. Mandy has a lead role in Hamilton on Broadway, performs highly acclaimed solo shows, and has a regular role in Madam Secretary on network television. As a business speaker and adviser, Mark presents to thousands of executives a year and leads high-stakes off-site meetings for executive teams.
Even with all of the experience we’ve had getting on a stage and facing a live audience, neither of us has ever found a way to get rid of the fear. But we do have some tips on how to keep it from getting in the way of delivering that perfect performance.
The first two steps are designed to dial down your fears:

NegativeEmotionsHow to Handle Negative Emotions at Work 

There’s a popular phrase that I’ve heard quite a bit throughout life: “Don’t get mad. Get even.”
Sure, that makes sense — if you’re a character on a major soap opera or teen drama. But at the workplace, this kind of sentiment can be harmful.
Anger, however — now that, surprisingly, can actually benefit you and your colleagues in the workplace. But only when it’s handled correctly.
No matter how much you love your job, chances are, you experience some semblance of negative thoughts and emotions. That’s part of the challenge, right? And without a challenge, well, what a bore that would be.

BetterListenersWhy All Businesses Need to Be Better Listeners 

In the mid ’90s, Penny Wilson and the developers at Alias Wavefront took notice when consumers complained about the fake hair on characters in their video games. By listening to their customers and creating realistic “digital hair,” Wilson recalls that “it really leapfrogged us above any of the other competition” and within three years the upstart Canadian company sold to Silicon Graphics for $450 million. That’s the kind of profitable lesson one doesn’t soon forget.
Two decades later, now the CMO at Vancouver-based Hootsuite, Wilson still believes that “if you can pull those kinds of nuggets directly from your customers, it will really help your company get a competitive advantage.” It’s that promise that attracted Wilson out of retirement to Hootsuite, the social listening platform that has grown from a free tool for individuals to a major player in the enterprise space, with 16 million users overall. Wilson continues to practice what she preaches, offering numerous insights for all business leaders in our interview below.

EntrpreneurRegrets10 Regrets Most Entrepreneurs Eventually Face

There’s a popular phrase that I’ve heard quite a bit throughout life: “Don’t get mad. Get even.”
Sure, that makes sense — if you’re a character on a major soap opera or teen drama. But at the workplace, this kind of sentiment can be harmful.
Anger, however — now that, surprisingly, can actually benefit you and your colleagues in the workplace. But only when it’s handled correctly.
No matter how much you love your job, chances are, you experience some semblance of negative thoughts and emotions. That’s part of the challenge, right? And without a challenge, well, what a bore that would be.

Week of February 13, 2018

TimeMangement5 Time Management Tips From an Expert

We’re all busy and there’s no end in sight to the busyness, as far as I’m concerned. In fact, it seems that every time I find myself with a bit of free time, I pick up something else to fill that void in my schedule. I know that I could use another hour in every day but I’m also fairly certain that I would still be really busy.
So, how can you maximize your time? In this blog, I’ll give you my 5 time-management tips that have helped me with productivity on even my busiest days.

MarketingStrategyIt’s a new year and by now you should have completed your 2018 marketing strategy. If you’re ducking down in your chair because you haven’t, it’s okay, it’s not too late. If you have, great!
The marketing world is ever-evolving. Ten years ago, social was not a major component of the marketing plan and Facebook ads were not even an option. As the world changes, so does how we reach our customers. We are more mobile, more wired, in the technology-sense. When was the last time you went 24 hours without your smartphone? I honestly cannot remember myself.
Last year, social advertising took over, as did video. This year, those two will continue to dominate, but there are other creative ways to reach your customers – and stay in touch in with them as well. I’ve read article after article about the predictions and trends for 2018 and guys, what it comes down to is that businesses are going to have to get more creative – and more out of the box – as our digital world evolves. Before you throw your papers in the air and scream “it’s too much!”, it’s not. It’s not that hard. Really. I’ve put together nine ideas you probably have not thought of to incorporate into your strategy this year.

NegotiationWinWinMake Your Next Negotiation a ‘Win-Win.’ 3 Tips for How to Do That

Recently, we were negotiating on a commercial lease with a person we know well and had always trusted. This person seemed desperate, however, for us to sign that week; so we suspected that we were lacking key pieces of data needed to make an informed decision.
Over the subsequent week, he made several more attempts to force our decision. He tried to pacify us, reminding us of other deals we had done together, and our long-term relationship. When that didn’t work, he switched to a sympathy play, telling us how much he needed the deal to go through.
When we still wanted more time and information before signing, he actually resorted to bullying, threatening us, calling us names and impugning our characters. Yikes.
But, in the end, none of his tactics worked. We said no.

FeelGoodPerkThe Surprising, Feel-Good Perk That Will Lower Your Employees’ Stress Levels

Think petting zoos are just for kids’ birthday parties? Think again. Petting zoos are now making rounds at offices. Bringing cuddly animals into offices for an hour or two is the latest perk to help stressed-out employees relax. Instead of going for a walk to boost your mood, why not a healthy dose of animal therapy and cute overload?

MajorDonorMajor donors are very special people.
They mean so very much to your nonprofit, don’t they?
You know how much they care about your work.
But do you care about THEM as much as they care about you?
Think about it.

10LifeLessons10 Life Lessons from Running a Business

I recently read a post called 26 Lessons from a 26 Year Old CEO. It was very good. This post is a take off of that. I came up with my own Top 10 List – from a small business owner perspective. Five of my 10 are gleaned from her list with my perspective added.

Week of January 2, 2018

BrilliantThings7 Brilliant Things Emotionally Intelligent People Do When Their Buttons Are Pushed

One thing I know for sure is that there will always be drama in the workplace, it’s inevitable. If human beings and communication are involved, words and attitudes will be misinterpreted, egos will clash, buttons will be pushed, and people will arrive at different conclusions, often the wrong conclusions.
I’ve witnessed drama especially with teams under pressure to meet tight deadlines, or when high-level managers or executives with strong personalities pull in different and opposing directions to further their own agendas.
Whatever the case, laying low and avoiding the line of fire is an option. But if your work demands being in close contact with people — the people you’d like to avoid — having the mindset to know how to respond to them will save you a lot of headaches.

10 Signs You’re Burning Out (And How To Stop It)BurnedOut

Even the best jobs can lead to burnout. The harder you work and the more motivated you are to succeed, the easier it is to get in over your head. The prevalence of burnout is increasing as technology further blurs the line between work and home. New research from the American Psychological Association and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago reported the following:
  • 48 percent of Americans experienced increased stress over the past 5 years
  • 31 percent of employed adults have difficulty managing their work and family responsibilities
  • 53 percent say work leaves them “overtired and overwhelmed.”
A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) poll found that “burnout from my current job” was one of the top reasons that people quit.

MarketingRules10 Marketing Rules the Best Entrepreneurs Live and Die By

Marketing strategy always changes as technology evolves. But the underlying principles remain steadfast, grounded in consumer psychology. These 10 entrepreneurs share their No. 1 unchanging marketing rule.

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Freelance Strategies

4 Freelance Strategies You Should Use to Stay Productive

The life of a freelancer has its pros and cons. The obvious advantages are the same that typically come with a self-employed career. Flexible work hours, open opportunity, and most of all creativity. In my opinion the advantage of working alone also has its faults. Without anyone to keep you on track like coworkers or your boss it’s often difficult to stay focused. Luckily for you there are plenty of freelance strategies that have been proven to keep you on track.

Here are four freelance strategies you should use to stay productive:
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8 Ways to Create the Discipline HabitDiscipline Habit

Discipline is the greatest obstacle in preventing most people from achieving the levels of success they desire. Take a moment to process that if you had the discipline to do everything you knew you should do, even when you did not feel like doing it, how much more successful you will be in achieving your personal and professional goals. Discipline is the most challenging habit to do consistently, which is why employers reward it more than any other.

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FollowUpMost Sales Happen in the Follow-Up

A lot of small business owners leave money on the table because they either don’t have a follow-up strategy or they don’t follow through on the process. This usually happens because they’re too busy managing their current business.  Follow-up is a critical way to get NEW business. Without it, you may be in business today but not tomorrow. There’s no guarantee that you’ll keep getting more business if you don’t implement a consistent follow-up strategy.
I’m sure you’ve heard this statistic before: 80% of sales are made after the 5th contact.  So why do 70% of salespeople stop trying after the 2nd or 3rd contact?
Here are a few reasons:


7 Public Speaking Fundamentals Entrepreneurs Must Master

Public speaking is often associated with a kind of grandiosity, as if you need to be a guest of honor at a formal event, to employ what we think of as “public speaking skills.” In reality, though, public speaking skills are used all the time, in multiple contexts. As an entrepreneur, you’ll be tapping into many of those contexts.
For example, you’ll be giving presentations to potential investors and clients. You’ll be doling out numbers and giving updates to your team. You might even be an interviewee in the media or a speaker for a major event. Whether you plan on speaking publicly on a regular basis or not, you’ll need to prepare yourself to speak as an entrepreneur, using these seven important public speaking fundamentals:

Week of December 12, 2017

35 Easy Holiday Gift Ideas for

The holidays are here, and you need office gifts that are inexpensive, similar and appropriate for the work environment. Not to worry! Even if you found this post in a last-minute search, we made a list (and checked it twice), so we bet you’ll find something nice.

ProductivityTips6 Productivity Tips You Should Follow Every Day

Getting a lot done during the day feels amazing. Unfortunately, everything from being tired to a lack of resources can make productivity tank. You can fight this tendency, but you have to be proactive about it. These are some of the best productivity tricks you can try right now, most of which have solid science backing them up.

NegativeFeedbackHow To Respond To Negative Reviews On Facebook, Yelp, And Google

Every small business, startup, and consultant eventually gets hit with a bad review on a prominent platform. Here’s what you need to know to survive it.

5 Mistakes You’re Making When Talking to the Media5MediaMistakes

So you pitched the media and got an interview. Congratulations! Gaining media coverage isn’t always easy, but just because the media is on the way doesn’t mean the hard part is over. You need to make the most of this opportunity for your public relations efforts to be valuable to your business. But fear not: We’ve compiled a list of five common mistakes you can avoid to ensure your interview is a success.

SocialMediaTrends10 Social-Media Trends to Prepare for in 2018

In the past year, a number of significant stories involved social media: Facebook lured Snapchat users to Instagram, the president of the United States communicated official policy positions in 140 characters and Apple announced plans to alter the way we interact with our mobile devices.
Next year, social media is poised to create even more disruption as a number of new technological advancements go mainstream, and as social norms related to social media change. Here are the top 10 social media trends to prepare for as 2018 draws near.

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business, office, school and education concept - stressed busine

The BEST WAYS to Overcome Your WORST DAYS in Your Business

How’s your business going right now? I hope you’re having a good day, but if not, I hope this blog post will help you feel better and move forward. Writing a post like this is a challenge because it’s easy to come off sounding trite and formulaic. Everyone responds differently to bad days, and different things may constitute a bad day for different people.
As a Virtual Assistant, my worst days often happen because of technology breakdowns and my own mistakes. One really bad day happened many years ago. It was before I knew about Wi-Fi and mobile technology, so I worked from one computer, and if anything went wrong, I had no backup.


Week of November 29, 2017

The Most Important Element of Any DigitalStrategy
Digital Marketing Strategy

There are a lot of methods for marketing in the digital age. Whether it’s through person-to-person introductions, a typical marketing campaign using graphics and advertisements, or even a B2B email messaging strategy, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from.
In fact, don’t think of them as options. Your business can profit from using all of these marketing venues in tandem. You can craft an advertising campaign, include that in your company emails to outside vendors and discuss your campaign with those you try to directly engage with. It all works together – at least, that’s how you run an effective marketing schematic.

CollaborationBe the Entrepreneur of Your Life–Women Business Owners Share How

Collaboration is the new competition. Top women business owners are helping themselves by helping others.

These 7 Social Media Tips will Grow Your Business Like Never BeforeSocialMediaTips

Say you have a business – not a new one, but one you’ve been tending to for a decade or so. It’s the mid-90s and you have this brilliant idea for a startup, which you cash in on. Everything is flowing like a charm in the early years, mostly because you’re a business based on a current trend. Whether it’s a fashion or technology, you’ve cornered the marketing on the current happenings in your field, and you’re raking in the cash.
This trend continues until it’s the 2016 and suddenly your product is starting to go defunct. You expected it to happen eventually, but you didn’t know it would be this soon. Not only is your product suddenly not as en vogue as it used to be, it’s also getting replaced with better, more efficient models.
What do you do?
Your first, scenario-specific task is to start getting more innovative. Once you’ve secured a plan to start getting with the times again, you’re on the right track…but now what? You’ve already lost a lot of credibility and momentum? How do you build that back up again?
Social media, that’s how.

What to Do If Your Boss Gets Distracted by Every New ThingDistractedBoss

No matter what the strategic plan says, many of us are more attracted to something new that’s glittering on the horizon than we are to the goals that have languished on our to-do list for months. This weakness is as true for senior leaders as it is for the rank-and-file, but when a CEO or other senior executive is known for chasing shiny objects, a lot of people and projects can suffer.
When senior leaders suddenly get excited about a new idea or initiative, subordinates often worry: “Do I need to add this to my priorities? Will I still need to deliver on all my other goals too? Are there really enough resources available to get this done?” There can be high risk for employees in their leader’s fascinations: If they switch gears to run after the shiny object the leader wants right now, they might be found wanting later if previously assigned strategic goals go unmet.
In situations like these, I’ve found six techniques can help.

Pop or Not PopI’ve found myself doing A LOT of online shopping lately.
My daughter, Olivia, is 2 months old now and she seems to grow out of clothes faster than I can order them. I was recently perusing a new children’s clothing site called Bella Bliss, when a pop-up appeared offering me 15% off my first order.
Now a lot of people hate pop-up’s. But personally, when I am considering ordering from a brand new company, I find a first time discount extremely enticing.
In fact, I had my eye on a certain little eyelet number for the 70 degree Spring weather that we’ve been enjoying in NYC, and though it was a bit spendy for such a tiny little piece of clothing I couldn’t resist.
The discount presented to me in the pop-up pushed me over the edge and I placed my first order to see if it would really be as cute as in the pictures.

6 Ways to Motivate Individuals to Become a Winning TeamMotivateIndividuals

In sports, we often talk about athletes who “want it” more than others. These are the players who show up early, who use up every last ounce of energy in pursuit of their best performance. Players for whom defeat is viscerally painful, the ones who will stop at nothing to succeed. A coach’s job is to inspire and channel this motivation and use it to maximize the team’s performance.
Motivation comes from two places — intrinsic, which comes from within, and extrinsic, which comes from external forces. As a leader, it’s easy to rely on incentives, penalties and other extrinsic motivation – “If you do X, you will get Y” — but these kinds of incentives only go so far. The best coaches on the ball field and the best leaders in the office understand that to build a truly winning culture, you need to create intrinsic motivation. Inspiring those you lead to do great work for the love of the work itself and not because they’ll receive a trophy at the end of the game or a mention in the next company newsletter.
But how do you instill that passion? Here are six lessons I’ve learned from coaches to foster intrinsic motivation in your office.

Week of October 17, 2017

InternetHabitsYour Internet Habits Have Changed the Way You See the World. Here’s What Happened

Before the infinite supply of social media platforms? Before Google, e-mail, and living your life behind a screen?
Yes, some of us still remember. But as we get ourselves accustomed to this relatively brand-new Internet age, the digital world, and how we engage with it, has been rapidly affecting our real-world practices and functions.
In fact, how many times were you interrupted by a notification on your phone up until this sentence? I for one can tell you that during the course of writing this piece, I have already answered two emails and opened up four new tabs. Normal behavior in 2017, right?

LinkedInBizIf you’re new to LinkedIn business options or want to add something new to your current LinkedIn marketing plan, this page is for you.
Here, you’ll find articles and resources to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced marketers use LinkedIn profiles, video, ads, analysis, and more for business.

IntrovertLeaderHow to Succeed as an Introvert Leader, According to Science: Just Believe in Yourself

From a wealth of real-world examples like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to a ton of science and expert opinion, there’s no shortage of evidence that introverts can make great leaders.
But, of course, quieter types can only demonstrate this fact if they decide to step up to the plate and lead. And according to new research, many introverts may be shying away from leadership positions in which they’d actually excel because of misplaced fears about their potential and capabilities.

SocialAdvertising4 Social Advertising Tactics You Aren’t Using

Social Advertising is a great way to hyper-target your marketing messages to the right audience. It is cost effective and can be a great stimulus to other advertising initiatives. Technology is constantly evolving and there are a few Social Advertising Tactics that are often overlooked. Here are 4 of my favorites!


Center a Lasting Corporate Culture Around Positive Core Values

Business leaders may think that a great corporate culture is more of a nice-to-have than a must-have. But Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks, points out that every company has a culture anyway, whether the leadership knows what it is or not. The job of leaders is to make sure their culture is designed to last.
“The question is whether [the culture is] is defined or not and whether it is becoming what the organization wants it to become, including the leadership,” said Behar in a podcast with AMA Edgewise.
Behar believes that culture is an essential factor in corporate success. “The key here is being aware of where you are and being focused on what you want to become as an organization, and only leadership can drive that,” said Behar, who helped Starbucks grow from 28 stores to more than 15,000 during his tenure at the company. He is the author of The Magic Cup: A Business Parable About a Leader, a Team, and the Power of Putting People and Values First (Center Street, 2017).


Week of October 3, 2017

StopTolerating9 Stressful Things You Need to Stop Tolerating–If You Want to Be Successful

Don’t tolerate anything that stresses you or gets in the way of your success.
There are many things that can stress us out, especially when we want to create our own success stories.
Unfortunately, most of us end up tolerating some of our own bad habits, even though they cause much of the stress we experience.
So what are the stressful habits we need to stop tolerating? Here are the worst:

4 Reasons Why You Should Decline Your Next Meeting DeclineMeeting(and Spike Productivity in the Process)

Will your next meeting be an opportunity to connect on actionable ideas–or an hour long prison sentence? Here’s how to tell before you accept the invite.
Don’t you just love workdays fills with meetings? Yeah … me neither. At our company, Masthead Media, we rarely schedule them unless they’re absolutely necessary.
You’ve most likely attended one–if not innumerable!–seemingly pointless meeting. You may have even led one before. You definitely know you’re in one when your mind wanders to the zillion things you could be accomplishing instead.
Though most meetings are scheduled with the best of intentions (we’ll be more productive if we’re sitting face-to-face!), factors such as side conversations, wild conversational tangents, and lack of prep can derail any chance of driving toward your goals. In fact, most meetings are booked without any thought to goals at all.
Time is your most precious resource, and you can’t afford to waste it on an aimless chat. Whether you’re attending or running a meeting, don’t go without these four elements in place.

Want to create a Facebook presence that’s separate from your personal profile?
Have you considered creating a public figure Facebook page?
In this article, you’ll discover why you should consider a Facebook public figure page and how to set one up.

The Best Mobile Email Apps for Fast, Easy Inbox ManagementMobileApps

These apps use unconventional interfaces to help you breeze through your emails.
It’s estimated that Americans spend around six hours a day in their inbox. All that reading, writing, searching, and organizing email not only eats up our time but also our bandwidth, leaving little for the stuff we really need to get done. A number of mobile apps, however, are changing the way we interact with our email so that we can process messages more quickly and move on to more important tasks. These four lead the pack.

4 Business Lessons We Actually Learned From Kindergarten

KindergartenBusinessLessonsAre we still applying the life lessons that our parents, teachers and caregivers taught us?
The world is at a tipping point today. Leadership, technology, pop culture, all of it is changing in ways that make it hard to predict what the next quarter will bring, let alone the next two to five years.
But there are certain truths that remain important even as everything else shifts. They’re basic values, and as we become more mired in the increasing complexity of an evolving world, we could all stand to take a step back. We should not only remember the life lessons that our parents, teachers and caregivers taught us, but really consider whether or not we’re still applying them in our daily lives.
Here are four lessons we learned as schoolchildren–basic behavioral guidelines that apply just as much in today’s work environment as they did in kindergarten:

9 Signs an Employee Is Exceptionally Productive
(WhichExceptionallyProductive Never Appear on Performance Evaluations)

The most productive people do a lot more than just stay busy.
Many people stay busy. After all, checking items off a to-do list isn’t hard.
What’s hard is checking the right things off your to-do list, completing the right projects, and getting the right stuff done. That’s when an employee goes from busy to productive — and in the process become indispensable to an organization’s success.
Here are some of the things highly productive people do — and why that makes them so valuable:

Week of September 5, 2017

When you send a marketing email, it’s a bit different from a regular email.  You’re not just sharing information, you’re trying to drive engagement that supports your business in some way.
You’re trying to drive action without being too pushy and turning your subscribers off.

EmployeeDeservesARaise9 Signs an Employee Deserves a Promotion (Which Never Appear on Performance Evaluations)

If you want to get promoted, think more than skills, qualifications, and experience. The most promotable employees also have the right attitude — and the right outlook on individual and team performance.
Along with, “How do I get a raise?” one of the most common questions that even exceptional employees ask their boss is, “What can I do to get promoted?”
For some bosses, the answer to getting promoted is obvious: complete a specific task, gain a certain amount of experience, or simply be the next in line.
Other people, like HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah, take a different approach. Where getting promoted is concerned, Dharmesh focuses on the employee’s attitude.
His reasoning is simple. Attitude informs action. Attitude informs behavior. Attitude is the driving force behind every achievement, accomplishment, and success.
Attitude, where performance and therefore advancement is concerned, is everything.
So according to Dharmesh, if you want to get promoted:


I have been asked before about the right use of hashtags in the various social networks. It is a great question, and the answer is neither simple nor straightforward. The simple reason is that the best practice and what you can gain from it is different for each and every social network.
While some networks love hashtags others never really got friendly with them. In some networks, you cannot have too many hashtags in others more than two will lead to smaller success.

SendMoreEmailI’m sure you’ve asked yourself, “How often should I send email?”
Weekly? Monthly? Any time sales are low?

Start with this question: How many times do you have to ask kids to do something?

Usually, more than once.
It’s often the same with email marketing.
It’s not that people on your email list are children, it’s that they’re busy and your business isn’t their top priority.
If you don’t ask multiple times, you might miss out on sales.