Under30CEO » Entrepreneurship http://under30ceo.com Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Under30CEO interviews successful young entrepreneurs to hear about their story and journey while starting their company. These young founders have over a million dollars a year in revenues and have been through many ups and downs to get there. These stories are meant to inspire, educate and motivate more young people to take a leap and do what they are passionate about. Under30CEO clean Under30CEO jared@under30ceo.com jared@under30ceo.com (Under30CEO) Under30CEO Interviews with Young Entrepreneurs on Starting Businesses entrepreneur, business, interview, young entrepreneur, business advice, startup advice, founder interview, ceo Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/u30logo300x250.png http://under30ceo.com/category/entrepreneurship-2/ More Than Just a Title: Becoming a CEO http://under30ceo.com/just-title-becoming-ceo/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=just-title-becoming-ceo http://under30ceo.com/just-title-becoming-ceo/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:00:18 +0000 GuestAuthor http://under30ceo.com/?p=39138 When I started my company, I became CEO by default. I had no idea what a CEO really did, but I was the one in charge, so the title fell to me. Needless to say, I wasn’t performing my duties well. Since then, I’ve learned that being the CEO doesn’t just mean signing checks and […]

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CEO

When I started my company, I became CEO by default. I had no idea what a CEO really did, but I was the one in charge, so the title fell to me. Needless to say, I wasn’t performing my duties well.

Since then, I’ve learned that being the CEO doesn’t just mean signing checks and giving the final stamp of approval on projects. Your day-to-day tasks will vary depending on your field, but if you want to learn how to be a great leader at a young age, do what any experienced CEO does.

1. Never Stop Improving

This is especially important for young leaders, but it will remain relevant the rest of your career. Here are some ways to ensure that you will continuously improve:

  • Be a sponge. Remain open to new ideas and feedback — even if it’s negative. Make fewer statements, and ask lots of questions instead. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re going to make mistakes, but the key is to avoid making them twice.
  • Build a solid network of support. Be hyperaware of your strengths and weaknesses. Spend time maximizing your strengths, and fill the void left by your weaknesses through new hires, contractors, mentors, or advisors.
  • Push yourself to learn. Attend conferences, take online courses, set up an accountability group, and read new books. You may think you know your industry inside and out, but the answers to a groundbreaking change or new market potential can be found in learning something new.
  • Start writing. As a young CEO, you have tons of ideas and reflections swirling around in your head, and it wears on you to keep them all bottled up. Writing and sharing will help you work through thoughts and solicit great feedback.

2. Over-Communicate

Communication is where most CEOs fail. I’m not talking about giving speeches or wowing the board of directors with a terrific presentation. That type of communication is great, but it’s not critical.

Honest, open, clear communication with employees, co-founders, partners, clients, vendors, and even your competition will make or break you. Those who follow these criteria to communicate easily and often will stand out from the crowd:

  • Set clear expectations with employees, clients, and customers. Do this through several mediums so there’s no question that everyone understands what you expect.
  • Conduct one-on-ones with your team. Don’t just do this in the beginning; make it a continuous practice. Pull employees aside, sit down, and talk for 10 minutes. Ask what challenges and hurdles they face, how you can help, and what suggestions they have for improving the company.
  • Don’t assume directions were clearly understood. And don’t assume that someone feels the same way as you. Go above and beyond to ensure that everyone is on the same page, even when people don’t speak up.

3. Set a Good Example

Managers and bosses often have a vision of how they want their employees to work and act, but they fail to demonstrate those expectations. Leading by example applies to everything from answering the phone to dealing with angry clients or a failing product. If you don’t follow your own rules, employees will be confused. Here are some tips for making it work:

  • Don’t overindulge in your privileges. Sure, you could delegate the hardest projects, but it’s better to demonstrate the work ethic you expect to see from your employees.
  • Give positive feedback. When someone successfully models your example, let him or her know. It’s easy to say, “Nice work” or “Thanks for taking that extra step.” Your voice is the loudest in your company, and your encouragement will go a long way.
  • Communicate when you set a bad example. You will make mistakes that you don’t want copied, so call yourself out and make it clear that your actions were not up to par. The same goes for employees, but speak to them privately. Don’t call them out in front of the team and humiliate them.

4. Optimize Your Resources

CEOs know that there’s always more that can be done. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your success, but you can’t rest on your laurels, either. When things are running smoothly, don’t ignore your business — improve it.

  • Know your key metrics. Work with an accountant or financial advisor to make sure you really understand your key metrics. Think of them as your company’s vital signs, and always watch them.
  • Understand what makes your business tick. Speak with your advisors and other leaders to determine where you can make changes and what is untouchable.
  • Never stop asking, “How can we do better?” Ask your team, your mentors, your customers, and anyone else your organization interacts with. Never assume that what you are currently doing is as good as it can be.

Any ambitious person with an idea for a business can be a CEO, but a title on a business card doesn’t make you a leader. It’s what you do every day and how you lead your team that determines whether you deserve to be CEO. Take a step back, evaluate yourself, and work to improve your business and become a better role model for your employees.

John T. Meyer is the co-founder and CEO of Lemonly, a visual marketing firm that specializes in infographics and data visualization. Always sweet, never sour, its mission is to create understanding through visuals. Connect with John on Twitter and Google+.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Not a People Person? Career Options for the Talented Introverts http://under30ceo.com/people-person-career-options-talented-introverts/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=people-person-career-options-talented-introverts http://under30ceo.com/people-person-career-options-talented-introverts/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39012   Are you one of those people who really enjoy their “me time?” Does the thought of having to be around a lot of people and socialize completely stress you out? Does it worry you that once you get a job you will constantly have to be interacting with people? Well, it is time for […]

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introvert 

Are you one of those people who really enjoy their “me time?” Does the thought of having to be around a lot of people and socialize completely stress you out? Does it worry you that once you get a job you will constantly have to be interacting with people? Well, it is time for you to stop worrying. There are plenty of career options for introverts, where interaction with people is very little or none. Here are a few:

Writers

The very job of a writer requires immense concentration and peace of mind which is impossible to get if you are constantly being distracted by people. It is possibly the most solitary of all jobs. So, if you are in introvert, you would absolutely love it!

Apart from the occasional book signings (and that too, only if you get super famous), writers have no one to interact with except for their editors and publicists. These interactions are limited to sending in drafts of their work and perhaps exchanging a few comments now and then. Writers of short stories, poetry, blogs, etc. will also find themselves in a similar situation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that writers can earn more than $68,000 a year1. With such a fat salary and no one to bother you while you work, I don’t know why we aren’t all writers!

Computer Programmers

For those introverts who are tech savvy and enjoy playing around with html codes, perhaps a career in computer programming will be best suited for you. Computer programmers only need to make use of one tool – their computer. There is no requirement for interaction, as long as you can excel in what you do. The extent of your interaction will be sending the code to your employer and this obviously doesn’t need to be done in person.

An added bonus to pursuing a career in computer programming is the pay. The average annual earning of a computer programmer is over $74,000.  Yes, that’s right. Don’t believe me? Check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You must bear in mind however, that this figure will differ from employer to employer.

Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcription is another great field for you if you like to work alone. A medical transcriptionist spends his entire work shift looking at data, processing the data and handling files. You don’t always have to work in a hospital or any medical institution. Once you build a network you will have a good clientele and you can then choose to work from home where your face time with people will be almost zero.

To speed up your network building, it is a good idea to complete a medical transcription course from an institution that is accredited by the AAPC or that have courses and programs approved by AHIMA.

Work-from-home medical transcriptionists are their own boss. They get to choose their own clients and manage their own workloads. And best of all, they decide when and with whom to interact.

I know what you are thinking – forget the transcription talk and tell me how much I will make in a year! Well, if you choose this as a career, the average annual medical transcriptionist salary is a little over $34,000, according to CareerStep.

I know it isn’t as much as a writer or a programmer’s salary but if this is where your interest lies, then by all means go for it.

Accountants

This is perhaps the only “office environment” type job that doesn’t require so much face time with colleagues and clients. An accountant is only concerned with one thing – the accounts. He spends his days working with numbers and organizing payments and rarely needs to interact with people or even attend meetings.

How much does and accountant make you ask? The answer is – a lot. An accountant would make $71,000 a year on an average. So if you have a flair for numbers, an accountant’s position may be right up your alley.

The best way to go is to try and match your interests and your skills with all the options out there. You can be assured that if it is something you love to do you will be more than satisfied with your job. And who knows, if you ease into it, maybe one day you may turn into a people person!

Frida has been working as a career guidance counselor for about 12 years. She’s stayed on top of growing industry trends through market research and interaction with young students and working professional alike. Her hobbies include swimming, meditation and music. She believes that everyone can enjoy a lucrative career by paying close attention to their passions and aptitudes. Of late, Frida has been focused on researching work-from-home opportunities for stay-at-home moms or professionals who would like to supplement their income. Frida is a suburban single mom and has 3 children.

Resources

1. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273043.htm

2. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-transcriptionists.htm

3. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm

Image Credit: http://e.fastcompany.net/

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#EntrepreneurProblems: 6 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road http://under30ceo.com/entrepreneurproblems-6-ways-stay-healthy-road/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=entrepreneurproblems-6-ways-stay-healthy-road http://under30ceo.com/entrepreneurproblems-6-ways-stay-healthy-road/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38995   When I was younger, I always thought it would be so cool to be one of those career women who are always traveling from state to state for meetings, conferences, shows or any professional gatherings. Now that I’ve become one of those traveling career ladies, I still think it’s “cool” to see a lot […]

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 hotel gym

When I was younger, I always thought it would be so cool to be one of those career women who are always traveling from state to state for meetings, conferences, shows or any professional gatherings.

Now that I’ve become one of those traveling career ladies, I still think it’s “cool” to see a lot of places, but I’ve also realized it’s hard to stay healthy when you’re always on the road.

A lot of your meetings are based around food, like dinner meetings or networking luncheons. And the effort of traveling and busy schedule makes it hard to squeeze in a workout.

But the reality is, staying healthy on the road is critical to your work performance. I know if I don’t workout or if I eat unhealthily, I’ll be slower, groggy and not be on top of my game.

Here are some tips I’ve found that help me keep my health in check while traveling:

1- Bring snacks

Don’t wait until your dinner meeting to eat. It’s better to eat little snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism up and you won’t feel so hungry at dinner. My favorite snack that keeps me full is Luna Protein Bars (the cookie dough flavor, duh). Other good options are almonds or anything with protein that will coat your stomach. I also bring oatmeal packs so I get my fiber in the morning!

2- Use AthleticMindedTraveler.com

This site is a great resource to find hotels with the best gyms or pools. Or finding healthy restaurants or running paths near your hotel. Basically, it’s your go-to tool for healthy options in hundreds of different cities. It’s $19.95 per year, but definitely worth it if you’re a traveler.

3- Stay at a Westin Hotel

Westin Hotels now offer New Balance gear to borrow. For me, I try to pack light and it’s hard to make room for my sneakers and workout gear. Therefore, rentals are a lifesaver. Westin also offers complimentary group runs. Need I say more?

4- Bring a resistance band

If you’re really crunched for time and can’t hit the gym, at least do some resistance band training for 10-20 minutes after you wake up. Resistance bands are easy to pack and have a ton of different exercises you can do with them. The Xfinity Fitness Band ($30 at sportsauthority.com) comes with workout DVDs. If you really want to get in some good resistance training (and are willing to pay $200), get TRX bands (trxtraining.com) that hook onto a doorway. They’re pricy but you’ll feel it in muscles you didn’t know you had!

5- Get a guest pass to a gym

Most gyms offer some sort of guest pass for a day or a week depending on the gym. Some are free and some are a small fee (like $5-10). Usually hotel gyms are limited, so try to get to a real gym on your trip. Don’t waste your time just on the elliptical for an hour, get in some weights and interval training to wake up your metabolism.

6- Don’t beat yourself up

Relax. It’s very hard to stick 100% to your normal fitness and meal plan while on the road. If you get mad at yourself for eating that cookie at the luncheon, you’re only going to put yourself in a bad mood and lose focus of your professional goals (which is the reason for the trip in the first place, right?). Talk to yourself like you’d talk to your good friend. Don’t raise your voice, breathe in breathe out, and make healthy choices at the next opportunity. Also remember that indulging in your cravings can be a good thing. If you want a cookie, eat one and be done! Depriving yourself of cravings can lead to binging. More importantly, you deserve to treat yourself in moderation. So go for it!

Jess Ekstrom is the 22-year-old founder of Headbands of Hope . For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Jess is also a public speaker at speaker at CAMPUSPEAK and a start-up consultant. Check out Headbands of Hope on FacebookTwitter, Instagram (@headbandsofhope).

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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10 Ways to Thwart Copycats on the Web http://under30ceo.com/10-ways-thwart-copycats-web/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=10-ways-thwart-copycats-web http://under30ceo.com/10-ways-thwart-copycats-web/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:00:38 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38983   If you use the internet for marketing, advertising, sharing information, and completing business transactions, you know how important it is to have fresh, original content to catch the attention of potential shoppers and to increase your site’s popularity status. You probably spend quite a bit of time creating original content and you want others […]

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 content theft

If you use the internet for marketing, advertising, sharing information, and completing business transactions, you know how important it is to have fresh, original content to catch the attention of potential shoppers and to increase your site’s popularity status. You probably spend quite a bit of time creating original content and you want others to know who is behind the end product. While most people respect your authorship, there are others who may not. Content thieves or scrapers, take valuable personal information and steal the works of others without providing acknowledgement or giving the original author credit. These thieves are, at best, a headache for businesses who deal with them on a daily basis. At their worst, they can cause considerable damage to a business and its reputation.

What is meant by Content Misuse?

Content Misuse or theft is the act of taking small portions of written work from one website, such as a corporate homepage, social media site, blog, or electronic news article, and transporting it back to a website maintained by the content thieves. These cybercriminals take content from the websites of others by using sophisticated software that lets them bypass security gates to gain access to the targeted computer or network. From there, they freely take content and transport it to their own websites, where it may appear as original content.

Why Should You Be Concerned About Content Misuse?

Scraping has the potential to cause significant harm to businesses. Since written material that is taken from one site and reprinted on another appears without crediting the original author, people who see the material in both places do not know which of the two sites has the original content, and which has the copied material. Therefore, they may think that the content thieves are the original content creators, and that your site contains the duplicate information, which can damage you (or your company’s) credibility, trustworthiness, and reliability. As your squeaky clean business image becomes tarnished, customers and potential clients may quickly lose interest in your products and services, and they might start shopping elsewhere. This, over time, may result in a considerable loss of revenue and prevent your business from growing.

Protecting Yourself from Web Theft

To stop content thieves from wreaking havoc on your company’s credibility and reliability, it is important to take action against content misuse and theft. Here are ways to protect content on your website from scrapers:

1.     Post Copyright Notices:

Having copyright signs on your site lets thieves know you are aware of your legal rights and will defend them if necessary.

2.     Disable Hotlinks:

Content thieves often try to steal content using hotlinks. With this control method, hotlinks are disabled, and thieves are unable to transport material.

3.     Modify your RSS Feed:

Content thieves often steal material through RSS feeds. You can prevent this by posting a statement on your feed that says the material readers are seeing belongs to you.

4.     Use Watermarks:

Putting a watermark, like a brand or company logo, on your content, is a way to authenticate the data. You can add links so that any material removed from your site automatically links back to it.

5.     Use Plug-ins:

You can use plug-ins to stop unwanted intruders from accessing your site with copyright notices, fortified security measures, and other postings and warnings to deter thefts and alert others when that content has been stolen.

6.     Create Google Alerts:

Google Alerts is a valuable, simple, and user-friendly method of combating content theft. You can set up alerts using a specific keyword or phrase that is unique to your content. Google, in turn, will send you alerts if your material appears elsewhere.

7.     Claim Ownership:

With Google Authorship, your authentic material always appears with a unique trademark, icon, or image. Others will know content has been stolen when it appears without this attachment.

8.     Shrink-Wrapping:

Shrink wrapping does not stop thieves from taking material from your site. It even lets them take images from your site and save it to theirs. When they open their files, however, the original picture appears as something completely different.

9.     Slice and Dice:

This technique lets you dissect your photos, then use a table to turn the segments into a complete picture on your site. Thieves, when trying to take your photo, will have to download and save the individual segments.

10.  Monitor & Take Action:

Despite your best efforts, if your content has been stolen, you can take action to retrieve it. Programs like CopyScape, and Plagium let you know if your work has been taken while service like Scrapesentry helps you to monitor any such uneven traffic.

Content theft is a growing problem. Businesses and individuals risk having their content stolen from websites unless they take preventative action. Fortunately, there are ways that you can prevent this from happening to you with the help of copyright notices, plugins, and Google Alerts.

John Reiley is a tech enthusiast who loves being a part of the ever growing web community. He is a network specialist currently residing in US. John has a passion for writing articles and daily columns to serve his audience and educate them about the current technological advances.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Fuel The Desire To Win http://under30ceo.com/fuel-desire-win/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fuel-desire-win http://under30ceo.com/fuel-desire-win/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:00:30 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39042 It’s easy to talk to look back and laugh at the tough times after a big win. But what about the time before you win or lose? The unsure moments when the days of the week become one big day and time hurtles by as the desire to win grows stronger. Finding footing during this […]

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winning

It’s easy to talk to look back and laugh at the tough times after a big win. But what about the time before you win or lose? The unsure moments when the days of the week become one big day and time hurtles by as the desire to win grows stronger.

Finding footing during this time can be tough and it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Everyday the headlines in the news outline a new acquisition or startup that has hit the big leagues. Daydreams then ensue that conjure up scenes of hitting the big leagues in your own life. But if you don’t take the first step or even push through the hurdle before you, in the end you will have nothing but dreams and massive regret.

Tap into the feeling that causes you to constantly fidget. Find your focus, trust your heart and give it everything you’ve got. When you jump out of bed in the morning, fear should cower away and say, “Uh oh, they’re awake again” and even fear the moment you sleep, for you it will be a moment where your desire can tap into your dreams and grow stronger.

Procrastinating within this moment is sure to put death to our progress quickly as does overworking and burning the candle at both ends. Without proper balance things can quickly get overwhelming. Within this balance is the fuel that the desire to win thrives and is best.

What’s your why?

Your why has to be deeper than you. It has to go beyond what you simply want. It burns from the wax of providing comfort to a hurting soul as a result of your determination to solve a problem as an entrepreneur. The desire should have you willing to go the extra mile even when it feels like you can’t.

Every bone in your body should be screaming at you to go after it like your life depends on it. Discovering your why begins with your outlook. You can’t expect thinking once about your vision will cover you till it all comes to fruition. This is something that has to be done every waking moment. It should be kept as a song in your heart, fueling the passion to be better, to create more good and be the driving force to see that you succeed.

It’s about giving you closure and answering the question of what if we often face.

Own your moment of clarity.

One step, and one block at a time and soon you’ll have built something amazing. Each repetition over the course of time will get you where you need to be. In this moment keep your eyes on the ball. Focus on the lane you’re in.

The more good habits you have = the better the desire to win.

Practice waking up feeling like a conqueror, even on the days it may feel like the complete opposite. Deny the desire to hit snooze. This is your moment to shine. Apps like Lift allow you to stay encouraged and allow you to gather good habits.

Focus on your health.

It’s easy to go an entire day without eating when you’re locked in the zone. The only way to keep your desire to win in perfect shape is to actively take time for a proper diet and exercise. Don’t have a full hour for a workout? No excuse, even 10 minutes spread out over 3 times a day gives you 30 minutes. Perhaps even a smoothie around the time you begin to feel sluggish will help you not only now but in the future as well.

Prepare for the next day the night before. Skip that next episode and invest in your future by preparing lunch and what you’ll wear for the next day. It will go great distances in helping you feel relaxed and more prepared to take on the day.

Your future self will thank you dearly.

Take time out to care

Don’t be that person that is always absorbed into a piece of technology at every moment of the day. Invest less time in finding the perfect shot to post on the latest social network and instead invest time into the relationships around you.

The mistake that prohibits the desire to win to run at its utmost best is to neglect the friends and family around you that care, and want to see you succeed just as badly as you want to.

Wanting to win isn’t just about today, but also the benefits or consequences of our actions today.

Onward be your cry, and forward be your steps. Now is the time to fuel your desire to win.

David Yarde is a Founding Partner of Sevenality, a branding firm focused on building better community based businesses, by business owners share their brand story. You can connect with him on twitter.

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Why I Wrote A Check To The Nazis For $1,000 (Trust Me, There’s a Good Reason) http://under30ceo.com/wrote-check-nazis-1000-trust-theres-good-reason/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wrote-check-nazis-1000-trust-theres-good-reason http://under30ceo.com/wrote-check-nazis-1000-trust-theres-good-reason/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:00:07 +0000 danieldipiazza http://under30ceo.com/?p=39452   Wow. Never thought I’d type THAT title into the subject line of this post. Today, my friends, I wanted to give you some quick insight into a last resort strategy you can enact to finally get yourself to take action when other methods have failed. It’s very simple: Punishment. I’ve had an annoying psychological […]

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Wow. Never thought I’d type THAT title into the subject line of this post.

Today, my friends, I wanted to give you some quick insight into a last resort strategy you can enact to finally get yourself to take action when other methods have failed. It’s very simple:

Punishment.

I’ve had an annoying psychological barrier lurking in the background of my brain for 25 years. I call it the Wiggle Room Barrier. The Wiggle Room Barrier has me believe that approximates can be substituted for absolutes, then makes me underestimate the consequences for not hitting benchmarks I set for myself. It sounds a little something like this (various formats):

  • “It’s ok if I’m a LITTLE late. What’s 5 – (or insert much higher number) minutes between friends/coworkers/clients?”
  • “This person SAID they wanted this deliverable at X time, but if I got it to them at Y time, everything will still run smoothly”
  • “Officer, I understand. But I was only going 11 over. It’s basically the same.”

This barrier is very real. And it has real consequences. I’ve always known that it was something I needed to work on, but I’ve always been able to work AROUND it, not through it:

For instance, if I was late to class, I’d show up and do incredible, top 1% work. Teacher can’t be mad.

Or at work, I’d build such strong personal bonds that people would be forced to overlook my negative traits in the blinding glare of my awesome.

Or maybe I’m late for my training session at the gym. My excuse: I’m paying my trainer, he’s already getting my money. No big deal.

All of this, is of course, dreadfully wrong.

In the back of my mind, I’ve told myself that I’d continue to work on this weak point “when I have time.” But…umm…when has THAT phrase ever really helped us get something done?

As I get older, I realize that this is something that I need to handle now. I can blame it on my parents, or the fact that I’m still “young and learning (boo hoo)”, but in reality, I need to get this shit handled. Period.

Except I can’t FORCE myself to do it. I can’t WILL myself to be more accountable or show up at places on time. I’ve tried. If I have an hour to leave, I’ll look at Google maps, see that it only calculates 38 minutes of drive time, then leave at PRECISELY 38 minutes until I have to be in the meeting. Then I have the audacity to get mad at traffic. LOL. I’m funny.

So what’s the solution? Wallow in this? Let the habit take me down and overshadow my other good qualities? Not a chance.

Thank GOD the American Nazi Party is here to help.

I remember reading a post by AJ Jacobs a few months ago. AJ had an interesting suggestion for hacking your own stubbornness.

  • First: Identify a habit that you want to be accountable for.
  • Then, to get MASSIVE leverage on yourself, write a check to a charity you absolutely HATE — and give that check to an impartial 3rd party who will check in on you once a week.
  • (Make sure to pick someone that doesn’t care about your feelings.)
  • Have them call you 1x/week for 90 seconds. If you didn’t follow through on your end of the commitment (make them probe you), the check sends.
  • That’s it.

Here’s my check. I’m sending it to a masochistic friend in Canada today. I would rather burn myself alive than send this out. So I know I’ll be overcoming the Wiggle Room Barrier. Come to think of it, the Nazis would probably rather me burn alive as well.

 

photo

Note the memo. And I think the Superman print is despicably ironic.

 

Writing checks to people/charities you hate is one way to take massive action to change yourself. But it’s not the only way.

What’s one habit/trait that’s been KILLING you your whole life and needs MASSIVE action/consequences to change?

What action/consequences could you take/enact to change it. Get extreme here.

*******

PS – I share all my best insights/strategies on building online businesses and living a better life with my Tribe. Have you joined yet? It’s free - click here to join.

 

Parts of this post were originally published by Daniel DiPiazza at Rich20Something.com

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How to Make the Best Decisions for Your Startup http://under30ceo.com/make-best-decisions-startup/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=make-best-decisions-startup http://under30ceo.com/make-best-decisions-startup/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:00:07 +0000 theyec http://under30ceo.com/?p=39330 I have unwittingly made some bad decisions in my 28 years on this earth, but every day I make better ones. Reflecting on this, it is clear that making the right calls, large and small, requires certain prerequisites and a thoughtful decision-making process. These considerations are especially important in a startup, where you will never […]

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Senior businessman thinking and making choice while looking up

I have unwittingly made some bad decisions in my 28 years on this earth, but every day I make better ones. Reflecting on this, it is clear that making the right calls, large and small, requires certain prerequisites and a thoughtful decision-making process. These considerations are especially important in a startup, where you will never have perfect information when making a decision.

The success or failure of your startup results from nothing more than the series of small, medium and large decisions that you act on?. Make more right decisions than wrong ones and your startup will be more likely to succeed. In my experience, the best startup decisions are the result of a carefully thought out process, as follows.

First, the Prerequisites

The conditions below must be met before you start the decision-making process. This is imperative, as most bad decisions are made inadvertently because some or all of these conditions are not met first.

  1. Follow your passions. For most world-class entrepreneurs, passion does not come primarily from the prospect of financial gain or personal notoriety; it comes from an innate desire to change the world. To make the right decisions for your startup, you must believe that if your startup succeeds, you will change the world in the ways you desire. The more your startup aligns with your passions, the more confident you will feel that you are making the right decisions for the right reasons.
  2. Embrace the reality. You have to be able to properly assess and accept reality. Smart entrepreneurs do not see the glass as half-full or half-empty; they see a glass with a certain amount of water. Then, they decide to drink the water, or fill up the glass with more water. To make the right decisions, you must first see things as they really are.
  3. Practice some balance. Your mind, body, and soul must be balanced before you can make good decisions. This is perhaps the most important prerequisite, and one that most entrepreneurs brazenly ignore. Startup culture encourages over-work and over-play; to be balanced you must also be mindful of your health and spiritual life, not just stimulating your mind.

The Decision-Making Process

Only after you know that the above prerequisites hold true, you can move on to the decision-making process. Below is the step-by-step process that works for me (inspiration), but you may follow a different process.

Let’s set up a scenario and walk through it. In our sample scenario, we are trying to figure out the primary customer type to market your startup’s solution to.

  1. Identify the decision. Clearly identify the single decision you want to make and do not let extraneous things fog it up. In the sample scenario, you might ask yourself, “Out of my entire market of potential customers, who is my startup’s one highest-revenue-generating customer?”
  2. Identify your options. Lay out the different options you have based on your own knowledge, keeping in mind the values that are important to your startup. In our example, you will now identify the different customer types that can generate revenue for your startup. And if we’re being realistic, you might eliminate certain customer types at this step as they are not feasible to reach.
  3. Gather information. Collect as much information as is pragmatic about your options. In our setup, you might research different customer segments to gain further insight into your startup’s market and reduce your blindness. Utilize emerging tools such as Clarity.fm to talk with the right experts and Compass.co to help put market data into the right context for your startup. After conducting research, you may end up eliminating a certain revenue-generating customer type, because it doesn’t match your startup’s vision or the context you are working within.
  4. Make and implement the decision. Finally, the fun part: You get to make a decision and act on it! The decision should incorporate the information you have gathered, your gut instinct and your startup’s vision. In our example, you would make a firm decision on which customer segment you will target and start marketing to that segment (the marketing strategies you use may be a separate decision).
  5. Evaluate the outcomes. Evaluate objectively if you made the right decision. Some questions you can ask in our sample scenario include: Is my startup solving a real need for this customer? How much revenue has been generated? Am I convinced that this was the right customer to target or should I target another customer? If you have balance in your life when thinking through such questions (i.e. your mental well-being is not solely dependent on startup success), you can make a proper evaluation. If you conclude you made the wrong decision, assure the prerequisites are really met and start over from step one.

In a startup, as in life, you will seldom have enough information to conclusively make the right decisions. To a certain extent, you have to rely on your gut instinct, especially as most decisions are interdependent (i.e. picking the highest revenue-generating customer may not lead to the most cost-effective marketing strategy).

When decision time comes, regardless of whether it is a small or a significant decision, make sure that you are passionate for the right reasons, thinking realistically, practicing balance in your life and following a thoughtful decision-making process. If you do these things, you will you make the right calls more often than not, and your startup will be better for it.

A version of this article originally appeared on Medium.

Naveed Lalani is the Founder and CEO of Portable Boutique Inc., a company that creates Plug & Play Bitcoin Widgets. Previously, Naveed was Chief Strategy Officer at DonorNation.org, and Co-Founder at Rally.org. Naveed gives back by advising the Thiel Fellowship and leading entrepreneurship initiatives at the Ismaili Professionals Network.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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5 Pivotal Rules of Starting a Business http://under30ceo.com/5-pivotal-rules-starting-business/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-pivotal-rules-starting-business http://under30ceo.com/5-pivotal-rules-starting-business/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 15:00:43 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38975 Building a startup company is something that one can not understand until trying to do it.  It is painful, arduous and at times seems absolutely impossible.  Yet at the same time, it can be one of the most exciting and rewarding things one can ever take on in their life. As a serial entrepreneur, I […]

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Building a startup company is something that one can not understand until trying to do it.  It is painful, arduous and at times seems absolutely impossible.  Yet at the same time, it can be one of the most exciting and rewarding things one can ever take on in their life.

As a serial entrepreneur, I have learned both from experiences and inspiring people who have taught me what it takes to succeed in business and grow as a person.

The five pivotal rules of starting a business are:

Fail.

failure-defeats-losers1

~Robert T. Kiyosaki

I am positive that my failures are my most valuable assets.  I have never met a person with great success that does not point to the importance of their failures.  It is near impossible to succeed without making mistakes, experiencing disappointment, being defeated, and being knocked to the ground.

What differentiates an ordinary man from a great one is the great one takes failure as an opportunity to get back  their feet, try again and become better the next time around.  Failure is a chance to learn what it takes to be successful in business and as a person.

Your failures will make you bigger, better, smarter, and more successful than you were before.  Just like General George Patton said, “Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom.”

Understand your market and competition.

Starting a business is a huge risk financially, mentally and emotionally.  You can mitigate this risk by understanding your market and competition.  You should know them both better than you know yourself.  Who are your customers?  Who are the players in your industry?  How will you differentiate yourself?  Constantly ask yourself these questions and always discover more about both your market and competition.

Only associate with smart, loving, supportive and actionable people.

oprah quote

I used to have over 800 contacts in my phone.  I now have under 80.  I came to realize that it is a waste of time and emotions to deal with people who don’t care, who don’t answer their phones,  who tell you that your ideas are bad and that you will not succeed.

I only now associate with people who love me, care about me, support me and are willing to help.  It is also very important for me to have close relationships with people who are extremely smart, successful and will do anything in their power to ensure my success.  I like to call these people actionable.

I always say that I only wish to talk to people who I know are willing to fly halfway around the world for me.  (Flying any further than halfway would be inefficient).  I am willing to do the same for these people as well.  Together you will share in each other’s success but more importantly help one another when times are tough.

These people should also all be smarter than you.  These people will help you answer the questions you do not know and help you to solve difficult problems you have never faced before.  These people will give you the wisdom needed to succeed.

“Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people … or find a different room.” -Michael Dell

Ask for money when you need advice, ask for advice when you need money.

I have always been one to ask others for advice.

I often get advice from people whom I already know, and also reach out to inspiring people who I have never met.  When asking someone for advice, it can be flattering for that person.  More often than not, they are excited to share their knowledge, experiences, failures and successes.  It is important to keep these people in the loop as you move forward in your career and always show your appreciation for their advice.  (I always write hand written thank you notes).  It is from these people that I gain wisdom which helps me in everything that I do.

These people will be the first ones to take the opportunity to help you when you need them.  They will be your mentors, advisers and investors.

Don’t do it for the money or glamour, do it because you have no choice

quote-Walt-Disney-disneyland-is-a-work-of-love-we-1090

Stories of start up companies being acquired and having an IPO come out every single day.  At this point, founders of companies often become extremely wealthy.  The chances of this happening are very low.  Starting a business is not a great way to get rich, working in finance is a much safer bet.  The idea of working for yourself and answering no one and becoming filthy rich are not reasons to start a company.

Entrepreneurship must run in your blood  You must have a passion to execute your own idea, because you want to disrupt markets, and make the world a better place.  You must be prepared to take on a massive amount of responsibility.  You will be working around the clock for your investors, employee’s livelihood, and most importantly your customer.  “Follow your passion, not your paycheck. The money will come eventually.” – Anonymous

Do it because you want every day to be an adventure.  Do it because are not afraid to fail.  Do it because for your astute passion for your company.  Do it because you simply have no other choice.

Believe

“I believe in the light that shines and will never die.  Oh I believe the fire burns, we stay alive.  They will talk about us, like they talked about the kings before us.”

~Common

Have faith that you will succeed.  Believe in your company, your customer and those working to help you succeed.  Most importantly; believe in yourself.

Jeremy W. Crane is a serial entrepreneur from Rochester, New York and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the founder of StadiumPark, a mobile payment app for stadium and arena parking. He is most passionate about his friends and family, especially his brothers Dan and Ari. Follow him @jeremywcrane

Image Credit: inspower.com

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What Separates the Men From the Boys http://under30ceo.com/separates-men-boys/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=separates-men-boys http://under30ceo.com/separates-men-boys/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:00:43 +0000 Fueled http://under30ceo.com/?p=39387 When it comes to choosing whom to work with in business, there’s a huge difference between choosing to partner with a small startup versus a large Fortune 500 corporation. Both have their own merits and it really depends on what the end result is meant to be. Check out our list of what really separates […]

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success

When it comes to choosing whom to work with in business, there’s a huge difference between choosing to partner with a small startup versus a large Fortune 500 corporation.

Both have their own merits and it really depends on what the end result is meant to be.

Check out our list of what really separates the little guys from the big corporate companies below.

Decision Making Speed

In a small startup, decisions can be made quickly because there’s less people chiming in with their opinions. Not to mention, moving fast is what startups are all about. The successful ones manage to make a big splash because they’re more flexible in comparison to their more well-established counterparts. Fortune 500 companies have endless levels of management that need to be gone through before a decision can be reached. Staying competitive isn’t easy when decisions from potential partnerships could take over a week.

Risk

Attitudes towards risk are all across the board between startups and Fortune 500 companies. Startups tend to embrace risk because they are normally in a fast-growth stage, whereas large corporations are more averse to risk and looking to keep their already stable revenue channels safe. The saying “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” rings true in this situation.

Resource Allocation

If there’s one place where more established companies have it over startups, it’s resource allocation. Every cent counts at a startup because resources are scarce and allocated based on where they will be needed most. Sometimes these decisions are also made quickly because there may not be enough time to ponder on certain financial decisions. In a Fortune 500 company, resources are plentiful and can be allocated more freely. This has slowed since the recession though.

Processes

There is no doubt that processes are documented in one place or another at Fortune 500 companies. In startups, processes are not always top priority so recording how things are done is put on the backburner. Pressure ends up being placed on individuals who do know how to action processes and procedures. This is not an ideal situation for any company, especially should those individuals get sick or leave.

Innovation

Startups have the ability to quickly adapt to new ideas, allowing them to rapidly innovate when necessary as we mentioned when talking about risk. Large businesses, on the other hand, are slow to adapt to new ideas. While they aren’t opposed to innovation, the time it takes to implement new things can sometimes lead it to being obsolete. Startups also tend to devote a large portion of their time to coming up with fresh concepts. This seems to not hold true with Fortune 500 companies, as they tend to work off of services that they have been providing for a long time.

Working with a startup is fun, ideas are fresh and everything is fast paced. But it’s also stressful and there are long hours involved.

Working with a Fortune 500 company provides stability and security, but things are slow to happen which can be frustrating.

When it comes to deciding whom you want to partner with, bear all of the above in mind. Here at Fueled, we work with both types of companies, but love the fast pace of partnering with a startup.

Written by the editors at Fueled.  We develop iPhone and Android apps.

Image Credit: tweakyourbiz.com

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5 Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Should be Bilingual http://under30ceo.com/5-reasons-entrepreneurs-bilingual/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-reasons-entrepreneurs-bilingual http://under30ceo.com/5-reasons-entrepreneurs-bilingual/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:00:14 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38771 To become a successful entrepreneur, you need lots of initiative and you must be ready to take risks. No entrepreneur can expect to achieve his or her goals without risks and initiative, even in a country like the U.S. where entrepreneurs and small businesses are become more and more common every year. In a report […]

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bilingual entrepreneurs

To become a successful entrepreneur, you need lots of initiative and you must be ready to take risks. No entrepreneur can expect to achieve his or her goals without risks and initiative, even in a country like the U.S. where entrepreneurs and small businesses are become more and more common every year.

In a report published by Forbes Magazine, six years worth of data based on small businesses in the U.S. (small business in the U.S. are defined by the SBA as companies which employ fewer than 500 employees)

reveals that there are now almost 28 million small businesses in the U.S. Over 22 million of these small businesses are self employed and operate with no additional payroll or employees, commonly referred to in the business world as “nonemployers”. Over 50% of the working population work for/own small businesses and small businesses have generated over 65% of net new jobs in the U.S. since 1995. What’s even more interesting is that roughly 52% of all small businesses are home-based and about 75% of all U.S. businesses have “non-employer” businesses status.

Considering the importance of small businesses and entrepreneurs in the U.S., it’s about time more attention was paid to the benefits of language learning. The world is becoming smaller by the day. International communications are easier than ever before. All entrepreneurs in the U.S. must learn at least one other language to remain successful in any industry throughout the years to come.

1. Globalization places heavy emphasis on language learning

Incredible advancements in technology have made international business very, very easy. The majority of entrepreneurs don’t even need an office from which to work these days. A laptop, a quiet corner in the house and a PayPal account are the bare minimum basics that anyone needs to launch a new business idea in any country in the world without having to physically be in that country.

However, if you plan to outsource company needs to other countries, if you plan to make deals with business partners in other countries and if you intend to market your product to consumers in other countries, learning a foreign language will be incredibly useful. In fact, sometimes entrepreneurs find that they want to sell their products within their native countries but that even then they need to be able to communicate with consumers who speak foreign languages.

Globalization has made entrepreneurship a viable and attractive option for many people with small business ideas, but it has also placed a heavy demand on our bilingual skills.

2. Entrepreneurs need social skills, not just business know-how

Being a successful entrepreneur is not just about being experienced in business and knowing a lot about your business’ industry. Successful entrepreneurs must also possess incredibly effective social skills. Being bilingual opens the doors to prospective clients, deals and opportunities because it enables us to be more sociable with the business partners/consumers/employers we have in mind to work with.

The benefits of being fluent, or even just being able to converse, in more than one language are numerous. Being bilingual doesn’t just help entrepreneurs to get ahead via professional opportunities. Being bilingual helps entrepreneurs achieve success by understanding foreign cultures, foreign markets and foreign workforces on a much more personal and social level.

3. Bilingual entrepreneurs can be more creative

Entrepreneurs with bilingual skills can also gain the upper-hand in business because they are able to be doubly-creative with their ideas. As globalization continues to strengthen, more people travel, more people live and work abroad or work for foreign companies from home. Cultures mix, more children are born in bilingual households and the need to develop bilingual products and to provide bilingual services steadily increases.

The world needs bilingual products, bilingual services, bilingual materials and bilingual advice. Entrepreneurs with language skills can better tap in to the needs of this growing, globalized community that entrepreneurs who can only speak their native language. Take a look at the plans of this bilingual entrepreneur who is hoping to develop a sophisticated language learning iPad app for young children born into bilingual households.

As another prime example of bilingual creativity, pupils from Cynffig Comprehensive School in Kenfig Hill, near Bridgend in Wales, have developed a bilingual board game for Welsh Baccalaureate learners studying economic and technological change. The board game isn’t considered to be innovative just because it’s a board game. The innovation comes from the bilingual nature of the game and how its bilingual status appeals to the needs of students studying at present in today’s multilingual world.

4. Eligibility for bilingual grant schemes

There are a number of grant schemes only available to bilingual entrepreneurs. These schemes help small businesses finance their ideas in the first few years and it appears that lots of additional help is being awarded to bilingual entrepreneurs. The Multicultural Entrepreneurial Institute is one of those organizations in the U.S. willing to offer US$3000 grants to the most innovative bilingual entrepreneurs out there.

Almost all small business ideas need financial backing, particularly in the early stages. Becoming a bilingual entrepreneur can only broaden the possibilities you have at your fingertips.

5. Foreign entrepreneurs making a success of things in the U.S.

Geoffrey Wescott and David Griffith published an interesting report on the effect of language acquisition on income among Latino entrepreneurs in the U.S. The report highlights the relationship between language skills and annual income within the Latino community and reveals how Latin American entrepreneurs based in the U.S. who are “bilingual in Spanish and English with strong English skills, earn more on average as entrepreneurs than as employees.”

The report also confirms that Latin Americans who emigrate to the U.S. have “shown a propensity to become self-employed and hold skills that often lead to success in the entrepreneurial market,” but that their “income as entrepreneurs is lower than other ethnic groups,” when they’re not bilingual in English.

Whatever way you look at it, bilingual entrepreneurs in the U.S., both natives and foreign immigrants, need to take a strong interest in language learning and make being bilingual high on their list of priorities. Being bilingual is vital to all entrepreneurs who want to remain in a competitive position within their respective industries.

Tracey Chandler represents Language Trainers, which provides individually-tailored language training on a one-on-one or small group basis worldwide.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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