Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:18:17 +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 Best Meetups in NYC http://under30ceo.com/best-meetups-nyc/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-meetups-nyc http://under30ceo.com/best-meetups-nyc/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:00:43 +0000 Fueled http://under30ceo.com/?p=39394 Don’t be scared of meeting complete strangers because they might be just the people you need to meet. Why? Well, for one, you get to see what cool new things people with similar interests to you are doing. From getting to attend cool seminars to meeting potential leaders in your field, you’ll find so many […]

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NY Tech Meetup

Don’t be scared of meeting complete strangers because they might be just the people you need to meet.

Why? Well, for one, you get to see what cool new things people with similar interests to you are doing. From getting to attend cool seminars to meeting potential leaders in your field, you’ll find so many opportunities here. Clearly, meetups are the place to be.

We, at Fueled, found some of the best meetups in NYC. Ready to go?

NY Tech Meetup

NY Tech Meetup was founded in 2004 by Meetup’s founder Scott Heiferman and became an independent nonprofit in 2010. Boasting 32,000 members, their aim is to connect members of the tech community so they can help each other create successful and sustainable companies. They provide resources and work with policy makers to develop policies that are beneficial to all. They aim to foster innovation with cutting edge ideas and new technology.

They are best known for their monthly demo nights, where up to 10 chosen companies have a chance to showcase what they do at the Skirball Theatre.

TechCrunch’s New York Meetup

TechCrunch’s New York Meetup features a pitch-off event where entrepreneurs have a chance to wow the judges there in less than 60 seconds. And they give out free beer, what’s cooler than that?

The pitch-off generally last for an hour, then afters interviews the participants. Next, the winners are announced and a networking event follows. This year it’ll be hosted at the Santos Party House on Lafayette.

If you want to participate in the pitch-off, your products must be in private or stealth beta. The first place winner gets a table at in the Start Up Alley during TechCrunch’s Disrupt NY event.

The Hatchery

This event is perfect if you’re a business that’s just starting out and would like to attract more investors, as well as get some valuable feedback from various experts. The people behind The Hatchery understood when they started the company that entrepreneurs might not have the connections they need to draw in investors or people to fund their project. In turn, investors who are interested in putting money into startups might not even have access or know about the countless companies that are looking for funding.

The Hatchery does, what they call, the Gauntlet where entrepreneurs are given seven minutes to present their business models to different investors. After that, there is a panel that holds a Q&A session.

NYC Data Science

Though a relatively new, NYC Data Science is gaining a lot of attention. This group prides itself on continuously building a community of super smart and talented individuals. NYC Data Science was created as a space to display what data scientists were working on and help them meet one another.

The meetup welcomes anyone in the tech community, including software engineers, hackers, statisticians, and data scientists. They have different events, ranging from novice to advanced. The aim is to give members new ideas, tools, and concepts in order to help them solve whatever conundrum they may be facing.

Advocates for this meetup include Hilary Mason, John Myles White, Jake Porway, and Drew Conway. Some similar meetups, if you can’t make this one, include DataKind and DataGotham.

By Ilan Nass

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

Image Credit: thenextweb.com

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5 Creative Ways to Visualizing Your Resume http://under30ceo.com/5-creative-ways-visualizing-resume/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-creative-ways-visualizing-resume http://under30ceo.com/5-creative-ways-visualizing-resume/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:00:02 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38849 Finding creative ways to get ahead of your competition for jobs is vital because at the moment it is an employer’s market. Add to that that college students have it even tougher because they have no experience and so have to work harder to stand out. That is why adding a visual element to your […]

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Finding creative ways to get ahead of your competition for jobs is vital because at the moment it is an employer’s market. Add to that that college students have it even tougher because they have no experience and so have to work harder to stand out. That is why adding a visual element to your resume is a great idea. The HR staff have to look at resumes all day and sooner or later they are going to start blending into one big mess of words. That is why it is important to be more visual in order to stand out.

1 – Video resume creation

You may create a video resume to help you visualize your resume. If you can keep the video direct and to the point then it may go down very well. You just have to remember that the people watching will consider your video resume an inconvenient, so you have to make it as direct and concise as possible with a mind to the fact the viewer is very impatient. You must also remember that visuals are great but if your audio is not perfect then you will fail.

You can try Stupeflix if you want to create a new video resume. Or, if you want to go a slightly lower tech route then you can try YouTube, as they have a batch of tools that are good for video tinkering. There is also Windows Movie Maker which comes pre-installed with your Windows operating system, and that has a few decent editing tools that are easy to use.

Tools you can check:

For example, this video for EssayMama was created by Stupeflix in 30 minutes:

www.youtube.com/embed/xDZ6TZPni7U?rel=0

2 – Infographic resume

Having an Infographic feature before your resume is not a bad idea. The employer may see a glimpse of what you are all about–with the added benefit that you can present yourself in a very positive way whist still being honest. The mention of your “A” grades may have a much bigger impact on an Infographic than simply listing your grades on a document. You need not even mention that you only got one or two; you need just mention that you got high grades. You are supposed to keep packets of information short on your Infographic, so keeping it down to the most basic but fantastic things about you is going to work well.

There are a lot of tools out there for creating your Infographics.

Vizualize is there to help you manufacture simple Infographics. You may like to add live feed information to your Infographic, which you may do with the Google developer’s tool. A lot of people use Piktochart to help create their Infographics and http Easel.ly is very popular too.

piktochart

Tools you can also use:

3 – Animated video resume

An animated video resume is usually a better idea than a video resume because there are fewer things that can go wrong, and a poor quality video may be annoying whereas a poor quality cartoon is just inconvenient (and a little more forgivable). Plus, the more time you spend on it then the better it becomes, which is not always true of video resumes. Just like with a video resume you should be concise, quick and make sure the audio quality is top notch.

There is PowToon beta which makes animating your video resume very easy because of the simple principles they use. Plus, the animation is very basic and that is all you really need. Alternatively you can try Go Animate which is slightly more sophisticated, but they market themselves as low budgets with a low learning curve and do-it-yourself tools.

Tools you can use:

4 – Presentation

Posing your resume as a presentation is not a terrible idea if your future job may include presentations. It may be a good ally to your current document résumé. You could mention near the top of your resume that you also have a presentation version of your resume so that people have the option of looking at your presentation instead of being forced to look at it.

You can try the Slideshare.net website and the tools on there to create your presentation. The better, though more expensive, option is Microsoft PowerPoint creator with which you may create a very high question presentation and email it to your future employer as a ppt file.

Tools you can use:

5 – Turn your resume into an epic

The whole one-page resume is just for people who have lived a life that can be described with one page. If you are as talented and fantastic as you want your future employer to believe then create a resume full of your skills, experience, attitudes and achievements. If you have met the mayor then have a full page with you shaking hands with him and a short story underneath of what happened that day. Trying hard on your resume and putting lots of time and money into it is going to show how much you want the job. Just make sure it doesn’t look as if you have created it like a brochure in a way that suggests you are frequently unemployed or that you have been unemployed so long that you are printing leaflets. You are simply creating visually stimulating content but more than a page because you have a lot to and a lot to give.

Jess Millis, experienced writer, editor and copywriter. She works as an educator in James Madison University (writing classes) and at EssayMama.com as a freelance essay writer.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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How Climbing to the Top Put Life In Perspective http://under30ceo.com/climbing-top-put-life-perspective/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=climbing-top-put-life-perspective http://under30ceo.com/climbing-top-put-life-perspective/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:00:39 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38979 No, I’m not talking about the top of the success ladder (still climbing), but rather the top of Las Vegas’ most scenic rock reserves. Around mid-March, a close friend and myself went to Red Rock Canyon, a national conservation area in Las Vegas. One word: beautiful! At Red Rock, you’ll find different trails from easy […]

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No, I’m not talking about the top of the success ladder (still climbing), but rather the top of Las Vegas’ most scenic rock reserves. Around mid-March, a close friend and myself went to Red Rock Canyon, a national conservation area in Las Vegas. One word: beautiful!

At Red Rock, you’ll find different trails from easy to moderate to strenuous in order to get to different focal points at the top. The entire experience put life, both personal and professional, into perspective.

Red Rock

Choosing Your Path

We arrived at the reserve, received a map (“our life plan”) and it was up to us to decide the trail we wanted to take. We took one of the moderate (more like semi-strenuous) trails and we knew we would work collectively to get to the top. In choosing our path, we understood that it wasn’t a trail we could take alone; we knew that we wanted a trail that would challenge us.

Whether personally or professionally, there are choices to be made; choices that will dictate your life path. In everything you do, from relationships to career to financial investments, the choices you make should always be about improving yourself. Improvement and growth rise out of challenges.

Getting Lost

Have you ever gone on a hike with no signs and didn’t get lost? Probably not. We made some wrong turns, meaning we had to turn back around, stop and find the more sensible route. When we were nearing the end, it was very questionable if we were even still on our trail or not. But, we kept going. We had some reassurance from those coming down from the top saying, “you’re going the right way” and “you’re almost there.”

In spite of getting lost, we made it to the top. That came from persistence and perseverance. You may have a business venture that took a wrong turn, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of your business. It just means you need to re-work your plan, seek out advice along the way and push to see that venture through. You never know how lives can be changed from your idea.

Red Rock 2

Find Joy in the Journey

Hiking to the top with the sun out and being dressed in all black (genius) isn’t an easy task, but I would do it over and over. The entire experience from deciding our path to getting lost was so worthwhile. The good, bad and ugly all happen to build character, mold excellent students of life and create forward-thinking entrepreneurs. So with everything, find joy in the journey.

Natasha J. Benjamin is a two-time founder of a digital public relations consultancy and a performing arts nonprofit. When she’s not building brands in the PR sphere or focusing on school communities through the arts, she is blending media and culture through her penned thoughts. Natasha loves to connect with new people, so tweet with her here: @natashajoleen

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How to Use a Business Plan Template as a Resume Writing Tactic http://under30ceo.com/use-business-plan-template-resume-writing-tactic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=use-business-plan-template-resume-writing-tactic http://under30ceo.com/use-business-plan-template-resume-writing-tactic/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:00:36 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38992 Young professionals, with an entrepreneurial mindset, like us, should take advantage of traditional business management tools as tactics in our career planning strategy. I believe professionals should start implementing a “business management” framework to assess their career goals and define objectives with one clear end in mind: a tailored resume that highlights your top talent […]

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resume

Young professionals, with an entrepreneurial mindset, like us, should take advantage of traditional business management tools as tactics in our career planning strategy. I believe professionals should start implementing a “business management” framework to assess their career goals and define objectives with one clear end in mind: a tailored resume that highlights your top talent potential.

How to put together a resume that reads as a business plan?

The writing real estate that your resume provides should be well utilized to communicate your authentic and consistent message. The first step is to think of yourself as a start-up or business venture, rather than another employee in the bunch, and charge your resume with an inspiring vision.

In this article, I will go over some sections of a basic business plan and the ways to implement them to give an innovative twist to your resume writing process.

A Business Plan’s Cover Page Becomes Your Cover Letter.

The first section of a business plan is the cover page, which includes the business’ contact information. For you, this is the crafted message, with specific and updated contact details, you send along with your resume. No email should be sent without a proper introductory message to grab the recruiter’s attention. When writing this message think about your target audience (whom are you speaking to?) as well as your marketing plan (how do you want to promote yourself?) In 2-3 short paragraphs establish consistency and credibility, while picking the reader’s interest.

A Business Plan’s Competitive Analysis Becomes Your Resume Objectives.

Your competitive advantage is the unique value you offer to the organization or team. This includes knowledge, skills and perspectives. If you don’t state this yourself, others may fill-in the gaps. Brag about yourself a little. Which competencies make you the best candidate for that position and an asset to their teams? Remember to be creative and highlight your personality. Be brief and to the point (The interview will be the time to elaborate). Mainly, don’t shy away from your achievements, but talk about them in a humble, honest way.

A Business Plan’s Company Overview Makes up Your Resume Education and Experiences.

At which places have you worked at? What is your professional background? What degrees or certification have you received? What have been your major personal and professional accomplishments so far? The answers to these questions will be introduce to your resume as the list of your formal education and continuing education efforts, as well as past and current positions.

A Business Plan’s Executive Summary Bulks up Your Education and Experience.

What is it that you can provide in terms of knowledge and expertise? What innovative ideas do you bring to the table? What will make your professional journey successful in the long run and how would you impact your organization and team? By thinking about and answering these questions as you write your resume you’d be preparing yourself for the “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” scenario. A great strategy is to focus on the elements that must be there in the future in order for you to be fulfilled. Use the executive summary perspective to include your participation in initiatives and projects, and the results you helped generate. This is similar to the section above, however in this case you assign projects to individual positions and highlight results. Your main objective should be consistency.

What other sections of a business plan could help guide your interview and networking efforts?

The business plan sections below will help you gather and create value that attracts and connects you with your industry; peers, colleagues and influencers.

Industry Analysis.

You must showcase knowledge of your field or the industry you want to grow you career toward. Get familiar with relevant information and updates about your industry. Use the information you gather and create to add value to your online profiles and face to face conversations with colleagues. Current or Prospective employers will take notice.

Customer Analysis.

Assess who your target audience is; a specific group of influencers within your industry, prospective employers or colleagues, and organization or non-profit. Also, identify problems they currently face and strategies to solve them. This will prepare you for an interview or presentation. It would also help you decide if the field is the right fit and what you may want to contribute.

Taking the time to implement a business plan template to write your resume gives you an opportunity to assess and evaluate your goals and clarify your vision. I encourage you to think strategically about your career.

Take action now! Start developing your new and improved resume! Want some feedback? Send me a copy for a peer to peer assessment!

Gabriela Gotay, founder of entrespective.com, a blog for millennial professionals looking to expand their careers and talents, generating self-empowerment by implementing entrepreneurial perspective. She has over five years of experience as a HR Manager, Training and Organizational Development Coordinator. Find more about her at about.me.gabriela.gotay. References: Business Plan Structure found @Forbes.com on 03/06/14.

 Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Tension: The Silent Epidemic That’s Killing Your Company http://under30ceo.com/tension-silent-epidemic-thats-killing-company/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tension-silent-epidemic-thats-killing-company http://under30ceo.com/tension-silent-epidemic-thats-killing-company/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:00:54 +0000 GuestAuthor http://under30ceo.com/?p=38759 Did you hear the one about the stressed-out business executive who walked into the doctor’s office complaining about terrible nightmares? “It’s awful,” the exec tells his doctor. “Some nights, I imagine I’m a teepee facing incredibly strong winds, rain, and snow. I’m all alone on the edge of a cliff.” The exec continues, “Other times, […]

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tension

Did you hear the one about the stressed-out business executive who walked into the doctor’s office complaining about terrible nightmares?

“It’s awful,” the exec tells his doctor. “Some nights, I imagine I’m a teepee facing incredibly strong winds, rain, and snow. I’m all alone on the edge of a cliff.”

The exec continues, “Other times, I’m not a teepee, but a wigwam that’s about to get destroyed by a raging wildfire.” Then, he finally pleads, “I just don’t know what to do anymore, doc. Can you please help me?”

At this point, the doctor leans back and calmly replies, “The problem is that you need to learn how to relax. Clearly, you’re just two tents.”

Get it? No? Well, maybe you’re “too tense.”

But seriously, the problem of tension in the workplace has been around for generations, and it’s not going to disappear any time soon.

Any sociologist will tell you that when you gather a group of individuals together in the same place — each with their own beliefs, ambitions, talents, and insecurities — there’s bound to be some friction. Here are four common causes of workplace tension:

1. Timing Is Everything (Early Birds vs. Night Owls)

The time that co-workers spend in the office often becomes a source of animosity among employees. Here, perceptions become reality. Workers and managers who arrive before other employees and then leave right at 5 p.m. may be perceived as not pulling their weight. The same can be said for late workers who are seen as slackers for “coming in whenever they want.”

2. King of the Mountain (Co-worker vs. Co-worker)

Another common source of tension in organizations comes from power struggles between employees. These range from co-workers competing for the same promotion to those fighting for the opportunity to lead the same project to even those gunning for their boss’ job.

3. Who Gets the Credit? (Leadership vs. Team)

When employees feel like they’re not appreciated or recognized for contributing to the success of the company, their confidence in their own abilities often declines — while their distrust of management increases. Managers who routinely take credit for their teams’ successes often face difficulties motivating employees down the road. This self-serving management style can quickly destroy morale and lead to product or service quality issues.

4. The Battle of Us and Them (HR vs. Employees)

Although HR employees are generally perceived as the peacekeepers of an organization, they can sometimes be the root cause of a dysfunctional work environment. For example, tensions can rise if HR suddenly institutes cookie-cutter policies or changes procedures.

Is It Malice or Miscommunication?

In a very small number of cases, I encountered a corporate framework that was intentionally developed to create an atmosphere that encouraged internal competition, subtle and overt clashes, and ongoing confrontation between employees. These were generally hyper-aggressive, sales-driven businesses with high employee turnover and very little management support.

More often, tensions and feelings of mistrust fester and grow in organizations not as a result of some specific action or directive, but when company policies are ambiguous, outdated, or rarely enforced.

To establish a constructive working environment, business leaders and managers throughout the organization must provide a clear set of expectations for their employees. These should be consistent with the overall goals and objectives of the company.

Employees won’t follow the rules if they don’t understand them or if they feel like they’re counterproductive to achieving their own personal success.

Tension Is Everywhere — Deal With It

No matter the size or age of your company, the simple truth is that some amount of tension in the workplace is unavoidable.

We’re all human, and humans are far from perfect when working well with others. Look around: Do you see any of your employees singing, “I love you. You love me. We’re a happy family,” all day long? Probably not. And that’s OK.

The truth is that most companies can and do operate successfully somewhere in the middle.

Don’t Fight It — Direct It

The most important thing for managers and company executives to do is to first accept that tensions between employees will always be a part of an organization’s culture.

With this in mind, company leaders must be on the lookout for potential flashpoints within the organization and then take immediate action to diffuse those situations when they arise.

Moving forward, it’s important to create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect by developing a progressive corporate structure. Establishing workflow, reporting processes, and channels of communication to limit the number of uncomfortable situations that occur in the first place is also an important step.

Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing

A model that I have successfully used for many years to help enhance team performance in organizations is a process that psychologist Bruce Tuckman first penned in his 1965 article, “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.”

In the article, Tuckman outlined a process where members of a group achieve success by forming, storming, norming, and performing the necessary steps to complete the task at hand efficiently and with minimal friction within the group.

The key is to communicate a very clear set of objectives at the beginning of the task and allow the group to work through smaller issues as they come up.

When employees understand that they’re all working toward the same goal and will receive the same rewards as every other employee, they realize that more can be accomplished in a shorter amount of time when everyone works together.

And that’s no joke.

Ambrose Conroy is the founder of Seraph, as well as a member of its executive team. Seraph works with clients to transform, relocate, or restructure their business operations. Seraph consultants bring experience in exploiting emerging markets, wringing profit from troubled operations, and accelerating product development.  Ambrose is a hands-on management consultant and corporate problem solver who regularly works with leading international companies in the automotive, aerospace, energy infrastructure, and medical technology/device sectors. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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5 Humbling Life Lessons I Am Learning Living In Costa Rica http://under30ceo.com/5-humbling-life-lessons-learning-living-costa-rica/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-humbling-life-lessons-learning-living-costa-rica http://under30ceo.com/5-humbling-life-lessons-learning-living-costa-rica/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:00:16 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39437 I packed my shit up and I left. Just like that. It didn’t take much planning. I booked a plane ticket and hoped on a plane, Costa Rica bound. When I arrived it hit me in the face. My big city girl’s ego was too big for the place. After 20+ years of life in Paris […]

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I packed my shit up and I left.

Just like that.

It didn’t take much planning. I booked a plane ticket and hoped on a plane, Costa Rica bound.

When I arrived it hit me in the face. My big city girl’s ego was too big for the place. After 20+ years of life in Paris and six in New York, some serious adjustments needed to be made.

costa rica

 Here is what life has been teaching me since I’ve arrived in paradise:

1. “All we know, is that we know nothing.” Aristotle

I arrived in Costa Rica thinking that I had nothing to learn from this place. My thought process was basically something along these lines: “What can be possibly so extraordinary here? I speak Spanish and I’ve been to Mexico, I think I know what this is all about.”

Huge ego-check.

Nothing here is like what I’ve experienced before. Out of fear I had convinced myself that nothing could surprise me anymore. But being immersed in a country and a culture completely foreign to you is all about opening your mind and admitting that you don’t know.

No assuming.

No guessing.

No comparing.

Just learning to experience everything.

2. The people who care won’t care.

The people who truly and deeply love you from a genuine and unconditional place will always support you no matter what your endeavors are.

They won’t hold you back; they will push you away with a smile. They will want the best for you and they’ll accept you for who you are.

These people are rare and the best way to add more of them into your life is to be one of them yourself.  Give people the support and positivity they need to grow and make their own leaps of faith.

3. Life is not limited to what you can see right now.

This morning I saw four baby monkeys playing in the tree in front of my house. Then, two iguanas walked by. The wind blew in the palm trees. I took a deep breath and I thought how disconnected we are in our big city lifestyle… we worry so much all the time about useless stuff and we forget about the world out there.

Life is not limited to what you can see right now. There’s a whole world out there waiting for you to discover it. And I know that deep inside you know that you’re not on this planet to meet deadlines or sit behind a desk all day.

4. To travel light, you must be willing to detach from what you are clinging onto.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, peace will always come from within.

Don’t think you have to quit your job and jump on the next plane to Brazil to find serenity. Relocating might help but know that wherever you go, you bring your emotional baggage with you. To travel light, you must be willing to let go, detach from what you are clinging onto. Know that when you are far away from home grudges, deep insecurities and unhealed wounds might show up to the surface for you to release them and move forward.

5. Life is pure.

If you ask a Costa Rican what’s up? He or she will probably respond, “Pura Vida” (Pure Life) with a huge smile.

When you get close to nature, life becomes pure. When you remove all the conditioning society empresses upon you to keep you small, you expand. When you’re not worried about where the cool spot to be seen is, no fancy car to drive, no designer clothes to wear and no 9 to 5 to show up to, all of a sudden your attention shifts on what truly matters: the beauty and purity of life as it is.

Garance Clos is an Integrative Life Coach and Yoga Teacher. Get your free De-stress Manual: 5 Easy Instructions to Build the Relaxed Life You Want.  

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What Happens When Bad Companies Turn Good http://under30ceo.com/happens-bad-companies-turn-good/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=happens-bad-companies-turn-good http://under30ceo.com/happens-bad-companies-turn-good/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:00:49 +0000 Fueled http://under30ceo.com/?p=39396 When we talk about bad companies, we don’t mean bad in the sense that they did bad things. We mean bad in the sense that the company wasn’t fulfilling what it was meant to be doing. Either they were letting their employees down or missing the mark product and service wise as far as its […]

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When we talk about bad companies, we don’t mean bad in the sense that they did bad things. We mean bad in the sense that the company wasn’t fulfilling what it was meant to be doing. Either they were letting their employees down or missing the mark product and service wise as far as its customers were concerned.

At Fueled, we strive to provide excellent customer service and products that make a difference in our customer’s lives. Sometimes companies just have other priorities, though.

Below is a list of five companies that were bad at dealing with their employees or customers for a time but then managed to turn themselves around.

Apple

Steve Jobs

Who can forget the fact that Apple was floundering from 1985 until 1997, when Steve Jobs finally became CEO. Apple’s stock prices had been plummeting and the board was faced with many difficult decisions.

Jobs came in and breathed new life into the company; he reduced the amount of projects that were in development and focused more on products that consumers would actually want to use. He was directly responsible for developing the iMac, the iPod, iTunes, and the iPhone. Jobs infused Apple with a new brand aesthetic that it really needed and catapulted it into the popularity it has now reached.

During his time as CEO, he also increased Apple’s stock price by more than 9,000%. Not only did he help customers by providing new and innovative ways to access media, he helped his employees by ensuring that the company continued to stay afloat. After his passing three years ago, what remains at Apple is now his legacy.

General Motors

After GM filed for bankruptcy in 2007, they turned to Ed Whitacre in 2009 to restore the company to its former glory days. The quality of their cars had declined and Whitacre focused on streamlining the company’s holdings by launching the biggest IPO in history, at $23.1 billion.

With the company steadily getting back on track by doing what it does best, trucks and family cars, Whitacre retired in September 2010. The company has continued to exceed customers expectations and retain current employees.

Sprint

Sprint was on the decline in 2007, reporting losses at over $29.5 billion after merging with Nextel Communications. Dan Hesse entered as the new CEO to keep the company from entirely going under and worked hard to bring Sprint back in line, creating a new “Simply Everything” rate plan in 2008.

However, Sprint was not quite back on track, losing 5.1 million subscribers in 2008. Customer satisfaction was low, but customer service ratings were high. In 2009, Sprint acquired Virgin Mobile USA which allowed them to move into the prepaid mobile market. In 2010, positive subscriber growth was noted for the first time in over three years.

Customer service and satisfaction are now something that Sprint is known for, helping customers get the most out of their cell phone plans.

Campbell’s Soup

After a bad decision to raise prices by management, Campbell’s Soup lost half of its market value in 2001. Doug Conant was brought in to bring the food company back to its former glory.

Conant’s focus was on employee engagement, as he believed that the key to a successful company was through its employees. Within his first few months, he restructured the management team, replacing 300 managers out of the top 350, while implementing 10 year plan aimed to turn the company around. By doing this, Campbell’s stock outperformed the Standard and Poor’s Index and brought employee engagement to an all time high.

Merck & Co

In 2005, Merck & Co was clouded in scandal – one of it’s drugs, Vioxx, had to be pulled from the market because it was linked to heart attacks and several deaths. It wasn’t exactly a company that people were in a hurry to work for or purchase drugs from.

Richard Clark was tasked with the role of CEO, closing five manufacturing plants and cutting back 7,000 jobs to focus on approval for eight new drugs that were in development. He cleaned up the company and ensured that consumers were presented with a drug that wasn’t going to kill them or cause further issues.

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

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Law School Dropout – Interview with LawKick’s Aaron George http://under30ceo.com/law-school-dropout-interview-lawkicks-aaron-george/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=law-school-dropout-interview-lawkicks-aaron-george http://under30ceo.com/law-school-dropout-interview-lawkicks-aaron-george/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Michael Luchies http://under30ceo.com/?p=39293 Dropout is such a negative word. Young entrepreneurs all across the country and world are ‘dropping out’ of school, but not because they are failing.  Aaron George may have dropped out of law school, but it wasn’t to take a  job or because he couldn’t handle it. He left law school to focus on something […]

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LawKick Founders

Lawkick Founders Michael Chasin and Aaron George

Dropout is such a negative word. Young entrepreneurs all across the country and world are ‘dropping out’ of school, but not because they are failing.  Aaron George may have dropped out of law school, but it wasn’t to take a  job or because he couldn’t handle it. He left law school to focus on something he was truly passionate about – lawyers. But why work with lawyers if you don’t want to be one?

Find a problem that you’re really passionate about solving. Once you find that, the pieces fall into place and your able to make it happen if you really care about it.”

Aaron may not have wanted to become a lawyer himself, but after experiencing the problems that both lawyers and people who needed legal services faced in the current market, he found his calling to offer a solution to both sides of the equation. Aaron is co-founder of LawKick, which he describes as “an online marketplace aiming to revolutionize the legal industry by making it easier and more affordable to get legal help.”

Lawkick Logo

LawKick allows users to post what they are looking for from an attorney. Attorneys who are qualified and vetted can then view the information posted and respond with a quote. The app helps people find reliable and affordable attorneys while giving those attorneys increased visibility and the ability to compete for jobs. Gap, meet bridge.

The company was founded by Aaron George and Michael Chasin in October of 2012 and has raised over $200,000 to date.

Aaron says that he’s “always been creative and a problem solver,” but he never considered it as a possible career route. He started a few blogs and websites while in college, but it wasn’t until apps started taking off when he got hooked. Aaron founded AppVentorous, which he still works on today alongside LawKick, which is his primary focus. AppVentorous created apps include Bloody Knuckles, Shadow Quiz, Sound Pop Quiz, and Word Play Games.

Asked what the most rewarding experience of being an entrepreneur has been so far, Aaron replied, “it’s rewarding to see something that I created out there in the world and see other people using and benefiting from it.”

Although he may have dropped out of law school, there’s no giving up for Aaron George – only passion and dedication. Kudos to Aaron for recognizing that his academic path wasn’t getting him closer to who and what he wanted to be, but stopping him from getting there. If everyone could dropout from what they hate to pursue something they love, the world would be a much better place.

Get your kicks by listening to the full interview below!

Interview Highlights

  • How the co-founders went from the idea stage to launching the business.
  • An unexpected customer acquisition hurdle the company faced and how they dealt with it.
  • How LawKick is acquiring end users through providing quality content.
  • In response to the end goals with LawKick: “Of course every entrepreneur wants that exit, but it can’t really be all about the money. It’s gotta be the passion, solving the problem, and making the world a better place.”
  • Career as an entrepreneur: “ It’s a journey, not a destination. It’s all been rewarding. A lot of ups and downs.” “The entire process of being an entrepreneur is rewarding in itself.”

Quick-Fire Questions

  • How many hours do you spend a week working on your ventures or other entrepreneurship related projects? “At least 60-80 hours. Definitely the majority of my time.”
  • How much sleep do you get a night? “Probably 6 or 7 hours every night.”
  • What do you do in your free time to relax? “In the little free time that I do have, I enjoy snowboarding a lot. Hanging out with girlfriend , friends, beach, relaxing, sports.”
  • What is the worst business idea you’ve ever had? A ‘Hot or Not’ like mobile app. Aaron came up with the idea and started to push forward as fast as possible to get it going. Apple rejected the app. After changes and a lot of additional time and money invested in the app, it was still rejected. Aaron “found out there is no get rich quick scheme in entrepreneurship.”
  • If you could add one entrepreneur n the world to your team at LawKick, who would it be and why? “Elon Musk would be my #1 guy. He is someone who tackles these huge problems. He is an inspiration to me.”

Listen to the full interview here:

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http://under30ceo.com/law-school-dropout-interview-lawkicks-aaron-george/feed/ 0 Aaron George,ceo,entrepreneur interviews,fundraising,LawKick,Lawyers,Legal Assistance,Legal Help,Michael Chasin,startups Dropout is such a negative word. Young entrepreneurs all across the country and world are 'dropping out' of school, but not because they are failing.  Aaron George may have dropped out of law school, but it wasn't to take a  job or because he couldn't ... Dropout is such a negative word. Young entrepreneurs all across the country and world are 'dropping out' of school, but not because they are failing.  Aaron George may have dropped out of law school, but it wasn't to take a  job or because he couldn't handle it. He left law school to focus on something he was truly passionate about – lawyers. But why work with lawyers if you don't want to be one? “Find a problem that you're really passionate about solving. Once you find that, the pieces fall into place and your able to make it happen if you really care about it.” Aaron may not have wanted to become a lawyer himself, but after experiencing the problems that both lawyers and people who needed legal services faced in the current market, he found his calling to offer a solution to both sides of the equation. Aaron is co-founder of LawKick, which he describes as “an online marketplace aiming to revolutionize the legal industry by making it easier and more affordable to get legal help.” LawKick allows users to post what they are looking for from an attorney. Attorneys who are qualified and vetted can then view the information posted and respond with a quote. The app helps people find reliable and affordable attorneys while giving those attorneys increased visibility and the ability to compete for jobs. Gap, meet bridge. The company was founded by Aaron George and Michael Chasin in October of 2012 and has raised over $200,000 to date. Aaron says that he's “always been creative and a problem solver,” but he never considered it as a possible career route. He started a few blogs and websites while in college, but it wasn't until apps started taking off when he got hooked. Aaron founded AppVentorous, which he still works on today alongside LawKick, which is his primary focus. AppVentorous created apps include Bloody Knuckles, Shadow Quiz, Sound Pop Quiz, and Word Play Games. Asked what the most rewarding experience of being an entrepreneur has been so far, Aaron replied, “it's rewarding to see something that I created out there in the world and see other people using and benefiting from it.” Although he may have dropped out of law school, there's no giving up for Aaron George - only passion and dedication. Kudos to Aaron for recognizing that his academic path wasn't getting him closer to who and what he wanted to be, but stopping him from getting there. If everyone could dropout from what they hate to pursue something they love, the world would be a much better place. Get your kicks by listening to the full interview below! Interview Highlights How the co-founders went from the idea stage to launching the business. An unexpected customer acquisition hurdle the company faced and how they dealt with it. How LawKick is acquiring end users through providing quality content. In response to the end goals with LawKick: “Of course every entrepreneur wants that exit, but it can't really be all about the money. It's gotta be the passion, solving the problem, and making the world a better place.” Career as an entrepreneur: “ It's a journey, not a destination. It's all been rewarding. A lot of ups and downs.” “The entire process of being an entrepreneur is rewarding in itself.” Quick-Fire Questions How many hours do you spend a week working on your ventures or other entrepreneurship related projects? “At least 60-80 hours. Definitely the majority of my time.” How much sleep do you get a night? “Probably 6 or 7 hours every night.” What do you do in your free time to relax? “In the little free time that I do have, I enjoy snowboarding a lot. Hanging out with girlfriend , friends, beach, relaxing, sports.” What is the worst business idea you’ve ever had? A 'Hot or Not' like mobile app. Aaron came up with the idea and started to push forward as fast as possible to get it going. Apple rejected the app. After changes and a lot of additional time and money invested in the app, it was still rejected. Under30CEO clean
All Alone, Surrounded By Friends http://under30ceo.com/alone-surrounded-friends/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=alone-surrounded-friends http://under30ceo.com/alone-surrounded-friends/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:00:47 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38912 Sitting in a room with all my friends, I realize that I am so much different than they are… MY FRIENDS…the people I chose that I am going to probably be around for the rest of my life. How is it that their views on life and business can be so different than my own? […]

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Sitting in a room with all my friends, I realize that I am so much different than they are…

MY FRIENDS…the people I chose that I am going to probably be around for the rest of my life.

How is it that their views on life and business can be so different than my own?

None of them can see an opportunity when it hits them in the face, not one of them would “throw away that much money” to hire a coach, and none of them are willing to take a small risk in stocks to make a great gain, let alone risk everything you have to start a business.

It is futile for me to even talk or argue with them about business because they have been taught and raised with the idea that you go to school, get good grades, get an education, and get a good job.

Nothing I say now can change their mind, no matter how hard I try to tell them they could have financial freedom, help their families, do whatever they want, accomplish their dreams and live life on their own terms instead of having to listen to some person tell you what to do for the rest of your life.

Every time I try to tell my friends (my closest and best friends), maybe change their views, and bring them over to freedom, they take it as me saying I am better than them, or that they won’t be successful, and even take it as me talking down to them.  Frankly I hate it, so I have stopped telling these friends about how they could live life on their own terms, and will let my “craziness” speak for itself.

Without saying, obviously there are big risks you have to take to do this, but the reward is well worth it.  And of course every now and then you have a set back or two, but as long as you stay focused and determined and make the best moves you can, you’ll bounce back two-fold.

There are so many different ways to be successful in life, but for me being successful means that I accomplished the one task that I set out to do, everything else I get or do that comes along with the success is lagniappe.

So what is that one goal that I have?

Well, funny enough, it’s not just me that has this goal; I share a common goal with my brother.  If you’ve read some other articles of mine, you will notice I talk about my brother a lot, and that is because our mindset is so much alike, sometimes its scary; we sound the same, we sometimes use the same patterns of speech, and we will even know what the other is thinking or going to do, but I guess that’s developed with the bond you have spending 18 years with the same person.  His views and goals mirror mine (or vise versa), but even then we still have different personal goals we want to attain.

A while back, a little bit after my brother and I were both out of high school, lets say three years ago, my brother and I were talking about business (as we often do) and how we wanted to both have our own companies so that way we could do what we wanted, and truly live with out having to worry about anything.  In short, we both wanted to be millionaires (who doesn’t right!? maybe even billionaire, why not!?).  But this isn’t the point…

We started talking about why we wanted to have the businesses and why making that much money is important to us, and my brother surprised me with his response, being that it was the same as what I was going to say.

Our grandparents and parents worked very hard their entire lives, at some pretty menial jobs, to get our family to the level we are at today.  They did everything they could to give us what they couldn’t have and to provide for us, even if it meant they had to go without.  As children, we took all of this for granted, we were spoiled and didn’t really understand.  But as adults, he and I both understand and appreciate everything our parents and grandparents have done for our entire family.

So we vowed to each other we would get our family to that next level, and we agreed that we would do whatever it takes, no matter what, so that they no longer have to worry about money and can enjoy the rest of their lives.

Most of all, no matter what, we will never give up.

Our goal is to hit the million dollar mark by the time we turn 30, if not sooner.  Not because we feel like that is enough money to set our family up for life, but just because it is a benchmark that will tell us if are reaching our goal or if we need to re-think things.  Of course there are other things we want to do as well, such as: cancer research-since it has had such an impact on our family, wildlife and coral reef conservation-because we both love the outdoors and love to dive, along with many more things I won’t bore you by mentioning.

These are all attainable goals though, and I feel that my brother and myself could make a huge impact. But I was told by a friend that this agreement was “pretty arbitrary” and that I should just focus on getting my degree and getting a good, high-paying job that would provide for my family, because that is what’s more realistic.  She then proceeded to tell me that it couldn’t happen anyway because my heart is in it for the wrong reasons.

Like I said earlier, my friends don’t think like you or I, so when they say things like this, we may have a little heated argument (especially with the arbitrary comment), but we stay friends.

As far as what the right reasons were, she couldn’t tell me, but if this isn’t a reason to accomplish any goal, then this isn’t the world I want to live in.

As far as how this plays out, and if we do reach those goals, I guess you’ll find out in about 8 years. Don’t be afraid to make those goals, take those risks, and make that leap of faith.  If you are determined, you will make it; if you half-ass it, you will most definitely fail.  Trust me, it’s worth it, and no matter what, never give up!

Brandon Jolicoeur is a young business professional from the New Orleans area. You can follow him on Twitter @bpjoli.  As a native of New Orleans, he prides himself on being a food connoisseur of sorts and a travel and adrenaline junkie always staying true to his family’s motto, “Be Adventurous, Live Life!”

Image Credit: www.pinterest.com

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3 Key Factors To Becoming a Confident Business Owner http://under30ceo.com/3-key-factors-becoming-confident-business-owner/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-key-factors-becoming-confident-business-owner http://under30ceo.com/3-key-factors-becoming-confident-business-owner/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:00:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38886 It appears theres never been a more exciting time than now to start a business.  According to statistics up to 543,000 businesses start up every month.  Every week there is the warning that more and more jobs will be taken over by technology and companies will be finding more efficient ways of operating with less […]

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entrepreneur

It appears theres never been a more exciting time than now to start a business.  According to statistics up to 543,000 businesses start up every month

Every week there is the warning that more and more jobs will be taken over by technology and companies will be finding more efficient ways of operating with less cost (i.e. staff).

The solution given suggests becoming self-employed/freelance and work under a more ‘project-based’ basis.

The world of business can feel like a war at times. Ups and downs, success then set backs. It is easy to feel like your business is not working and I won’t be the first one to tell you self-employment can be a lonely game.

So what can you do to ensure you function as a confident business owner rather than ending up as a stat in the age old warning that ’90% of small business go bust after the first year’?

1.  Be in learning mode, rather than owner mode

There are 2 components that make up confidence:

  • Self-confidence (the belief in you as a person)
  • Competence (the skills you possess in a given context. In this case, your particular business)

You may have confidence that you will succeed, but you may not necessarily have the skills to function as a business. It is possible you love what you do, but you don’t love the business of what you do.

That is why it is important at the start, you are more in learning mode, than owner mode. This creates a mindset that set backs and mistakes initially will be the norm. You’ll take on more you can handle, you’ll be busy without actually getting much done and the admin part of your business will be a constant burden on your life.

But it is a learning process and this will be easier to swallow if you are in learning mode, rather than owner mode where you can start to think hang on, I’m the owner but I feel this is more of a job than when I worked for someone!

2.  Make it about your customers, not you

Attaching the success of your business on your self-worth is a massive drain on your energy. Every setback is about what it means about you as a person. There is a better way; make it all about your customer base.

Recently ‘I will teach you to be rich’ creator Ramit Sethi did a survey on why people want to have an online business. He was shocked to see the majority of the answers were focussed on what it will give them, rather than what the business will do for the customer.

This is the wrong way round!

By making it about your customer early on, you create a culture of being customer focussed. Its why Zappos has succeeded, its why Amazon has no real competitors and its how you can become a confident business owner.

3.  Manage your expectations, especially time

Lets clear something up. There is no such thing as overnight success. Even the popular apps that get sold for billions were the result of years of trial and error.

If you say you’ll be breaking even after 6 months, its more likely to be a year. This prediction is ok, you are just falling victim to the human bias called Planning Fallacy.

Having hope and expectations of when you’ll be able to have a successful running business whilst sipping mojitos next to a beach is completely natural, but have a buffer in your thinking to make room for the fact that you’ve largely underestimated how long it is going to take.

Being a confident business owner is an ongoing process that typically starts with cold sweats and sleepless nights. But as you continue your journey recognize these 3 factors and you’ll last much longer.

What 1 piece of advice would you give to a someone what is starting their business TODAY?

Aaron Morton is the creator of The Confidence Lounge. A site that helps introverts get more of what they want through confidence, conversation and connections.  Why not try increasing your confidence in the next 7 days by taking part in Aaron’s free confidence course clicking here.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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