Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:27:07 +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 How I Stopped Mismanaging My Finances and How You Can Too http://under30ceo.com/how-i-stopped-mismanaging-my-finances-and-how-you-can-too/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-i-stopped-mismanaging-my-finances-and-how-you-can-too http://under30ceo.com/how-i-stopped-mismanaging-my-finances-and-how-you-can-too/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:00:14 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=40412 Hey Under30CEO, Two weeks ago I sent an email talked about some honest truths about looking at your financial picture…. and guess what happened? It was the lowest response rate to an email I’ve had in months. Why?  Not because you all have it all under control… No– it’s because of what everyone told me who […]

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financial mismanagement

Hey Under30CEO,

Two weeks ago I sent an email talked about some honest truths about looking at your financial picture…. and guess what happened?

It was the lowest response rate to an email I’ve had in months.

Why?  Not because you all have it all under control… No– it’s because of what everyone told me who did respond to the email.  It sucks to look at this stuff.  

About 50 people spilled their guts about having huge mental blocks around money and personal finance including:

  • Fear, stress, and procrastination about looking at your bank account
  • Not knowing where your money goes and fear of sorting through your issues
  • Not liking money and simply not wanting to deal with it

Look– I have a confession to make.  

I was the same way for years, and even still I struggle with it at times.  Quick story:

After my galavant across six countries this spring, it was time to do my expense report for Under30Experiences.  (yes, we have expense reports)

I was absolutely *dreading* calculating how much money I had spent.  I know it sounds douchey to say that, but this is how these issues start.  We’re not allowed to talk about money, and unless we do, we’ll never come clean.

I put off the simple task of reconciling my American Express bill into our accounting system for THREE MONTHS.

Not only was this financially irresponsible, but every time I thought about it, I procrastinated and didn’t want to look at it.  It caused me a huge amount of stress and mental energy.

“Sh*t I really need to look at my AMEX bill,” was probably repeated 200x in my head over those three months.

When I realized this mental block could be causing strain on my relationship with my co-founder, I finally cracked down.  AND, once I calculated it– which took me only twenty minutes, the amount I had been fearing was thousands less than I made it up to be in my head.

All that anxiety, stress, fear, and bullsh*t for nothing.

I don’t want to have these mental blocks anymore and neither should you.

In the Under30CEO insiders program we’ve been working a lot on this stuff (opt-in for free here), but seriously, now is the time in our life that we need to do the work.

As I’ve mentioned before, I used to be WAY worse including:

  • Hundreds in overdraft and late fees
  • Thousands because of my high APR credit card I never could bring myself to investigate
  • Black marks on my credit report b/c I never open my f*cking mail

What I did to solve my problems with money that you can put into action:

  1. Harness the mentalities of wealthy people.  Read: Think and Grow Rich.  It’s a lot like the old expression “dress for the job you want”, but this time you think like the people who have money like you want.
  2. Start examining your deep rooted beliefs about money.  Write down all the stuff about growing up that might have made you the way you are when it comes to finances.  Most of these beliefs are from your parents, not you.
  3. Get your sh*t together when it comes to managing your dollars.  Sign up for mint.com and figure out where your money goes!
  4. Read Ramit Sethi’s book I Will Teach You to Be Rich and his six week program on getting your finances together.
  5. Do some meditations around abundance and attracting wealth.  It sounds hokey, but you are re-programming your subconscious to think and act like someone who is wealthy.  I used Mindvalley’s free Omvana App.

It’s no different from Snoop Dogg saying, “Mind on my money, and my money on my mind”.  If all you think about is getting paper, then it’s going to be imprinted in your subconscious to always be seeking financial opportunity.

Homework: Leave a comment and I’ll respond today.  What tools have you used to manage your finances? and 2) What action steps have helped you or are you taking today?

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO and Adventurer in Residence at the travel company Under30Experiences.

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Use This Sneaky Psychological “Hack” To Make More Money With Your Skills http://under30ceo.com/use-sneaky-psychological-hack-make-money-skills/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=use-sneaky-psychological-hack-make-money-skills http://under30ceo.com/use-sneaky-psychological-hack-make-money-skills/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:00:02 +0000 danieldipiazza http://under30ceo.com/?p=40320 Last night I was hanging out with my best friends at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. They’re in town from NY and FL so that we can go see Outkast on Saturday. I’m pumped! One of the coolest parts about that area is getting to watch all the crazy street performers. From grandmas […]

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aerial-third-street-promenade

Last night I was hanging out with my best friends at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. They’re in town from NY and FL so that we can go see Outkast on Saturday. I’m pumped!

One of the coolest parts about that area is getting to watch all the crazy street performers. From grandmas in gypsy skirts doing things you’d rather forget, to salsa dancers, country singers and magicians, there’s generally a lot of cool stuff going on down there.

But not all performers are created equal. As I was walking through the plaza, I paid careful attention to various tip jars.

While many of them were bone dry, save a few nickels…others were OVERFLOWING with cash.

In fact, one performer was so compelling that I actually stopped what I was doing, walked SEVERAL BLOCKS to find an ATM, then walked all the way back to give him a $20 tip.

Why? What was so special about this performer?

Here’s a hint: He wasn’t more talented than the others out there.

But he was doing several things that made me want to give him money more than any other performer.

What I learned could help you stand out in the crowd with your business — whether it’s a product or a service.

Curious to know what it was?

Keep reading…

 

“Dayum! Take my money!” (The Tip Jar Effect)

The old adage is true: There really is nothing new under the sun.

If you have a product or service you’re selling, there’s a 99.99% chance somebody has done already exactly what you’re doing — or has at least offered some variation.

The key then, is not to invent something new, but to stand out in a way that makes the prospect or consumer compelled to buy.

How can you create that effect in someone’s brain? Check out this video, then I’ll break down for you exactly how this performer is getting inside his customers’ brains.

 

Step 1: Give your audience something that they can immediately relate to

The first thing you’ll notice is the song he’s playing.

In this case, it’s Latch by Disclosure. This song is a few years old, but it’s been getting a revivial in the last few months through different remixes and TV shows that are popular among the younger market — especially the 19-34 market.

Now, consider the demographic of the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade.

The stores are trendy, fashion-forward and hi tech.

Apple, True Religion Jeans, Pinkberry and other popular retailers that specifically intended to serve the younger generation line the street from end to end.

This is the same demographic that would recognize and like the song.

By choosing a song that the crowd is likely to know, he’s guaranteed to get more attention and more tips.

And clearly, it’s working — in just the minute or so that I filmed, you can hear people screaming/cheering, and you’ll even see multiple people tip. Again, this was just in the period of a minute or so.

On the other hand, here’s an example of a country granddad that the crowd clearly couldn’t relate to. Some drunk dude actually walks up and tries to TAKE THE MIC from him. The granddad yells “FUCK YOU” at the end.

Hmm…

Counterintuitive observation: The connection between the listener and the song is what results in the tip. When you hear a song that you like, you begin to feel happy and start thinking about all the good things associated with hearing that song. Your urge to tip the perfomer is a direct result of the positive associations that are already wired your brain and connected to the song. In effect, you’re tipping the song, not the performer.

(This feeling is commonly expressed as, “Hell yeah, that’s my JAM!”)

Using this in your business: Use something that your audience already knows to create a positive association with what you’re already doing and make them feel instantly comfortable with you.

Step 2: Create social proof

I mentioned that this performer had wads and wads of money in his tip jar while other performers had nothing.

But here’s the thing — I didn’t see every single dollar go into the jar. I just saw the end result (a full jar).

When I saw that he already had so many tips, I immediately thought, “Damn, he must be pretty good.”

This of course led me to a more subconsious conclusion — If others saw enough value in him to contribute, I should too.

We do this all the time in our every day lives.

Imagine you’re scrolling though your Facebook newsfeed and see a meme with a few thousand likes — especially one that several of your friends have also liked.

You are MUCH more likely to contribute a “Like” as well.

Others have already validated that the meme is funny and by liking it, you’re agreeing with them, which now means you’re in on the joke. You have now validated yourself as part of their social circle by agreeing with them.

The same effect is happening with the tip jar. The more money that goes into the jar (especially when you actually SEE others go up and stuff money in), the more pressure there is to contribute. Each dollar in the jar was a testimonial to why I should also contribute. It was this feeling that led me to look in my wallet, find no cash and decide to hunt down an ATM.

Conversely, when you look at the other performers with completely empty tip jars, their values in your mind decrease significantly. You might think, “This clearly guy sucks. Look, he’s not making any money.”

Is this fair? No.

Just because someone doesn’t have money in their tip jar, does that mean they suck? No.

But social proof is a very strong psychological cue.

Counterintuitive observation: You don’t have to earn all the proof up front for it to still work. Many people who play live music will “seed” the tip jar with money before they start playing to make it appear that they’ve already received tips. This greatly increases the odds that others will contribute as well.

Using this in your business: One great way to show social proof is to get testimonials praising your work. The more specific, the better. Get a smiling picture and a beaming quote. It will make prospects feel more more comfortable buying if they know people before them have enjoyed your offering.

Step 3: Test, test, test

Most people never think about this, but it’s an important part of idea validation.

You need to TEST your idea to see which approach generates the best results.

In the case of this performer, there are several elements at play that he most likely tested, and possibly optimized to find the best result:

1.) Day and time

It was a warm summer evening — Thursday, about 8pm. The weekend is beginning soon, more people are going out to dinner. Everyone’s in a feel-good mood. Good timing.

2.) Location

He was in the perfect spot — right by the intersection of the indoor mall area and the restaurants. That’s where all the action was. Every other performer was in the more “dead” area of the strip where retail shops were beginning to close up. Everybody was walking right past them in order to make their way to the restaurant area where our hero was racking up the moolah.

3.) Song selection

He didn’t just pick random songs. In fact, he only played about 5-7, and when he got to the end, he just started playing them again. Why? Because he knew what people wanted to hear. I can’t remember everything he played, but they were all hits from Rhianna, to Pharrell, to Robin Thicke.

Every song he played made you go, “Awww yeah!!”

That’s not an accident.

Using this in your business: Test everything.

The words you use.

The location you set up shop.

The colors and variations of your products. Everything.

Make sure you have a control to test against, and don’t test everything at once. You want to be able to see what actually moves the needle.

Figure out what people respond to and optimize that.

Side note: One thing I noticed that none of the performers had was the ability to accept credit/debit card. Why not have an iPad with a Square/Paypal card reader to accept tips? This would be one way of lowering the payment barrier and allowing people to tip, even if they didn’t have cash — which was the case with me.

******

Those are the 3 steps of the Tip Jar Effect. If you can leverage them effectively, you can stand out in a crowded market and make 10x money compared to your competition — even if your product/service is pretty similar.  Before you know it, people will be saying “Dayum! Take my money!”

*******

Make Money With Your Skills. Grab The Startup Series.

I love the Under30CEO community, so I wanted to give you something special as a “thank you” for reading this article — and also give you some useful tools to help you get started on your dream projects TODAY.

Grab my free Startup Series.

It’s a 3-part “mini-course” that will show you how to become more productive with your time, avoid the most common mistakes, and learn to launch a business/project in record time. It’s free, so just enter your email here and I’ll send it right away — completely free :)

Click to get the Startup Series for free

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

Image Credit: www.downtownsm.com

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Change the Way You Think About Your Job & Use It To Catapult Your Own Business http://under30ceo.com/change-way-think-job-use-catapult-business/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=change-way-think-job-use-catapult-business http://under30ceo.com/change-way-think-job-use-catapult-business/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:00:31 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40255 One of the biggest questions you’ll start asking yourself and those around you when you get the entrepreneurial bug is when do you decide when to quit your job? Most people want to quit right away but never do because they are scared of not having a paycheck every two weeks to fall back on. […]

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entrepreneur

One of the biggest questions you’ll start asking yourself and those around you when you get the entrepreneurial bug is when do you decide when to quit your job? Most people want to quit right away but never do because they are scared of not having a paycheck every two weeks to fall back on. Others will want to quit right away and forget about the bills that begin to pile up quickly.

The thing you have to realize is that there is no right time to actually quit your day job to pursue your passion in life but instead of making the decision to quit or not to quit – why don’t you use it to get your business off the ground?

“I Don’t Have Enough Time” Myth – DEBUNKED

The average mindset that most people have is that they don’t have enough time to juggle a day job plus spend time working on their business. Well let me debunk this right away for you.

  • Full time jobs average 40-hours per week.
  • There are 24 hours in every day.
  • Which equates to 168 hours per week.

This leaves you with a total of 128 hours per week to work on your business. Now let’s say that you sleep an average of 8 hours per day. 128 – 56 = 72 hours to spend on your business.

Even with all of the time you spend at work plus the time you are sleeping, you still have a total of 72 hours to utilize to get your business off the ground. It’s never a matter of not having enough time to achieve the goals you want to achieve; it’s a matter of priorities and wanting to actually see your goals achieved.

How You Can Utilize Your Day Job For Success

There’s a lot of questions that you’ll have to ask yourself before you get started in any business, but what’s the main reason most people start a business anyway? The answer to that question is freedom. Financial freedom to live the life they desire without having to answer to anyone else controlling their schedule. Freedom to spend time with their family, to travel when they want to, and to do the things they’ve always wanted to do.

The secret is that it isn’t going to happen overnight. You won’t wake up and instantly be a successful owner of any business – you’ll wake up being the same person and doing the same thing that you did the night before.

With that in agreement, let’s break down the benefits of sticking it out with your current job before you just jump in the ocean without knowing how to swim. 

1. Finances

The biggest reason people fail in their business isn’t the fact that they don’t have any money but that they didn’t act quickly enough that the money simply ran out. Keeping your day job while pursuing your goals in your business allow you to spend money on important masterminds, business seminars, books, audio programs, and marketing your business.

If you have a business, it’s better to spend $300 per month on Facebook advertising in your local community not only gives you a better chance to be seen by your peers, but also gives you an opportunity to interact with them before they contact you for your services or go into your store.

Another thing to realize is that you will need people on your team to help you out because you can’t do this alone. Hiring a coach will help you figure out exactly what you need to do and will give you the tools necessary to succeed in your business. Whether that’s a one on one coaching situation or joining a group-coaching program – coaches will help you find clarity, provide a sense of direction, & help you simplify your actions to achieve more in less time.

The last reason why keeping your job while building your business is so you can continue to provide for your family (&/or yourself) so you don’t rack up an insane amount of debt. If I would have realized that I wouldn’t make money in my first couple business ventures because I wasn’t in the right mindset or surrounded around the right people, I wouldn’t have quit my day job at the time.

Instead, I continuously charged everything (bills, groceries, outings, etc) to my credit cards that eventually run out. Yes, credit cards aren’t just free money, eventually the balance does hit a ceiling and you are expected to pay it back… Monopoly money doesn’t count either.

Now I was in a worse situation sitting on no way to pay my bills or to eat AND I was going to lose my phone. If I would have kept my phone, I would have been able to slowly pay for marketing materials to get my business out there.

2. Mindset

The next thing that you have to realize is that starting your business requires a different mindset – a completely different mindset. Someone that is good in a managerial position might not be good at running their own business because they are used to doing the right thing instead of experimenting on growing the business they work for.

The same goes for someone in an entry-level position. Just because they are at the bottom of the barrel doesn’t mean that they can’t create and run a multi-million dollar corporation. It all boils down to the mindset and if you aren’t sure you are ready to make the leap – then you know you should do your research and spend some money on courses that will help you get into the right mindset.

There are some very fantastic books out there that will help you during this transition period and your employer will begin to notice the changes in yourself.

3. Time Management

I’ve always said there isn’t such a thing as a balance in life. Everyone is searching for a balance between work, life, & love and I wholeheartedly believe that there is absolutely no such thing as balance. Continuing to work your day job while you are building a business will help you with your time management skills.

You will learn how to juggle constantly busy schedules, figure out when your most productive periods of time are, how to still have time with your friends or your loved ones, and find time in between for some “alone” time with yourself.

This is where a lot of people enter into a state of overwhelm and never achieve anything they wanted to achieve because when someone is overwhelmed, they aren’t productive. They will sit on their hands or continue to do something that isn’t productive because their brain is trying to process what to do next.

The best thing that you can do for time management is to schedule everything out every single day. Most people have a set work schedule so you’ll be able to know when you have to leave for work and how long you’ll be there. Then you’ll be able to learn where you can find more time (whether that’s waking up earlier than usual or staying up later) in between all of your other activities.

When Is the Right Time To Leave Your Job?

Like I said before, there is no black & white answer on when you can actually leave your day job that gets you by until you start seeing success in your business. But once you start to become the person you need to become to achieve your goals in your business, then you’ll be able to break free of your employer. Until then, just stick it out so you can continue financing your goals without going into massive amounts of debt.

Once you stop having the voice in the back of your mind that you shouldn’t leave your job, that’s when you should leave.

Just remember; doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

Andrew Carlson is a public speaker & an executive coach to restauranteurs and small business owners in LA. He provides clarity, direction, and results by helping them implement the systems necessary to succeed. 

Image Credit: http://americanexpress.tumblr.com/

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How to Produce & Publish an International Magazine While Working a 9-5 Job http://under30ceo.com/produce-publish-monthly-international-magazine-working-9-5-job/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=produce-publish-monthly-international-magazine-working-9-5-job http://under30ceo.com/produce-publish-monthly-international-magazine-working-9-5-job/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:00:15 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40250 Ever heard these words before? “Content is king” What does that actually even mean? It’s one of the biggest buzzwords in the online marketing space at the moment, and I’ve been able to not only create content that people are willing to pay for, but I have created a platform where entrepreneurs can go to and learn […]

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entrepreneur

Ever heard these words before?

“Content is king”

What does that actually even mean? It’s one of the biggest buzzwords in the online marketing space at the moment, and I’ve been able to not only create content that people are willing to pay for, but I have created a platform where entrepreneurs can go to and learn from the best. In my case I have used content to drive sales and traffic. I have created a magazine to become an authority.

I am the publisher and editor of Foundr magazine. Foundr is a magazine for young entrepreneurs and its an app on the Apple Newsstand and the Google Play store for tablets and mobile devices.

What originally started off as a passion project while working my 9-5 job, has in little time turned into a serious business and media brand with 10′s of thousands of readers and a growing tribe. Through creating Foundr it has allowed me to leave my job, which I just recently resigned from!

Please note, I have no background in publishing, design and editorial. Foundr is my first REAL business.

So lets start off with what are the core elements of how I launched this international digital magazine while working my 9-5?

The core elements to this are the following:

Choosing a niche that matters to YOU  

This is the most important element. Whatever topic you want to create a magazine about it has to be in a field you are passionate about. Otherwise you are not going to last.

Publishing Platform 

This is what you use to build the app, maintain it, publish issues and enable interactive elements (video, clickable links, audio, interactive graphics)

Outsourcing

We now live in a world where you can bootstrap and create a business with little to no capital. Leveraging overseas talent on platforms like Elance & Odesk has given me access to world class designers, editors, and writers. The Foundr team is compiled of staff from India, Hungary, United Kingdom, USA, New Zealand and Australia.

So lets break things down a little further.

CHOOSING A NICHE

It’s important to note that whatever topic you decide to start your magazine on, it must be a topic that you are extremely passionate about. Originally when I started coming up with the idea of starting a magazine, I was going to do a mens lifestyle magazine, but as I went through the fact finding and research, I felt that it actually didn’t really excite me that much.

I always wanted to create my own business, so I thought why not learn from the best in the world and solve the problems that I’m facing myself as an aspring young entrepreneur. And thats how Foundr was born.

You really have to ask yourself the question when it comes to a topic of the magazine you are creating, what excites you?

CHOOSING A PUBLISHING PLATFORM

There is a lot of power in launching a digital magazine, because using the Apple Newsstand and the Google Play store allows you to have your distribution fully taken care of to a big starving crowd. Apple/Google take care of all payments, and take a 30% cut off sales, however you can list on 150+ countries around the world. Foundr has readers from Ghana, Italy, USA, Cambodia, you name it! The power of their distribution is MASSIVE.

There are affordable platforms that you can use to indepently publish your own digital magazine for tablet and mobile. It merely comes down to cost, and preference. Some are free but charge a cost per download, some require you to pay a monthly fee, and others allow you to have a one off license.

Here are the most well known publishing platforms:

Magcast – www.magcast.co – This is the platform I use. It’s built by online marketers, its cost affordable, and they really hold your hand in the process of getting your magazine off the ground.

Ooomph – https://oomphhq.com – This platform is quite good, however is a bit costly.

Magplus – www.magplus.com – Putting your magazine together with this service looks very simple and easy, I haven’t personally used it but heard great things.

Adobe DPS – https://digitalpublishing.acrobat.com – These guys are the first in the industry. It integrates well with Adobe Indesign, however they are not doing much for independent publishers and is not the most cost effective solution.

PRSS – www.prss.com – This platform is used by a top digital magazine in the appstore called TRVL (amazing travel magazine).The platform is free to use, and you are charged per download.

OUTSOURCING – BUILDING A GLOBAL TEAM TO WORK WHILE YOU SLEEP

So once you have signed up and have decided to use one of these platforms, the next step is to find someone to design the magazine. It is one of the most core elements of your product. The magazine itself should be designed with Adobe Indesign and you will need to find a graphic designer who has experience with magazine layout’s and putting content together. The magazine is essentially a PDF, that is exported from indesign. Using the publishing platform it allows you to add interactive elements. You will also need to source content as well, which actually is a lot easier than you think.

The most cost effective way to do all of this grunt work is to outsource the work overseas. Not only is this cost effective but its extremely efficient to LEVERAGE YOUR TIME. I have my design team working on a new issue while I sleep, while I’m at work, while I’m making dinner, while I’m even on the toilet. I think you get the point.

The same principle applies for our writers who are putting together amazing articles and stories, while I’m putting all the pieces together. We have use a combination of stock images, vectors and graphics to fill the magazine and make it look beautiful. The power of running a lean team, also allows us to move extremely fast, as time zone can be used to our advantage also.

As for how much content, we have around 6-7 ‘regular’ articles all with how to’s, actionable, strategical based content, then 3-4 story type features on profiling successful entrepreneurs. This generally fills the magazine out to between 50-70 pages, depending on the sizes of all the articles.

The sites I recommend to source your global team from are the following:

Odesk.com – This can be used for writers, editors, designers.

Elance.com – This can also be used for writers editors and designers.

Behance.com – Great place to see designers portfolios and potentially source a designer.

Dribble.com – Another great place designers hang, where you can find someone.

iWriter.com – Great place to specifically find writers for content.

Contently.com- Another great site to source high quality writers.

Can you see where this is all going?

This brings me to the last peice of the puzzle. So once you have established a topic and niche for your magazine, you have signed up to a publishing platform, and you have setup a global team you are ready to launch.

So how the hell do I get MASSIVE influencers on the front covers of Foundr. 

Simple.

I understand what they are looking for. How I can help them? How I can provide VALUE.

An influencer may be promoting a new book? They may be looking to get press? They may have launched a new product?

“Oh hi <ENTER BIG NAME> I’m the publisher of Foundr magazine, it would be an honor to have you on the front cover of a future issue to help promote your latest book. We can  also do full page adds for your book, which will go out to 10′s of thousands of readers who are super hungry to learn entrepreneurs.

Sounds like a no brainer right?

Like seriously, who wouldnt want to be on the front cover of a magazine?

BOOM.

So this brings me to the question. What’s holding you back from launching your own magazine? If I can do it with a full time job, that I have recently left why cant you?

Nathan Chan is the Publisher and Founder of Foundr magazine. He is extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and has had the pleasure of interviewing some of the world’s best entrepreneurs, and showcases this insider access in Foundr Magazine. You can find him at www.foundrmag.com

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Want to Grow? How to Make Tiny Changes That Produce Enormous Results http://under30ceo.com/want-grow-make-tiny-changes-produce-enormous-results/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=want-grow-make-tiny-changes-produce-enormous-results http://under30ceo.com/want-grow-make-tiny-changes-produce-enormous-results/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:00:48 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40236   An Odd Interim I was in 7th grade. I rode around everywhere on my GT Mach One BMX bike. I rarely ever did my homework. I didn’t pay attention in class. And I didn’t care to listen to anyone, especially if it was unsolicited advice. I hung out with a sixteen year old homeschooled […]

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 small changes

An Odd Interim

I was in 7th grade. I rode around everywhere on my GT Mach One BMX bike. I rarely ever did my homework. I didn’t pay attention in class. And I didn’t care to listen to anyone, especially if it was unsolicited advice.

I hung out with a sixteen year old homeschooled kid that was obsessed with vampires and Marilyn Manson. Eventually, I became obsessed with those things too. He slept in until 4 PM every day, and we’d hang out after I got home from school.

My other friends were kids that rebelled against their parents, were constantly in trouble, and had zero motivation to succeed. But they were “cool”…

As you can see, I was going through a bit of a phase. The ironic thing about a phase is that you have no idea you’re going through one until you’re out of it.

Luckily for me, it was a short one. Those things simply weren’t me. As much as I wanted them to accept me and have a group of my own, I couldn’t let myself drown or perpetually hate life like those kids.

A Powerful and Simple Proclamation by Jim Rohn

There’s a quote you’ve probably heard before:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

- Jim Rohn

This could be one of the most true and profound statements of our time. I’d like to explore a 2.0 version of this same idea.

We all know it’s true we start talking like, acting like, thinking like, dressing like, spending like, and even feeling like the five people we spend the most time with.

Just walk through any of San Francisco’s eclectic neighborhoods and this truth is plainly presented. Even in a city known for its individuality, everyone looks and acts like everyone else. No one wants to be the outcast, the black sheep.

The Average of All Choices: True Growth

What about everything else? Do the books we read, people we listen to (but don’t necessarily know), TV shows we watch, and choices we make on the weekends shape who we are?

Of course they do, it’s just harder to see. After that phase in 7th grade I made a big change. I started hanging out with kids that did their homework, and started doing my own (most of the time). I began enjoying having intellectual conversations. I started reading books by inspiring people and began to care about measuring growth. I started realizing that maybe success was in my own hands, and life didn’t have to just happen to me. I was in control.

Later on in life — just a year or so ago actually — I decided to become a professional. I had another one of these “waking up” episodes, and with it, a big epiphany: the visions I had in my mind of the person I wanted to become didn’t match the actions I was taking today.

Would future Arman finish his work early and assume it was good enough? Would future Arman spend every weekend out on the town—drowning himself in noise, alcohol, and surface level conversation? Would future Arman surround himself with people who were okay with the status quo, with no real passion for life?

To think one day we’ll wake up and magically have the life we envisioned is a fatal mistake. That’s an amateur mindset.

The fastest and most effective way to move in the direction of your vision (without worrying about how it’ll happen), is to actually live it now. Be it now, even in the smallest ways possible.

Tiny steps go a long way.

You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. Gradually you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.

- Paulo Coelho

I thought I was doing a good job, but there’s always room for improvement. Being aware and conscious of your choices is a great start toward becoming a happier and more fulfilled person.

I made a decision to be the very best version of myself I can be, and that person doesn’t play at an amateur level. I played small because I fell into the sheep trap again. Maybe I wanted to be accepted, or just live a “normal” life.

I stopped, I changed, and I’ve never felt better. Now everyone around me tells me I’ve changed, but I love it. Why? I think because it confirms I’m moving in the right direction. Something magical keeps nudging me along, like little omens. I know this feeling, and it usually leads to great triumph. I’m not going to question it. And when you make those changes, neither should you.

You don’t have to worry about what people will think about your new lifestyle choices. If anything, you’ll gain more respect and they will admire you. Growth attracts amazing people, and naturally sheds the rest (including the naysayers).

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

- Bernard M. Baruch

How Do You Make The Shift?

So how do you start to build that awareness and make more conscious choices about what influences you? Look around. Where and how do you spend your time?

What about the news you consume, does that affect you? Absolutely. The people you follow on Instagram, the books you read, the movies you see — all of it is part of the “formula of averages” that shapes who you are.

Just because you’re watching it on TV doesn’t mean you’re detached from it. We underestimate the affect of incoming information on our subconscious and conscious minds. It’s affecting your behaviors, and even your desires. I mean, you’re spending time with this person or idea after all, aren’t you?

Realizing this can be a bit heavy at first. There’s definitely an initial waking up period. You may feel a sense of responsibility to be more conscious about your choices, or even a sudden urge to radically change everything at once.

Don’t let it overwhelm you, have fun with it. Take it one area at a time and start to make changes little by little. Maybe start by finding excuses to hang out with that one really quirky, successful friend you have. Remember, success leaves clues.

Time to Start, but Slowly…

Start slow. Exchange just one brainless show you’re addicted to with the enlightening documentary on your queue, or that book you’ve been wanting to read. For example, lately I’ve been spending my free time watching Cosmos (the best thing on television, ever). I get to relax, and still learn something at the same time.

Another new ritual I’ve formed is meditation. I used to think it was mystical balderdash, but I’ve researched and tested this thoroughly now. I’m hooked. Meditation, even for a busy entrepreneur, is one of the most important and positive rituals you can add into your life today.

Just to be clear: I’m not recommending you become some uptight, sober book worm. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and zoning out sometimes. In fact, it’s good for you. Sometimes doing nothing but relaxing and rejuvenating is the best thing you can do.

I’m suggesting that you be more aware of how you spend your time.

When we hear about success stories, we place them in a separate category, as if it’s a hollywood movie. All my life I looked at people I wanted to become and thought, “Well, that’s them. They were born with talent. They probably knew the right people and had connections” which is the biggest BS of all.

I believe there’s one key thing that stops us from getting what we want: our story. The fictitious story you tell yourself about why things are the way they are. Change your story, and you can change your life.

Perhaps you want to be wealthy. So surround yourself with successful, wealthy people. Read books by wealthy people, and learn to appreciate their perspective. Don’t hang out with people who get jealous of others. Or worse, people who believe all wealthy people just “got lucky”. And if that’s what you believe, maybe it’s time to take a look at your own programming and explore the cognitive dissonance you’re holding. I did, and it changed my perspective.

Perhaps you want to travel more. So ask your traveler friends when their next trip is and go with them this time. Or even better, take a long weekend and head to a random country for no reason at all. I flew down to Panama and explored a beautiful country, in only 4.5 days. Don’t be the person who just asks questions about what destinations to visit, and then never does anything.

Perhaps you want to become a solopreneur. So support the ones you identify with most. When I first started to even consider this as an option, I looked to people like Chris Guillebeau to get guidance and motivation. Email your solopreneur friends and offer some value or help (this is key). Then ask them specific questions, including me. You’ll be surprised at the free help you get from people. Don’t delay and keep searching for a golden ticket, you’ll never find it.

So remember, it isn’t just the people we spend time with that influence us. It’s the reality we live in, the choices we make, and the things we do that shape us.

You are an average of the friends, mentors, activities, information, and experiences you choose to have in your life.

I trust you’ll make the best decisions. And remember, enjoy the ride…

Do you agree with Jim Rohn’s ‘average of the five people’ quote? What’s one small step you can take today to be more fulfilled?

A version of this post was originally published on WhyILeftGoogle.com

- -

Arman Assadi is founder and Chief Solopreneur at WhyILeftGoogle.com (WILG). Arman helps solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and wantrepreneurs create more freedom and work more effectively. He is a writer, soccer player, and obsessive world traveler. He is also Board of Directors President for Traveling Stories— a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to outsmart poverty one book at a time. For more articles like this, get access to his Freedom Lifestyle Insider Newsletter.

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Entrecelebrity: Interview with SpiritHoods Founder Alexander Mendeluk http://under30ceo.com/entrecelebrity-interview-spirithoods-founder-alexander-mendeluk/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=entrecelebrity-interview-spirithoods-founder-alexander-mendeluk http://under30ceo.com/entrecelebrity-interview-spirithoods-founder-alexander-mendeluk/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:00:49 +0000 Michael Luchies http://under30ceo.com/?p=40224 Alexander Mendeluk always saw himself being in the spotlight, but as an actor, not as an entrepreneur. As the child of a Hollywood movie director, Alexander grew up on television and movie sets. “That whole world helped me explore my imagination.” That imagination fueled his passion and interest in storytelling, which led him into acting. […]

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SpiritHoods 4

Alexander Mendeluk always saw himself being in the spotlight, but as an actor, not as an entrepreneur. As the child of a Hollywood movie director, Alexander grew up on television and movie sets. “That whole world helped me explore my imagination.” That imagination fueled his passion and interest in storytelling, which led him into acting.

After graduating from film school he moved to Los Angeles and became a professional actor (Alexander Mendeluk’s IMDB page). His breakout role was soon to come, but it wouldn’t be on a movie set. “Out of nowhere, literally, came SpiritHoods.” SpiritHoods are faux fur animal inspired hoods, “embracing the inner animal inside that we all have.”  The company started with accessories, and is now moving into apparel as well.

After a couple of years of working as a professional actor and an entrepreneur at the same time, Alexander was faced with a tough decision. “You’ve got to make a choice. You can be a jack of all trades and a master of none, and that’s not really what I was interested in doing.” So why choose being an entrepreneur over being a Hollywood actor? “As SpiritHoods matured and I matured, I realized that there was more opportunity and a better route as an entrepreneur than an actor.  It came down to being able to control your own destiny. You have a lot more control with your world as an entrepreneur than you do as an actor.” It was a great choice.

SpiritHoods 3

Two years after their launch, SpiritHoods started to become a celebrity of its own. The product has become a symbol of music and festival culture and appeared in countless magazines and on the heads of many celebrities. Celebrities spotted wearing a SpiritHood include Venessa Hudgens, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Jon Hamm, Kesha, Justin Bieber, and Conan O’brien. The publicity and praise the company received in the media helped SpiritHoods achieve a celebrity-like status. The company even made an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank, where they turned down an offer from Daymond John.

A sharp rise in demand and popularity doesn’t always translate to sustained success.  In response to avoiding becoming a fading fad, Alexander replied, “Most trends that come and go, go pretty quick.” SpiritHoods is now in their 5th year after seeing an initial explosion in demand and exposure for their brand.

What separates SpiritHoods from the numerous fashion trends and fads that have quickly disappeared?

“What has kept us alive is our community.” The brand built behind the fashionable hoods is stronger than any fad.  SpiritHoods has been able to build a strong community with their partnerships, giving back, innovating, and telling and sharing stories. The company donates 10% of net profits to 5 nonprofit organizations that helps endangered animals. They have also been awarded the PETA Libby award for the best cruelty-free accessory. The hoods have brought music fans together, given hope and pride to customers, raised awareness for endangered species, and given back to many of the animals that were the inspiration for their products. SpiritHoods makes an nearly impossible not to route for them.

Would you rather be the superhero lead in a blockbuster movie or build SpiritHoods to have an evaluation of $250 million?

“$250 Million hands down, woooo!”

What about at $50 million? “I’d choose the $50 million. When you’re an actor, you’re a cog in the wheel.” Alexander explains that with SpiritHoods he has the ability create a change in the world that would not occur with being a superhero in a blockbuster film.

Get the full story! Listen to the complete interview with Alexander Mendeluk below!

Interview Highlights

-        Career/life goal: “I wanted to get to a position where I could influence positive change. I thought I could do that through acting, but you can do the same thing with your company, if not more.”

-        Advice on thriving in a partnership.

-        “We’re currently in an entrepreneurial renaissance.  The Barriers to entry have never been lower. The ability to influence the masses has never been easier and the tools that are available for us to create are endless. Right now is the best time, the best ecosystem in our history to begin.”

-        How SpiritHoods have helped create long lasting memories for many fans.

-        “If you are going to get in a partnership, make sure that your roles are clearly defined from the beginning.”

-        “If you believe in an idea, just run with it.”

-        “Entrepreneurship can give you the freedom to do whatever you want.” “You can create the world as you want it.”

-        Watch SpiritHoods’ appearance on Shark Tank!

-        What’s next for spirit hoods? A fall line of faux fur jackets. They are also working on wearable tech including LED lights and a super-secret line extension that will be released in 2015.

Quick-Fire Questions

How many hours a week do you spend on SpiritHoods? “Maybe 27 technical, 9-5 hours, but always on call. We used to do a lot of in-office work. Right now we have custom-tailored the business to more of a remote type of operation, which allows us the freedom to be on the go.  SpiritHoods is always a phone call away.”

How much sleep do you get a night? 8 Hours.

What is the weirdest idea you’ve ever received for a SpiritHood? “We’ve got a list of SpiritHoods that goes on for days. Fish, crocodile, pink monkeys, zebra wombat squirrels, hybrid animals that you couldn’t even think of, glow in the dark animals, you name it. The weirdest hood we just created was a lemur.”

If you could add one entrepreneur or entertainer in the world to SpiritHoods, who would it be and why? “I’d bring Richard Branson on for sure. That man is the epitome of visionary in my opinion. He’s putting people in space, and I think that’s pretty cool. Maybe we could have SpiritHoods in space.”

If you could star in a movie opposite one Hollywood actor, who would it be and why? “Maybe Brad Pitt. He’s always been copying my style. It would be cool to finally get on screen together and rock it out.”

Who would be the director of the film if it couldn’t be your dad? “I’d direct it!”

 *Alexander Mendeluk is a member of the YEC and is also launching The Disruptive. Thank you to the Young Entrepreneurs’ Council for the introduction to Alexander. For more information on the YEC, visit YEC.co

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Top Business Books and Must Reads for Entrepreneurs http://under30ceo.com/top-business-books-must-reads-entrepreneurs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-business-books-must-reads-entrepreneurs http://under30ceo.com/top-business-books-must-reads-entrepreneurs/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:38:02 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40384 Hey Under30CEO, This is our list of all time top reads and business books for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  It includes some new releases and best-sellers you should be reading now. Here’s our list of must reads! We are big fans of anything that gives us the edge in our personal and professional development […]

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top business books of all time

Hey Under30CEO,

This is our list of all time top reads and business books for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  It includes some new releases and best-sellers you should be reading now.

Here’s our list of must reads!

We are big fans of anything that gives us the edge in our personal and professional development or business.  We’ve authored over 4,000 articles here on Under30CEO and interviewed countless best selling authors including Seth Godin, Donald Trump, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Peter Shankman, Eric Ries, and Sharon Lechter.

New Releases & Best-sellers picked by our staff:

Choose Yourself! by James Altucher (Recommended by Co-founder Matt Wilson)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking (Recommended by Editor Cara Murphy)

101 Daily Thoughts and Affirmations to Create Positive Change (Recommended by Community Manager Cesar Romero)

Thrive by Arianna Huffington (Recommended by Co-founder Jared O’Toole)

Our all time top reads

The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

How to Win by Mark Cuban

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

The E-Myth Revisted by Michael Gerber

How to Win Friends ands Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Start with Why Simon Sinek

Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Our Top Book Lists

26 Awesome Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

17 Lessons from 17 Books to Learn from in 2013

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2012

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2011

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2010

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2009

10 Billionaire Biographies You Must Read

Giveaway: Comment below with your favorite books for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! 

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The #1 Reason Most 20-Somethings Get Stuck http://under30ceo.com/1-reason-20-somethings-get-stuck/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=1-reason-20-somethings-get-stuck http://under30ceo.com/1-reason-20-somethings-get-stuck/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:00:07 +0000 danieldipiazza http://under30ceo.com/?p=40266 I can remember, just a few short years ago, when I would have done ANYTHING to get “unstuck”. I had “played the game” just like I’d been told. Went to school, picked a major that made sense, got good grades and followed the rules. (I can see you nodding your head in agreement with me […]

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get unstuck

I can remember, just a few short years ago, when I would have done ANYTHING to get “unstuck”.

I had “played the game” just like I’d been told.

Went to school, picked a major that made sense, got good grades and followed the rules.

(I can see you nodding your head in agreement with me — we’ve all been there.)

But as college ended and the real world started to loom closer and closer, I had to admit…I was terrified.

Why?

Because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing…

See, I knew how to operate within the system that had been laid out for me — the traditional path of school >> more school >> career.

But there was a problem…

I didn’t want to take that route anymore.

I felt boxed in.

I felt like, if I took that path, I already knew exactly what my future would be like, down to 2.3 kids and a $56,000 salary.

(No offense to anyone with kids…but have you looked on your Facebook newsfeed? It’s scary how many people get married and/or have babies at the same time. It seems like some sort of a social programming.)

Check it: There were DOZENS of people in my life who I could lean on if I needed help taking the traditional route — guidance counselors, family, friends, etc. I mean, all these people had already traveled that route, right?

But there was literally NOBODY (and I really mean nobody) who I knew that could give me advice about venturing out on my own.

  • I wanted to start a business.
  • I wanted to make movies.
  • I wanted to go on trips.
  • I wanted to take time off “just because”
  • I wanted to have enough money to help my family if they needed it.

And nobody had ANY idea how to help me with these things.

Then, one day, everything changed…

A lightbulb went off (err…on?)

I realized that I needed a mentor.

Someone who could guide me, hold my hand and tell me exactly what to do and when to do it.

Somebody who could tell me if the “amazing” idea I had was really good — or a complete waste of my time.

A person who could cut years off my learning curve because they’d already been there, read all the book and done all the guesswork for me.

I knew if I just had that, I’d be able to RAPIDLY accelerate my progress and get where I was going MUCH faster.

In fact, I think the #1 reason most 20-somethings get stuck is because we don’t have good mentors.

We may have supportive friends and family — but when it comes to doing something “different” oftentimes, we’re all alone.

Imagine how different your life would be if you had just one person that you could call, with any question about starting a business, breaking out of the 9-5, becoming insanely productive, etc… and have that question answered immediately.

So now, I want to know: If you had a mentor to help you move your life forward and help you solve your problems QUICKLY, what advice would you get from them?

What would you be able to accomplish with the help of a trusted advisor that you can’t do on your own?

Leave a comment and let me know! :)

*******

Get Unstuck. Grab The Startup Series.

I love the Under30CEO community, so I wanted to give you something special as a “thank you” for reading this article — and also give you some useful tools to help you get started on your dream projects TODAY.

Grab my free Startup Series.

It’s a 3-part “mini-course” that will show you how to become more productive with your time, avoid the most common mistakes, and learn to launch a business/project in record time. It’s free, so just enter your email here and I’ll send it right away — completely free :)

Click to get the Startup Series for free

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

Image Credit: www.elementspartnership.com

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6 Steps for Perfecting Your Workplace Accident Protocol http://under30ceo.com/6-steps-perfecting-workplace-accident-protocol/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-steps-perfecting-workplace-accident-protocol http://under30ceo.com/6-steps-perfecting-workplace-accident-protocol/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 17:00:00 +0000 GuestAuthor http://under30ceo.com/?p=40149 Like the need to buy extra light bulbs or touch up your hair color, your company’s accident protocol is likely something you don’t think about until you’re in the moment, and it’s too late. Accidents happen, and it’s important for business owners to know how to address them appropriately when they occur. According to the […]

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accident protocol

Like the need to buy extra light bulbs or touch up your hair color, your company’s accident protocol is likely something you don’t think about until you’re in the moment, and it’s too late.

Accidents happen, and it’s important for business owners to know how to address them appropriately when they occur.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about 13 Americans are killed on the job every day, tens of thousands die every year from workplace-related disease, and nearly 4 million are seriously injured on the job.

As a lawyer who specializes in personal injury, it’s probably no surprise that I’ve encountered many cases involving accidents in the workplace. However, establishing a few workplace procedures can go a long way toward preventing accidents from happening in the first place.

Here are six steps to help you eliminate workplace hazards and handle accidents effectively when they do occur.

1.     Understand the Basics.

Creating a safe workplace doesn’t happen by accident. To foster a culture of safety in your company, it’s important to understand what constitutes a “workplace accident” so you can start taking steps to prevent them from happening.

To qualify, an individual must be injured while:

  • In the scope of employment.
  • Performing a responsibility in line with his or her job performance.
  • Performing work at the request of the employer.

These accidents could include injury at a construction work site, slipping and falling within the workplace, or getting in a car accident while driving to meet with clients.

2.     Start Before Day One.

As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By taking proactive measures, you can prevent a number of problems, and these precautionary steps should start well before the employee’s first day on the job.

For instance, employers should always perform background checks on potential employees, especially in industries such as the rental car business, where verifying a safe driving record is critical.

Once an employee is hired, provide him or her with guidelines and policies for safety requirements. This should be an integral part of each employee’s onboarding experience.

Build in processes that you check regularly to ensure employees are meeting safety guidelines, and keep up with technology to see how safety procedures can be improved.

3.     Make a Plan for Handling Accidents.

When accidents do occur, it’s important to show sympathy for the employee and implement a program to prevent future accidents.

As you think of ways to improve your safety efforts, it’s tempting to focus on the most severe threats. However, you can often make the greatest impact by reducing small safety violations that contribute to the most frequent injuries.

4.     Engage Employees in Safety Discussions.

While you’re focused on running your company on a macro scale, your employees are more familiar with the day-to-day processes, problems, and potential solutions. Constantly observe how employees perform their daily tasks, and encourage employees to bring safety deficiencies and ideas for improvement to their managers’ attention.

If possible, talk with individual employees to see if they have suggestions for making their work environment safer. They may have insights you haven’t considered.

5.     Communicate Managers’ Responsibilities.

In addition to ensuring employees understand preventive processes for workplace safety, it’s equally important to communicate with management about the plan.

Managers should understand that it’s their responsibility to fill out an incident report with as much information as possible the minute an accident occurs. Information should include injury details and the medical treatment provided to the employee. The more information a manager can record, the easier it will be for the work compensation attorney and the defense attorney defending the claim.

6.     Make Safety a Part of Your Culture.

Safety should be as integral to your company culture as your vision and values. A culture of safety starts the moment a new employee is onboarded, and leadership should reinforce it repeatedly.

Turner Construction, for example, holds an annual “safety stand-down” at every job site in the country. It suspends work, and staff gather to listen to best practices for staying safe on the job. Turner’s safety philosophy is based on its trademarked Building L.I.F.E. (living injury-free every day) principle. This approach aims to eliminate worksite accidents by pre-planning construction activities with safety engagement.

Don’t let workplace safety get bumped to the bottom of your to-do list. By keeping safety top of mind and ingraining it in your company culture, you can stay ahead of workplace hazards and avoid potential accidents.

Michael Acosta is a partner at Acosta & Williams LLC. As an attorney, he specializes in the areas of pharmaceutical litigation, personal injury, premises liability, auto and truck accidents, toxic torts, property and air contamination, and wrongful death. Connect with Michael on Twitter and Google+.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Why You Should Burn All Your Bridges and Never Have a Backup Plan http://under30ceo.com/burn-bridges-never-backup-plan/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=burn-bridges-never-backup-plan http://under30ceo.com/burn-bridges-never-backup-plan/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:00:56 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40234 What do you see when you look at a successful human? I see a determination, definiteness of purpose, and plan that most people are too afraid to ever create for themselves. Have you ever met anyone who achieved something important in life, something they would consider a dream, by dropping back to a plan B? […]

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What do you see when you look at a successful human?

I see a determination, definiteness of purpose, and plan that most people are too afraid to ever create for themselves.

Have you ever met anyone who achieved something important in life, something they would consider a dream, by dropping back to a plan B? It just doesn’t work that way.

Backup plans are not for winners. A person with a backup plan is likely to use that backup plan. This automatically means they’ve settled for less than what they initially wanted.

If you want to become a solopreneuer, you become one by deciding once and for all that there is no other route or course of action for you. You decide to push past the bottom-feeders and live out your full potential. You decide to create something that not only adds value to the world, but is in line with your individual purpose. There’s that “purpose” word again. Where are you supposed to find that?

quote-Steve-Jobs-if-you-havent-found-it-yet-keep-88480_1

No one ever wins in life with a backup plan.

Here’s the problem: Plan B is the sum of all your worries, fears, and disaster scenarios rolled up into one half-a*sed plan. A plan that you’re allowing yourself to be happy with. Why on earth are you compromising with your fears?

Shouldn’t we be focusing on the prize, not on the obstacles in the way?

There’s no hocus-pocus to this. Analyze any successful person you know, and you’ll see these common traits (whether they realize it or not). It essentially comes down to a fixed vs. growth mindset. People like Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck have dedicated their lives to this. Studies have been performed to understand what creates success.

If you don’t take action on your goals and desires now, will you regret it when you’re on your deathbed?

Life is a checkerboard, and the player opposite you is time.

- Napoleon Hill

Look around at the people you admire. Think about your role models and heros. Do they negotiate with life? Do they back down when they’re met with defeat or criticism? Do they believe in failure?

We hear these hero stories and learn about people who finally “made it” every day. There’s a constant theme every time: they had a relentless, crazy belief in succeeding and achieving their dreams. Whether they “failed” once or a thousand times, they kept going.

Also, isn’t there always an odd constant theme of them being in the worst possible state, in their most defeated times, when they finally pushed forward and achieved their goals?

If you want something, and you have a relentless desire to make it happen, backed by immediate action and a solid strategy — you will inevitably get it. Why? Because when you only have one possible outcome, the failures along the way can’t stop you.

The best part is — there is no such thing as failure happening to you. Failure is a choice. Failure is something we have to allow. Failure is the moment we choose to give up. For many, this may be hard to swallow. But there’s power in this realization.

In actuality, a failure along the way is nothing more than a temporary hiccup or side-step in your ultimate plan. If you have some big dream about becoming an entrepreneur, bestselling author, or world traveler — the only thing stopping you is…you.

Not the you you normally identify with. This you is nothing more than a mass accumulation of fears that your mind has created and held onto for years.

Your desires, dreams, and goals are perfectly fine. Now if you feel the plan is not yet ready or complete, that’s okay. But what’s not okay is just floating around wondering why all your plans aren’t coming true.

You must know clearly what it is you want.

Combine that with massive amounts of desire/purpose and your goals will miraculously be met with brilliant plans to help bring them into reality.

The problem (and cycle) starts when you allow yourself to come up with alternate plans that distract from the mission. The alternate plan comes with an alternate end goal, which is never as worthy of your ultimate one.

Burn the bridges, don’t look back, and march forward like there’s no tomorrow.

We’re all human. There will be struggles and moments of extreme doubt. But we can’t allow these fears or backup plans to creep into our minds.

Over time, I’ve developed a reflex to quickly stop these thoughts the moment they occur. Think of it as a game. Monitor the chatter in the skull, rather than identify with it. The moment something outside of your grandiose visions creeps in, snap it out of there like a rubber band slapping against your wrist.

In fact, I actually do that. I use a rubber band on my wrist to break old habits and develop new ones. This was one of them.

I’m not the typical entrepreneur. I don’t have the typical entrepreneur skills, mindset, or business. But I believe in my mission. I believe every single one of us deserves a life of freedom. I believe we all deserve to live the life we want, not the one others want for us.

I decided the only way I would ever commit to escaping the corporate world, building my dreams for myself, and becoming a solopreneur was by burning the bridges to the ground!

There is no return to a life of mediocrity, being incentivized to produce like a monkey, and falsely believing my daily actions (job) are contributing to the development of mankind. I’m contributing to society now, more than ever before.

If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.

- Tony Gaskins

With that said, what are you going to do?

Question: If there was one thing you could do for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Note from the author: I began drafting these ideas on a long transpacific plane ride, after a 97 day journey throughout Southeast Asia. At the time, I understood the lessons (in theory), but didn’t fully know how to live these values. Now I do, and I’ve seen a dramatic difference in my business and life.

A version of this post was originally published on WhyILeftGoogle.com 

Arman Assadi is founder and Chief Solopreneur at WhyILeftGoogle.com (WILG). Arman helps solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and wantrepreneurs create more freedom and work more effectively. He is a writer, soccer player, and obsessive world traveler. He is also Board of Directors President for Traveling Stories— a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to outsmart poverty one book at a time. For more articles like this, get access to his Freedom Lifestyle Insider Newsletter.

Image Credit: http://quotes.lifehack.org/

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