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The Most Underrated Skill That You Need To Be Successful

This skill is so underrated that you can get pretty far in your career without anyone really noticing that you don’t have it or can’t apply it well. I’m talking about effective decision making. All sorts of people get through years of working; they even make it all the way to the C-suite without anyone ever even discussing this. But lose half a million in a quarter, cause a $50 million disaster, create a major service quality deficit or hire the wrong people for the wrong jobs too many times and people surely start to take notice.

The powers that be will surely notice that decision making – a skill you were likely never evaluated for – is suddenly getting in the way of your success and causing the organization to suffer.

Education Can’t Outrun Poor Decisions.

No amount of education or experience can outrun or outweigh poor decision making in the long run. The costs of bad decisions always surface and find a way to make you and the entire organization look bad. Observe the top ranks in any organization, and you will likely find highly qualified, educated and experienced executives and directors, but you’d be well advised not to assume that they can or will apply effective decision making when the moment requires it or the situation demands it. By the time leaders are exposed as deficient in this area, the organization has already taken huge hits and the culture and employees surely feel it.

Let’s look at what effective decision making is and what it isn’t as well as why it’s a necessary component of career and organizational success.

Effective decision making is a necessary but most underrated skill.

The higher up the career ladder you go, the more responsible you are for decision making. You become responsible for your own ability to make good decisions and accountable for the decision making – or lack thereof – of others on your team. If you find your career progression has struggled or stalled or that you are not getting the respect you seek, consider whether or not your decision-making methods could be hindering your success and how.

Decision making is underrated because people tend to credit others as competent in it without making any meaningful observations or assessments. Yet, a skill deficit in this area can create disastrous results for employees and organizations. Its importance is most appreciated after organizational leaders try to reactively remedy a catastrophe rather than when they should have been proactively trying to prevent one in the first place.

Today In: Leadership

Very smart people can (and do) make very bad decisions.

Some of the smartest – and most accomplished – people in the world have been in rooms when some of the worst decisions have been made (think Enron, the 2008 financial crisis, the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the 2019 Boeing 737 Max FAA disasters). Then there are the decisions that organizational leaders make every day which lead to staggering operational inefficiencies, unnecessary redundancies, poor quality output, ineffective and contradictory policies, bad customer service and flawed hiring. How can this be?

There are myriad reasons for bad, unethical or grossly negligent decisions including poor leadership, the lack of decision-making processes, ego, peer pressure, etc. But the top reasons would be resistance to critical thinking and analysis as well as the lack of an established decision-making process that accounts for human biases and ethical gaps.

Effective decision making is not synonymous with decisiveness.

Organizations go to great pains to recruit and reward decisive leaders when they should, instead, be working harder to secure effective ones. Certainly, decisive leadership has a proper time and place, but decisiveness is not synonymous with effectiveness. Further, when applied improperly or excessively, it can be a detriment to effective leadership and an impediment to effective decision making.

Sometimes being decisive can work against you.

These four perils to decisive leadership can create long-lasting harm to organizational and career success. You’ll want to avoid this kind of decision making whenever possible.

  1. Ready-shoot-aim. A decisive leader could have a shoot-first mentality whereby he will make a decision and ask questions later (if ever) with little regard for short or long-term consequences.
  2. Acting is more important than thinking. A decisive leader could believe that he’ll be rewarded for quick decisions even if those decisions may do greater harm in the long run. The goal becomes to just do something, and do it as fast as possible.
  3. Decisions aren’t connected to data. A decisive leader can become driven to achieve some predefined outcome regardless of whether the data supports the outcome or not. What is best for the outcome overrides what is best for the organization or the internal or external stakeholders.
  4. The ego can get bigger than the organization. A decisive leader may not tolerate or encourage dissent. In the worst cases, people are punished for disagreeing and rewarded for perpetual agreement. Hence, the decider creates – rather than reduces – higher levels of organizational risk.

Effective decision making requires analysis.

The best decision makers understand that regardless of which decision-making model they use, they must be strategic about it. Effective decisions are well-thought decisions with the results or consequences being weighed and considered beforehand.

Effective decision makers are often better strategic thinkers too because their processes start with better questions like these:

  1. Why do I/we need to care about this issue? Or, what prompted the need for this decision to be made?
  2. What happens if I/we don’t decide on this issue? Is the status quo acceptable? Why or why not?
  3. What outcomes are we trying to achieve? Who cares about them and why?
  4. What are my/our biases, prejudices, interests or values? Are they congruent with the defined decision options?
  5. Whom will this decision mostly affect? How?
  6. What are the positive and negative consequences of this decision? What is this based on?
  7. Who are the short-term and long-term beneficiaries? Who gets to define them?
  8. What is the worst result this decision can bring? Can I/we live with that?
  9. What are forces for or against this decision? Do I/we care? Why or why not?
  10. What is the second choice/option or fallback position? Is it viable, and how do I/we know?

Effective decision making is necessary for professional and career success.

Decision making is indeed a skill, and it is critical for personal, professional and career success. It applies to all areas of the business including hiring, operations, marketing, finance, etc. And it is most helpful when contemplating and deciding on your next career moves.

Those who are able and willing to apply effective decision making to their career will better understand which job opportunities to accept and which ones to decline and which career risks to take and which ones to pass. They are better able to gauge which extracurricular projects to accept and which ones to turn down.

Ultimately, by making better decisions, you will take more calculated risks to advance your career, and you will know where to focus your time and efforts for career building and networking so you can realize the greatest benefits over time.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am a strategist, management consultant, executive coach and international speaker and have delivered meaningful results for executives and leaders in 42 states and 6 countries across 3 continents. I serve as CEO for ARVis Institute, a strategy, change, performance and human capital consulting firm. I have committed my research, education and professional talents to transforming governments, corporations, nonprofits and educational institutions and develop leaders and managers who have the capacity to create high-performing organizations and the competence to affect positive change.

Source: The Most Underrated Skill That You Need To Be Successful

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Paula Golden philanthropist — amalgamator Broadcom Foundation, Executive Director “Successful philanthropy unites good people with the right cause and insures that the relationships are long-term, productive and gratifying.” As executive director of the Broadcom Foundation and director of Broadcom Corporation Community Affairs, Paula Golden is responsible for all aspects of the Broadcom Foundation, which includes funding education and research initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) worldwide. She also oversees the volunteer activities of 13,000 employees at Broadcom, a global Fortune 500 company and leading innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications. Paula earned her undergraduate degree in English and education from Wellesley College and was assistant dean and instructor of law at New England School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude. She also served as executive director of the Engineering Center and Engineering Center Education Trust, director of development for University of California, Los Angeles Neurosciences, and vice president of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation. She partners with progressive nonprofits, government entities, formal and informal learning programs, and Broadcom employee-volunteers throughout the world to develop STEM learning processes and teacher training that will assist young people from all strata of society to become scientists, engineers and innovators of the future. This work includes developing the Broadcom MASTERS® and the Broadcom MASTERS International, signature programs of Society for Science and the Public. The Broadcom MASTERS® is the premier international middle school science and engineering competition designed to engage students between the ages of 11 and 14 in project-based learning and inspire them to continue studies in math and science through high school in order to achieve college and career goals. Paula also oversees Broadcom Foundation’s university research funding that reaches more than 64 renowned universities worldwide and directs the prestigious Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition. – – – – – – – – – – In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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The One Uncomfortable Feeling You Must Experience In Order To Be Successful

Contrary to conventional wisdom, success depends less on the virtues of talent and drive than it does one’s ability to withstand fear and uncertainty. Many people display inclinations toward one skill or another in their early lives. Many champion the title of best in the school, team or town – but talent is only a part of the equation. What separates the outliers from the rest is not the amount of discomfort they are willing to bear – the difference is whether or not they can withstand uncertainty.

Uncertainty is the fertile ground of your life. It is the grey area in which anything is possible. The wisest person in the room is the one who never believes they are the smartest – genuinely intelligent people live in uncertainty, they know that there is always more to learn, see and discover. Uncertainty is the first step of any worthwhile endeavor. It requires a fearlessness. Because for as powerfully transformative as it is, it is also the human emotion we are least inclined to tolerate.

When nothing is certain, anything is possible. – Bianca Bass

The word comfort is laced through so much advice that we share: step out of your comfort zone, make enough to be comfortable, don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right. But this doesn’t account for the ways in which our feelings often betray us. Emotions are the way the brain pieces together sensory stimulations with its perceived environment. It’s easy to see why we can become anxious when our chest tightens and we associate the feeling with being disapproved of by friends. From this, an association is created.

Today In: Leadership

In their life’s work, most people want to be successful without having to sacrifice their comfort. That’s why so many people perceive “success” to be synonymous with risk reduction (think of things such as stable housing, a guaranteed job, etc.) It befuddles them, then, to discover that after 10 years living this kind of life, they are unfulfilled, drained, and thoroughly dissatisfied.

Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow. ― Tony Schwartz

Human beings do not chase happiness, they chase comfort. They pick partners that re-create familiar relationships in their childhood. They choose jobs that they believe will earn them either a place in society, or the merit of being “safe” in some way. Most things that we do are with the intent of generating more comfort, and so it is counterintuitive at best to recognize that actually accomplishing something worthwhile requires enduring that which we have spent most of our lives trying to avoid.

You’re not supposed to know what the future holds. If you know where the path leads, it’s because you’re on somebody else’s.

Human beings crave certainty in the way they crave comfort – because life is an inherently uncomfortable and uncertain thing. But instead of trying to manufacture an abundance of those emotions, perhaps consider that life is uncertain for a reason. There are so many virtues of letting things be open-ended, in admitting that you don’t know what you don’t know. People often believe that when they’ve lost their “plan,” their knowing of what’s next that all has fallen apart. They look back often to realize that their lives were really just beginning… and in embracing what they didn’t know, they found a life that was greater than what they could have previously imagined.

Source: The One Uncomfortable Feeling You Must Experience In Order To Be Successful

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How MarQuis Trill Gained Millions Of Followers And What He Can Teach You About Millennial Marketing

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that millennials are projected to outnumber Baby Boomers as the largest living adult generation in America. With the millennial generation making up such a huge portion of American consumers, it is imperative that companies understand how to effectively market products and services to this group. For this generation, social media has become an integral part of their lives. Many companies have taken notice and are using social media to craft their marketing strategies, however, many organizations struggle to understand and determine how to successfully capture the attention of millennial consumers.

One person that companies can learn a lot from is MarQuis Trill, a social media influencer, investor, and entrepreneur who has figured out how to authentically gain and capture the attention of young audiences. MarQuis made his social media debut on Myspace in 2003, at the tender age of 12. In 2017, he was listed as one of the most influential people on the internet. Now, through his social media platforms, MarQuis reaches millions of people every month, with a large percentage of his audience being millennials and Generation Z. After deciphering the formula for success, MarQuis started an agency called Entertainment 258, which is focused on helping businesses, influencers, athletes and artists develop and expand their brands. What are companies getting wrong when it comes to millennial marketing strategies?

How does MarQuis keep his audience engaged? What are some best practices when it comes to millennial marketing on social media? MarQuis sat down with Forbes to discuss these questions and more.

Janice Gassam: Who is MarQuis Trill? How did you develop such a huge following on social media?

 MarQuis Trill: It basically developed in college. I went to Prairie View A&M University on a full-ride scholarship. I had a chance to go to other big schools like Baylor, Texas A&M, USC…but I decided to go to an HBCU, just to change the culture…once I started attending the school, I saw the culture of the community. I went from playing basketball to [be] an artist, to [be] a promoter online and it just grew from there. I always had that marketing strategy inside me and my school kind of just brought that out of me.

Gassam: What are some mistakes that companies make when it comes to branding and marketing to millennials?

Today In: Leadership

 Trill: I think companies are getting things wrong, first, inside the company itself. They’re hiring people that are not a part of the culture—that’s the first thing. Everything we see on TV is a copy. We’ve seen multiple videos, multiple commercials from our favorite influencers. The people that work in those places are copying exactly what the millennials are doing, instead of coming to us and collaborating with us and actually hiring us and giving us jobs…instead of paying an influencer, how about hiring an influencer? It should start inside.

Second…I call it ‘camouflage marketing.’ And what camouflage marketing is, is when you’re marketing something, but it’s not focused on the actual brand. So that could be merchandise, that could be accessories, that could be sponsorships, that could be a flash of your logo…I think they should focus more on that, and creating cool content…collaborations, collaborations, collaborations. As time goes on, a 13-year-old turns 21…you always have to change…you always have to connect with the millennials and with the new generation.

If you don’t do that, you’re going to be disconnected. Once you become disconnected, it doesn’t matter if you’re a million-dollar company or a billion-dollar company—you’re going to lose revenue dollars…that’s what I feel a lot of companies are missing. You don’t necessarily have to hire someone, like a kid, to be the CMO of your entire company, just a collaboration or maybe you can give them a smaller job where they are just over marketing strategies for Instagram…all you need is five millennials in the office space for Twitter and Instagram and you’re going to have a hundred thousand followers, a million followers and they’re going to run it all for you…they don’t need big budgets because they’re young kids and as time goes on and they start doing more for your company, you’ll be able to pay them anyway.

 

Gassam: What are some trends you anticipate on social media when it comes to millennial marketing?

 

Trill: Well…it’s always something new and something fresh…what I try to focus on is fast news and fast content. That’s where you’ll get most of the engagement and most of your following from. That’s how I grew my following originally. I was taking videos from YouTube and putting them on Twitter. I was taking videos from Facebook and putting them on Twitter because different platforms have different videos and different followings. Something that’s been posted on YouTube probably hasn’t been seen by the people on Twitter…Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, they don’t all have the same following.

Different people get on different platforms because they like the functionalities of that platform. Kids that are on TikTok might not necessarily be on Twitter. People that are on Snapchat might not necessarily use Instagram all the time. That’s what people fail to realize. Every single influencer, they may not have every single social media platform. That’s where a lot of people miss out on…Twitter is for news information and text. Instagram is for pictures. Snapchat is for, right there on-the-spot videos. Basically, live videos…TikTok, [for] six seconds dancing. You have to be creative…young kids are on [TikTok] all the way from eight years old all the way up to 21.

 

Gassam: So, companies need to learn that they can’t post the same social media content on every single platform and expect it to stick?

 

Trill: Exactly. They also have to use camouflage marketing. Using influencers, creating dope content that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with their products. They can flash the product in between the content or at the end or the person that’s inside the content can actually say the product. It can be a one-minute music video and five seconds out of the music video, that artist is pouring cheerios…he’s not necessarily saying ‘I eat cheerios.’ Now the consumer and the person that is watching the content, they’re smarter now…they know what’s fake, they know what’s an ad now…with the rules and everything you even have to put ‘ad’ or ‘promo’. So now, when you put that, your engagement goes down even more…you have to do it in a camouflage sense.

 

Gassam: Is there a social media platform you would recommend companies use when marketing to millennials?

 

Trill: It depends on what their product or service is. If you’re selling merch, I would definitely say go with Instagram and YouTube. If you’re already a super known company, I would say go with Twitter because the engagement there reaches faster…you get more retweets, you get more favorites, more impressions. If you’re trying to sell anything, if you’re trying to become a brand yourself, if you’re trying to conquer a market, I would say use YouTube because Google owns YouTube and they create all [the] SEO that’s on the internet…when you search something like ‘how to dance,’ whoever made a video on ‘how to dance’ on YouTube, that’s what’s going to pop up for a search and that’s free marketing, free viewership for the person, influencers or brand that made that video. Now content is becoming the search. That goes for marketing and branding as well.

 

Gassam: How can companies stand out to millennials on social media?

 

Trill: They should be more direct with the consumer. The consumer is getting smarter because they’ve seen so much content, so they can tell if something is fake, something is real, something is being promoted and they won’t engage as much to it. If the consumer and the people that are selling products, if they intertwine and they come more direct with people that are in the communities…then that’s when you start getting more product sales and more distribution in your product. I wouldn’t buy anything that I’m not tapped into or that I didn’t see anyone else wearing.

iPhone is hot because everyone has an iPhone, not because it’s the best phone…they keep developing different products. They have apps, they have iTunes, they have podcasts…they’re tapped into every culture…they’re basically competing against themselves…subscription-based is what’s coming next. AR is coming next, virtual reality is coming next. And these are the things that these companies need to focus on…someone will always develop something new; someone will always come up with something that’s greater than the other platforms.

Gassam: Popeyes recently came out with a very successful marketing campaign for their new chicken sandwich. Should companies copy these campaigns in order to be successful? In regard to the millennial consumer, do you think controversy sells?

 

Trill: I wouldn’t say copy. But they should come up with their own strategy. Once you see something so much, you are making the consumer smarter. Your next marketing campaign is going to have to be harder.

I think controversy is always great…but if you’re deliberately doing things on purpose and expecting a great outcome, nine times out of ten, it might not go your way. But if you have a whole marketing strategy behind it and if you know exactly what you’re doing and where you’re trying to go, then it’s definitely going to work…we don’t have to pay for press.

This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

To learn more about MarQuis, visit his website or connect with him on Instagram.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I grew up in five different states and across two continents, which was the catalyst to my interest in diversity. My ultimate goal is to help leaders infuse more love into the workplace, creating a culture that is more equitable and productive. Currently, I work as a professor at Sacred Heart University, teaching courses in management. In addition, I am a consultant, helping organizations create a more inclusive environment. I earned a Ph.D. in applied organizational psychology from Hofstra University, and I enjoy conducting research in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, hiring, selection, and leadership.

Source: How MarQuis Trill Gained Millions Of Followers And What He Can Teach You About Millennial Marketing

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Social media influencer “MarQuis Trill” aka @6billionpeople shows you how he got thousands to millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram. MarQuis Trill has over 1 million followers on Instagram and over 4.5 Million on Twitter. Watch the video, susbcribe, follow and support the movement. Click the link below to subscribe to my youtube account. http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c… “MarQuis Trill” Instagram http://www.Instagram.com/MarQuisTrill… Download Songs – https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ma… For Booking or Features Visit ( http://MarQuisTrill.com ) | Email: Marquistrillbooking@gmail.com Download Mixes from DJ 6BillionPeople for free here — http://www.Soundcloud.com/Marquistril… Follow Me on all social networks Twitter http://www.twitter.com/6BillionPeople Instagram http://www.Instagram.com/Marquistrill… Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/Marquis-trill Company http://www.entertainment258.com Personal Website – http://MarQuisTrill.com Follow – https://twitter.com/6billionpeople Instagram – http://Instagram.com/MarQuisTrillShow MarQuis Trill Albums- Dreams Happen, Twerk Radio, Twerk GOD & 100K Followers Subscribe To The Channel for more Video & Music Support the TRILL Movement Buy MarQuis Trill Music — https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/yo… More Music on Itunes —https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ma…. Buy MarQuis Trill Lastest Album – http://youngsolar.bandcamp.com/ Download Free Album – http://www.datpiff.com/Young-Solar-Ma… MarQuis Trill Free Music — http://www.Hulkshare.com/MarQuisTrill Soundcloud – http://soundcloud.com/Marquistrillmusic

This Kombucha Entrepreneur Hired a Man Who Spoke No English. He Is Now a Company Executive

Fifteen years ago, a non-English-speaking man applied to work at GT’s Living Foods. In Spanish, he told the hiring manager, “I am willing to do anything.” He got the job.

Originally, his job was to sweep and mop the floors. He moved up to housekeeping, and later was promoted to work on the bottling line.

“Every month, every quarter, every year he grew, and his attitude got better,” says GT Dave, founder and CEO of GT’s Living Foods. “He promised he would do anything, and he did. He had zero ego, zero pride, and the best attitude I’ve ever seen.”

Dave even goes so far as to say that this hire is better at his job than any other employee–even those with more education and industry experience. Unlike many people, who are specifically good at only one or two tasks, this employee has an affinity for quickly learning how to do many different things. And now he’s an executive at GT’s Living Foods. His job is to develop kombucha flavors and to run production lines. He’s also a general problem solver for the company.

In a company like GT’s Living Foods, Dave says, he needs people who are scrappy, flexible, and quick to jump on problems that need solving. “We’re very, very lean. We’re very, very agile. We’re much more artistic than we are corporate,” Dave says. “It’s a hard environment for your typical executive to exist in.”

As such, Ivy League degrees and decades of experience don’t necessarily count for much. Dave says résumés don’t matter to him: He looks for the same can-do attitude in every applicant who walks in the door. And, once he hires someone, that person has to keep proving she’s worthy of the job.

“I want to see what you can do here, and now. That’s my litmus test for talent,” says Dave.

By: Lizabeth Frohwein

 

Source: This Kombucha Entrepreneur Hired a Man Who Spoke No English. He Is Now a Company Executive

Our Founder & CEO, GT Dave, speaks to industry leaders & entrepreneurial pioneers on “Keeping The Attachment” at BevNet Live Winter 2018 in Santa Monica, CA. Watch to the end to see the announcement of our newest offering, DREAM CATCHER: Our CBD-Infused Sparkling Wellness Water. For more information about GT Dave and GT’s Living Foods, visit GTsLivingFoods.com. Follow @GTsKombucha on Social Media! Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GTsLivingFoods/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gtskombucha/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/gtskombucha Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gtskombucha/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gts-… Website: https://gtslivingfoods.com

 

How Did This Phoenix Tech Company Achieve a Staggering 36,000 Percent Growth? A Mistake Had a Lot to Do With It

The story of the fastest-growing private company in America, a profitable technology startup called Freestar whose revenue growth since 2015 has been a staggering 36,680 percent, starts with a calendar.

Not a buzzy new calendar app. Not a life-altering meeting request. A printed wall calendar. One of those relics with pictures of animals or landscapes that we all used to tack up in the kitchen.

This particular calendar–Tempe12–had, well, swimsuit models. Arizona State University co-eds in bikinis, to be exact. “All the girls had to have a minimum 3.0 GPA, so they had beauty and brains,” explains Freestar co-founder David Freedman, without a trace of sheepishness. Freedman, who launched the calendar when he was a 22-year-old fifth-year senior at ASU back in 2004, has come a long way since then. But he draws a straight line from that fairly crude start to his current success.

Freestar, you see, sells solutions and services that help publishers make more money online by optimizing their advertising operations. When Tempe12 was just getting started, Freedman sold all its ad space to local businesses. The calendar took off, expanded to 21 other colleges by its third year, and drew attention from Playboy and Howard Stern. Tempe12 had a website with photo archives and decent traffic–but no efficient way to make money.

In 2008, Freestar’s other co-founder, Chris Stark, joined Freedman, taught himself to code, and started scaling Tempe12’s online ad business. Other publishers noticed and asked for help, so Freedman and Stark launched a consultancy–DigitalMGMT.

“Smaller publishers would get requests from an advertiser to spend money on their website, and they didn’t even know how to sell it or how to serve it,” Freedman remembers. He and Stark could help. They had no secret formula, no proprietary technology, but they were crafty and entrepreneurial and understood an industry that was evolving every month.

“The biggest problem we had at that point was that we’d take a client from making five grand a month to 50 grand, and some other company would come in and buy them,” says Stark. “Our success meant having to always find new clients.”

In 2014, Freedman and Stark set out to raise around a million dollars and then spent most of it purchasing nine small publishers–webdesignledger.com, webresourcesdepot.com, a stock photography site called lostandtaken.com–thinking that they’d “juice the revenue and sell them off,” Freedman recalls. It was the birth of Freestar–and it was a big mistake.

Almost immediately, Freedman and Stark realized that publishing a swimsuit calendar didn’t give them any real editorial expertise. They also realized that focusing on scaling their own websites put them in competition with the sites for which they consulted.

But around the same time, Stark began experimenting with a new technology that was revolutionizing online advertising: header bidding. Until then, many Web ads had been bought in a split-second auction process that went like this: A publisher sent out a request to advertisers to bid on an ad space, and the software would automatically accept the first qualifying offer.

Ads could be sold in real time–but publishers couldn’t weigh offers against one another, potentially missing the best ones. Publishers also had little sense of who was buying ads, which left their sites vulnerable to shady operators. “It was as if you were selling your car at an auction, and they let only one person into the room at a time,” Stark explains. “That person could offer whatever they wanted–and you had to either accept or reject their offer.”

With header bidding, a snippet of code sent a request to all potential advertisers simultaneously–and then selected the best offer. Suddenly, publishers earned more from each ad, and they had more control over which ads ran on their sites. A decade after Freedman started dabbling in ad sales, Freestar took off like a rocket.

“The beautiful thing is, when you start making people more money and helping them run their businesses better, they typically have pretty big mouths,” says Freedman. “Word travels quickly.” Today, Freestar works with more than 300 publishers, including Barstool Sports, Snopes, and Fortune.

Coindesk, which covers all things cryptocurrency, saw ad revenue increase 300 percent in the first month it worked with Freestar, says Jacob Donnelly, the publisher’s managing director of digital operations. Freestar, he says, has made it unnec­essary for Coindesk to hire anyone to handle advertising operations. “That lets me think more strategically about revenue generation,” he says, “which is huge.”

Freestar generates its own revenue by taking a small percentage of the ad dollars that flow through its technology. The company hauled in $37 million last year and expects to cross the $100 million mark soon. It now employs 40–including a new face up top. Freedman and Stark aren’t big on job titles, and neither was ever formally CEO or president.

About a year into the company’s breakout growth, the founders tried to hire Kurt Donnell, a well-regarded media executive in their hometown of Phoenix, but failed to bring him on.

Two years later, they tried again, and Donnell joined as president this past January. What changed Donnell’s mind? “They had executed on everything they said they were going to do two years prior,” he says. And, he adds, “the growth was just astonishing.”

By: Tom Foster

 

 

Source: How Did This Phoenix Tech Company Achieve a Staggering 36,000 Percent Growth? A Mistake Had a Lot to Do With It

He Was Employee Number 7 At Tesla And Now Has Built A $1 Billion Business That Makes Your Phone Or Car Run Longer

Gene Berdichevsky was one of the early team members at Tesla. Now he’s building his own unicorn startup, Sila Nanotechnologies, which is valued at over $1 billion. One which looks like it will fuel every way you travel from the road to being in the air.

Berdichevsky recently appeared as a guest on the Dealmakers Podcast. During his exclusive interview, he shared his journey, building his first solar car, and how he’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars for his own technology startup that is growing at an incredible pace.

Thousands of Miles & Designing Your Own Education

He was born on the Black Sea in Ukraine, spent time in St. Petersburg, Russia, and even lived north of the arctic circle for five years. All before landing with his family in Richmond, Virginia, and attending college in California.

Gene was fortunate to grow up in an entrepreneurial family, and see his father start his own small businesses. Both of his parents were software engineers and worked on nuclear submarines.

So, the one thing he says he knew was, “I definitely wasn’t going to be a software engineer.” He did enjoy math and science a lot. That led him to study mechanical engineering.

Within his first year at Stanford, he got involved in their solar car project. Students would compete to build a solar-powered car and race it across the country, 2,300 miles, from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Gene’s team built the car chassis from scratch, built a carbon fiber body, and powered it with a battery with about the same strength as the toaster in your kitchen.

That was it. He fell in love with energy, problem-solving and building, and was really energized by having really built something from the ground up.

Mastering Energy

Berdichevsky went on to get a Master’s in energy engineering from Stanford. There was really no such program in existence at the time. So, he put together his own curriculum. He dove into materials, semiconductor physics, quantum mechanics, and solar.

Many people are already struggling with the decision to go to university. So, why go, and even create your own studies, when you can piece everything you want to know together online these days?

As with many of the other highly successful startup founders I’ve interviewed who have come out of Stanford, Gene found the network you gain access to very valuable. Some of those people still work for him at Sila today. He also credits the value of learning from your peers there.

Tesla & Battery Issues

At the end of his junior year, Gene became the seventh Tesla employee as a tech lead for battery system architectural development.

It’s no secret that there were plenty of early challenges for Tesla. They started out literally supergluing laptop batteries together to make the battery pack.

Then with safety the main concern was avoiding random failures. They happen in batteries. Even being rare, when you are using 10,000 batteries to run a single vehicle you really have to expect this to happen and preempt that.

Tesla grew from around 10 people when Berdichevsky started there, to around 300 when he left. About 30x in just four years. Tesla now has over 45,000 employees with a market cap of $40 billion.

His big lesson from Tesla was that as a startup founder, you want to go after really big problems. Ironically, Gene says sometimes it is easier to solve a really big problem, than a smaller one. For a start, it enables you to attract incredible talent. It is also both incredibly rewarding and reduces your competition.

From Tesla, he saw that you need to be willing to do things the world doesn‘t think are possible. This requires a mindset and a culture that is self-reliance where you are willing to do a lot of things in house.

Entrepreneurship In The Making

From the day he walked into Tesla, Gene says his brain was already fixated on “How do I start my own company? How do I build something like this?” He had even previously written a business plan for making electric cars in the U.S. market in his junior year at Stanford.

He then did a stint at Sutter Hill Ventures where he understood the VC lens when identifying entrepreneurs that have the potential for success. The key ingredients and how the lens is used to identify patterns includes the following:

1) Great markets defined by a great distribution

2) A strong product that captures the value

3) Founding teams equipped to resolve complex technical problems

Gene was traveling the world meeting many founders. During his time with Sutter Hill Ventures, Gene met his future co-founder, Gleb Yushin. Shortly after, Gene’s former Tesla colleague Alex Jacobs joined them as Sila Nano’s third co-founder.

After multiple conversations and understanding the value that each one of them brought to the table, they got started with a 1,000 sq. ft. lab in a basement at Georgia Tech and Sila Nanotechnologies was born.

Financing The Next Big Thing

Right after forming the team they went out to raise financing. They had a big advantage and that was the intellectual property Gleb had amassed which included six patents and four years of technical data around the problem they wanted to resolve.

They knew the technology was fully compatible and had a clear understanding of the road ahead given the years of experience at Tesla from Gene and his co-founder Alex.

They went out and raised a Series A round with Sutter Hill and Matrix as co-leads. Both of whom have continued investing in every round.

Sila’s most recent round of financing was a $170 million round led by Daimler. So far they’ve raised around $295 million.

The business positioning was critical as a lot of people had lost money in battery companies. From day one they were very clear they were not a battery company, but a technology company that makes materials for batteries. Batteries are a low margin market but the materials have a very healthy market as the better the product the higher the sales.

They are valued now at over $1 billion where storytelling played a big role. This is being able to capture the essence of the business in 15 to 20 slides. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

Sila Nanotechnologies

During the early days, the cofounders were able to recruit a group of talented engineers to join them and from there started to build the business.

Their business model revolves around inventing, developing, manufacturing and selling their product.

In this regard, their product is a powder that replaces graphite powder in existing lithium-ion batteries. The more efficiently you can store lithium, the less material you need for the same amount of energy. Sila Nano’s material can store energy more densely, giving you more energy at similar volume and weight.

Sila can reduce battery weight by approximately 20 percent or increase energy stores by approximately 20 percent with it’s material. Meaning vehicles have the potential to go 20% further than anyone else’s.

Consider that every electric vehicle will need around 15 to 20 kilos of this material. Think forward to a few years from now when all vehicles are electric. You’re talking about a market of 100 million new vehicles per year. At 20 kilos per car, you’re talking about 2 billion kilos of this entirely new-to-the-world material that has to be produced, every year.

This material could also be used to fuel new air taxis, and change the way we travel, and the aerospace industry.

Sila has been growing by around 40-50% every year for the past five years, and there are no indications of that slowing down anytime soon.

Listen in to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:

  • The essential ingredients for raising money
  • Gene’s top piece of advice for his younger self and new founders
  • How to grow as a leader when your team is growing at 92% in two years
  • His approach to solving strategic problems

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am a serial entrepreneur and the author of the The Art of Startup Fundraising. With a foreword by ‘Shark Tank‘ star Barbara Corcoran, and published by John Wiley & Sons, the book was named one of the best books for entrepreneurs. The book offers a step-by-step guide to today‘s way of raising money for entrepreneurs. Most recently, I built and exited CoFoundersLab which is one of the largest communities of founders online. Prior to CoFoundersLab, I worked as a lawyer at King & Spalding where I was involved in one of the biggest investment arbitration cases in history ($113 billion at stake). I am an active speaker and have given guest lectures at the Wharton School of Business, Columbia Business School, and at NYU Stern School of Business. I have been involved with the JOBS Act since inception and was invited to the White House and the US House of Representatives to provide my stands on the new regulatory changes concerning fundraising online.

Source: He Was Employee Number 7 At Tesla And Now Has Built A $1 Billion Business That Makes Your Phone Or Car Run Longer

How This 28-Year-Old Couple Quit Their Jobs And Make $100,000 Year Working From Home

The Savvy Couple - Brittany & Kalen Kline with daughter Kallie

It sounds like an impossible dream…an ordinary couple launches a blog that become so successful that they’re able to quit their jobs and live lives of freedom and adventure after just three short years.

Impossible? Actually, thousands of people have already successfully made that journey into blogging, with many making six figures.

Kelan and Brittany Kline are such a couple, and they think you can do just what they did: Get out of the rat race, create a successful online business, work from home, have complete control of your time, and live lives of greater freedom and adventure.

Who Are Kelan and Brittany Kline?

In most respects, Kelan and Brittany Kline fit neatly within the definition of an ordinary couple. Not quite 30, they reside in upstate New York with their daughter Kallie and their dog, Charlie.

Brittany is a teacher by trade, the fulfillment of a lifelong career dream. She holds an M.S. degree in education, and began teaching after graduation.

Kelan’s career path has been less settled. After receiving his B.B.A with a concentration in finance, he bounced between several different occupations within a few years including insurance sales, UPS driver, ecommerce, jail deputy, and most recent office manager.

How did their occupations lead them into blogging?

While Brittany was comfortable as a teacher, Kelan was not. With each job change he hoped to find a position that would bring him that elusive combination of happiness and more freedom.

None of it was leading in that direction.

To remedy the situation, he was beginning a home inspection business. That’s when he discovered blogging. It held the prospect of making money online, which is hardly an uncommon desire these days.

And apart from Kelan’s career conundrum, there were other factors in the couple’s lives providing additional motivation. With Brittany working days as a teacher, Kelan worked nights as a jail deputy. They also had more than $40,000 in student loan debts that they couldn’t seem to crack, even with Kelan working overtime shifts.

The combination of all the above – along with the missing sense of control – was what turned them to blogging. The original strategy was to start a blog focusing on personal finance. Specifically living a happy life on a frugal budget. That was something they had experience in and knew they could help others with.

They reckoned if their blog could be a good side hustle and earn them an extra $500 per month it would help them find that better future.

It did that, and more. A whole lot more!

The Road from Start-up Blog to a Six Figure Income

The Klines began their blog, The Savvy Couple, in July of 2016. That means they went from zero to $100,000-plus in barely three years! That’s what makes their story compelling, in addition to the fact that they used blogging as their path out of the rat race.

As you might imagine, the trek toward six figures started off inconspicuously. They made no money at all for the first eight months.

If you’re considering taking the plunge into blogging, this is an outcome you should fully expect. It can be shorter or longer, but going several months – or even a year or more – without earning any income is a big part of what causes so many blogs to fail, and would-be bloggers to quit.

But the Klines didn’t quit. In Month #9, they finally hit paid dirt – $50! 

And that’s when Kelan did quit – his job that is. He made the decision to become a full-time blogger.

Risk Reduction and Taking the Dreaded “Leap of Faith”

Now that isn’t advice he’d give to other would-be bloggers, but he made the decision because the couple had “removed most of the risk involved with that decision”. That risk removal included the following:

  • They had close to a year’s worth of salary saved up.
  • They cut their living expenses in their budget to a minimum.
  • Kelan had a back-up plan to revive the home inspection idea in case the blog didn’t work.
  • He also took freelance work after quitting his job.

That freelance work included a remote digital marketing position that also helped him learn online marketing. He also taught English online every morning. The basic idea was to make sure there was at least some income coming in at all times.

Kelan took that step that all entrepreneurs will eventually face – the leap of faith to make the new venture a full-time occupation. By doing what was necessary to make it work, he replaced the income from his full-time job in just a few short months.

The next goal: to spring Brittany out of her job and into the blogging venture.

That meant the income from the blog would need to be enough to support the entire family. By their reckoning, they needed to hit $10,000 per month – six months in a row – before making the full transition into blogging for Brittany as well.

They hit the $10,000 income mark on the blog for the first time in June, 2018. But as is typical of blogging, that income level didn’t prove consistent.

The Savvy Couple’s Income Pattern

The graph prepared by the Klines below tracks the progress of The Savvy Couple’s income since the blog began, through this past May when it earned more than $43,000:

The Savvy Couple blogging income

The Savvy Couple blogging income

The Savvy Couple

The up-and-down nature of the income is a situation nearly all successful bloggers are very familiar with. But notice on the graph the general trend line is moving consistently higher. Though the blog may not earn at least $10,000 each and every month, the higher earning months easily offset the lower ones.

And as you can see from the graph, the couple have clearly made well in excess of $100,000 from their blog in the past 12 months. That income level has enabled them to pay off their remaining student loan debt of $25,000 in just five months, as well is to grow their net worth to over $100,000 before turning 30!

What Blogging Has Done for The Klines, Apart from Money

If you’re at all curious about blogging, the income it can produce is a natural attraction. But like many other successful bloggers, the Klines have discovered the incredible satisfaction that goes beyond income.

“Being a teacher was my dream, but also God put me on this Earth to be a mother,” says Brittany. “I want to be able to teach my daughter and spend as much time as possible together with my family. We only get one life to live. I want to spend mine making unforgettable memories with my family. I did not want to look back on my life and think I gave more to my students than to my own children.”

Kelan adds: “We now have complete control over our lives. We have no one else telling us when to come to work, how long we are going to stay, and how much we are going to make. We get to decide all of that on our own. If we want to take a vacation, we just take it. We get to travel so much more than we used to.”

The couple makes an effort to finish working each day by 3 pm or 4 pm, giving them more family time. This is especially important now they have their daughter, Kallie. They wake up around 5 am to get in a few hours of uninterrupted work, then head to the gym as a family at mid-morning.

They also embrace the idea of being able to use their blog to help families take complete control over their time and money, so they too will find freedom to do more of the things they love in life.

Blogging has been so good for the Klines that they openly share their success and strategies with others.

What Does it Take to Be a Successful Blogger?

By now, you’re probably wondering if you can do what Brittany and Kelan have done by starting your own blog. They believe you can, and in fact they dedicate much of their blog to help you do just that.

We’ve already discussed how the Klines pre-positioned Kelan to transition into blogging full-time by removing risks. That included saving money for living expenses, doing freelance work to generate a steady income, and having a Plan B in case the blog failed.

If you hope to make blogging a full-time venture, you should use a similar strategy.

The Klines also warn that building a successful blog will take a lot of hard work. This is a critical realization going into the venture, since your effort can be short-circuited early if you think it will be easy. It will take months before you begin seeing your first revenue, and several years before it becomes a full-time income.

Choosing the right blogging niche is also mission-critical. There are hundreds of different blogging niches, but it’s important to choose those that will be easiest to monetize.

Kelan recommends the following niches:

  • How to make money
  • Personal finance
  • Health and fitness
  • Food
  • Beauty and fashion
  • Lifestyle
  • Personal development

The Savvy Couple focuses on how to make money online and personal finance, but adds a solid mix of lifestyle and personal development.

They also recommend reinvesting a significant percentage of your blogging income – as much as 50% early on – back into the blog. Blogging is like any other type of business, where you will need to spend a certain amount of money to make more money.

Specific Strategies Kelan and Brittany Recommend for Would-be Bloggers

The Klines recommend doing plenty of research before launching your blog. Learn the ins and outs of popular blogging tools, like WordPress – a very common blogging dashboard, and learn all you can about social media marketing. Follow other blogs regularly, and carefully study how they create content, what social media platforms they focus on, and how they monetize their blogs.

“A good exercise we have anyone do that is considering starting a blog is have them sit down for 10 minutes and write down as many article ideas as possible,” advises Kelan. “You should be able to come up with at least 100. If you struggle to come up with that many, you might adjust your niche.”

They also recommend the most basic first step of getting started. “Don’t over analyze things,” says Kelan. “Take massive action and make things happen in your life.”

Kelan also recommends surrounding yourself with other bloggers. Follow other successful bloggers on a regular basis. Comment on their websites, swap emails, and join blogger  networking groups, especially on Facebook.

The Klines even have their own Facebook group, Blogging With Purpose.

Other resources they offer include their step-by-step tutorial on how to start a successful money-making blog and their free Profitable Blog Bootcamp and Workbook.

The bootcamp and workbook will show you how to:

  • Create a successful mindset
  • Design an ideal avatar
  • Develop a workable monetization strategy
  • Create purposeful content
  • Drive traffic to your blog
  • Implement email marketing
  • Create systems to save time and scale

The Klines are so dedicated to helping others follow their path into income earning blogging that they make all these resources available to their readers for free.

What Not to Do If You Want to Become a Successful Blogger

Kelan warns that you should not think of blogging as a get rich quick scheme. “It’s the most challenging job I’ve ever had in my life,” he warns. “And I used to babysit 53 violent inmates by myself when I was a jail deputy.”

He stresses being ready for a learning curve. If you’ve never had a blog in the past, especially one that generates income, you’ll be learning the business from the ground up. You’ll need to be open and teachable.

The time factor is another hurdle many new bloggers may not be ready for. Kelan stresses it will take a good 6 to 12 months before you even begin to make money, and get a grasp of how to run a successful money-making blog.

Most of all, he stresses the need to treat your blog as a business, not a hobby. That means having a good work ethic, and working on your blog on a daily basis.

Can Anyone Really Create a Money-Making Blog?

If “anyone” includes those who are willing to put in the time and effort to learn the business of blogging, then the answer is a resounding yes!  But don’t think it will happen without those important first ingredients of time and effort.

The Klines had very ordinary jobs before going into blogging, and had to learn the whole process from scratch. But now that they’ve been working at for three years, they’ve hit pay dirt with a six-figure income.

They, and many other bloggers, are willing to share their blogging secrets with others. It’s a matter of being ready to commit to a journey that will be difficult at first, but will lead to a life of higher income, more freedom, and options most only dream of.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am a certified financial planner, author, blogger, and Iraqi combat veteran. I’m best known for my blogs GoodFinancialCents.com and LifeInsurancebyJeff.com

 

Source: How This 28-Year-Old Couple Quit Their Jobs And Make $100,000 Year Working From Home

3 Things Successful People Do To Leverage Failure (Infographic) – Terina Allen

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I am scared way more often than I am brave. I am uncomfortable much more frequently than I am comfortable. I am unsure about so much more than I am certain of. I have dropped many more balls than I have ever caught, and I have failed at more initiatives than I have succeeded. And it is because of this, not in spite of it, that I thrive. We know that successful people, like everyone else, make mistakes, feel pain, quit, cry, lose and have all the same insecurities and self doubts that all human beings experience. We know success is not synonymous with perfection………………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/terinaallen/2018/11/16/successful-people-leverage-failure/#45e8907072bc

 

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

18 Things You Need To Give Up To Become A High-Achieving Person – Brianna Wiest Brianna Wiest

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A secret about success is that it is just as much about what you give up as what you gain.Are you willing to give up late nights out for late nights in working? Are you willing to turn a deaf ear to blind criticisms? Are you willing to listen to helpful ones? Are you going to be able to give up the doubt, the resistance, the uncertainty, the avoidance mechanisms? As Mastin Kipp says: Are you willing to live as other people won’t, so maybe you can live as other people can’t…………….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/briannawiest/2018/03/20/18-things-you-need-to-give-up-to-become-a-high-achieving-person/#24fca2bf11fa

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

The Success of Your Business Depends On The Relationship Between IT & Finance – Damon Fletcher

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Thirty-eight percent of CFOs are responsible for IT departments, but many finance departments operate separately from their IT counterparts. As CFO duties evolve to include greater technology responsibilities, it is vital for modern finance departments to prioritize a data strategy. In fact, digital transformation is a necessity. Without evolving the relationship between finance and IT to prioritize data and actionable insights, your business risks falling behind competitors and achieving full potential……

Read more: https://qz.com/1413303/the-success-of-your-business-depends-on-the-relationship-between-it-and-finance/?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=firefox_placement

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

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