• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • 14 Steps to Take When Redefining Your Brand

    I’d like to take my personal brand in a completely new direction. What’s the first step to successfully rebranding?

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

    1. Build On What Works Now 

    Building a good brand is hard, so try not to throw out everything when you rebrand. Even if you need a new direction, you may have found things that resonated with your audience. Those successful bits, no matter how small they are, should be the foundation of your new rebranding effort. So, use the first step to examine the best of what you have now.   – Matt DoyleExcel Builders 

    2. Start With a Blog 

    Whether rebranding your personal brand or starting one for the first time, my recommendation would be to start with a blog. Writing about what you stand for is an excellent way to get yourself out there and position yourself as an expert and connoisseur on the matter, as well as earn yourself the trust and loyalty of your readers.   – David TomasCyberclick 

    3. Be Clear and Consistent 
    For successful rebranding, make sure your new direction is clear, and be consistent about delivery of that new direction. First spend time on yourself, physically writing out your rebranding strategy in the simplest and clearest terms. Then consistently deliver that strategy to the public through all avenues available, with an emphasis on social media channels.   – Obinna EkezieWakanow.com 

    4. Take Baby Steps 

    In rebranding, it is important that you do not change what people love about you. Stick with it, but represent yourself in a way that people will remember you easily, without batting an eyelash. Little by little, make steps that will reintroduce you. From tagline to photo to hashtags, everything must be memorable.   – Daisy JingBanish 

    5. Create Lists, Then Circle What You Want to Focus on 

    Write a list of strengths and weaknesses. Write a list of likes and dislikes. Write a list of experiences you’ve had. Then circle three items from one list, two from another, two from another and then focus on those. Now you’ve got a true identity, but one that might look different if you circled different items. You can rebrand yourself by emphasizing various factors. It’s still you, but different.   – Brandon Stapper858 Graphics 

    6. Focus on What You’re Best at 

    If your brand failed, there was a reason. Rebranding is tough, so it’s important that you start getting the new one right starting from the planning stage. When building your new one, focus on the authentic. Start with the feature or service that you’re the best at delivering, and make that the basis for your new brand. Matching your identity will give your new brand staying power.   – Adam SteeleThe Magistrate

    7. Let Your Story Inspire 

    People like to hear and identify with stories or be inspired by them. Be yourself, be personal, be authentic, and share your story including the difficult times. You’ll find that it will stick more if you do have a story to tell. Then, when you rebrand, it’s still the same story, but this time it includes the personal journey and decision for why you are making that transition.   – Julien PhamRubiconMD 

    8. Change the Look and Feel of Your Online Channels 

    Revamp the look and feel of everywhere you represent yourself online, including your website, blog and social media pages. Change content and provide a definition of the new brand image that you will now be promoting.   – Angela RuthDue 

    9. Find Your New Story 

    First ask yourself a few questions to build a successful strategy, like, “What’s wrong with my current brand, if anything?” and “What about my current brand am I looking to change?” Branding is a form of storytelling. Find your new story by building a solid structure you know you can stick to. Reinforce this story by speaking, getting gigs that align with your story and writing a lot.   – Maren HoganRed Branch Media 

    10. Decide What Image You Want to Present 

    Ask yourself what is the image you want to present. Which of your skills do you want to be known for? Are you an expert in a certain field, a philanthropist, a designer, or a businessperson? Once you have made that decision, you will have the direction needed to rebrand yourself. Every post, article and branding step should be created to reinforce your chosen image.   – Peter BonacBonac Innovation Corp. 

    11. Make the Transition Smooth 

    The best personal brands I follow are now talking about things that are different than when they launched. The best of them found a way to transition out of their niche or pigeon hole without making big declarations. Find a way to flow into your new direction. Start by mentioning the new topic a little more, and you’ll guide your followers in that direction without much attrition.   – Andrew ThomasSkyBell Doorbell 

    12. Make It a Point of Discussion with Fans and Followers 

    It shouldn’t be a quick or overnight process. Provide your followers with notice about the recent changes you’ve been going through and let branding follow naturally. You will notice that your rebranding might even turn into a “series,” with other ancillary platforms gaining a boost from the increased engagement. With this engagement-driven change, there’ll be a sizable profit.   – Cody McLainSupportNinja 

    13. Keep Your Message Clear 

    Rebranding isn’t just an internal strategy. Rebranding affects your current audience, and will of course have a huge impact on your future audience as well. Developing a clear message and communicating with your current clients and customers will go a long way to ensuring a smooth transition. Your customers can often be your best brand ambassadors, so get them onboard with your rebrand early.   – Blair ThomasFirst American Merchant 

    14. Believe in the Change 

    Your audience must believe in your new brand. In order to rebrand yourself, you need to build on the earnest belief that you are expressing your true self. Changing your personal brand direction will only be successful if you are undergoing a true transformation, otherwise the market will see through your messages and your efforts will appear void. Your customers can sense when you are faking it.   – Diego OrjuelaCables & Sensors 

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    Success Breeds Jealousy

    Surprisingly one of the toughest parts of success is finding a colleague happy for you. But as they say, “Anyone can get pity. Jealousy you have to earn.”

    Following the advice in my blog posts might cause you some trouble. When you persistently do off-the charts good work, the unintended consequence is that you make other people look bad. That can create a problem for you because frankly, people are often envious of your effort and success. It’s crazy, but you will be reviled by some for your exertion. They are afraid you’ll make them look inferior—their worst fear. I’ve asked many CEOs what was the biggest surprise they experienced once becoming CEO, and the majority told me some version of being taken aback by how many enemies they then had.

    One told me that it is a double-edged sword to differentiate yourself:

    When you get noticed, get rewarded, get recognition, coworkers, family, and friends can turn on you. Jealousy is a unique human instinct, and it can create a divide. Instead of lauding your accomplishments, they make snide remarks. I remember my coworkers griping, “You’re making us all look bad,” and then reacting by trying to make me look bad. It was a total surprise to me that that would happen.

    People are jealous because you remind them of their weaknesses, which makes them feel fearful and insecure. When you are a nobody, doing nothing, no one cares. But if you start leading the pack, you’ll get the arrows in your rear. That’s just life.

    The only thing you can do is to try in every way to highlight and spotlight the accomplishments of others. When they do well, praise and laud them. Do not hold back praise or retaliate against them in any way. Just continue to pour your heart into your craft. And in a private place on your body, you can tattoo in Sanskrit: “Success is the best revenge.”

    Debra Benton has a new book from McGraw-Hill (June, 2017)  titled, The Leadership Mind Switch: Rethinking How We Lead in the New World of Work.

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    How Amazon Giveaways Can Grow Your Personal Brand

    Amazon is the premier place for publishing books and now promoting brand products. Your personal brand can greatly benefit from their giveaway program with your own contests. It takes the right strategy and research to make this successful for your business.

    Are you struggling with not enough sales? There are literally millions of products to choose from on Amazon that you can use to promote your brand. By focusing on the right target market and staying focused you can attract a larger audience.

    Giveaways are just one tool that and can also be a sales generator for your personal brand. With a great website that captures leads your audience can become more familiar with what you have to offer them as you provide valuable incentives.

    How to make the most out of Amazon for your next brand contest

    There are several ways you can use giveaways to attract more customers to your business.

    • Limited time offer – Create a sense of urgency by using a campaign on a first come, first serve basis. The offer ends once all of the prizes are claimed. The limited amount of products can turn this type of contest into a fun experience for your community as they jump in on the action early.
    • Spread the giveaway out over time – This type of approach can maximize the number of entrants — much like a lottery or scratch off contest. By using this method your brand can increase your website subscribers as the person signing up has to be at the right place at the right time.
    • Save money on advertising – The Amazon Giveaway program is free to use for verified account holders. Your business is only responsible for the cost of the products being offered plus any shipping and taxes. Amazon handles all of the communication and transactions for you.
    • Host a giveaway on a guest blog – If you are writing for another influencer blog then your brand can include any contests right inside your post. The embed code is simple to include and can help bring more attention to your home website.

    Amazon is a great resource to tap into when it comes to building your personal brand. In order to make your giveaways the most effective it is good to know ahead of time of who exactly you would like to target and how many products will be available. Include spreading the word on social media and your website in order to gain the most traction.

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    Why You Want a Low Bus Coefficient

    The fastest way to get a promotion is to have a Low Bus Coefficient.

    Of course, there are other less seemly and perhaps unethical ways to get promotions. But, for most people in the modern work world the fastest way to get promotions is to share what you know.

    “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

    The point of this post is to think about how you are sharing your knowledge and how you can be more intuitive in the way you share. When you can share more you can and will Stand Out in Your Career.

    In a sense sharing is a soft skill. Albeit a skill we should have learned in kindergarten, but a skill that too many have been taught to unlearn as they have grown older and into more “competitive” situations.

    • Are there times to keep confidences? Absolutely.
    • Are there times to share what you know? Absolutely.

    In order to stand out in your career you will want to find a way to balance these two factors and in the process you will lower your bus coefficient.

    Bus Factor and Lottery Factor

    These are also terms used to describe a Low Bus Coefficient. Where the idea is … if you walked out the door and were hit by a bus (or won the lottery) what would happen to what you know?

    This is not an indictment against you … it’s just a way to think about why you should share what you know.

    Exercise for the Reader – Take 1 minute:
    Think: WHAT would happen if you weren’t there tomorrow?

    Let’s Talk About The How

    One way is to have what I call The One Folder Transition Plan or the OFTP. I wrote about this idea I learned from a friend that was deployed in the Persian Gulf back in the early 90’s.

    The model was as simple as it was elegant. Having a OFTP might sound cynical and perhaps may seem to imply the worst is going to happen, but that was not the intent. The intent was to insure the mission could continue in the absence of a key player.

    In order for your team and your projects to continue it would be a good idea for you to create your OFTP and to ask each team member to do the same.

    For more on creating an OFTP see this post I wrote 4 years ago. And, yes, things that are important do have a tendency to come back around and to the forefront. This is the nature of business and life.

    Plan for your Low Bus Coefficient. Use your intuition to think about what should be shared and if in doubt … ask someone for a Sharing Check.

    Sharing Check – To get a check on whether the information you are sharing is valuable, actionable and reasonable.

    Sharing is Caring

    It’s so easy to share today that it’s almost criminal not to share.

    Whether you use old school paper and pencils or whether you use tools like Enterprise Social Networks, Public Social Networks, Internal Networks or whatever your preferred documentation tool … it’s never been easier.

    In this day and age it’s too easy not to share things you know. Between enterprise social networks (ESN’s) which capture a lot of information behind the scenes inside of corporate firewalls and of course public social networks where everything and anything might be shared.

    Another way to look at sharing and why you, your colleagues, and your company (this is especially true for entrepreneurs) need to think about your Bus Coefficient and how to make sure your keep it as low as possible.

    Companies do break! Most companies work very hard to ensure customer continuity and care when it comes to sales and services.
    Read: There is No Free Lunch

    The Career Benefit of an LCB

    Having a Low Bus Coefficient makes it much more likely that you will be perceived as knowing your business (because you documented it); and it it massively increases your chances of promotion (because you are showing you are ready); and having an LCB shows that you know how to put your skills in motion – which means your can take on bigger projects and have a larger impact on everything you do.

    From an optimistic perspective:
    Imagine you were just promoted or allowed to hire new staff member for your team.

    Use your Intuition and seek to have a very Low Bus Coefficient – Your career will thank you.

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    Posted in Career Development, Personal Branding

    Love Your Job? Put an Exit Plan in Place.

    When you hate your job, you often think about leaving it. But when you are happy with your work putting an exit plan into place seems somewhat bizarre. Nevertheless, smart employees should always be prepared to quit their job tomorrow.

    The reason is that the future is always unknowable. Just because your job satisfaction is sky-high today doesn’t mean that tomorrow your company won’t announce mass layoffs, or hire a horrible new boss, or commit an ethical transgression that you do not wish to comply with.

    An exit plan is about giving yourself options. Our jobs are usually the only means we have of paying rent, buying groceries and supporting ourselves and our families. Job-hunting is tough and can take a long time. Being unprepared, therefore, means risking getting stuck at a workplace you’ve suddenly found you hate.

    Convinced of the need for an exit plan but confused about its practicalities? Here’s what yours should look like:

     

    • Have Unemployment Savings

    The majority of us – 63% – are one paycheck away from homelessness. The reason? A lack of savings; one-quarter of workers save nothing at all each month. For those in steady employment, this might not seem like a big deal. But what if you were made redundant tomorrow?

    Make it a personal goal to have a savings account that would allow you and your dependents to survive several months of unemployment. How much you need to save depends both on your necessary outgoings (rent, bills, etc.) and the average length of time it takes someone of your position and industry to find a new job.

    Quitting a job without another source of income guaranteed is rarely a good idea, but sometimes circumstances may force your hand. Knowing that you have emergency savings to fall back will alleviate some of the stress of these situations and give you enough time to get fully back on your feet.

     

    • Network, Network, Network

    The widespread statistic that 85% of jobs are filled by networking may be an exaggeration, but the power of personal connections is indisputable. Professional contacts can alert you to industry openings, put in a good word for you with their employer, hire you on a freelance or contract basis, provide references and recommendations, and generally smooth your job hunting process considerably.

    You don’t have to be actively looking for a job to be actively sourcing, building and maintaining these relationships. Keep in touch with useful business contacts. Attend relevant conferences and industry meets. Be ready to provide assistance and favors to people who could be useful to you in the future. Expand your network by soliciting introduction to new contacts from current ones.

    In short, build a reputation as a competent, friendly and dynamic person that people want to hire and work with.

     

    • Do Your Freelance Prep

    Thanks to the twin forces of globalization and digitization, many jobs can now be performed on a freelance or contractor basis. If that is applicable to your job, it’s worthwhile investing some time in figuring out how it would work and laying some groundwork. That could mean building good relationships with potential clients, making sure your LinkedIn page and other websites are top-notch, and gathering together suitable examples for a portfolio.

    It may even be appropriate to dip your toe in the freelance waters by taking on some side-projects (assuming your company doesn’t prohibit this). The idea is to get everything in a place where you could easily ramp it up if necessary.

    The same logic should apply to any side-projects you’ve got an interest in doing. If you enjoy spending your weekends making jewelry or writing science-related blog posts, explore the ways you could turn it into a money-spinner if needed. Personal businesses always require some initial capital to get going; whether for printing business cards or buying a website domain name. Covering those initial costs while employed means you wouldn’t have to worry about multiple out-of-pocket expenses when you’re not.

     

    • Keep Your Skills Polished

    There are undoubtedly specific skills that help you do your job well; invest time and effort into ensuring they’re consistently honed, updated and expanded upon. Research the attributes that would be required for a job at the level above you, and start working on them now, whether in work or outside of it.

    The internet is filled with free online courses that can teach you everything from coding to Adobe Photoshop. Take advantage of them. Not only will it benefit you in your current position, it’ll ensure your CV is kept up-to-scratch should you need to pull it out in a hurry.

     

    In Conclusion…

    It may be that you never need to use your exit plan at all. Great! You’ll benefit from the strong network, polished skills and rainy-day funds regardless. You’ll also be able to enjoy your awesome job in security and confidence, and be better placed to tackle any arising issues or rough patches with the mindset that working through it is a choice, not a requirement.

    Exit plans are there to give you relief if things go wrong in the future, but they will also make you a better, happier and more confident employee in the present.

     

    Beth Leslie writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate jobs are currently available. Or, if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Posted in Career Development, Success Strategies

    10 Interview Tips for Tech Companies

    Interviewing with a tech company such as Facebook, Hulu, Microsoft, Spotify, or Google is somewhat different from interviewing at companies in other industries, but the basics are the same.

    What is similar but with a little twist?

    • Are you passionate about the company? Are you familiar with its products, and do you use them? Do you have ideas for improvement?
    • Do you have a real passion for technology? For example, do you read stories by tech news sources? How do you use technology every day? By any chance, are you wearing an Apple watch?
    • Are you creative? For example, do you enjoy brainstorming? When asked to solve a problem, are you thinking outside the box and even pushing back on assumptions?
    • Companies are looking for intelligence. Whether it’s fair or unfair, they’re looking for your college GPA. Testing you may also be part of the interview process.
    • Are you one who gets things done? Do you work on great things, and do you typically finish them? And how about outside of work or academia?
    • Do you take initiative? The question here is asking whether you like to go above and beyond. Anything unusual? Are you writing blogs? Have you worked on something that people were surprised about?

    Traditional and nontraditional interview questions

    You should be prepared to discuss your résumé at the interview because at some point, that subject will come up. Be prepared to explain why you changed jobs. Your answers had better be convincing because otherwise, the interviewer will dig deeper and deeper—especially if the interview is with the human resources representative.

    Practice your pitch

    For every past position, you should practice delivering a blurb that starts with explaining your function and role, but the highlight should be your accomplishments. The interviewer is less interested in what you did and more interested in your accomplishments. Don’t be too long on details. Let the interviewer probe.  And sound enthusiastic.

    Prepare for behavior-based questions

    This might be difficult for some, unless prepared for it. “Tell me about a time you had to defend an idea.” Most people should be able to reply to such a request, but it’s likely that the answer is not on the tip of the tongue.

    Come very prepared for the interview

    Learn as much about the company as you can. Every interviewer wants to make sure you’ll fit into the company culture by your proving that you’ve spent extensive time learning what the company makes or the services it provides, how the company makes the product or provides the services, and how the company makes money. That knowledge will help your cause. For example, Amazon is a reseller that makes a small profit. The company has one of the world’s best distribution systems, which is supported by an excellent infrastructure. Read the latest news about the company. Know important names—at least the names of the top leadership. And learn some details and particulars about them. Twitter is a great resource for surfacing current issues at the company. Find out about the company’s competitors by researching those as well. Read about current and former employees on Twitter and Facebook. Research company leadership on LinkedIn. And last, try to learn as much as possible about the company culture.

    Come prepared with intelligent questions

    The interview should be a professional dialogue and not turn into an interrogation. You as an applicant should attempt to interweave some intelligent questions into that dialogue. Your questions should be genuine: What are the biggest issues the team faces? How much of the day is spent on coding? The questions should also be insightful. Ask something about an issue you already know something about. Perhaps ask something technical. An interviewer who’s interested in technical aspects will probe further, which will lead to a great dialogue. At that point you can say, “I’ll be happy to elaborate on that.”

    Interviewing is a skill that improves with practice. It is not very difficult, and what I’ve learned from coaching professionals in ways of mastering it, it’s part practice and a lot of solid preparation. Remember Larry King and Charlie Rose’s interviews? Those were not impromptu interviews but well-prepared and well-rehearsed acts.

     

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    Posted in Articles

    Build Influence On High

    We may learn much from today’s political scene. Newscasters and folks on Twitter are now tallying “Pinocchio” statements for those in the news. That is, counting the lies that spew forth is now in full force in addition to becoming a game. In the business world, no one lasts long when lies are detected.

    Trust is the soul of sales.

    Why this matters so much is that our personal brand is at stake every time we speak. Those who watch us will match our statements with the actions we take. More than ever, people are recognizing a record number of inconsistencies and are on the lookout to see if our words, actions and deeds match up.

    Job Interviews

    On job interviews or in client meetings, many times we hear questions that leave us stumbling. The next time you encounter one of these, stop to ask, “Please provide insight as to why you are asking so that I may give you an improved response.” Doing so provides an improved perspective. It also provides insight on how to answer in a way that will satisfy the question.

    When on job interviews, and upon hearing difficult questions arise, consider taking the following actions:

    • Reply with what you know to be true
    • Ask for more information as appropriate
    • Defer the uncertain questions until adequate research provides you with a sound answer.

    Reputation Management

    In today’s online world, our reputations precede us. Yes, the right thing to do is to apologize when a blunder is made. But it’s even better to stop and think about the pointed inquiry, and how to approach the answer to avoid the misstep in its entirety.

    Raise Self-Awareness

    On the honesty meter, how would you rate yourself? Have you:

    • “Fudged” answers on job interviews
    • Misled prospective clients during meetings
    • Added extras to your resume that aren’t 100% truthful?

    Any lingering doubt about some steps you previously took tells you that change is in order. The problem with not being wholly truthful is that stress comes into play. You worry about how things will work out and then create an entirely new host of issues with which to concern yourself.

    From this point forward, do the opposite of what we are currently hearing in the news. Take the pledge to avoid Pinocchio messaging and instead, tell the truth. It makes life easier. You will be far more likely to hear HIRED! Both hiring managers and clients will appreciate you all the more.

    Sales Tips

    1. Think before you speak
    2. Avoid having to apologize
    3. Ask the reasoning behind difficult questions
    4. After answering difficult questions, inquire if the answer was satisfactory
    5. Admit when you do not understand terminology.
    6. Suggest time be allowed for you to research additional information.
    7. Ask for timelines to provide requested details.
    8. Deliver your researched answers before the deadline.
    9. Gain agreement that everything is in good order.
    10. Celebrate success!
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    Posted in Reputation Management, Success Strategies

    Business Success Begins With These 5 Investment Tips

    Starting a new business can be expensive. In addition to business fees, licenses and registrations, you also need to purchase equipment and materials. This can be a lot of money out of pocket, but with the the right saving and investing strategies, you can open a business with minimal financial stress.

    Investing is a challenge for many people. Because investments involve some kind of risk, it can be scary to get started on an investment plan. Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks you can use to start saving and investing your money so you can open your dream business. Here are a few to help get you started.

    1. Give Yourself a Budget

    If you want to invest your money, you first need to save it. Look for different areas in your personal spending where you may be able to cut back so you can save more money to invest in your business. This may even be something as simple as brewing your coffee at home rather than frequenting a coffee shop.

    Create a budget for yourself to help you stay on track. Cut out any frivolous spending that isn’t important, such as a gym membership you don’t use, or cancel your cable subscription if you mainly stream your shows. Any money you would have spent in these areas should now go into savings to later be invested.

    1. Invest in Mutual Funds

    Mutual funds are an easy investment tool for people just starting out. Because there’s a wide variety of investment funds to choose from, there’s something for everyone. With varying levels of risk, you can find a mutual fund you’re comfortable investing in.

    Investing in a mutual fund is also a good idea because it’s easy to buy and sell your shares. Without the long-term commitment that other forms of investment strategies have, you can take the money out when you’re ready to open your business.

    1. Know the Signs of a Scam

    Unfortunately, scammers are not uncommon in the investing world. Fraudulent companies may try to get you to invest your hard-earned cash by telling you they have a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for you. When you send them your money, you never hear from them again.

    Knowing the signs of a scam can ensure you safely invest your money with an established and reputable company. If a company is promising you a high return with very little risk, this may be a clear sign of a scam. If the deal sounds like it’s too good to be true, you may want to do some additional research before you send anyone cash.

    1. Reduce Interest and Fees

    If you have credit card debt or loans you’ve taken out, you want to pay them down as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of money you’re paying in fees. While paying down your loans and debt can be a bit of struggle at first, you could potentially save thousands of dollars in the long-run if you have high interest rates.

    If you’re unable to fully pay down your debt in the near future, try to make more than the minimum payment on your debt or contact your bank and ask if they’ll provide you with a lower interest rate. This can still allow you to save money in the end and help you get out of debt faster. When you’re saving money, you’ll have more money to invest in your business.

    1. Invest in What Will Advance Your Business

    When you’re looking for things to invest your business money in, you’ll first want to look at the things that make your business stand out. Because you need to differentiate yourself from your competition, you want to put your money into equipment, strategies, processes or technologies that can give you an edge over your competitors.

    You should also invest in things that can eliminate or reduce the challenges you face as a small business. Take a look at where your weaknesses as a company lie and come up with a few ways you may be able to improve them. Spend your money in the areas that can boost your business the most.

    Putting your money into an investment can feel stressful, especially when you have big plans like opening a business. But being smart about the way you invest your money can help you get the money you need to open your business sooner.

    When saving money to invest, cut out all extra spending and either set it aside to be invested or put it toward paying off your debt. Once you’ve managed to save up enough and you’re ready to invest, look into a few funds that you believe will provide you with the best return. As always, be aware of what you’re doing and listen to your gut. If it seems like it may be a scam, don’t risk it.

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    Posted in entrepreneurship

    How to Get Ready for Generation Z

    In a few years, a new generation, Gen Z, will take over the work force. Unlike any other generation, this generation was born with technology so they are true digital natives. They can do many things in seconds using their phones such as editing a document, buying a plane ticket, taking photos and videos and then, posting them on social media. Therefore, their relationship with technology is very deep. This generation’s entrepreneurial spirit also exceeds Millennials because they witnessed how tiny startups founded in college dorms became multibillion dollar companies. Therefore, they want to be innovators and found their own businesses early on. However, as an employer, you can also create the right environment for Gen Z at the workplace where they will feel innovative, digital and socially engaged with their coworkers. Below you can find tips for how.

    • Give Them Responsibility: Gen Z is more pragmatic and realistic compared to Millennials because they grew up facing major financial crises and saw how their parents suffered. Therefore, they are more responsible. For this reason, you can give them the responsibility of a task or a project, doesn’t matter big or small. If you also guide them throughout this task rather than giving them orders, they can learn from their mistakes and be more beneficial to your company in the long run.
    • Face to Face Communication is Important: Unlike the common belief that Gen Z is all about being virtual, they actually enjoy face to face communications. They like to be social and part of a group. It is not all about “Me me me” like Millennials but it is more about the community. Therefore, create open workspaces and innovative environments where employees can gather together and work toward completing a task. In this way, Gen Z can feel involved and part of a team.
    • Mentor Them: Gen Z is very new to the workforce and therefore, they need some advice and feedback. Keep them on track with frequent feedback. Don’t micromanage or mandate them what they should do. Instead, guide them through their roles in the company and give them the freedom they need to learn and grow on their own. Also, this generation is innovative by nature. Thus, giving them room to grow and letting them work on new ideas or projects that they think will benefit the company, can create new opportunities for your business.
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    Posted in Corporate Branding, gen-y, People, Personal Branding

    11 Influencers With Amazing Personal Branding

    In your opinion, who has amazing personal branding? What’s the X factor that makes this influencer stand out?

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


    1. Gary Vaynerchuk 

    I’ve always been impressed by Gary Vaynerchuk‘s online presence. He stands out because he understands that personal branding is all about attention. In order to grab peoples’ attention, you first have to go where their attention already is. And then you have to give them tons of value consistently over time in a memorable, relatable way. Gary is a pro at this.   – Jesse LearV.I.P. Waste Services, LLC

    2. Neil Patel 

    Neil Patel has built an incredible brand as one of the top marketers and social media gurus. He consistently produces high-quality content (articles, blogs, podcasts) for his audience of marketers and entrepreneurs. His information is applicable and actionable. He does partnerships very selectively, ensuring that everything he shares is on point and incredibly valuable.   – Adelyn ZhouTOPBOTS 

    3. Tony Robbins 

    Whether he’s talking at seminars or writing, Tony Robbins consistently relies on storytelling to create a strong human connection. Storytelling — the world’s oldest communication tool — allows Robbins to quickly engage and interact with his audience, earning him trust to deliver his messages that are all rooted in one thing: changing lives for the better.   – Obinna EkezieWakanow.com 

    4. Marcus Sheridan 

    Marcus Sheridan was the owner of a swimming pool company on the brink of bankruptcy in 2008, and is now one of the biggest names in inbound and content marketing. Much of his success can be attributed to his amazing personal branding. Marcus has been authentic since Day 1, staying honest about his struggles and what he did to get to where he is today: a key to standing out as an influencer.   – Dave NevogtHubstaff.com 

    5. Sir Richard Branson 

    Sir Richard Branson stands for hard work and integrity. In every expression of himself and his businesses, he has managed to communicate the same message to everyone who is watching — that he is approachable, that he will work hard, and that he is consistent. The key factor is his human touch. Despite his great success, Mr. Branson has managed to remain like the rest of us.   – Diego OrjuelaCables & Sensors 

    6. Danielle Walker 

    One of my favorite influencers is Danielle Walker from Against All Grain. She knows her audience, has fine-tuned what content performs best for her, and keeps the quality of her messaging consistent across all platforms. She sticks to her niche and is the best at it!   – Leila LewisBe Inspired PR 

    7. Lauryn Evarts 

    Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential has impeccable personal branding. Lauryn’s X factor is that she has no filter and is authentic to her true self. In an industry that is heavily saturated, creating a voice that stands out is vital.   – Bryanne LawlessBLND Public Relations 

    8. Darren Hardy 

    Darren Hardy has amazing personal branding. The X factor is the photography, images and visuals he includes on his websites. They are top notch and definitely stand out.   – Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance 

    9. Mark Suster 

    Mark Suster has built an impressive personal brand purely by educating entrepreneurs. As one of the premier venture capitalists in the country, Mark takes every opportunity to empower his followers with valuable and honest knowledge and perspective. His success comes from his ability to simplify complicated topics, like angel investing and startups, and the honest way he delivers his content.   – Andrew ThomasSkyBell Doorbell 

    10. Benedict Evans 

    I’m extremely turned off by any feelings of falseness in a business leader. Most “talking heads” in the media, politicians and business leaders don’t come across as truly knowledgeable or interested in their topics. Benedict Evans, of Andreessen Horowitz, is clearly the opposite. He passionately argues the vision of mobile and tech 24/7 and that reliability has built a tremendous brand for him.   – Brennan WhiteCortex 

    11. Sheryl Sandberg 

    Sheryl Sandberg stands out as a figure who has an amazing personal brand. Sheryl is authentic in the causes that she stands for, and consistent in the manner in which she supports them.   – Kyle WongPixlee 

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