Entrepreneur Corner

entrepreneurshipBarbados continues to grapple with the challenge to sustain its cost of living in harsh economic times. One avenue which is a historical fact is the significant contribution which Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) contribute to economies, especially those which are successful. BU hopes bloggers will post submissions, ideas, feedback about how we can fan the flame of entrepreneurship to the Entrepreneur Corner.

Thanks to Moneybrain for this idea.

149 thoughts on “Entrepreneur Corner

  1. Submitted by Moneybrain

    Keynote Address By Mohnish Pabrai At TiECON Southwest (Nov. 9th, 2013)
    November 16, 2013

    Tannor Pilatzke
    Articles (37)
    Author’s Website
    Mohnish Pabrai talks at TiECON on Nov. 9th, 2013. He lists all the various business and personal stories that an investor and business owner must know. He talks about the influence of peers and dreaming of following the path of the giants before us. He gives thoughts on business start-ups and ideas to enrich ones life. Mohnish Pabrai also gives his thoughts on “The Secret” to his success. Enjoy!
    About the author:
    I am working towards the CPA & CFA designations, and would love to manage an investment partnership in the future. I am a self taught investor through Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Ben Graham, Peter Lynch, Joel Greenblatt, David Einhorn, Seth Klarman, Howard Marks, Phillip Fisher and Thornton O’Glove. My focus is a bottoms up Value-GARP strategy with a mix of top down contrarianism. “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain
    Visit Tannor Pilatzke’s Website

  2. The time is long overdue for Community Think Tanks where constituents can get together and seek ideas outside the box. Spoke to the late David Thompson about the idea who expressed a keen interest as this embraces the servant leadership approach. Too many believe the solutions to their problems lie at the feet of a politician.

  3. “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  4. Something to think about….. “Any man can make a mistake; only a fool keeps making the same one”. Have a nice day

  5. david,
    the process is non existant.i am a barbadien .since 1630 i can trace my roots. i have written many e mails ,filled out application as required,submitted aplication,spoken in person to mr thompson, mr bennet,or the barbados ncc.i have been given verbally the ok for a spot to rent water sport equipment,writen the ncc several times in e mail.
    and this is since 2010 ,still i have not recieved my licence ,or any reply from the ncc .
    i was told it ws not necesary and then one day actually the best day i was having[lots of clients and rentals] since starting the buisness. a ncc woman came a year after i had been there and said i can not come there any more or i will be removed by police.so i had a meeting at the locaton with mr barnett and 2 other ncc INSPECTORS and given verbally the ok to carry on ,their only requirement was i move my trailer back fuirther fron the beach.where locals park every weekend. and given no reason i have not recieved my licence in writing.
    this is the height of backwardness as i see it and also racist in reallity.as i am a white man.
    we will see what they will try to do to me this season coming as i will be back at the location.and have advised the ncc of this and still no reply.4 years is just insanity.Entrepreneur does not seem to exist.especially if you are not rich and have inside contacts in high places.the payola continues and
    barbados continues to go reverse in any buisness that has to deal with a goverment agency.
    i will see .and try to stay calm. as racism against the minority whites continues in barbados.

  6. Govt in Bim and worldwide are the best at preventing Business and JOB creation—-BUREAUCRATS!

    The worst thing U could hear is
    “I am here from the Govt to “help” U with your business”.

    We need retired Business Pros from Accts, Sales and all functions to help Innovators in Bim.

    • Ten Lessons for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

      By Jeffrey Tucker, CEO, liberty.me on December 20, 2013 | Full Essay

      One of my favorite web spaces is meetinnovators.com. It interviews startup entrepreneurs, people who created something new and made it successful. Through casual conversation, it investigates their thinking, mode of working, trials and tribulations, breakthroughs, and visions of the future. Just hearing these people talk gives you a real lift.

      Major media don’t usually cover this world, which is strange because the technologies we use and the businesses we trade with define a major part of our lives. The trouble is that most people just take it all for granted.

      "Of course there’s an upgrade." "Of course there’s an app." "Of course I can make a video call from a wireless device to a person on the other side of the world for free!"

      I recently caught up with an old history professor, and it would have made sense to talk about big ideas (about which we both really care). But actually, and very quickly, we gravitated to more interesting stuff. (Read more here…)

      About half the entrepreneurs I know went into business for themselves. They had reasons other than the desire to become wealthy. The other half were people that wanted—simply and purely—to get rich quickly by whatever means necessary. Needless to say, the second group was less apt to maintain their wealth over the long haul.

      If you’re a new entrepreneur—or soon-to-be one—here’s some advice: People from both of these groups will try telling you why you will fail. When people tell you such reasons, pay attention to those who have actually succeeded in business. They might be trying to dissuade you from competing with them. But they might be trying to save you time and money.

      Smart entrepreneurs—the chickenhearted ones like me—work hard to reduce uncertainty. They want uncertainty to be as little as possible before risking serious time and money.

      Start-up businesses need neither dreamers nor accountants. They need idea-generators, marketers, and profit producers. Most of the time—during the first year or so of operation—one person will play all three roles.

      I’m not saying you shouldn’t dream big or hope it will be quick and easy—at least in the beginning. Every business I started ended up being more work than I wanted it to be. But if I didn’t have the ability to pretend it would be quick and easy, I wouldn’t have started a single one.

      Competent people now run most of the business I’ve started. They seldom—if ever—ask for my help. I imagine this is a truth for Mr. Tucker now, as well… But if he rereads Ready, Fire, Aim, he will figure out how to get off the treadmill.

    • Nine Lessons From the Shark Tank

      By Brett & Kate McKay, http://www.artofmanliness.com on February 4, 2014 |Full Essay

      I don’t watch much television—with two small children and a business, I just don’t have time. But there’s one show that I DVR and watch without fail every week: "Shark Tank."

      For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, here’s the premise:

      Aspiring entrepreneurs get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of "sharks"—five self-made millionaires and billionaires including the likes of Mark Cuban and Daymond John—and ask for funding in exchange for equity in their business.

      Basically, it’s the dramatization of one of the most stressful, sweat-inducing, make-or-break moments in capitalism: the business pitch.

      On any given episode you’ll see amazing and innovative businesses secure hundreds of thousands (and sometimes millions) of dollars’ worth of capital, or you’ll get to watch what’s obviously a weird, laughably-bad business be eviscerated by the sharks. (Read more here…)

      Here’s my take on Mr. McKay’s nine lessons:

      1. Learn How to Pitch: McKay is stressing here the importance of doing your due diligence in preparing your pitch. I disagree. "Shark Tank" is about how to sell your startup to venture capitalists. This is a very small part of entrepreneurship. And it’s one that shouldn’t interest you if you want to build a serious, lasting business.

      2. Hustle is Necessary But Not Sufficient: I agree. Hustle in business is a given, but it’s not the end all.

      3. Don’t Be Blinded by Passion: Yes. Passion is not a virtue. It’s an emotion that will usually do you more harm than good.

      4. Just Because Your Friends and Family Love Your Idea, Doesn’t Mean It’s a Good Idea: That’s correct. Ignore the advice—good or bad—that comes from anyone who doesn’t know the industry you are entering.

      5. Know Your Business: Yes. With a capital Y. I’ve written about knowing your business—and industry—a lot.

      6. Concentrate on Your Core Competency: This is true. The temptation to veer away from one’s core competency is ubiquitous in growing businesses. Things are looking up with your primary product and with the primary method of selling it. So you figure that almost anything you do will be just as grand. In moving away from core competency, move one step at a time. (See Automatic Wealth for a full explanation of this.)

      7. The Best Businesses Solve Real Problems: I don’t agree. We sometimes like to think business is about solving problems. Some businesses are. But most are not. Most products that comprise any country’s marketplace are not necessary. What drives economies is demand, not the need to solve problems.

      8. If You’re Not Making Money, It’s Just a Hobby: Yes and no. As a rule, you want to develop positive cash flow by the end of your second year. And be profitable by Year Three. But some businesses take longer than that. My art business is an example. When I started it, I estimated it would take 10 years to achieve profitability. But I was willing to do it because—by then—it would be a cash machine. One of my nieces or nephews could tap into it for life. That said, don’t go into such a business unless you have plenty of money to spare.

      9. Not Every Business Needs Investors: I agree. I have started dozens of successful businesses and never once needed an investor.

  7. 2 Books to buy Amazon

    1 The 10 Day MBA by Steven Silbiger Kindle $12.57 or $12.27 paperback

    2 The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman Kindle $17.21 or $10 paperback

  8. Another TV Program that is for Business people is The Profit google and look for it on YouTube. EXCELLENT INFO, Strategy and thinking!

  9. Startup CEOs not only have to manage a team of employees, they have to build a company from the ground up. So, of course, this requires a hands-on approach and a typically massive workload.
    To deal with all of these responsibilities, the best entrepreneurs figure out tricks that help them manage their time and maximize their efficiency.

    In a recent Quora thread, startup execs responded to the question: “As a startup CEO, what is your favorite productivity hack?” We’ve highlighted some of the best apps, techniques, and habits below.

    1. Have “No Meetings Wednesdays.”
      Dustin Moskovitz, cofounder of Facebook and cofounder and CEO of Asana, clears his schedule every Wednesday. It’s “an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work,” he says.
    2. Use “mind maps.”
      British pop psychologist Tony Buzan coined the term “mind map” in the ’70s for a specific kind of organizational technique that is like a web of to-do lists. Paul Klipp, president of Lunar Logic’s Polish branch, uses the website mindmeister.com to build his. He spent about an hour making his first one and now spends 15 minutes every Monday morning updating it for the week. Here’s an idea of what a portion of one could look like:

    mind map tasks
    3. Try the Pomodoro Technique.
    Pomodoro is Italian for “tomato,” and it refers to the tomato-shaped cooking timer Francesco Cirillo used as a college student. His technique, popularized in the late ’80s, consists of breaking work down into 25-minute bursts of intense work followed by a five-minute break, in which you can relax by kicking back or giving in to a distraction like Twitter.

    “You might think that a person could do 16 of these cycles in a day,” Klipp says. “I’m lucky to get more than two in a day without interruptions. But in those 50 minutes I get more done than I do in the other seven hours of my work day, at least in terms of advancing the most important aspects of my most important projects.”

    1. Arrange your tasks on a Kanban board.
      A Kanban board is a simple way to visualize your work progress. It consists of columns that represent the stages a project, with individual tasks listed on a note that is moved from one column to the next. Klipp calls his columns: Backlog, This week, Today, Current Pomodoro, Delegated, and Done.

    You can use a whiteboard and Post-It notes as some teams do, or you can organize your individual board on a site like kanbanflow.com. Here’s an example of what one looks like, followed by a closeup:

    kanban 1
    kanban board 2
    5. Outsource small, time-consuming projects.
    Startup CEOs usually have a lot on their plates and don’t always have the manpower to help, but there are plenty of online resources that offer workers you can hire to take on small tasks. Matt DeCelles, cofounder and partner of William Painter, recommends sites like Elance and Fiverr for cheap freelance work for anything from programming to design. There’s also Fancy Hands, which provides you with an assistant for $10 an hour.

    1. Put the day’s three most important tasks on a Post-It note.
      After you’ve arranged your work for the day, DeCelles recommends writing the three most important tasks on a Post-It note that you keep readily in sight as an extra bit of motivation. Know that you must get these three tasks done no matter what comes up.

    2. Restrict access to distractions on your phone and computer.
      DeCelles likes to put his iPhone on Do Not Disturb mode when working intensely so that no call or text can tempt him to pick up his phone and begin a conversation. He also uses SelfControl to temporarily block access to the Internet for a set period of time, so that he can’t check Facebook even if he wanted to. (Freedom is a similar service that works for both Mac and Windows.)

    3. Use RescueTime to see exactly how you spend your time.
      DeCelles also recommends you install RescueTime on your computer, which tracks how much time you spend on certain websites, apps, and work. You can check your progress daily, and each week you’ll get a report breaking down this data in charts. You’ll also get a productivity score that you can work on improving. Here’s an example of a daily breakdown with added explanation:

    rescue time
    9. Show up to the office earlier than anyone else.
    Remco Van Mook, cofounder of Virtu, recommends getting to the office an hour and a half before everyone else. “You’ll hate it, but you get done more in that hour and a half than the rest of the day — you’ll be running from distraction to distraction afterwards,” he says.

    1. Use Pocket to set aside interesting things to read and watch later.
      Gokul Nath Sridhar, founder and CEO of Likewyss, is a big fan of the app Pocket. It lets you indulge your desire to be distracted but continue working by letting you store articles and videos that catch your interest throughout your day. Pocket downloads them onto your wireless device so that you can spend time with the content even if you don’t have access to the Internet, like during your subway commute home.

    2. Use the Two-Minute Rule.
      In his popular book “Getting Things Done,” David Allen outlines this technique, which is simply this: When a task arises that you know you can complete in two minutes or less, do it immediately. “I love it,” said Christian Sutardi, cofounder of Lolabox, “because it’s not a groundbreaking rule. It’s no fancy app or software. It doesn’t even require learning or dedication, and you can start doing it today.”

    SEE ALSO: 30 Things You Need To Know To Be Successful In Life

    1. Realize that people don’t care as much as you think they might.
      Most people won’t notice that you bought a new car or got a promotion, and you shouldn’t be basing your happiness on their judgments anyway. On the flip side, if they’re showering you with attention, don’t let it go to your head.
    2. The people who truly care about you aren’t interested in your accomplishments and possessions; they’re interested in you.
      It’s called love, and you’ll know when someone congratulating you on your new job is jealous or truly happy for you. When you find people who love you, do everything you can to hold onto them, because they’ll be your foundation.
    3. Arranging your life around money won’t make you happy.
      Focus on your passion, not your paycheck. Freeman says he knew a man who spent his career amassing six figures in savings, but died of cancer before he could even touch it.
    4. Debt is not a necessary burden of adulthood.
      If you’re making an investment in your career by going to school, then your student debt is something you’ll need to manage. But just because it’s become normative, do not consider debt a rite of passage into adulthood. It can present a dangerous imbalance of your finances.
    5. Rhetoric is powerful.
      Figure out what elicits certain responses from people, and you’ll be better able to influence others. “When you know how to speak in order to change someone’s mind, to instill confidence in someone, to quiet the fears of a child, then you will know this power firsthand,” writes Freeman.
    6. You have a responsibility to everyone, and a responsibility for only yourself.
      Freeman thinks that by merely existing we have a responsibility to recognize the humanity in everyone and offer help to those in need. Ultimately, however, you have control over only yourself, and it’s on to you to find success and happiness.
    7. Prepare for the unexpected.
      Do all that you can to understand the way things work, whether it be how your company functions or how your government is operating. But understand that no amount of knowledge can prepare you for chaos that will inevitably hit you throughout your life. Always have a Plan B.
    8. You can’t let others define you.
      While humans are built to be part of communities, don’t let other people or ideologies tell you who you are.
    9. You must always go beyond what is required.
      To become successful, outperform the other guy. And when you’re at the top, compete with yourself.

    Christopher Graves, the global CEO of Ogilvy PR, says:

    1. Self-awareness is endlessly valuable.
      If you can see yourself the way others see you, you will be able to work with and get along with others more easily.

    2. Biases affect everything you do.
      Your worldview works its way into every decision you make. If you know your biases, you can minimize acting selfishly and do what is right for the situation.

    3. Living in the present will keep you focused.
      Accept that the past can’t be changed, and make the most of what’s in front of you.

    4. People who are very different from you can enrich your life.
      Surrounding yourself with like-minded people can limit your creativity, but if you seek out new perspectives, you grow faster and learn more.

    5. Travel. Travel more.
      Not only will being exposed to other ways of living give you a new perspective on life, it will take your brain off autopilot and allow you to return to work refreshed.

    Mike Leary, a psychotherapist, says:

    1. It’s important to keep taking risks until you find your passion.
      If you haven’t found a job that makes you happy, don’t settle.

    2. You must take care of your health.
      You can’t focus on your career if you’re continually set back by indulging your vices or ignoring health problems.

    3. Your reputation must be protected.
      Guard your reputation with all that you have. Make habits of being honest, reliable, and kind, and others will notice.

    4. Emotions should not guide decision-making.
      A knee-jerk reaction influenced by anger or panic can destroy a lifetime of work in one moment. Wait until you are calm before making a big decision.

    5. Forgive others and yourself.
      Strangers and loved ones alike will hurt and disappoint you. React accordingly, but do not hold grudges. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to fuel hatred.

    6. Seek a greater purpose.
      You live in a world much bigger than yourself. Figure out how you’d like to give back.

    An anonymous poster writes:

    1. Life is short.
      Use a sense of urgency to make the most of your time.

    2. There’s a lot you don’t know.
      If there’s a task you can delegate to someone better suited for it, then do it. If there’s a discussion about something you’re not sufficiently knowledgeable about, resist the urge to jump in.

    3. You need to be honest with yourself.
      If you’re going to grow as a person, it’s important to see unpleasant things for what they are.

    Jay Bazzinotti, a writer, says:

    1. Happiness is a choice.
      Your attitude is a decision. Choosing to be happy and optimistic, regardless of the situation, yields more success than negativity.

    2. Confidence will take you places.
      When you believe in yourself, others tend to believe what you have to say.

    3. Everyone is afraid.
      Realize that everyone is afraid of failing. The successful ones know how to accept their fears and keep anxiety from restraining them.

    4. Everyone hurts.
      That’s why it’s important to be kind to everyone. Even a small gesture of kindness can have a big impact.

    5. Nothing is perfect.
      Unlike in the movies, the good guys don’t always win. Appreciate what you have, and you’ll be stronger and happier because of it.

    Gloria Garcia adds:

    1. You can learn from the countless successes before you.
      It’s good to have heroes. Borrow liberally from their advice, and you will find what works for you.

    And Quinn KT thinks:

    1. Luck is the most elusive aspect of success.
      It can be easy to give up when you’re talented and work hard but aren’t getting a break. Remember that you find good fortune by constantly moving forward.

  10. USING the Media including Social Media

    Not so long ago, training to meet the press and television reporters was a realm reserved for top business executives only. Now, even the earliest-stage startupcan rise to visibility—or be forever lost—through its first media spotlight. So it behooves us all to know the rules early on. Most entrepreneurs that I know admit to a poor first-media interaction, and many are still waiting for the instant replay.

    On the social media side, the stakes are just as great. Ask Eric Migicovsky, founder of Pebble, who raised over $10 million on the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform for his relatively low-tech wristwatch with programmed clock faces. Kickstarter may take a bit of the credit for this, but they admit the majority of projects without media attention don’t even approach theirfunding goals.

    There are a lot of expensive public relations and media relations firms out there who can give you the full treatment, but I recommend starting with a good book on the subject, such as “The Media Training Bible” by media training expert Brad Phillips. He provides 101 two-page lessons, which I have divided into 8 learning categories below.

    1. Learn the ground rules for traditional media.
      Few of us have the background to know when to turn down an interview request, or when it’s more effective to comment “off the record,” or that you should never use the “no comment” approach. Even practical issues, like understanding reporter deadlines and your own editing rights, are critical.
    2. Craft messages and message supports.

    A message is a one-sentence statement that incorporates 2 things: 1 of your most important points and 1 of your audience’s most important needs or values, with a call to action. Message supports are stories, statistics and sound bites that reinforce your message. Both need to be clear and direct.

    1. Make every interview memorable.

    The key to any effective interview is to articulate a message or message support in almost every answer you ever give. Speak in complete sentences, aimed at the 12-year-old language level, and skip the acronyms. Avoid tentative phrases like, “We’re trying,” in favor of the stronger, “We are doing.”

    1. Answer the tough questions.

    You must answer every question, every time, online or on camera—or risk appearing evasive. Yet quickly transition back to the message and supports. In all cases, you must stay cool, avoiding anger, sarcasm or the urge to walk away. Never offer an answer unless you know it’s true; it’s better to say, “I don’t know.”

    1. Use appropriate body language and attire.

    The main impression you leave with an audience may have little to do with your words. Show energy, eye contact and gestures to enhance the impact of your words. Wear solid colors and make your “look” true to your brand and yourself. People judge you and your company in the first few seconds.

    1. How to handle different media formats:

    These days the media formats range from email, phone and radio to television and social media, which includes blogs, social networks and video-sharing sites. With social media, you are always “on the record,” and once you say it, it’s out there forever. All of the lessons from traditional media apply, plus more.

    1. How to respond to media when in a crisis:

    A crisis is an event precipitated by a specific incident that attracts critical media attention and lasts for a definite period of time. It could be a product quality problem or a major customer complaint on Twitter. The challenge is to be prepared and communicate quickly and effectively until it’s over.

    1. Prepare, prepare, prepare for every media event.

    Even the most experienced executives write down what they need to say and practice for every event. Steve Jobs was a master at this, even though he had years of experience. The result was that every interview or event, online or live, came off naturally and positively. Why do many entrepreneurs think they can “wing it” and get the same results?

    Every entrepreneur in this new era of shrinking attention spans, social media overload and sensationalized reporting needs to know how to create positive messages, cut through the noise and motivate audiences through multiple mediums. Don’t wait for a reputation-destroying disaster to start your learning. You won’t get a second chance for a great first impression.

    Seven simple ways to easily increase your willpower
    From Eric Barker at Barking Up The Wrong Tree:

    In general, people have an overly positive vision of themselves and their abilities.

    But what’s the one thing surveys show most everyone will admit they have a problem with?


    And who is most likely to give in to temptation?

    Ironically, it’s the people who think they have the most willpower.

    Via The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It:

    Research shows that people who think they have the most willpower are actually the most likely to lose control when tempted. For example, smokers who are the most optimistic about their ability to resist temptation are the most likely to relapse four months later, and overoptimistic dieters are the least likely to lose weight.

    So how can we really increase willpower? What does science have to say?

    I’ve posted a lot about the subject — from research to interviewing the foremost expert on the subject. Let’s round it all up and make it useful.

    Here are seven ways you can increase your own willpower and live a better life:

    1) “Keystone” Habits Are a Magic Bullet

    Everyone wants a magic bullet. One pill that fixes everything. The closest thing in the area of willpower is what are called “keystone habits.”

    The primary one is exercise. What’s so special about running or lifting weights? It doesn’t just give you more discipline at the gym…

    It also makes you eat better. And helps you use your credit card less. And makes you more productive at work. And more patient with loved ones.

    Exercise leads people to create other, often unrelated, good habits:

    When people start habitually exercising, even as infrequently as once a week, they start changing other, unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly… “Exercise spills over,” said James Prochaska, a University of Rhode Island researcher. “There’s something about it that makes other good habits easier.”

    Going to the gym is too much for you? Try food journaling. Just write down everything you eat, every day. It’s another powerful keystone habit.

    (For more on why this works, go here.)

    So if you’re going to do anything, keystone habits get the best bang for your buck. What else should you do every day?

    2) Do Important Things Early

    Leading self-control researcher Roy Baumeister has found that willpower is limited.

    It’s highest early in the day but as we make more decisions, it empties like a gas tank.

    This leads to a simple answer: Do the most important things first. As the day goes on it will only get harder to face big challenges.

    When do most self-control failures happen?

    At night. Roy explains:

    The longer people have been awake, the more self-control problems happen. Most things go bad in the evening. Diets are broken at the evening snack, not at breakfast or in the middle of the morning. Impulsive crimes are mostly committed after midnight.

    (To see the schedule that the most productive people use, click here.)

    So your willpower is limited. What else can this tell us about the best way to use it?

    3) Improve Willpower by Not Using Willpower

    Productivity guru Tim Ferriss says willpower is overrated. We have a limited amount of it, so relying on it is a bad idea.

    Research shows we don’t use much willpower when something is a habit, when our behaviors are automatic.

    How do you build good habits? Here’s a fantastic interview with Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit:

    Subscribe to Crux
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    Building new habits is too hard, you say? Then try this:

    Manipulate your environment so as to make what you should do easy and what you shouldn’t do hard.

    Hide the cookies and put your running shoes next to the bed.

    Via The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work:

    Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt, and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change.

    People who think they have a lot of willpower expose themselves to more temptation — and eventually cave. So don’t rely on willpower.

    (More on building good habits here.)

    Now comes the part where I contradict myself…

    4) Use Willpower To Build Willpower

    I know, I know… I just told you not to use willpower, now I’m telling you to use willpower. What gives?

    Baumeister compares willpower to a muscle. When you use it too much, it gets tired and gives out.

    But by exercising it, over time it gets stronger. So you don’t want to rely on willpower for everything. You want to rely on habits.

    But you want to make sure to tap into willpower a bit every day, always pushing yourself a bit to grow that muscle over time.

    How simple can your daily self-control exercise be? Merely working on your posture can produce willpower benefits.

    From Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength:

    Unexpectedly, the best results came from the group working on posture. That tiresome old advice—”Sit up straight!”—was more useful than anyone had imagined. By overriding their habit of slouching, the students strengthened their willpower and did better at tasks that had nothing to do with posture.

    (For more self-control exercises go here.)

    Simple is good, right? Want to know other crazy simple things that can help? Want to improve willpower in your sleep?

    5) Fundamentals: Eat and Sleep

    Yes, improving willpower is as easy as eating and getting enough sleep.

    When I asked Roy Baumeister the easiest way to quickly boost self-control he simply replied, “Just eat something.”

    Want to wake up full of willpower? It’s as easy as getting more sleep at night.

    From Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength:

    We shouldn’t need to be told something so obvious, but cranky toddlers aren’t the only ones who resist much needed naps. Adults routinely shortchange themselves on sleep, and the result is less self-control.

    (More on how to get a great night’s sleep here.)

    Eating and sleeping not easy enough for you? Here’s something even easier.

    6) Procrastinating Can Improve Willpower

    Ever been so lazy you put things off that you actually enjoy? This can actually boost self-control.

    You don’t even have to say no to every temptation to gain discipline. Just postponing them can help too.

    Research shows telling yourself “Not now, but later” is far more powerful than “No, you can’t have that.”

    From Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength:

    … people who had told themselves “Not now, but later” were less troubled with visions of chocolate cake than the other two groups… Those in the postponement condition actually ate significantly less than those in the self-denial condition…

    Anything other than just giving in helps strengthen your willpower muscle.

    Delay, distraction, or even caving in a defined way can help increase discipline.

    (Learn how to beat procrastination here.)

    Okay, now’s the time for the bad news…

    7) You’re Going To Screw Up… But That’s Okay

    You’re going to give in to temptation. That’s not defeatist; it’s reality. But what matters is what you do after.

    Feeling the urge to beat yourself up over your lack of willpower? Don’t do it. No Mea Culpas are necessary.

    Blaming yourself reduces self-control. Showing self-compassion increases it.

    Via The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It:

    Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control. It is also one of the single biggest predictors of depression, which drains both “I will” power and “I want” power. In contrast, self-compassion— being supportive and kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure— is associated with more motivation and better self-control.

    People who cut themselves slack go on to keep trying — and end up succeeding.

    (For more on increasing your resilience, click here.)

    So how does all of this fit together?

    Sum Up

    Give the seven a try:

    “Keystone Habits” Are a Magic Bullet
    Do Important Things Early
    Improve Willpower by Not Using Willpower
    Use Willpower To Build Willpower
    Fundamentals: Eat and Sleep
    Procrastinating Can Improve Willpower
    You’re Going To Screw Up… and That’s Okay
    I’m sure to some people this sounds hard and lonely. But it doesn’t have to be a solitary thing.

    Relationships improve willpower: the best way to accomplish any change is by having a supportive group of friends around you.

    And the reverse is true as well: willpower improves relationships:

    … the more total self-control, the better the relationship fared. Multiple benefits were found for having mutually high self-control, including relationship satisfaction, forgiveness, secure attachment, accommodation, healthy and committed styles of loving, smooth daily interactions, absence of conflict, and absence of feeling rejected.

    Willpower is one of the first steps in improving any area of life — and it’s good to know that self-control isn’t selfish.

  12. It’s time for the wireless power era.
    “We’re going to transfer power without any kind of wires,”

    “But, we’re not actually putting electricity in the air, by putting a magnetic field in the air.”

    It works like this: WiTricity builds a “Source Resonator,” a coil of electrical wire that generates a magnetic field when power is attached.

    If another coil is brought close, an electrical charge can be generated in it. No wires required.

    “When you bring a device into that magnetic field, it induces a current in the device, and by that you’re able to transfer power,”
    Whith big Names like “Toyota” and “INTEL” already investing in the concept, I think it’s the future of things to come….
    Hope a few Bajan entrepreneurs get in on the action.

  13. Life Changer
    Interesting. Have they researched the effect on immature brains ie youngsters to age 25?

  14. For budding Business peeps who are interested in How to think about Customer Service and Offerings, please watch videos on the following TV Business shows, should be something on Google ( I would watch and take notes)—Hotel Impossible, Hotel Hell, Kitchen Nightmares, Restaurant Nightmares—in addition to what I mentioned before—The Profit, Shark Tank and Dragons Den. U are lucky to have such material available and FREE! We oldsters didnt!

  15. Start creating a daily plan of action that will move you closer to building financial independence. The rich are savvier about money because they follow a plan of action, not because they are more intelligent. They don’t wait for their ship to come in. They build their own ship.

    Examine your expectations.
    The masses have a deep-rooted belief that wealth, prosperity, and great success is only for the chosen few who possess extreme talent, specialized knowledge, or just plain luck. The middle class struggles because they expect to struggle, and their expectations create a self-fulfilling prophecy. When they experience a windfall, achieve uncommon success, or get what they want unexpectedly, they’re convinced it’s a lark and their good fortune won’t last. Years of middle class programming has created this losing cycle that usually follows them to the grave.
    The wealthy have polar opposite beliefs that tell them success, fulfillment, and happiness are the natural order of existence. This single belief drives the great ones to behave in ways that virtually guarantees their success.
    Do you expect to experience good fortune on a regular basis? Raise the level of expectation you have for your life and do not be surprised when good things happen. While the middle class experiences good fortune and can’t believe it, the wealthy experience good fortune and wonder what took so long.

    After studying millionaires for the last 30 years, I can state with authority that their biggest advantage is their

    HARD WORK. (Clever Work is better)
    While on the surface this seems self-evident, the hard work I’m referencing is not back-breaking toil. Hard work to the rich is applying persistent thought day after day to solve seemingly unsolvable problems.
    The rich know their most valuable asset is their ability to THINK, and because they use their mental powers so often, they become very good at it. Build your thinking muscles by pushing yourself every day to solve new problems that are directly related to amassing wealth.
    The bottom line: There’s no reason we should be seeing such disappointing numbers from Pew Research about a growing middle to lower class. Start examining how you look at money. If you change your thinking about money, you’ll change your beliefs which will change your ACTIONS.
    Ultimately, this will change how much money you earn. It’s time to get mentally tough and pull up your bootstraps and get going. Remember, money flows to great ideas like water. The secret is learning to turn on the faucet.

  16. A few weeks back we profiled a woman who has made getting a free MBA education a mission by taking MOOCs. Laurie Pickard, a former Peace Corps volunteer, is a smart and thoughtful consumer of these free Internet courses. She already has completed five of them and plans to take at least 16 or more over the next two or three years. So we asked her to occasionally review the classes she takes.

    It turns out she’s also a gifted writer. Here’s her first MOOC review on what she believes is the best free course on entrepreneurship you will find on the net. It’s taught by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, who also teaches at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Columbia Business School.

    As someone who is attempting to take enough free courses to add up to a complete MBA, I know as well as anyone that not all MOOCs are created equal. Some courses are so good you can’t believe they’re giving this stuff away for free; with others, your time would be better spent watching a good TED talk.

    Time is valuable. MOOCs may not come with the B-school price tag, but as an economist friend has pointed out, there’s really no such thing as a free course. In the hours you spend watching video lectures, answering multiple choice questions, and posting on discussion forums, you could be running a lemonade stand or reading Dostoyevsky. Not every nominally free course is worth the time it takes to complete.

    If you plan to start a business, one course that is worth every minute is “How to Build a Startup” from Udacity.

    As its name suggests, “How to Build a Startup” walks you through your business model, using a tool called the Business Model Canvas. Each lesson covers a different facet of your business, from customer relationships to partnerships to cost structure to sales channels. At the end of the course you, the budding entrepreneur, will end up with a solid structure upon which to base your business plan. The course is taught by Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has spent his career building startup companies, including a few with major IPOs.

    I have a few basic criteria — three to be exact — for what makes a good course, and “How to Build a Startup” nails them all.

    Am I checking email during the video lectures?

    Udacity courses are composed of short videos of around two to three minutes, grouped into lessons. Each video in “How to Build a Startup” is packed with information. I’m rarely tempted to surf the internet during the videos — I’m too worried I’ll miss something. Steve Blank is an engaging lecturer, and the videos are supplemented with helpful drawings. This course passes the email test with flying colors.

    Do the assignments require serious thinking?

    Call me a masochist, but when I take an online course, I want to work. I respect rigor, and I would happily take a difficult problem set over a fluffy forum assignment any day. Unlike courses such as finance, accounting, or economics, the material in “How to Build a Startup” doesn’t lend itself easily to problem sets. Nonetheless, the instructor has found ways to design assignments that require the student to really engage with the material, primarily through testing hypotheses by speaking with potential customers. If you manage to do all the assignments, you will have given some serious thought to your business plan, and you can’t help but learn a thing or two in the process.

    Is there a practical application for what I’ve learned?

    I like to take courses with an obvious real-world application. I’ll admit, I’m biased toward courses with the words “How To” in the title. For my purposes, a good course should do at least one of the following:
    •Impart skills and knowledge that allow me to do work I couldn’t have done before
    •Teach me to more effectively do work I’m already doing
    •Allow me to avoid hiring or paying someone
    •Help me to avoid making costly mistakes

    This course has prepared me to do the work of taking a business idea from concept to reality. I may have had some clue about how to do this work before taking the course, but I now have a systematic approach. This approach could not only help me identify and develop a good business idea but also could keep me from investing time and energy in an idea that doesn’t have great potential.

    The downsides:

    I don’t want to make it seem as though this class is perfect. It’s not. For one thing, it is a self-paced class. This may be a plus for some people, but I find it harder to stay motivated when there isn’t any imposed schedule to conform to. Even though there are places to post comments on the lessons, the course lacks the student energy of classes in which everyone is doing the same work at the same time. For another thing, the quizzes embedded in the lectures aren’t great — sometimes they cover material that hasn’t been discussed yet, and sometimes they’re too easy. The real assignments, the ones that require you to “get out of the building” (a phrase Steve Blank uses about a thousand times during the course), aren’t graded. In fact, the course as a whole is not graded and offers no certificate or verification option.

    The bottom line:

    If you’re considering launching a startup — now or ever — and you only take one course, this should be it. In fact, you should probably take it twice — once before a big idea strikes and a second time when you’re ready to turn that idea into the next big thing.

    More from LinkedIn:

    How To Get A Job That You Absolutely Love

    Don’t Ban Email — Change How You Work

    Building A Team For Long-Term Growth

    This article originally appeared at LinkedIn. Copyright 2014. Follow LinkedIn on Twitter.

    SEE ALSO: 15 Free Online Courses That Are Actually Worth Your Time»

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  17. 6 Decisions all Winners make

    1 Winners are PROUD of what they do and how they conduct themselves.

    Regardless of your field of endeavour set out to be TOP NOTCH. This applies to those who clean offices, entrepreneurs, or are in trainee positions as doctors, engineers etc.

    Things change, companies change. bosses change BUT your PRIDE remains.

    2 Winners GIVE!

    GIVE and you shall receive not “ask and you shall receive.”

    Ask yourself what can I GIVE to this organisation, GIVE to my boss, GIVE to my friends/ network, GIVE to my customers.
    Could be a sample, time, referral, info, research, your thinking.
    Be confident but not arrogant.

    3 Winners are concerned about IRRATIONAL FEAR.

    Dont focus on worrying about negatives as 80-90% of the time that fear is irrational. Yes be aware of the downside but think about it logically and dont become paralysed by fear. Everyone has failures just try to keep yourself from really stupid failure like NOT TRYING!

    4 Winners choose to be CREATIVE.

    Tap in to your creative genius. Your brain is capable of miraculous idea creation. Train it, USE it!
    Ask questions to assist those who can help you.

    5 Winners Embrace PAIN!

    The pain of answering every email from friends, business associates and clients/ prospects. If you dont respond when necessary then you loose RESPECT. Develop a THICK SKIN!
    Remember, Winners do the things others dont do.

    6 Winners attempt to achieve the “UNATTAINABLE”

    Shatter the “impossible syndrome”. You are incredible, so MAKE it happen.
    Set goals with a bit of stretch.

    People who try hard and don’t win are still WINNERS!
    Losers are those who don’t continually try to improve themselves or give up easily.

    YOU can be a WINNER!

  18. 15 Best FREE online Business Courses for Novemeber.

    When is the best time to look for a job?
    Well, you should be ABLE: Always be looking and evaluating. No, that doesn’t mean checking the want ads or company websites. That’s mostly for entry level jobs. Instead, you need to be continuously deepening your network and widening your skill sets.
    And now is the best time to do just that. With the holidays approaching, people naturally reflect, set goals, and even draft plans. This month, there are a few free MOOCs that can help you do just that for your career.
    Let’s start with the University of California-Irvine’s “Designing and Connecting Your Career,” a five-week course starting November 3rd. Here, students will apply sales techniques to better market themselves to employers. That includes developing a personal brand to differentiate themselves; crafting messages that resonate with employers; and building relationships with key stakeholders.
    Similarly, the UK’s University of Sheffield is offering “How to Succeed at Interviews,” also beginning November 3rd. From how to dress to how to answer, you’ll learn how to leave a lasting impression with prospective employers — in just three weeks by devoting three hours a week to the course.
    And if you struggle with presenting yourself, go back to the roots with the University of Washington’s “Introduction to Public Speaking,” taught by Dr. Matt McGarrity, a national award-winning speech teacher.
    And that’s not all. With big data emerging as big business, you’ll find the subject examined from three angles. First, the University of Texas’ “Foundations of Data Analysis” provides undergraduate basics in statistics coupled with modeling practices. The Eindhoven University of Technology takes it a step further with “Process Mining: Data Science in Action,” taught by Wil van der Aalst, one of the most cited scholars in information technology.
    And if you’re wondering where to apply this information, consider taking “An Introduction to Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing.” This multi-disciplinary course focuses on how the consumer brain works – and what drives purchasing decisions.
    Looking to launch a business? Consider the first part of the University of Rochester’s “Technology Commercialization: Setting Up Your Idea Filtering System,” designed to help would-be entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls inherent to startups requiring longer incubation.
    If you’re drawn to social enterprise, take a look at “Financial Sustainability: The Numbers Side of the Enterprise,” where you’ll learn the accounting side of scaling your operation. And if you’re wondering if you should even start a business, check out Jeroen van den Hoven’s thought-provoking “Responsible Innovation,” which explores the disruptive side of progress — and how entrepreneurs can counteract the worst effects of innovation.
    Want to learn more about these courses — and many more? Click on the links below, where you can also enroll in these courses.
    How to Succeed at Interviews / University of Sheffield / November 4
    Designing and Connecting Your Career / University of California-Irvine / November 3
    Introduction to Strategic Thinking / November 3
    Introduction to Public Speaking: Improptu Speaking / University of Washington / November 17
    Analyzing Global Trends for Business and Society / Wharton / November 3
    Common Sense Economics for Life / Florida State University and Northern Michigan University / November 3
    Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence / Case Western University / November 3
    Technology Commercialization, Part 1: Setting up your Idea Filtering System / University of Rochester / November 1
    Financing New Ventures / University of California-San Francisco / November 4
    Responsible Innovation / DelftX / November
    Process Mining: Data Science in Action / Eindhoven University of Technology / November 12
    Business and Its Environment: An Overview of Business and the Role of Finance in Business / Open Education Consortium / November 17
    Foundations of Data Analysis / University of Texas-Austin / November 4
    An Introduction to Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing / Copenhagen Business School / November 10
    Financial Sustainability: The Num

  19. ‘Shark Tank’ Investor Daymond John Explains What He Learned From Losing $6 Million
    daymond johnScott Roth/Invision for Hennessy/APDaymond John at the 2014 Hennessy Privilege Awards.

    Looking back on his career, “Shark Tank” investor Daymond John realized that no amount of money can buy a company success.

    When John founded his fashion company FUBU in 1992 out of the Queens home he grew up in, he had nothing. He and his mother mortgaged the house to supply FUBU with $100,000 to meet a growing demand for its clothes.

    By 1998, FUBU was the brand of choice for many of America’s top rappers, and it brought in $350 million in revenue. But just five years later, John writes in his book “The Brand Within,” he and his team had gotten ahead of themselves and ended up with a surplus of out-of-trend clothes in bargain bins.

    John says that, before it faded, FUBU became such a massive success because he started off broke. He needed to make maximum use of every dollar he spent, he told Business Insider at the 2014 Hennessy Privilege Awards in an interview about his upcoming book “The Power of Broke.”

    One of the hardest and most expensive lessons John learned in his career, he explains, was managing fashion label Heatherette into the ground several years after partnering with its founders Traver Rains and Richie Rich.

    John considers Rains and Rich to be “two amazing designers” but lacking as managers. Heatherette specialized in women’s clothing, an industry that John was inexperienced in. He figured that if he supplied Rains and Rich with enough resources and funding, they could take care of everything else.

    “Six million dollars later, we didn’t have a business,” John says. The designers indulged in extravagant costume clothing for the runway but failed to develop a hot ready-to-wear retail line.

    “We thought we could just throw people at it, throw money at advertising, [but it] didn’t move the needle. It was just us lying to ourselves,” John explains. “Not that we were lazy. We tried to put in the work. But the money never made the difference.”

    Now, on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and through his company Shark Branding, John invests in entrepreneurs who aren’t simply looking for a dose of capital.

    “The philosophy of ‘The Power of Broke’ is, whether you’re running a Fortune 100 company or you are just starting out, you have to be creative and determined, and you have to make sure that — instead of other people’s money — you use other people’s marketing, mind power, manpower, [and] manufacturing,” he says. “And if you can’t prove your concept when you’re broke, you won’t be able to prove it with money either.”

  20. I’ve spent years of studying entrepreneurship and am now involved in a new startup of my own. It might not be surprising, therefore, to learn that I’m addicted to the TV series “Shark Tank.”

    Nearly 400 entrepreneurs have pitched the sharks since the show debuted in 2009. Recently, I set out to study almost every single one of them. I took an afternoon and poured every pitch from the show’s first five seasons into a spreadsheet, tagged and analyzed them, and tried to draw some conclusions.

    (This column might make more sense if you take a quick look at my chart on Cafe.com, which highlights some of the preliminary results of my analysis of 377 pitches that have been made on “Shark Tank” over the past five years.)

    Here’s what I learned.

    1. Your odds are as good as anyone’s.
      Let’s start by establishing a baseline. Out of 377 pitches that I reviewed, 185 were successful — meaning that the entrepreneurs on the show reached a handshake deal with at least one shark to invest in their company. That works out to a pretty amazing 49 percent success rate.

    Of course, only a small percentage of entrepreneurs who apply for the show get picked to appear to begin with — 0.4 percent, according to the show’s producers. Even after a deal appears to be struck, there is usually an intense due diligence process that kills many — maybe even a majority — of deals.

    1. Bigger markets are better.
      I used seven categories to characterize each of the entrepreneur’s pitches, and the most consistent predictor of success was “mass market.” An amazing 78 percent of the pitches we tagged in this category were successful.

    Granted, there were a number of pitches where the sharks held back because they were wary of getting into a big industry dominated by big players. However, where all else is equal, the sharks wanted to see massive potential for growth. If you don’t have a big potential market, that’s hard to demonstrate.

    1. Don’t get too far ahead of the customer.
      Wannabe entrepreneurs often make a common mistake. They try to come up with a product idea that is actually too far ahead of the competition. The problem is that by doing so, you can get too far ahead of your customer as well.

    Another way to look at this is that contrary to stubborn perception, real entrepreneurs and investors don’t like risk. These kinds of risky pitches were often tagged as “niche” in my analysis, and they were successful only 23 percent of the time.

    beatbox shark tank
    “Shark Tank”/ABC
    BeatBox Beverages cofounders Brad Schultz, Aimy Steadman, and Justin Fenchel secured a handshake deal with Mark Cuban in the sixth season.

    1. Customer needs beat customer wants.
      We’ve already seen that mass-market categories do best on “Shark Tank”, but it turns out that some specific mass-market categories do better than others. What do they have in common? The customer need they help solve has more to do with an actual “need” than a mere “want.”

    Case in point: clothing, which is one of the most consistently successful categories on “Shark Tank”, with entrepreneurs getting a handshake deal 73 percent of the time. There have also been a heck of a lot of pitches for food, alcohol, and other related products — 65 by my count. Those do better than average as well, with about a 55 percent success rate.

    1. Don’t be ridiculous.
      There have been a fair number of pitches over the first five years that seem at first designed more for comic relief than for a serious attempt to get a shark to invest. Unsurprisingly, they are rarely successful. Pitches whose primary tag was “just plain weird” were successful only 11 percent of the time.

    You can imagine that some of these pitches — things like the guy who wanted to surgically implant Bluetooth devices in people’s heads, or the entrepreneur who said he could generate energy by harnessing the Earth’s rotation (while mining gold and producing fresh drinking water as byproducts) — seem like they got on the show because they’re fun television stunts. However, if you don’t think there are many entrepreneurs out there trying to pitch similarly crazy ideas, let me give you a tour of my email inbox sometime.

    1. Focus on the customer, not on yourself.
      It’s hard to overstate this. Sometimes, some of the sharks can appear on the show to have soft hearts, especially when they see entrepreneurs who are incredibly passionate about their products and have already overcome long odds to keep their dreams afloat. When it comes time to make a deal, however, an entrepreneur’s personal story is really only compelling if it demonstrates that he or she has a compelling insight into customer needs.

    The show’s recent season premiere had a perfect example of this. An entrepreneur named Michael Elliott who had an incredibly compelling personal story — he’d been a ward of the state as a child, lived on the streets for a while, and ultimately became a successful magazine writer and screenwriter — clearly earned the Sharks’ respect. However, when it came time to make a deal on his Hammer & Nails “nail shop for guys,” there were no offers to be found.

    1. It’s hard to be trendy.
      There’s a lot of fool’s gold in trends. Things move so quickly in business that by the time a new entrepreneur can identify a trend and think of a way to capitalize on it, the trend is often over. That said, while the sample size is small — only five pitches that were tagged primarily as “trendy” — four of these entrepreneurs managed to leave the show with a handshake deal.

    Despite that 80 percent success rate, I worry about people taking the wrong lesson. For every Buggy Beds (capitalizing on fear of bed bugs) with a $250,000 investment and a $1 million valuation, there’s a pitch like Broccoli Wad (a money clip capitalizing on the popularity of “The Sopranos”) with a much smaller $50,000 investment and a $250,000 valuation.

    shark tank
    The “Shark Tank” investors look for mass market products that seem low-risk.

    1. Women are better customers than men.
      At least when the sharks are involved, entrepreneurs who are seeking to sell primarily to women do better. Pitches that I tagged primarily as targeting women had a 56 percent success rate. Beyond that, products aimed at children did 59 percent, and pitches that were tagged as “educational” had a phenomenal 73 percent success rate.

    Combining the high success rates of products for women and children with the high success rate for clothing, however, might lead some entrepreneurs to an unfortunate conclusion. I found several instances in which entrepreneurs on “Shark Tank” wanted to sell maternity clothes. Not a single one was successful.

    1. Know your numbers…
      I’ve often found that you can predict whether a business is doomed to fail within about 60 seconds by asking two simple questions: What customer problem are you solving? Why are you the person to solve it?

    That second question explains why there is no easier way to get eaten alive on “Shark Tank” than to walk into the studio looking for an investment of thousands or even millions of dollars, and not be able to articulate basic metrics about your business very quickly. This was a little bit harder to track, but anecdotally it came through time and again.

    1. But don’t nickel and dime.
      Finally, this last lesson also goes back to being able to do simple math — especially under pressure. Believe me, I understand working to get the best deal possible, and there are some times when an entrepreneur is better off leaving a lopsided deal on the table. (Case in point: Copa di Vino, which even ABC’s website describes as the most successful pitch that didn’t result in an investment.)

    That said, there are many instances in which negotiations on “Shark Tank” get caught up in a tense back-and-forth over what is really a phantom equity — sometimes to the point of killing the deal on air. Moreover, you have to suspect that many of the deals that get killed after the show is over are the same ones in which the negotiations are toughest on air. Both on “Shark Tank” and in real life, a contentious tone during the deal can make working together later more difficult.

  21. 30 Daily Habits of Business Owners

    Like a runner who has to count calories, miles, and how often they hit the pavement, a good leader has to stay on top of the business, make wise decisions, and practice healthy habits. Here’s how.

    1. You count the numbers each day
      Wait, isn’t this like Ebenezer Scrooge at Christmas? Not really. Everyone at your company wants you to be a money person and keep the business afloat. They are not in your employ for fun and the free food. Track your finances and monitor cash flow every day.
    2. You never get angry
      Good leaders know how to control their emotions. Anger never accomplishes anything, it just creates fearful employees who do not want to work hard and achieve greatness.
    3. You praise one person each day
      The best entrepreneurs practice the art of the daily praise. This motivates employees and builds their morale. Without praise, no one will really own the work.
    4. You are not afraid to rebuke and correct
      Praising too often is also not a good approach, because there are times when you do need to correct. Don’t shirk that responsibility. Correct quickly and move on.

    5. You never feed your own ego
      Building a company is not an exercise in feeding your own ego. Avoid making matters so personal that the success or failure of the company is about your own achievements.

    6. You look for minor improvements
      As a daily practice, look for ways to improve performance not only in your own daily work but also in the work of others. The small changes you make will lead to major success.

    Flickr/Heisenberg Media
    7. You listen to feedback from staff
    Good leaders seek out feedback. Why? Because that’s how you improve and lead more effectively, which leads to more growth and success.

    1. You workout daily
      Without a daily regime to tune your body and soul, you will start winging it and running on adrenaline. That never lasts. You just can’t lead a successful company unless you learn the discipline of daily exercise. If you don’t, it will catch up with you eventually.

    2. You are unoffendable
      Offense takes time. You create thought patterns through dwelling o how you’ve been offended, and then think about how that person is on your list. Don’t even keep a list. Operate without ever being offended and you will be free to lead more effectively.

    3. You defend your employees
      Ironically, while you shouldn’t take offense when someone makes a sarcastic jab, you should jump in and defend your employees. This is particularly important in a small company, since a negative comment or criticism can lead to poor work performance.

    4. You seek out mentoring
      No company has ever been built without the main leader seeking advice. It just doesn’t happen. No one can be all-knowing on every topic. Seek out a good mentor. Grow in knowledge, and you will learn how to grow your company.

    5. You seek out someone to mentor
      When you pour out what you know, you essentially educate someone and motivate that person to excel. You are spreading the knowledge. That creates bigger, better companies in the long run because you won’t be doing all of the hard work on your own.

    startup young people
    Flickr/Heisenberg Media
    13. You use data to make decisions
    Data is there to help you. Use it to excel in your job and grow the company. You can make better decisions, and it will catch on with everyone around you. Snap judgments can kill growth.

    1. You gather data, but sometimes go with your hunch
      At the same time, don’t let yourself get too bogged down with information. There are times when it’s OK to collect the data, analyze the findings, and then make a decision based on what you think is the best course of action. Call it a hunch — or an educated spur-of-the-moment decision.

    2. You’re always open to press coverage
      Few companies besides Apple can thrive without press coverage. There may be times when you have to keep things quiet, but find a way to get your company more known in the marketplace. Good press coverage is one way to seek legitimacy.

    3. You have patience about product development
      Product development takes time. It’s important to build the best product possible, whether it’s software, hardware, or some other gizmo. Don’t take shortcuts. When the product is ready and up to your high standards, get it to market quickly.

    4. You don’t ignore the competition
      Like a swimmer who is focused on winning a race, be sure to keep your eye on the goal. At the same time, it’s OK to be aware of who is sneaking up on you.

    5. You smile at adversity
      When problems arise in your company, make sure you are prepared for setbacks, and even welcome them. Embrace them. Use adversity as a motivator and a way to push forward.

    6. You see failure as a lesson
      Speaking of adversity, it’s also OK to embrace failure. There are some amazing lessons to learn, and no company grows to become a great organization unless they learn from failure and then keep changing, developing, and growing.

    7. You wake up each morning asking how YOU can change
      A great leader knows how to look in the mirror and make changes. If you want to lead a company to greatness, you have to adapt and change.

    8. You set work aside in the evening
      We were not designed to work 14 to 16 hours per day. We all need breaks. It’s OK to set the phone down after 5 p.m. and start fresh in the morning. Work can wait until you are rested.

    Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr
    22. You put family first
    Family is incredibly important to your success. Otherwise, you become a moneymaking machine with no soul and no real motivation. Make sure you put your family first. That creates a richness to life and a purpose beyond anything a huge yacht could ever provide.

    1. You pick one thing per day to help with stress
      In the midst of massive growth, there will be stress. Figure out how to deal with that mental state early on. Is it taking a quick run around the building or playing a video game? Taking a drive to burn off steam? Do it.

    2. You finish one task each morning
      A company grows one step at a time. Start each morning by completing one of those steps. Is it an expense report or a new person you have to interview? Get it done right away to help you develop a pattern for the day.

    3. You don’t finish every task on your list
      Here’s the irony of tasks lists: You should never complete every item because that’s often not a sign of good productivity. It’s just a sign that you don’t understand how to prioritize. Some tasks can definitely wait for another day.

    4. You invest in relationships
      Every good salesperson knows the key to selling a product is building a relationship. That way, you learn the needs of the customer. The same is true in leading a startup. You have to get to know your employees, hang out with them, learn their likes and dislikes. You can’t lead strangers.

    5. You know when to be a shark
      There are times when you will need to jump on a problem, attack it, and lead the company with pure conviction and perseverance. That’s OK for a time, but don’t be the angry shark who attacks everyone and anyone. Leave that to the guys on television.

    6. You have down time
      The most amazing leaders in history knew how to get down time. They perfected the art of relaxation, and then pushed forward to achieve great things. If you are constantly running low on steam, you won’t be able to build a great, long-lasting business.

    7. You spend company money like it’s your money
      It’s a simple lesson, but you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs don’t practice this basic idea. Think of every dollar you spend as a way to either deplete resources or advance the company. That might sound familiar, since it’s also the best way to manage personal accounts.

    8. You don’t judge
      Judging others is an easy way to kill momentum in a company. No one likes to work with someone who is constantly criticizing others. Be intentional about praising, give feedback as precisely and quickly as possible, but otherwise have an attitude of empowerment.

  22. FREE on line Business Courses in March

    Operations? That sounds like a lot of work.

    Sure is. It isn’t as glamorous as leadership. You’re not psychoanalyzing the customer to death like marketing. Unlike finance, operations people aren’t heralded as company saviors. In fact, you’re often taken for granted in operations. I mean, isn’t closing the sale the hard part?

    Afraid not. In reality, getting a product from point A to point B is the real work. It seems simple enough. You just call “the guy” and he picks up the order. And you can wipe your hands of it, right? Not exactly.

    For starters, you need to know the metrics to staff your operations. And there are so many questions. How many orders do you get each day? When does demand spike — and how you deploy resources to absorb that? What steps are required to fulfill an order —and can you configure your location to maximize speed and efficiency? How much stock should you maintain — and where?

    Yes, operations is the science of juggling variables, containing costs, and mitigating risk. It can encompass production, modeling, storage, logistics, and service. Like any science, there is also an art to creating systems that eliminate bottlenecks and redundancies. And that’s particularly true when designing an operation for scale.

    In a new MOOC, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management integrates the science and art of operations. It’s also co-taught by a master teacher, Gad Allon, who is among Poets&Quants’ Top 40 Professors Under 40. On March 30th, it launches “Scaling Operations: Linking Strategy and Execution.”

    Here, students can master that elusive and intricate balancing act that is the foundation of operations. Scale too fast and you could skyrocket costs without an accompanying return. Scale too slow and you’ll quickly be outflanked by more nimble competitors.

    Forget stale PowerPoints. Unlike many MOOCs, the course will be driven by case studies, no different than a Kellogg MBA course. Even more, students will receive data from Kellogg’s corporate partners, so they can develop models and make decisions based on what they’d encounter in the world. With the boundaries between operations and c-suite functions fading, it pays for leaders to learn exactly how operations can become a true differentiator in their firm.

    And that’s not all. This month, MIT will also apply the case study method to help learners understand how data analytics can help them better understand their customers and potential gaps and opportunities. For aspiring bankers, the University of Chicago is launching the second half of its asset pricing course, giving students a taste of what it’s like to study at one of the premier finance schools in the world. This is a chance to study for six weeks under one of Booth’s superstar professors, John Cochrane, who literally wrote the book on asset pricing.

    For a more international perspective, Italy’s best business school, SDA Bocconi, is offering a free MOOC on international leadership and organizational behavior, to help student navigate cultural minefields. And the University of Strathclyde provides a futurist perspective on business, examining how the knowledge economy, technology, ethics, and globalization are re-shaping the roles and challenges facing organizations.

    And if you have never tried out a MOOC and would like to sample one this next month without having to do demanding statistics or accounting, check out Cornell University’s American Capitalism: A History.

    Over the eight-week course, which requires about four hours a week, two of Cornell’s historians teach the early beginnings of capitalism and how it has been shaped by favorable global trends, technological innovations, unique cultural values, millions of success individual stories…and dumb luck. As one reviewer put it: “It is a history not just of American capitalism but a history of America. The profs themselves were fun and easy to listen to and discussed history with an enthusiasm that was inspiring.”

    In addition, you’ll find courses covering content strategy, entrepreneurship and job hunting this March. To learn more about these courses — and register for them — click on the links below.

    Scaling Operations: Linking Strategy and Execution / March 30 / Northwestern

    International Leadership and Organizational Behavior / March 6 / SDA Bocconi

    The Analytics Edge / March 3 / MIT

    Understanding Modern Business and Organisations / March 2 / University of Strathclyde

    An Introduction to Credit Risk Management / March / Delft University

    Asset Pricing, Part 2 / March 29 / University of Chicago

    Content Strategy for Professionals I: Engaging Audiences for Your Organization / March 30 / Northwestern University

    Law And The Entrepreneur / March 8 / Northwestern University

    Lead Like An Entrepreneur / March 25 / Stanford University and Babson College

    International Business II / March 16 / University of New Mexico

    Scaling Smart: How to Grow Your Impact / March 2 / Acumen and Bain & Company

    The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen / March 30 / Newcastle University

    New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs / March 16 / University of Maryland

    How to Succeed at Interviews / March 9 / University of Sheffield

    American Capitalism: A History / March 23 / Cornell University

    See additional MOOCs for March here.

  23. VIDEO: Daymond John explains the mistake he made with FUBU that cost the company $5 million. Read»

    Everyone makes mistakes but few LEARN from them.

  24. Hannah Bonomo started designing stationery as a hobby.

    “It allowed me to combine my love for illustration with my experience in graphic design, and my obsession for all things wedding related,” shares the 27-year-old, who was married to an equity research analyst in 2012.

    After five years working for a digital media company in New York City, she knew it wasn’t what she wanted to do long-term.

    “So I figured if there’s ever a time to take a risk, this is it,” she explains. “I’m young and hungry for a challenge, I don’t have children to support, and I’m covered by my husband’s health insurance.”

    In 2014, with about $9,500 collected from exercising stock options at her previous employer, Bonomo established Bonomo Paper Co., the bespoke stationery studio she runs out of her Brooklyn apartment.

    “Before I started my own company I felt hopelessly stuck and uninspired,” she shares. “I had been at the same job for so long, I could do it with my eyes closed (and that’s saying something from a graphic designer). I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt that way – in fact, I know most of my friends have been there, or still are.” Although she says she doesn’t consider herself to be a natural risk-taker or entrepreneur, “the challenges have reignited my drive and I feel more motivated now knowing that it’s up to me to make this work.”

    Bonomo has officially been in full-time business since January 2015, and in her first few months of full-time entrepreneurship, she’s been learning fast. Here’s what the transition from corporate life to running her own business has taught her, in her own words:

    Don’t quit your day job until you’re absolutely sure.
    I started designing stationery in my spare time for three years prior to making it into a business. My first project was an illustrated save the date for a former coworker. I had no idea what I was doing.

    I had never designed for print before and knew nothing about paper types or how to set up a print-ready file (I was a graphic designer working in digital media).

    Needless to say, I gave my first bride a pretty significant friends-and-family-discount as a ‘thank you’ for being my guinea pig.

    I needed to build a solid portfolio and allow myself time to learn the craft before going out on my own. It would be impossible to earn a client’s trust without enough experience to back it up.

    Three years and a dozen printed pieces later, I finally felt I had the portfolio and skillset to launch my business.

    Be fair to yourself and affordable for your clients.
    Kentucky Save the dateBonomo Paper Co.Bonomo created this hand-painted save the date depicting the couple’s Kentucky venue.

    I haven’t mastered the art of pricing yet. In theory, it’s some combination of my hourly rate plus the cost of printing (I work with third-party printers in the city).

    However, I’m a perfectionist: If I billed the actual number of hours I spent on a design, I’d lose every job after the initial estimate. I’m still learning to find a balance between being fair to myself and affordable for my clients.

    One challenge I run into a lot is that potential clients have already done some price research with the big online vendors, when they compare their prices to my estimate, they seem shocked. I have to remind them (and myself) that though we both sell stationery, we have very different business models. Bonomo Paper Co. is a bespoke stationery studio that offers premium, custom design services and our clients appreciate the quality and dedication that goes into each unique product.

    Find a lawyer.
    Frankly, I chose to file for a Limited Liability Company because my lawyer friend told me to. She put it to me this way: People have wild imaginations, and in the very unlikely case that a bride claims my stationery ruined her wedding and seeks retributions, my personal assets are protected. So that was more or less a no-brainer.

    Setting up an LLC, however, is a pretty tedious, multi-step process, about which I was completely clueless. Everyone I spoke with told me to use Legal Zoom, that they make the whole process a breeze. It was partially true — they certainly got the ball rolling. However, there are many requisite steps even after receiving the nice, neat folder in the mail.

    Did you know that in the state of New York, every LLC is required to have a notice published in two periodicals announcing their formation? For six consecutive weeks? Yeah, me neither. It was a pain, it was expensive, and it required a trip to my county clerk’s office.

    hannah bonomoHannah BonomoBonomo works from home to keep her costs low.

    It takes money to make money.
    Building a business isn’t cheap. In addition to the $1,000-plus of filing fees and legal expenses, I also had to purchase a new computer (which, six months later, is now outdated), a new subscription for Adobe software, and my domain name and website.

    I consider myself pretty lucky though — as a stationery business, my overhead is relatively low; I work out of my home and all of my products are made to order (for now), so I’m not paying for much up front. Even still, I’m on a much stricter personal budget now that I don’t get a regular paycheck. I can’t even imagine having to rent a space, pay for prototypes and production, or hiring employees before having any steady revenue stream.

    Before quitting your day job, be sure to take into account the expenses you may incur just to get up and running and be sure you’re saving that, plus a few months of living expenses before you take the plunge.

    Keep your accountant on speed dial.
    Taxes are a foreign language to me, so it’s important that I keep an open dialogue with my accountant. Keep in mind I have a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and haven’t taken a math class since high school. Terms like resale certificate, or EIN were never mentioned in Figure Drawing 101 or Color Theory. I’m learning the importance of filing receipts and keeping an organized folder of invoices.

    NYC Illustrated Save the DateBonomo Paper Co.A New York-themed save the date with hand-drawn illustrations from Bonomo Paper Co.

    Just start working.
    I let my desire to be perfect right off the bat keep me from taking the first vital steps. I wasted too much time in the beginning trying to create the perfect logo or the perfect website (I’m a designer, those things matter to me!). I was focusing on the branding details before I even established a brand.

    The reality is, I needed to get the product out into the world so I could start bringing in business. The branding and site details will evolve over time, and I’ve learned to accept that.

    People genuinely want to help you succeed.
    I didn’t have a single client for the first two months. I was still working on filing my LLC, photographing my work, and building my site. It wasn’t until I created an Instagram account and Facebook page for Bonomo Paper Co, and invited all of my friends to “like” it, that I immediately started getting inquiries.

    What surprised me most though, was the influx of messages from people I had lost touch with, who offered advice and helped to spread the word. One long-lost college friend, an employee at Facebook, offered to run a test ad for BPC; a former coworker periodically sends me details for networking events and inspiring designers, another friend-of-a-friend reached out asking if she could feature Bonomo Paper Co. in her company’s weekly newsletter — with a subscriber base of 10,000.

    It was a wonderful reminder that there are some truly kind and generous people out there.

  25. Seth Godin is a bestselling author, world renowned speaker, and one of the world’s most popular bloggers. Seth sat down with Bryan Elliott from Behind The Brand to discuss the important role fear plays in his life.
    WATCH MORE: The Full Interview With Seth Godin
    Behind The Brand takes you behind the scenes at some of the coolest brands as well as talk with world-class thought leaders and entrepreneurs so you can get an inside look at how they do it.

  26. Working as a waiter at Red Lobster might not sound like an impressive job.

    But for ‘Shark Tank’ investor and Fubu founder Daymond John, it was a great way to get started as an entrepreneur.

    John recently stopped by our offices to talk about his latest project, subscription service Gillette Shave Club. He also described why waiting tables at Red Lobster in his 20s was a great job.

    “When you work at Red Lobster, you don’t take your job home with you,” he says. “No one calls you up and says, ‘I need more tartar sauce.'”

    John knew that he wanted to be an entrepreneur and start his own apparel company, but he wasn’t independently wealthy and needed a job to pay the bills in the meantime.

    As a waiter, he could leave work and know that he was free until his next shift — no emails or phone calls were going to intrude in the meantime. He used his time away from the restaurant to focus on Fubu, which he eventually built into a $35o million company.

    He also saw his day job as a way to learn about the way businesses work. By studying the reports that the company put out for shareholders, he came to understand what made the franchise profitable.

    “When I looked at these big studies that Red Lobster issued every quarter, I would realize that they didn’t make any money on entrees,” he says. “They only made money on appetizers, liquor, and desserts. If somebody comes in and you can sell them an appetizer, liquor, or dessert, you’ve made your profit. Having the first sale is worth nothing. That’s just the acquisition cost.”

    From that, he took away a key lesson: It’s easier to upsell current customers than it is to find new ones.

    As Fubu grew, he scaled down his hours at Red Lobster, then eventually quit. “I felt that the business was calling me,” he explains, “Everyone comes across that. You have to say, ‘How am I going to feel if I don’t take this leap of faith right now?'”

    Knowing that he could always get his old job back helped give him the confidence that he needed to make that leap. Figuring that he’d always be able to work as a waiter again if his business didn’t work out, he went “all in,” devoting 100% of his time and energy to Fubu.

    He didn’t end up needing that back-up plan, but he’s never regretted the years that he spent as a waiter.

    • How is the market which allowed the Fubu founder to find success different to what obtain in Barbados.

  27. The term “small business” is a bit of a misnomer.

    There is nothing small about the pressure involved, having to hire (or fire) people wisely, and figuring out how to stay productive. In fact, it’s a pretty big challenge.

    That’s something you learn quickly if you appear on Shark Tank and come away with your dignity intact. You have to go big or go home. The best ideas are the ones that can scale up and generate massive revenue. Just ask Barbara Corcoran.

    The popular Shark seems to be the one with the most critical eye for whether ideas can turn into massive corporations. And she should know: She built up her real estate company to 1,000 employees and sold it for a cool $65 million in 2001. (Her latest business move is helping Canon plug its new Maxify printer.) I spoke with her recently about the importance of working smart and protecting your time when you’re trying to build a business.

    What are the biggest productivity problems facing entrepreneurs today?
    I think the thing that kills any great idea is a lack of focus. There are so many products and services out there that are pitched as trying to help new businesses get off the ground, and it’s hard to cut through the noise. Knowing the difference between what you need and what you don’t is essential in making sure every minute of your day is used well.

    How do you get more done in less time?
    One, prioritize your “to-do” list before you leave at night and rate the items A, B, or C in order of importance. In the morning, I get my “As” done first. I figure out what’s going to take time away from my business and eliminate things that don’t work. Two, only take calls during the day from people you absolutely must speak with, and check your email twice a day. That keeps you from responding to endless emails that distract you and eat away your valuable time. Three, invest in products and services that are reliable, that have track records, and align their success with yours.

    What other tools make business life easier?
    Anything that improves your social footprint. Social media is such a huge part of doing business today, and it’s hard to sell yourself or your product without it. I like posting on Instagram and Facebook to build brand awareness, and every time I do a Twitter chat, I use Hootsuite.

    barbara corcoran twitterTwitter/BarbaracorcoranCorcoran’s Twitter feed, which she says is a great tool for business.

    How do you think business will change in the next five to 10 years?
    I think [going] mobile is great — there’s an advantage to being able to be in touch from wherever you are. But there’s this idea that we can all work from the beach or the backyard, and that’s just not true. Lots of great ideas happen outside the office, but you have to spend some time indoors getting them done. All businesses should plan for mobile devices to make sales, because people shopping on their phones and tablets is the new norm. Mobile also levels the playing field and gives smaller companies the same access to customers that was once limited to big companies with a bigger reach.

    If you could give founders only one tip about staying productive, what would it be?
    Work early. If you get to work an hour before everyone else, you set the pace of your own day, rather than trying to keep up with whatever comes at you. I turn off my email when focusing on other tasks. That little “ding” that goes off every time we get a new message makes us stop what we’re doing to answer that email, when it can always wait. That takes us off task, and that’s lost time and productivity. And that’s no good for business.

    What usually derails your own productivity the most?
    In business, you don’t have to be good at everything. I built a business that employed over 1,000 people and I had no idea how to read a financial statement and I never learned. But I hired someone who knew how. In business, you only need to know how to access the people who can help you get to where you want to go. It’s about having a vision–and an idea about how to execute that vision, and a sense of how to execute that vision through the right people. That’s really important.

    OK, settle this one for me: Is it better to email or call people with a business idea or to make a sale?
    The phone call always wins.

  28. Real Black success and power! Bajans can accomplish business success too!

    Daymond John got a call from Mark Burnett at the perfect time in his career.

    It was 2008 and John was 39 years old. He had established a career on the success of his clothing brand FUBU, which he started from nothing out of his mom’s house in Hollis, Queens in 1992. Though the brand was bringing in over $300 million in revenue in the late ’90s, its popularity faded in the early 2000s.

    John acquired stakes in about 10 other clothing companies and served as a marketing adviser. When the Great Recession hit, he told Business Insider, only two or three were making him money. John needed a way to grow beyond the fashion industry.

    Burnett, the executive producer behind the massively successful reality television shows “Survivor” and “The Apprentice,” told John over the phone that he was creating an American spinoff of Sony’s business reality series “Dragon’s Den,” which started in Japan and spread to the United Kingdom and Canada. It would be called “Shark Tank” and he wanted John to be one of the investors.

    “I decided that absolutely, I wanted to do it,” John said. It would not only provide a spotlight for John and his brands, but would give him an opportunity to diversify his portfolio. He was 40 when the show began the next year.

    “What I am is a manufacturer and a producer and somebody that likes to brand products and companies,” he said. “And I was only getting pitched clothing companies. If I was going to sell to one of the big amazing stores that I deal with, I don’t want to only just sell and be in Aisle No. 1 with clothing, I want to be in Aisle No. 3 with soft drinks, I want to be there with electronics. I want to diversify my portfolio. So I took on this new journey to do a show called ‘Shark Tank.'”

    The show’s first season was a moderate success for ABC, averaging about four million viewers for each new episode, but it was renewed for a second season and John was all in.

    He built his show persona as the brand expert with a signature classy-yet-subtly flashy fashion sense, and used this as the fuel behind a new company intrinsically linked to the show: Shark Branding. This new company used John’s heightened profile and increasingly diverse investments, direct results of the show, as a way to market himself to major global corporations.

    Shark Branding has developed relationships with clients ranging from Home Shopping Network to Reebok CrossFit, from Jamba Juice to Shopify. John has used these relationships for the benefit of his “Shark Tank” investments, which then provides him with more ammunition for pitching himself to entrepreneurs who appear on the show.

    “Shark Tank” is now in its seventh season. Last year was its strongest season yet, with an overall viewership of 9.137 million viewers, according to Deadline Hollywood.

    John said his most profitable deals over the past seven seasons have been, relative to size, Bubba-Q’s Boneless Ribs, Bomba’s socks, and the TITIN training vest. He thinks he’s going to help bring Bubba-Q’s past $200 million in total sales soon. “Now I’m making more money than ever with boneless ribs!” he said.

    mo’s bows
    John did not make a deal with Mo’s Bows 13-year-old founder Moziah Bridges when he appeared on “Shark Tank,” but he agreed to be his business mentor and helped him secure deals with a factory and Nordstrom.

    FUBU will always have a special place in John’s heart and will always be associated with his name. But he was able to, in his 40s, take a risk on a reality show in the depths of a recession and reinvent himself for the public.

    His reputation and public presence has benefited so greatly that President Barack Obama appointed him as one of the White House’s Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, which makes him as a White House representative for entrepreneurship initiatives across the country and abroad.

    John said his 40s have proven to him that his passion is spreading a love for entrepreneurship and growing businesses the right way. He’s been most moved by stories of kids, like Mo’s Bows’ 13-year-old founder and CEO Moziah Bridges, who grow up idolizing entrepreneurs they same way some do musicians and athletes. He feels similarly fulfilled by helping small business owners avoid the same mistakes he already made in his career.

    “That, I think, is more fulfilling than anything else when it comes to this amazing journey with ‘Shark Tank,'” he said.

  29. Social enterprise ambassador Claudine Reid MBE joins Kingston University as entrepreneur in residence

    Posted Monday 2 November 2015

    Social enterprise ambassador Claudine Reid MBE (Twenty Ten Club–Empowering Black Female Entrepreneurs) joins Kingston University as entrepreneur in residence
    Kingston University has appointed social enterprise champion Claudine Reid as its third entrepreneur in residence.

    Ms Reid, who has worked as a social enterprise ambassador for the Cabinet Office, brings 23 years’ experience as director of PJ’s Community Service, a social enterprise providing care services to vulnerable adults and education services for young people. Her role at Kingston University will include working with students and graduates on Kingston’s Enterprise! programme, delivering workshops and seminars to help shape would-be entrepreneurs as well as coaching and mentoring those already running their own fledgling business ventures.

    ( Who in Bim is in contact with this fine lady??? She does seminars in places like Jamaica/ Ghana,—why not Bim?)

    “I’m really looking forward to helping students and graduates develop an understanding of what entrepreneurial thinking is and working with them to further their ideas,” she said. “I’ve got a practitioner’s perspective and draw on real life examples. However, while I’m coming in as the expert, I still believe that I can learn from other people and look forward to hearing ideas from the students.”

    The University’s Head of Enterprise Education, Martha Mador, said the Enterprise! programme was keen to support innovative students and graduates channelling their ideas and energy into developing products or campaigns that could help society.
    “Social enterprise is an important part of Kingston University’s ethos and being able to tap in to Claudine Reid’s expertise will provide us with an enormous boost,” Dr Mador said. “Our students are creative, altruistic and really care about improving the world. Claudine’s help in enabling them to do exactly that will be invaluable.”
    Ms Reid was awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to the community. She joins fellow entrepreneurs Simon Hulme – a management consultant and business start-up investor – and David Stokes, an emeritus professor of entrepreneurship, who are already providing advice and support to Kingston University students through entrepreneur in residence roles.
    Her appointment marks the launch of the University’s Enterprise! programme for the new academic year, signalling the roll-out of a series of events featuring high-profile speakers along with workshops and mentoring sessions. All students and recent graduates are eligible to enrol on the programme, while budding business gurus also have a chance to enter the Bright Ideas competition showcasing business ideas, products or services to win £1,000 financial investment, mentoring support and help pitching to investors.
    The action-packed schedule will also see Kingston University host an Enterprise Fair on 19 November, as part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. A 24-hour “Social Storm” challenge will come hot on its heels on 20 and 21 November, when teams from 15 international universities will join forces to solve a real life problem and submit a video pitch to judges.
    Kingston University is widely recognised for its expertise in enterprise education. The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey 2013-14 reported that, for the sixth year running, Kingston was one of the top universities in the country for the number of graduates starting up their own companies. It also found that firms launched by former Kingston University students notched up a combined total of nearly £30 million that same year.

  30. Taken from the Nation with thanks, should contribute to the people…

    As Mr Miller explains, sometimes there is too much business possible. My uncle had to visit Sears in Chicago in his role as a Corp Exec based in Tdad so decided to get a referral to the Confectionery Division to see if his Mother’ Guava cheese would be of interest. Sears ordered 2 Tons asap and so since it was impossible to fill such an order he had to retreat.

    BUSINESSMAN PETER MILLER is a fighter. He is also an optimist and a firm believer in God.
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    So even though Windmill Industries Limited is not producing the volume of condiments, seasonings and drink concentrates it did in its heyday, the general manager is not ready to quit.
    It’s been a struggle from 2007 onward in the local market. Windmill was established seven months before Barbados became an independent nation in 1996. With the company’s 50th anniversary of April 2016 approaching, Miller and his team have a renewed focus which he said should help.
    “I’m an optimist and I trust that God will help me out of this, that we will get Windmill back. I don’t even like to say back because I’m not going back to where I was, I’m going forward with diversification.” he told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY during an interview at Sky Mall.
    To hear the former Barbados Manufacturers’ Association president speak of the company’s origins one would understand how attached he is to it. At the age of 12, he started making mixed essence, using the name Windmill, and selling to small shop keepers so he could have enough money to go to the cinema.
    Then at 18 years old, after leaving Combermere School, he got more involved and suggested to his father Luther that they make and sell pepper sauce, which Miller senior accepted. after some thought, he also decided to keep his son’s Windmill name.
    Miller said his father invented mauby syrup, noting that while mauby was around for a long time, there was never a syrup up to then.
    “My father sat down one day and said: ‘I can concentrate that’. He did the formulation and was the first person who did it in 1966.
    “He did the same thing with ginger beer and sorrel; it was just a matter of replicating. We were the only people in mauby syrup at the time and one or two people crept in at the time,” he said.
    He also remembers when their products were found in the region.
    “We used to have a lot of markets in the Caribbean [but] that is gone mainly because of the difference in currency. If we got to sell to an Eastern Caribbean country it becomes rather expensive because of the EC dollar, the same thing with Trinidad, the same thing with Jamaica. In our heyday, we did well with Trinidad, Jamaica and all other Cairbbean islands,” he said.
    “We were pioneers in that regard, were the first people to ship indigenous products to the wider Caribbean and extraregionally,” he recalled.
    Miller also lamented that Barbados had “missed the boat” in exporting pepper sauces internationally.
    “Years ago, I attended the Zesty Food Show in Texas. There were about 600 exhibitors, everybody had something hot and spicy, a guy even had black pepper ice cream. I’m setting up my booth on the Friday for the official opening later that evening, when this tall white Texas guy came to the booth and said: ‘Windmill, is this the Windmill that’s been around like forever?’. I said: ‘I don’t know, you’ve had it?’.
    “He said he had a friend who went to university with him who would send him a bottle ever so often and ‘I love it but I can’t get it anywhere in Texas, why?’”
    That man showed him he had a unique yellow pepper sauce, told him to increase the price from US$2.50 to US$5 and on top of that he bought a case of the product.
    Miller said the sauce was such a hit that he was able to cover the cost of the trip from the sales. Another man wanted to purchase 100 cases of the pepper sauce.
    “I came back here, met with the right people, told them this thing could be big, that we were wasting time with just a few people in New York and Boston. I [was] talking [about a big breakthrough], 40-foot containers with this stuff, but I never got the kind of financial assistance [required]. You would have to go up there [in the United States] and set up properly,” Miller explained.
    “About three years ago, I read in Entrepreneur Magazine that the pepper sauce industry in the United States is worth US$1 billion and it was growing at the rate of one per cent per year, so by now it must be worth nearly US$2 billion,” he said.
    Miller, who is credited as the brains behind BMEX, said he had lots of ideas and formulas in his head, on paper, and on his computer.
    “I’m 67 now, I want to put some young energy in the business. I think it needs that kind of refreshing.
    “What Windmill wants is a refreshing and a relaunching. What we have depended on all the years is basically that people know the product and they love it.
    “We have a syndrome with Windmill where we assume that generation to generation will accept and acknowledge and love Windmill the same way, but that’s not happening.
    What we have to do now is try and attract that new consumer while maintaining the ones we have and that is the formula we have to use,” Miller said.
    – See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/74752/miller-tale-sauce#sthash.nuJ9SMdl.dpuf

  31. This story is about being a Business person!

    I agree with Bernie Sanders (Socialist candidate for the Democrats in the USA). The economy is rigged. In fact, it’s what my father, who is very conservative, taught me about life. Some find it surprising because the general position of liberals seems to be that conservatives don’t realize, or won’t acknowledge, this rigged economy. But my Dad’s advice to me time and time again was that the world was rigged and the only way I could make it was to work harder than the people who were in charge of the rigging.
    A few years ago I was walking through Harvard Square when a woman holding flyers for Elizabeth Warren stepped in front of me. She asked me if I thought the government should pay off student’s debts. I don’t think the government should, but, then again I never had student loans. No, it wasn’t because I was from a wealthy family. I never had student loans because I worked every semester I was in college, and during some summers, I worked two jobs. I did this because I thought the world was rigged against me.
    I missed out on a lot, because I worked so much. I didn’t have the life like many of the college students I’ve hired in the last few years. They study what they love?—?philosophy, political science, art, regardless of whether or not they have good job prospects. They travel. Mostly they seem to go to Vietnam and Cambodia. They eat out a lot more than I did at their age. They know all the trendy restaurants and hot bars.

    When I got out of college, I lived well below my means, saving $25,000 so I could start my first business. That business failed miserably. I ended up losing over $50,000 total. It took three years to pay off the credit card debt I wracked up.

    Over the next decade, I started 3 more businesses. Two of which failed. For one of them, a video yellow pages product I built with a friend in 2007, I used to take my vacation days from my “real” job and go door to door, selling video listings to small businesses. I lost a lot of my own money, as my disposable income never went to travel or luxury goods of any kind. It went to business ideas.

    I kept at it because I believe, much like Bernie, that the world was rigged against me. I spent every evening after my day job working on side projects, learning new skills, reading. I didn’t own a tv for a long time and, even to this day, I’ve never seen any of the classic shows people like to discuss: The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game Of Thrones. I was working while they were on.

    When I finally had a company that was successful, the experience of running it was more stressful than you could ever imagine. I had to deal with some really rough things. There was the time when, on the day we were supposed to close our Series C funding round, the lead investor called and said they weren’t going to wire the money. We had 6 weeks of cash left, and now I had to figure out what to do. There was the time when 2 of my executives quit within 10 days of each other, making my board and employees all wonder what was going on, and if there was something detrimental going on at the company that I wasn’t telling them.
    There was a board meeting where, I took so many rapid fire shots from board members that one of my executives told me afterwards that he would never want to be a CEO and go through something like that. There were things that I can’t write about publicly, but that, if you have ever run a company, you know what I’m talking about. It really sucks to be in charge sometimes.

    Despite the strain that entrepreneurship put on my finances, my health, and my personal relationships, I kept at it because I wanted to be successful. And eventually, yes, I became a millionaire. It only took 15 years.

    Along the way, I learned a lot. I created over 100 jobs. And in the end I helped build something useful for thousands of companies around the world. But when I hear Bernie speak, I feel like I’m the problem with America. I’m one of those millionaires he mentions who should pay more taxes. I’m the bad guy. I’m the white male who is only successful because everything was handed to me. I don’t deserve the money I made. All the things I sacrificed don’t matter. The additional stress I was under doesn’t matter. The risks I took don’t matter.

    According to Bernie, the world needs fewer people like me, and more people like the smart Yale student who majors in something useless, travels the world, and then graduates with $100,000 in debt that people like me should pay off via higher taxes.
    Yes, the economy is rigged. Any economic structure will favor some at the expense of others. But the wonderful thing about America is that if you are willing to make the right sacrifices, you can achieve whatever you want. Unfortunately, we’ve come to believe that achievement should be easy. Changing that attitude is the first step towards making yourself more successful.

  32. While the formula for getting rich is surprisingly simple, it’s far from easy.

    The wealthiest, most successful people have remarkable work ethic and tend to put in more hours, continually step outside of their comfort zone, and are willing to wake up well before the sun.

    They also make a daily choice that most people avoid at all costs: Rich people don’t follow the herd.

    “We so desire to blend in, to acclimate to society, to be a part of the herd, that we will do almost anything to avoid standing out in a crowd,” Thomas C. Corley writes in his book, “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life.”

    Yet, “failure to separate yourself from the herd is why most people never achieve success,” he continues. “The herd stops them in their tracks.”

    Successful people create their own new herd and then pull others into it, says Corley, who spent five years researching the daily habits of rich people: “You want to separate yourself from the herd, create your own herd, and then get others to join it.”

    Splitting off from the pack is easier said than done.

    In fact, we are genetically hardwired to want to blend in, Corley explains: “It’s a byproduct of the evolution of the human genome. During the early part of our human existence, we quickly discovered that when we were part of a herd, we were safe from predators. The Herd Doctrine ensured the very survival of our species.”

    Corley isn’t the only one to suggest that the desire for comfort comes at a cost. As self-made millionaire Steve Siebold writes, “Physical, psychological, and emotional comfort is the primary goal of the middle class mindset. World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn’t easy and the need for comfort can be devastating.”

    Despite our desire as a species to blend in, rich people do the exact opposite. “In the beginning, it’s a lonely journey,” Corley writes. “It takes time to get others to notice you. But if you have a good product or service and are persistent, your herd will grow and you will reap enormous rewards.”

  33. Daymond John intimately knows the power of broke. After three failed attempts, the “Shark Tank” star launched his first business with just $40 and a hope and a prayer.

    Of course, scoring an endorsement from LL Cool J didn’t hurt either. Not long after the rap legend began wearing John’s hand-sewn clothing line, FUBU (“For Us By Us”) blew up in the mainstream.

    The serial entrepreneur, who started young selling pencils he customized with people’s names in grade school, has since launched and invested in dozens of product-based businesses.

    The Queens, N.Y., native’s latest product is a book titled “The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage” (Crown Business, 2016). In it, he shares the secrets to making something from nothing and how to build a business “from broke,” like he successfully did.

    We called the multi-millionaire fashion mogul to glean his tips on how to promote your product like a shark. Here are his top seven:

    Know what your customers will want.
    Your first step when launching a new product is to think backwards, John says. Brainstorm on ways you can make the product something your target customers would want to buy in the first place.

    “Like I did with FUBU, we created a product for people who understood us and who were just like us, people who love rap music and who love rap culture,” he says. Envision your ideal buyers — what they generally like and dislike, what pains they have that need to be eased — then build your initial product concept in a way that will “speak to them and solve their problems.”

    Related: The 6 Books Shark Tank’s Daymond John Wants You to Read

    Directly involve your target customer in the creation of your product.
    “You don’t build it and they will come,” John says. “You have your target customer be an integral part of your entire launch, from concept and beyond.” For example, when he came up with the initial idea for his latest book, he polled his followers on Twitter and other social media platforms on what color they’d like the book cover to be and which topics they’d like to see broached in individual chapters.

    “I gave them choices so they felt part of the launch process, rallying them around the product and driving up the likelihood that they’d actually want it,” he says.

    Build a vocal community around your product ahead of launch.
    Brand ambassador community-building is key long before you unveil your product, John says. Like he says he did with The Power of Broke, if possible, send out early versions of your product to potential brand ambassadors. Ideally, these are influencers on social media with large follower counts who can amplify news of your coming launch. The end game is to preemptively build brand loyalty through early advocates.

    John successfully pulled this technique off long before social media came on the scene, right in the heart of his stomping grounds in Queens.

    “Before FUBU got to the LL Cool Js of the world, before we became official and before social media got big, I made sure all the coolest kids in my neighborhood who everyone respected had my stuff on,” he says. “They took a bullhorn and talked it up in the rap community, which then influenced the influencers and maximized our reach — from neighborhood to city to world.”

    Related: Shark Tank Star Daymond John Says This Is the Biggest Branding Mistake of All

    Gather as much feedback on your product as you can. Then gather some more.
    To convince brand ambassadors to get behind your product and promote it as if it were their own, John suggests collecting their first impressions and making any necessary tweaks before you launch. “To get people who will truly love your product and spread the word, make them proud of it and make sure you don’t embarrass them by putting something out there that isn’t 100%,” he says.

    You’ll also want to ask the brand ambassadors you recruit what they do and don’t like about your product. What would they like to see improved and why? “Pay attention to what they say because it’s critical to your product’s success,” John says.

    Cross-promote your product with power players.
    O.P.M. doesn’t just mean other people’s money, John says. “It can also be other people’s momentum, other people’s mind power, other people’s marketing and other people’s manpower.” You should strategically latch onto all these things when releasing a product via cross-promotional power players in the industry you sell within.

    For example, John tapped marketing pro and Entrepreneur contributing writer Jeffrey Hayzlett to cross-market his new book when it launched. “I say cross-market because this is where it really goes both ways,” he says. “I promote Jeffrey and then he promotes me, on his Twitter on his podcast — wherever is going to make the highest impact. I borrow his audience where they live and the same goes for him. We’re in a mutually beneficial relationship. My book is being moved and he’s passing value on down to his readers and listeners.”

    Related: The Stars of Shark Tank on How to Dress for Success

    Get your product on local retailers’ shelves first.
    Think locally, aim globally. The reality, John says, is that small mom-and-pop shops will promote your product far more than a larger, big-box retailer would. “Neighborhood boutiques and small, local retail shops are the fabric of communities,” he says. “Important conversations happen there. The owners typically have trust with the neighbors who shop there and their endorsement of your product goes far.”

    If your wares become successful from initial small-store sales and the buzz echoes loud enough, the big retailers will eventually come knocking. “They’ll see that they don’t have to risk too much because they’ll see and know that your product is working and they’ll want to back it as well,” he says.

    Related: Daymond John of ‘Shark Tank’ on the No. 1 Thing Entrepreneurs Need

    Don’t forget to say “thank you.”
    The final step in promoting your new product is to do something your mom taught you to do: express your gratitude by saying thank you genuinely and often. “Once people are part of your brand tribe, show them you’re thankful for their purchase, then show them you mean it,” John says. One way John did this with his FUBU customers was to send them free products when they’d bought a certain amount of items.

    More recently, with his newest book, John personally thanks people who buy the business how-to at his book-signings. “I look them in the eye, connect with them and say ‘Thank you.’ They then snap a picture and spread the moment on social media,” he says. “They’re going to remember me over the person who just took their money and said an empty ‘thank you.’ At the end of the day, the reward is loyalty.”

  34. Frugality is a subjective term. To the average Joe it could mean eating meals at home or scouring the internet for cheap flights.

    But to a billionaire it means showing up to work in a T-shirt and jeans, driving a Toyota or Volkswagen, and, in some instances, foregoing the purchase of a private jet or lavish vacation home.

    Surprisingly, some of the richest people on earth are incredibly frugal, each one with their own penny-pinching habits.

    From eating lunch in the office cafeteria with their employees to residing in homes worth a fraction of what they could afford, these eight self-made billionaires — many of whom are also generous philanthropists — know the secret to keeping their net worth high.

    View As: One Page Slides

    Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, still lives in the same home he bought for $31,500 in 1958.
    Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, still lives in the same home he bought for $31,500 in 1958.
    Rick Wilking/Reuters
    Net worth: $68.1 billion

    The “Oracle of Omaha” is one of the wisest and most frugal billionaires around. Despite his status as one of the richest people on earth, he still lives in the same modest home he bought for $31,500 in 1958, doesn’t carry a cellphone or have a computer at his desk, and once had a vanity license plate that read “THRIFTY,” according to his 2009 biography. And when his friend of 25 years Bill Gates visits Omaha, Buffett picks Gates up from the airport himself.

    Buffett also has a decidedly low-brow palate, known not just for investing in junk-food purveyors like Burger King, Dairy Queen, and Coca-Cola, but also for filling up on them as well. The Buffett diet includes five Cokes a day, as well as Cheetos and potato chips.

    At his annual shareholder’s meeting in 2014, Buffett explained that his quality of life isn’t affected by the amount of money he has:

    “My life couldn’t be happier. In fact, it’d be worse if I had six or eight houses. So, I have everything I need to have, and I don’t need any more because it doesn’t make a difference after a point.”

    Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, drives a manual-transmission Volkswagen hatchback.
    Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, drives a manual-transmission Volkswagen hatchback.
    Scott Olson / Getty Images
    Net worth: $51.5 billion

    Despite his status as one of the richest tech moguls on earth, Mark Zuckerberg leads a low-key lifestyle with his wife Priscilla Chan and their newborn daughter. The founder of Facebook has been unabashed about his simple T-shirt, hoodie, and jeans uniform.

    “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community,” Zuckerberg said.

    The trappings of wealth have never impressed the 32-year-old, who in December 2015 announced he would donate 99% of his Facebook shares during his lifetime.

    Zuckerberg chowed down on McDonald’s shortly after marrying Chan in 2012 in the backyard of their $7 million Palo Alto home — a modest sum for such an expensive housing market and pocket change for a man worth more than $51 billion. In 2014, he traded in his $30,000 Acura for a manual-transmission Volkswagen hatchback.

    Carlos Slim Helú, founder of Grupo Carso, has lived in the same six-bedroom house for more than 40 years.
    Carlos Slim Helú, founder of Grupo Carso, has lived in the same six-bedroom house for more than 40 years.
    REUTERS/ Edgard Garrido
    Net worth: $31.6 billion

    Rather than spending his fluctuating fortune, Carlos Slim funnels his billions back into the economy and his vast array of companies. He once mused to Reuters that wealth was like an orchard because “what you have to do is make it grow, reinvest to make it bigger, or diversify into other areas.”

    The 76-year-old is by far the richest man in Mexico, but he forgoes luxuries like private jets and yachts and reportedly still drives an old Mercedes-Benz. Slim runs his companies frugally, too, writing in staff handbooks that employees should always “maintain austerity in prosperous times (in times when the cow is fat with milk).”

    The businessman has lived in the same six-bedroom house in Mexico for more than 40 years and routinely enjoys sharing home-cooked meals with his children and grandchildren. He’s got a couple of known indulgences, including fine art — in honor of his late wife — and Cuban cigars, as well as an $80 million mansion in Manhattan, which he was trying to sell last spring.

    Charlie Ergen, chairman of Dish Network, still packs a brown-bag lunch every day.
    Charlie Ergen, chairman of Dish Network, still packs a brown-bag lunch every day.
    Getty Images / Karl Gehring
    Net worth: $14.4 billion

    Charlie Ergen is a notoriously frugal business leader, but he also nickels and dimes in his personal life. Ergen has said that his frugality hearkens back to his mother’s childhood. “My mom grew up in the Depression,” he told the Financial Times. “I don’t have a mahogany desk.”

    The self-made billionaire packs a lunch of a sandwich and Gatorade before work every day and, until recently, he shared hotel rooms with colleagues during travel.

    Amancio Ortega, founder of Inditex, eats lunch with his employees in the Zara headquarters cafeteria.
    Amancio Ortega, founder of Inditex, eats lunch with his employees in the Zara headquarters cafeteria.
    Getty Images / Xurxo Lobato
    Net worth: $71.1 billion

    Earlier this year, the founder of Zara was named the second-richest person on earth, but that probably won’t change his personal-spending habits. Ortega has led an extremely private life for years, often retreating to his quiet apartment in La Coruña, Spain, with his wife, frequenting the same coffee shop, and eating lunch with his employees in the Zara headquarters cafeteria.

    Like fellow billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, the Spanish fashion magnate maintains a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and gray pants every day. Some say he shouldn’t be considered “frugal” given his ownership of a $45 million Bombardier private jet, but he doesn’t travel often because he’s too busy working.

    Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA, still flies economy and often rides the bus.
    Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA, still flies economy and often rides the bus.
    Net worth: $39.3 billion

    Kamprad is one of the richest people in Europe, but you wouldn’t know it flying next to him in economy class or eating lunch with him in IKEA’s cafeteria. Save for a flashy spending spree in the 1960s when he drove a Porsche and wore custom-made suits, the Swedish furniture-maker has been incredibly frugal — some may even say “cheap” — with his billions, including driving a decades-old Volvo and frequently riding the bus.

    The 90-year-old is worth more than $39 billion, but when he moved home to Sweden in 2013 after spending 40 years in Switzerland — where he was dodging Sweden’s high taxes — he happily returned to his modest one-story ranch home.

    Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd., drives secondhand cars and always reminds employees to turn off the lights at the office.
    Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd., drives secondhand cars and always reminds employees to turn off the lights at the office.
    Net worth: $16.6 billion

    India’s wealthiest tech tycoon has also been called “the bare-bones billionaire” and someone who “makes Uncle Scrooge look like Santa Claus.”

    The 70-year-old is worth $16.6 billion, but that hasn’t stopped him from jumping on one of India’s three-wheel auto rickshaws to get home from the airport or keeping tabs on the toilet-paper usage at Wipro offices. Premji also flies economy, drives secondhand cars, and always reminds employees to turn off the lights at the office.

    Judy Faulkner, founder of Epic Systems, says she’s never been interested in “living lavishly.”
    Judy Faulkner, founder of Epic Systems, says she’s never been interested in “living lavishly.”
    Courtesy of Epic Systems
    Net worth: $2.5 billion

    The press-shy software programmer built Epic — a private healthcare company that sells medical-records software — from the ground up, launching in 1979 with about $70,000 in capital.

    Her company’s success has made her a multibillionaire, but the 72-year-old has never been one to splurge. According to reports, Faulkner has had only two cars in the past 15 years and has lived with her husband in the same Madison, Wisconsin, suburb for nearly three decades.

    In a May 2015 letter announcing her Giving Pledge membership and a promise to donate half of her fortune to charity, Faulkner wrote, “I never had any personal desire to be a wealthy billionaire living lavishly” and said that, instead, she’ll use her money to help others gain access to “food, warmth, shelter, healthcare, education.”

  35. Social Skills Required for Business

    1 Keep Eye Contact

    2 Smile

    3 Show Enthusiasm

    4 Put away your Smartphone

    5 Call people by their name

    6 Firm Handshake

    7 Listen Attentively

    8 Stroke their Ego

    9 Know how to accept compliments

    10 If someone is interupted ask them to continue speaking

    11 Say you are sorry

    12 Dont be a complainer

    13 Good Posture

    14 Be True to Your Word

    15 End Coversations Pleasantly

  36. It’s all too easy to lose control of our emotions.

    That’s why emotional intelligence (known as EI or EQ) is so important.

    The ability to identify emotions (in yourself and others), to understand their powerful effect, and to use that information to guide thinking and behavior, can greatly increase the chances of successfully achieving your goals.

    Like any ability, the skills of emotional intelligence are sharpened with practice. But might you already possess a high EQ, without even knowing it?

    Take a look at the following statements, and see if they describe your own behavior and habits:

    View As: One Page Slides

    You think about feelings. A lot
    EI begins with reflection. You ask questions like, “Why am I feeling this way?” and “What caused me (or someone else) to say or do that?”

    By identifying emotions and reactions, you’ve become more mindful and use that information to your advantage.

    You ask others for perspective
    You understand that others see you much differently than you see yourself. It’s not about right or wrong, rather, understanding how perceptions differ.
    You say thank you
    It’s surprising how widespread the lack of common courtesy is nowadays.

    But not from you. You recognize the power of those two small words to change someone’s day, and to strengthen relationships — and that’s why you always take a few extra moments to express appreciation.

    You know when to pause
    “The pause” is as simple as taking a moment to stop and think before you act or speak. (Easy in theory, difficult in practice.)

    Of course, nobody’s perfect. But the pause has prevented you embarrassment on many occasions, made you a better worker, and even saved your relationships.

    You explore the ‘why’
    Instead of labeling people, you realize there’s reasons behind everyone’s behavior.

    In trying to develop qualities like empathy and compassion, you work hard to see a situation through another person’s eyes. You ask questions like, “Why does this person feel this way?” and “What’s going on behind the scenes?”

    By doing this, you can relate to almost anyone.

    You’re open to criticism
    Nobody enjoys receiving negative feedback, including you.

    But you know well that much criticism contains at least some element of truth, even when it’s not delivered in an ideal manner. Additionally, criticism teaches you much about how others think.

    So, you keep your emotions in check and learn as much as you can.

    You constantly consider how others will react
    From the moment you meet a person, you’re analyzing them. You can’t help it.

    But all of that observation leads to benefits: You realize that everything you say and do potentially affects others. And that means focusing not just on what you say, but how you say it.

    You apologize
    You know that “I’m sorry” can be the two most difficult words to say in the English language. But you also recognize that they are extremely powerful.

    By acknowledging your mistakes and apologizing when appropriate, you develop qualities like humility and authenticity, and naturally draw others to you.

    You forgive
    While understanding that nobody’s perfect, you’ve learned that refusing to forgive is like leaving a knife in a wound — you never have the chance to heal.

    Instead of hanging on to resentment while the offending party moves on with his or her life, you forgive — giving you the chance to move on, too.

    You have an expansive emotional vocabulary
    By learning to express your feelings, you increase your ability to understand them. When you’re sad, you go deeper in trying to determine why: Am I disappointed? Frustrated? Hurt?

    By expanding your active “emotional vocabulary,” you gain insight and learn to take action when necessary.

    You praise sincerely and specifically
    By consistently looking for the good in others, and then specifically telling them what you appreciate, you inspire others. They feel good about working with you, and are motivated to give their best.
    You work on controlling your thoughts
    It’s been said: “You can’t stop a bird from landing on your head. But you can keep it from building a nest.”

    When you experience a negative situation, you may not have control over your natural, emotional response.

    But you are in control in what happens next: You focus on your thinking.

    Instead of dwelling on those feelings and thinking about how unfair the situation is, you turn it into a positive: You develop a plan to move forward.

    You don’t freeze people in time
    Judging others too quickly, without taking context and extenuating circumstances into account, is a very bad habit.

    In contrast, you’re aware that everyone has a bad day, or even a bad year. By refusing to label others, your opinion of them remains fluid, and you get the most of your relationships.

    You analyze your weaknesses
    It takes self-reflection, insight, and courage to identify weaknesses. But you won’t get better unless you work on them.

    By analyzing situations in which you’ve lost control of your emotions, you develop your strategy for encountering those moments the next time.

    You know that emotions can be used against you
    Just like any ability, emotional intelligence can be used both ethically and unethically. When others increase their skills, they could use that power for manipulative influence.


    SHE OWNS one of the most successful restaurants in Barbados but reaching the top was not easy for Chiryl Wiltshire-Newman. The 53-year-old owner of the popular south coast restaurant Champers bravely bared her soul yesterday at the Female Entrepreneurs’ Forum at the British High Commissioner’s Residence, as she told young businesswomen about the struggles she faced and the obstacles she overcame on her road to success. The guests listening intently to her inspiring story included Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and British High Commissioner Victoria Dean. With the Barbados Youth Business Trust forum’s title Rising Above the Challenges, the successful businesswoman demonstrated to a mainly female audience how she turned a fortuitous encounter into a flourishing business enterprise. “I was born in Marine Square, Westbury Road, St Michael. It is not considered one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Barbados. I now employ 75 people and my business last year grossed in excess of $8 million,” was her opening description of herself and her business.

    Wiltshire-Newman explained that her business acumen was developed while still at school when she decided to sell confectionery. “We made our own sweets to take to school and every week when I would take my fudge to school everybody wanted fudge. So everyday having to give away my fudge I thought to myself there is an opportunity here to make money.” She borrowed $10 from her father, bought the ingredients and carefully worked out how many sweets she would have to sell in order to pay back her father and still make a profit for herself. The enterprise proved a big success since every day the students looked forward to buying her fudge. A few years later, at 25 years old, Newman said she found herself being thrown into the heat of running a restaurant when one of her customers informed her that he was selling his bar, Nico’s, for $50 000. “I thought long and hard and I said to myself I have just taken out a loan to buy a car for $30 000 why can’t I buy a restaurant for $50 000? The only restaurant experience I had was drinking. I was still young. We spent a lot of time in bars and restaurants – every weekend was a party. And I felt that I knew enough from sitting on the other side of the bar on how this thing should be run . . . .” The determined Wiltshire-Newman recalled how she walked into a bank next door to her office armed with her bank book and told the manager she wanted to purchase a restaurant.

    She got the loan with the backing of her mother and decided to take on a business partner. While she decided to keep her job at the travel agency, Newman spoke about juggling her time between the two jobs. “I got in very early in the restaurant at 4 o’clock in the morning and started doing the cooking. The staff came on at 8 a.m. and I would go to my job at the travel agency which was literally across the street and at lunch time I would come back over and help in the kitchen during my lunch hour. Because of my job in the travel agency, it also gave me an avenue for meeting people and sending them to the restaurant. “Nico’s grew and we moved from our location, we expanded and went into a larger location and then the opportunity came up on the south coast to open a second restaurant. We grabbed the property because it was on the ocean.” Wiltshire-Newman soon realised that doing business on her own was not the normal course of doing good business. “I went into the bank to get a loan for $200 000 to buy out my partner and that was my first setback of being a female entrepreneur. I thought I had done it all, here I am. I had established myself as a good businesswoman, a hard worker. I got collateral, my mum was going to co-sign and was even prepared to put up her house. If she has this much confidence in me to put up her house she had just finished paying the mortgage on, surely the bank isn’t going to say no.” Full of confidence, she went ahead and got her accounting team to put together a business plan. “I went to the bank with what I thought was a foolproof way of getting a loan. everything was in order . . . . “I was so confident that I had told my partner that I was paying him the $200 000 which I did not have. He had gone on his merry way and I was now left with a business to run, wages to pay and a promise to pay him and I was hoping to collect the cheque on Monday so that by Friday I would be able to pay all of my staff’s wages and everything. “We walked into the meeting, sat down and the bank manager said to me ‘Miss Wiltshire, I have a few things to tell you.

    The first thing is the bank has no confidence in you as a good business person to run this business. We see this business as being run by your partner and we see your input as very little’.” Crushed by this unexpected lecture, Wiltshire-Newman said all she could think about as the bank manager spoke were the countless times she started work at 4 a.m. to cook, all her trips to the fish market, her baking and getting back home at 2 a.m. most mornings. She was even more stunned when the bank manager proceeded to tell her that while they would give her the loan, it would be prime plus four per cent. “ . . . Because I was considered high risk, they also needed to have financials from me every month and for every day I was late with those financials there would be a $100 penalty. I thought to myself, ‘what? Is he trying to kill me?’ . . . “My financial advisor who was in the meeting at the time, Joe [Joseph Ward], said: ‘I would like to thank you for your time but I am going to take Miss Wiltshire elsewhere for this loan’. As we started to walk out the bank, the manager said: “You don’t want the money? and Joe said to him, ‘not at those rates and I think you have insulted my client’. I was walking down the stairs of [the bank] trembling. I fell down and Joe said to me, ‘don’t stay down there, get up, come on we’ve got banks to visit’.” Praising her financial advisor, Wiltshire-Newman said: “without having Joe there I probably would have signed on the dotted line because I needed that money,” as she advised the young entrepreneurs to always have sound business advice because you can sign away your whole life without knowing what you have done. Continuing, she said she and Joe walked into the then Mutual Bank with all her documents and by 3 p.m. she had a cheque in her hand. Newsam said that while her business flourished, becoming one of the leading restaurants, she was to face one of the biggest challenges in her career when eight years later, her landlord approached her with a deal to buy out her business while still allowing her to manage it. She objected. The news sent Wiltshire-Newman property hunting for a new location and she went back to the bank which had helped her many years before and bought the property where Champers is now located at Rockley, Christ Church. Wiltshire-Newman said Champers had remained a local brand because her aim had always been to make locals feel welcome and provide adequate and extensive training for her staff. “My main goal was to make my menu simple. Make the food tasty and make sure that we give people the type of service that they are not expecting to get,” she said. “We developed Champers into what it is now and everyday I walk through doors, and without fail I say, ‘thank you, Jesus’, because every time life gives you lemons it is not saying to you put on a sour face. It is saying make lemonade or lemon tart. Do something sweet with it. “It doesn’t matter where you start; it is where you end and the journey that takes you there defines you as a person,” said the once small town girl from Westbury Road. – See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/21164/driven-succeed#sthash.kr7L4rfK.FrjIsaH3.dpuf

  38. Are Americans Enamored with the Wrong Kinds of Entrepreneurs?

    November 11, 2016



    Americans adore entrepreneurs. In every poll that I have seen, entrepreneurs are held in high esteem even as big business is generally viewed with disdain. Why?

    Americans’ positive feelings about entrepreneurship are related to their positive feelings about small business, with which entrepreneurship is often conflated.

    Small business gets its rosy glow partly from the well-propagated claim that the small business sector creates all the jobs in the economy. That is largely true, actually, but it is also an example of the ubiquitous practice of lying with statistics. Generally speaking, businesses less than 100 employees in size create the largest number of jobs every year, compared to medium-sized businesses (101–499) and large businesses (500+). However, small businesses also destroy the most jobs every year. So the small business sector is simply the biggest job churner in the economy — not the biggest net job creator.

    rest of the article

  39. This is a remarkably sloppy article. I have read quite a bit of Roger Martin’s work, he used to be Dean of business at U of T and has written cogently on social entrepreneurship, but this is not up to his usual standard.
    He does not proffer the statistics which substantiate his implication that big business does not destroy jobs at a rate equal to or greater than small business, especially when you consider that the disruptive innovation that he idolizes kills entire industries, not just individual firms. Facebook and Google, for example have appropriated a huge fraction of the cash flow that used to be directed to traditional media industries, but provide less than 5% of the number of jobs that these industries used to support. It’s a great deal for Facebook and Google shareholders, but it makes nonsense of the implication that small businesses are “the biggest job churner in the economy.”
    Martin and many others fall for the myths of Heropreneurship. We all love a hero. Everyone remembers the name of Dr. Christian Barnard, the surgeon who performed the world’s first heart transplant. His pioneering work has helped thousands since, but you don’t base a health care system on Christian Barnard, you base it on the millions of health care workers who don’t gain hero status. Entrepreneurship plays a parallel role in the economy; heros are nice, but they are not all that matters.

    • @Peter

      But hold on — there’s more to the story. The most valuable companies for the economy are little ones that become big. These companies do create huge numbers of net jobs — and they create jobs that become high-wage, high-productivity, high-innovation, and that drive high exports. The entrepreneurs that create and drive these sorts of companies do deserve the admiration heaped on them.

      The big take away from the article stated or not is that a few small companies will morph into mega companies. Microsoft is the mother of all examples.

    • Exactly! That’s why the tone of the article is self contradictory. The best job creators are small firms that grow rapidly, so why then pour disrespect on small firms? When they are startups no-one has any idea which ones will be the spectacular successes, we need to create an environment which gives them all the best chance to prosper.

  40. Motivating yourself to WIN in life.

    No one can deny the power of a good quote. They motivate and inspire us to be our best.
    Here are 38 of my absolute favorites:

    “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” -Mother Teresa
    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
    “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford
    “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi
    “Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it.” -Charles Swindoll
    “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey
    “Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
    “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” -Jimmy Dean
    “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” -Audrey Hepburn
    “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
    “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” -Les Brown
    “Do or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda
    “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
    “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan
    “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” -Albert Einstein
    “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” -Stephen Covey
    “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” -Henry Ford
    “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” -Alice Walker
    “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” -Amelia Earhart
    “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” -Aristotle Onassis
    “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” -Robert Louis Stevenson
    “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand
    “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. -Vincent Van Gogh
    “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” -Farrah Gray
    “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” -Dalai Lama
    “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein
    “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” -Bob Dylan
    “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” -Leonardo da Vinci
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” -Helen Keller
    “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” -John Lennon
    “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” -George Addair
    “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” -Plato
    “Nothing will work unless you do.” -Maya Angelou
    “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt
    “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” -Plutarch
    “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” – Jack Welch

    Did I miss any? Please share your favorite quotes for others to enjoy in the comments section below.

    The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton I am a believer that anyone can do anything that they put their mind to.

    There is no right way to do a wrong thing” by Harold Kushner

    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau

    Mark Twain “It’s not what you don’t know that hurts you; it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”

    Churchill. “Never give up, never never never give up”

  41. I have a friend his name is Dr. Bob Rotella – and he is the world’s leading sports psychologist.

    Bob has worked with Olympic gold medalists, world tennis champions, the winners of 84 major golf championships, NCAA champions in basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field, and some of the world’s greatest musicians.

    Many of today’s finest athletes, including LeBron James and Rory McIlroy, consult with him regularly.

    He has also worked as a consultant to many of the world’s largest companies, including General Electric, Ford, Coca-Cola and Merrill Lynch.

    Bob has devoted his life to helping people who want to be exceptional. And he summarized some of his most important findings in his latest New York Times best-seller, How Champions Think.

    Throughout his career, Bob discovered that great achievers share many attitudes and attributes.

    Here are just a few of his findings about what sets the best competitors – in business and in sports – apart from the also-rans:

    Intense optimism. It’s tough to achieve great goals without an unwavering conviction that you will achieve them. Exceptional people generally do this through intense, purposeful visualization. Optimism keeps them juiced, excited about their prospects and willing to work harder than others. Optimism alone doesn’t guarantee anything, of course. But it is an essential ingredient. There is an almost perfect correlation between negative thinking and failure.

    A confident self-image. We all construct a mental picture of ourselves. To a great extent, that self-image determines what we become in life. Champions view themselves as winners. And they devote their lives to making that image a reality.

    Habits of excellence. Exceptional people follow strict habits that make success almost inevitable. Commitments are a dime a dozen. But unwavering perseverance is a virtue in short supply. In Bob’s experience, people who struggle generally have habits that undermine their efforts.

    An unwavering commitment to process. Exceptional people don’t just pursue a dream. They fall in love with the process that makes it come true. They don’t just work longer and harder. They work smarter. Bob claims that if you’re not aspiring to dominate, to be the very best, you’re coasting. And you can coast in only one direction. Backward!

    Single-mindedness. Champions don’t generally live well-rounded lives. They know they cannot be great business leaders, great parents, great athletes, great socializers and tireless contributors to their communities. They have a passion for one thing and pursue it with the zeal of the newly converted. In Bob’s experience, champions spend most of their waking hours striving to become the very best at what they do – and spend their remaining hours with their families.

    Honest evaluation. Many people set high standards for themselves. But then they go easy on the self-evaluations. Average achievers tend to overestimate how hard they work. Champions don’t. They define excellence in specific terms and commit themselves to the most rigorous standards.

    Failure is inevitable in business and in life. But exceptional people don’t let it define them. They find something to cling to, some hope for the future. Each setback comes with some lesson to be learned.

    Robert Frank would counter that plenty of people are talented and work hard but – because they aren’t lucky – don’t achieve great business or financial success.

    What he doesn’t seem to realize is that working hard is the bare minimum for exceptional people.

    Working hard doesn’t guarantee success. It guarantees only that you can live with yourself.

    With great achievers, long hours are just a starting point.

    They also understand that their biggest struggle is the one within themselves. Anything that causes them to prepare less meticulously or execute less perfectly is a distraction, a hindrance, an encumbrance.

    That’s why they surround themselves with, and listen to, those people who will help them succeed.

    As Bob writes, “The exceptional person has a vision – of great performances, of a great career, of a great something – and doesn’t care what others may say or think. He ignores information that suggests his dream is unrealistic. He just sets about making that vision a reality.”

    Does this really sound like luck?

    By sheer coincidence, I read Bob’s book at the same time I read Frank’s. It felt like I was inhabiting alternate universes.

    In one, success is determined by greatness of vision, indomitable will, laser-like focus, persistent striving and uncommon resilience.

    In the other, well, it’s just a roll of the dice.

    And if this is true of business, how about the stock market? After all, no matter how smart or well-informed or hardworking you are, you can’t control interest rates, commodity prices, currency fluctuations, GDP growth, corporate earnings, Fed policy or any of a dozen other factors that affect share prices.

    So isn’t stock market success really determined by luck?

  42. you still haven’t heard of billionaire Robert F. Smith, it’s time to start paying attention.

    The Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners has lived his life mostly under the radar, granting limited interviews about how he’s built a private equity empire and net worth of $2.5 billion. He is No. 274 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans and is richer than basketball legend Michael Jordan and BET founder Bob Johnson.

    Although the 54-year-old Smith has kept his life and work mostly behind the scenes, his business moves to support the black community are hard to ignore.

    Smith’s $20 million gift to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) came only second to Oprah Winfrey. He’s also backed up his commitment to increasing the number of black students in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) with support for youth coding programs and a $50 million gift to his alma mater, Cornell University, to bolster African-American and female students in the College of Engineering.

    And he isn’t just writing checks.

    Recently, hundreds of young black professionals and graduate students filled the International House at the Columbia Black Business Student Association’s 35th annual conference to hear him speak. Smith, a Columbia Business School alum, dropped knowledge on everything from economic empowerment to how to build the next generation of leaders in the black community.

    Here are five key truths for success that came out of Smith’s candid talk:

    Be an expert at your craft.
    “The most important thing you can do as a young person is to become an expert. There is no substitute for becoming the best at your craft.”

    Smith grew up in the era of segregation and was a product of school bussing. While still in high school, he had a knack for computer science and called the offices of Bell Labs to ask for a summer internship normally reserved for upperclassmen. They said “No.”

    So he continued to call them weekly for five months. Despite being repeatedly turned away and eventually ignored altogether, one day, he finally got an offer after an older student didn’t show up.

    Smith would go on to earn a chemical engineering degree from Cornell University.

    Lesson? Smith knew his stuff. And when it was time to ask for a seat at the table, he could deliver based on his merits and persistence.

    Create your own.
    “I started Vista because I knew no private equity firm would hire me. I saw what they were looking for… So I created my own firm.”

    After graduating from Columbia Business School with honors in 1994, Smith landed a coveted job at Goldman Sachs, focusing on technology mergers and acquisitions.

    He successfully led those efforts for six years but eventually wanted to venture out on his own. Smith recalls feeling like no private equity firms would look at him as a desirable candidate.

    In 2000, Smith took a leap of faith to start his own private equity firm focused on software and technology-enabled businesses.

    The fact that Smith, a double Ivy-League graduate with a masters degree in business, felt he could run into roadblocks shows that even when you are qualified, realizing your unique vision might mean creating your own path.

    As of last year, Smith’s company managed more than $26 billion dollars in assets and is considered to be one of the top private equity firms in the country.

    5 keys for success from African American billionaire Robert F. Smith business GettyImages 628116640 1 200×300
    Robert F. Smith is one of black America’s richest billionaires. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for RFK Human Rights)

    Be an example to others.
    “I now have the ability to inspire some young African-Americans to say, ‘I can now go actually do this.’”

    Smith remembers in his younger days reading a spread in Black Enterprise magazine about black business leaders. The staggering amount of money they earned blew him away.

    More than their net worth, Smith says seeing their faces inspired curiosity about their work and made him feel he could pursue the same path.

    Even once he earned his first million at 35-years-old, Smith says he kept a low profile “by design,” choosing to develop his skills and company rather than seek limelight.

    After being featured on the cover of Forbes magazine in 2015, that privacy really went out the window.

    “I lost the ability to go to a movie with my wife and kids,” Smith says. “It comes at a cost.”

    But for Smith, the trade-off is well worth it. Just as the stories of black business leaders inspired him then, he wants to do the same for others.

    Know your purpose.
    “Be thoughtful and conscious about what is your highest and best use.”

    Smith recalled enjoying social life during his college years with his brothers from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, on Friday nights, then getting up as early at 6 a.m. the next day to tutor youth in the Ithaca area.

    “You didn’t get paid for that,” Smith remembers. “But we also knew because of the divinity of where we’d come from that somebody had done that for us.”

    Smith’s parents were both schoolteachers who supported civil rights issues.

    He suggested to the crowd at Columbia Business School that not everyone has to be rich or have a high-powered business job to make a lasting difference.

    “Maybe [the highest and best use is] for you to read to a child daily,” he said.

    Asking yourself which of your talents and gifts inspire you to get up in the morning is time well-spent.

    Invest in the future.
    “People have put barriers to us for hundreds of years and been thoughtful about it… So we need to be thoughtful.”

    New developments in technology have been compared to the “fourth industrial revolution.” But Smith insists there is a lot at stake if black people miss out on the current boom in STEM.

    “These are the on-ramps in our community. The greatest wealth building opportunity in the history of the planet,” Smith remarked.

    “How do we get a part of that wealth? I guarantee it’s through technology.”

    Smith says in the same way that football scouts start early in finding young athletic talent in elementary school, black communities should invest resources in uplifting our own young tech stars.

    “It’s intellectual property resources that you have unique dominion over,” says Smith.

    “There is a system that has been developed, that we have to develop in technology. Then what happens is, leaders will emerge.”

  43. LEARN from Mercy!

    Mercy Kitomari is the founder of Nelwas Gelato, a Black-owned organic ice cream chain. Based in Tanzania (East Africa), her company makes 30 different flavors of rich and creamy ice cream. Truly, what began as a woman’s dream to make her own ice cream has turned into the sweet taste of success!

    Started out in her mother’s kitchen

    Mercy started out making ice cream in her mother’s kitchen. However, in 2013, she officially launched her business after traveling to London, England to take a course on how to make ice cream.

    But her ice cream creations are different! She makes healthy and organic gelatos and sorbets using fresh ingredients and exotic African fruits, spices and nuts. As a non-fat alternative to regular ice cream, her product is lower in calories, fat and sugar.

    Her delicious flavors include passion, coffee, lemongrass, mango, raspberry, cookies n cream, peanut butter, wild berry, pineapple, pear, cinnamon, chocolate, and more.

    More than just another ice cream chain

    In addition to running two locations in Tanzania, her business also includes catering for major hotels and catering for events such as birthdays, weddings, music festivals and even home deliveries. But her ultimate goal is to open ice cream parlors all across Tanzania, and eventually other parts of Africa.

    She says she is already using social media platform, such as Instagram, to expand her dessert business. She strongly believes that focusing on her fresh ingredients will attract many customers.

    To learn more about Nelwas Gelato, visit her official web site at http://www.nelwas-gelato.com or follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NelwasGelato/

  44. We live in a world of accelerating change. New industries are constantly being born and old ones are becoming obsolete. A report by the World Economic Forum reveals that almost 65 percent of the jobs elementary school students will be doing in the future do not even exist yet. Both the workforce and our knowledge base are rapidly evolving.

    Combined with the effects of technological automation on the workforce, this leaves us with a crucial question: What are the skills future generations will need?

    Education expert Tony Wagner has spent a lifetime trying to answer this very question. Through investigating the education sector, interviewing industry leaders and studying the global workforce at large, Wagner has identified seven survival skills of the future. These are skills and mindsets young people absolutely need in order to meet their full potential.

    Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

    We spend so much time teaching students how to answer questions that we often neglect to teach them how to ask them. Asking questions—and asking good ones—is a foundation of critical thinking. Before you can solve a problem, you must be able to critically analyze and question what is causing it. This is why critical thinking and problem solving are coupled together.

    Wagner notes the workforce today is organized very differently than it was a few years ago. What we are seeing are diverse teams working on specific problems, as opposed to specific specialties. Your manager doesn’t have all the answers and solutions—you have to work to find them.

    Above all, this skill set builds the very foundation of innovation. We have to have the ability to question the status quo and criticize it before we can innovate and prescribe an alternative.

    Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence

    One of the major trends today is the rise of the contingent workforce. In the next five years, non-permanent and remote workers are expected to make up 40 percent of the average company’s total workforce. We are even seeing a greater percentage of full-time employees working on the cloud. Multinational corporations are having their teams of employees collaborate at different offices across the planet.

    Technology has allowed work and collaboration to transcend geographical boundaries, and that’s truly exciting. However, collaboration across digital networks and with individuals from radically different backgrounds is something our youth needs to be prepared for. According to a New Horizons report on education, we should see an increasing focus on global online collaboration, where “digital tools are used to support interactions around curricular objectives and promote intercultural understanding.”

    Within these contexts, leadership among a team is no longer about commanding with top-down authority, but rather about leading by influence. Ultimately, as Wagner points out, “It’s about how citizens make change today in their local communities—by trying to influence diverse groups and then creating alliances of groups who work together toward a common goal.”

    Agility and Adaptability

    We live in a VUCA (Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. Hence, It’s important to be able to adapt and re-define one’s strategy.

    In their book, “Critical Thinking: How to Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World,” Richard Paul & Dillion Beach note how traditionally our education and work mindset has been designed for routine and fixed procedure. “We learned how to do something once, and then we did it over and over. Learning meant becoming habituated,” they write. “But what is it to learn to continually re-learn? To be comfortable with perpetual re-learning?”

    In the post-industrial era, the impact of technology has meant we have to be agile and adaptive to unpredictable consequences of disruption. We may have to learn skills and mindsets on demand and set aside ones that are no longer required.

    Initiative and Entrepreneurship

    Traditionally, initiative has been something students show in spite of or in addition to their schoolwork. For most students, developing a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial skills has often been part of their extracurricular activities. With an emphasis on short-term tests and knowledge, most curricula have not been designed to inspire doers and innovators.

    Are we teaching our youth to lead? Are we encouraging them to take initiative? Are we empowering them to solve global challenges? Throughout his research, Wagner has found that even in corporate settings, business leaders are struggling to find employees who consistently “seek out new opportunities, ideas and strategies for improvement.”

    Effective Oral and Written Communication

    A study by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills showed that about 89 percent of employer respondents report high school graduate entrants as “deficient” in communication.

    Clear communication isn’t just a matter of proper use of language and grammar. In many ways, communicating clearly is an extension of thinking clearly. Can you present your argument persuasively? Can you inspire others with passion? Can you concisely capture the highlights of what you are trying to say? Can you promote yourself or a product?

    Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has famously said “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.” Like many, he has noted it is a skill that can be learned and consequently used to open many opportunities.

    Assessing and Analyzing Information

    We now live in the information age. Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. As this infographic shows, this would fill 10 million Blu-ray disks.

    While our access to information has dramatically increased, so has our access to misinformation. While navigating the digital world, very few students have been taught how to assess the source and evaluate the content of the information they access. Moreover, this information is continuously evolving as we update our knowledge base faster than ever before.

    Furthermore, in the age of fake news, an active and informed citizen will have to be able to assess information from many different sources through a critical lens.

    Curiosity and Imagination

    Curiosity is a powerful driver of new knowledge and innovation. It is by channeling a child-like sense of awe and wonder about the world that we can truly imagine something even better. It takes powerful imagination to envision breakthroughs and then go about executing them. It is the reason Albert Einstein famously said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

    We consistently spoon-feed students with information instead of empowering them to ask questions and seek answers. Inquisitiveness and thinking outside the box need to be treated with the same level of importance the school system gives to physics or math.

    Transforming the Future of Education

    There is a stark contrast between these seven survival skills of the future and the focus of education today. Instead of teaching students to answer questions, we should teach them to ask them. Instead of preparing them for college, we should prepare them for life.

    Beyond creating better employees, we must aim to create better leaders and innovators. Doing so will not only radically transform the future of education and the workforce, it will also transform the world we live in.

    • 6 Life Lessons

      Live Below Your Means

      Warren Buffett has a net worth of 77 billion. But he still lives in the same house he bought in 1958 for only $31,500. Compared to his income and net worth, Warren Buffett lives frugally. The rest of his money is protection in case of emergencies. Because he lives frugally, he can also invest more money, which will reap more rewards. Not only will his wealth grow faster, but it is unlikely he will declare bankruptcy. Consider this quote by him:

      “I’m not interested in cars and my goal is not to make people envious. Don’t confuse the cost of living with the standard of living.”

      Skip Meetings and Other Unnecessary Time Wasters

      Instead of having long, unnecessary meetings every year, Buffett sends a letter to each of his companies, praising victories from the past year, and stating his goal for the current year (see also: Warren Buffett’s “Not To Do” List). The result is he has more time to work on more productive projects and his employees have more time to work and accomplish goals.

      Warren Buffett’s business partner Charlie Munger jokes about Buffett:

      “You look at his schedule sometime and there’s a haircut.

      Tuesday, haircut day.

      That’s what created one of the world’s most successful business records in history. He has a lot of time to think.”

      Practice Your Communication Skills

      Buffett hated public speaking when he was younger, but he knew it was necessary for him to be successful. So he enrolled in a public speaking course that eventually broke down his fear of public speaking and helped him become a successful public speaker. He now tells young entrepreneurs that the key to success is good communication skills.

      Research Before You Invest

      Always research before you invest. Buffett researches each of his companies thoroughly and makes sure he can understand them before he invests. After he has deemed a stock to be strong, he invests generously. He also likes companies that can be easily run. After all, companies that are “so simple even a fool can run them” are relatively safe investments – even when fools ARE running them. Warren Buffett does not keep his researching method for investing a secret (see: The 4 Warren Buffett Investing Principles). You can use this as well when you invest:

      “We select such investments on a long-term basis, weighing the same factors as would be involved in the purchase of 100% of an operating business:

      (1) Favorable long-term economic characteristics;

      (2) Competent and honest management;

      (3) Purchase price attractive when measured against the yardstick of value to a private owner; and

      (4) An industry with which we are familiar and whose long-term business characteristics we feel competent to judge.”

      Resist Trends

      There are always trendy stocks to buy like Facebook, Apple, Snapchat, or Twitter. But Warren Buffett stays away from these, instead investing in stocks that have a proven track record. After all, there is no telling where the newer trends will go and how long the trendy investments will turn a profit.

      Have Fun, Work ar What You Love Doing

      Warren Buffett does not understand why people will take jobs they do not like just to get ahead. He is a big believer in doing what you love because life is too short. Warren Buffett loves his job and investing which is why he spends effort and work on it. If he did not like his work, he would probably care much less about it and put a lot less effort into it and he certainly would not be happy. He once compared taking a job you did not like for the promise of future rewards to saving up sex for old age. He also once said:

      “Not doing what we love in the name of greed is very poor management of our lives.”

  45. Twin brothers, Jonathan and Jarrett Logan, are the owners of Castle Black Construction in Memphis, Tennessee. One of few Black-owned construction companies in the country, they launched their company back in 2005, and after re-branding themselves, they have tripled in size.

    Able to manage any kind of project

    This successful family-owned business has worked on many projects, and they have a database of over 100 subcontractors and it’s still growing. They can manage any project from concept to end, and their construction includes retail, religious, medical, residential, and pre-engineered building construction.

    They are on track to record about $4.5 million in revenue this year.

    Why have they tripled in size?

    Castle Black Construction is licensed in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas – and there are tons of development going on in all three states. So, the Logan brothers have decided to grow their business so that they can take on bigger contracts.

    They project that they will soon be the largest minority contractor in the city, and the only one able to make competitive bids on multi-million dollar projects. And their mission, as stated on their web site, is to “provide clients with the highest quality construction services within the marketplace, and to create customer relationships founded on mutual respect.”

    Challenges of being a minority-owned business

    During a recent interview with Moxye, Jarrett commented, “Being a minority contractor, let’s just be honest, we’re at a disadvantage… Financially, we have to be bankable to bankroll projects… And it’s harder for minority companies to prove ourselves with clients and financial institutions.”

    So the answer to that problem is that Black people, rich to poor, must form BANKS. This is how Bank of America started with Italian immigrants who were discriminated against. Koreans and Chinese among other minorities have conducted the same strategy.

  46. Expanding the promise of entrepreneurship in developing economies
    The diversity and complexity of ordinary life in an average developing economy gives bold entrepreneurs and investors a compelling, reason to train their sights on these countries.
    Jul 20, 2017, 08.21 PM IST
    The diversity and complexity of ordinary life in an average developing economy gives bold entrepreneurs and investors a compelling, reason to train their sights on these countries. The variety and urgent nature of problems that these economies present—and at the scale that they do—demand a quick turn-around of entrepreneurial solutions that are simultaneously inventive , affordable, and scalable.

    So, whether it is about unearthing solutions to provide safe, easy ways to bank, have groceries delivered at your doorstep, deliver tech-based education for children unable to attend school, enable remote access to specialized diagnostic services in remote parts, or provide new modes of efficient transport for urban residents—developing economies have it all.

    To make these possibilities more challenging is another given: developing economies often have fuzzy and unclear regulations regarding business models and lack the infrastructure to support them. Although hazardous, the lack of clarity turns into an advantage for innovative entrepreneurs who are ready to take on some calculated risk. It provides them with an opportunity to push the envelope in terms of edgy new ideas, typically out of bounds in developed economies due to the prevalence of heavy and strict regulations.

    So why is it that there isn’t as much traction in the start-up space in these economies as there should be given the existence of these conducive factors and what is it that can be done differently to maximize the potential they intrinsically have?

    Embracing failure

    Unlike in the US, several developing economies are home to cultures that discourage and look down on failure. Not being able to succeed at a public venture is associated with shame and guilt. The customary expectation is that whoever (or whatever) fails must learn a lesson to never try his or her hands at another endeavor again. But this clearly goes against the grain of what lies at the heart of entrepreneurship: of building a new company based on a new, untested idea that aims to solve a problem with the hope that it will eventually, after a few possible rough turns, take off.

    However, the last few years has seen some improvement on this front. The Mexican startup ecosystem for instance long known for such an approach, has begun to actively promote a culture more accepting of failure. This has encouraged a greater number of entrepreneurs to come on board and establish companies with varying levels of risk. Most however continue to believe that the edgiest ideas pose the greatest risk and therefore also the greatest danger to investors and founders. But our experience over the last five years spent investing in dozens of startups has shown us that truly innovative projects have a greater chance of succeeding simply because they are premised on better ideas. Projects that are not mere imitations of global sweethearts, but are authentic local startups, or well thought out applied models of new technologies, are able to establish a sound base and are more likely to steadily scale up, simply because they factor in the very nuances of a place and a people and the challenges they face every day in more accurate ways.
    Compelling value propositions

    Take for instance Weex, a Mexican virtual mobile operator that targets millennials. Established in 2015 from one of Coca-Cola’s global innovation programs, the company is now the fastest growing and third largest virtual mobile operator. It has successfully closed three rounds of investment with VCs and corporate investors.

    What Ricardo and John, its founding team, got right was correctly identifying the unmet need of millions of young Mexicans that could not afford prepaid cell phone plans. Weex created the first app-based prepaid mobile service that lets users spend credit based on app usage instead of calls and megas. Weexers took back control of their digital life. As it grows its user base in the highly competitive Mexican telecom market, Weex is looking to expand its offering to financial products to further empower its used base. Success in developing economies is all about a powerful value proposition and a consistent execution.

    Forging close ties with the Mecca of entrepreneurship

    Although it is impossible to think of anything entrepreneurial without first in some way invoking that Mecca of entrepreneurship—Silicon Valley—developing economies and those interested in supporting its startup culture must always remember that there can be no second Silicon Valley. And yet it would be prudent to find ways to forge close relationships to it, and try to attract not only its capital but also its talent.

    The case of Startup Chile is a good example. Pursuing one of the valley’s most salient strength, the Chilean government created a program to attract the talented founders from all over the world by basically subsidizing any entrepreneur who wants to launch a company in Chile. If you are an Indian engineer or a French designer, you go to Chile and you get up to $90,000 to start your company. You don’t need to prove anything but your ambition to solve a problem with tech and your willingness to launch it from Chile. Since starting in 2010, hundreds of companies from 80 countries have moved to Santiago for the program. This rich talent pool kickstarted in turn a new vibrant ecosystem of accelerators, VCs and corporate programs.

    The humane scope of applied AI

    I believe that programs like this indicate the vast scope a globalized world offers to extend change to the places that need it the most. Just as entrepreneurs in Latin America stand to benefit from having close ties to the entrepreneurial and experimental spirit of Silicon Valley, so too can startup founders and their investors in the US and the rest of the West learn from the many applications of AI technologies that local entrepreneurs are creating in developing economies.

    Why AI? Because it is in my view the first disruptive technologies to have emerged in the last years which has the potential to help imaginative entrepreneurs in the developing world solve an array of pressing problems with nuanced solutions that only they understand completely.

    Aerobotics, a Cape Town based startup is using AI to power a fleet of drones that assist farmers in South Africa to enhance fertilization and yields of crops such as wheat and sugar cane. An Indian startup, SigTuple aims to set up a platform that will help detect diseases by using machine learning software to analyze medical images and patient data. And a Mexican architect hopes to scale Lupe, an IoT-based gaming system that runs on a machine learning platform that will be enabled to measure and boost children’s creativity.

    As more start-ups post success stories in developing economies, they will inspire others from both inside and outside their geographies to join in. And while some will be inspired by business ideas already vetted in the West, several others will owe their roots entirely to the special and distinct context in which they were imagined. The next generation of unicorns will come from unlikely visionaries based in remote geographies.

    DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETtech.com does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETtech.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.
    About Federico Antoni

    Federico Antoni, Stanford Business School lecturer and VC investor

  47. Branson’s Top 10 for Success

    Follow your dreams

    You will live a much better life if you just do it and pursue your passions. Those people who spend their time working on things they love are usually the ones enjoying life the most. They are also the ones who dared to take a risk and chase their dreams.

    Do some good

    If you aren’t making a positive difference to other people’s lives, then you shouldn’t be in business. Companies have a responsibility to make a difference in the world, for their staff, their customers – everyone.

    Believe in your ideas

    Belief in yourself and belief in your business ideas can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of your idea and believe in your plans, why should anybody else?

    Image from Virgin Atlantic
    4. Have fun

    Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to try something else.

    Don’t give up

    On every adventure I have been on – whether setting up a business, flying around the world in a balloon or racing across the ocean in a boat – there have been moments when the easy thing to do would be to give up. By simply not giving up, brushing yourself down and trying again, you’ll be amazed what you can achieve.

    Keep setting yourself new challenges

    If you don’t write down your ideas, they could be gone by the morning. Write down lists to keep track of your goals, and you’ll be amazed what challenges you overcome.
    richard branson strive hike

    Image by Adam Slama
    7. Learn to delegate

    The art of delegation is one of the key skills any entrepreneur can master. If you find people who can take on tasks you aren’t good at, it frees you up to plan for the future. It also gives you time to spend with your family and friends, which is the most important thing of all.

    Look after your team

    If your staff are having fun and genuinely care about other people, they will enjoy their work more and do a better job. Find people who look for the best in others, praise rather than criticise, and love what they do.

    Get out there and do things

    Rather than sitting in front of a screen all your life, switch off the TV or the computer and go out into the world. There are so many fascinating people to meet, exciting adventures to embark upon and rewarding challenges to take on that there’s no time to lose.
    Virgin Sport Hackney Festival of Fitness Richard Branson and Mary Wittenberg stretching

    Image from Virgin Sport
    10. When people say bad things about you, just prove them wrong

    Some people will react to success by trying to hang onto your coat tails. The best thing you can do is to not only ignore them, but to prove them wrong in every single way.

  48. It’s been 4 years since I ever so proudly quit my day job in PR, posting a photo on Facebook of my first day of ‘freedom’, sipping on a latte at my local cafe with laptop in tow posting ‘My new office!’ for all to envy…

    But then there I was three years later sitting on the edge of my bed quietly sobbing, head in hands, having barely been paid a salary since leaving my day job, and wondering what the hell was wrong with me that I couldn’t seem to make this self employment thing work.
    You see, the sexy ‘build a freedom business’ line that many in the online world have been selling has been omitting some fairly large truths.

    Truths that I intend on shining a light on. Not ‘the’ truth. But my truth and experience.
    And as your fellow entrepreneur, I feel a sense of duty to protect you, to protect your passions, and to share my own personal life lessons.

    My intention is to make sure you know that, despite what they tell you, despite what they market and sell you, despite what you might tell yourself even, you are already doing EVERYTHING possible to make this thing work.

    There is no ‘missing key’ or business building secret you aren’t in on.

    I know who you are, courageous entrepreneur.

    I see how hard you work.
    I see how persistent you are.
    I see your endless determination.
    I know you have grit, hope and positivity.
    I know you are already doing scary things outside of your comfort zone.
    I know you are showing up.
    I know you are investing in yourself, your personal growth and learning new skills.
    I know you are committed and brave beyond measure.
    So don’t listen to anyone who says you should give more, push harder, work longer, think more happy thoughts, visualize your future more, blah blah blah.
    It’s all bullsh*t to make you buy their stuff, their ‘solutions’. Because they are suffering as much as you are.

    You are ALREADY doing and being ENOUGH! More than enough.
    I know this because I am just like you. And after almost four years of hustling like an absolute mofo, I was exhausted, burnt out and financially plateauing at best.

    But the part that really kills me…

    I started to think I was missing something…
    That I just wasn’t made of tough enough stuff or that perhaps I wasn’t working hard enough…(OMG seriously?!).
    And maybe you’ve had these thoughts too…
    You see, the problem with the world of entrepreneurship is the sales pitch that success can happen almost overnight.
    It doesn’t.

    I guess the sales pitch ‘Build your freedom business and break even in five years!’ isn’t really that sexy…
    So, with that said, I want to share with you 6 things I wish I knew way back when I first decided to take the plunge into self-employment. Life lessons, if you will, from my entrepreneurial journey so far.

    And if you take nothing else from this sharing, I hope that you will agree with me that you are already doing a freaking amazing job!
    1. Slow down to speed up

    If I have one regret about my entrepreneurial journey, it’s that I wish I had stayed in my day job until I had at least started to earn an income that could continue to cover our basic expenses.
    From day one I hit the ground with the background pressure of ‘make some money and quick!’ which was not at all helpful!

    I also left a job that was actually pretty good with people I enjoyed working with and at which I could have easily stuck it out. In hindsight my actions were irresponsible and put my family (and business) under pressure that was ultimately not necessary.
    I had an itch about living my passion and at a moment’s notice decided to scratch it! I had bought into the overnight success myth.

    My advice: If you can slow down and lengthen out the transition phase from your current job to the new venture (unless your current situation is completely untenable) then it not only helps you make course corrections with the space and perspective to do so, it also allows everyone else around you to adjust — whether that’s just to the idea of you building a business/leaving your day job or to change spending habits/cut expenses.
    Slow down now to speed up your potential success later.

    Passion cannot exist inside of financial stress

    When I quit my job with zero safety net and little clue of what this business venture would actually look like, it meant that we could no longer afford to rent our apartment and decided to move into my mother-in-law’s basement with our then 3 year old son. I vividly recall sitting in that basement in front of my computer, staring at the screen and feeling particularly exhausted.

    I wasn’t working out, meditating or taking many breaks in-between daycare pick ups because I felt I had no right to relax. After all I was the one who had put my family in this predicament in the first place and so my passion business became this thing that I had to defend and justify — making promises to my husband that any day now I’d be making money and our bank account would be thriving again.

    My advice: If you are under financial pressure (and the pressure point will be different for everyone) then it gets pretty hard to enjoy your passion business, as it was for me at times. So what’s the point? If you are stressed ‘living your passion’ you might as well be stressed back at your day job earning a salary. Protect your passion and creativity at all costs, even if it means you dabble on the side for the first few years. Don’t let your passions be tainted or die because they can’t carry the weight of the financial burden, hustle and expectations. What you have to offer the world is too precious.

    Build a safety net and then don’t touch it!

    I hear a lot of people talk about how they built up a safety net before taking the plunge, which is great in theory but then that safety net gets slowly eaten into as their income dives and they dip into that fund to cover expenses. Don’t quit your job and then just watch your safety net dwindle away. The purpose of a safety net is that it remains in place, not that it slowly falls apart leaving you exposed.

    My advice: As someone who never even had a safety net (I know…), let alone protected it, I may not be one to talk, nonetheless, my advice is to build up a safety net of 6–8 months of expenses and then start to dabble and experiment and see if anyone is actually prepared to pay you for what you are creating. If you start to think to yourself ‘I’m going to have to dip into my safety net’ then consider that a red flag that you need to generate income some other way while you figure out this entrepreneurial thing.

    It’s ok for your passion to remain a side project

    For the past four years I fell into the trap of very black and white thinking: either it’s my passion OR a day job. But in reality it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s very possible, and it’s my recommendation, that your passion remains a side project (at least for the first 3–5 years). I certainly got caught up in the whole ‘live off your passion’ sexiness and read story after story of people who had ‘made it’ and thought that it was only right that my passion also be my full-time gig.

    But I have since come to realize that:
    It’s ok for my passions to remain just that and that I personally experience the full joy of the things I love when financial pressure is absent
    a 9–5 day job is the best option for me personally to earn a competitive salary which in turn allows me to experience more joy partaking in my passionate work on the side (because the financial pressure is off)

    a day job can actually be something that I enjoy and enables me to contribute to the world, just in a different format, and
    I can actually earn more as a whole by working a 9–5 while transitioning my passions into a sidehustle business thereby allowing me to enjoy what I love without the financial expectations and sales goals.

    My advice: Give yourself permission to enjoy your passion project as a sidehustle for the first 3–5 years, then reassess based on data and feedback you have gathered along the way to decide if the project has legs as a full-time business venture.

    You must be prepared to sell and hustle

    If you do decide that you would like your passion business to earn income, the one thing I wish I had of known was that one of the top skills you must have or learn is sales.
    I initially wanted to do all the comfortable stuff: build a website, write content, create social media accounts ect. But I slowly realized that none of that stuff was the 80/20 that would actually propel the business forward financially. I had to sell what we were offering (oh lord!).If you aren’t prepared to have sales conversations, to market yourself, to have prospecting meetings etc, then what you are creating won’t be seen by those who might need it and ulimtately buy it.

    Any by the way, no matter how financially successful your products or services become, there is no summit where you are suddenly exempt from selling or hustling. In fact, some of the most successful entrepreneurs are also some of the fiercest and highly converting sales people I know.

    My advice: No matter how amazing your creation, be prepared for the fact that it won’t sell itself. That’s your #1 job now and forever — to sell.
    6. Dumb luck accounts for a much larger proportion of success than you probably realize
    I seriously have no idea what the formula for success is in entrepreneurship and I’ve taken my fair share of courses! I have no idea how some people are able to sustain themselves financially off their passion business while others with equally as good businesses do not.
    I’ve had opportunities and exposure many in my space dream of, like speaking in front of crowds of 1,000+ ideal potential clients and a regular writing spot on a popular personal development blog read by 250K+ subscribers.

    And yet still I wasn’t able to come even close to replacing my old salary of four years ago. There could be a multitude of reasons why, but it does leave me to believe that dumb luck must be a factor and perhaps accounts for more of the success than we realize.
    There are countless entrepreneurs who have phenomenal ideas, solid foundations, intentions, and natural gifts but who never ‘make it’ because they never experienced enough dumb luck along the way.

    And dumb luck unfortunately can’t be fabricated or strategized (lord knows I’ve tried!). You just have to be at the right place at the right time — kind of like that beautiful girl that gets discovered in the mall and becomes a supermodel. Someone has to share your project to an influencer, or you get featured on a prominent platform with a ready-made audience, or perhaps you get invited to deliver a keynote speech or accepted to give a TED talk etc.
    My advice: Cut yourself some slack and know that dumb luck may or may not intersect with this particular journey of yours. Let it go, keep showing up, and just enjoy the ride as best you can.

    Don’t ‘Go hard or go home’; instead ‘Slow down and sustain’
    Despite all of the challenges we entrepreneurs face as we strive to do what we love and despite how exhausting it can be, it’s clear to me that taking this path is simply the best kind of education anyone can ask for.
    And not just that, entrepreneurship is the only way we are going to find solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges right now.
    We entrepreneurs cannot afford to become exhausted and burnt out.
    You are too important. We are too important. Your ideas are too important.
    Now more than ever the world needs your unique contribution, it needs your ideas, your alternate thinking and your ability to maintain the pace to bring that contribution, idea and thinking into reality.
    I know who you are, courageous entrepreneur. You are doing an amazing job.

  49. MB

    Entrepreneurship in a small class conscious,crab in the barrel and corrupt society can be problematical, in my days with NGOs I came across many hurdles from govt agencies indifference to assisting community business programmes to ministries simply refusing to release funds.

    Another factor that was peculiar to Bim from the 70s onward was our developed country status,I recall going on begging missions to Washington and seeing my St. Vincent counterpart getting through licking with grants for their Ag. projects whilst those doors were shut to me. On a funny note one agency looked at one of my Ag. projects that needed a tractor and said to me that they saw a similar one for Columbia and they were able to fund a pack of mules for them.

    Another scenario was offering unemployed community group individuals $500.00 to purchase grapes,apples,fruit in general and set up a stalls with scheduled repayments and resplenishment of stock…..one bright spark at the meeting got up and said….Sir,if you give me the $500.00 now, I can bring it back by midday with interest.

    Entrepreneurship is best left to those with the vision and drive to overcome the hurdles.

    Note the blackmarket is alive and well…..which is what keeps Bim afloat.

    • Vinni,

      Your comments are valid and personally I like not to depend on Govt where practical.

      These days with the internet etc advice can be given via a blog where mature/ retired Business and Professionals types could answer questions provide advice and articles similar to this site. Notice how I mentioned above TV programs with very knowledgeable participants like Mark Lemonis “The Profit”, Dymon John, Sharktank with Mark Cuban, Dragons Den et al, Restaurant —much more.
      U could have a section on the various functions and How to Prepare and Attain a Bank Loan/ Financing..with forms for Accounting, Marketing, Production etc.

    • @Vincent

      You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Barbados has always ranked high on the HDI compared to the St. Vincents, the developed world as is their right has a cutoff for aid/grant money. The greater issue is that the Barbados player have lacked the entrepreneurial ethos to compared to the other islands especially Jamaica.

  50. MB

    Chuckle……BU is for old geezers to recall their past and berate the present holders of the responsibility of leading the country forward. Not to impose ones thinking on the young brigade.

  51. David

    No disagreement with your comment,whenever I went I knew the cards were stacked against me.

  52. David,
    The HDI is self-reporting, it is not an objective metric. It is the same as claiming that Barbados has 9 per cent literacy. We are so desperate to punch above out 166sq ml weight that anyone comparing us to global standing gets us excited. Why is our university not in the global 5000? And why do Mona, St Augustine and Cave Hill score differently in global university rankings?

  53. The HDI is self-reporting, it is not an objective metric.

    …….it was objective enough for the agencies in Washington to refuse grant funds based on our developed country status.

  54. "…..the amount of funding has grown. Peru now boasts a whopping $100 million fund to promote micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loaned $40 million USD toward the fund, with the Peruvian Ministry of Finance putting in $60 million USD. Even more, The World Bank approved a $45 million USD loan earlier this year for the development of science, technology, and innovation in Peru…"

    So what was the turning point for the ecosystem? Most notably, the government began to invest in innovation. Ministry of Production initiative Startup Peru was launched in 2012, with an objective to promote the emergence of Peruvian startups and innovative products. Just this year, 837 projects applied for seed capital from Startup Peru — of those, 106 ventures were chosen to receive the equivalent of $5,000, $46,000 and $153,000 USD in funding.

    There’s also Innovate Peru, which the Ministry of Innovation launched in 2014. Its goal is to strengthen companies, entrepreneurs and support systems within the Peruvian ecosystem, and facilitate collaboration between them through dozens of specific funds — such as offering money for scientific equipment at institutions, or high-impact projects for the Peruvian economy, society or environment.

    And over the years, the amount of funding has grown. Peru now boasts a whopping $100 million fund to promote micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loaned $40 million USD toward the fund, with the Peruvian Ministry of Finance putting in $60 million USD. Even more, The World Bank approved a $45 million USD loan earlier this year for the development of science, technology, and innovation in Peru.

    Additionally, Lima is currently working with the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program — a two-year initiative that works with local government, academia, investors, entrepreneurs and corporations to develop an actionable framework for strengthening innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

    Other notable players in the ecosystem include Universidad del Pacifico, where much of the tech talent arises, Peru’s first accelerator Wayra, accelerator Endeavour Peru, as well as 10 other accelerators and incubators in the community.


    • David,
      We need a Govt that understands how to manage and encourage Development and Growth. It starts with the correct environment in terms of Attitude, Work Ethic, Education—Excellence must be our mantra. This is why the easy peasy Corruption environment must die because it filters down to too high a proportion of the populace and then few want to work, take risk / invest time, money, energy etc.

      We must insist on a non-partisan approach to solving the future or not the future may not be too bright.

    • @Money Brain

      Nurturing the entrepreneurial culture in Barbados will be difficult given where we have come from i.e. wholesale retail way of doing business. Our school structure is primarily based on a traditional approach etc etc etc. We have our work cutout although it is not impossible. We should have used the economic crisis of the last 7 years a lot better to force transformation.

    • David,
      Exactly, it has to be thoroughly thought out but it is very broad Economic Planning and ACTION. Not just BS discussion for the sake of talk. Bim is worth saving but proper Comprehensive planning, strategic direction and Action must be conducted immediately.
      Education wise Bajans should learn from Canada’s mistakes of over emphasising Uni, instead of what makes sense for the individual and Nation’s needs.

      Canada has an oversupply of Uni Grads with bogus degrees, who are unemployed whereas there is a dearth of Plumbers who make $ hundreds of thousands per year. Prestige does not get you pass the checkout counter legally. Fully 25% of Uni grads go on to Technical College having wasted the People’s $$$$$$ learning garbage—so instead of 4 yrs they spend 6-7 yrs in order to start making a living.—WASTE.

      How can UWI not produce enough Accountants for Bim’s needs ? Ridiculous!

  55. Our UWI could be looking at wind&solar energy,self powered cars,etc,etc

    Go students!
    Dutch Students Design Biodegradable Electric Car
    Students in the Netherlands have built a biodegradable electric car that …

    • @Vincent

      Do you know if the UWI, Cave Hill has done anything with the land at Dukes that was donated by the Edghills?

  56. Legalise ganja and start growing it.

    He knows a business opportunity when he sees it.
    This former minister expects to make $22 million next year selling marijuana
    He smoked pot in high school, but that was a long time ago.
    cnbc.com|By CNBC

  57. David&MB

    My point with the above examples of doable and achievable projects for Bim was to show that all is required is the will to do it.

    …presently a youngster does exquisite glass figurines using that sand

    ….why cannot Headley’s energy at UWI be replicated

    …..We have a number boys inside and out of Dodds who are self taught in the production of this herb…….we have loads of land under cow itch and mossie that needs a cash crop which can be rotated with sugar cane.

    I agree with MB that the theoretical focus of UWI needs to undergo a dramatic change and not to creating auditors as that was originally for BIMAP and the Community college.

  58. David

    Not a word about that land at Dukes……..who knows these former plantation lands like the ones at Dodds maybe awaiting approval for use as agricultural lands……with this govt all things are possible.

  59. Of course the challenge in Barbados is that startups are stigmatized and there is limited opportunity for venture capital.

    Job Creation Is Done By Startups: Wolfgang Will, Senior Director, South Asia, Lufthansa Group

    Entrepreneurship is the driving force of the Indian economy. We at Lufthansa feel privileged to be at the heart of this nationwide movement celebrating entrepreneurship, says Will


  60. CIBC mulls offering Caribbean subsidiary on U.S. stock markets Globe&Mail Dec 13 2017

    Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is considering listing its Caribbean banking subsidiary on U.S. stock markets, seeking options to redeploy resources away from a region that has been known as a risky place to do business.

    Canada’s fifth-largest bank has a long history in the Caribbean, with interests in Barbados and Jamaica dating back to the 1920s, and now owns nearly 92 per cent of FirstCaribbean International Bank. But CIBC has more recently turned the focus of its international strategy to the United States, where it acquired Chicago-based PrivateBancorp Inc. for $5-billion (U.S.) earlier this year.

    The prospect of publicly listing FirstCaribbean, a Barbados-based lender that does business in 17 countries, is still a work in progress. But it would provide a new way for FirstCaribbean to raise funds, freeing CIBC to redirect capital to other priority areas across North America. Reuters first reported the possibility that CIBC might list its Caribbean arm in New York.

    “FirstCaribbean is considering a potential stock market listing in the U.S., the world’s deepest capital market,” said CIBC spokeswoman Caroline Van Hasselt, in an e-mailed statement.

    “While no decisions have been made, such a listing would provide CIBC FirstCaribbean with access to a larger investor base, enhanced liquidity, and greater access to capital to support long-term growth.”

    Caribbean banking has suffered from a challenging economic environment of late, compounded by a recent series of hurricanes that battered the region’s infrastructure, adding to CIBC’s loan losses. And at times, the region has proven to be a reputational minefield for some banks, prompting other lenders such as Royal Bank of Canada to pull out, though Bank of Nova Scotia maintains a robust Caribbean presence.

    In recent years, CIBC was rumoured to have considered selling its Caribbean unit, but reportedly struggled to find interested buyers. Instead, CIBC began restructuring FirstCaribbean in 2013, and took a $420-million (Canadian) goodwill writedown in 2014, while setting aside $123-million to cover soured loans. Further restructuring charges followed in 2015, by which point the bank had cut its work force by roughly 15 per cent and consolidated back offices.

    Under current chief executive officer Gary Brown, who took over at the start of 2016, FirstCaribbean has made some strides and begun tidying up a once-shaky loan book. The lender now accounts for about a third of CIBC’s gross impaired loans, after accounting for more than half only two years ago.

    But in the meantime, CIBC’s priorities have shifted, prompting a need for flexibility in its capital deployment as it seeks to build a more competitive U.S. footprint on the strength of private banking and wealth management.

    The former PrivateBancorp, newly renamed CIBC Bank USA after merging with CIBC, contributed $57-million (U.S.) in profit during the three months that ended Oct. 31, marking one of the best quarterly results the bank has had. But CIBC is in the process of rebuilding its capital levels after the deal, having paid a steep price for PrivateBancorp following a year-long courtship. CIBC’s common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio stood at 10.6 per cent at fiscal year-end, down from 11.3 per cent a year earlier.

    In a previous interview, CIBC CEO Victor Dodig said he aims to build “one of the most prominent business banks in North America,” with the U.S. arm contributing a quarter of CIBC’s profits. And that could require further investments, similar to CIBC’s July deal to buy private wealth management firm Geneva Advisors for up to $200-million.

    The option to pursue a public listing of FirstCaribbean would open an avenue through which CIBC could gradually reduce its stake or leave the Caribbean altogether. But there’s no guarantee a public listing would signal a hard exit.

    “We continuously review our business and if and when decisions are made, they may be subject to regulatory approvals, and stakeholders are advised as appropriate,” Ms. Van Hasselt said.

  61. Another interesting piece, in light of the public debt owned by banks.

    How badly does CIBC want to solve its Caribbean problem? Globe&Mail Dec 13 2017

    From the moment he took over as chief executive officer, Victor Dodig confronted a nagging problem: What to do with FirstCaribbean, CIBC’s troubled unit based in Barbados?

    The division had been a slow-burning fire inside the bank for several years. That fire became a blaze right before he was named CEO in September, 2014.

    In May of that year, CIBC took a $420-million writedown on the division, and by the end of that fiscal year, more than half of CIBC’s total gross impaired loans – that is, loans the bank believed would likely not be repaid – were housed in a tiny cluster of sun-drenched islands. Meanwhile, the division contributed only 4 per cent profit of the bank’s total revenue.

    This week, investors finally got some insight into what Mr. Dodig might do, with CIBC confirming it is weighing whether to spin off FirstCaribbean and list it on a U.S. stock exchange, which would allow it to reduce its nearly 92-per-cent stake.

    The crucial question is whether investors will show any love. The odds seem long: A U.S. listing could be a hard sell. Jamaica’s National Commercial Bank tried something similar, but ultimately pulled the offering in 2016.

    CIBC has tried an outright sale of FirstCaribbean but got nowhere. Talks with Trinidad-based Republic Bank resulted in nothing but lowball offers, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The U.S. spinoff seems like a last-ditch effort.

    FirstCaribbean is certainly in much better shape than it was. The bank started slashing costs a few years back by consolidating back offices and shedding close to 15 per cent of its work force. Once Mr. Dodig took over the parent bank, he sent Gary Brown down to Barbados to do even more heavy lifting – the assumption being that Mr. Brown would polish FirstCarribean for a sale after his success unloading some U.S. capital markets businesses to Oppenheimer in 2007. He also helped clean up CIBC’s structured credit portfolio during the financial crisis.

    Last year FirstCaribbean posted a $142-million (U.S.) profit, and gross impaired loans have fallen to one-third of CIBC’s total. Its thinly-traded shares are up almost 40 per cent since the start of 2016 on the Barbados Stock Exchange.

    But how much better can things get? New investors are going to want to see some upside, and growth prospects aren’t encouraging.

    Revenue growth at FirstCaribbean has been effectively nil for five years, and Canadian competitors Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia, who also operate in the region, have admitted it’s tough going down there. Scotiabank has quietly been getting rid of troubled loans, and some are rumoured to be going for 10 to 20 cents on the dollar, according to a person familiar with the sales.

    The roots of these troubles spread wide. To name a few: Trinidad, a big economic hub, has major exposure to plummeting gas prices because of its offshore production; hurricanes have ravaged a number of countries; and sweeping cost cuts are hard to enact because bank operations are spread out across multiple countries, each with its own government, and the workforce is largely unionized.

    FirstCaribbean is particularly challenged by its home base of Barbados. The country’s tourist dollars have returned somewhat from their post-financial crisis lows, but the local economy is still in rough shape. In September, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s debt rating to CCC, deep in junk territory.

    Because the debt rating is so weak and foreign investors have shied away, the government is having trouble funding itself. Its answer has been to put more pressure on local banks, and come January, they will be required to hold 20 per cent of their domestic deposits in government securities.

    That’s especially troubling because the risk of a debt restructuring in Barbados is quite high. Should it happen, a best-case scenario might involve extending the debt terms by a few years, meaning the banks wouldn’t get their money back for a longer period. But there’s a chance there will be a significant haircut on the value of these government securities, which would wipe out some of the banks’ deposit base.

    Regulatory risks loom, too. In 2015 allegations emerged that FirstCaribbean may have been used to help facilitate an illegal payment to an executive at FIFA, soccer’s governing body, and earlier this month Barbados was added to European Union’s list of tax havens, a collection of countries that the EU argues does not do enough to stop tax avoidance programs.

    Despite all that, CIBC should be relieved that FirstCaribbean currently turns a solid profit: $142-million in net income is not something to shrug at, considering that Chicago-based PrivateBancorp, which it bought for $5-billion, posted a $208-million profit in 2016. But the Caribbean is a market with much lower potential than the U.S. Midwest.

    It could be that CIBC gets a deal done by trying to spin off the asset for cheap. It just depends how badly Mr. Dodig and the board want this problem solved.

  62. Dodig must be looking over his shoulders at his Bay St. rivals and realize that RBC is catching up and may soon surpass CIBC in share price. RBC is trading at the $100.00 (CAD) mark while CIBC is about $120.00 up from approx. $114.00 in recent days. The value of RBC shares are increasing at a faster rate than CIBC, ( RBC had a stock split in 2006 while CIBC’s last split was 1997) perhaps Dodig doesn’t want the ignominy of seeing RBC shares surpass CIBC on his watch given such a head start. The top dogs on Bay St. are not lacking for egos.

    Bottom line CIBC may jettison the local arm and focus on other markets (mainly US) it went the electronic route (in the US ) a few years ago but it was ahead of the market, it seems to have changed its strategy with the most recent acquisition. CIBC bought Barclays assets a few years ago now it looks like it may follow Barclays lead and exit the region and reduce the footprint of the Canadian Banks in the area.

  63. Beyond his amazing business success after dropping out of school when he was 15, Richard Branson is unusual. He is unafraid of controversy while managing to live without regrets, as his mother taught him. And in a new interview on Freakonomics Radio released today, he ups the ante.

    Forget the M.B.A., and even basic business basic savvy like knowing the difference between net and gross if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. There’s something far more important to understand: people. If you can trust, inspire, promote, and work with people, you can do amazing things. Here are some of Branson’s points.

    Put yourself out of business.
    Some people are meant to be entrepreneurs and others are far better suited to other roles. “I actually believe that people should delegate early on in their businesses, so they can start thinking about the bigger picture,” Branson said, advising that entrepreneurs should find people as good or better than themselves. “Put yourself out of business, and let them get on and run your business day to day.” When you do, you free yourself to focus on bigger issues and even start other businesses. Plus, many of the people you find will be much better at particular jobs than you would ever be.
    Business terminology is not the most important thing.
    Branson said that he was 50 before he understood the terms net and gross, and it took someone drawing a picture with crayons of an ocean, fish, and a net to get it across. “But the bizarre thing is that by then we had the biggest group of private companies in Europe,” he said. Knowing terminology isn’t so important. “What matters is, you know, have you created the best company, the best airline, or the best record company? And if you have created the best, your figures will add up at the end of the year, and you’ll have more money coming in than going out, and you can employ some accountants to work out the difference between net and gross.”
    Business professionalism is fine for MBAs.
    There’s nothing wrong with professional management in companies. But entrepreneurs are different. “They need a passion, absolute passion for what they’re doing,” Branson said. “They need an absolute belief in what they’re doing. They need to be wonderful motivators of people.” He also said, “If you’ve got a happy, motivated group of people you’re working with, you can achieve anything.”
    Treat employees like family.
    Companies get nowhere through fear and intimidation. “If you treat your people badly, they’re not going to go that extra mile when things get tough,” Branson said. Instead, treat them like family. “I mean a lot of our time we spend at work, and work should be fun. It should be enjoyable. And you should also have policies that follow through with that.” Let employees work from home, take time off, and otherwise have flexibility to make adult decisions so they can do their work and live their lives. Branson has found that people don’t take advantage of the attitude because they feel trusted, and so treat the company well in return.
    Give people a chance.
    Branson has been unusual in his support of former convicts by given them jobs and opportunities. “Because we give them that trust, not one of them have ever re-offended,” he said. “And somebody who will do everything they can for the company because the company has given them that second chance.”
    Promote from within.
    Branson’s preference to promote from within, including CEOs, is actually solid management theory these days. “I think there’s nothing more discouraging for, say, a thousand people who work in a company for a so-called expert to be brought in from outside,” he said. “And generally, if you can’t find a good CEO within a thousand people in a company, there’s something wrong in the first place. You should have deputies who are quite capable of stepping into the CEO’s position.”
    Put women in charge.
    Not that Branson places women as CEOs just because they’re women. But he recognizes talent and uses it. “I mean, you know, women are a breath of fresh air actually, in most areas,” he said. “So I think we need to kick start it, it needs to be forced on companies. … I think there’s a danger that men will continue to appoint men.”

  64. Sounds a lot like “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

    That said, I have know a lot of people who left jobs not because hey could not do or did not like the work or could not do it, not because they were not willing and able to work hard, not because the pay was too small, but because supervisors/managers/owners cchose to use the fear and intimidation thingy.

    In all cases the employees gave as little notice as legally required–sometimes giving the notice while on vacation far far away–lol!, and in all cases went on to do excellent work other places.

    I mean if my employer is treating me like @hit, like a good passive/agressive Bajan, I arrange my annual leave, I go far far away, and email in my notice. I return to work on a Monday 3 or 4 weeks later. Do a good day’s work, then pick up my bag and leave, straight into my new job Tuesday morning.

    Nah ya int getting me to spend a minute helping to select or train the new fella.

    Why would I do that for you?


  65. For the lady business people especially.

    Stefanie Chung is an African AM , President of JetSuite Inc, a luxury jet rental company. She has written a good book for ladies and gents:
    “Profit Like A Girl: A Woman’s Guide to Kicking Butt in Sales and Leadership”.

    Check it.

  66. Major Rum Business Mistake—Lesson for Bajans

    Sometimes when you live long enough, you get around to enjoying the proverbial “last laugh”, or, in this case, the “last cry”, depending on your perspective.

    On Republic Day 2000, I wrote a story in the now-defunct Independent newspaper telling of a report compiled by a professional “alcohol valuator”, American Robert Fuchs, that assessed the value of the aged rum stocks that Caroni Ltd held at its bonds on the compound of the distillery at Caroni Village.

    Fuchs told Caroni that its 18,000-plus casks of rum of varying vintages, if converted into premium aged rums on a phased basis, could gross between TT $1 billion and $6 billion, depending on “intent of product”.

    I quoted two officials of the companies’ staff associations (ATASS and SISA), who explained: “One cask, for example, yields 275 cases. Caroni has in its bonds 18,146 casks. These will yield around six million cases of rum, or 70 million bottles of blended products…”

    At the time, Basdeo Panday, who was Prime Minister, had told an AMCHAM meeting that Caroni’s rum stocks were worth “considerably less than (TT) $100 million”, and there were rumours that the Government was planning to sell a 49 percent stake in Caroni’s Rum Division (later renamed Rum Distillers Ltd) to Angostura for TT $35 million.

    The associations, along with the cane farmers’ body I led (TICFA), did not object to a joint venture with Angostura. However, we argued that given the value of Caroni’s aged rums, Angostura should inject at least $500 million.

    Well Papa, as late comedian John Agitation would have said, who tell me to raise what was tantamount to a hornets’ nest over the valuation and the value of Caroni’s aged rum stocks? People high-and-low all but hounded me out of town. “Look de billion dollar rum man!” they would shout, laughing raucously. “He t’ink dey have gold in dem barrels! Shah talking Shmit!”

    Fast forward to last week when the Business Express, under a banner headline “Caroni lives on”, told a gripping tale about Luca Gargano, boss of an Italian fine wines and spirits importer, Velier.

    During a routine visit to Trinidad in 2004, the story went, Gargano supposedly “stumbled across the shuttered Caroni distillery, and was led, Indiana Jones-style, to a boarded-up warehouse and shown thousands of wooden casks of rum, some dating back to 1974…he bought all the barrels, took some to Italy and left the others to mature in Trinidad…”

    According to travel writer Elizabeth Heath, as quoted by the Express, Velier “has been releasing small batches of Caroni rums…for rum connoisseurs…” Price? Between US $400 and US $1,000 a bottle!

    Gargano’s story of stumbling across this cache of “liquid gold” (my description in the story I wrote in 2000) is hogwash. Caroni’s distillery and bond were still intact in 2004, and the “ghost” who led him to that source of immense wealth was some flesh-and-blood crook who saw an opportunity to make millions off Caroni’s rum stocks that ultimately belonged to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Readers may want to Google “Caroni aged rums” and see for themselves that bottles of this precious product indeed sell in the price-range quoted. In fact, a limited edition (2,000 bottles, I seem to recall) of Caroni Legend, which was blended and marketed by the Rum Division shortly after the year 2000, and sold at the time for TT $400 a bottle, remains a collectors’ item that today fetches 20 times that price in online auctions.

    Interestingly, no one who was authorised to sell off the company’s aged rum stocks is prepared to state categorically where those 18,000-plus barrels went. In the Express article, an unnamed former Angostura executive admitted that the distillers bought some and kept others in storage for Rum Distillers Ltd and Gargano.

    Gerry Hospedales, who, at different times, was chairman of Caroni and head of the Divestment Secretariat mandated to wind up the company’s operations, when questioned about disposal of the rum, told the Express reporter, “Let sleeping dogs lie, nah! Yuh know rum evaporates?”

    Rum stored in oak casks lasts for decades, and gets better as it grows older—even I know that. But here’s Hospedales talking tripe about aged rum evaporating. Since there are no records to show exactly where those 18,000 casks went, who bought them and at what price, Hospedales may well be correct: our “liquid gold” evaporated into the bank accounts of persons unknown.

    Gargano has forged both a myth and a legend out of Caroni’s aged rums (in the article, reporter Heath wrote about a “secret handshake” to alert selected connoisseurs to its availability, and a “cult” for its flavor dubbed “Caronimania”), and is clearly making many millions of dollars off rum stocks that Panday and Hospedales, among others, deemed worthless.

    Governments (Panday’s and Patrick Manning’s) got rid of the sole element in the sugar industry that could have brought in big bucks—molasses and rums.

    In a curious twist to the tale, Trinidadian engineer Raphael O’Neal who managed the distillery when it produced the special edition Legend blend, went on to Barbados where he manages one of that country’s sugar factories.

    O’Neal has presented to that Government a simple spreadsheet that shows 100 tonnes of cane fetching B’dos $16,500 in sugar and molasses—which is unprofitable.

    But the five tonnes of molasses, distilled into rum, fetches a clear profit of B’dos $187,000 for the distillers, with the rum priced at a paltry $10 per bottle.

    I can only hope that our Bajan cousins are not as stupid as we were, that their brains don’t “evaporate”.

  67. First, it was an accident that almost took his life. Then came a globally celebrated sex scandal that lead to an endless can of worms and culminated in a broken marriage. Next, one after the other, every brand that had endorsed the golf legend came to strip him of thier association. Then the expected happens, he slides deeply into drinking and drugs. A habit that wouldn’t stay hidden after a DUI arrest and public embarrassment. In all of these, professional performance was on the decline for 5 straight years since 2013 no thropy came his way. Not to mention 4 spinal surgeries.

    The TIGER had lost his fight and the big cat now had his neck deep in the WOODS. Tiger woods…from hero to zero. What would he do now? Take his place among the “has beens”, get drowned in drug use until he makes the news yet again as another celebrity overdosed?


    The decision he took despite the pain, losses, loneliness, embarrassment and shame is the reason I bring you this motivation this morning.
    He choose not to stay down. Non of the calamities above had what it took to make him feel finished. Tiger wood fought. He fought with everything he had which began with a public apology, then therapy, then an every day personal push with almost no one in his corner but he woke up every day staring at where he used to be with the aim to make his return.

    The outcome ? Today, Return? He did. After 1,876 days, he showed that you can get right back to where you want to. He reclaimed his title, beating 30 players including 18 of the top 20 world best ranked golf players. At 42, with his 80th victory, he is the new king of the golf course with $4.6m to show for this one win. He cried from a place of joy. Real happy tears. The kind that can be yours if you only believe that nothing deserves to hold you down.

    Tiger woods is no super human. The same decision, disposition, discipline, dedication and determination he used is yours for the taking. If he can beat these odds, what is keeping you down?

    It’s time. You too are a champion. Let them hear the LION roar.

  68. The very first and best investment is in yourself!!! Learn everything you can from people who have experience not just book theory. If you are planning to invest in a business go and work for someone else in the same or similar business, as you would like to learn from them and their mistakes. Passive investing and all things in life and business, revolves around People and Process. Idiots and crooks can destroy the best concepts and businesses.
    I have been a life long learner in business, investing and human nature, but still learning a few things today@62. NEVER EVER give up, pursue your objectives / dreams, but avoid nightmares.

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