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How to Go from Idea to Business
I believe that there is money in just about everything. The reason some people make it while others don’t is that they focus on how well they execute, rather than on coming up with the perfect idea. It’s not about what you choose to do, but rather how much you commit to becoming the best at it.

To decide if you have the right idea, divide your concept into two distinct categories: ideas that fulfill needs, and more complex ideas that fix problems. Ideas that fulfill needs focus on an existing solution that you think can be executed better. It can be as simple as identifying the need for a local coffee shop.

The key here is to identify that the idea has been proven to be necessary. Next, you need a clear plan. You’ll want to look at competitors in this market for experience to help speed up the growth of the business from zero to profitable. These types of ideas are more aligned with starting a business where the goal is to be profitable.

However, there are ideas that solve problems, problems which previously didn’t have a solution. Those ideas mean you’ve identified either a problem but haven’t yet seen an existing solution that works for the masses. Such ideas often require more work, and longer commitments from the founders to validate and market a solution, until the right one is found and finally accepted by the public.The time it takes and the funding needs often take more in these situations because there is really no existing path. These types of ideas are more entrepreneurial in nature, which means the core goal is to innovate and then sustain by being profitable.

In this case, the best way to get started is to be honest with yourself and categorize your idea by understanding if you are in the right position to undertake it.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Space X, didn’t start his entrepreneurial escapades with the goal of changing the world and its energy needs as his first project. He evolved into the person he needed to be before undertaking such monumental projects, giving him not only more funding but also a better chance to actually see such large ambitions come to life.

Here are a few ways to identify if your idea is indeed aligned to your ability to bring it to life. If not, these same ideas may uncover an even better idea that’s more suited to your expertise. While many ideas are good, they are also not necessarily good for you and therefore will suffer greatly should you attempt to bring them to life, and could cause you massive money and time losses.

When thinking of ideas, think of a triangle with three equal sides and each peak represents one key criteria that is needed to identify if you are aligned with this new idea.

1. Confidence

Do I believe in this idea enough to follow it to the end? Do I believe there is a need for this idea, even if it comes at a personal cost?

2. Love

Do I love the topic or any parts of the process, industry or people related to my idea? Is my idea focused on a subject that I want to further research or enjoy working on? This is important because when money doesn’t come fast enough or the effort requires countless sacrifices, will you at least still enjoy the journey?

3. Skills

Do I have the skills needed to bring this idea to life? While it is true that we can supplement our lack of ability with partners or workers, but our skills are what will allow us to carve out a role for ourselves on this project. Why we are important to this particular idea or project, and as a result define our role within it before starting.

When skills, love and confidence find a meeting point then whatever idea is at that intersection is the idea you need to further investigate and follow up on as it is an idea that is indeed yours to execute on. [Business]

January 22, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , ,
You Can Do It: Powerful Advice for the Rookie Business Owner

While it’s difficult to imagine when looking at the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and businesses owners, the simple truth of the matter is that everyone was a rookie business owner at one point or another.

Recognizing this, it’s wise for first-time business owners like yourself to learn from those who’ve gone before you.

Your Chances of Surviving Are…

You’ve probably heard this horrifying statistic before: 9 out of 10 startups fail. While this is the cold, hard truth, it’s something entrepreneurs need to really understand. Ultimately, this high failure rate should light a spark and encourage you to work both smarter and harder.

Don’t worry, though. We do have some good news. While 90 percent of new ventures eventually fail, the U.S. Bureau of Labor reports that 75 percent of new businesses survive the first year, 69 percent make it past the first two years, and 50 percent reach the five-year mark. In other words, you’ve got some time to figure things out. Statistically speaking, you’re just as likely to survive five years as you are to fail.

7 Things You Absolutely Must Know

The margin between surviving and flopping isn’t always that big. While the business idea, execution, and marketplace demand for the product are all key parts of success, the reality is that much of your success as a business owner is tied to the small things you know. Keeping this in mind, let’s review a handful of valuable tips that you should learn right away.

1. Focus on Doing One Thing Very Well

Are you a jack of all trades, but a master of none? This isn’t a healthy combination for a business owner especially one who’s just getting his feet wet. The key is to find something and focus on it.

Many first-time business owners feel the need to jump at any little opportunity that presents itself to them. And while it’s great to be ready and aware, there needs to be some focus and stability to your venture. Ignore opportunities that don’t align with your core pursuits and resist the temptation to juggle multiple ventures. It’s far better to do one thing perfectly than to do 10 things fairly well.

2.  Learn How to Budget

People often think they’re good at budgeting, and then they launch a business and suddenly realize they aren’t as disciplined or farsighted as they originally thought. Meticulous budgeting is one of the most important demands for a rookie business owner. With good budgeting, you can avoid getting stuck in a precarious situation. With poor budgeting, you’ll quickly become part of the 90 percent.

“Spending money is a whole lot easier than making it, so when you’re building out a plan, keep a sheet of every expense to know exactly where you are with your spending,” says Revel Systems, a leading iPad Point of Sale system. “Don’t get tempted to say yes to every neat, fancy object that presents itself if you don’t have the finances. Be smart and, most importantly, aware when it comes to money.”

3. Hire People Who are Different Than You

When launching your first business, there’s a tendency to surround yourself with people you enjoy being around. This means friends, family members, previous co-workers, and other folks you know. After all, wouldn’t it be fun to enjoy the people you go to work with each day? Well, it would…but are you trying to run a country club or a profitable business?

Be very careful with who you hire. The decisions you make in the first year of business will make or break the venture. Down the road, you could recover from a bad hire. Initially, a bad hire could compromise everything.

The key is to hire people who are different than you. While this may seem like strange advice, remember that you’re hiring for the good of the business (not your comfort level or social life). By hiring people who are different than you, the business instantly becomes more balanced, more knowledgeable, and more diverse.

4. Take Plenty of Risks

There’s nothing safe about building a successful, revenue-producing business. If it were easy or safe, wouldn’t everyone own a business? In order to thrive, you need to take a healthy dose of educated risks.

With educated risks, the risk could come back to bite you and damage your business, but it isn’t going to put you out of business. These are the risks you want to identify and pursue. If you consistently confront these opportunities, you’ll end up benefitting far more than hurting.

5. Develop a Cheering Fan Section

You can pay for as much advertising, media mentions, and website traffic as you want, but at some point, you have to develop organic traffic and word of mouth. Thankfully, this is easier than ever with the power of the internet and social media on your side.

You can begin to develop word of mouth marketing by building relationships with influencers, bloggers, reviewers, and editors. But above all else, focus on delivering quality content and you’ll naturally reach and engage the people that matter most, the customers.

“The aim in word of mouth marketing is to provide customers with such an unbelievably amazing, life-affirming product or service that they can’t help but share their experience with friends, family, co-workers, and the random dude who sits at the bus stop every day with his exotic parrot,” says marketing expert Megan Marrs.

6. Reinvest Back Into the Company

Getting a business to cash flow and become profitable can take a while. So naturally, when it finally does begin making money, the business owner often wants to pull a substantial paycheck. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest mistakes a rookie business owner can make.

While it’s fine to take a paycheck and even a decent sized one you shouldn’t pay yourself more than a reasonable amount. The majority should be reinvested back into the company to provide some financial security, pay off debt, build up inventories, etc. By reinvesting profits at the beginning, you can enjoy a better paycheck down the road.

7. Take Care of Yourself

As a business owner, you are the great asset. As you go, so goes the company. With that being said, it’s important that you take care of yourself. You will be much more productive and sharp when you’re feeling good.

As tempting as it can be to work 80 hours per week, grab fast food for all three meals, and lay on the sofa watching TV during your precious few hours off, your body deserves more. Put a reasonable cap on the hours you work, spend a few extra minutes preparing healthy meals, and get at least 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity each day. Your body will thank you and so will your business.

Don’t Just Survive…Thrive

Being a rookie business owner is scary, exciting, and demanding, all at the same time. It’s not something you can prepare for and it requires a lot of on-the-job learning. However, you can look to those who’ve gone before you and derive valuable lessons from their successes and failures.

In the end, this powerful advice should allow you to thrive.

Read original article on Business.com.

January 22, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , , ,
10 Success lessons from Elon Musk for entrepreneurs

Elon Musk is now considered Earth’s most future-oriented person. He is an American entrepreneur, inventor and investor. He is best known for his role as CEO of electric-car manufacturer Tesla Motors, and as co-founder of online money transfer system PayPal, and of commercial space program SpaceX.

“Elon Musk is an inventor and builder wrapped into one, kind of like a combination of Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, on steroids,” Randy Ottinger, Executive Vice President at Kotter International, once said.

Here are the 10 success lessons from Elon Musk – “The Real Life Iron Man” for entrepreneurs,

1. Articulate a powerful vision

The most effective leaders have a powerful vision, which they share, and lay the path to achieve the vision. They are able to influence others to see their view. On top of that, ordinary people have a vision that is evolutionary, while the greatest and most effective leaders like Elon Musk have a vision that is revolutionary – they know how to leap forward, changing the game. Elon Musk’s response to the traffic problem is a high-speed railway known as Hyperloop, which would transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes, that is 800 miles per hour. His plan will take eight years to build at a cost of about $10 billion.

2. Ideas are only as good as their execution

An idea that is not executed well remains just an idea; an idea that is implemented exceptionally well can become a great business. Effective leaders not only harness the power of innovative minds, they create fundamentally sound business models that lead to strong financial results as well. Leaders today must be able to innovate AND execute well. They also need to know their limitations, when to step out of the way, and when to allow others with the available capacity to lead. Today, the Hyperloop is just an idea. Given Musk’s other priorities it will be left (and has been offered) to others to execute.

3. World-changing innovation can come from anywhere

Musk’s Hyperloop idea is the by-product of having two companies with a vision, not just to produce cars or space-ships, but to change the way we view transportation. Musk has offered it up to the public as an “open source” idea, amplifying the truism that leaders find ways to involve and enlist larger groups in solving problems.

4. Operate with integrity

Musk borrowed money from the government to start Tesla. Recently, he repaid his over $400 million taxpayer-supported loan saying, “I would like to thank the Department of Energy and the members of Congress and their staffs that worked hard to create the ATVM program, and particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate.” Leaders can make money walking on the backs of others. They leave legacies by lifting others up.

5. Build great products

After selling his shares in Zip2, Musk was co-founder and integral to the development of PayPal, which is obviously integral to the online business world with over 173 million active users – its reputation conveys its value as a great product. PayPal is at the other end of the spectrum from Musk’s later ventures – Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity. Musk was in charge of the design of the award winning electric sports car Tesla Roadster which has sold in 31 countries, developing the product just after the financial crisis of 2008. Tesla Motors is a part of the future of motoring in a world of climate change and their move to family cars since 2012 demonstrates Musk’s visionary ideals of the electric car are affordable and mainstream.

6. Have confidence

The greatest leaders have unshakeable self-confidence and believe in self. If you pay attention to success literature, one of the first thing that the reader notices is that many successful people believe in leveraging other people’s money to finance their projects, that way if they fail, they do not lose their personal wealth. On the other hand, Elon Musk has such unshakeable confidence in himself and his capabilities that he uses his own money to finance his projects. He invested over $100 million of his own money into SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp), $10 million into SolarCity, and at least $55 million into Tesla Motors. Inc.

7. Disturb the comfortable

Musk has never been afraid to shake things up. He completely ignored everything we knew about car manufacturing and created something entirely different. And though it’s not the flying car, the inception of Tesla has completely upset the auto industry. Tesla is insanely efficient, completely upgradable (without having to buy a whole new vehicle) and undeniably luxurious. Even the act of purchasing a Tesla is outside the box.

8. Know how to persevere

Elon Musk and other great leaders know that failure is feedback. Musk believes that he can cut the cost of space travel and set out to make it a reality. Along the journey, he faced delays in design and testing, which pushed him a few years behind schedule. His original scheduled launch was a failure because the engine caught fire. The second test did not go as far into orbit as he expected. But he didn’t abandon his project, instead he learned lessons from his failures and made corrections along the way, until his Falcon rocket had its first successful launch in June 2010.

9. Continuous learning is a priority

Effective leaders like Elon Musk are constantly generating ideas. As a serial entrepreneur, he has created several billion dollar companies based on his ideas, how does he do it? Musk is a serious reader, who is able to see the interconnection of two things that others cannot see. This allows him to make big leaps forward.

10. Network and connect

As a college student, Musk cold-called interesting people that he would like to meet. One of those people was Peter Nicholson, a top executive at the Bank of Nova Scotia. This phone call led to a meeting with Nicholson and landed Musk a summer internship. Musk’s experience at the bank would eventually be the impetus for the digital payment service PayPal.

January 22, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , , ,
3 Truths Wise Entrepreneurs All Learned the Hard Way

Whenever we encounter the story of a successful entrepreneur, we wonder how they got to where they are. Success — whatever success means to you — isn’t a mystery. Success, also, isn’t something we have to be skeptical towards.

Maybe it’s society’s conditioning, or maybe it’s negative experiences in our past, but many entrepreneurs are skeptical of what is possible in their business. When you are doubtful of success, you can’t get to a place in your mind that allows you to take the necessary action. You have a defeated mindset that will keep you stuck.

Wise entrepreneurs aren’t skeptical because they have learned these three truths through hard work and unwavering focus. They have mastered the “basics” and have a long-term vision for their business. Here is what they know, but don’t talk about.

 

1. You can’t wait for permission.

When it comes to any big change in life, too often we wait for permission. We wait for validation or an influencer to tell us it’s OK to do what we want to do. We do the same thing with important decisions in our business. We wait for circumstances that may never fall into place. If you wait for permission, your business will not grow.

Wise entrepreneurs realize no one will ever give them permission. They understand if their business is going to be successful, they are the ones that have to do something about it. They have to take action without waiting for all the stars to align.

2. You should set trends, not follow them.

It’s an easier path to copy a successful entrepreneur. You see it works for them and figure you can get the same results if you do what they do. Everywhere you look, especially in the online world, you’ll see carbon copies of successful entrepreneurs.

Wise entrepreneurs don’t want to be like every other business owners. They don’t accept commonly spouted advice as “law.” They don’t want their business to be the clone of someone else. They look for new and original ways to reach their present and potential customers.

Wise entrepreneurs model success, they don’t copy it. They see what works and how they can add their unique spin. In a world full of the same, people are looking for what stands out.

3. Saying ‘no’ frees you.

By nature, we are people pleasers. We want to say ‘yes’ to requests, especially if we think they’ll help our business. We say “yes” to requests and end up working for free, or worse, wasting our time on things that don’t help our business.

When I started my business, I coached 127 hours for free. I was told free coaching would lead to testimonials and eventually, business. It didn’t. After all that time, I learned that people don’t respect what they get for free. When money is spent, they have skin in the game and take action.

Wise entrepreneurs are more likely to say ‘no’ before they would think about saying “yes.” They value their time and realize it’s the most precious part of their business. In saying “no,” they leave room for the things they care about and will benefit their business.

Before you say “yes” to anything, evaluate how it fits into your plans and life. Time is the one thing we’ll never get back, so it should be spent wisely.

You can build a business and life you love without waiting for permission and following traditional advice. Learn to value your time and say “no” when you have to. In the last three years, my online business has grown from side-income to a six-figure a year business that supports our family living in Maui, Hawaii.

Life is short and time is the one thing we’ll never get back. Treat your time accordingly, especially in your business. Learn these three truths and take action on the kind of life and business you want to have.

January 21, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , , ,
BuzzFeed’s CEO on the Secret to Virality

 

Jonah Peretti, CEO and founder of BuzzFeed, discusses how ideas spread and the need for creativity and judgment in a data driven world.

While working at The Huffington Post, Jonah Peretti learned to appreciate the importance of human connections. He then founded BuzzFeed, a global media platform focused on producing highly shareable content.

So what’s the secret to ‘going viral’? Is it a certain platform or type of content? Peretti’s perspective may surprise you.

January 21, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , , , ,
How Much Time Should You Spend Networking?

 

The more time you devote to building relationships, the more referrals you’ll have for your business.

Misner says he believes that the secret to getting more business through networking is spending more time on it. He cites a recent survey, which reveals that people who claimed networking played a large part in their business’s success devoted at least six and a half hours per week to the task.

January 21, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , , , ,
Meet the Man Who Sold 4 Companies for Over a Billion Dollars

Tom Ellsworth shares his thoughts on the future of business and entrepreneurship.

Speaking with Bet-David, Ellsworth recalls a number of memories and shares his views on the future. He shares the time he watched the last meeting between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, and explained its effect on him. He believes Jobs to be the designer with the passion to create an experience end to end, where Gates was more the enabler — helping to create a massive market for products. Although their approaches differed, both equally had incredible impacts.

January 21, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , , , ,
How 3 Social Superstars Built Huge Followings Fast
How 3 Social Superstars Built Huge Followings Fast

 Image credit: Mary Delaney/The Oracles
Build an audience of millions in record time with these secrets.
Bodyguards, supercars, models, playboy mansions, helicopters, private jets, and “baller” lifestyles. Sound like a movie—or the dream of every 16-year-old teenage male? Think again. These are part of the daily social media feeds from the biggest players on the planet.

We sat down with three social superstars: investor and entrepreneurship guru Tai Lopez (who has built an eight-figure online empire); international sales expert and New York Times bestselling author Grant Cardone (who has built a nine-figure real estate empire); and “supercar” lifestyle vlogger Mr JWW (who has built a successful apparel company and owns cars we are jealous of).

Here is how they built mega social media followings—fast.

 

What was the top strategy you used for building followers quick on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat?


Tai Lopez (TL)
: When marketing, I use the PVP Formula: product, virality and paid. As the billionaire Charlie Munger said, “You can’t polish a turd.” You first have to market a quality product. (Apple is a titan company because the iPhone is a remarkable device.)

For virality, you have to employ controversy, humor and drama in your marketing. (There’s a good book about it.) Look at the Kardashians and Justin Bieber: they evoke strong emotions in people and go viral. Once you have a hit product that’s going viral, invest in paid boosting. You’re not buying your way into the market; you’re just boosting existing momentum.

You need a different strategy for each social channel. Twitter is high-frequency posting. Snapchat is like a TV show. Instagram is a museum showcase of your highlights. YouTube allows for long-form content. And Facebook is a hybrid of them all. Apply the PVP formula in the proper format and frequency for each channel and you’ll get huge results.

Grant Cardone (GC): I didn’t try to build my following fast; it felt like forever to get my first 100 followers. But I willingly posted ALL of my content, freely and frequently. My people said, “Grant, you’re giving away too much.” They didn’t realize how much content I had; it allows me to post up to 50 Snapchats, 100 Tweets, 18 Facebook posts and four Instagram posts every single day on multiple topics to particular audiences.

Mr. JWW (JW): Content can be tricky, so you have to be passionate about what you’re doing—it’s scary how anything forced or dishonest is amplified through the camera. My YouTube and Instagram subscribers exploded when I evolved my production quality. Most YouTube content is pretty amateur. It sounds simple, but a little investment in image and sound quality goes a long way to elevating your content to high-end amateur quality. YouTube has evolved into a serious contender for entertainment alongside commercial TV. Competition has grown and viewers expect higher quality content.

 

What’s your strategy for continuing to grow followers? Has it changed since the early days when you were first building it up?


TL
: Rather than changing too much, I master the fundamentals. Because of the results I’ve seen, I devote more marketing budget to social media—but my strategy hasn’t changed since the early days. It’s like basketball: what works, works. You put the ball in the basket and play defense. Although little nuances continually arise, a great 1970s basketball team would compete fine today. Likewise, a great 1970s marketing strategy would work well today. Look at some of the David Ogilvy marketing campaigns.

GC: I post content frequently. Every day I deliver something on money, investing, sales, marketing, promotion, branding, negotiating, closing the sale, follow up, motivation, phone sales, cold calls, network marketing, startups and real estate investing.

I constantly look to dominate new platforms. For example, my employees said, “Grant, your customers aren’t on Snapchat.” I replied, “If people are there, they’re my customers.” I show my millions of followers the “behind-the-scenes” of my life. This can include my marriage, life as a father, my spirituality, or going to monster events like the World Series or a Conor McGregor fight.

JW: I had zero subscribers when posting early videos; they were just “test content.” I had never uploaded a YouTube video and I wanted to know what the platform was about before committing. Go back to the beginning of my channel and there’s no talking or face on camera, just really short clips compared to what I do now.

 

What’s something that saved you time when building your following?
TL
: The billionaire Charlie Munger says, “Be a perpetual learning machine.” I read a lot and try to learn from everybody—ranging from the Kardashians to people you’ve never heard of. Social media is cool because you can study what’s clearly winning. It’s not a confidential business plan. It’s apparent what a person attracting a trillion likes does differently to someone scraping five likes.

Social media is cool because you can study what’s clearly winning. — Tai Lopez

 

GC: For four years, I handled all my social myself. No one posted anything without my approval. That was good and bad. I learned how it worked, but not delegating made me go slower than necessary. Today, two of my people facilitate posts, set up automation, help me with graphics, do branding and expand posts into articles—but I’m still the creator and responder. So, ask me a question on Snapchat, and it’s me who answers. (Every day I answer about 400 Snapchats and tweets.)

What kind of content gets the most engagement?
TL
: Aspirational lifestyle stuff gets a lot of engagement—Lamborghinis, jets, helicopters, big houses. But “rants” about “what’s wrong with the system” get the most engagement.

GC: I schedule a daily live stream—no exception. I go wide to continually expand my audience. Monday is real estate. Tuesday a book review. Wednesday is on marriage and business. Thursday is sales, startups and young entrepreneurs. Friday is finance and money. Saturday and Sunday are Ask Me Anything. While everyone seems to avoid politics, I picked up more Twitter followers during the 2016 U.S. presidential election because of my strong stance.

 

What was your biggest social media mistake?
TL
: Going too slow. No one was teaching this stuff five years ago. Not many people know how to do social media well, really. Plenty of people write books and articles, but it’s harder to do than teach.

GC: I’ve made so many mistakes—underestimating how powerful the platforms are; not going bigger, faster, sooner; not posting more frequently than I already do; not subtitling; not getting on Snapchat from the get-go.

My biggest mistake was getting too fond of one platform. I’d get lazy in not taking the time to figure out the tone, personality and needs of each platform. I’ve not transcribed my content in multiple languages. I don’t spend enough on boosting Facebook ads.

 

Tai, your Snapchat is like a soap opera, usually involving models, cars and crazy experiences. Can you tell us about the strategy?
TL: Forget the word, “social.” The operative word is “media.” Social is a new trend. The old trend has been going for over a century. Humans are addicted to mass media. It started as books, evolved into radio, movies with no talking, then movies with talking. Soon it’ll be virtual reality. To build great media with an engaged audience, pretend you’re making a blockbuster show.

My social media goes viral because it’s authentic. People once thought that I rented fast cars and a one-time set to make it look like I lived in a cool place. Snapchat beautifully exposes the truth. You can’t fake days, months and years of daily Snapchat content. Do social media longer and people feel part of your life. As people become addicted to your social media, you have permission to occasionally blend in some marketing of your products. Most people just push products on social media—that’s a real mistake because they don’t have the engagement.

Read original article on Entrepreneur.

January 21, 2017 / by / in , , , , , ,
6 Things to Consider Before Partnering Up

 

Savvy entrepreneurs use these strategies to ensure every business partnership is a match made in heaven.

Great businesses are founded on great partnerships. But great businesses can also be destroyed by bad partnerships.

These entrepreneurs—and members of The Oracles—share their hard-won wisdom about what to watch out for before joining forces with a business partner.

 

1. Trust your gut and get it on paper.

All of my success has come from successful partnerships: co-authoring the Chicken Soup for the Soul series with Mark Victor Hansen; The Success Principles with Janet Switzer; and managing my companies with Patty Aubery and Russ Kamalski. My top two criteria for partnering are: One, I must like them and trust the person. Two, they have to bring something to the table that I cannot myself provide. Liking them and trusting them are subjective things, but I’ve learned to trust my gut. If anything doesn’t feel right, I don’t proceed.

 

 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when partnering is not sufficiently clarifying each other’s roles, boundaries, compensation, and exit strategies and then documenting them on paper. While it’s important to trust each other, it’s also important to ensure you are clearly on the same page before you start. People often have different understandings and interpretations if they are not codified in writing. Jack Canfield, co-creator of the billion-dollar Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise, author of the NYT bestseller The Success Principles, and CEO of The Canfield Training Group

 


Tai Lopez
Image credit: The Oracles

2. Know the partner for at least a year.

Before entering a business partnership, my top criterion is to ideally know someone for at least one year. (Some psychology and scientific studies say that people truly show who they are after one year.)

It’s like dating—you have to date before you get married. A business partnership is a marriage. So you need some short-term “dating projects” in business. Become good at reading people and back it up with references. If projects don’t work out, you move on. It’s like choosing not to see someone after three dates: you haven’t made a long-term commitment and will be OK.

The biggest mistake you can make in partnering is going into it too quickly. Make sure you outline the responsibilities of each partner. Otherwise, you might get stuck doing all the work.

In the operating agreement, write out the partner’s responsibilities, your rights and the exit strategy. Something like, “You’ll work approximately 30 hours doing A, B, C, and five hours doing Z.” The more clear you are, the less likely it is to fail. Tai Lopez, investor and advisor to many multimillion-dollar businesses who has built an eight-figure online empire; connect with Tai on Facebook or Snapchat

 


Roberto Orci
Image credit: The Oracles

3. Use math, but don’t forget the fun.

Partnerships can be wonderful, but also can become your worst nightmare. Use math to decide on the right partners. That’s right, math. If one plus one equals two, that’s not the right partnership for you. One plus one must equal three! A partnership must be more than the sum of its parts; otherwise, you’d just as well outsource different parts of your business.

You should also partner with someone who is better than you at certain things. Many times I’ve seen people’s egos prevent them from building great partnerships. They felt threatened by their partner’s skill and couldn’t get past that to achieve a grander vision. “The Father of Advertising,” David Ogilvy said you should hire people smarter than you.

 

 

Finally, you must ensure that you’re going to have fun. After all, you’re entering the long-term commitment of a business marriage. It’s going to become a deep part of your life. There will be lots of ups and downs. You will be tested. But what’s the point if it isn’t going to be fun? Resist the seduction of your partner’s resume or their prestige; if you aren’t having fun, the partnership won’t last. Roberto Orci, Hollywood super producer and screenwriter whose movies and TV shows have grossed more than $5 billion worldwide

 

 


James Swanwick
Image credit: The Oracles

4. X-ray their brain.

The first thing I do is ask a potential partner to take the HEXACO and dark triad personality tests, which are like x-rays into their brain. It’s important to know the personality type that you’re dealing with because a business partnership is like a marriage.

Secondly, I look for people with different, complementary skills to my own but who share the same vision. It’s not enough just to like someone, which is how I used to think. If you’re an extrovert, look for introverts. If you’re the face of the company, maybe you need a nitty-gritty operations person behind the scenes. Likewise, if you’re that operations person, perhaps you need someone more extroverted.

 

 

The biggest mistake I ever made in partnering was going into business with three other partners. Too many cooks spoiled the broth, you might say. I thought a range of personalities and opinions would be good, but it created too many conflicts, egos, obstacles, and slowed everything down. The perfect scenario is two to three partners, but four seemed too many. — James Swanwick, CEO of Swanwick Sleep and the 30-Day No Alcohol Challenge

 

 


Chris Plough
Image credit: The Oracles

5. Get on the same page upfront.

I form partnerships that are win-win, long-term, and relationship-based. Our contract simply becomes a way to document our understanding and an insurance policy if leadership changes. To get there, we sit down to share and clarify two things:

One, core values. We check for alignment and allow both sides to develop trust by understanding the other’s key drivers. These can be relied upon when things get difficult and the relationship is stressed.

 

 

Two, business baggage. We share our business baggage to ensure we’re starting on the right foot. This includes outlining our expectations and commitments for the partnership, so that they’re openly shared and can be met. We also share our fears and desires for the partnership, so that they can be addressed in the planning phase, rather than at a point of conflict.

Together, these allow the creation of healthy, profitable partnerships that withstand the stresses of business. Chris Plough, entrepreneur advisor and serial entrepreneur

 

 


Phil Suslow
Image credit: The Oracles

6. Don’t be afraid to walk away.

Consider a personality test such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This will develop self-awareness of your working preferences and provide a better understanding of how your partner operates. But, there’s a dichotomy—ideally, you want to balance each other out, but you don’t want to drive each other crazy from being too different. If it resonates with you, maybe look into an astrology compatibility report for yourself and potential partners—it’s simply more due diligence.

Ensure that your end goals are aligned. For example, do you want to operate as a passive lifestyle business or build it to sell for huge multiple figures? How many hours a week do you want to dedicate to the business? What staff do you want to hire? Do you have any other projects or commitments which will conflict with the business or distract your attention too much? Is your family on-board with the business venture?

 

 

The biggest mistake I’ve made in any partnership stems from my fear of confrontation; I struggle with difficult conversations. Once, I delayed ending a partnership for too long—even though I knew it wasn’t the right fit. It created a lot of unnecessary inner turmoil and wasted energy, when I could have been building something that was more suited to me. Phil Suslow, owner of Oznium

Read original article on Entrepreneur.

 

January 21, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , ,
Get Ready to Love Math With This Sweet VR Calculator

Image Credit: Shutterstock

 

“Our universe isn’t just described by math, but it is math in the sense that we’re all parts of a giant mathematical object.” – Max Tegmark

I knew virtual reality was going to make mathematical education more effective. I just didn’t realize it was going to be so beautiful.

With the recent surge of progress and interest in virtual reality, there has been a lot of buzz about virtual reality and education. The idea that we can have virtual classrooms that allow us to take virtual field trips and demonstrate ideas in 3D space has captivated the minds of technologists and educators alike.

Despite that, VR learning applications that have truly captured the potential of this medium have been slow to emerge. Yes, exploring the solar system or the bottom of the ocean in VR is very cool. But until recently, nothing I had experienced truly felt like a gamechanger. Like something that might, someday, fundamentally change the nature of education.

Until, that is, I found my first gamechanging VR application in a strange place:

A graphing calculator. Meet Calcflow.

 


 

Calcflow: Your TI-84 Meets Burning Man

Calcflow is a virtual reality application that lets you explore mathematical theorems and scenarios in an interactive virtual reality environment. You can trace the outline of a mobius strip, examine a fluid vector chart or create a three-dimensional graph of a parametric equation.

Like this, but interactive and in three dimensions. Image Credit: Asimzb/Wikimedia Commons

But Calcflow is really more than that.

It’s a tool that allows you to use your brain’s incredible capacity for interpreting 3D spatial objects to help you learn mathematical concepts. It takes an idea or a formula and makes it into an object, rich with depth and complexity. And then it allows you to see how different variations in mathematical concepts affect this wonderful bizzaro world.

It allows you to get into a feedback loop.

I was able to create interesting new patterns and interactions then explore them. I got lost in the numbers, seeing which different combinations of inputs could create different outcomes.

It didn’t feel like boring old math class at my high school. It felt more like getting a new toy. I was able to play, to learn intuitively, to get into flow.

This is going to have huge implications.

The Hidden Language

Mathematics and numbers influence most everything we do.

With the rise of exponential technology and the shift towards knowledge work, basic quantitative literacy is a must have for any student wanting to enter the workforce or executive who wants to get ahead.

 

 

But our deep connection to numbers isn’t just a marriage of convenience. The world around us is made of math. Almost everything we find beautiful or fun can be enriched by understanding the secret language of numbers. From the dance of a flowing waterfall (fluid dynamics), to the depth of a Bach concerto (music/set theory) and even the ethereal beauty of a fractal (geometry).

Respecting the importance of numbers allows us to connect more truthfully to the world around us, to be more effective in our work and appreciative of the wonders of our universe. Virtual reality simulations will allow us to dynamically learn these concepts through real (virtual) interactions.

Mathematical Playground

The next generation of learning software is going to turn math into a hands-on activity.

Right now, most kids will tell you that they find math boring. I certainly would have if you had asked me during my high school years, which makes sense since much of the beauty of math is abstract, requiring years of study before it can truly be experienced.

But it doesn’t have to be abstract. We can create mathematical simulations that allow students to enter into creative feedback loops to help them explore and learn new concepts. We can connect these concepts together in interesting and fun challenges that will feel like a combination between schoolyard games and minecraft. The educational techniques of tomorrow are going to turn learning math into a playground.

That means whole generations will grow up with an intuitive sense of quantitative literacy that is entirely lacking today.

By building this deep understanding and respect for numbers into our education system, we may see significant cultural shifts. Today we can all watch and appreciate the extreme mastery of an athlete at the top of their game, even if we are nowhere near their level. It’s hard to do that with math and sciences purely because most high-level feats in those disciplines are so far above any of our heads.

With virtual reality, that may change. Pretty soon, we might all be watching the math olympiads with just as much intensity and excitement as the regular Olympics.

VR math simulations are going to change the way we think about numbers and their connection to our lives. They’re going to create incredibly engaging experiences. And they will forever reshape how we teach and learn mathematics.

See original article on SingularityHub.

 

January 21, 2017 / by / in , , , , , , , ,
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