Posts Tagged "Startup Motivation"

Blocs 3 for Mac makes it easy to create a website without writing a line of code.

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

When your business is just starting out, it’s entirely possible you don’t have the capital to invest in designers and developers to build your web presence. However, a great website is critical to success in the 21st century. Instead of shelling out thousands on developers, then, try a tool like Blocs 3.

Blocs 3 is a website builder for Mac that makes it easy for brands to get online without breaking the bank. This fast, easy-to-use visual web design software lets you create responsive, user-friendly websites without writing a single line of code.

It works by stacking pre-defined sections to build fully-coded web pages, so you use the intuitive styling controls to map out a smart design experience without compromising on the code. You can build layouts in just minutes using pre-made blocks and sitemaps, customize fonts to your liking, and even add animations and comment support using Disqus. Plus, your site can integrate with your existing CMS and will automatically scale to any screen.

With Blocs 3, you can build a site that looks and feels like it was made by a in-house design team, but for a fraction of the cost.

Build your web presence and engage your users online without breaking the bank. Normally, a Blocs 3 subscription is $99.99 but you can save 60 percent when you get one for just $39.99 today.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Learn how to start earning a second income in your spare time.

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Whether it’s ride-sharing, designing websites, or copywriting, more and more Americans are dipping their toes in the gig economy. With flexible hours and remote work options available, the gig economy is an appealing way for skilled people to supplement their income. Employers love it, too, as contractors are less expensive than full-time employees. All of this is to say the gig economy is here to stay and if you’re not involved, you may risk being left behind. The 2020 Side Hustle Bundle can help get you started.

This comprehensive nine-course bundle introduces you to a variety of side hustle options, teaching you how to make a name for yourself, get work, and build a business in a chosen field. You’ll learn how to start a freelance writing career, hone your productivity, and grow a six-figure business in a year. If you’re more of a visual person, the graphic design courses can help you launch a design career. Alternatively, there are also courses on selling on the Mecari platform, audiobook publishing, and wholesaling real estate. Before you know it, you’ll have the expertise to make a splash in a wide range of industries.

Start supplementing your income with a viable side business. Right now, The 2020 Side Hustle Bundle is on sale for just $34.66.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

If your goal is to make money online or generate passive income through the internet, you can do better than trying these popular-but-unrealistic methods.

13 min read

The internet provides an entirely new way to make money. If you need a quick paycheck, you can try selling something on Craigslist or tapping into the gig economy. If you need a long-term means of producing income, there are plenty of suitable options — I should know, given that I’ve been making money by writing online since I graduated from college. 

In some ways, though, the opportunities for making money on the internet are not so different from how people have been trying to get rich on the frontiers of society for centuries. One example: In the 19th century, many English and Irish people (mostly men) abandoned their homes to start new lives in New Zealand, attracted by not only the gold mines but also the abundance of opportunity in industries like timber, wool and hunting seals. In The Penguin History of New Zealand, historian Michael King quotes an article from that time: “Here — where the social disabilities, the exclusive caste, the overstrained competition, and the stereotyped conventionalism of the Old World have not yet taken root — there is a clear field for men of talent, skill and energy to climb the social ladder and to attain to a degree of wealth and social elevation that is possible only to the favoured few in other countries.” 

Doesn’t that way of thinking — the optimism, the belief in meritocracy — sound like the logic that brings people to the web? Of course, not everyone who went to New Zealand found gold or became rich. The gold mines became crowded, the seals were overhunted and, in a short time, an opportunity that seemed like free money had become wildly competitive. 

The same can be true on the internet. Take a look at online gambling sites like DraftKings or FanDuel, both of which claim to give new users $500 for a “risk-free” first bet. It seems straightforward at first, but your money is refunded as site credit, which incentivizes you to keep gambling against people who probably have more resources, more experience and fewer scruples than you. If it were really so easy to make money on the internet through gambling sites, they wouldn’t need to offer you $500 to lure you in. 

I probably don’t need to tell you that sports gambling is a bad way to consistently make money online. But this represents a lot of ideas about acquiring income on the internet: They all start with an easy win or a flash of excitement — something to draw you in — but then prove more difficult and competitive. 

Related: 17 Passive Income Ideas for Increasing Your Cash Flow

So how can you tell whether your income-generating idea is more than a flash in the pan? Start by remembering that an idea is not the same as a business. You need to be able to outline precisely how to go from your first step to the last step (presumably generating revenue or passive income). It’s simple, but it’s worth saying: If you actually want to make money on the internet, know how you’re going to make money on the internet. You can’t be these guys:

It’s certainly not impossible to earn an income online with these strategies, but it’s a longer and more convoluted road from step one to profit than you might expect. 

Related: 21 Low-Cost Ways to Make Money from Home

1. Becoming an Instagram influencer

Again, it’s possible to make money online as a social influencer. You don’t even necessarily need a million Instagram followers to do it: Many brands look to maximize their money by spreading their budget across micro-influencers (people with fewer than 10,000 followers and sometimes even 1,000 or fewer), who often have smaller-but-more-dedicated audiences than bigger-named celebrities. In fact, Rakuten Marketing interviewed 719 marketers across the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, finding that respondents spent 40 percent of their influencer budget on micro-influencers (compared to just 28 percent for celebrity influencers). 

By the numbers alone, you’d think there’s plenty of money to be made online this way. Influencer Marketing Hub projected there would $6.5 billion spent in influencer marketing in 2019, stemming from 4.4 million Instagram posts using tags like #spon, #ad or #brandname, denoting that they were ads from influencers. In the same report, Influencer Marketing Hub claimed only 11 percent of influencers are currently fully compliant with legal guidelines, meaning there are likely many more than just 4.4 million sponsored posts.

That may seem like a high number, but consider this: According to Hootsuite, 1 billion people use Instagram every month, and 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. A 2016 Reuters article claimed Instagram users posted about 95 million photos and videos every day — over the course of a year, that’s over 34 billion Instagram posts, amd that number has only gone up since 2016.

According to those estimates (4.4 million ad posts, 34 billion total posts), only about 0.01 percent of Instagram posts are actually sponsored. 

Even if you crack into that upper echelon of Instagram users, there’s no guarantee you can earn a stable income from your posts: Emarketer claims that even for influencers with between 30,000 and 500,000 followers, an Instagram post only pays an average of $507. For nano influencers (500 to 5,000 followers), a post only pays about $100. 

If you need to reach the top 99.99th-percentile of your profession just to earn $100, there are better ways to make money online. 

Related: 18 Low-Cost Ways for Parents to Make Money From Home

2. Participating in multilevel marketing (MLMs) 

You’ve almost certainly seen examples of MLMs on your social media feeds, even if you don’t know exactly what they are. You might have a cousin who posts advertisements for Avon or Tupperware on social media — or an old friend who sends you a private message and really wants you to try some “amazing” new product.

In an Atlantic article titled, “Beware of Selling Yoga Pants on Facebook,” Darlena Chenha sums up how we often experience multilevel marketing businesses in our daily lives. She writes: “Those being propositioned often think of multilevel marketing as a pyramid scheme or scam; those selling believe the business model is a straightforward way to earn extra income from home. Here’s how it works: ‘Consultants’ — sellers for a direct-sales company — solicit new recruits to sell products online, and, in addition to their own sales, those consultants then earn a percentage of their recruits’ sales. Those recruits, in turn, then sign up still more online sellers and earn a percentage of their sales, and so on.”

Entrepreneur understands how tapping into a well-known brand’s resources can help you make money: It’s why we created our Franchise 500 list. But there’s a big difference between opening a new Planet Fitness location and becoming a distributor for an MLM like LuLaRoe: You ought to make money on a good franchise investment, while you probably won’t with an MLM.

Related: 7 Online Business Ideas That Could Make You Rich

“Some MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes,” according to the FTC, and “most people who join legitimate MLMs make little or no money. Some of them lose money. People who become involved in an illegal pyramid scheme may not realize they’ve joined a fraudulent venture and typically lose everything they invest. Some also end up deeply in debt.”

In 2019, Vox published an article titled “More than 100 LuLaRoe sellers have filed for bankruptcy,” which highlights two major issues with companies like LuLaRoe:

  1. LuLaRoe “consultants” needed to spend about $5,000 for an “initial order kit,” in addition to whatever other startup costs there might be. 
  2. The products were, as Vox wrote, “unsellable.” There were simply too many sellers and not enough buyers. 

The solution for many unsuccessful sellers is simply to recruit more people: You might not be able to sell LuLaRoe leggings, but you can sell the company as a means to easy cash … and earn a bonus for “sponsoring” a new consultant who buys even more than the initial order kit.

“My sponsor is a single mom of two kids… she raved about how she was able to stay home and support her family, and I was intrigued,” LuLaRoe consultant Sherry Evans told Racked. “I saw posts about the amount of money people were making, and I thought this was my way to protect my family’s financial future.” 

After a year, Evans was still in debt. As of the time of the Racked article, she was still attempting to liquidate her inventory. By contrast, “her mentor says she receives bonus checks of over $100,000.”

At the end of the piece, Evans concludes: “It is all about the money, getting $6,000 or more from every new consultant … they don’t care about the rest of us.”

Next time you see someone posting about how you can make money online if only you start selling beauty products, or clothing, be wary. Think about this six-part checklist about pyramid schemes, which comes from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:

  1. Emphasis on recruiting.
  2. No genuine product or service is sold.
  3. Promises of high returns in a short time period. 
  4. Easy money or passive income. 
  5. No demonstrated revenue from retail sales. 
  6. Complex commission structure. 

If you know people who are considering investing in an MLM or thinking about doubling down on their initial investment, remind them that they are much more likely to lose money than create a sustainable income. 

Related: 18 Ways for Digital Nomads to Make Money

3. Day trading

Here’s how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines day trading: “Day traders rapidly buy and sell stocks throughout the day in the hope that their stocks will continue climbing or falling in value for the seconds to minutes they own the stock, allowing them to lock in quick profits … While day trading is neither illegal nor is it unethical, it can be highly risky.  Most individual investors do not have the wealth, the time, or the temperament to make money and to sustain the devastating losses that day trading can bring.”

Just like the other entries on this list, it’s possible to make money online through day trading. In fact, Entrepreneur contributor Tim Sykes says he made over a million dollars trading penny stocks while in college using this method. But day trading isn’t just a side hustle that leads to quick cash. For people considering whether to become a day trader, the SEC advises that day trading is an extremely stressful and expensive full-time job. You can’t believe claims of easy profits and must be prepared to suffer severe financial losses and even depend heavily on borrowing money.

When I searched the term “day trading” on Google, the first suggested video was titled “Day Trading: How to Make $500 in 15 Minutes.” It sounds almost exactly like those FanDuel offers above, doesn’t it? Here’s free money. It’s fool-proof. 

The second suggested video was called “Why 80% of Day Traders Lose Money.” 

Related: 5 Ways to Generate Passive Income and Keep Your Job

Day trading is a perfect example of an online moneymaking idea that seems great but just isn’t realistic. Think about it — if day trading were truly a good idea, and if you could actually learn to time the stock market, then everyone would be doing it. Brilliant investors like Warren Buffett would be turning billions into trillions in a matter of weeks. 

But that’s not how Buffett recommends someone should invest. Instead, he says there are only two rules of investing: Never lose money, and never forget the first rule. 

The most important trait for a successful investor “is a temperamental quality, not an intellectual quality,” Buffett says. “You need a stable personality.”

Stability. Patience. These are the barometers of a good investor and a good investment. 

When I interviewed Troy Bader, CEO of Dairy Queen (owned by Berkshire Hathaway), he said the investment company’s leadership gave DQ a directive: Protect the brand for today, but grow it for tomorrow. That’s nearly the opposite of a day trader’s mentality. 

Investor Phil Town breaks down the risks (and possible rewards) in this video:

Town claims success is rare in day trading — that perhaps only one out of 100 people manage to make a profit. But those rare successes don’t happen by accident. Town points out that professional day traders “make use of expensive software, hardware and news services in order to find buying opportunities, and they must also commit large amounts of time to the pursuit.” 

In all likelihood, you’re not going to make $500 in 15 minutes because you want to, no matter what the suggested YouTube video says. 

Related: 20 Creative Ways for Introverts to Make Money

What are some realistic ways to make money online?

If you do want to leverage the internet to create additional income, there are plenty of better options than trying to become an influencer, participating in an MLM or day trading. Entrepreneur contributor R.L. Adams broke down a few options for earning an online income, including:

  1. Leveraging the gig economy. Apps like Postmates, Uber and Lyft provide opportunities for additional income that did not exist even a few years ago.
  2. Utilizing existing websites. You can use Craigslist in all sorts of ways — to post advertisements for a sublet, offer your services and more. You can also sign up for gig economy resources like Upwork to use your skills to make money online.
  3. Selling your stuff. You don’t need to buy $5,000 worth of products from an MLM to create an inventory of things you can sell. You probably already have things that you don’t want and other people will. Think like Marie Kondo, and consider what you can live without. 

If you already have a business, you can use the internet to make more money in a variety of ways. You can start advertising on social media (even using influencers) or write a book that you can use as both a product and a lead generator. You might build a website that showcases your work or offer a series of tutorials on your area of expertise. 

However you choose to maximize your income-generating opportunities on the web, remember that a penny saved is a penny earned — and the best way to “make” money online might simply be to avoid losing it. 

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Disconnecting is as important as hustling; here are some amazing spots that justify the travel and expense.

8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Being an entrepreneur can be a grueling lifestyle. Some entrepreneurs boast of not taking vacations in a bajillion years and never disconnecting (#hustle). I’m not that type. I love to travel the world and break often. For me, it’s all about sustainability and longevity. That’s why my wife and I travel as often as possible. We love experiencing new cultures, people, places and foods (especially foods) and have visited each of the places on the list below. Whether you are looking for an intimate, relaxing getaway or travels full of adventure, this list of luxury stays has you covered.

Kauai, Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands usually makes the list when it comes to luxurious destinations rich with unrivaled experiences and cultural traditions. Each one has its own vibe, and some are more tourist-oriented than others. Among the less traveled islands, Kauai beckons with cascading waterfalls, lush gardens, long beaches and secluded hideaways. The selection of hotels on Kauai is small, with a few bed-and-breakfast options, a few major chains and even fewer boutique options. 

My wife and I love the Koa Kea Hotel & Resort, as it sets the bar high. Situated between the top two beaches on the island, Poipu State Beach and Kiahuna Beach, it’s closer to the ocean than any other resort. The best snorkeling and surfing is right on the hotel’s beach. 

In addition to the luxuries you’d expect to find at such a well-appointed resort, they have an array of unique options, including waterfront couples massage, one of the best menus on the island at the Red Salt Restaurant, oceanside fire pits and a lava-rock hot tub. And if you’re a foodie, I cannot stress how good Red Salt is, from the fresh fish entrees to the sushi bar (the Miso Butterfish melts in your mouth), to fresh morning breakfast muffins and papaya with lime on every table. You’ll be completely floored each time you eat. 

Related: How to Plan a Luxurious Trip on Budget

For a departure from all the buzz, there’s The Lodge at Kukui’ula, where you’ll find beautifully appointed bungalows, cottages and villas with endless opportunities. Imagine spending your morning at their organic farm and then drifting off in the afternoon to the Hi’ilani Spa to indulge in massages, acupuncture or aesthetician services, private sanctuary rooms, outdoor showers and plunge pools for the ultimate in relaxation. Nearby, a sprawling, plantation-style open-air lounge called The Clubhouse offers access to golf courses, tennis courts, Makai Pools and more. Come here in the evenings to wrap up each day with perfectly crafted cocktails and toasted marshmallows while the sunset glows in the distance.

Mahe and Praslin, Seychelles

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa, where you’ll find an abundance of exotic beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves. It’s home to rare animals, such as giant Aldabra tortoises, and is known for its fascinating Creole architecture and colorful covered markets overflowing with fresh foods and local wares. Royal and celebrity couples are known to honeymoon here — Prince William and Kate Middleton, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade and Amal Alamuddin Clooney, to name a few — certainly a testament to the caliber of privacy and delights found in the Seychelles islands. 

When visiting, definitely make plans to take advantage of five-star accommodations at The Savoy on the island of Mahe, with elegant suites and perfect terraces overlooking palatial grounds and tropical gardens. You’ll be able to experience a vast variety of local and international food, wine, cocktails and brews in any of the seven indoor or outdoor restaurants and bars, some of which are poolside, all of which are delicious. 

Only a 15-minute helicopter flight from Mahe, you’ll be treated like royalty with legendary butler service in waterfront villas with private pools at the Raffles Seychelles. An oasis for well-traveled patrons, you can break away from ordinary vacations and be submerged in opulence and adventure in the heart of the island of Praslin. Indulge your senses and nurture your spirit with multiple award-winning, island-chic restaurants, a magnificent spa and wellness center and exotic excursions. If you really feel like balling out, get yourself a villa with a private pool and you can lounge around your hotel room all day. 

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

As the premier destination of the Central Pacific region, Manuel Antonio offers idyllic coastlines with soft white sands, gentle turquoise waters and endless landscapes to explore. Manuel Antonio National Park brings you up close to the colorful wildlife of the rainforests and allows no more than 600 visitors per day. Other local attractions range from nighttime jungle walking tours and canopy safari zip lines to spice tours and butterfly gardens. The hotels you’ll find here are boutique-style accommodations, usually not more than 20 rooms, and sit on the jungle hillside.

Hotel Makanda By The Sea has been designed as a posh and lavish getaway with gourmet fare and exotic elements in the architecture. Whether you are honeymooning or just wish to vacation like honeymooners, you’ll find every detail of your stay reflects paradise. A detached spa complex created with only natural elements, the Shanti Spa awaits to envelope you in serenity with rejuvenating massages, private yoga sessions and a wood steaming room to relax your cares away.

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca (Majorca), the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, is known for lavish beach resorts, romantic sheltered coves and fascinating limestone mountains. Tourism here is full of culture, with art and cartography dating back centuries; music and dance festivals that vary from traditional Ball dels Cossiers to modern jazz; and unique adventures like visiting an ostrich farm or swimming with the sharks at the Palma Aquarium. There’s no shortage of luxury hotels in Mallorca, like the five-star Castell Son Claret, which resides in a 15th century castle nestled in the Tramuntana foothills. Hundreds of acres of lush parklands and glorious panoramic vistas gracefully combine for a world-class experience that includes Michelin Star dining. 

Related: 7 Entrepreneurs Who Built Businesses Off Their Love of Travel

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland has epic waterfalls, notorious volcanoes and glaciers that rank among some of the largest in the world. And while you could spend a lifetime exploring this beautiful country, we strongly suggest at least four days. Reykjavik, on the coast of Iceland, is home to the National and Saga museums, tracing Iceland’s Viking history. Spend a day wandering through this unusual city, and take in the striking local architecture of concrete churches and glass domes that offer sweeping views of the sea and hillsides. 

The next day, you can escape the hustle of the city with a drive to the Hotel Husafell. Ranked on National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World list, any time of the year is the perfect time to be a guest. In the summer, guests can play golf under the midnight sun. In winter, a concierge will call your room in the early morning hours to come outside so you can enjoy the northern lights when the skies light up several times a week, and their thermal pools are available to soak in any time of year.

For an adrenaline rush that can’t be had anywhere else, spend a day snowmobiling nearby. With expert guidance, you can ride along the snowy expanse of an Icelandic glacier before exploring into an ice cave that draws you to the blue heart of Langjökull for a one-of-a-kind experience. 

If you’re a fitness fanatic, you can’t leave the country without dropping into Crossfit Reykjavik, home of Annie Thorisdottir (CrossFit athlete, entrepreneur and overall badass). Before you leave this magical country, you’ll want to take time to be awestruck by the island’s volcanic activity with a day at the geothermal Blue Lagoon spa, near the village of Grindavik, listed as one of the 25 wonders of the world. Submerge yourself in the purifying waters and come home renewed.

Yes, it’s absolutely imperative for entrepreneurs to work their asses off, but as hard as you work, you should vacation the same. Enjoy your travels, and share your stories with me on Instagram.  

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Improve your office culture and your bottom line with these great resources.

13 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Your company culture is the heart and soul of your organization, and it can mean the difference between dazzling success and dramatic failure.

Over the past three years, I have personally read one book a week. This is a big time commitment but well worth it. Since committing to reading a book a week, I have gotten to know a lot of the authors on a personal level. I’ve compiled a list of some of the top reads over the past six months that have helped me grow my calendar app. I’ve used their advice and it’s worked.

If you’re in need of some new ideas for engaging your team, improving communication and achieving better results overall, the books on this list will inspire and motivate you to make changes in your leadership style and organizational structure.

1. Elevate by Robert Glazer

In this national bestseller, author Robert Glazer provides an inspiring read about how you can bring out the best in yourself as well as those around you. Building on the power of a positive focus and his thought leadership as a visionary in the business world, he includes real-life lessons from numerous individuals. 

The primary aim of the book is not to just help elevate readers to achieve individual sense. Instead, Glazer goes much deeper than that. 

He examines how spirituality, emotional intelligence and intellectual ability provide pathways toward becoming a better person and igniting the best in those around you. As a result, he delivers the recipe for happiness, joy and satisfaction in work and life. 

Related: 4 Reasons Empathy Is Good for Business

2. Mean People Suck: How Empathy Leads to Bigger Profits and a Better Life by Michael Brenner

In Mean People Suck, author Michael Brenner challenges the idea that leaders must be “mean” in order to be authoritative and an effective manager. Instead, he introduces the idea of using empathy to connect and communicate better with your employees.

When employee engagement is low in the workplace, poor management and lack of leadership are often to blame. Negativity in company culture, poor relationships with co-workers and a boss who’s just plain mean will lead to unhappy employees, worse performance and lower profits.

Brenner uses his own experiences and challenges from his career as a corporate sales and marketing executive alongside proven research to create a guide to developing empathy in the workplace. It all comes together to better engage employees and enjoy a more meaningful career.

3. You Don’t Have to be Ruthless to Win: The Art of Badass Selfless Service by Jonathan Keyser

Jonathan Keyser is out to prove that you don’t have to be all about yourself in business but instead can excel by taking a selfless approach to servicing customers. If you doubt his claim, then you’ll definitely need to read this book.

Keyser shares how he had a job he hated in commercial real estate brokerage and how it turned him into the worst version of himself. From there, he explains how he decided to reinvent himself as a selfless leader. As a result, his brokerage firm achieved eight figures.

Related: 8 Proven Ways to Make Money in Real Estate

Keyser walks you through the transformation process in mindset, perspective and action to explain how you can become a selfless servant and leader of a company who is focused on others. Beyond business, he explains how you can be selfless in all aspects of your life without being taken advantage of or losing your own identity. 

4. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

In this follow-up to Start With Why, Sinek explores what makes a great leader and why strong leadership is the key to a happy team and a successful business.

The title of the book comes from a conversation Sinek had with a Marine Corps general when he observed the most senior individuals taking their seats to eat only when the more junior Marines had already been served. This rule extended far beyond the dining hall — on the battlefield, leaders are expected and prepared to sacrifice their own conveniences for the good of their team.

The book continues with examples from outside of the military, to businesses across several different industries. The most successful workplaces are built on great relationships and trust between leaders and their teams.

If you’re looking for how to improve your leadership skills beyond management tips and theory, Leaders Eat Last delves into human emotions and biology, and why it’s so important to create a “circle of safety” for your team to give them the confidence to flourish.

5. Non-Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future by Rohit Bhargava

Every business leader wishes he or she could predict the future. You can’t, unfortunately, but you can catch a glimpse of it through Rohit Bhargava’s Non-Obvious Megatrends.

The latest installment in the Non-Obvious Trends series, Bhargava’s book explores topics ranging from gender identity to technological backlash. For each trend, Bhargava provides suggestions on how companies can capitalize.

How does Bhargava spot tomorrow’s trends before others do? Bhargava draws insights from conversations with senior executives, students and everyone in between. Having founded Influential Marketing Group, he spends his workdays advising CMOs and his remaining hours as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Bhargava’s “Global Marketing in The Age of Social Media” course is overbooked each year, while his “Non-Obvious Public Speaking and Pitching” class informs the university’s Executive MBA program.

6. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live by Laszlo Bock

Google is not only one of the world’s most successful companies, but it’s also one of the most sought-after places to work. Google is famous for its employee perks like free gourmet food and innovative working environments, but is there more to the organization’s success? Who better to give away the secrets to Google’s success than one of its insiders?

Author Laszlo Bock was the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google — a job role that entailed being in charge of attracting and retaining “Googlers”, and making Google win the title of Best Company to Work for more than 30 times around the world.

Related: Three Things to Learn From Google’s Workplace Culture

Work Rules! provides powerful insights into how organizations can attract talent, develop their people, improve communication, and boost motivation in the workplace. One example of Google’s innovative approach: managers aren’t responsible for hiring, firing or salary increases. Instead, these decisions are made by peer groups or independent teams.

7. An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Lisa Laskow Lahey and Robert Kegan

Your organization is only as good as the people in it. This book explores what can happen when companies invest in their culture and every one of their people, not just those with obvious potential.

After investigating three leading companies identified as “Deliberately Developmental Organizations,” or those at which development is built-in to daily working life and culture rather than reserved for one-off training programs, the book presents several ways in which your own organization can model this highly successful approach.

The winning formula includes providing a safe and supportive environment for growth, making sure each individual identifies their own growing edge and building development into your organization’s daily routines and procedures.

8. Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean by Kim Scott

Along the same lines of reducing aggression in your management style for better results, Radical Candor provides you with advice on how to be a “kick-ass boss without losing your humanity.”

This book advises leaders to move from a position of control to one of collaboration, building a supportive feedback loop that’s designed to deliver better results and invest in employee development.

Radical candor boils down to two key concepts: care about your people on a personal level and challenge them directly. Beyond this, Scott identifies three key principles for managers to build better relationships with their employees: make it personal, get stuff done and understand why it matters.

9. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Good management is all about helping every member of your team to reach their full potential. Sometimes those with the most potential aren’t the ones self-promoting their skills and vying for your attention, but the quiet individuals who remain in the background.

In Quiet, Cain takes us on a journey inside the mind of an introvert and shows us how much they’re often undervalued in the workplace and elsewhere. With examples of some highly successful introverts, she identifies some common traits of this personality type, and how they can be recognized.

This is not just a book written for introverts (although if you class yourself as one, you’ll find much value in it.) Leaders and managers can also learn how to get the most from their most introverted employees and understand that working in a team isn’t always the way to get the best out of everyone.

10. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

Online retailer Zappos has featured as an example of excellent workplace culture in many other books, so there should be no surprise in seeing a book written by Zappos CEO in this list.

In Delivering Happiness, Hsieh reveals the secrets of an organization that’s not only hugely financially successful (Zappos was bought out by Amazon in a deal worth $1.2 billion), but also frequently named as one of the best companies to work for.

The company culture of Zappos not only had the effect of creating a workforce of incredibly engaged and happy employees, but this also translated to amazing customer service and happy customers. Zappos is a great example of how to achieve success by aiming to make those around you happier rather than more productive.

11. Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

Aaron Dignan, founder of New York-based consulting company The Ready, distills his years of experience working for companies including Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft and Airbnb in Brave New Work, demonstrating how organizational change can lead to massive results.

The book lays out an inspirational blueprint for the future of work and encourages the reader to abandon old and inefficient ways of working to discover the true potential of your people and business.

The theory laid out in Brave New Work is backed up with fascinating examples of organizations that have embraced change: a bank that abandoned traditional budgeting went on to outperform its competitors for years to come, and a business that canceled a monthly meeting saved an estimated $3 million a year.

12. Shut Up and Listen!: Hard Business Truths That Will Help You Succeed by Tilman Fertitta and Jim Gray

Also known as the Billion Dollar Buyer, author Tilman Fertitta is an entrepreneur who turned one restaurant into a global hospitality empire worth billions. Now, he’s sharing how you can do the same with your business in this actionable book. 

Over the course of 30 years in business, Fertitta has gone through the challenges and failures to get to the successes. What’s gotten him through are a set of principles that he has adhered to and that have shapes his company, which includes Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Morton’s Steakhouse, The Chart House, Rainforest Café and more than forty restaurant concepts as well as five Golden Nugget Casinos. Plus, Fertitta is the sole owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.   

The book will teach you six key action items.

13. What ’80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today’s Workplace: 10 More Iconic Movies, Even More Totally Awesome Business Lessons by Chris Clews and Diane Franklin

This newly released sequel continues to explore more about how the pop culture of the 1980s impact our business culture today. While it may be hard to imagine that a decade that had such questionable taste in fashion could teach us anything, fortunately it’s not about the clothes but more about the 1980s movies. 

Besides providing a nostalgic look back at some of the most iconic movies in history, the book is chock-full of movie quotes, scenes and more that relate to the workplace and how we interact and understand each other. 

If you are a movie nut and a business owner or leader, you’ll enjoy this book’s references to movies like The Outsiders, The Princess BrideCaddyshack and more. Even if you didn’t grow up in the 1980s, this book’s lessons about human nature will resonate with you.

14. Culture Is the Bass: 7 Steps to Creating High Performing Teams by Gerald J. Leonard

Music already serves as a relatable metaphor for so many things in life, so it makes sense that this newly released book uses music to explain how to develop high performing teams for your company. Leonard sees the creation of high-performing teams has the pathway to an effective project management culture that delivers a symphony of balance, unified vision and harmony for an organization. 

He shares seven key principles based on his experience as a professional musician, culture change expert, and certified Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP).  The seven-step process includes tips on enhancing leadership skills, thriving in a difficult workplace, eliciting productive feedback from others and reclaiming your time from tasks that otherwise waste that valuable resource.   

15. Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform For Change by Marc Benioff and Monica Langley

Written by the founder and co-CEO of Salesforce, this new New York Times bestseller guides you through the ways you should proactively seek out change as your primary business purpose and vehicle for innovation and growth. Besides change, the visionary Benioff explains how values need to define your business culture because these are what shape your business purpose.

To explain what he means, Benioff provides a behind-the-scenes look at Salesforce and its core values, which include trust, customer success, innovation and equality. He goes through each value to illustrate how it is a clear component to the organization’s culture and how it drives the change necessary to keep the company relevant and competitive.  

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy talks about what it takes to craft a vision for the future. What steps define individuals who can create clear goals and those who can still afford to improve their leadership skills?

He notes that leaders who have the capacity for great vision are able to explain their goals in clear and concise terms to their employees. If you want to become a strong leader as well, consider these tips:

  • Motivate people to give their best. Qualitative advice often offers the most value.
  • Keep your cool. Stay calm and collected!

Click the video to hear more from Brian Tracy. 

Related: 5 Reasons Your 2019 Goals Failed

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical. Watch video from our network partners on demand on RokuApple TV and the Entrepreneur App available on iOS and Android devices.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

The NFL star redefined himself after retirement from the sport, and found a whole new world of opportunity.

14 min read

This story appears in the
January 2019

issue of
Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Socks. It’s a Tuesday afternoon in October, and Michael Strahan is deep in thought about socks.

“We can do more of these non-solids in a solid,” says Douglas Raicek, president of the trouser division at Peerless Clothing, as Strahan contemplates a pair of gray socks in his hands. The two are at work developing Strahan’s upcoming men’s fashion line for JCPenney, reviewing a rainbow mountain of socks in a glass-walled Manhattan conference room.

“I think that would be more fashion-forward,” Strahan says.

“You can’t be too fashionable, because you still have to appeal to a mainstream customer,” Raicek replies, Strahan nodding.

Michael Strahan: the cheery man with a gap-toothed smile, known to the masses as a Good Morning America cohost, an analyst on Fox NFL Sunday, the $100,000 Pyramid emcee, and now also a fashion designer. Years ago, the whole thing would have been unimaginable. Strahan was a New York Giants football player then, full stop. It’s what he knew, and it’s what he was known for. But for all the money, glitz, and glamour of professional football — the Super Bowl ring, the Hall of Fame status, the healthy salary — Strahan the athlete was painfully aware that he didn’t control his own destiny. When he retired from the game a decade ago, he knew he needed to change that — to learn what it really means to take control and then fully own it. Or to put it in football terms, which Strahan is known to do constantly, he needed to go from defense to offense. “Everything that has come after that hasn’t necessarily been a plan to say, ‘This is step one, and this is step two, and this is step three,’ ” Strahan says, outside the socks meeting. “It’s just been taking advantage of opportunities and creating opportunities to expand and try new things, to try and challenge yourself.” 

So that is why Michael Strahan is eager to contemplate socks. It isn’t because of fashion. It’s because, as he’s learned, taking control means digging into details. It means mastering what you don’t know — and in his case, redefining himself as the guy as comfortable among kitchen counters and dresser drawers as he is barreling onto a football field. As the guy who’s the one in charge.

He came from a life in uniform, right down to the assigned socks. Not anymore.

Image Credit: Nigel Parry

Sports is a structured environment, and Strahan’s upbringing prepared him for it. The youngest of six children, he was born into a military family and spent much of his childhood growing up on an Army base in what was then West Germany. He became an NFL Draft prospect in college and was drafted by the New York Giants in 1993. 

All told, football was good to Strahan, and Strahan was good to football. He played for a staggering 15 seasons as a defensive end, about four and a half times the average NFL career (which has been estimated to be about three and a third years). This helped him stave off the inevitable question that bedevils even the savviest of pro athletes: What the hell to do once life in the game ends? 

RELATED: Maria Sharapova Built a Business Empire Thanks to Her Winning Team

Strahan had seen plenty of fellow players crumble after sports. “The whole identity for most of these guys is sports — what you’ve only done since you were a kid. And now it’s gone,” he says. “And you’re lost.” And yet, Strahan says, he was no better prepared when his time came. He was a 36-year-old man with “no idea” what to do next. “It wasn’t an easy transition at all. There’s a lot of fear because you don’t know what to expect.”

He started with something familiar. Sportscasting is a welcoming pasture for talent off the turf, and he landed a spot on the Fox Sports commentator desk instantly. But leaving football brought up a new specter: the possibility that Strahan may really suck at something. “You don’t want to be the weak link,” he says. “I didn’t want to be that at Fox, and it was a quick, quick learning process.” He kept reminding himself of how carefully he had to speak now that he was even more of a public figure, and sought mental tricks to calm his anxiety. He tried comparing the stress of being on camera with the stress of playing in a Super Bowl, of having a 350-pound warrior trying to smash his head in. “That’s pressure,” he told himself. “Pressure is not shaking a dude’s hand and asking him some questions on camera.”

But he knew this couldn’t be his end goal. Sportscasting was just a base — stable ground on which to build. He began asking colleagues about how the industry operates, learning the levers of power. He wanted to think bigger, inspired by idols in the NBA like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, and beyond sports to the Jay-Zs of the world, who took their core talent as a mere jumping off point to creating an empire. “Looking at those guys and their visibility, you always wanted or wished you could have a career after your playing days that is as respectable as theirs,” he says. So once Strahan mastered being on air, he made it known that he was available for other roles. That led to the one sitcom he starred in, 2009’s Brothers, which flopped. 

Then a conversation changed everything. Strahan was talking with his manager, Constance Schwartz-Morini, a longtime NFL marketing executive who’d met Strahan during his second year as a pro and had gone on to become a big-time talent manager. (She also counted Snoop Dogg among her roster.) Schwartz-Morini noticed Strahan’s interest in the business side of entertainment and thought he was missing the bigger picture. “You’re not just great on camera; you’re very smart behind the scenes,” she recalls saying to him. So why not partner with her to build an agency?

RELATED: Danica Patrick Spent Years Preparing to Retire — by Laying the Groundwork for a New Career

That got him thinking. Ownership is power, he realized — and even if he landed great TV gigs, that wouldn’t give him ownership. He’d still be beholden to someone else’s whims. So in 2011, he and Schwartz-Morini founded the management company SMAC Entertainment and began building a roster that now includes sportscaster Erin Andrews, rapper Wiz Khalifa, fellow NFL-players-turned-­broadcasters Deion Sanders and Tony Gonzalez, and others.

This felt good to Strahan. Ownership was power. “Hopefully,” he says, “it’s power you use in the right way, because it comes with a lot of responsibility.” And Strahan and Schwartz-Morini thought of it that way: In a world where women and people of color are consistently underrepresented, they were now in a position to do something about it. 

That, ironically, is also when ABC called.

Image Credit: Nigel Parry

Strahan may have co-owned a talent management firm, but he still wanted to be the talent, too. ABC was offering that. In September 2012, he officially became Kelly Ripa’s cohost on Live! 

The exposure gave Strahan a new, wider fan base. He was used to men approaching him and wanting to talk football. “When I started doing Live!, you got the mothers and grandmothers, and pretty soon the same guys who say, ‘I love you with football’ are saying, ‘Hey, I saw that cookie segment!’ And I’m like, What?” 

But Strahan was now in an entrepreneurial habit. Rather than seeing change as frightening, he was seeing it as opportunity. His audience had grown exponentially, from sports fans to everyone. So he pounced. He wrote a best-selling book, Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life. In 2016, ABC announced that he would be leaving Live! to join Good Morning America. He kept the weekend NFL commentating gig. 

Soon he was booking out every moment of his time. With his company SMAC, Strahan began to geek out on content production — launching programs like the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports awards show, several documentaries, and The Joker’s Wild with Snoop Dogg. When Sony decided to reboot The $100,000 Pyramid, executives quickly thought of Strahan to host it. So he approached the task like a football player: He watched footage of the show with original host Dick Clark, then watched tape of his own rehearsals afterward. “I think it’s an athletic mentality to be really well-prepared and ready to compete,” says Holly Jacobs, Sony’s executive VP of alternative programming and first-run syndication. “When we’re working on the show, he’s involved in a granular way.” For on-air talent, she adds, that can be unusual.

These days, Strahan has more TV exposure by some measures than Ryan Seacrest, his eventual replacement on Live! The game show continues to go strong. (A slot machine game is in the works.) ABC has renewed him for Good Morning America for a fourth year. Between commentating on football games on the weekends and doing cooking segments during the week, Strahan has appeal that crosses gender, racial, and geographic lines, a base marketers salivate over. And he’s mindful of the ways one effort can boost another. He isn’t going to wear just anyone’s clothing for hours on end daily before millions, for example. He’s going to wear his clothing. 

Of all this — nearly round-the-clock opportunities where Strahan’s face is beamed to millions of homes — he says something that sounds almost defensively humble: It’s not about me. “If the team is winning, there’s enough credit for everyone,” he says — by which he means that he wants to make a whole project successful, not use it only as a platform to increase his fame. Everything he agrees to, he says, is selected because it’s “something I feel I can make a difference in or add value to.” Strahan is there to add value, not to take it.

RELATED: How Venus Williams Is Serving Up Her Entrepreneurial Dreams

Many celebrities say something similar. Is it true? Strahan is so naturally friendly, so seemingly willing to engage with everyone around him, that it certainly seems like it could be. But here’s another way to look at it: Who doesn’t want to be at the top? Who doesn’t prefer to be part of a team, so long as they’re in some ways the leader of that team? Isn’t this the goal — to reach the place that satisfies you, and then contribute to others’ satisfaction?

“I understand that it’s a bigger team than just you who is on the camera,” Strahan says. “The most important people are the ones behind the camera, the people you should be really nice to. You don’t want to be blurry on TV! You understand how important the support system is in sports, and that has carried over to me in business. Because there’s nothing worse than feeling that you do a job no one values. Each job is important — I don’t care if you’re cleaning out the garbage cans or working the phones or running the company. Everybody has value, and football taught me to make people feel that value to get the best out of them.” 

Image Credit: Nigel Parry

Back at the sock meeting in Manhattan, one of Strahan’s colleagues notes that she had preemptively removed “the sock equivalent of an ugly Christmas sweater” from the options in front of Strahan. “They had snowflakes on them,” she explains, “and this is for spring!” 

“I want to see them!” Strahan says. “Now I’m interested!” 

So the ugly-sweater socks are revealed. Strahan jokes about how they might look good on his goldendoodle, Enzo. Then, once and for all, they’re retired. But Strahan does greenlight a camouflage print and a blue-gray star design — both of which will soon land in JCPenney, along with the rest of his collection. 

Strahan’s clothing line is only one data point — one product, one retailer — but it’s become an intriguingly strong one. The Strahan collection first launched in the fall of 2015 in 300 JCPenney stores, and generated a reported $7 million in sales in the first year alone. Within two years, the chain doubled the number of stores stocking Strahan. 

“We’ve done a lot of celebrity partnerships,” says James Starke, Penney’s senior vice president, head of merchandising. “None has had the from-the-get-go success that his brand did on our floor.” Starke in part credits Strahan’s cross-gender fandom, estimating that 60 percent of menswear sales at JCPenney are made by women purchasing for a man. “He appeals to everyone, and that’s hard to find,” Starke says. It’s why the line continues to expand — starting with suits, then into athletic apparel, shoes, denim, and jewelry. (And socks, of course.)

In his relationship with JCPenney, Strahan has also learned what any product manufacturer must: The first customer isn’t actually the end consumer — it’s a retailer’s buyers and employees. Win them over, and they’ll sell your brand for you. So Strahan does just that, coming to JCPenney in person to motivate its team. Once, onstage in front of 1,000 employees, he even talked Starke into a little catwalk strut. “He has moves,” Starke says. “I do not.”

“It’s all part of the fun,” Strahan explains. “I love motivating and leading by example.” Again, he draws from football. On a team, he had 50-plus guys from different backgrounds who had to believe in a common goal. “Business is the same way for me — finding that everyone is so different, where they come from, what their interests are, what they do when they leave work. But once they come into your environment, we make sure we all have the same, common goal of being successful and achieving what we want to achieve, and having fun.”

But even now, 12 years into his post-NFL career, Strahan doesn’t feel like he knows exactly what he’s doing. In the scope of his life, he’s been a football player for far longer than he’s been anything else. “In every business we’re in, I have no idea about it,” he says. “I didn’t go to school for being on TV. I didn’t go to school to learn about production or the clothing business.” But he’s learned how unimportant that is — how few of the people around him are prepared in any formal way, and how everyone is, in some respect, learning on the job. The key for him is knowing that he’s now performed the same trick enough times. He’s gone into an unknown situation and succeeded, which means he can do it again. “You have to learn to not doubt yourself, or doubt yourself a little less, so you give yourself at least a chance to compete and to be successful,” he says. “You figure it out, and you have to be open to trying to figure it out. And the risk is really in not being able to try. Because [if you don’t], you never know what you can do, and you’ll sit at home and wonder.”

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

With a new gig as one of NBC’s late-night talk show hosts, the comedian and content creator is ready to tackle traditional media.

9 min read

This story appears in the
March 2019

issue of
Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Since 2010, Lilly Singh has been lovingly known to fans as Superwoman — a moniker she has more than earned after amassing 14 million YouTube subscribers, producing and starring in a live world tour, and writing a best-selling book. The actress and comedian catapulted to YouTube fame with her observational videos that tackle everyday life, and as her own celebrity grew, she started attracting top talent as collaborators: Dwayne Johnson, Priyanka Chopra, and Selena Gomez have all appeared on her channel.

Now the 30-year-old is making plans for the next phase of her career and kicking it off a major project: Taking over Carson Daly’s late-night time slot on NBC and launching her own talk show, A Little Late With Lilly Singh. Launching in September, the show will be produced by Universal TV and Singh’s own production company, Unicorn Island. The Indian-Canadian performer will also make her mark as the only female host on any of the four major networks’ late-night lineup. It’s all part of Singh’s larger plan and vision for her career: she’s taking a closer look at her professional path, investing in her team, and shooting squarely for the traditional media world. 

Related: 9 Top Social Media Influencers Marketers Need to Follow

You started your YouTube channel in 2010, and over the past nine years, it’s grown into an entertainment empire. When did you realize this could be a sustainable career? 

Even after I reached a million subscribers, I was like, This is just a fluke! I’m sure this is just luck! I was the last person to really believe this was a career path. It wasn’t until I did an international gig in India, appearing there as part of YouTube’s FanFest. Seeing the audience reaction there, understanding how many people knew me there, it was a major realization: Oh my God; the internet works! Seeing people in a different country, across the world, relate to my content and interact with my business was really eye-opening. 

Once you processed that, did it change how you thought about projects? 

I realized my worldwide appeal more than ever, so I really made sure that my content was more universal and relatable no matter where someone lived and no matter what their environment was. And from a brand partnership perspective, I realized I had a responsibility to be selective about the brands I work with. My audience is diverse; I didn’t want to create content through partnerships that excluded anyone. 

How transparent are you with your audience about those decisions? 

Transparency is everything in this business. My fans feel like they know me, feel like I’m accessible to them — they come up to me on the street if they see me, treat me like their big sister — so my relationship with them is all about authenticity. And if I partner with a brand I’ve never talked about before and start preaching about their product, my audience will know it’s not authentic. And if I make a mistake — just as a person, or through a partnership — ­I try to practice what I preach and admit it. No one is perfect. We’re all growing, we’re all learning. It’s a new culture of doing business as a human, not as a corporation. 

In December, you spoke out about gender equality on YouTube after Forbes published its annual list of the top 10 earners on the platform, all of whom were male for the first time in years. Why do you think that is? 

I’m super proud of YouTube and the digital community because I think we’re actually great examples of equality, and I think traditional Hollywood could learn from us. That’s why I was so shocked to see that the top earners were all male. And all those men deserve it — they’re earning it! But it just leads to the question of why? Is it that people don’t feel female content is as universal? Are they not as willing to watch it? Do brands want to work with men more? I don’t have the answers, but I’d like to ask those types of questions. 

Related: How Birchbox CEO Katia Beauchamp Evolved Along With Her Brand

Where do those kinds of conversations need to take place? 

Well, I made the error of believing that Twitter was the right platform for that conversation — and it is not. It’s a layered conversation, and it can’t be reduced to x amount of characters, and I take responsibility for that. But we should be having these conversations on panels, at conferences. I’ve had several sit-downs on gender equality with the heads of YouTube. Those are the outlets where change and action happen. 

You began by posting videos you recorded at home. But you’ve since gone on a world tour, written a book, launched an apparel line, and started a social campaign to support girls and their education. How have you built a team to support these projects? 

A lot of digital creators feel like they have to do everything themselves. It’s the nature of our business. It’s almost a layer of guilt we feel: I’m an entrepreneur, and I must do everything myself! But building a team has been the best, most crucial thing I’ve ever done. And I approach it in a simple way: I want people on my team who are excited about what we do. I’ve learned time and time again that no level of achievement on a résumé can replace passion. You need people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and learn new things. 

Image Credit: Smallz & Raskind | Getty Images

As more opportunities come your way, how do you decide which projects to pursue? 

I used to try everything that came my way. Someone asked me to do stand-up, so I did. Someone asked me to write a book, and long-form writing seemed like a new challenge. But now my schedule is not as lenient, so I examine the impact a project will have on myself and others. If it’s meaningful and positive, I’ll consider it. But I don’t have to say yes to everything anymore. 

Last fall, you published a video explaining that you were taking a break from posting content for a bit. Why? 

I was just mentally not in a good place. I was pushing out content at a crazy rate — there’s this fear that if you don’t publish constantly, you’ll become irrelevant. I love making content and I love YouTube, but too much of anything is not good. So I took a couple of weeks and I didn’t shoot, didn’t write a script, didn’t vlog. I spent hours a day just thinking: about my team, my career, my family. It sounds ridiculous, but I just didn’t have time to do that before. I started writing down my goals, journaling, eating better, and getting more sleep, and it made such a difference. 

Related: How LaurDIY Went From Dorm Room Blogger to YouTube Star With 8.4 Million Subscribers

Do you think it will change how you operate moving forward? 

I realized I no longer enjoy being creative on such demand. I know there are deadlines and sometimes you have to make things happen, but the rate I was working at was taking away from the magic of creation. I never want to be in a position where I’m putting out work that I’m not 100 percent proud of. If something about a project doesn’t work for me, I want to take the time to fix it. I’ve earned that. 

Was it tough to tell fans you needed a break? 

Absolutely. My brain kept telling me I was being weak and lazy. But you can’t be the best creative version of yourself if you’re not the healthiest version of yourself. People questioned my decision to publish a video about it, but I didn’t want my fans to think I ghosted them! Plus, if my story can help someone else or start a conversation about mental health, I’m happy to swallow that pill. 

Tell me about why you recently launched a production studio to focus on more long-form content. 

It’s called Unicorn Island Productions, and I love it! The goal here was to not only diversify my business but to make premium, longer-form content that won’t necessarily work on YouTube. I want to make things I didn’t have growing up, create stories and characters I didn’t see. 

Has it been an adjustment to build something in the world of traditional media? 

People are so willing to take risks on YouTube. Now when I’m sitting in pitch meetings for my production studio, there are people I have to pitch, then they pitch their boss, and there’s a whole gang of people who will decide what an audience will like, even what a character will look like. There are a lot of gatekeepers. And that’s different for me, having someone tell me what they think is going to work when I have an audience of 14 million! I’m very tempted to be like, “I know what will work!” But it’s a ladder you have to climb. You’ve got to play the game to change the game. I did that on YouTube, and I will respectfully do the same thing in traditional Hollywood.  

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Get a great gift without breaking the bank on an Apple Watch.

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Whether your New Year’s resolution is to increase your fitness level or you’re trying to find the perfect gift for that special someone, smartwatches are extremely en vogue this time of year. Considering how feature-rich and convenient many models are, it makes perfect sense. Smartwatches can just plain do a lot these days! If you’re in the market but don’t want to shell out hundreds for an Apple Watch, check out these more budget-friendly alternatives.

LIFE2+ Smartwatch

LIFE2+ Smartwatch

Image credit:
Entrepreneur Store

Don’t be fooled by this smartwatch’s minimalist look. It is absolutely loaded with smart technology. With a sleek look, punctuated by sapphire glass and a Milanese band, this watch will look great whether you’re leading a meeting in the office or hitting the gym. It has touch screen music controls and a built-in smart assistant to help you keep your life in order without having to constantly input data to your phone. Plus, by syncing with the NOERDEN app, you can get best-in-class activity tracking of your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, and even set and track fitness goals. 

The LIFE2+ Smartwatch retails for $149 but right now it’s on sale for 33% off at just $99. Get it in black or white. Save an additional 15% off with promo code “MERRYSAVE15” at checkout. 

MATE2 Smartwatch

MATE2 Smartwatch

Image credit:
Entrepreneur Store

Also from NOERDEN, the MATE2 offers many of the same features as the LIFE2+ but in a more ornate package. This gorgeous, elegant hybrid smartwatch looks great with everything and, with integrated high-intensity interval training and multi-sport functions, you can easily transition from the boardroom to the gym. It has touchscreen music controls and the same activity features as the LIFE2+ and allows you to track your progress through the NOERDEN app. It even has an embedded G-sensor to better track your physical activity and sleep.

The MATE2 Smartwatch retails for $179 but right now it’s on sale for 39% off at just $109. Get it in black or white. Use promo code “MERRYSAVE15” at checkout and get another 15% off. 

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

It reminds Evolved by Nature’s Rebecca Lacouture of her mother — and helps her to always do her best.

2 min read

This story appears in the
December 2019

issue of
Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

My mom, Gail, died after a brief illness in 2005. I was a month away from finishing a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Tufts University. My dad created a personal gift for my sisters and me: necklaces engraved with our mom’s thumbprint on the front, and her birth date and the date she passed on the back. They would serve as a reminder that our mother is always with us.

Over the years, I’ve come to rely upon that necklace — both personally and professionally.

Less than three years after my mom’s death, in 2008, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at just 27 years old. I underwent genetic tests to find out why this might happen to someone so young, but there were no links or answers. I wore my mom’s necklace every day through surgery, chemo, and eventually, recovery. On the most difficult days, I held it in my hand — stacking my thumb on hers and envisioning holding her hand again. 

Related: 33 Inspiring Quotes About Achieving Your Dreams as an Entrepreneur

My diagnosis impacted my professional path and inspired me to cofound Evolved By Nature, a green chemistry company that helps brands create cleaner, better-performing products. I discovered that starting and growing a business isn’t easy. Through all the celebrations and challenges we have faced, I’ve always known my mom has been with me. And the necklace has served as a constant reminder.  

Through this journey, I’ve learned that it’s important for every entrepreneur to have something that encourages and inspires them. We need a source of support and a reminder of why we do what we do. This is now how I use my mom’s necklace. When I’m not wearing it, it hangs on the wall next to my bed. It’s one of the first things I see when I wake up, and pushes me to do what I think would make my mom proud — in life and in business — and to leave the world a better place.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert of project report.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Copyright © 2014 Intellixa | All Rights Reserved
× How may we help you?