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Best Dad Advice for Successful Executives

Best Dad Advice for Successful Executives

A father’s example and advice can inexorably affect the lives of his children. Here’s how more than two dozen successful leaders say their dads affected their trajectories.


1. Surround yourself with great people.

“The best advice I ever received from my dad is to always surround yourself with great people.  You never want to be the smartest person in the room and want individuals that will challenge you to think outside of the box and help you break through the ceiling to the next level. He has proven himself with creating a leadership team of nine of the best individuals, sometimes with different opinions but always come to together make decisions for what is best for the company.”


–Jennifer M. Jackson, VP of development of Hungry Howie’s, a national pizza franchise with more than 550 restaurants open or under construction in 21 states


2. Take things one step at a time and everything else will fall into place.

“My Dad always taught me to figure out how to get on first base, then on second, and then on third. The homeruns will happen on their own.”


–Andy Wiederhorn, president and CEO of FAT Brands, Inc., a global franchising company that develops fast casual and casual dining restaurants around the world, including Fatburger, Buffalo’s Cafe, and Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouse with more than 300 locations open worldwide


3. We’re the average of the people we spend time with.

“One of the most valuable lessons I learned from [my father] growing up was that we are all guilty by association. In other words, we are the average of the people that we spend the most time with. So, if you want to be a drug dealer? Surround yourself with drug dealers. If you want to be a millionaire? Surround yourself with millionaires. This goes for surrounding yourself with people who are caring, generous, etc., and has really carried into the kinds of friends and professional networks that I aim to keep.”


–Adam Callinan, cofounder and CEO of BottleKeeper, which was recently featured on Good Morning America and The View


4. Your name is all you have, so protect it.

“My dad’s advice… Essentially, your name is your integrity, and how people know you will do what you say you will do. It’s how they know you’ll live up the standards you have set for yourself as a son, husband, father, professional, and so on. I didn’t realize until later in life how profound and deep this was. I was building my own personal brand, and my name was how people in my professional network, and most importantly how my children, would see me.  When I am gone, what will they know me by? It will be by how they speak to my name. This gem will be passed on to my children and hopefully generations to come.”


–Brett Worthington, VP of global business development and partnerships at SmartThings, a company helping to turn homes into smart homes and acquired by Samsung in 2014


5. You’ll be happier professionally if you love life.

“I specifically remember a time earlier in my career where I stayed late at work and missed a performance I was supposed to give for my guitar class. He called me to see how it went, and when I told him I ended up spending time at work instead he made me promise that while work is important, I would put myself first and work around my personal life, rather than through it. That balance has kept me sane as I’ve continued to grow in my career. His contagious energy and motivation to make it look easy to have it all and has made me always work harder to keep making him proud.


–Erin Jordan, leader of the retail technology and commerce practice at Walker Sands Communications and author of the Future of Retail report, which has garnered the attention of Fortune 500 companies and has been featured in Inc., Forbes, CNBC, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post and more


6. Every stranger can teach you something.

“My dad is a hardworking carpenter and business owner from Long Island, and he has an incredible gift for connecting with strangers. He can get almost anyone (and I mean anyone) to open up and speak about what is truly meaningful to them. It could be the guy working the deli meat counter, the finance executive on the train, the kid raising money door-to-door for his football team, the elderly ladies at the local nursing home… When others would rather be polite and keep their distance, my dad has the boldness to ask people real questions. He’s not abnormally charismatic or friendly, but he is intensely curious. In a world where we are all buried in our phones in public, unplanned conversations can add richness and adventure to your life and career. We all want to feel known, and I’m so thankful to have my father’s example of boldness, spontaneity, and openness to follow.”


–Drew D’Agostino, CEO of Crystal, which provides millions of personality assessments each year to over 2,000 companies worldwide


7. Character counts.

“I can’t remember a single time when [my dad] didn’t hold the door open for someone behind him or for someone approaching, or a single time when he didn’t stop and offer to assist an elderly person who may or may not have needed a simple helping hand. In short, my dad personifies integrity and respect. I’ve tried to emulate my dad and have found that embodying these characteristics in my personal as well as business life has helped me thrive and feel fulfilled at the end of each and every day. Goodness is about character. I’ve been fortunate to be part of several high energy management teams launching and building startup companies in the high-tech arena. We were most successful in the markets where and when each critical executive embraced integrity and respect. I cannot thank my father enough for such valuable lessons early in my life.”


–Brian Fitzgerald, SVP of Global Solutions, NOKIA Corporation, which operates in the 5G wireless infrastructure market globally


8. Always do your best.

“[My dad] was an individual that always made an impact with others and he taught me that in a world that can often be cold and cruel, there’s real power and beauty in being kind hearted to others… In April of 2013, I lost my younger brother to cancer. Danny was only 33 years old and it was devastating on so many levels. For a parent, life is never the same after losing a child. My father owned a jewelry manufacturing business and my younger brother had been working with him for several years. After my brother’s passing, I decided to move back to Rhode Island and pick up where my brother and Dad had left off. Fast forward five years: We started a new business together called Luca + Danni, successfully leveraging the infrastructure of his factory but now as a digitally native, vertically integrated, direct-to-consumer brand. The brand is built on the lessons I learned from him, including the importance of family, celebrating people and embracing the journey of life. My father passed away unexpectedly last month and this will be my first Father’s Day without him. I will cherish the memories that we’ve made together and I am so grateful for all of the valuable lessons he’s taught me over the years.”


–Fred Magnanimi, founder and CEO of Luca + Danni, an American jewelry brand available online as well as through a network of more than 600 retailers across the U.S.


9. Be grateful and humble in whatever role you play.

“When I was a little kid, the grandfather of a good friend passed away, and I first realized my grandparents wouldn’t be around forever. Noticing my sadness, my grandfather asked me to fill a big bowl of water. He told me to make two fists and slowly put them in the bowl, and then asked me to stay there for five minutes. Then, he instructed me to slowly take my fists out of the bowl without spilling any water. ‘Do you see the big hole left behind when your hands came out?’ he asked. Of course, there was no hole, and the water had covered any indication that my hands had ever been there. My grandfather stated simply, ‘As much as I love you, and you love me, that is how life will carry on once I am gone.’ His words instilled in me a perspective of humility: never think too highly of yourself, no matter how good you believe you are. I often recall the story of the bowl of water when a key employee resigns, and realize that while it might be tough, others will step up. We will find someone new. Or we might even re-shape the role to fit someone else. Life is always about what we can contribute to make this world a better place, but we should still be grateful and humble in whatever role we play. This sentiment goes for both our personal and professional lives because the circle of life goes on with or without us.”


–Anthony Goonetilleke, president of Amdocs Technology at Amdocs, a software and services provider for the communications and media industry and 2018 leader in Gartner’s magic quadrant for operations support systems


10. Wherever you go in life, there you are.

“My dad is a teacher and guidance counselor, so he always pushed me to generate insight and learning from my own self-reflection, when sometimes I just wanted him to give me an easy answer.  As life unfurled, I leaned on my dad’s wisdom to map a career path with one common theme: generate insight at every twist and turn. His favorite quote was ‘wherever you go in life, there you are’ coming from Willie Nelson by way of Confucius… which is a good metaphor for my unorthodox moves!  I think he meant to reinforce two key lessons: one, there is no wrong path – only many right paths with different growth. As I took many different ‘right paths,’ from finance on Wall Street to technology in Silicon Valley, I got the second key learning, which is about mindfulness and presence.  Wherever you are, whatever your circumstance, make the most of it, give your best effort at that moment, and you will make an impact.”


–Sara Baack, CMO of Equinix, an interconnection and data center company with more than 200 data centers located across 52 markets around the globe


11. Everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time, just like you do.

“This idea of demystifying the unknown always stayed with me. Over time I applied this same idea to pursuing startups. Realizing that most of the world around you; the things, the products, the services, were made by people who are no smarter than you.  There is an often-quoted answer Steve Jobs gave back in 1995 to this effect which I always loved as well. It’s so true. From the first day of starting a company, you get thrown into so many deep pools that you just have to learn to swim.  After I did that a few times I always thought ‘Hey that wasn’t so hard.’ I would look at a product I admired and think ‘Man I could never do something like that.’  But then after learning what that product was all about under the hood, I would think, ‘Oh, that’s it?’ Not in a disappointing way, just a ‘That’s not so hard’ kind of way.  And this happened over and over. Pitching to a senior exec for the first time, building a new product, helping a customer go live with a big complex project, etc.


–Rick Nucci, CEO of Guru, a contextual coaching platform that helps sales and support teams respond faster and more accurately to customer conversations with customers including Square, Shopify, Intercom and more


12. Leave it better than you found it.

“My father was a high school teacher and a journalist at three of the papers in his town. He was a hard-driving person who accepted no excuses. He believed you had to be the best you could be no matter what, and he expected that from his children. The advice from him that has stuck with me my entire life is, ‘Leave it better than you found it.’ You have to be sensitive to a situation when you walk into it. You can’t just show up with your stuff. You have to contribute and add rather than subtract. That advice has become the fabric of who I am. As a parent myself, my Dad’s lesson has really made me think about what I want for my kids. I, too, want them to be the best, but I also want to be sure they’re who they want to be, whether that’s artists or engineers or something entirely different. That’s so important for women. That’s why I do the work I do now–to leave the tech industry better for women than when I found it.”


–Brenda Darden Wilkerson, president and CEO of AnitaB.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in technology which works with women technologists in more than 50 countries, and partners with leading academic institutions and Fortune 500 companies


13. Kindness and generosity go a long way.

“My father led by example with very few words.  He worked hard, he was generous with anything he had (time or money) and always strove to do the right thing. If there was any piece of spoken advice it was this: ‘Always be nice to your mother.'”


–Chris Powell, CMO of Commvault, a provider of enterprise backup, recovery, archive and the cloud which has consistently been named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Software for the last seven years


14. Think big, act with humility and give it everything you have.

“Coming from a middle-class family my dad wanted his kids to only be limited by their own potential. Maximizing your potential starts by dreaming big and then working hard and giving it your all to achieve those dreams. But he always emphasized that chasing your dreams with humility and integrity was also important. Humility and integrity enable you to leave your community and the world a better place than the one you were born into, which is what delivers true happiness. My parents gave up two decades of hard-earned savings to fund my education, because they believed in me and what I could achieve. Their actions spoke louder than words, and their sacrifice motivated me more than anything else.”


–Neil Araujo, CEO of iManage, a leading technology company building document management and artificial intelligence solutions used by over one million professionals at over 3,000 organizations in over 65 countries


15. Break up tense situations by being playful.

“My father was a playful person – he worked hard, but also made time to enjoy life and family. He would often break the ice in a tense situation by being playful or silly, and showed me that play was the best remedy for so much of life’s challenges; for clearing the mind, getting through difficult times, and staying connected with family, friends and community.”


–Lisa Tarver, founder and chief impact officer of One World Play Project, a B Corporation which has delivered nearly 2 million balls worldwide to an estimated 60 million youth in 185 countries worldwide


16. Business is a team sport and every employee is important to the success of a company.

“I witnessed his wisdom firsthand when I worked in the warehouse of the company he managed for a summer after high school. He treated each of the 20 or so hourly employees working in the warehouse as equals and knew each one personally. It was clear that the warehouse employees had a lot of respect for my father and they would go the extra mile as needed for him, the company and ultimately the customers because of his team effort approach. Seeing my dad in action definitely influenced the way I run a company today and believe this approach gives us a competitive advantage due to the team-based culture we have been able to build.”


–Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science, a global software company operating in the advertising industry with offices in 13 countries and over 600 employees


17. Always shine your shoes.

“My dad is big on the idea of dressing for the job you want, not the one you have and still to this day he asks me before a big presentation if I shined my shoes. From his view, the way you pull yourself together is a reflection of how organized and prepared you are. This advice has been a little bit harder to follow in my world where CEOs wear New Balance sneakers and hooded sweatshirts, but I still always try to make sure that I’m putting my best foot forward.”


–Sara Varni, CMO at Twilio, a cloud communications platform that enables innovators across every industry to reinvent how companies engage with their customers


18. Make sure every note counts.

“One of Dad’s gifts was his musicianship. As a kid, I grew up listening to my dad play beautiful thought-provoking Jazz piano. I took for granted that he had a disability and somehow had overcome it. You see, my dad was born with only 6 fingers. Hard to play 88 keys with six when most can’t play it with 10. In fact, when he first wanted to play piano, no one would teach him. So instead he learned trumpet. Eventually though, he really wanted to play piano. So, for his 16th birthday he asked his parents for a piano and he taught himself in one summer. He spent countless hours at the piano that summer. So much at times his fingers bled. It was his grit that enabled him to figure out how to make his disability an asset. That summer he created a new style of jazz that I have never heard repeated. He leveraged the pedals so he could use all 88 keys and boy did he ever. When I listen to his music, every note counts and you hear it. So, whenever I doubt or question if I will be able to do what I need to do to make my business successful, I think of my dad and the lessons he taught me. I think of the importance of determination, persistence and grit in achieving great accomplishments.”


–René Lacerte, founder and CEO of Bill.com, a business payments network with 3 million members processing over $50 billion per year in payment volume


19. Stay focused, determined and complete things.

“My father often talked about the importance of finishing what you started. Success is a compilation of completed tasks. Taking a risk and going for it is important, but if it’s never taken to the finish line it is an unsuccessful attempt. This advice has stuck with me when things gets tough and giving up seems like an option, but then I hear his voice in my head and make the choice to power through it, and complete the project.”


–Filipp Chebotarev, COO and partner at Cambridge Companies SPG, a strategic opportunity investment firm that has invested capital in better-for-you brands with celebrity partners including Foodstirs (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Once Upon a Farm (Jennifer Garner), Matchabar (Drake) and more


20. Attitude is everything.

“The best advice I ever received from my father was the power of a maintaining a positive attitude.  My father grew up with very little and battled severe dyslexia. But he worked tremendously hard and ultimately led one of the nation’s largest mortgage insurance companies out of bankruptcy and through a successful IPO. He always told me that ‘attitude is everything.’ People are drawn to and motivated to work with people who are positive, even in the most extreme conditions. A positive attitude can help you overcome most any obstacle.”


–David Lacy, CEO of SmashMallow, a premium snackable marshmallow brand available in over 15,000 retailers nationwide including Target, Whole Foods, Walmart, CVS and more


21. Be generous.

“The best advice I ever received from my dad is to always be generous. He engrained in me that I am fortunate enough to be privileged and if I see someone’s situation sour, to never ignore it, but instead step in to help where I can. His passion for helping people has always been transparent in his advice and I am thankful for that.”


–Daniel Lee, marketing manager of Flame Broiler, a quick-serve restaurant franchise which has grown to nearly 200 restaurants throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, Oklahoma, Idaho, Florida and North Carolina


22. Always try to approach conversations with the end goal in mind.

“If you know what you want your desired outcome to be, you can be more strategic in how you approach the situation. I first learned this lesson after voicing my frustrations with a challenge I was facing. At the time, my dad convinced me that I could be more successful in my approach if I were more certain of how I wanted the situation to end up. Since then, I’ve found this advice to be useful in both my personal and professional life. When put into practice, this concept forces me to be less reactive and emotional. It also allows me to invite others to be a part of the desired solution, which–ultimately–results in a discussion that feels more positive for all involved.”


–Alex Bingham, president and CEO of The Little Gym International, a children’s enrichment and development franchise with over 390 locations worldwide


23. Respect others.

“My dad always taught me to treat everyone with the same respect. No matter their social status, rich, poor, color of their skin, language, or ethnicity, and to always help people in need. These are values I still live by today. The more you help others the more good actually comes back to you and the fuller your heart.”


–Neka Pasquale L.Ac. MS, licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, author and founder of Urban Remedy, which operates 15 retail locations and more than 35 kiosks across northern and southern California


24. Never give up.

“[T]he best advice [my dad] has ever given me was when I was eight years old preparing for an elementary school race at field day. He simply said, ‘Never, never, never give up no matter what.’ This is a mantra that I now live by and has helped me keep pressing forward in business even in the darkest of times because I know that if I simply do not give up, I will be successful regardless of the outcome.”


–Jordann Windschauer-Amatea, founder and CEO of Base Culture, a company providing Paleo-certified breads, brownies, granola and almond butters on Amazon and in over 2,600 store locations around the country


25. Be industrious in everything you do.

“It’s important to note that my father grew up in the South and as an African American living through segregation, he experienced life through a lens that people my age and younger could not imagine. He decided to leave the South in hopes of building a better life for himself in California. He had to adapt quickly to the various business challenges all entrepreneurs face, including the soul-testing lessons that come with overcoming fear of failure. Soon after I started on my own entrepreneurial path, I asked my father how he managed to accomplish it all and do it with such patience and grace. His answer was profound. He said, ‘Son, in life you are owed nothing. Always seek ways to leverage your talents. Most of all, be industrious in everything you do.'”


–Tafa Jefferson, founder and CEO of Amada Senior Care, a senior care franchise system with over 100 locations nationwide, and former NFL player for the Chicago Bears


26. No one will do the work for you.

“At age 16 I skipped school and my father found out.  His advice to me was simple, he said ‘Alon, if you study or not it’s up to you, it’s your life.’  I understood then that nobody will do the work for me.  I then focused on the things that were of interest to me and those are the things I excelled at.”


–Alon Ozery, founder and co-owner of Ozery Bakery, makers of Snacking and Morning Rounds named as the number one brand in unit sales in the natural food channel for 52 weeks ending April 22, outselling all other English Muffin and Bagel brands, according to SPINS Data


27. Keep a healthy balance.

“I feel honored to work with my father in the business that we have built together. Through witnessing his diligent work ethic to develop the healthy products Xlear is founded on, along with the model he set for our family growing up, I have watched his example and taken his advice around how family is key to success and happiness. As a dad now myself, I try to put his teachings into action with my own daughters, making every effort to be present in their day-to-day life, as well as maintaining my role at our company, leading our team–ensuring that family, health, and wellness are put as a priority in our lives and in our business.”


–Nathan Jones, CEO of Xlear, a provider of natural xylitol-based sinus and oral care products with a footprint in over 36,000 stores nationwide


28. Learn to sell what you love.

“When I was in elementary school, my dad, like most dads, asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I didn’t know what that meant, so I told him, ‘I want to be rich.’ To which he replied, ‘How are you going to do that?’ I, of course, had no answer. That day my dad taught me that to succeed in business, you must first succeed in sales, and to succeed in sales you must sell something you love. I’ve always remembered that, and to this day I feel so grateful to spend my time doing and selling what I love…”


–Ryan Farr, founder and CEO of 4505 Meats, a producer of artisanal pork rinds, with a footprint in grocery stores nationwide


Originally posted on INC.COM by Christina DesMarais

8 Simple Ways to Make Social Media Work for Your Business

8 Simple Ways to Make Social Media Work for Your Business

In social media, you must not only engage but also engage consistently. The key to building meaningful relationships is to join the conversation. By reaching out to people in your community and responding to their comments, you can set the agenda.

Pick one platform to start with, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or another from the growing list of choices. Learn a little about the channels before you decide. They do have different characteristics and are therefore somewhat different in how you can best present yourself. For example, LinkedIn is more popular in the business world and has a very large international following. Meanwhile, Instagram is more visually oriented. Twitter is very newsworthy, with quick comments and responses, and Facebook has many businesses, but the approach is more social. Each also has slightly different user demographics. Most important, find out which social media platform is the one your customers spend their time on — because that’s where you need to be. Go find them and engage.

These tips will help:

Be authentic.

Be yourself. Share and tweet and post the things that interest you. Don’t try to be what you think others want you to be. And don’t work too hard to make everything perfect; if you do, you’ll either never put anything up, or worse, break trust with your customers. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, what matters are your thoughts. Post things that genuinely interest you and your community.

Engage, engage, engage!

The primary goal on social media is to build relationships and add value. This is where most people fall down. They work so hard to create content and push it out, but then they fail to step in and engage with their audience.

That means don’t talk at people but post what you think is cool. Talk with people and really engage. Respond to comments. Jump into communities. Share your perspective and point of view.

Document — don’t produce.

Overproduced content tends to turn people off on social media. Plus, you need so much content (video, audio, blog posts, quote boards, pictures, etc.) that most people don’t have the time and resources to put it into production and make it look fancy. People don’t care. And they don’t care about what you created last week. They want to get to know you, experience your day with you and relate to you. As a result, it’s much more powerful to document your life in real time than it is to take a bunch of time honing and polishing one piece of content to a high sheen.

Don’t oversell.

You know that guy at a party who always wants to sell you insurance? Don’t be that guy. Get to know people, engage honestly, and join in the conversation … don’t dominate it. Giving advice and offering suggestions will make you seem helpful, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. Get people to ask you about yourself, rather than telling them about yourself, and they’ll be more receptive.

Commit yourself to a daily “hour of power.”

Getting started with these technologies is quick and easy. Opening an account costs nothing, and posting is free. In a few minutes, you can be up and running. Within an hour, you can reach out and connect with friends, co-workers, and customers.

Spend one hour per day during your launch engaging with the community. That’s it. In one hour a day, at zero cost, you can build an army. The cost in time and money is negligible, but the potential payback in exposure and attention is incalculable.

Monitor and protect your brand.

Make sure to regularly frequent the sites, feeds, and pages that discuss your industry, product, or service. Look for posts that mention your company. Respond to comments and complaints, using them as opportunities to engage, build trust, grow your brand, and collect market research. If you pay attention, you can get ahead of potential problems.

Invest in sound.

If you’re posting video or audio content, keep a couple of things in mind. Even though your color, background, and production values may not be perfect, good sound is very important. Buy a lavalier microphone for quality sound and, whatever the source of your video, be sure there’s enough light for people to see you clearly. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but this is one detail you should invest in.

Tell them how to reach you.

Make sure your fans know how to get hold of you. If possible, give them your web address, email address, phone number, and social media handle. If possible, use the same handle on all social media platforms.

Social media offers you the chance to build a massive sales force that will be more effective than anyone you can put on staff. Your crowd-sourced sales force will be out there telling other people who are interested in your product or service all about you. People are much more likely to trust your brand and make a purchase based on a friend’s referral than by listening to anything you have to say.


Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Scott Duffy

12 Ways to Make More Money Through LinkedIn

12 Ways to Make More Money Through LinkedIn

With approximately 610 million members and growing, LinkedIn is the world’s largest business-oriented search engine. But most LinkedIn members see it as nothing more than a place to post their online résumé. According to the company, only 40 percent of members log in more than once a month. The other 60 percent, apparently, hope that others will simply find their résumés among the digital pile.

But the truth is, that’s not how LinkedIn works. To really gain value on the platform, you need to provide value to it in exchange. For example, having a complete profile — we’re talking info on your background, education, and areas of expertise — can help you achieve what LinkedIn calls All-Star status. That’s much more than a moniker: the more complete your profile, the higher you rank in searches on the platform. In fact, LinkedIn says that members who list five or more skills receive as many as 17 times more profile views. And don’t forget that LinkedIn profiles rank high in Google searches, too. Here are 12 simple things you can do to boost your visibility — from engaging with the LinkedIn community to optimizing every feature.

1. Brand your profile header. 

The top of your LinkedIn profile has space for an image. Use it to display your personal branding or your corporate logo, and then do the same on your other social media platforms. That way, you’ll look consistent across the internet (and you can bet an interested party will look at every profile you have). People will perceive your organization as being high-quality and professional, even if you are a small firm.

2. Invest in a professional headshot.  

Photos matter. LinkedIn says that when a user includes a profile photo, they receive 21 times more profile views and up to 36 times more messages. And with that many eyeballs on your photo, don’t offer anything but the best. Cropped photos from a wedding reception will not help your professional image. Would you trust a financial adviser if they displayed a blurry selfie as their photo?

3Add a client-centric headline… 

Your profile has a headline — it shows up at the top, and underneath your name whenever you comment on a post. By default, LinkedIn puts your job title in this space, but unless your title is unique, it’s a missed opportunity. Instead, use a benefit-related statement that tells viewers how you can serve them. For example, “I help small-business owners build systems, delete the chaos, and increase sales.”

4. …and pay it off in your summary. 

You pick up a book at the library because the title grabbed your attention. Think of your profile headline as the book title — and now think of your profile summary as the inside flap of the book, which entices people to keep reading. Your goal is to keep the reader scrolling through your entire LinkedIn profile so they get to know you and learn about your expertise.

5Endorse your colleagues and clients. 

This feature may be confusing — you may wonder if writing endorsements for others really matters, or if anyone cares. That’s open for debate, but here’s what’s undeniable: When you endorse someone else, your recommendation (plus your name and photo) appears in their profile. That gives you more exposure to their network.

6. Add multimedia content. 

You can link to video, audio, and written materials in your LinkedIn profile, but rather than just use that space as a showcase, I suggest regularly testing new material and monitoring your views to see which content is popular, so you’ll know how best to impress your audience. For instance, I post “how-to” videos and presentations in my LinkedIn profile so people can learn from me and experience my teaching style.

7Upload native videos. 

LinkedIn wants to keep people inside its platform, and sees video as a good way to do that. That’s why, when you upload video directly to LinkedIn, its algorithm will reward you with more video views. (By contrast, if you link to YouTube, the algorithm will depress its reach.) LinkedIn allows videos to be up to 10 minutes long, but I’d advise keeping it short — users love how-to tips, perspectives, and breaking industry news.

8. Write content on the platform. 

Much like it does with video, LinkedIn rewards you with more visibility when you write articles inside its platform. Even better, LinkedIn will give you reader data you can use to help position yourself as a subject-matter expert: By tapping “Me” in the LinkedIn app, you can find real-time insights into who’s reading your articles, including their employers, job titles, and locations.

9. Include hashtags in posts. 

Hashtags on LinkedIn work differently than they do on Facebook and Twitter, where it’s unlikely that people are monitoring broad tags like #motivation. LinkedIn recently started encouraging users to join hashtag communities around core business and personal growth subjects. (#motivation has 12 million followers!) When you share content, adding these hashtags will expand your reach exponentially.

10. Update your education. 

Alumni networks are strong on LinkedIn, and easy to activate. To find alumni from your school, filter your LinkedIn people search by selecting your college in the “School” field. Connect with them on LinkedIn and ask them who their best referral is. Send them some referrals and they will gladly return the favor.

11. Join LinkedIn groups. 

Members can create groups on LinkedIn, which often bring together people in similar professions (“Digital Marketing” has 1.1 million members) or skill sets (“Adobe Photoshop” has more than 317,000 members). When you join a group, it becomes part of your extended network. Your profile will start appearing in the right sidebar of those group member profiles, giving you lots of free exposure in a specialized community.

12. Use LinkedIn Profinder to get clients. 

Sign up to be a service provider in Profinder and you will receive leads from people looking for your expertise. They’re free, to an extent. (If you want to respond to more than five a month, you must pay for LinkedIn Premium.) All kinds of professionals are on here, including coaches, marketers, developers, IT services, writers, consultants, and more. I receive 10 to 15 coaching requests every day from Profinder.


Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Ted Prodromou

30 Motivational Quotes to Help Realize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

A little extra motivation and inspiration can sometimes help you push through difficult times and remain focused on the end goal. A positive mindset goes a long way.

Read the following quotes to help you reach your entrepreneurial dreams, regardless of what they might be. Use them as motivation to achieve happiness as well as success.

Identify your dreams.

1. “Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.” — Wayne Dyer

2. “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” — Chris Grosser

3. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” — Farrah Gray

4. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

5. “Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” — Gloria Steinem

Believe that you can achieve anything.

6. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” — Zig Ziglar

7. “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” — Babe Ruth

8. “Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.” — John Wooden

9. “Leap, and the net will appear.” — John Burroughs

10. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” — Walt Disney

Envision greatness.

11. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” — Theodore Roosevelt

12. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

13. “There is always room at the top.” — Daniel Webster

14. “I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail, than to attempt nothing and succeed.” — Robert H. Schuller

15. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Set goals to achieve your dreams.

16. “Step by step and the thing is done.” — Charles Atlas

17. “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” — Ralph Marston

18. “Well done is better than well said.” — Benjamin Franklin

19. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe

20. “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” — Vince Lombardi

Work your ass off.

21. “Without ambition, one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

22. “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot. Make it hot by striking.” — William Butler Yeats

23. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela

24. “I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.” — Walter Cronkite.

25. “Even if you fall on your face you’re still moving forward.” — Victor Kiam

Enjoy the journey.

26. “Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.” — Conan O’Brien

27. “Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” — Nelson Mandela

28. “My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal. We never lose, somehow we win out.” — Ronald Reagan

29. “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” — James Barrie

30. “Happiness is the real sense of fulfillment that comes from hard work.” — Joseph Barbara


Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Jonathan Long

12 Time Management Mistakes That Set You Up for Failure

12 Time Management Mistakes That Set You Up for Failure

Time management is all the rage these days, and it’s easy to understand why. Most people, and particularly entrepreneurs, are working themselves to the bone. It’s been found that 70 percent of us work beyond “office hours” and into the weekends. We’re working from bed, while eating dinner and when on vacation. This hurts our relationships, health and productivity.

It’s not shocking that we seek out as much time management advice as possible. Unfortunately, much of this information is so unhelpful it is setting you up for failure.

1. You think there isn’t enough time.

We’ve all been guilty of believing there is not enough time. We look at our to-do lists or calendar and get overwhelmed. “If I only I had more time today I could get all of this done.”

We all have the same 24-hours in a day. Some people can get the most out of this limited amount of time because they’ve admitted there’s a problem and did something about it.

Complaining that you don’t have enough time isn’t going to grant you any more time magically. It may make you feel better, but only momentarily. It’s not getting to the root problem, which may be that you’re lousy at time management. Admit to yourself that there is enough time — you don’t know how to get the most out of it. Now, you can start improving your time management.

2. Believing that there’s a one size fits all solution.

You’ve admitted there’s a problem and you’re scouring the internet for advice. You should feel good that you took this first step. It will only take you reading two or three posts to realize that there isn’t such as thing as a one-size fits all solution.

Ana Cecilia Calle, a Ph.D. student in Austin, Texas, discovered this great truth when reading about time-management tools that offered: “this promises that you would gain certain control over your life,” she told the BBC. “But whatever you start doing, it works for a while, and then it stops working.” The reason? Most of these tools were built by developers who wanted to solve their own time management problems — which means they may not be valid for all of us.

Instead of relying on a tool with all the bells and whistles, find out where you’re struggling and what’s essential for you. For example, if scheduling is taking you away from product development, then you could use a scheduling tool like Calendar that uses machine learning to automate most of your scheduling needs. If you’re wasting too much time on email, then consider using a tool like SaneBox to help tame your inbox.

This advice may not be the most thrilling answer, but when you identify your problem areas and priorities, you can find the best solution that works for you.

3. Failing to distinguish between being busy and productive.

Here’s another time management trap we fall into: believing that just because you’re busy means that you’re productive. That’s great that you cleaned out your inbox and spent some time connecting with customers on social media for the last couple of hours. But, was that the best use of your time at the moment?

I honestly believe that this concept of — busy vs. productivity — is something a lot of people struggle with. Here’s how you can be productive instead of just busy:

  • Identify what is both important and necessary, as opposed to focusing on something that can wait.
  • Implement an organizational strategy. For example, every night I have a routine where I lay out my clothes, list my three most important tasks, review my schedule, and make sure I have all my gear for tomorrow. A little prep the night before ensures I have a smooth and productive day.
  • Eliminate distractions, like email and text messages.
  • Don’t worry about being perfect.
  • Only say “yes” to time requests that serve a purpose.
  • Be willing to make certain sacrifices, like quitting an organization that is no longer beneficial.
  • Surround yourself with other productive people.
  • Weigh the pros and cons before jumping on a trend.
  • Be honest about your progress.

4. You’ll have less anxiety.

It’s true that when you properly manage your time, you can alleviate some stress. However, depending on the time management system you choose, make sure that your system doesn’t add to your stress.

Take the favorite Getting Things Done method. This system requires five steps: capture, clarify, organize, reflect and engage in everything you have to do. Phone calls, emails, meetings, shopping and the projects you have to do around the house. For some, this is going to cause anxiety and overwhelm.

Time management is only useful when you’re aware of your limitations and don’t let the system dictate your entire life. In other words, when you don’t tread lightly (especially at first), time management can add more stress to your life.

5. Miscalculating the time needed for specific tasks.

Let’s say that you want to write a blog post for your website. You block out an hour for this task. You end up spending two hours — your entire schedule is out of whack. Indeed, there is a truth that when you set a time limit on certain things that have to be done, this can motivate you to get get them down within that period. However, sometimes it’s just not possible, and you have underestimated the actual time this task takes you to complete.

The best course of action is to track your time for a couple of weeks. You can manually do this by jotting down your daily activities in a notebook and calculating how long each will take and see if you are realistic. You can also use time-tracking software like Toggl or RescueTime. By having a more accurate idea of how you’re spending your days, you can dedicate the right amount of time to specific activities.

6. Focusing on time management, instead of task management.

“Task management is the process of managing a task through different stages: planning, development, and completion,” writes Laura Sima in the Teamweek Journal. “It works both on an individual and on a group level by getting people to accomplish their goals.”

“Effective task management involves all the steps from planning it to setting a priority, including status, outlining the necessary resources for completion, notifications, and observation,” adds Sima. Tools like “online calendars, workflow software, and even project management software” will “help you outline different projects, tasks and clear statuses from all of them.”

Task management is more effective than time management because these tasks “come with clear limits which make them easier to manage. You know when you’ve started work on a project — and you know when you’ve completed the job. It’s one limited thing at a time.” Compare to this: “the concept of time is quite loosely defined.”

7. Always grabbing the low hanging fruit.

You just got settled into work and are ready to tackle your to-do list. With which items are you going to kick things off your day? You’ll probably pick the easiest, least time-consuming job — or an essential item.

If you’re able to knock off 10 things from your list, you’ll “feel” as if you’re having a good day. Remember that whole idea behind being busy and productive? Just because you get a bunch done doesn’t mean your time was spent or focused where you would be making the best progress.

To be the most effective — don’t pick the “low-hanging fruit,” meaning the easiest. Devote your energy to your most important priorities — and know which work will provide you with the most production. Quickly find a way to have menial tasks either automated, delegated, or saved to do during your energy lulls.

8. Having to wake up early.

I’ve personally found waking-up early — 5:15 AM to be exact — to be the most productive time for me. That doesn’t work for everyone — mainly night owls. If you get up early — you can’t stay up all night. You have to have a bedtime schedule — and stick with the routine. Many people suggest that in order to improve your time management you have to wake up early.

If you’re not a morning person, then don’t force yourself to change. Instead, base your schedule around your specific ultradian rhythms.

9. You’ll reduce your workload.

If you manage your days properly, then you won’t have such a heavy workload. Sadly, this isn’t the truth.

Thanks to Parkinson’s Law, if we have availability in our schedule, then we’re going to fill it up. You may have cranked out your most important tasks for the day, but, now you’re just going to add even more items to your calendar or to do list so that there aren’t any blank spaces.

Remember, when it comes to productivity, follow the 80/20 productivity rule. Instead of loading up on even more work, use those open slots to meditate, daydream, or add flexibility to your schedule.

10. Get everything done in the shortest amount of time possible.

Remember that Aesop Fable “The Tortoise and the Hare?” The same idea applies to time management; slow and steady wins the race. There’s a misconception that if you get as much work done as quickly as possible, you’ll be more effective and productive. This notion that you’ve done more only works temporarily before you burn yourself out. Even machines need to be shut down and rebooted occasionally.

Working through lunch, putting in 60-hour workweeks, and never taking a vacation will only go so far. You need to pace yourself and take breaks to rest and recharge.

11. Never, and I mean never, waste your time.

The other day it was beautiful outside. It was one of those days with bright sunshine and clear blue skies. The last thing I wanted to do was stay stuck inside. So, I took a 30-minute walk. I felt guilty at first. When I returned, I was more focused and ready to get back to work.

What I’m saying is that it’s okay to waste time now and then. That doesn’t mean binge-watching Netflix. Instead of working all day — take some time to read, listen to a podcast, exercise, or catch-up with an old friend or colleague. It may sound counterproductive. But, wasting time can be an asset preventing burn out. You’ll unwind, it’ll spark creativity, and give you a chance to reevaluate your priorities.

12. Not taking control of your life.

Finally, you need to start saying “no” more often. If you say “yes” to every request of your time, you’re not only spreading yourself too thin — allowing other people’s priorities to get ahead of your own.

Instead of letting others control your life, take over the reins. Set boundaries on when it’s time to work and when it’s not. Only help others when you have the availability. Accept meetings when they have a purpose, and if you already have plans, don’t try to commit to something else in addition to what’s already in your calendar.This set of suggestions is the key to time management. Knowing when to accept and deny new projects, clients, appointments, and social functions.


Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by John Rampton

10 Tips for Moms Who Run Businesses

10 Tips for Moms Who Run Businesses

Katherine Reynolds Lewis juggles a demanding career with raising three daughters — ages 3, 6 and 17 — and being a wife. She is the founder of Washington, DC-based CurrentMom.com for women entrepreneurs and the About.com guide to working moms. Lewis founded CurrentMom.com specifically for entrepreneurial mothers to share their wisdom and find community, support, energy, inspiration and new ideas.

Inc.com Senior Producer Tiffany Black asked Lewis and other busy MEOs (Mom Executive Officers) to share their advice for balancing family and business.

1.    Set aside some time for yourself

More than one Mom offered this piece of advice. When you are running a business and taking care of a family it’s easy to forget about taking care of you. “As a psychologist, I know that everyone needs regular rejuvenation,” said Lynda Ariella owner of Porch Light Psychology Services in La Mesa, California. “I take one day off every week; on that day, I don’t answer the phone, I don’t do work, and I try not to worry about things that usually bother me. I suggest that my patients do the same.”

2.    It’s okay to say ‘No’

You say no to your kids all the time but you find it harder to say no when it comes to your business. “It’s mandatory to say no,” said Lewis. “If you said yes to every request or opportunity or avenue of work you would be busy 24-7 with no time for your family.” No doesn’t always mean no. No could mean not today or not this week but some other time that works for everyone.

3.    Outsource household work

“If you can afford it, outsource as much of the household work as possible so you can spend your home and family time focusing on your children and spouse or significant other, or dating life and activities that relax you and enrich your non-worklife,” advises Karen Cornelius, mother of two and president of KLC Associates, an organization and management consultant company with offices in Chicago, New York, London, and Köln, Germany.

4.    Be present

“Setting up boundaries for work and motherhood to be separate fosters efficiency in both arenas,” said Kristin D. O’Connell, co-owner at Mama Goddess Retreats in Nosara, Costa Rica. “When you are working you give your entire focus to your business, and when you are with your children your entire focus is them.” Lewis agreed that your kids know when you aren’t tuned in to them. “Kids know when you are secretly checking your BlackBerry in the parking lot of their school,” said Lewis. “It means something to them when you are 100 percent focused on them.”

5.    Don’t be afraid to delegate

You delegate at work but find it hard to delegate at home. If you have a spouse or significant other talk to them about how to divide the load for household needs and child-caring. “When our children were small and ill a lot, we tried to take turns staying home with them, but also would check with each other to see who had the most critical work-related meetings or events on our calendar,” said Cornelius.

6.    Create a support network of other working Moms

A search on LinkedIn for “working moms” pulls up over 60 groups for Moms. You can also meet and bond with other Moms through your child’s day care or play group. Also, groups devoted to Women’s leadership might have resources devoted to supporting Moms.

7.    Stay healthy

Moms have to be ready for anything, and you can’t take care of your family if you don’t take care of yourself.  “A regular exercise routines is a lifesaver,” said Debbie Kane, public relations consultant and owner of Exeter, New Hampshire-based Kane Communications. “I plan my workouts for early morning before the kids go to school or during my lunch hour so that I have energy to carry me through my day.”

8.    Treat your home office like a corporate office

When you have to go in to an office every day you have specific goals and come up with a plan to meet those goals. The same rule applies when you work at home. “Set a schedule and goals just like you would if you were reporting to a workplace,” said Julia Wright, an independent contractor at The Wright Family in Bellingham, Washington.  “If you have errands to do, calendar that in.”

9.    Be flexible and plan for the unexpected

Kids gets sick unexpectanty but you can plan for when they do. “Each morning I write down the top three things I must accomplish that day,” said Lewis. “I tackle them first, because you never know when a call to pick up a sick child might quash the rest of the day’s work.”

10.      Don’t feel guilty

Working Moms deal with various types of guilt; the guilt of choosing to work to feeling guilty for taking some time out for themselves and everything in between. “There is nothing wrong with contributing to the financial support and stability of your family – and the college fund,” said Lewis. Ariella adds, “It’s hard to take time for ourselves without feeling guilty, especially when children need our attention, but a rested parent is more effective than an overwhelmed parent.”


Originally posted on Inc.com by Tiffany Black



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