How Many Times Should You Try?

reposted from:Vlad Shyshov

Source: Funders and Founders Blog

  • 3 times Steven Spielberg was rejected by University of Southern California,  after which he dropped out to become a director.
  • 26 times Tim Ferris’s book The 4 Hour WorkWeek was rejected  by  publishers
  • 104 times an average couple has sex before conceiving
  • 162 times the author of this infographic made searches for this data
  • 300 times founder of Pandora.com approached investors before he got funding
  • 400 times a National  Geographic photographer shoots before getting the final image
  • 1009  times Colonel  Sanders  who  just started KFC was turned down when  he  tried  selling  his fried  chicken  recepie
  • 5126 times James Dyson created failed prototypes of  his  vacuum cleaner before succeeding
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25 Things I’ve Learned about Life

Here are 25 things that a young entrepreneur named Derrick Fung has learned about life.

When I turned 25 a few months ago, I wrote down some of the things I’ve learned over my short time on earth. The last year has been a crazy roller-coaster ride which has enabled me to see certain things like never before. Last year during this time, I was working at what I would consider my “dream job” – well, before I discovered my current “job” (I don’t think I can even call it a job). Over the last year, I’ve tried to learn from people who have “made it” in life – entrepreneurs, figureheads, lawyers, bankers and even politicians. I’ve realized that there is no formula to success in life, but there are definitely lessons that can be learned to help along the journey. I came up with the following list which I hope to someday come back to – but for now, I think it’s a pretty accurate depiction of how I think 😉 So without further ado:

  1. Take risks when you’re young. The older you become, the harder it gets. But they should always be calculated.
  2. The most important thing you learn in school is how to learn. Once you master that, nothing will stand in your way. Never stop learning.
  3. I would rather say that I tried and failed than live a life of regret. You miss every shot you don’t take.
  4. Dream big. Life is too short to only be mediocre.
  5. Music is the cheapest and simplest cure to life’s problems. Queue up your favourite play list, put on some headphones, and take a walk. You’ll instantly feel better.
  6. Drink beer. Lots of it. It makes you think more creatively. Oh, and wine too.
  7. Join clubs and put yourself in as many different social settings as possible. It will help you understand people and make you a better communicator.
  8. Start your own business as young as possible. Even if it’s a lemonade stand, it will teach you business lessons you’ll use for the rest of your life.
  9. If you’re going to fail, fail fast and make it public. Don’t drag it on. Then pick yourself back up. Knowing that others watched you fail will encourage you to prove them wrong.
  10. Meet lots of different people. Life is serendipitous in many ways and you never know what can happen.
  11. When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade. Then pour it for all your friends. Be optimistic. It spreads like wild fire.
  12. Success does not lead to happiness. You need to be happy first before you can become successful. Find what makes you happy. Don’t stop until you find it.
  13. Many people don’t want to start businesses because they are scared. Successful entrepreneurs got to where they are because they were willing to tread where others wouldn’t. If you’re too scared to leave your 9-5 job, entrepreneurship is not meant for you.
  14. Surround yourself with people way smarter than you. That is the only way you will be challenged to grow.
  15. Only those who are with you during the struggles deserve to be with you when you celebrate the successes.
  16. Pick and choose your battles carefully. There are only 24 hours in a day. If something isn’t worth your time, just say no…or outsource it to India 😉 (thank you 4 Hour Workweek)
  17. The most important asset to invest in is yourself. Take classes to make yourself a better person and never stop learning. Buy books. Lots of them.
  18. True friends will never question why you disappeared off the face of the earth. They will be there for you unconditionally.
  19. The more comfortable you are with a job you don’t want to be doing, the harder it will become to leave it and chase your dreams. Learn what you can, then go change the world.
  20. A dream job does not exist. You have to create it.
  21. Travel as much as you can. You will come back with a wider perspective of the world and more ideas on how to change it.
  22. “Thank You” – the most powerful two words in the English dictionary.
  23. God gave us all a purpose. Don’t settle until you find yours. I didn’t think mine was to sit in front of computer screens and trade foreign exchange, so I kept looking.
  24. The world may seem big and scary. But the older you get, the more you realize that everything is man-made. Nothing is set in stone. Don’t stick with the status quo.
  25. Life is not easy. But having the right support group with you during your journey goes a long, long way.

7 Ways to Make Gmail Faster

BY

Long time Gmail users may notice that their accounts have gotten sluggish over time. It can take longer to load your inbox and be a frustrating experience to open or send a message. This can happen for several reasons such as using a large number of add-ons or accumulating a high volume of messages, folders or filters.

There are several ways to counteract this slowdown process. Here are seven tips to get Gmail feeling fast again:

1. Disable Labs features. Google offers a feature called Gmail Labs that lets you try out experimental functionality that isn’t quite ready for prime time. While many of these features are useful, they’re not really necessary — and may be contributing to Gmail slowdown.

Go to your Gmail Settings (the gear icon in the upper right), head to the Labs section and disable any features you don’t use. Google also allows you to temporarily shut off Labs, if you prefer.

Related: 5 Ways to Tame Your Inbox

2. Turn off Chat. You may not even realize that Google Talk is running in a left sidebar Chat module whenever you log in to Gmail. To turn it off permanently, access your Gmail settings, look for the Chat section in the top menu, select the “Chat off” radio button and save your changes. Instead of using Gmail’s Chat, use a dedicated chat client such as Adium for the Mac or Digsby for Windows.

3. Display 25 messages or less. Go to the General section of your Settings and look for the Maximum Page Size controls. Use the dropdown menu to adjust the “Show X conversations per page” down to 25 items or even less — you can go as low as 10 threads per page.

4. Remove connected services. You can give a number of third-party sites and apps access to your Google Account in order to work with your Contacts, Calendars and other data. You may have a long list of connected services you no longer use. Head to your Authorized Access page and revoke access to any defunct web accounts or unused apps.

5. Disable browser check. Gmail checks for browser compatibility when it loads in order to provide the best user experience. However, this browser check can potentially take more time than it might save. You can disable this automatic process by using the “?nocheckbrowser flag” at the end of your login URL.

Related: Google Testing New Search Feature for Gmail Users

6. Delete filters. Using Gmail filters can be a powerful way to sort and route your messages, but you can accumulate an unwieldy collection over time. Go to Settings then Filters and remove any old directives that are no longer relevant. Consider unsubscribing to any infrequently read newsletters instead of filtering them into bulk folders.

7. Use a default theme. Custom themes are a fun way to personalize your Gmail account, but additional graphical elements take extra time to load. Try using the default Light theme instead, found at the top left under Settings then Themes.

5 Tips and Tools to Create a Company Culture When You Run a Virtual Business

5 Tips and Tools to Create a Company Culture When You Run a Virtual Businessby:

At Facebook headquarters, their company values are written right on the wall. Slogans like ‘Move fast and break things’ or ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ encourage employees to be aggressive, fearless, and innovative — the hallmarks of Facebook culture.

But, for those who run a virtual business, company culture is much more difficult to establish. Technology, rather than a physical space, becomes the most effective tool.

Laura Roeder, the CEO of LKR Social Media Marketer, a social media training service for small businesses, has been managing four full-time employees and a host of contractors since she started the company in 2007. All of them work remotely.

LKR’s collaborative, hardworking culture shows that conscientious leaders at virtual businesses can still create a vibrant culture, even without a shared space. Here’s how:

1. Welcome new employees with a virtual orientation. A comprehensive introduction to the company is important on an employee’s first day, especially when they work remotely. “We do a full-day virtual orientation where we walk them through the different parts of the business,” Roeder says. Not only does that help new hires learn the ropes, it gives them a more tangible feel for the team and company.

Related: How to Maintain Security When Employees Work Remotely

2. Encourage casual conversation. “One of the most important things to do is establish casual, friendly connections among your team,” Roeder says. She recommends Yammer, a private social network for companies. “Yammer is our virtual water cooler where we post updates on work, but also chat and make jokes,” she says. That sense of connection helps keep employees motivated.

3. Hold video conferences and calls. To improve communication, Roeder utilizes video whenever possible. For team calls, she uses Google Hangouts, a group video conference tool, while Skype is her go-to for individual calls. “Video is always preferable over phone,” she says. “We can connect face-to-face even when we’re far away.”

4. Keep everyone in the loop. To create a cohesive team where work is recognized and valued, you need an effective way to communicate each person’s work status. Roeder uses a website called IDoneThis.com  “Everyone gets a quick, easy snapshot of what’s going on at the company,” Roeder says. The updates reinforce that they’re working toward a shared goal. “And yes, I fill out IDoneThis too,” she adds.

Related: 5 Business Conversations to Have Today

5. Reinforce your vision and mission. When employees are scattered, it’s easy to lose sight of the end goal. Roeder hosts an in-person retreat each year, which she sees as an opportunity for the team to vision, work, and bond as a group. “Our values are also inherently folded into a lot of the conversations we have,” she says. If a retreat is not in your budget, you might try sending out a book you love that speaks directly to your mission or highlighting those employees that are living the company’s values.

 

image credit: Shutterstock

Read more stories about: Virtual Assistant, Bookkeeping,Blog Writer

 

Need a Vacation? 4 Steps to a Business That Thrives Without You

BY

Need a Vacation 4 Steps to a Business That Thrives Without You

It’s that time of year again when you and a lot of other entrepreneurs may be looking at former 9-to-5 colleagues with some envy, as they plan their annual two-week vacation with family or friends.

One of the questions I always like to ask business owners is: “Can you afford to take two weeks away from your business and have it run as smoothly as it does when you’re in it?”

If you can, that’s great. You’ve successfully found a way to systemize your operations and put people you can trust in charge of running things and getting the job done.

If you can’t, or if you’re in a growth stage where you don’t see how it’s possible, you need to step back and assess how you’re working your business — or how your business is working you.

My definition of a successful business is a “commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you.” Note the last part of that sentence because until you can systemize and scale your operations to work without you, all you’ve done by starting a business is given yourself a high-paying (hopefully!) job.

And unless you really like to work at your job, instead of finding ways to create a stream of income from your operation, you’ll find it very difficult to leave your company for any length of time. And that can be the quickest way to burn out.

Related: Why Your Company’s Founding Principles Matter

A great resource for learning about systemization is Michael Gerber’s E-Myth book series (The E-Myth Manager and others). If you haven’t read any of his material, add it to your summer reading list. If you have, read it again with the goal of systemizing repeatable ways of generating cash flow and profits.

Systemization truly is the key to being able to step away from your operations. But it’s even more important than that. You won’t have a sustainable business until you can systematically generate cash flow and then work on doing the same for profits.

What’s the best way to go about creating a systemized company? Here are four suggestions:

1. Establish your default position. Benchmark where you are right now in your company in terms of your numbers and the different jobs in the company, including whom those positions report to. Yes, it’s OK if you’re in all the positions — at least for now. This benchmarking will give you an idea of how you can hire people to take repetitive or administrative tasks away from you. Do you really need to be doing your bookkeeping when you should be selling?

Related: Finding the Right Mentor to Help Grow Your Business

2. Begin with the end in mind. You may have a clear idea of your company’s vision, mission and culture, but if not, you should try to clarify them. You can think in terms of a sports team that you own and coach, and ask yourself these questions below. Once you know where you’re going, it’s a lot easier to get there.

• What’s your “big picture” objective: Win a lot of games or win multiple world championships?
• How will you make your vision a reality?
• What makes you different from other teams?
• What kind of team do you want to recruit and create?
• What type of acceptable behavior and work ethic are you looking for?
• How does all of this deliver value to your customer?

3. Focus first on a system for “buying customers.” Nothing in business happens until a sale is made, and to become a going and profitable concern, you need to establish a system to consistently generate cash flow and profits. This means establishing cost-effective ways to “buy customers” and sell them something over and over again. It can be as simple as tweaking your advertising or establishing better, more consistent communication with current customers to ensure repeat business. Target your top-spending and fastest-paying customers — typically the top 20 percent or 30 percent of your base — and you’ll do more to establish long-term cash flow in a few months than some companies do in years.

4. Keep your eye out for a good “jockey.” Start to look for a person qualified to run your business based on the systems you’re implementing. Remember, the goal is to have systems run the business and people run the systems. Unless you want to forever be tied to your company and always own a job, you need to shift your mindset from one of ownership to delegation. And once you do, you’ll be amazed to see how many people with a talent for running companies show up on your radar.

Summer is a great time for business owners to reassess and reflect on where the company is — and where it’s going. At the same time, think about ways to systemize your business so that when you take your next vacation, you will really enjoy yourself and return to a company doing even better than when you left it.

Related Topics: Virtual Assistant, Bookkeeping, Blog Writer

10 job titles to avoid in 2013

by Patricio Robles

It’s the New Year, that means that career goals are top of mind. Many employees are looking to move up or move out.

Freelancers and consultants are looking to ensure that 2013 is more prosperous than 2012.

When it comes to moving one’s career forward, job titles often matter.

Even if we’d like to believe that they matter less and less each passing year, your ability to succeed may be based, in some part, on what goes under your name on your business card.

With that in mind, here are 10 job titles seen in digital roles that you may want to avoid in 2013.

Guru

Unless you have been practicing yoga for the past decade, guru is probably a job title best avoided, particularly in the realm of social media, where it is generally perceived negatively by seasoned clientele.

Maven

Another popular social media title, a maven is defined as “one who is experienced or knowledgeable.” Your employer or clients are probably expecting you to be one or both of those things anyway, so calling yourself a maven is of questionable value.

Rockstar

A term with some traction in Silicon Valley, don’t be fooled by its sexiness: unless your name is Mick Jagger, equating your impressive coding skills with this title is probably not going to impress once you leave your bubble.

Growth hacker

Even if you believe that this is genuinely a new role, the term growth hacker is somewhat controversial and not yet widely known. That makes it a title worth keeping an eye on, but perhaps not embracing.

Evangelist

One of the more established questionable job titles on this list, what an evangelist does is widely understood but the word is still a conversation starter, a subtle hint at the fact many people don’t believe it’s a great title.

Expert

Unless you’re a new entrant to a market, there’s a good chance that when a company hires you, either as an employee or consultant, it’s hiring you in part for your expertise. That makes a title with the word ‘expert’ in it superfluous.

Ninja

Another Silicon Valley innovation, if your new employer wants to refer to you as a ninja, you should make like a ninja and disappear — as quickly as silently.

Genius

If you get a job at the Apple Store, you have little choice but to accept the title of Genius. Otherwise, using your job title to imply that you qualify for Mensa is probably a bad idea.

Wizard

Your ability to optimize an campaign or boost search engine rankings may seem magical to coworkers or clients, but don’t try to turn your career into a J.K. Rowling novel by billing yourself as your industry’s Harry Potter.

Chief [insert wacky noun] officer

Being a business card-carrying member of the C-suite is a worthy accomplishment, but be careful about accepting a C-suite role that comes with a wacky title.

It may not be taken as seriously and some might be skeptical about your C-suite worthiness as a result, particularly if you work at a startup or smaller company.

How to make an infographic online: five essential free tools

Given the popularity of infographics, you’d be wise to consider using them to help achieve your content marketing goals. They can be great for social sharing, blog fodder and inbound links.

The last time I created an infographic I used – wait for it – Microsoft Excel. Thankfully there are now some far better options, and they’re surprisingly easy to use.

I have compiled five of online tools that will help you to create infographics. They’re all free, though some require registration (or to connect your Twitter or Facebook account) and most have the upgrade options.

Hold on a moment!

Before you begin, consider that many infographics are often – to quote Econsultancy Research Director Linus Gregoriadis – “high on graphics and low on information”.

As such it is important to map out your story / message / goals before starting to work on the design itself.

There’s a great post on the LEWIS PR blog that explains how to optimise an infographic, based around three key questions, which are:

1. What type of infographic do we want, and what type of data will we be collecting?

2. What parts of the infographic do we know already, and which parts will the designer determine?

3. What basic graphic elements would we like to use and how?

Sound advice, and it’s worth remembering that old proverb about “he who fails to plan, plans to fail”.

Ok, let’s now take a look at these lovely tools.

Easelly

Easelly allows you to create your own infographics using its ‘Vhemes’, which are infographic templates that you can customise. It does a good line in icons and graphics too.

Piktochart

We’ve used Piktochart to create some of our own infographics. It provides you with a choice of six free templates (more are available if you upgrade). Colour themes are easy to change, and you can create charts manually or by uploading CSV files.

Infogram

Infogram is very easy to use, with six templates, and – infographics aside – it is also great for creating standalone charts.

Creately

Creately is a ‘diagramming’ tool, which can help you to wireframe an infographic before putting it into production. It includes a new real-time collaboration feature, allowing you to work on a design with a colleague or client simultaneously.

Visually

Visually has templates that allow you to create infographics based around Twitter or Facebook data. Alternatively, and if you don’t have the time to produce your own infographic, then check out the Visually marketplace. They start from $1,495 and typically take at least 18 days to produce.

I’m sure there are some others out there but these tools are all useful in helping you to quickly make infographics online. What others have you seen?

Reposted from:Chris Lake is Director of Product Development at Econsultancy, an entrepreneur and a long-term internet fiend. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.