The CEO of a multi-million dollar public company asked a new entrepreneur for feedback on their software. The entrepreneur was excited to share their honest thoughts and suggested a fix to one of the features. The fix was implemented that same week.
Meanwhile, a smaller competitor was hiring employees in an attempt to expand. They reached out to candidates with the promise of a job, only to redirect them to an impersonal screening call. The recruiter recorded answers to questions without actually listening to any of the responses. The candidate ended the call by asking for feedback to better prepare for the next interview. The recruiter then shamed the candidate for demonstrating weakness, and disappeared without replying to any of the follow ups. The company struggled and ended up laying off 50% of its employees before being acquired for parts.
After experiencing the culture of each of these companies first hand, their fate doesn’t surprise me. The CEO is a reflection of a company that is successful because it values feedback and continuous improvement. On the other hand, a company that considers asking for feedback to be a weakness is bound to end up failing. True weakness is being afraid of rejection and constructive criticism that might lead to you having to change.
Ask for, and listen to, feedback.
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Some brands have started to experiment with Snapchat, but it seems many still don’t take the app too seriously. While Snapchat may seem silly, and has yet to offer business support, other innovative communication channels like Twitter were also discounted. Seven years later, Twitter IPO’d, so why not promote on an app that has already attracted 26 million users in the U.S. alone.
Snapchat currently attracts a younger audience, as the majority of Snapchat’s users are between 18-29. If your brand targets a younger demographic, you might want to consider following your customers to Snapchat, as many are spending less time and slowly leaving other social networks. Businesses intending to reach tech-savvy early adopters should also consider promoting their product offering using the innovative platform. While these users may be less active on Snapchat, older early adopters are likely to have more disposable income.
Building an Audience
Having a presence on the network isn’t enough; the crucial part is building up your audience through a friend list. The best way to do so is by offering users an incentive to send you a friend request. You don’t necessarily need a large budget, instead think of creative campaigns that incorporate Snapchat’s unique features and capture users’ attention.
Five steps for building and maintaining relationships with mentors were revealed during a Mixergy interview with Darryn Lee. Darryn has been practicing these 5 techniques since high school, and has since landed his dream job.
Events are often used to network with prospective mentors, however, it is also an opportunity to reach out to current mentors and touch base. Take advantage of every invite you receive, but focus on seeking out people and events within your industry. Be sure to talk to as many people as possible, and connect with both potential and current mentors.
While the practice of exchanging information electronically is gaining momentum, most people still prefer a physical business card. Be sure to ask each individual for a business card, and be ready to give out your own card. Keep in mind that obtaining a business card from a desired mentor is not the end goal. Once you receive the business card, convey its importance by reading the information and putting it away carefully. After the conversation ends, jot down 3 memorable things on the back of the business card. This step is crucial, as it will serve as a launch point for a later conversation or email.
Entrepreneur Magazine asked their fans “If you had to give new entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?” After adding in my own two cents, and reading over 200 comments, I decided to share some of the insights.
- It is ALWAYS too early to quit. – Pamela
- Think Big! – Ramakrishna
- Learn from your mistakes, as you will make lots of them, but DON’T throw in the towel! – Sloan
- Start small. – Andrej
- Be true to your word and your friends and inspires others. – Julie
- Sacrifice in order to be successful entrepreneur and consistency is the key. Don’t waste time with college; it’s nothing but a debt when you graduate. – Janelle
- Bootstrap as much as possible. – Mary Lynne
- Stay Committed. – Amarilys
- Surround yourself with a good team. – Yael
- Please your customers. – Colin Continue reading
Don’t spend time with people who don’t believe in you, instead look for positive feedback and support.
The best way to expand your boundaries is by consciously stepping outside of your comfort zone. When working out, you can only build muscle if you force yourself to keep going past the pain. However, personal trainers often provide you with the proper motivation needed to reach your fitness goals. Similarly, seeking out mentors and guidance will increase the likelihood of achieving success.
Richard St. John’s video shares 8 secrets of success in under 5 minutes, and I thought it might be helpful to expand on the secrets as well as highlight the mistakes associate with each one.
Don’t chase after the money, instead do what you love and the money will follow.
Successful people are passionate about their work, and would continue even if they were not paid a dime. In fact, many of them don’t even consider it work. People who are in for the money tend to give up as soon as they encounter hardship, and who can blame them? Passion can’t be faked. Luck or hard work may lead to a great opportunity, but it is not worth pursuing if your heart is not in it. When you do what you love you are bound to be successful, and even if you don’t earn millions – who cares? You are doing what you love!
Stop telling entrepreneurs to get a real job. We’re busy creating them.
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These five lessons were offered by companies created during Startup Weekend.
- Release your product or service quickly to take full advantage of early adopters’ suggestions. – Zaarly
- Don’t put off recruiting others who can help you bring your idea to life. – TripLingo
- Seek feedback from as many people as possible to gain wider perspective on your company’s offerings. – Foodspotting
- Don’t be afraid to experiment—you may find unexpected opportunities. – Planely
- It takes a variety of skills to build a successful company, so don’t undersell what you bring to the table. – Giant Thinkwell
Read the full post on Inc.com
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Time is a limited resource, and we rarely stop to think how we spend it in the grand scheme of things. We get so caught up in being busy; we end up sacrificing effectiveness for efficiency.
Managing your time might involves notes, to-do lists, and calendars, which often leave little room for items with long-term benefits. In addition to neglecting reading or exercising, we end up leaving no room for spontaneity.