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  • 3 Dangerous Entrepreneurial Myths You Need to Ignore

    This terrible advice won’t actually get you anywhere.

    We’ve all heard the numbers about how hard it is to build a long-lasting business. While there are many factors at play to get there, without effective marketing and sales a business cannot survive.

    Unfortunately, there is a multitude of dangerous and destructive marketing advice swirling around the heads of vulnerable entrepreneurs. Like vultures seeking their next meal, “gurus” pontificate nonsense that these hard-working business owners follow, only to discover that what they tried doesn’t work.

    Often, once the damage is done, it is too late for them to do anything else about it.

    If you want to not only survive, but thrive, here is some of the terrible advice you need to start ignoring:

    1. “You need to be everywhere.”

    I’m sorry, but how do these people sleep at night without the use of narcotics? “Experts” spew out dribble to make headlines saying you need to get on Snapchat, get on Periscope, do YouTube Live . . . be everywhere! They’ll say you need to get on this platform or that social media network. Oh, and use LinkedIn Live! And make sure to post on Instagram three times a day and Facebook twice a day. And don’t forget those Facebook Lives. Make sure to do them every day.

    ACK! Just writing that paragraph stressed me out. How the heck are you supposed to be on all of those channels, never mind doing it all effectively, and still run your business? Of course you can’t. And you shouldn’t. (Unless self-torture is your thing, in which case have at it. There are books about that, but I’m not giving any titles because I’d have to Google them and then I’d be retargeted by the ads and that would just be gross.)

    It is impossible to spend even half an hour on each major network and still get any work done. Forget about focusing on measurement, profit and return on investment. They don’t mention that on purpose, because then these crazy-pants suggestions would really make no sense. But, then these “experts” would stop making the headlines, so they keep serving up spoiled advice for the poor folk who chow down and then get sick on it.

    Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to their plots of deception. Demand strategies that value your time and produce results in a significant and measurable way quickly.

    2. “It takes money to make money.”

    I didn’t take the easy way out. I am part of a group of scrappy entrepreneurs who have a lot of hustle and heart and little/no/negative funds. I didn’t come from family money, and the big banks certainly weren’t lending to businesses like mine. The only way I was going to get a big pile of cash was if I won the lottery. And since I’ve only played about four times in the last decade, the chances of that happening were slim. What I had to find was the same thing you most likely want — a solution to predictably bring in customers when there is no marketing budget to play with.

    3. The Schmo-bags.

    The worst are who I call the “Ferrari Marketers.” They rent a sportscar for an hour or two, hang out in front of it and then sell us shiny object strategies that they haven’t even used in their own business.

    They are abhorrent, hideous and dangerous. Not only are they crooks stealing the money of the people who are seeking a solution from them, but they may prevent really talented people who have a gift/service/product/offer to share that can help someone else from ever reaching them.

    Did I mention they suck?

    But, once you discover a game-changing system, you are responsible for implementing it. You can’t be distracted by shiny objects any longer.

    As Jack Welch says, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

    Don’t allow yourself to be enticed or distracted by fads or the “latest and greatest/not greatest” new social media strategy, channel or tactic.

    Once you uncover how to truly get results, be strong-willed and stubborn. Repel any idea, strategy or initiative that requires you to keep spending money to make money. If you keep throwing dollars and time at a goal, hoping and wishing that it will work, yet not tracking or measuring the results and scaling accordingly, then you cannot expect results.

    Start measuring, tracking and demanding results from your time and money, rising above others and landing in the successful minority that thrives instead of survives.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@p2pdevelopers.com
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  • 3 Things You Can’t Skimp on With Experiential Marketing

    Spending more where it matters can mean the difference between a forgettable event and one leading to real ROI. Just ask the Casper mattress folks.

    It’s getting harder and harder to dismiss the experiential segment as a niche within the world of marketing. According to a 2017 Freeman study, more than one in three CMOs expect to funnel up to 50 percent of their budgets into brand experiences.

    Those leaders have finally discovered what consumers could have told them ages ago: People don’t want to be bombarded by ads. What they want are authentic, one-to-one interactions with the companies seeking their business. In other words, they want brand experiences.

    “That’s where experiential marketing comes in. The term refers to a marketing strategy that invites and encourages consumers to interact with a brand through live experiences.

    But consumers aren’t looking for something snooze-worthy — at least not in the typical sense of the word. Mattress company Casper, for example, gave this year’s SXSW attendees a rest they won’t soon forget. In partnership with One:Night, Casper offered $99 hotel rooms outfitted with a Casper mattress — and milk and cookies.

    “Moms” were even on call to read bedtime stories to restless sleepers. Unsurprisingly, the rooms sold out instantly. The reality is that not all brands can afford to rent out an entire hotel, but that doesn’t mean you should default to a low-cost activation.

    Where should you spend?

    While some marketers have managed to cut costs without curtailing the actual experience, they’ve likely found that spending a little more where it matters can mean the difference between a forgettable event, and one that leads to real ROI.

    Where should you allocate your money for maximum impact? If you value results, don’t skimp on any of these three:

    1. People and training 

    When consumers interact with a brand, they’re interfacing with a real person. No matter how great your product might look or taste, customers won’t care about it if the brand ambassador was rude. All they’ll care about is that they had a terrible experience.

    Although sales and experiential marketing aren’t one and the same, brand ambassadors and salespeople have similar roles. And in sales, 68 percent of consumers surveyed by Salesforce said that interacting with a salesperson who understands their preferences is absolutely critical or very important, according to Salesforce. So, even if brand ambassadors can’t honor someone’s preference — say that the rason is because they didn’t have any unsweetened tea on hand — they can still create a happy customer by listening to that person’s needs and offering an alternative experience.

    The perfect representatives are created through a combination of equal parts hiring and training. During the hiring process, our company often interviews with a client on hand to ensure that applicants mesh with both our team and the brand they’ll be representing. This way, we can gauge whether an applicant will be the right person to advocate for the brand when he or she interacts with consumers.

    Consumers can tell when someone isn’t a genuine advocate of the product they’re pushing, so having a brand-lover is of the utmost importance.

    Then, once you’ve found the right people, be sure to train them on answers to common questions — no question is too “out there” to be asked. While they won’t know the answer to everything, they should know what to do and where to go when that occurs.

    Remember to train for extended engagement, too. Recently, reps of the Alabama Tourism Department visited New York City to showcase their state’s tourism offerings. Given that most New Yorkers aren’t exactly experts on Alabama, it was crucial that representatives could communicate extensively about their home state.

    2. Production

    Aside from your people, your set build is one of the biggest takeaways from attendees at your activation. “Cheap” can be spotted from a mile away, and run-down, incomplete or simply boring builds communicate to consumers that your brand cuts corners. By building a high-quality display, you can diminish the natural wear and tear that occurs from one event to the next.

    If you need to bring down the activation cost, scale back the footprint rather than compromising on materials or build quality. Great customer experiences, which Forrester data shows are a top priority for 72 percent of businesses surveyed, occur in great environments. And, for the most part, engagement levels don’t shrink with footprint size — but they sure do with build quality.

    If you can’t decrease the footprint size, think about the less essential elements as places where you can find cost efficiencies. If a photo booth isn’t critical to your experience, opt for the $10,000 booth instead of the $40,000 one.

    Be doubly sure to spend adequately on the set build if the set itself is the experience. Last year, we hosted a snow day — something unheard of in Phoenix — for Sara Lee’s Artesano bread. Cutting corners here would have quite literally melted the experience. But nobody batted an eye when the photo booth was a tad slow. Instead, we used the long lines as an opportunity for additional product education.

    3. Measurement

    Brands are becoming smarter with their marketing spend. According to eMarketer, 57 percent of marketers say their top priority for 2017 is cross-channel measurement and attribution. If a program can’t show ROI, it — and the marketers behind it — may get axed from next year’s budget.

    Before the event begins, have at least one metric in mind that you’ll use to measure success. Good benchmarks to measure against include brand-to-consumer engagements, social impressions generated during and after the campaign, the number of new users and the most important one: sales.

    Set up a live data feed, and monitor it during the event. If something isn’t going well, you may have already invested in the physical elements, but you can use data to adjust everything else on the fly. You might need ambassadors to change up their engagement strategy, stock up on everyone’s favorite product or shorten or extend the event.

    Afterward, dig into the numbers. Did the annual festival sponsorship yield surprisingly little social sharing or sales? Stop wasting money on it. Instead, put the funds toward something consumers haven’t seen before.

    CMOs may be spending millions on experiential marketing, but those efforts don’t have to be expensive. They just require the right people, a high-quality set build and measurable metrics. Without any of those things, the experience won’t be worth having — either for consumers or your company.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@p2pdevelopers.com
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  • Keys to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

    For entrepreneurs, crowdfunding is more than just raising money.

    Crowdfunding is not only about raising money for entrepreneurs. It is much more than that. Creating a crowdfunding campaign actually allows you to see the interest in your product as well as enables you to get feedback and develop it even more before the actual launch. If your campaign becomes successful, it means that you actually built a customer base too because most probably people who support your campaign would like to purchase your product after the launch. Therefore, it is essential to develop a well-tailored crowdfunding campaign. Keep reading below to find some tips for it.

    1. Choose your platform wisely.

    Do your research and choose the platform that fits your product and your needs at the same time. There are some famous platforms which receive a lot of traffic but at the same time there are hundreds and even thousands of projects in these platforms. Therefore, getting noticed among these platforms may be difficult. For this reason, choosing a smaller but specialized platform can be a better option, especially if your project is in a specialized area.

    2. Have a prototype, not only an idea.

    An idea by itself is not enough because everybody has many great ideas. The important part is to turn that idea into reality. Show everyone that you took the time and energy to invest in your idea. Design, develop and test your product. Finally, have a prototype to show others so they can also invest in your innovation and you can develop it more. It would be beneficial for you, if you also have a launch plan and share these plans in your crowdfunding campaign.

    3. How you present makes the difference.

    Not just upload a PPT presentation or a boring video, include both! Tell your story and keep your message personal. Make a connection with other people and explain others why you are doing this so they can feel themselves part of something bigger and exciting. Try to touch other people’s lives with your story. As a result, they can find a reason to support you.

    4. Update your supporters.

    Interact with your supporters and answer any questions they may have. Also, if they make a positive comment about your project, don’t forget to thank them. After your campaign is over, don’t leave them on dark. Try to engage with them through social media, thank you emails or newsletters to keep them in the loop. Send them updates about how your project is going and plans about your launch. You can create a countdown clock to increase excitement about your launch date.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@p2pdevelopers.com
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  • Building a Startup Is Like Running a Marathon at a Sprint Pace — Here Are 4 Ways to Cope

    A founder shares her strategies to handle burnout so it doesn’t consume you, or your dream.

    Running a startup is like running a marathon at a sprint pace. There is no room for slowing down; you have to keep racing toward the next mile marker, and then the next one, and then the next.

    Though a footrace may end after 26.2 miles, the startup marathon never really ends. You have to keep going when you feel like your body, mind and your entire being want to give up. And you have to keep telling yourself you can do it when you feel like the universe is conspiring to tell you that you can’t. Sprinting through the startup marathon ensures that you can learn fast, iterate, make up for mistakes and continue to grow at pace, beat your competitors to the punch or block anyone entering your space. To win the startup race you need to be agile and grow quickly in the shortest amount of time. Doing that at anything less than a sprint will get you — at best — second place.

    It does get easier, though. It has to, because maintaining the sprint pace during a marathon indefinitely is impossible. Even trying to maintain that sprint pace indefinitely is a set up for the entrepreneur’s worst enemy: burnout.

    Burning bright, burning out

    While running a startup, you’ll hear a lot about burnout. People talk about it as a weakness, as something to be avoided. But, what they don’t often mention is that burnout — in one of its many forms or another — is inevitable.

    I’ll be the first to tell you I experienced it in the first year after relocating RangeMe and my young family from Sydney, Australia to San Francisco. I was traveling once a week across the United States trying to win over new retail clients that could potentially change the shape of the business overnight (and when we won over Whole Foods, it did just that). That was coupled with trying to hire a team and raise capital for a startup, which alone is relentless and takes boundless energy and a strong backbone. All the while I was still a wife and a mother, raising two children along with my third child, RangeMe.

    And this company is my third child, bringing with it all the same emotions as being a mother to a human child. And it goes a step beyond, too — my entire livelihood is invested in this startup, as my husband is the co-founder, and we moved literally to the other side of the world to pursue the full potential of this startup. Everything, and I mean everything, is riding on this.

    No pressure or anything.

    Looking back, I honestly don’t know how I mentally and physically got through that first year. More than once I wanted to just say stop and walk away. I wanted to give up the race, quit on my dream. But, I made it through, and I’m here to tell the tale. I’m here to tell you it’s possible. I’m here to tell you that you can sprint through a marathon. I’m here to tell you that you’ll get 99 no’s and one yes, and that yes is all that counts; it is what keeps you running. I’m here to tell you that passion and positivity will prevail, and having a positive attitude is everything.

    And I’m also here to tell you that burnout is real. And it will happen. But, don’t let it consume you, or consume your dream.

    Now that we’re solidly established here in the U.S., and RangeMe continues to grow and expand and take on new opportunities, the sprint pace I’ve been running the past few years is getting just a little easier. But, you have to acknowledge that even as things get easier, executing at such a high level of emotion for a sustained period of time puts entrepreneurson the fast track to burnout. Recognize it’s going to happen, and keep these four things in mind when it does:

    1. Get out while you can.

    Not from the startup race, of course. I mean step out of your office, go for a run, grab a drink with a friend — someone who is decidedly not involved with your business. Having someone to vent to is the best therapy. I was lucky to have a close friend who loved hearing about the ups and downs of startup life, so once a week we would meet and pound the hills in San Francisco while I would vent and chat for a full hour. She was a coach, friend and psychologist all mixed into one. Best of all, I was getting exercise in at the same time, which is also a key stress burner.

    2. You’re not CNN.

    Unlike the 24-hour news cycle, you can turn off your accessibility, and you should. Multiple communication channels are helpful, but can also be a great contributor to burnout when you spend so much of your time having to manage them. They can actually make you less productive. Take control and make specific time to check calls and messages, and then move on.

    3. You’re also not Slack, GChat or IM.

    Stop instantly responding to people and requests. There’s no harm taking longer to respond; in fact, it’s probably better that you do, as it makes for more thoughtful responses and forces you to think: Can I handle this request? Will it help me run the race? Or will it trip me up?

    4. Let it go.

    Remember above where I said I spent the first 12 months in the U.S. flying cross country, raising my kids and hiring a team all at the same time? I hired that team for a reason — because they’re the best. I wouldn’t have hired them if they weren’t. I hired them to do the things that I can’t do, and I hired them so I can do the things I can do.

    Running a startup is the most draining yet most rewarding experience of my life. It brings out raw, heady emotions across every twist and turn. For those who are thinking about it or are in the trenches at the moment, be real with yourself. Recognize that you’ve chosen a challenging path — with every one step backwards you may take three or four steps forward. Failure is okay, as long as you learn, iterate and move forward.

    You will burn out, and that’s okay too.

    It’s what you do after the burnout that matters.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@p2pdevelopers.com
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  • The Big Reason Why You Should Hire Highly Educated Employees

    They are more likely to detect patterns and speak up if something seems amiss.

    When you’re looking to hire, you’re thinking about cultural fit and whether a candidate has not only the qualifications to fulfill your company’s needs now, but also the potential to take on more responsibility in the future.

    Despite the debate around whether leaders need college degrees, a recent study out of the University of Georgia found that the educational background of non-executive hires can make a big difference in the long term success of your business — and keep you out of trouble with the law.

    Researchers found that when it comes to handling sensitive financial data, employees who have the most extensive educational backgrounds are best at forecasting trends and dealing with legal matters.

    “We find that when companies are located in a place where the workforce is highly educated, they produce better accounting information,” said study co-author John Campbell, an associate professor of accounting in UGA’s Terry College of Business, in a summary of the findings. “The employees don’t have to be experts in accounting, but if they see something that doesn’t look right, they’re more likely to say something about it and tell their superiors about it.”

    As your business expands, you need to be on top of your books, and non-executive employees often are the first line of defense for finding errors in your accounting. Building off that observation, the researchers also identified a correlation between educated populations and fewer instances of misconduct in both business and politics.

    “There’s a study in political science showing that states that have more educated voter bases have less corruption in their political systems, and we wanted to see if that analogy held in business,” Campbell said. “One of the reasons for that might be whistleblowers. In both instances, the better-educated the population is, the more likely there will be a whistleblower if something bad is going on.”

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@p2pdevelopers.com
    Skype Username: p2pdevelopers
    Google hangouts: p2pdevelopers@gmail.com

     

     

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  • The 4 Top Business Investments Right Now

    Green energy and high-tech industries are best bets for savvy entrepreneurs looking to diversify.

    Our world has become the global village. Ideas are being produced rapidly around the world, and most of them have the potential to change life as we know it for future generations. Already, we’ve witnessed amazing ideas and technologies that have sahped the way we think, interact and build businesses.

    You can focus solely on growing your own empire, or you can plan to invest in some of the best business options in 2017. Investments aren’t just about becoming a part of something revolutionary. They can give way to opportunities for success for your business idea as well. If a single idea can promote such a positive change, then a combination of them can do multiple wonders — not only for the business industry but for people around the world.

    Here are some of the top business-investment moves you can make in the next 12 to 18 months.

    1. Virtual reality.

    Entrepreneurship has strong roots in the virtual-reality industry. Despite being around for a few years now, virtual reality gained better momentum in 2016. Experts believe the industry most likely will continue this positive trajectory in the near future — with projected revenue of roughly $4.6 billion in 2017. Virtual reality still is greatly under research, and this provides ample opportunities for new ideas.

    2. Translation and interpretation.

    The United States always has been home to multiple cultures and languages. The Census Bureau reports Americans speak more than 350 languages in their homes. On the other hand, businesses have become global. This highly increases the need for both understanding and awareness of more languages. Giants such as Google and Skype have enhanced and expanded their translation capabilities. This allows them to encompass a target market whose customers want a more personalized service. As companies embrace more languages and cultures, employment in areas supporting this industry are projected to increase by 30 percent by 2024.

    3. Drone technology.

    Drone technology is meeting the diverse needs of multiple industries, including infrastructure, mining and transport. The developing drone market is estimated to be valued at $127 billion. If you decide to invest in this sector, consider choosing a publicly traded company. It’s worth mentioning that big, public drone companies such as Go Pro recently have experienced difficult times on the stock market. Instead of selecting popular manufacturers, weigh the benefits of putting your dollars in drone technology and components. One such example is Ambarella, which specializes in producing the video chip sets used in drone cameras.

    4. Green energy.       

    Civilians and big-business names both are becoming increasingly conscious about their carbon footprints. Businesses have a much larger role to play as they set example for green practices. If trends in environmentally friendly business methods are any indication, this is a good place for investment.

    Wind power, in particular, is gaining momentum. It’s inexpensive, and the amount of electricity generated has increased fourfold since 2000. At present, America is the world’s top wind-energy producer.

    According to Wunder Capital CEO Bryan Birsic, solar also is experiencing strong tailwinds, “with the cost of a solar system down by 50 percent in the last five years and installed solar in the U.S. up a remarkable 95 percent in 2016.” Solar is becoming a significant job engine, too. A Department of Energy report reveals there are twice as many workers building solar as there are employed at coal, oil, and natural gas power plants.

    How to get started in the next 12 to 18 months

    As an entrepreneur, your connections with other idea-generators are among your biggest strengths. Work to reinforce these relationships and learn which kinds of decisions your peers are making in 2017. Choose investments that are geared to not only make a profit in the long run but also increase the value of your personal venture. Investing in certain emerging technologies can give you the opportunity to make your existing platform better. Moreover, it may open up more ideas for the future.

    Experts generally agree that you’ll ultimately benefit from being a bit defensive about your investments for the remainder of this year. The current bull market has been the second longest in history. While it doesn’t indicate falling stocks, some market watchers do expect a correction or recession — but the “when” is unpredictable. Incorporating some defensive investments could help cushion the impact (and certainly won’t harm your portfolio). For example, you might consider an index fund that invests in dividend growth stocks, which are supposed to perform better during recessions.

    Keep your options open when it comes to big-business names. Some of these stock buys will be the best investment decisions you can make in the coming months. Consider Amazon, which rapidly is moving from its major online-retailer function toward cloud computing, video content and artificial intelligence. Stock buys of Medspace, a huge name in the biotech industry, are expected to hit more than $35 over the coming months.

    Finally, banks are expected to perform better in the near future. The 2016 election was a game-changer in the business world, and markets still are fluctuating not yet a full year into President Donald Trump’s administration. Such an environment leaves plenty of unforeseen elements. Financial stocks could be a wise play against this backdrop. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase fared well under the Trump rally. Rumors of a coming increase in interest rates and paring down of regulations also should make it easier to do business with banks.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

    Phone: +1.310.800.2197
    info@p2pdevelopers.com
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  • Everyone Talks About Living Their Best Life. How do You Actually do it?

    Living your dream life requires grappling with a lot of cold reality.

    What does the life of your dreams look like? Are you exploring the world and working from your laptop? Are you hanging out with celebrities at award shows? Are you at home spending time with your kids every day?

    It’s possible to engineer the lifestyle you want. You might not get every aspect of it, but don’t confuse having everything in life with having the lifestyle of your dreams. You don’t have to earn billions of dollars to have it. You don’t need to come from the right pedigree. (I know I didn’t.)

    However, for this life-engineering to work for you — you will need to put effort into the process. Understand this: It will likely take several years to accomplish the planning stage of these goals. What else will it take to engineer the lifestyle of your dreams? Here are some tips to get you started.

    1. Clarity.

    What is it that you actually want? You don’t need to construct a vision board, just be honest with yourself. How much money will it take until you feel accomplished? What experiences do you want to have? Write it down if it helps you put it into focus.

    Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, conducted a study, and found that people who wrote down their goals on a regular basis were 42 percent more likely to achieve them.

    When envisioning what you want, don’t confuse lifestyle with assets. You can drive a Maserati every day without ever owning one-if that’s what you want. In other words, you can experience the lifestyle without the large price tag.

    2. Time and effort.

    There is this odd expectation that people can quit their jobs, launch a business and become overnight millionaires. Achieving anything extraordinary takes time.

    Building a business or becoming an industry expert can easily take seven to ten years. You will likely spend several years experiencing incremental changes and iterating on these changes before you have a quantum leap.

    Most successful people spend countless hours working and training to reach their goals. If you’re not willing to clock in the time, then you shouldn’t expect results.

    3. Network.

    A mantra that has been highly influential to my own lifestyle engineering is: “The quality of our lives is defined by the people we surround ourselves with and the conversations we have with them.”

    In order to create the lifestyle that you dream of, you need to surround yourself with positive people that push and encourage you. Research by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler found that our network-friends, colleagues, and family-influence our life.

    Behaviors and emotions can be passed from person to person, even if it is a friend of a friend that you’ve never met. Your network has the power to influence everything from voting habits, obesity, divorce and even happiness, so choose your connections wisely.

    Connect with key people. If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to meet investors, potential clients and press years before you need their help. If your dream is to be a digital nomad and travel blogger, you need to develop connections with those in the industry to find out what separates the successful people from the wannabes.

    When it comes to success and career, it is important to also have a diverse network that is made up of both strong ties (loved ones) and weak ties (acquaintances). According to research by Mark Granovetter, people are 58 percent more likely to get a job through a weak tie.

    4. Continuous improvement.

    Psychology Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi studied what top achievers and successful people have in common. He found that most are able to enter a state of peak human performance, otherwise known as flow state.  Csikszentmihalyi claims that the key to happiness and success is flow, and to enter this flow state, you need to do something that is just outside of your skillset.

    If it is too difficult, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If it’s too easy, you’ll lose interest. Take on projects and work that you have the skills to handle, but that challenge you in new and exciting ways.

    Most importantly, be patient. You don’t need to fulfill your goals as quickly as possible. Instead, always have something that you are striving towards. Continual improvement is more realistic and rewarding than sudden success or stagnation.

    Designing your dream life takes patience, hard work and drive. You can expect to put in a significant amount of effort that yields little to no results in the beginning. However, don’t give up. Eventually, all your hard work will pay off.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • 10 Ventures Young Entrepreneurs Can Start for Cheap or Free

    Don’t be discouraged. You can afford to leave the 9-to-5 rat race.

    If you’re a young entrepreneur who’s sick of the 9-to-5 rat race, you should start thinking out of the box. You need to find an idea that will allow you to start your own business so that you can choose your hours and even your salary. It’s important to ensure that it doesn’t cost you a small fortune to get started.

    With this in mind, I’ve created a list of 10 business ventures for young entrepreneurs that can either be started for free or cheaply.

    1. Chatbot-creating agency.

    Chatbots are in, and businesses of all sizes are adopting them as part of their marketing, sales, and customer services teams. These bots allow businesses to cut costs while increasing revenue. What many of them don’t know is that creating a chatbot isn’t as difficult as it once was.

    Now, thanks to platforms like Chattypeople, you can create an enterprise-grade chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) in a matter of minutes with absolutely no coding or programming knowledge.

    With the above in mind, creating a chatbot-building agency is easier than ever. You could create a Chattypeople account for free and offer your services to companies of all sizes. Best of all, as your agency grows, you can upgrade your account and, of course, increase your prices.

    2. Online retail consigner.

    If you have a camera, a computer and a real passion for fashion, you can incorporate them and start your own online business. Start by gathering all the old clothes you’ve hoarded over the years and no longer wear, and take professional pictures of them.

    You could either post your items on eBay or create your own personal store through Shopify or WordPress. The earning opportunities with this type business venture are endless, and best of all, you don’t have to limit yourself to just clothes. You could also sell vintage furniture, children’s accessories, garden equipment, and much more.

    3. Instagram consultant.

    Instagram is one of, if not the most popular, social media channels alongside Facebook and Twitter. Many companies are now opting for a visual social media presence, meaning they invest a more time into the likes of Instagram and Pinterest rather than being social on Facebook and Twitter.

    However, creating an Instagram following isn’t as easy as it seems, and if you’re a business, you’ll want to gather a following quickly. This is why these businesses hire Instagram consultants to do everything for them. With that in mind, if you love Instagram, have a smartphone, have a solid following, and do some basic marketing, you could quite easily become an Instagram consultant without making a huge monetary investment.

    4. Copywriting and editing services.

    You don’t need to have a formal education to become a copywriter or editor. In fact, you really don’t need anything apart from a computer. That said, to get higher paying clients, you need motivation, perseverance, and the right support system.

    If you can get your current clients to write testimonials highlighting your skills, you’ll likely see new customers rolling in. Once you’ve developed a client base, you’ll notice they frequently need new content written, and you can also start charging more.

    5. Blogging or vlogging

    If you have a specific skill set or are an expert in a particular industry, why not teach others? Blogging is a great way to share information with people. While you may not see how you can make money from giving people free advice, the opportunities are actually endless. You first need to increase your visitor numbers and gather a loyal following. Once you have, you can sell advertising space to companies as well as enroll in programs like Google AdSense.

    In addition to the above, you can create e-books or printed copies and sell them on your blog and through platforms like Amazon. Plus, if writing isn’t your thing, worry not. You can do all the above through video instead of written format. All you need is a computer, webcam or camera, and a website.

    6. Business and life coach.

    If you’re more of an introvert, you’re probably quieter, with a calmer demeanor, and possess a tendency to think before you speak or act. If this is the case, you should consider a career in consulting. Your ability to internalize events and listen means that you have all the skills needed to become a business or life coach.

    While you aren’t required by law to complete life coach training, you can do so if you want to have a certification to show clients. If you choose to not do the course, the overheads from being a life coach are little to none, and you can perfom consultations on the phone or online.

    7. Graphic designer.

    If you’re creative, have a computer, and know how to use design software, freelance graphic design can be an awesome way to make a living. Digital businesses are on the rise, and with that comes a higher demand for logos, website design, and other marketing materials.

    If you have the creative flair, but don’t have the experience with design software, you can either enroll in a short online course which is normally quite cheap or you can teach yourself. Many graphic designers are self-taught; you just need patience and time to get started.

    8. College application advisor.

     

    Similar to with being a life or business coach, college application advisors are good at offering one-on-one advice that’s personal to every client. If you believe you can offer thoughtful advice, have strong organizational skills, and want to help young adults take the next steps in their careers, you could offer your services as a college application advisor. All you need is a computer, a love for research, and an understanding of the educational system.

    9. Tutoring

    Tutoring is a job you could do completely online. You just need a computer, a website to market yourself, and a specific set of skills that you can offer to people. For example, if you’re a math guru, know another language, or have a college degree, you could teach students via Skype or over the phone. Aside from being virtually free to get started, you’ll be able to charge up to $100 an hour depending on the student’s needs.

    10. Photographer

    Photography is something that many people regard as their hobby, but in actual fact, it can become quite a lucrative career choice. If you already have a camera and your friends often ask you to take pictures at their events, it’s likely you have what it takes to turn your hobby into your career.

    To get started, create a website and upload a portfolio of your best photography along with your contact information. If you want to take it one step further, get some help with your marketing…you’ll find customers queueing at your door to pay for your services.

    Finally…

    Starting your own business can be challenging, but with some motivation, perseverance, and a bit of business sense, you’ll be able to not only choose a career path that you love, but also do it without spending a fortune. Choose one of the options mentioned above to get started, and remember to network as much as possible to stay current with your industry’s latest trends.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
    Helvetia Holdings Group, LLC
    Wells Fargo (HQ) Building
    11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA, 90025
    United States of America

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    info@p2pdevelopers.com
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  • ‘Are You More Interesting than Average?’ in 5 Questions

    What makes people interesting? And can it be learned?

    Being an interesting person who commands attention is not easy in this 4G world of advancing technologies and diminishing attention span. And being interesting is good. Interesting people can draw others in, captivate and inspire. They can lead, revolutionize and build something great from the ground up.

    What makes for an interesting person is somewhat subjective. However, we’ve teased out five determinable qualities that universally captivate and engage interest — and also can be learned by anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort.

    Let’s get you started on this quiz to gauge where you fall on the “interesting” scale.

    1. Are you a powerful storyteller?

     

    Knowing how to tell stories in a way that elicits empathy, humor and what it is to be human is a powerful skill that interesting people possess. It’s also a skill that entrepreneurs need to have. “Entrepreneurship and storytelling go hand in hand,” said Carmine Gallo, author of The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t.

    Being interested in rags-to-riches stories is part of our DNA, explained Gallo. And there is science that supports this. He touched on the research in his book where scientists find that hearing stories about struggle followed by success actually causes the brain to release the bonding chemicals of dopamine and oxytocin. “We like hearing the story about hardship, risk taking and failure after failure,” said Gallo. “Of course, there has to be some success at the end.”

    When it comes to a famous business leader with a mastery of storytelling, Howard Schultz, the executive chairman of Starbucks, immediately comes to mind. The former CEO of Starbucks has repeatedly shared his narrative of growing up in the Brooklyn projects to self-made multibillionaire. What’s more, whenever speaking about company initiatives, like full-time benefits for part-time workers or paying for employees’ college education, he ties them back to stories about his early struggles.

    “This makes him so much more interesting beyond him presenting a PowerPoint about why they have to raise the price for a cup of coffee,” said Gallo.

    2. Are you an active listener?

    Find a good listener, and you’ll find someone who possesses the quality of making you (the listened-to) feel like the most fascinating person on the planet. Good listeners are a very rare species to come by — which is why they’re regarded as so interesting.

    Research shows that we spend up to 80% of our waking hours communicating — and 55%of that time is spent listening. Yet, for the most part, adults aren’t great at actively listening. People remember, at most, 25% of what they hear.

    Active listening involves being totally present (put away your smart phone), demonstrating strong listening cues (sounds and head nods) and related follow-up questions for clarity and inquiry into further points of interest.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a strong reputation for being an exceptional listener. “He doesn’t need to talk a lot. He just sits there and listens,” said Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya. “Once he’s done listening, Zuckerberg quickly assesses the information and comes up with all the various outcomes. It’s just a truly special skill.”

    3. Are you wildly expressive?

    People who are good at being expressive are able to successfully convey enthusiasm, curiosity and joy — as well as empathy — through their voice, choice of words and body language. Those who can express a warm glow of feelings tend to captivate people and lower their guard.

    Richard Branson comes to mind as a business leader who has a flair for expressive communication, whether it be through his interviews, his Virgin blog, or his books. His latest book is his autobiography cheekily titled Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography. Branson is also an effusive communicator over his various social media accounts. Through Instagram, he swiftly shared his response to big events, like Hurricane Irma, and comes across as the multibillionaire you’d most like to have a beer with.

    Other things we’ve learned about the expressive Virgin Group founder that enhance his warm persona? He won’t back out on a lost bet, he had a serious learning disorder as a child, he loves his 93-year-old mother Eve Branson and he cried buckets when he sold Virgin Records for $1 billion in 1992. He had a similiar reaction when he heard that Alaska Airlines will retire Virgin America (the airline he’d founded) by 2019. He’s emotional, he’s a sharer and we love it.

    4. Do you live an exceptional life that generates intrigue?

    You don’t have to lead the life of James Bond to be interesting. However, it does not hurt. The best way to kick off your exceptional life is to seek out people who already do fascinating things. Let them influence and inspire you. According to a study that followed 1,000 people over the course of eight decades, the people you associate with are the strongest influence on who you grow into.

    Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk definitely qualifies as a person who leads a riveting life. His ability to live large and attract people’s interest likely started with his most formative relationships: His family.

    Musk hails from a deeply fascinating tribe. His maternal grandparents were swashbuckling flying adventurists in their own time, searching for the Lost City of the Kalahari, a mythical civilization reputedly located in the deserts of southern Africa. His mother, Maye Musk, accustomed to accompanying her parents on their piloting adventures, became a nutritionist, entrepreneur and model. Musk’s siblings are adventurers in their own right: His sister is a producer in the film industry, and his brother is an entrepreneur and pioneer in the sustainable food industry.

    The engineer-turned-rocket-man is an epic dreamer who is able to make large-scale visions of the future come to life. He is the real-life inspiration for the Tony Stark character in the film series “Iron Man.” His love life also conjures intrigue: He married the same woman twice and divorced her twice — and then dated Johnny Depp’s ex-wife. Clearly, he doesn’t live a life of moderation.

    5. Do you love sharing knowledge?

    “Interesting people love sharing what they know and have learned with others,” wrote Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0. And people strongly respond to that quality. The very success of TED Talks is built on people’s never-ending hunger for knowledge from interesting and diverse sources.

    In the business world, Sheryl Sandberg is known for her uncanny knack for learning powerful life lessons through personal experiences and then sharing the wisdom. The Facebook COO shares her knowledge in speeches, Facebook posts and books.

    One of her best qualities is how she ties her knowledge back to a very personal and vulnerable place, such as her own insecurities as a woman in a leadership position in Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.

    She also did this beautifully in her moving commencement speech about her late husband at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. Her speech was so popular, that she followed it up with more knowledge: A book Option B: Facing Adversity about losing her husband and how resilience got her through the worst of times. Sandberg’s knowledge sharing has not only made her a media darling, but it’s made her a true beacon of wisdom for those who are struggling.

    How did you do on the quiz? If you scored…

    5: Congrats, Super Interesting Person. You command people’s interests quite naturally and are a pro at reeling off anecdotes, drawing people out, listening, connecting and leading. So if you’re not doing so already, it’s time to help others get better at what you do naturally.

    3-4: You’re strong on the majority of interesting qualities — so double down on those and work on where you have room for growth. Whether it’s in active listening, storytelling or expressiveness, buy some books or hire that executive coach and keep on learning.

    1-2: You’ve got room to grow in the interesting department. No big deal. All skills can be improved with consistent practice and application. So choose a skill that interests you, whether it is storytelling or sharing knowledge, and keep practicing for the next year.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

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  • Startup Accelerators Aren’t Banking on Exits Any More

    Accelerators are increasingly selling a range of services to generate ongoing revenue, without waiting years for startups to be sold.

    Within only a decade, accelerators have become a mainstay of startup ecosystems in regions around the globe. Throughout this period, the accelerator business model has continued to evolve. Still in the Global Accelerator Report 2015, a majority of accelerators globally still indicated that they intended to follow the traditional “cash-for-equity” model, first established in 2005 by Y Combinator, which involves investing a small amount of seed money in a startup in exhange for equity. Investments typically are around $25,000 on averag in exchange for between 5 percent and 10 percent equity.

    This model has now been abandoned by a majority of accelerators, as highlighted by the recently published Global Accelerator Report 2016. The report highlighted that only 32.7 percent of accelerators predict that they will generate revenue from exits in the future, a significant shift from 2015.

    The reason for the pivot in the accelerator business model is, most likely, the small number of exits — 178 reported in 2016 — which has proven insufficient in funding their operations. Morevoer, exits usually do not occur earlier than three to five years into a startup’s lifecycle, denying accelerators a profit on investment for several years. To make up for the expensive day-to-day upfront costs of operating their programs, accelerators have deployed new models that allow them to generate revenue.

    These changes enabled the industry to keep growing year-on-year. According to new findings in the 2016 Global Accelerator report more than $206M (up 8 percent) was invested into 11,305 (up 28 percent) startups across five major regions, including the United States and Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and Oceania. USA continues to be the leading country both in terms of startups accelerators and in dollars invested via accelerators.

    Nearly all (90.4 percent) of accelerators globally relied on, and continue to explore, new models of revenue generation. These include charging for mentorship, subletting office space, hosting events and working with corporations. Revenue from corporations has seen the largest increase. More than half (52.1 percent) of accelerators are at least partially funded by a corporation, and 67.2 percent aim to generate future revenue from services sold to corporations.

    On the one hand, this is because corporations are discovering that accelerators are an efficient and effective way to engage with startups. On the other hand, accelerators understand that corporations can help them fund operations in the short-to-medium term (exits are often far out). They improve the prospects of their portfolio companies that can potentially sell to, raise funds from, or be acquired by these corporations.

    Corporate revenue generated by accelerators came from two main sources in 2016: corporate partnerships, generally in the form of a white-labeled or jointly-run acceleration program created by the accelerator on behalf of the corporation, and corporate sponsorship packages sold by accelerators.

    It is clear that accelerators have changed their operating model globally in a significant way over the last few years. The accelerator model whilst still aligned with its predecessor’s original vision of nurturing disruptive companies – is different in a number of ways. These new accelerators possess a diversified revenue model, often focus on a specific vertical and work closely with corporations. In the coming years and beyond, it will be interesting to see what new pivots the global accelerator industry will undergo in an attempt to achieve sustainability and less reliant on government grants and private funding.

    Source: entrepreneur.com

    Call, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!
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