Thursday, October 20, 2016

How Location Can Affect Your Business's Profitability

The Kara Network is a digital resource foradvice and discussion for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. Allyson Downey, CEO of weeSpring, founded her company-which is a resource for new parents looking for baby products recommended by friends-in a New York City, a place where many businesses are founded, but cost of living is [...]

This Silicon Valley Executive Says Millennials Can Do More By Working Less

One Silicon Valley executive believes you can accomplish more work in 40 hours than you think. And the research proves it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Taiwanese Startup That Can Sell You A Lifetime's Worth Of Stored Data

No one wants to shoot a smartphone video or start updating software only to find a popup saying storage is full. Six people in Taiwan kept running into these problems and knew plenty of others who did, too, so they decided to do something about it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

An Apple Earnings Beat Could Fuel Another Big Run For The Stock

Stocks continue to chop around as we head toward a lineup of huge events in the coming weeks. First, we have third quarter earnings reports underway. Remember, last quarter companies reported into lowered expectations. And they beat at about the same rate they historically beat--about 70% of the time. But conveniently, they accompanied those better earnings with downgrades on the third quarter outlook.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Meet The Entrepreneur Bridging The Gap Between Tech And The Military

Nick Taranto, co-founder of Plated is one. Paige Craig, managing partner of Arena Ventures is too. So is Ann Weeby, director of workforce innovation at Salesforce. They look just like any other person in the the startup world. But the truth is that they are part of a small but growing population in tech: veterans. And if Harvard grad and former Navy EOD Officer Mike Slagh has his way, there will soon be a whole lot more of them.

8 Influencer Marketing Trends That Will Lead You To Success

Influencer marketing has skyrocketed in the past year, but you can?t just start throwing money at the strategy without understanding the trends that shape it.

The Honest Story: How Jessica Alba Solved A Big Problem

From being one of the hottest actresses to running one of the hottest billion dollar companies, this is a look into how Jessica Alba created The Honest Company.

Kansas City Startup Shows How To Succeed In China With An Alibaba Deal

A Kansas City startup with disruptive technology shows the path to attracting Alibaba as a China strategic investor.

Why B2B CMOs Need To Demonstrate Social Media Savvy To Build Credibility

I recently interviewed Margaret Molloy, Global CMO and Head of Business Development, at global brand strategy, design and experience firm Siegel+Gale, for my CMO Insights Series (see here). In addition to having 20+ years of experience in marketing B2B firms, Molloy (@MargaretMolloy) has also become a leading influencer of CMOs on Twitter (see here for the full list of influencers), landing in the #6 spot of all top influencers on twitter. I followed up to get her insight regarding how she has been particularly effective at developing a strong social media presence; her thoughts are below.

How Bernie Ecclestone Steered F1 To Make $1 Billion More Than Star Wars

In 1977 the sci-fi epic Star Wars premièred and at warp-speed became the highest-grossing movie of the year. Cementing its status in Hollywood history it also eclipsed Steven Spielberg's Jaws to become the most successful movie of all time and spawned six sequels which made a combined $6.4 billion at the box office.

Could The Return Of Glass- Steagall Prevent Wells Fargo-Style Debacles?

Last month, regulators fined Wells Fargo $185 million for creating approximately two million bank and credit-card accounts without customers' consent. Soon after, eight former employees filed class-action lawsuits claiming workers faced termination if they refused to meet sales goals by creating those fraudulent accounts. The story rocked the financial world and the consumers who rely on banks to make ethical choices when handling their hard-earned money.

China And India Are Getting Ahead Of Japan

China and India are getting ahead of Japan in two key competitiveness indicators -- the ability to attract and retain talent.  That?s one of the key findings of the 2016-17 International Competitiveness report (World Economic Forum), which ranks China 22 and India 23 in the capacity to attract talent -- well

Small Business Tech News This Week: Facebook Wants To Help, But Amazon Just Wants To Compete

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

For Tesla, Electric Car Sales Explode In All The Wrong Places

More than 2 million electric vehicles may be on the world's roads by the end of 2016, writes the Guardian, citing data from the electric vehicle world database EV Volumes. That should be good news for electric carmaker Tesla. It is not. A closer look at the data shows that most of the growth comes from Tesla competitors, and from regions where Tesla is weak. It is a stereotype “that the U.S. market is further ahead in deploying the zero-emission technology thanks to cars such as the Tesla Model S,”  writes Automotive News. As far as Tesla is concerned, electric vehicle sales are exploding in all the wrong places.

Shark Tank Mompreneur's Accidental Invention On Way To Being The Next Big Thing

Some kids and temper tantrums go hand in hand like Big Bird and yellow when you try to wipe the mess off of their faces. Stay-at-home mom Danielle Stangler accidentally discovered it could be a fuss-free feat when she wiped her 22-month-old daughter's face with a napkin her husband dipped in lemonade instead of water.

The 10 Most Promising Jobs Of 2016

The 10 Most Promising Jobs Of 2016

The 11 Most Clever Children's Products From Shark Tank

The 11 Most Clever Children's Products From Shark Tank

Entrepreneurship In Gynecology: Tracking Four Innovations In Women's Health

Tomorrow I'm off to the 2016 meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), which I've attended almost every year since 1988. As a fund manager I'll be looking for innovations and trends in early development that will be investable in the near future. As an obstetrician/gynecologist I hope to learn how we can better serve women's health.

IBM Earnings: What Wall Street Expects From The Technology Giant

IBM (NYSE:IBM) has been turning the corner recently, as revenues from emerging business segments have begun to make up for losses in declining business segments. Big Blue has exceeded both top and bottom line analyst estimates for the last three quarters. But is the turnaround sustainable?  We?ll know on Monday when Big Blue

Can A Board Of Directors Really Help My Company?

What should you expect from a high performance board? What role does a board play in the strategic planning of your business? 
Use your board of directors to anticipate problems. Don't wait until the fire starts to look for the exit doors!A good board makes the discussion about where you are going as a company richer and deeper.
Mickey had inherited a healthy family business from his dad. The business made money every year but Mickey found himself with a collection of assets, not all of which were being maximized, because he constantly distracted, dealing with issues across the portfolio. He spent too much time putting out fires rather than designing a sprinkler system.  The assets were across half a dozen industries that weren't necessarily related and each had their own unique set of issues.  He needed clarity.

Zero Is The Loneliest Number, At Least For Presidential Candidates And Their Taxes

When it come paying taxes, how much is too little? The answer depends on whether you're running for president. Ever since someone leaked portions of Donald Trump?s 20-year-old state tax returns, people have been speculating about the taxes he paid ? or didn?t pay, as the case may be.

Deepen Your Relationship With Centers Of Influence

Networking has a lasting effect on your business. Discover how to deepen your relationship with Centers of Influence.

At Notre Dame CMO Summit, GE's Linda Boff Keynotes Event Designed To Bridge Practice, Academia

World-class marketing leaders recently descended on South Bend, Indiana, for the first-annual Notre Dame Chief Marketing Officer Summit, presented by the Mendoza College of Business and Forbes CMO Network.

The Point Of Docker Is More Than Containers

The value of Docker is in what it enables, not the technology itself.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

6 Entrepreneurship Lessons We Can Learn From Climbing Mountains

The act of running your own business and of scaling mountains have a lot in common. Here are the important lessons I learned while hiking the majestic Dolomites in Italy.

Friday, October 14, 2016

6 Ways To Conquer The Fear Of Confrontation

Stop letting your fear of confrontation prevent you from speaking up.

Connecticut Judge Dismisses Sandy Hook Massacre Lawsuit Against Remington

A Connecticut judge decides a lawsuit against gumaker Remington can't be sued over the murders at Sandy Hook.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

This Is What Millennial Entitlement Does To The Workplace

The unexpected side effect of millennial entitlement.

Starbucks Hopes 15 New Stores Will Make It Part Of The 'DNA' Of Low-Income Communities Of Color

A few years ago, Starbucks' location on Sutphin was a forgettable local business. It was literally forgettable--none of the partners or customers who spoke with FORBES could remember what it was. In less than a year, however, the previously unremarkable space has given hope to partners, a home to a partner who lost one, and renewed vigor to a company veteran. Most importantly, it's given a neighborhood a taste of development, and a company a taste of the benefits of partnering with oft-overlooked communities.

#1 Reason You Need An Email List

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Australian Watchmaker Using A Subtle Psychology Trick To Sell Less

They have a business model that makes customers take notice - which is, psychologically speaking, pure genius. The Fifth Watches only sell watches on the fifth of every month, for five days.

Small Business Lending Remains Strong At Big Banks, Institutional Lenders Ahead Of Next Fed Meeting

It is appearing more imminent that the Federal Reserve will institute an interest rate hike at its mid-December 2016 meeting, exactly one year after it implemented its first interest rate increase in nearly a decade. The relatively weak economic recovery from The Great Recession (2007-09) was one of the primary causes for these developments, but now we have seen slow, but gradual improvements in the economy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

How To Answer Stupid Job Interview Questions (In Trump's America)

It's one of the most common questions you will ever receive when you go in for a job interview: where will you be in five years? These days questions about a certain presidential candidate and his temperament lead one to conclude that that answer might have more meaning than you might've thought. Cartoon by Ted Rall.

Company Culture: By Design or Default

As a business owner, you're challenged with creating a culture that inspires your employees to be the best they can be, and helping them to become it.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Why Beijing Won't Landfill This Valuable Sinkhole In The Disputed South China Sea

Dragon Hole is the world's biggest blue hole water feature, measuring 300 meters deep (984 feet), and is found in the Paracel Islands.

BRANDgelina What Brands Can Learn about Crisis Management from Hollywood's Premier Power Couple

BRANDgelina What Brands Can Learn about Crisis Management from Hollywood's Premier Power Couple

Sunday, October 9, 2016

One Thing Missing From India's Global Rise

India is rising in the global economy, leaving neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh in the dust, and closing in on China. When it comes to global competitiveness that is, climbing 32 ranks in World Economic Forum's competitiveness index in the last two years! 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

One Way To Achieve Work Life Balance? Love Your Work

Mariam Naficy, founder & CEO of, a design marketplace focused in the stationery, art, and home categories. Mariam shares some wisdom and discusses what drives her.

5 Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from the Presidential Election

The presidential election is almost at an end and most of the country couldn't be happier at that fact. But businesses might be looking at the presidential election in a different way. There are a lot of marketing lessons that can be learned from both candidates, in both a positive and a negative way.

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Gigafactory, California Style? Tesla Seeks To Double Size of US Auto Plant

The carmaker aims to expand operations and employment at its Fremont plant as it rushes quintuple vehicle production there.

How You Can Invest In (Not Donate) Ending Homelessness

Salt Lake County is pioneering Pay For Success financing for reducing homelessness. This innovative program allows investors to earn a financial return while helping to reduce homelessness.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Make A Loan, Don't Get Repaid: What Are The Tax Consequences?

It's a story that's as old as time itself: boy meets girl; girl loans boy $450K to fund the creation of a golf-themed comic strip; boy laughs his way all the way to the car dealership; boy loses girl, but keeps the cash.

Your Memory Is Getting Worse

I'd like to think that having the world's knowledge at our fingertips makes us smart. I fear the reality is far different.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The '8 Great' Tips For Marketing In A Category That Hasn't Existed Before

Matt Riemann is on a mission to evangelize Personalized Health within the industry of "biohacking" that is new and emerging itself.

4 Fears All First-time App Creators Have And How To Overcome Them

Fear isn't uncommon when starting a business for the first time. We take a look at the most common fears and how not to succumb to them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

4 Ways To Avoid Killing Your Customer Experience With A Cheap-Suit Sales Approach

From untrained employees to no official sales process to arrogant managers, car shopping today is like one long Seinfeld episode. And these sales issues are easy things to fix. So let?s talk about these quick fixes to a broken sales process and learn from common missteps at the car dealership.

Lifestyle Upgrades: 4 Ways To Become A Healthier Entrepreneur

Someone once said that “entrepreneurs pass on a 40 hour work week to have an 80 hour work week.” Anyone who runs a business will know what I'm referring to. If you're not careful it can consume your entire life and really take a toll on your health. This is precisely what Daniel Workman, the founder of GymCrate told me at the StartupElevated pitch competition in Utah last month. According to Workman, “the key to staying healthy while running a startup is focusing on a few key habits: wake up early, exercise daily, eat healthy, and find balance.”

Monday, October 3, 2016

Donald Trump's 1995 Return And A Lesson In Unrealized Appreciation

You've got to give the Times credit. Somebody just handed them the pages from Donald Trump's returns - anonymously by snail-mail, but they had to do some slick investigative work to hunt down Jack Mitnick, the preparer and, more significantly, get him to confirm that those pages were from Trump's actual return. If it had been me or any other CPA I have talked to, they wouldn't have gotten that and might not have had any story at all, but that's for another post.

The Business Of Super Bowl 51

Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes on hosting football's big game.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Today's Customer Service Week Paradox: Practice Doesn't Make Perfect In Customer Service

To kick off Customer Service Week 2016 (which starts Monday), let me pose a question that may sound like a no-brainer:Does practice make perfect in customer service?

How Children Of Entrepreneurs Can Find A Healthy Tech Balance

While we, as busy entrepreneurs, spend the majority of our days staring at screens, our children are learning from our habits. Here's how (and why) to create a healthy technology balance for your family.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mercedes Races To Record $320 Million F1 Revenue

The Mercedes Formula One team has revealed that its revenue last year accelerated 38.5% on 2014 to hit $316.1 million, its highest since the German auto manufacturer bought the outfit from former boss Ross Brawn in 2009.

How To Solve India's And Pakistan's Old Problem

India and Pakistan are two countries with great potential that has attracted the interest of foreign investors. But it will likely remain potential until they address an old problem: corruption and crony capitalism, which raises the cost of doing business in both countries. Country Corruption Index in 2010 Corruption Index in 2015 China 78/168 83/168 Hong Kong 13 17 Pakistan 143 117 India 87 76 Estonia 26 23 Denmark 1 1 Finland 4 2 USA 22 16 Source:

Friday, September 30, 2016

Getting Real About Getting To Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk deserves kudos for outlining an ambitious plan to get humans to the Martian surface and beyond.  But chutzpah alone will not solve the multitude of research problems that are going to have to be solved before anyone --- NASA, ESA, the Chinese, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, or even the Russians --- successfully land crews on Mars.

6 Scotch Whisky Microdistilleries That Will Change the Industry (Part 1)

Craft distilling is already becoming a hot trend in the Scotch whisky world.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

North Korea Has A Best Friend Forever, U.S. Sanctions Show

Chinese nationals and companies faced sanctions over suspected military support for North Korea, but a broader probe shows one thing for sure: China is North Korea's BFF.

Like Old HP, BlackBerry Is Giving Its Advantage Away, Piece By Piece

Unable to keep up with Apple, Samsung and the like, BlackBerry is making a big strategic mistake: it is giving its advantage away piece by piece to Asian competitors through outsourcing, as old Hewlett Packard did decades ago.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Why OPEC Cut Should Mean Higher Oil, Higher Stock Market

Oil popped more than $3 from the lows of the day (as much as 7%) on news OPEC has agreed to a production cut.

How To Turn Bylined Trade Journal Articles Into Clients

To find clients, don't waste money on a brochure. Better than any brochure are bylined how-to articles that appear in a publication or website that your target clients read.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How Beijing Can Win The South China Sea Dispute

China fumed in July when a world arbitration court said the Communist leadership lacked a legal basis to claim 95% of a resource-rich, strategically valuable sea off its south coast. The international tribunal of the world's Permanent Court of Arbitration lacked jurisdiction to decide sovereignty over the South China Sea, Beijing had said in refusing to join the arbitration filed by the Philippines. China's foreign minister called the July 12 verdict a “farce.”

How An Apprenticeship Pilot Might Solve Tech's Diversity Problem

Can apprenticeships attract more women, African-Americans, Hispanics, & veterans into the tech sector?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Appeals Court Reverses American Express Antitrust Ruling, Citing Consumer Benefits

The Second Circuit reverses an antitrust ruling against American Express.

What Google, Apple, And The World's Best Ice Cream Stand Know About Customer Service

Providing great customer service requires you to do business on the schedule of your customers: stretching yourself to meet a customer's timing needs even when it means rearranging your workflow in ways that are messy and inefficient.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

China's "Other Sea"

Investors paying too much attention to China's dispute over the writing of the navigation rules in the South China Sea -- one of the world's biggest trade routes -- have perhaps missed China's “other sea,” the sea of debt that is threatening to derail its robust growth and progress in recent years.
But the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) hasn't. 
In a recent report, the Swiss-based institution pointed to the rapid rise of China's credit-to-GDP ratio, which now stands at 30.1, three times the threshold of 10 that indicates an impending financial crisis. 
To be fair, China isn't the only country with high credit-to GDP ratio. So does Japan, the UK, and the Eurozone.
The trouble is that China's debt is a routine political process. China's credit is extended from state-owned banks to state and province-owned corporations. By contrast, the situation is a credit risk management problem in the UK, Japan, and most of the Eurozone. Additionally, some of China's state owned enterprises, which receive the loans, are stockholders of the state banks that provide them.
That's why nobody really knows what the size of China's debt-to-GDP ratio is.
Compounding the problem, parallel government ownership of both creditors and borrowers concentrates and magnifies rather than disperses and diffuses credit risk, leaving the Chinese economy vulnerable to a systemic collapse -- as the Greek crisis so colorfully illustrated.
Worse, parallel government ownership of lending and borrowing institutions complicates creditor bailouts. The reason why the “haircut” of Greek debt had such a pervasive impact on the Greek economy was that government-controlled banks and pension funds were the creditors of the general government and government-owned enterprises. So the haircut shifted losses from one government branch to another.
The situation is even more serious in China, where the outright simultaneous government ownership of banks, pension funds, and common corporations has yielded an odd state in which both the creditor and the borrower are government branches.
Government-owned banks lend money directly to government-owned corporations -- which usually function as welfare agencies -- and to land developers, who are behind the country's “investment” bubble, one of the engines of the Chinese economy.
Could you imagine what would happen to financial markets if China suffers a Greek-style crisis, one day?
That could, perhaps, explain investor skepticism over Chinese equities, which have been underperforming the neighboring market of India in the last year.

Real Time Brain Mapping Platform Secures $10 Million Series A

Stanford spinout secures $10 M in a Series A for its real time brain mapping platform.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Maximizing Revenue: Align Your Selling Season With Your Customer's Buying Season

You must put your foot to the pedal in peak seasonal buying periods to ensure you maximize sales when the buying is good.

Friday, September 23, 2016

How Did F1 Lose $1 Billion Of Value In Two Months?

Two years ago New York Post media reporter Claire Atkinson revealed that Liberty Media planned to buy Formula One auto racing from its controlling shareholder the private equity firm CVC so there shouldn't have been any surprise when it finally announced the deal earlier in September. However, the majority of the sports media was dazzled by the $8 billion price tag which some saw as being as high-octane as it gets. Not everyone.

Lunch Business Is Falling Off, As Many Diners Have Reservations

Higher lunch menu prices appear to be turning some diners away from restaurants, while a rise in working from home may be having an impact as well.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Rules For Raising Venture Capital

Expect the process to be grueling -- so you need to be prepared.

South Africa's Largest Ecommerce Site Takealot Wins PriceCheck Ecommerce Awards, South Africa's largest ecommerce site, has won the 2016 PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards, taking both Overall Winner Award and the People's Choice Award.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Forget About Pakistan And India, Myanmar Is The Next Big Market Opportunity

Pakistan and India have been good places to invest your money in the last five years, if you are a frontier or an emerging market investor chasing after the next big opportunity, that is.
In the last twelve months, Global X MSCI MSCI +% Pakistan ETF has been 20%, while India's has been up close to 13%--see table.
The trouble with frontier and emerging market opportunities is that the potential for further gains is tamed, once they are discovered by foreign investors.
Besides, emerging markets suffer big setbacks as crony capitalism catches up with economic growth. Sometimes these setbacks can last decades, and even reverse the progress the country has made towards development (how many times have Mexico and Brazil have been “emerging?”).
That's why investors should look for new investment opportunities in emerging markets that have yet to be discovered by foreign investors -- like Myanmar.

Why It's All In The Name For The Manor F1 Team

Formula One is full of the world's most well-known brands. There's reigning champions Mercedes then the Red Bull energy drinks company's eponymous team followed by Ferrari, perhaps the most storied name in motorsport. Creating a brand to compete with them is no mean feat but one team has more experience than most at doing it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

21 States Sue To Block Labor Department's Overtime Rule

Republican states once again sue the Obama administration, this time over the overtime rule.

The Washington Post Refuses Edward Snowden Its 'Deep Throat' Treatment

Edward Snowden fed the Washington Post and three other media outlets the scoop of a generation,Now the Post, in an editorial, claims its source should be prosecuted for espionage. Cartoon by Kirk Anderson.

Monday, September 19, 2016

5 Extreme Customer Experience Lessons Every Parent Can Relate To

I can't believe the world is over-populated considering how hard it is to bring a human into this world. Or at least as I limped out of the hospital on that bright September day this was the thought that kept going through my mind.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

India's Semi-Soviet, Semi-Latin Model

India has made a great deal of economic progress in recent years. But it has yet to catch up with other emerging economies in per capita GDP, human development, and innovation, including its neighbor and BRICS peer, China.
Markets have taken notice, with iShares S&P India lagging behind the equity market of neighboring Pakistan.
The root cause India's lagging behind other emerging economies is the country's economic model-A Semi-Soviet, semi-Latin model that is backwards – it applies markets and governments in areas of the economy where each institution fails rather than excels.
This has resulted in a large and corrupt government that lacks the resources to execute its multiple roles in the economy. 

Is This 25-Year Old America's Leading (And Savviest) Millennial Influencer And Brand Ambassador?

Generalizing about anyone's age or generation is always dangerous. I know BabyBoomers who still live it up like they just graduated college, and have Millennial friends who are already entrenched with three kids under five in the suburbs.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Taxes, Your K-1 & The 2016 Presidential Campaign

Every four years, someone runs for office and proposes to change the levers of taxation that will help or hinder you. Have you read the plans of this year's candidates?

Why I Love Being Underestimated - And You Should Too

Can't shake the naysayers? Here's how to embrace them.

Friday, September 16, 2016

How Does Corporate Culture Fuel Fraud? Start With Volkswagen And Wells Fargo

Temptation can be high for employees to cross ethical lines when the company's culture gives them the motivation and the means.

It's On: Tesla, Mobileye Spar Bitterly Over What Triggered Autopilot-Related Split

The maker of camera-based vehicle sensor systems and Tesla have differing versions of why their relationship collapsed.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

2016 Trump Takes Issue With 2015 Trump's Tax Plan, Proposes $7 Trillion In Tax Increases

The Presidential campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump was marred by infighting earlier today, with 2016 Trump ripping the tax proposal set forth by 2015 Trump, alleging that the plan favored the rich, unfairly benefitted big business, and recklessly added trillions to the deficit.

The First 10 Shopify Apps To Install When You Setup Your E-commerce Store

Shopify is an awesome e-commerce platform that's affordable, easy to use, and ready to go right out of the box. It's much more than a shopfront. Shopify stores feature fully-secure checkouts that allow retailers to start taking payments instantly, while Shopify Shipping takes the legwork out of order fulfillment (it can manage the whole process for you – seriously). Shopify can even handle your marketing by automating email and creating targeted social campaigns on your behalf.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

In A Streaming World, WeTransfer Uses Downloads As Its Secret Music Weapon (For Now)

Do downloads still play a role in the music industry? Dutch file-sharing startup WeTransfer says yes, and it has the executive board and artist partnerships to prove it.

Croissant Wants To Be The Uber For Coworking Spaces

Can the on-demand coworking model make Croissant the go-to startup for commitment phobic millennials?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Weary Of Overly-Studious Asians, This Taiwanese CEO Tempts Them With Sports

Sports can give teenagers recognition leading to university scholarships and something to say when Western schools ask about extracurricular activities.

Eight Steps To Becoming An Angel Investor

If you've acquired some wealth in your life, you may have heard the buzz around angel investing and considered the idea of being an angel investor.  Not only is it a blast to help innovative entrepreneurs, it also offers a chance to make superior financial returns.  Even so, perhaps directly investing in and mentoring startups still sounds scary.  You may wonder: How do people really get started as angels?  And how do you know it is right for you?

Monday, September 12, 2016

The 10-Year Lookback for Tax Liability Overrides State Fraudulent Transfer Law In Kipnis

Nullum tempus occurrit regi is one of the earliest doctrines found in the English common law, and is usually translated as "no time runs against the King". Brought to America, the doctrine has since been codified into various provision of the U.S. Code, to give the United States government either an unlimited time to bring certain actions, or in very long Statute of Limitations for other actions.

What Every Aspiring Start-Up Can Learn From Country Music's Most Anticipated New Artist

Every once in while in every industry someone comes along who you know is about to go viral. 'Personal calculus' is the main reason why venture capitalists back individuals first, and ideas second. The music industry is no different-ever mining for the next Blake Shelton or Beyonce the same way tech angels treasure hunt for the next game changing, Silicon Valley start-up.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

South China Sea: Philippines And Washington Should Give China Some Space

Philippines and Washington should give Beijing some space to save face over its big legal defeat over South China Sea disputes -- to help diffuse the tensions in the region, which are turning into a major geopolitical event, and adding anxiety to already edgy global markets.

How Authentic Is Your Personal Brand -- And Does It Matter?

When I talk with women leaders about the power of a personal brand, I am struck by how often they use the word “authentic.”

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Why Would A CEO Give IT Responsibility To The Chief Marketing Officer?

A common challenge for contemporary companies is to align functions. And it is especially challenging when trying to integrate the engineering, process-oriented IT function with the more agile, market-oriented marketing/sales functions. While companies are testing and trying different structures to drive collaboration, integration, and results, one unique approach that Delta Dental has adopted is to integrate the functions under a trained marketer. To better understand how this shift occurred and the benefits, I spoke with Kristin Merlo, Chief Marketing, Sales, and IT Officer for Delta Dental of Washington.

Wall Street Sell-off: A Scary Chart For Investors

One day's chart doesn't say much about Wall Street's direction. But there's something scary in Friday's sell-off chart: The sell-off extended across several asset categories and commodities. The Russell 2000 and Silver suffered the biggest losses, with iShares Russell 2000 (NYSE:IWM) down close to 3 percent, iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:SLV) down 2.74%, iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NYSE:TLT) down 1.64%, and SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD) down 0.66 percent.

Friday, September 9, 2016

NextCon 2016 - How You Can Improve Your Company's Prospects This Year

Business conferences are important for entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world. You need inspiration, and you need to look constantly be looking at things from a fresh perspective.
One conference you shouldn't miss this year is NextCon. NextCon16 is bringing together a range of energetic and inspiring speakers. Some of the biggest names speaking this year are Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and tech superstar Guy Kawasaki.
Every smart entrepreneur acknowledges they don't know it all. In fact, 85% of startups fail because of overconfidence. You need to keep learning to grow, and there's no better way than from some of the biggest names in business. You'll look at challenges and obstacles in a completely different way.
What is NextCon?
This is a conference for entrepreneurs, small business owners, tech professionals, and everyone in between. The whole goal of the conference is to teach you how to run a business and how to make sure it turns a profit.  The conference takes place in Scottsdale, Arizona from November 14th through November 16th and is hosted by Nextiva, a unified cloud communications company.
Attendees get exclusive access to some of the most well-known names in the tech industry who are doing unique and creative you can implement in your business.
Identifying Areas for Growth
Growth is ultimately what your business is all about. You need to make sure that you're growing your business, as well as growing as a person. Professional growth requires you to take an honest look at what you're doing and compare it to what others are doing.

Wells Fargo, Volkswagen And Their Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Customer Service

Great customer care stories are all around - why, just today...

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sidelining China, Taiwan Turns To Investment In Tough But Eager India

When Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May, she announced plans to direct investment to Southeast Asia and India.

China Won't Solve Pakistan's Biggest Problem

China's purchase of Pakistani assets, like the K-Electric Company, may cheer investors for a month or two, but it won't solve the country's biggest problem --corruption.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Unconventional Career Advice By Christine Bailey

At school when I was 16 I was told that something I wanted to do was only for stupid girls! Luckily I had the support of a great teacher who broke the rules and made it happen for me. That started me on a journey of recognising how important it is to be inspired by mentors.

China Tells Japan To Stay Off Its Second Continent, Africa

After drawing a red line for Japan in the South China Sea last June, China is now telling Japan to stay off its second continent, Africa. Ideologically that is.
In a recent statement, following the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held in Kenya, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Japan of “attempting to impose its will on African countries to gain selfish interests and drive a wedge between China and African countries.” 
In essence, China is telling Japan to stay off Africa, its “second continent” (to use Howard W. French's term).
China's and Japan's race to expand their presence in Africa is good news for investors, as it will help Africa's frontier economies like Nigeria and Kenya catch up with emerging markets of Asia and Latin America in a globalizing world. 
Africa's Frontier Economies 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Governor Christie Nixes NJ-PA Tax Deal; Large Increases Looming For PA Residents

Turnover in public accounting being what it is, few people at my firm realize that before I moved to Aspen a decade ago, I spent nearly two years working in our Princeton, New Jersey office. The wife and I lived across the river in Pennsylvania during that time, and once each morning and again in the afternoon, I would waste an hour of my life commuting along a 13-mile stretch of Route 1.

5 Tips To Rapidly Double the Success of Your Instagram Marketing

A picture is worth a thousand words. Or so they say...

Monday, September 5, 2016

PR Trends That Will Help You Dominate 2017: Part II

As you contemplate your budget for the next fiscal year and plan the changes that will improve your PR efforts, here are a few more trends you should consider adding to the mix if you want to adapt and succeed in 2017.

Common Sense: The Key To An Empowered Workplace

If employees don't want to be micromanaged, they need to demonstrate common sense in the workplace.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

PR Nightmares: When Political Correctness Goes Too Far

In some cases, the very organizations attempting to achieve good PR by being ultra sensitive to political correctness risk terrible PR when they take their PC efforts too far.

Avoiding Rifts Within Company Leadership

"Perfect partners don't exist. Perfect conditions exist for a limited time in which partnerships express themselves best." -Wayne Rooney

Saturday, September 3, 2016

3 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From College Football

Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from college football season.

Police Puppies Offer An Adorable Alternative To Scary Police Dogs

Police puppies would be a far safer, and more pleasant way to seek justice. Cartoon by Keith Knight.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Entrepreneurs With A Great Idea Need A Great Partner

It only takes one person come up with a great startup idea, but in my experience as an investor, it's a rare entrepreneur who has all the skills and resources to build a business as well as a solution. Yet I meet inventors and startup founders every week who balk at the thought of sharing the founder position. In my view, it's a key reason that 90 percent of startups fail to launch.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Most Powerful American In Cambodia: The Unlikely Rise of Bretton Sciaroni

How a politically exiled ex-Reaganite wound up working with former Communists in a newly democratic Cambodia over 20 years ago.

4 Things First-time Entrepreneurs Need To Know About Getting Started

Making your first foray into entrepreneurship isn't easy, but there are four key lessons that will set you on the right track.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

China To Push Ambitious Economic Agenda On Wary World Leaders

When leaders of 20 major nations and the European Union meet next week, their host China is likely to push far-reaching measures for world economic stimulus. But Beijing's agenda that covers consolidation of cross-border investment rules and the industrialization of Africa may get just a polite, diluted reaction from the other leaders, who include U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. China would have trouble pushing the Sept. 4-5 Group of Twenty (G20) nations summit toward bold action because of increasingly obvious weak spots in its own economy, the world's second largest, and hesitation in making domestic policy changes sought by other countries.

Musk Promises Major Upgrade In Tesla Autopilot's Ability To 'See'

Tesla's brash CEO touts imminent enhancements to its semi-automated driving feature on the same day the company confirms plan to raise funds by year end

What Does The Future Of Augmented Reality Look Like For Marketers?

One of the latest technologies driving marketers wild is augmented reality?but what does the future hold for this phenomenon?

Sixthman CEO Shares Lessons From Staging 94 Festivals At Sea

The past 15 years haven't been all smooth sailing.

Selling Sins, Part 1: Avoid these Dangerous Assumptions with Women Customers

There I was, standing in a sea of black suitcases at a local department store. My current wheelie bag was in dire need of replacement. As a long-time road warrior, I knew this bag would be my constant companion, so I approached the task with the same care and thought that other people might put into choosing a new SUV.

How to be a Speaker for Vistage

Would you like to speak to CEOs all over the nation? Vistage has one of the largest active speaker databases in the world, with more than 1,000 experts speaking on topics from strategic planning, to finance, sales, marketing, leadership, and work life balance.

This May Be The Best Free Business Resource For International Entrepreneurs

Global entrepreneurship is on the rise, but the road to success is notoriously lonely and isolating at times. The British Library in London is hoping to change this by providing mentorship and networking opportunties to its visitors, and is improving success rates for entrepreneurs who are starting up their own business ventures

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How IoT Refines What Sales Success Looks Like

IoT disintermediates B2B account management. What is sales' role when machines take care of and order for themselves? The findings of study into the characteristics of successful sales people are shared and their relevance in the era of IoT.

4 Ways Women Can Lead Fearlessly in Silicon Valley

You'd hope, in well-educated Silicon Valley workplaces, that gender wouldn't matter. But it does. Using these four steps, female CEOs can lead confidently in a man's world.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Asia's Quest For Google's Lunar X Prize

In Asia, where government has long held the reigns in outer space affairs, how does the private competition stack up? The lure of space entrepreneurship is certainly resonating in the region.

4 Simple Techniques to Increase Your Sales this Week

How did your bank account look when you woke up this morning?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

PR Trends That Will Help You Dominate 2017: Part I

PR used to be all about gaining exposure and generating buzz for your company through the media, but with content and influencer marketing affecting it, PR must continuously adapt. To prepare yourself and your team, here is the first installment of a series on trends you must keep on your radar if you want to dominate 2017.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

This Suburban Dad Positioned His One-Man Business To Break $2 Million This Year

Not many people break $1 million in a one-person business. Laszlo Nadler, whose startup appeared in this blog last year, blasted through that milestone in 2015. This year, the father-of-two, based in East Brunswick, N.J., is on track to break $2 million at his Amazon store Tools4Wisdom-and still has no employees. Tools4Wisdom sells planners that help customers focus on their big-picture goals, instead of simply plowing through a daily to-do list. “I've just passed the threshold where the business is significantly taking off,” says Nadler, who came up with the idea in 2012, while still working as a corporate project manager.

6 Predictions For How IoT Tech Will Affect Online Marketing And SEO

The "Internet of things" could be the next major tech revolution; what would such a development mean for the world of online marketing?

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Biggest Problem For Most Small Business Owners

Second and third generation owners often get stuck doing things the way their parents or grandparents did. Forbes contributor Louis Mosca explains.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Entrepreneurial Takeaways From The First Year Of An IPO

The CEO of Xactly provides advice on taking your company to the next level – even if you do not have plans to go public.

Gigster is the Craigslist For Top Developers

With tech jobs concentrated in the Bay Area and New York, it could be challenging for companies outside of America's coastal cities to find top-notch developers. That's where Gigster fills the void. The marketplace gives top developers from tech companies like Google opportunities to moonlight for non-tech firms.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Indian Startups Are Tapping Into New Sources Of Capital As Funding Dries Up

As 2016 progresses into its second half, a KPMG and CB report shows that Venture Capital Investments in India have fallen, with a drop sharper than anywhere else in the world.

Microsoft: No Single Organization Can Close Skills Gap

Microsoft reported doing over $1 billion of corporate giving, mostly in-kind, for fiscal year 2015. The software giant is making giving a more integral part of its strategy, as I explored here. One current initiative is a drive to encourage more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, a three-year, $75 million program called YouthSpark.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Want To Be A Great Leader? Encourage Lots Of Mistakes And Weird Career Moves

Here's how to be the kind of leader who makes people fearless, rather than fearful.

Diving Into All Things Food Aboard Summit At Sea

Imagine Burning Man meets TED Talks meets Davos at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival? on a Norwegian cruise line. That?s Summit at Sea. The purpose of SaS is to ?connect and inspire the thought leaders of our time,? co-founder Jeff Rosenthal summarizes. And they do so by ?offering opportunities to learn from people doing innovative work.?

Monday, August 22, 2016

14 Noteworthy Social Ventures Looking To Scale

The Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University conducts an annual accelerator program for social entrepreneurs from around the world. The 14 participants this year pitched at the annual demo day event. All have achieved some scale of look to grow dramatically in the future.

Chillin' It With Country Music's Fastest Rising Star Cole Swindell

Every up-and-coming, club-toiling singer-songwriter in Nashville will agree on one thing: there's no skipping the toll lane to country music stardom. For every Taylor Swift or Tim McGraw there are thousands of others who still namelessly grind it every night out on Nashville's honky-tonk bar circuit while working two day-jobs. Like aspiring actors in LA, they're all looking for that one big break that will change their lives forever.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

DFJ's Steve Jurvetson Talks About Investing, Innovation & Robots As Agents Of Change

What makes a company a good investment? Steve Jurvetson, one of today's savviest and most forwarding-thinking venture capitalists shares his thoughts on what real innovation requires and why he's invested in smart, collaborative robots to drive the transformation that manufacturers really need.

5 Suggestions for Leading An Intergenerational Workforce

As more people continue working past ?retirement age? and businesses are disrupted at war speed by young entrepreneurs, the workforce is becoming a multi-generational minefield. But it doesn?t have to hard to navigate.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Statutory Problem With IRS Firearms

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I never thought that there was any legal question about the authority of IRS criminal investigators to be armed. There are quite a few specialized federal law enforcement organizations.  Their officers have arrest powers, which, at least in this country, implies that they might be needing to pack heat. When

SmartBiz Helps SMB Entrepreneurs Lower Cost Of Capital With Faster SBA Loans

Have you tried to get an SBA loan? Solutions-those tied to traditional lenders-are emerging to provide faster, less risky finance options with a lower cost of capital.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Meet The Hacking Tribes Of The Tech World

Silicon Valley is home to some fantastic subcultures. These are the ones you need to know about.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Banks vs. Bots

Fintech is en vogue right now, and for good reason. Trim's digital assistant cuts unwanted recurring bills automagically. Mint tracks our expenses and helps us achieve our goals. Digit squirrels away bits and pieces into a savings account.  Venture capitalists, myself included, invested as much as $19B into financial technology startups like these in 2015 alone.

How To Overcome The Growing Visibility Problem On Social Media

It's becoming more and more difficult to get your content visibility on social media channels. Here are 3 ways to overcome this challenge.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What's So Sensational about Your Customer Experience?

Why Marketers Need to Include All Five Senses in Their Customer Experience Formula

Why Michael Phelps Can Make Faces But 'Crabby' Gabby Douglas Can't

“When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand up on my heart or me being very salty in the stands, they're really criticizing me, and it doesn't really feel good,” a teary-eyed Douglas told reporters who felt the need to badger her about the attacks. “It was a little bit hurtful.” Cartoon by Rob Tornoe.

Monday, August 15, 2016

IRS Weapons And Ammunition Spending Is Unremarkable

Concern about IRS spending on weapons and ammunition has been a "thing" of late. I've been trying to take a closer look and my conclusion is that it really is not much of a thing.  Tracing back behind headlines like "IRS Sure Spends a Lot of Money On Guns and Ammunition" and "IRS Spent $10.71 Million on Guns and Ammo"  and "Why Does The IRS Need So Many Guns?" brings you to a report by a group called Open The Books titled The Militarization of America.

What China's US Buying Spree Means For The Future of Hospitality

The Chinese are on a US buying spree like no other.  Since the beginning of the year, Chinese investors have announced interest in, or closed on, several multi-billion-dollar deals on a variety of American enterprises, including GE's appliance division, Strategic Hotels & Resorts (owner of numerous luxury properties here and abroad), a construction manufacturer, the Chicago Stock Exchange, Carlson Hotels (owner of the Radisson brand), Hollywood's Legendary Entertainment Group, Google's smart phone hardware division (Motorola) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (ultimately acquired by Marriott International after a heated bidding war).  According to CNBC, the average deal announced so far this year amounts to $1.5 billion, eight times greater than last year.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Client Attraction Lessons from the Ashton Eaton Olympic Decathlon Drama

American Ashton Eaton, the reigning decathlon champion from the 2012 London Olympics and world record holder, brought some drama to the sport at this year's Olympics in Rio.

A Recruiting Startup's Strategy For Acquiring Its First Customers

New recruiting platform UpScored has managed to land 13 pilot clients. Taking a niche approach and providing high-touch service have helped along the way.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Despite Global Economic Volatility, Small Business Borrowing Remains Strong

Loan approval rates at big banks ($10 billion+ in assets) declined slightly for the first time in six months in July 2016, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™, the monthly analysis of more than 1,000 small business loan applications on Last month, big banks granted 23.1%, still a solid figure considering where we once were during the post-Great Recession credit crunch when approval percentages were in the single digits. Credit unions (41.5%) and alternative lenders (60%), providers of asset-based and cash advance loans also experienced a dip in their loan approval rates.

7 Startup Pitfalls Can Kill Your Business Growth

In my role as an advisory board member for several startups, I'm always excited to see that initial surge of revenue from a great rollout campaign. Unfortunately, many passionate entrepreneurs read this initial surge as success, and charge ahead with more of the same passion, leading to a series of potential pitfalls that can quickly jeopardize the health of the entire business.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Middle Market M&A: Making Money After Your Sale -- Part 2

The sale of the family firm might structured in a way that varies sale proceeds based on the post-deal success of the business. In such situations, sellers are keenly motivated to see that buyers are successful. In this installment, we talk about those things sellers might do pre-deal with an eye towards that post-deal success.

Filling Big Shoes With Square Feet: What Dollar General-Walmart Deal Means

While Walmart, Target and other chains test ways to maneuver into smaller footprints, other retailers benefit from their missteps. Most recently, Dollar General acquired the slightly larger Walmart Express stores. Still, the future of retail depends more on connections than size.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why Mass Fish Kill In Vietnam Still Smells Fishy Despite A Solution

This stinky chapter in Vietnam's current affairs log was supposed to be over. After 80 tons of dead fish washed up on central coast beaches in April, citizens protested that the government moved too slowly in finding the cause. After weeks of sporadic demonstrations, some of them squelched, and another month of checking around for causes, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry named Taiwanese-invested Formosa Ha Tinh steel plant the culprit for releasing toxic chemicals into the ocean. The subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group paid $500 million to help fishing communities, apologized and agreed to clean up its waste system.

More Women Starting Companies From The Ground, Up. Literally.

The average farmer is a white male around 58 years of age. But there?s a new kind of farmer rapidly claiming a stake in the industry: women.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

India's Driving Myles In A Homegrown Car Rental

Car rental company Myles is proving that next gen India is thinking quite differently from their parents when it comes to cars and whether to own one or not.

FCC Loses Bid To Preempt Municipal Broadband Laws In Tennessee, N.C.

The Sixth Circuit rejects FCC power to preempt municipal broadband laws.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How Ro Kohli, The 'War Machine' Of Promo Items, Moved Into Custom Toys

Ro Kohli makes promo items for a living, but his latest are an unusual move into action figures.

8 Insights For Millennials To Excel As Entrepreneurs

As an advisor to startups and an angel investor, I encounter many Millennials as entrepreneurs who are leaders and great role-models for the rest of us in business. Unfortunately there are still others who have great ideas and passion, but seem to have a very naïve understanding or acceptance of what it takes to get ahead of the crowd and succeed in business.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cutting Through Competitiveness-killing Red Tape: The Bureaucracy Measurement Index

by Eduardo Alvarez, Georges Chehade, Olaf Schirmer, Manish Mahajan

China Tech Innovation Goes Mainstream (Finally) As Facebook, Twitter Look East For Ideas

China tech innovation goes mainstream (finally) as Facebook and Twitter look to WeChat and Alipay for ideas.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

WikiLeaks Won't Hack Trump Taxes After All, But Would Trump Sell Them?

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks may disagree over going after Trump's tax returns, but many voters still crave them.

Growth Hacks On The Ultimate Power Relationship: PR, Lead Generation And Sales

PR is critical to web signups and customer uptake. But it is far from the end of the tale.

Friday, August 5, 2016

How To Move From An Entrepreneur To Manager Or Fail

As a business advisor, I have too often seen technical entrepreneurs get a product or service off the ground with ease, but then struggle mightily when their business reaches a couple of million in annual sales, or the employee count grows beyond a handful. It's at this stage that the job changes from creative and tactical to managerial and strategic. Many don't survive the change.

Accounting Manager Fights IRS For Deduction For MBA Courses

Thanks to a trip to Tax Court, Alex Kopaigora will be able to keep his deductions for MBA expenses for the year 2011, mostly. Mr. Kopaigora began working for Marriott International Corporation in 2002 and advanced to a position of significant responsibility.
In June 2006 petitioner accepted a position as senior assistant controller for the Marriott hotel in Los Angeles International Airport (Marriott LAX). In his role as senior assistant controller, petitioner was responsible for managing a team of employees, reviewing employee performances annually, participating in hiring activities, and training employees. Petitioner's duties included preparing financial reports, creating budgets, analyzing financial data, producing forecasts to enable reaction to business changes, and monitoring different departments' performances. Additionally, petitioner conducted audits, prepared an accounting of taxes, prepared financial reports according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), enforced internal controls, reconciled balance sheets, and ensured compliance with reporting requirements.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

5 SMS Marketing Tips Every Startup Owner Should Know

SMS marketing is one of those areas of marketing that many startups seem to avoid, at least in the beginning.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Art Of The PR Pivot--Fitness Titan Kathy Smith

How does an entrepreneur with a highly visible personal brand stay relevant over phases of industry or decades of time? Here's what fitness expert Kathy Smith has done to succeed.

The Amazing Life Of A 2016 Facebook Summer Intern

You won't believe how good Facebook interns have it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

World's Top 20 Countries Tighten Scrutiny Of Shaky Chinese Economy

China's quickly expanding economy helped inspire the Group of Twenty nations to start holding leadership summits in 2008. Heads of state from the world's most economically influential countries along with European Union officials met then to brainstorm ideas as markets, jobs and companies worldwide fell under the U.S.-driven Global Financial Crisis. China was still growing in 2008, extending already more than 20 years of industrialization padded by budgetary stimulus to head off spillover from the global crisis. Annual growth in China, the world No. 2 economy, was hitting double digits.

3 Types Of Meetings That Will Engage Your Team And Increase Team Performance

Are you sick of boring meetings that achieve very few results? Discover how to have meetings that are efficient, effective, and keep your team happy and executing with high accountability.

Monday, August 1, 2016

How Sindyanna of Galilee Sells Olive Oil And The Hope Of Arab-Israeli Peace

Certainly, that's the hope and conviction of social activist Hadas Lahav, the CEO of Sindyanna of Galilee, a woman-run, Arab-Israeli social enterprise in northern Israel. The nonprofit, founded in 1997 and run by a staff of 15, about equally divided between Arabs and Israelis, sells premium, extra-virgin fair-trade olive oil produced in the region, much of it organic and grown by local Arab farmers.

Last year, Sindyanna of Galilee, a nonprofit venture run by Arab and Israeli women in northern Israel, sold $1 million worth of olive oil and other products, to support their social and educational projects for Arab women and promote peace. Now, they're making their big push to expand in the U.S. market.

Why Leaders Fail, And Why The Fix May Be Simpler Than You Think

Successful leadership is all about relationships. It's about relationships between and among people. And it's about the leader's relationship with tried-and-true principles and practices.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Why It's Hard For Driven People To Take Time Off (And What They Can Do About It)

For workaholics and those suffering from professional FOMO, there's one thing they never plan to do: take leave. But failing to do so can hamstring their companies and prevent them from taking needed time off.

Four Interview Questions To Help You Hire People With Grit

People with grit have the character to succeed because they will think outside the box, solve problems and get the job done. Here are four types of interview questions that can help you identify people with the drive and determination to be great.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Flipping A PR Flop: These 4 Founders Show How It's Done

These four U.S. founders turned their initial PR mistakes into wins in ways that others can model as well.

Sorry Google And Tesla, FiveAI Will Have The Best Driverless Car

A new UK startup is looking to blow Tesla and Google's driverless technology offerings out of the water. (Or should that be off the road?)

Friday, July 29, 2016

4 Rules Every Storyteller Needs To Know

Stories, when told well, are not mere containers for a brand message, but advocates of brand potential that has yet to be discovered.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

How To Know What Your Brand Experience Is Worth

In principle, measuring return on experience isn't all that complicated. Define the goals at the start of the marketing campaign, set success criteria, execute the campaign, measure and assess results. Simple, right? Well, no, of course not.

Meet The 'Fishmonger' Behind America's Top Celebrity Chefs

I can count the days each year that my wife eats fish on one hand. She doesn't like scales, tails, or bones, and when it comes to the two-eyes up, bottom-dwelling filter feeders you can forget about it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Marketing 101 -- Make Your Customer Service Team An Asset Not A Necessary Evil

Customer service is one of those necessary evils for a lot of business leaders. Part of the reason for this is it costs so much to run an effective customer service team. When a company is thinking about making cuts they will nearly always make reductions in this area first.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

China Beginning To Sound Like North Korea

Beijing is beginning to sound like the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) when it comes to the way it has been handling the South China Sea disputes

18 Ways To Increase Your Website Traffic

As business owners and marketers, it can sometimes feel like nothing will get the needle to move when it comes to your website's traffic. However, last time I checked, getting discouraged doesn't do anything to drive people to your site. So, instead of hanging your head, you should instead jump into one of these strategies below (or all of them if you really want to see a jump in traffic).

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ultimate HD Golf: Hitting the Links in Total Comfort

It was 98 degrees in Orange County, Calif. today, with unusually high humidity. Yet I decided to play a quick nine holes. And proceeded to, without even breaking a sweat. How so? I headed to the brand-new Ultimate HD Golf that's located inside an L.A. Fitness workout club in Mission Viejo. It's an air-conditioned indoor course simulator that also accommodates lessons, clubfitting and driving range practice time. While there are plenty of sports bars, country clubs and even private residences across America with golf simulators, this is the only one I know of inside a health club.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sham Mortgage Loan Flops In Pivaroff

Ivan G. Pivaroff and his wife, Gwendolyn S. Pivaroff, owed Uncle Sam the sum of $8 million in tax liabilities, as a result of a 1998 decision by the U.S. Tax Court. The IRS finally got around to suing the Pivaroffs in 2008 to collect, and place tax liens against the Pivaroff's assets.

Feeding The Mechanisms That Drive Innovation

There's a powerful myth that many people continue to believe in: that innovation comes about through a flash of inspiration, a Eureka! moment. In reality, innovation is fed by a constant diet of relevant and up-to-date information that can be reused and recombined to give shape to new ideas.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bangkok tech summit draws thousands, signals Thailand's growing tech ecosystem

Three thousand entrepreneurs, investors, and tech enthusiasts descended on Bangkok this weekend for a meeting of the minds at the Techsauce Summit. Hosted by Techsauce Media, the conference is designed to spur innovation and investment in the Land of Smiles.

'Trump' By Ted Rall: 1968: The Year That Changed Everything. But Not Donald

The 14th in a preview from cartoonist Ted Rall's upcoming graphic biography of Donald Trump, "Trump: A Graphic Biography."

Friday, July 22, 2016

8 Initiatives To Increase Your Business Growth Curve

A common pain of startups after an exhilarating first surge of early adopters is a long and frustrating plateau of slow growth, where it seems like nothing you do will get your business to profitability. Too many entrepreneurs don't know what to do at this point, largely accounting for that disappointing 50 percent of startups that fail in the first five years, according to Gallup.

This Week In Credit Card News: More Americans Now Paying Off Card Balances, Cici's Pizza Data Breach

More Americans Are Paying Off Their Credit Cards Every Month

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Plumber, Swimwear, Dating Site: How PR Evolved These Founders' Careers

These three founders' success in doing their own public relations has evolved their careers.

How To Quit Your Job And Become A Coffee Producer

It's no longer atypical to hear about disillusioned corporate careerists fleeing the hamster wheel for a second calling producing wine, but coffee? Yet coffee offers as much flavor, delicacy and nuance as fermented grapes. Thus, it seems logical for coffee production to follow trends in wine. Read about an entrepreneur who recognized this opportunity and left the U.S. for Panama to grow an award-winning variety called Geisha.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why Chinese Entrepreneurs Thrive In Singapore, But Not In China

Singapore is beating China in global entrepreneurship, according to the recently released 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index.

Scott Rudin: Management Lessons From A Broadway Producer

Putting people into positions where they can succeed – and supporting them with coaching -- is the ultimate role of every manager. Making it happen requires an ability to know what people can achieve and the discipline to let them do it without interference, at the same time being ready to step in and lend a helping hand.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Very Broad Transaction Tax Might Have Merit

A transaction tax is one of those ideas that keeps popping up.  Earlier this month, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced a bill - Finishing Irresponsible Reckless Speculatnetive Trading - that would apply a tax of 3 basis points (.03%) to most financial trading including stocks, bonds and other transactions. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the bill would raise $417 billion over ten years.  The legislation has support from the AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the Communications Workers of America, and Public Citizen.

IBM's Magic Number Points To A Solid Turnaround

What Wall Street Is Missing About IBM

Monday, July 18, 2016

Rational Ignorance and the Privacy Paradox

Maybe it's time to consider the possiblity that consumers' revealed privacy preferences are their real privacy preferences.

As Race To Offer First Bitcoin ETF Heats Up, New Company Files To Create An Ether ETF

In the wake of recent activity in the race to launch a Bitcoin ETF, a newly formed company has filed to create an ETF out of another digital currency, ether.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

5 Tips For Small Business Owners Looking To Get A Bank Loan

The economy's continued expansion could have you, like many business owners, optimistic about your company's growth prospects for this year and going forward.

Why Social Investment Is A Threat To Charity Values

Social investment is on the up - held as a panacea to social sector financing challenges it may in fact represent a challenge to all the sector stands for.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Riding Out Inevitable Storms: Life, Business and More

Lessons learned from weathering the inevitable storms of entrepreneurial life.

By The Time Minimum Wage Reaches $15, There Will Be No Jobs For Cashiers

By the time the minimum wage reaches $15, Wal-Mart, Target, McDonald's, and Panera Bread will be different places.  There will be no cashiers at Wal-Mart, Target and the like; and robots will flip burgers at McDonald's and prepare soups, sandwiches and salads at Panera Bread. The $15 minimum wage movement has a good cause:

Friday, July 15, 2016

7 Steps To Turning Business-As-Usual Into A Moonshot

In this era of accelerating change, business-as-usual is the enemy of every business, new and old. Yet it's an easy rut to fall into, and a tough one to break out of. Every business needs to “reach for the stars” on a regular basis, in much the same way the President Kennedy challenged a nation to put a man on the moon in an impossible timeframe more than fifty years ago.

Healthcare And Pharma Spend Less On Ads But Face Same Problems As Other Marketers

While facing unique challenges of their own, healthcare and pharma marketers also deal with the same issues all marketers face.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cisco Collaborates With SwiftStack For Object Storage

OpenStack lives! SwiftStack has partnered with Cisco in a collaboration that brings SwiftStack's object storage into Cisco's Metapod.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Nevada Corporation Exists Under IRS Name For Decades

Here is a little tax tip.  If you owe money to the IRS, do not send your check to Department of the Treasury - Internal Revenue Service, 3338 Gypsum Rd,  Reno, NV. That particular entity is a registered domestic corporation in the state of Nevada.  Its president is Peter Tolotti not, you know, Barack Obama. Brant Honkanen is the Treasurer and AR Salman is the Secretary. The all "live at" PO Box 10351 Reno NV.

New Department Of Labor Retirement Standard Creates Opportunity For Millennials

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As the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule was being passed into law earlier this year, thousands of people voiced their opposition to a rule designed to improve the retirement security of Americans by improving investment advice from financial advisors. Opponents feared that the new rule would stifle business, increase compliance

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Touch-Enabled LED T-Shirt You Can Program: Made In India

Just when you thought the apparel industry couldn't evolve any further – one Indian company is rolling out a line of touch-enabled clothing that wearer's can program to broadcast their mood for the moment. The stable old t-shirt is getting a makeover with technology.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Women May Make Better Entrepreneurs And Here's Why

Women entrepreneurs are articulate, tenacious and ambitious.  To my understanding, a third of all new companies created today are run by women.  Entrepreneurship supports economic growth and so what is good for women is good for the economy.

Caught Speeding? Try The Hillary Clinton Defense

After former President Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a secret meeting, Lynch's Justice Department announced that it would not indict Hillary Clinton for her private email server and destruction of public documents, because she had no obvious intent to break the law, just extreme carelessness for it. Whatever happened to "ignorance of the law is no excuse"? Cartoon by Ted Rall.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Why A Former Hershey Exec Sold his Porsche To Build A Cashew Business In Mozambique

After making a "spiritual journey" in the woods, Don Larson, a former turnaround specialist at Hershey Company, sold his Porsche, his hot air balloon and his house with a pool to start a social enterprise selling cashews in Mozambique to improve the lives of orphans and the nation's poor farmers. He's learned that selling tasty nuts isn't enough. A social enterprise's back story matters mightily to consumers.

Decentralized Exchange Turns Up 'HEAT' With Blockchain Start-Up Support

The cryptocurrency exchange that previously signalled earlier this summer that it was relaunching as a so-called 'Decentralized Conglomerate' this July to become a hub for diverse business projects, will shortly kickstart its first project, HEAT, a new third-generation blockchain platform from Finland led by veteran software consultant Svante Lehtinen in Helsinki.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Entrepreneurship Will Crush Your Soul. Here's How To Deal With It.

The real story of entrepreneurship is one of constant rejection, frayed relationships, inevitable betrayal, roller coasters of emotions, and a rocky process whereby "work" and "life" become one. Here are two ways to survive the ride.

Friday, July 8, 2016

8 Ways To Have More Gratitude Every Day

It can be easy to get swept away in the fast lane and forget to stop and show your appreciation for what you do have. A life well lived is one of gratitude and thankfulness. To help you on your gratitude journey, here are 8 ways to have more gratitude in your daily life.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

China, Philippines Agree On One Thing In Tense Maritime Dispute

The U.N. Permanent Court of Arbitration says it will rule Tuesday on the legal basis for China's claim to about 95% of a widely disputed sea off its south coast. The court might say China has no such right because its claim extends beyond the international norm of a 370-km offshore exclusive economic zone. That's why the Philippines, which contests of part of the same ocean, took the case to that U.N. court in The Hague last year. The court may side with Beijing, which cites 2,000 years of historic use as a reason to dominate the South China Sea. Or it may make a softer decision that compels China and the Philippines to work things out on their own.

How To Leverage And Embrace Your Story, From One Author Who Did It

We often underestimate the power of our personal story - but one woman reminds us it can be the ticket to create the life you've always wanted. Read on to learn how you can leverage your own story.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Malaysia, A Center Of Moderate Islam, Braces For More ISIS Attacks

Malaysian police announced this month their country's first confirmed attack by the violent Islamic State. Someone in Syria gave orders to bomb the Movida night club in the Malaysian town of Puchong June 28, injuring eight people, according to local media reports. Now some worry that the night club incident will lead a string of Islamic State (ISIS) attacks in Malaysia. The hardcore ISIS resents Malaysia's moderate Islam and the government's condemnation of its violent approach to making believers more puritan. The violent group also sees chances to convert disgruntled low-income Malaysians into future attack planners in the generally well-off country.

Fourth Wife on her 4th Billion: A Love Affair with Real Estate

Angela Leong's property saga, it turns out, doesn't begin or end with her attachment to Stanley Ho.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

China Wants To Set Its Own Navigation Rules In South China Sea

China wants the South China Sea to be its own sea. And set its own navigation rules in one of the busiest trade regions of the world?most coming from China itself. Just a few days before the ruling of the International Court of Hague (ICH) on the South China Sea disputes, China

How Mobile Ad Tech Pioneer Kim Perell Positions Amobee For Growth

A Series of Forbes Insights Profile of Thought Leaders Changing the Business Landscape:  Kim Perell, President, Amobee

Monday, July 4, 2016

What We Can Learn From 3 Companies Using Technology To Disrupt The Retail Business

Singapore is deemed by some as an idyllic place to foster a new breed of technologically innovative enterprises. As part of the efforts to develop a new breed of technologically innovative global enterprises, many new initiatives promote the inclusion and innovation of technology to make a wave of change to the current technology offerings. We look at 3 companies that are poised to up the ante.

4 Business Tips From The Country Club

You are in business to help others solve a problem of some sort. If you do a good job at that, then you'll make money. The Beatles said it best, “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” The profit you make is equal to the level of the service that you provide.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

This Teen's Lawyer-Bot Is Busting Thousands Of Parking Tickets

Joshua Browder says public service chat bots like his are far more useful than the flimsy brand-made bots now populating Facebook Messenger.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Saudi Arabia Is Changing Its Tone In The Oil Market

Saudi Arabia is talking the oil market up lately. That's a big change from a few months when it was talking the market down.  In fact, Saudi Arabia has been doing much more than talking the oil market up -- it has been hiking oil prices. It was back in February when

Middle Market M&A: What Brexit Might Mean For US Buyers Of UK Companies

Pundits have commented about how Brexit might affect the universe. However, Brexit might present a generational opportunity to acquire UK-based businesses on very favorable terms.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Young Talent Feeding Silicon Dragon Startups Takes The Stage And Wows

Judging from the 19 entrepreneurs who pitched at the Silicon Dragon contest in NYC June 23, the world is in for some major shakeups in how traditional business is done. It's an impressive group of next-gen pros who are powering startups today and for tomorrow in the world's leading venture and tech markets - the US and China.

Why Data-Centricity Is Vital for Marketing Organizations

The marketing industry relies heavily on data returned from analytical reports following both direct and indirect approaches to marketing. Using data-centricity develops a customer-centric marketing strategy that can boost company revenues, increase brand reputation and increase industry dominance. It also creates a pathway for chief marketing officers (CMOs) to redirect their marketing strategies for the best interest of the brand's goals and broadened improvements to positive consumer reactions.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: Artsy But Obvious, 'The Neon Demon' Is A Shallow Beauty

Amazon Studios has high hopes for The Neon Demon, but it may be too weird.

Cannes Lions - What You Need To Know

Cannes is are the best bits with zero afterparty bragging or mentions of Snapchat. Except that one. You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Form 1099-R From Insurance Company Can Be Bad Tax News

Life insurance is actually a rather sweet tax deal.  That is why I find it so distressing when someone manages to use life insurance to manufacture phantom income for themselves that produces a tax liability that is quite real. Such is the sad story of Kenneth Mallory who received bad news from the Tax Court earlier this month.  My view is that that problems like this are a the result of agents selling policies as if they are the Swiss utility knives of financial planning rather than ways of providing for people dependent on you after you are, you know, dead.

The Unexpected Journeys Of R&D: A Parable

This is a story about Randy and Dave (R&D).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Do You Need To Be A Geek To Be A Tech Startup Founder?

Do you need to be a geek to be a tech startup founder? No, absolutely not. Let me put it out there, I don't code, I don't hack, but I do have vision and know what I want, and I do know how to hire the right people to make it happen. It's valuable to have a technical background, but it is not a requirement. And here is why.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

How Will Iran Pay Boeing, In Dollars Or Euros?

Iran is getting ready to place an order with Boeing for 100 planes, as Iran opens up its markets to US aircrafts for first time in decades.
If approved by the US government, the deal will be a big deal for Boeing, as it tries to catch up with European rival Airbus, which has already landed similar deals with Iran.
Wall Street cheered the prospect, sending Boeing's shares higher, when the news broke last Tuesday.

Should The New Tech Triangle of China-Israel-US Include India Too?

The Tech Triangle of China-Israel-US that I wrote about last week didn't include India, and I heard about it.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

How Is Data-Centricity Impacting The Marketing Organization? Part 1

Big data. Predictive analytics. Left-brained CMOs. With the sophisticated statistical techniques that now exist, enabling CMOs to generate superior insight out of data, expectations have ratcheted up. It started in the late 1990's and early 2000's with an expectation that CMOs would be more accountable for performance; today, the best marketing leaders view business management from a data-centric perspective. To better understand how a data-centric approach to business leadership is impacting the marketing organization, I turned to Jennifer Zeszut, the CEO of Beckon, an enterprise-class marketing intelligence platform. The following is part 1 of a two-part series.

You Need A Motivated Startup Team To Change The World

I was shocked to read an old Gallup study that indicates only 13 percent of employees worldwide are actively engaged at work, and more recent data shows only a small change in the right direction. In my own experience as a startup advisor and mentor, I find that entrepreneurs who can't attract and maintain a highly motivated team rarely even get off the ground.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Return Of The Puppet Masters: Sid And Marty Krofft Talk Amazon, iTunes And More [Part 1 of 2]

There is probably no American child of the '70s who did not grow up with the creations of Sid and Marty Krofft in some way. The legendary brothers talk with us about keeping their product fresh after all this time.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ways Entrepreneurs Can Stretch Their Capital

Here's a look at ways for entrepreneurs to get more from their capital.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Two Disneyland Attractions You Won't See In China And Why

Shanghai Disneyland opens today in China after so much anticipation that people lined up for as long as four hours during trial runs over the past month and you need tickets in advance to get in through Saturday. Walt Disney expects 50 million visitors a year. Chinese thrill seekers have seen The Lion King movie and might have a Mickey Mouse emblem on a shirt or handbag. So visitors to the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disneyland, the first such park in mainland China, will hope to replicate the experience of the tens of thousands who enter Disney's legendary cartoon-theme amusement parks in California and Florida every day. For the most part, they can, according to a comparison of attractions on each park's official website. You can take flights with Peter Pan and Dumbo the elephant in China as well as the United States, for example.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Death of Big Software - How Complexity/Cloud/Cost/Digital Transformation Killed the Code Giants

Who in their right mind would undertake a five-year ERP software implementation project? Five years is a corporate lifetime and those that approve the project are likely to be long gone by the time the project reports its first missed milestones.

The NHL's Risky Gamble Of Expanding To Las Vegas

The NHL is reportedly expanding into Las Vegas. Here's why the move is risky business.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Why Billionaires Move Cash To Tech, And Why You Should Too

Do you want to know why billionaires have been investing in tech, and looking for the next Facebook, Uber or Dropbox? Simple reason is returns. Startups are the new type of investment that the world's elite have been focused on and netted returns far above anything in traditional markets. Although stocks and fixed income securities dominate the primary market, there is a spotlight on the secondary market which is gaining traction.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

7 Trends Changing How Companies Connect With Audiences

Whether you're writing, distributing, or sharing content, account for these seven trends when crafting your marketing strategy.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Silicon Dragon Launches Pitch Contests For China

Silicon Dragon launches pitch contest for founders to compete to scale up in China.

Carving Out Space Between Your Startup And Private Life

If you?ve ever been in the situation where you work from home, you know the importance of trying, where possible, to carve out a workspace that is as distinct as possible from your living space.

Friday, June 10, 2016

New Virtual Accelerator Connects Fintech Startups With Banks

INV Accelerator is a new, virtual accelerator for fintech startups, that provides both technology assistance and connections --and potential investment--from leading banks.

Rainmaker Rewind: A Theory of the Universe of Nonfiction Books (and the Art of Creative Theft)

Rainmaker FM rewind

This week on Rainmaker Rewind, Pamela Wilson and Jeff Goins from the podcast Zero to Book explore the predictable structure of nonfiction books and what that means for your writing.

Pamela and Jeff also share their theories on “creative borrowing” and how choosing between the two main structures most nonfiction books follow can help you create a better, more cohesive presentation.

And as always, be sure to check out the other fascinating episodes that aired this past week on Rainmaker FM.


  1. Zero to Book. Jeff Goins and Pamela Wilson share their thoughts on the world of nonfiction writing: A Theory of the Universe of Nonfiction Books (and the Art of Creative Theft)

  2. The Writer Files. Kelton Reid interviews New York Times bestselling author of The Nest, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney: How Bestselling Debut Novelist Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney Writes: Part One

  3. The Digital Entrepreneur. Brian Clark is going to start publishing articles on a site other than his own. Find out where: Brian Clark is Doing … What?

  4. Elsewhere. Brian Clark joins Travis Jenkins on The Entrepreneur's Radio Show to explore the factors that make Rainmaker Digital so successful: Brian Clark on The Entrepreneur's Radio Show

  5. Confessions of a Pink-haired Marketer. Sonia Simone is going to be featured in a new documentary. Find out the details and more: Up All Night to Get Lucky: Sonia's in a New Documentary!

  6. The Missing Link. Jabez LeBret and Mica Gadhia discuss how to find vendors on LinkedIn and the best ways for others to find your business: LinkedIn and Vendors: Everything You Need to Know

  7. The Showrunner. Jerod Morris and Jon Nastor dive into the thought processes behind what they share on their podcasts and what they filter out: Beware: Authenticity Is Not Transparency

  8. Youpreneur. Chris Guillebeau joins Chris Ducker to talk about his latest book and why he wrote it after hearing from so many of his rabid fans that they had “won the career lottery”: How to Discover if You Were 'Born For This,' with Chris Guillebeau

  9. Copyblogger FM. Sonia Simone chats with Linda Formichelli about her new book and how it can help all of us fit a lot more great stuff into our lives: Self-Publishing, Side Hustles, and Doing It All: A Conversation with Linda Formichelli

  10. Unemployable. Brian Clark welcomes John Unger to the show to discuss the power of the perpetual side hustle: The Economics of Artistic Integrity

And, one more thing …

If you want to get Rainmaker Rewind sent straight to your favorite podcast player, subscribe right here on Rainmaker FM.

The post Rainmaker Rewind: A Theory of the Universe of Nonfiction Books (and the Art of Creative Theft) appeared first on Copyblogger.

A Step-By-Step Process to Tell Compelling Stories and Improve Conversion Rates

story telling

I've noticed that there's something that scares most marketers.

We love our data.

Most marketers find it fun to review their traffic, engagement, and subscriber numbers. It allows them to test new things and measure their effect.

Data is logical.

But when it comes to content marketing, there's a component that doesn't always seem logical: storytelling.

I'm not talking about writing a fiction novel. I am talking about having the ability to write about even the most boring topics in a fun-to-read way.

It's something that many marketers, even good ones, struggle to do.

Do you also have trouble with this part of creating content?

I see you nodding.

I'll be honest: that's a problem. If you can't write persuasively, you'll struggle to get subscribers, traffic, etc.

The good news is that it's a skill that can be improved.

And if do it well, you can create content that sparks conversations across your niche. You'll find that dozens of blogs start mentioning and linking to your content with very little effort on your part.

Although this skill might seem like something abstract and impossible to improve upon, it can be translated into a proven process that you can follow. This makes developing it a lot easier.

In this post, I'm going to show you that process, step by step.

If you implement it, your content should produce more traffic, referrals, backlinks, and subscribers. 

Step 1: Identify and describe the problem (3 parts)

A story can be really interesting to you but completely uninteresting to someone else, depending on how it's told. That's because we care about different things and enjoy things in different ways.

When you're creating content, there are two places you can start:

  • The problem (that you intend to solve for your readers)

  • Your readers

Either can work, but starting with your readers is the most logical place to begin.

The more you understand your audience, the more you can tailor your content to them. Ideally, you want to be able to answer questions such as:

  • What are their passions?

  • What are their biggest problems?

  • Whom do they care about most?

  • What do they do for entertainment?