Welcome to Super Debut!
Kick off Memorial Day weekend with these inspiring nuggets of wisdom from real entrepreneurs.
Want to know what it takes to be successful and make a difference? Today, we're introducing a weekly roundup of quotes that addresses those issues and more. Only a real entrepreneur knows what it takes to succeed, so we've scoured the news, Twitter, and Facebook to bring you the best bits of wisdom. Tune in next week for a fresh batch of quotes, and be sure to share yours in the comments.
"Successful adults often worked when they were young. They mowed lawns, baby-sat, or had a lemonade stand. "Learning how to work hard, provide good customer service, overcome challenges, ask for the sale, and understand the value of a dollar are invaluable life lessons that kids simply can't get from a textbook."
"Today, if we're all putting our best foot forward professionally, no one cares whether or not that foot is clad in shiny leather wingtips."
"Don't plan forever and build the perfect machine. Listen to customers, all good comes from that."
"The problem with the 'follow your passion' chorus is that we can't all love the products we work with. "Someone has to do the jobs and sell the things that don't seem sexy, but make the world go round."
"Capitalism is about options, so shouldn't people have the option to start a social business or a profit maximizing business or both? "You have to use your creative power to make it happen. Nothing is beyond the capacity of human beings. "Every time I see a problem I think, 'How do I create a business to solve the problem?'"
Our culture has reached "peak BS," political operative Jon Lovett told grads. Here's how you can fight it.
The constant presence of half-truths and shameless spin in our lives might not sound like much of an issue, but according to political operative Jon Lovett, all that BS can have serious consequences.
“We are drowning in partisan rhetoric that is just true enough not to be a lie; in industry-sponsored research; in social media's imitation of human connection; in legalese and corporate double-speak," he told the graduating class of Pitzer College. "It infects every facet of public life, corrupting our discourse, wrecking our trust in major institutions, lowering our standards for the truth, making it harder to achieve anything.”
BS isn’t just a public curse but a private challenge as well, “changing even how we interact with one another,” he added.
It’s easy to point a finger at politicians, but let’s be honest--business produces an an outsized contribution to our supply of claptrap.
So what can you do to fight back? Lovett offers three bits of advice.
Admit your ignorance. Problems only arise when you think you know everything. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t be confident in your abilities, just be aware of their limits.
"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function," said Lovett. "That's what you have to do: you have to be confident in your potential, and aware of your inexperience.
There are moments when you'll have a different point of view because you're a fresh set of eyes because you don't care how it's been done before; because you're sharp and creative; because there is another way, a better way. But there will also be moments when you have a different point of view because you're wrong."
If you see something, say something. No one said fighting BS would be easy. Know what you don’t know, but when you’re pretty sure you’re right, don’t be deferential. Lovett calls this “the subway rule: ‘If you see something, say something.'"
Value Honesty. Our culture celebrates financial success, professional achievement, and in some quarters, family values. But how often do we celebrate honesty?
Take a pause now and then to commit yourself to the value of truth. That might sound unfashionable, but Lovett is confident it will pay off.
“Up until recently, I would have said that the only proper response to our culture of BS is cynicism; that it would just get worse and worse," he said during his speech. "But I don't believe that any more. I believe we may have reached peak b******t, and that increasingly those who push back against the noise and nonsense; those who refuse to accept the untruths of politics, and commerce, and entertainment, and government will be rewarded. We are at the beginning of something important.”
Do you agree that there's too much BS?
LinkedIn is bigger than ever as a business tool. Are you actually making the most of it? Try some of these little-known tricks and tactics.
LinkedIn is a powerful social network--not just for making connections, but for sharing content, recruiting talent, and keeping customers in the loop. We asked 11 successful founders from the Young Entrepreneur Council to divulge their favorite hacks to get more out of LinkedIn.
1. Join Key LinkedIn Groups
Join all the national groups that are related to your industry. Once you're a member, post your best content articles in the group discussions and you'll see a big spike in targeted traffic from your niche. Some of our best content has really taken off using this method--it really is a quick and easy LinkedIn hack. --Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings
2. Make Your Article "Trending in Your Network"
LinkedIn has a feature called "Trending in Your Network." This feature is reserved for articles that are being shared by multiple people in your network around the same time. If you have an article that features your company, ask your team to share it around the same time. Since many clients will be connected to multiple members of your team, this increases the likelihood that they see your article. --Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
3. Keep in Touch With 'Five Hundred Plus'
4. Use Rapportive
Rapportive is a free Gmail plugin that replaces the ads on the right side of your screen with details from the LinkedIn profile of the person emailing you--his or her picture, company, title and location. It's an invaluable tool to help you determine the appropriate response to his or her message. It also helps you find the LinkedIn profiles of people who are hard to find. --Emerson Spartz, Spartz
5. Make an Original Tagline
Want to stand out from the crowd? Don't have your tagline read "Position, Company Name." Rather, make it something like mine, which reads, "Matching you with the best fit for Merchant Services with no contracts and no shady business at Equitable Payments." It gets me laughs, as well as business! --Darrah Brustein, Finance Whiz Kids | Equitable Payments
6. Reconnect With Classmates
One of the best-kept secrets of LinkedIn is the Classmates tool. By visiting LinkedIn.com/classmates you can access your college alumni network and tap into those that you share an existing common bond. Sort, filter, and search your way through the database to find the professionals that can best help you using criteria like where they live, what industry they work in, and where they work. --Benjamin Leis, Sweat EquiTees
7. Use It as a Source of Warm Referrals
I am very active on LinkedIn. I use it to keep our partners and all of my connections in the loop on our activities via tweets and blog posts. It's an especially effective tool for creating a point of commonality with potential clients. When I am introduced to a new potential client, I immediately reference LinkedIn to see how we're connected and from what shared source I can get a warm referral. --David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services
8. Request Product Recommendations From Customers
We have two parts to our business, direct-to-consumer and custom products that we make for major organizations. LinkedIn allows you to highlight recommendations and reviews of your work product. Many prospective customers will Google "Modify," and our LinkedIn profile stands out. Having recommendations provides instant credibility. --Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
9. Use Job-Change Alerts
Use a resource like JobChangeAlerts.com to be notified when one of your LinkedIn contacts changes titles or positions. Having this in your inbox provides you with the opportunity to quickly reach out to that individual to congratulate her on the raise or move. These transition points are often when business decisions are made, so the timing couldn't be more ideal to reconvene with her. --Logan Lenz, Endagon
10. Export E-mail Addresses to Google+
If your LinkedIn network is truly compiled of people who know and trust you, you can export those e-mail addresses into an .xls format. Upload this document to your Gmail contacts, and you will quickly and easily be able to add these people on Google+. Both social networks are very important for different reasons, but overlapping the two creates better engagement and gives you two platforms to share your message. --Matt Wilson, Under30Media
11. Utilize Free Entry-Level and Intern Positions
I'm not sure people realize this, but you can post jobs for free on LinkedIn if they're designated as entry-level or internship positions and posted through their university platform. Jobs posted there collect just as many, if not more, eager and qualified applicants. --Carlo Cisco, FoodFan
What does your email inbox look like? Does it hold just a the latest incoming messages? Or do you use it as a storage place for hundreds or thousands of email messages? If the latter, how do you ever find the message you want? And how long does it take you? In fact which of…
Read the full article here: Your email inbox is not a filing cabinet
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