• Nicole Kelner is one of those people who can make you feel exhausted just by listening to them talk about their day. An energetic advertising major at Penn State University, Kelner, 20, is not only an honors student with a 4.0 GPA, she’s also the president of the Penn State Entrepreneurship Club, editor of the university’s largest co-ed service organization, and is the owner of her own start-up company, Nicole Kelner Designs, a maker of fashion accessories for mobile tech.

    Oh, and Kelner is the entire manufacturing staff for the SmartPurse,™ a wallet/handbag she designed that does double-duty as a waterproof cellphone carrier and was featured in the April edition of Vogue UK magazine. To launch her business, Kelner stitched together 400 SmartPurses in her dorm room in her spare time.

    It’s this indefatigable enthusiasm that helped Kelner win the EmpowerWomen mentorship contest sponsored by global e-commerce website Alibaba.com. Earlier this year, Alibaba.com organizers invited female

    Read More »from At 20, a Student Entrepreneur Already Has a Million-dollar Business Idea
  • Ideas

    Do you have a million ideas for your business?

    If you’re anything like me, you have new ideas bubbling up all the time. A lot of entrepreneurs are like this, always trying to think one step ahead. Idea people see opportunity everywhere.

    Having a million innovative ideas is a great. One good idea leads to another -- and who knows, your next idea could change the world. However, when a brainstorm hits, it can be tricky to manage all those thoughts so you can take them to the next level and execute them. Finding the right methods to tame your ideas and make them work for you often takes a lot of trial and error.

    But follow these six tips, and you'll take charge of your ideas in no time:

    1. Need help tracking your ideas? There’s an app for that.

    Productivity apps like “Things” and “Wunderlist” make it easy for you to record your ideas on the go. You can move your tasks around, sort ideas into different projects, create lists, add notes, due dates, and more. My favorite places to organize ideas

    Read More »from Take Charge of Your Ideas in Six Simple Steps
  • Action is the most important part


    Is your idea worth pursuing?


    What is the best marketing tool?


    One Horse-Sized Duck


    Your minimum viable product should prioritize user experience


    What is the Future of Work?

    Read More »from Podio Co-Founder Kaspar Hulthin. Highlights from Live Chat, Action, Marketing, Ideas and the Future of Work
  • Success

    Before beginning my own entrepreneurial journey I became obsessed with studying the business world’s high achievers. Why? Because I was convinced there was some ‘trick’ or hidden secrets to their success that without fully understanding I would fail at business. After reading a lot of egotistical books I realized I my theory was both correct and, frankly, also totally wrong!

    From reading & studying the behaviors of many hyper successful people I began to notice a trend…most of what they had done, were doing and continue to do was just plain old good common sense. No tricks involved! Nonetheless, I’m not knocking their abilities or successes because following good common sense when you are heavily emotionally attached to your business (your baby) is extremely hard! To stay impartial and objective about your business is nearly impossible but those at the top manage for the most part to do so. This being said, they also know when to fight for their dream, ignore others and pursue their

    Read More »from Seven habits of a successful start-up
  • At a startup – and arguably at a large company too – there is nothing more valuable than happy customers. They become evangelists of your brand and an extension of your marketing team, referring friends and family. More important is the significant negative impact of a dissatisfied person. We have all heard the adage that an angry customer will tell 20 of their friends. Keeping people smiling is critical to your success.


    We believe that a large percentage of people are jaded from poor customer service experiences and have actually come to expect bad service. At Modify, one recent customer emailed, “This watch is a piece of junk! It does not turn on!” We spoke with the customer, and found out the watch was perfect: she did not push in the “dial,” which connects the battery. Similarly, at Magoosh, a customer recently emailed saying, “I just paid for your product but when I log in I don’t have access. I’m going to report you to the Better Business Bureau! Get back to me ASAP!!!” It turns

    Read More »from How to Win Over a Disappointed Customer
  • Your Boss Is Less Stressed Than You

    In Control

    So who is better off at work, you or your boss? A Harvard study suggests that it’s your boss because your boss is less stressed. And why is your boss less stressed? It turns out that it is because your boss has control.

    The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at indicators of stress, including self-reported anxiety and saliva levels of the hormone cortisol and compared them between groups of leaders and non-leaders. Results showed that leaders had statistically significant lower levels of cortisol and lower anxiety than nonleaders. The study was repeated on a second group with similar results.

    The researchers then dug into what led to this lower level of stress in leaders and concluded that a sense of control, specifically to do with being in authority, was the main contributing factor.

    Examining those results in greater detail, researchers found that two measures of leadership — the total number of subordinates and authority over subordinates —were

    Read More »from Your Boss Is Less Stressed Than You
  • Communicate

    Being able to communicate with confidence is a game changer. It’s the difference between getting people to believe in you, or causing people to forget about you. If your customers believe you, they’ll buy your product. If venture capitalists are inspired by your passion, they’ll invest in your company. If your staff trusts your vision, you don’t just have a team -- you've sparked a movement.

    As an executive coach and business correspondent, I’ve worked with and interviewed scores of top entrepreneurs. Though they excel at building businesses, one thing many struggle with is basic interpersonal communication skills. In fact, many can be painfully awkward in public.

    Is this you? Do you have a minor case of social anxiety? Are you more comfortable online rather than off? Is a good conversation for you a gchat?

    If so, take a deep breath. No, really, take a deep breath: I have good news.

    Being less awkward is easier than you might think. When you build your confidence, you can become a better

    Read More »from 5 Ways to Be Less Awkward and Communicate Like A Pro
  • My grandmother was a good cook. And though I loved her food,especially her fried chicken and lemon meringue pie, the real reason I ate Grammy’s cooking was because she made it for me. She cooked with love. Selling a product or service is like cooking: people will buy from you because you are making the offer—as long as you sell with love.

    I learned about selling with love when I was a freshman in college. I needed a summer job, and so looked through the newspaper ads with my dad. One of the job opportunities was for an outgoing go-getter. “That’s me,” I said. My dad looked at the position listed, which was for newspaper subscription sales: “A 100 percent commission sales job? That’s the last job you want to take.” Of course, I took it anyway and sold my heart out.

    Because I’m dyslexic, I’d never even read the newspaper. But because my dad read it every single day, I instinctively realized that it had a lot of value. So I sold that value. I stood in grocery stores and suggested that

    Read More »from Sell Every Product With Love
  • Older workers are more stable, study finds

    Who would you expect to be the more productive and reliable contributor to your workforce: a 25-year-old or a 70-year-old? New research indicates that retirement-age workers deliver more consistent work—and are less likely to make costly mistakes—than their youthful counterparts.

    Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin found that the cognitive performance of older adults (age 65-80) is far more steady day-to-day and within single days than that of younger adults (age 20-31). The findings are published in the current issue of Psychological Science, a publication of the Association for Psychological Science, in a paper titled "Keeping It Steady: Older Adults Perform More Consistently on Cognitive Tasks Than Younger Adults."

    The psychologists put more than 200 younger and older adults through a series of tasks that tested perceptual speed, episodic memory, and working memory. They repeated the testing over 100 days to assess the participants’ learning

    Read More »from Older workers are more stable, study finds
  • Is your startup culture award-worthy ?

    Think your startup company is a great place to work? If you’ve created a business culture that demonstrates excellence in talent retention, forward-thinking leadership, innovation, community outreach, workplace wellness, space planning, or design, here’s an opportunity to be recognized for that achievement. As long as you can find someone outside of your company who agrees strongly enough to nominate you, that is.

    The office furniture and design company turnstone has teamed up with Wharton School management professor Peter Cappelli to host a Best Young Companies to Work For contest. Nominations are being accepted through August 23 for businesses no older than 10 years and with fewer than 100 employees. Companies cannot nominate themselves.

    Cappelli, turnstone, and judges from the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are looking for workplaces that consistently “show that they’ve connected the dots between positive office culture and success

    Read More »from Is your startup culture award-worthy ?

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