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The Power OF Teams-Learning From Failure

The power of teams are awesome! At the end of February, as part of Start Up Gap, we gathered a number of authors and entrepreneurs together for the purpose of writing a book together. Instead of just showing small business owners how to develop their business, we wanted to create a project that would help them build their audience and leverage their brand.

Over the course of the past six weeks, 11 entrepreneurs, authors, coaches, and internet marketers came together to create a book called Learning From Failure: 11 Surefire Ways To Turn Your Worst Nightmare Into Your Biggest Success.

While I will get back to how you can get the book at the end of this post, I want to spend a few minutes explain how having a team come together to create a book is so powerful.

How Do You Write A Book With 11 People

When the idea first came up of creating a group book, there were a number of questions. Is it paid? Do we all have to be writing this at one time? How do we collaborate across theweb, and across the United States. How will everything be continuous throughout the entire book? What are the legal ramifications?

learning from failure

The truth is that this was an experiment in how to complete a group book project. Part of this process was based off of Amazon Kindle’s 90 day period for promoting books. You get 5 days to promote your book, as long as Amazon gets a 90 day exclusive rights to the book. The same deal applied here. For 90 days, you give exclusive rights to the chapter you wrote over to Start Up Gap, where the book resides on Amazon.

Then at the end of those 90 days, you can do whatever you want with your own chapter. However, the book stays on Amazon.

Moreover, collaboration proved to be pretty easy with modern technology. Conference calls happened on Fuzebox and Google Hangouts, Microsoft Word chapters were emailed back and forth. Note: Thank you for the review features on Word!

Also, we coordinated the marketing through Google Docs. A few gigantic spreadsheets reside their with the information about who contacts whom. Then email and tweet templates were emailed out. Personally, used Hootsuite to schedule all my book posts.

While the majority of the writers were here in Chicago, there were some writers in Texas, Oklahoma, Boston, and New York. I guess this was not a West Coast project! :)

The compensation and the legal part I will leave out, as a courtesy to the other writers. Needless to say there were contracts that everyone signed.

My Failings With The Book

So often in business, success is merely a product of failure. The lessons we learn from those failures are the gift that spark our success.

With that in mind, let’s look at what we did wrong, so we can see the successes in this book. Furthermore, the next group book that we write in May will benefit from this analysis.

Top Three Lessons

First, we had a number of planning meetings. While, I know they would not be private, I would switch from Fuzebox to Google Hangouts next time. Personally, I think Fuzebox is a better system. However, a number of members had trouble logging into the system. Big issue!

I have been debating back and forth on this internally. Do we have a private planning meeting, or a public one that could spark interest in the book? Personally, with any book that has more than 10 writers, keeping it a secret until launch is not realistic. Might as well, leverage the campaign in advance.

Sort of make it free for those who might be interested in writing this with us, and the paid members get to make decisions and get the additional attention of those watching the meetings.

Second, I should have been more specific with the formatting of the book. In fact, for the next group book, I am creating the template ahead of time. Then I am requiring everyone to use Microsoft Word 2010 or later. Personally, I use Office 365 to stay up to date with Microsoft’s updates.

Third, my time frame was off. We all get ambitious sometimes with projects. Of course, we can put together a full book in 30 days. Why not? OK!

While, we finished the book in roughly 45 days, I did not think through the editing process fully. Because of this, I created a publishing schedule for the next book that will be closer to reality.

Successes

If you write a book about Learning From Failure, then you have to expect that in a blog post where I demonstrate the failings of this book we will then go over the successes.

First, we are closing in on 1000 downloads over the past 5 days. While not New York Times Best Seller level (yet), still something to be proud of accomplishing.

Second, we have consistently ranked high on Amazon in the Entrepreneurship and Business And Money Short Reads category. (See below)

amazon rank learning from failure

Third, we actually wrote a group book. Writing a book by yourself is challenging. Coordinating with 10 other people to write a book has a new level of challenges as you get everyone on the same page for creating the book.  Something I was not fully expecting when this project started, along with about 1000 questions I had not considered before other writers asked me. Henceforth, live and learn.

Note: My apologies to Judy Knoerle for using the word, actually, twice in a blog post.

To The Future

So, what’s next? Well, first I predict you want to download the book on Kindle before the clock strikes midnight tonight. To do so, click on the button at the bottom of the blog post.

Second, if you are interested in learning more about future book releases then make sure to get on our list for future free ebook releases. Go here!

Third, if you are more interested in growing your brand and benefiting from the power of teams, then contact me to learn more.

That is it! Now prepare for the future! Prepare to click on the big, slightly obnoxious download button! Prepare to read Learning From Failure!

Ultimate Download Now Button

Social Networking Minute: Power Scheduler App

This weeks Social Networking Minute focuses on the Power Scheduler App available in Google Play. The video below is from my Samsung Galaxy S3.

If you are like me, and need to remove distractions then removing your phone as a distraction at certain points in the day can be very helpful if you are potentially distracted by phone calls and emails.

To help you manage, use apps like the Power Scheduler app to stay focused.

Social Networking Minute: Power Scheduler App

What Your Childhood Says About Your Business Sense

Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil! is the story of two children, a daughter and son, of an oil millionaire. It is a study in character, and in that respect there is something else fascinating about it. Written in 1927, during a time when worker’s rights were barely beginning to gain steam, the book explores the second born son’s growing obsession with social justice. The first born is largely concerned with using her father’s money to build the business and maintain her status. Yet both retain aspirations to make it on their own.

This observation is not new, it’s actually well documented that you are more likely to start a company when you are the first born. It’s also totally in character for the second born to be more concerned with human rights and to pursue more unorthodox efforts. The question is what chances the second born children have of starting their own companies, and whether upbringing can affect that.

Birth Order

Wooden blocks on newborn babyBloomberg suggests that first-born business owners are likely to be more extroverted and confident than their younger siblings. First-borne are also more dominant in their actions and tend to enact plans that they follow through on. The down side is that they are also more susceptible to the fear of losing their status.

As for second-born children, their ideas tend to embrace a more creative side. Jobs that focus on relationship building, creative pursuits and public outreach tend to go to second born children. So while a first born may be more analytical, the second born is capable of forming lasting relationships better.

Fortunately, birth order doesn’t seem to affect your ability to raise money, that tends to fluctuate by person and location.

Parental Lessons

Financial lessons from your parents directly affect you as an entrepreneur, regardless of what order you were born. If your parents owned their own business, you are more likely to pursue your own career and work for yourself. Robert J Findlay, a leading business development professional, notes: “If you are trying to teach your child that success requires hard work, you should model this lesson in your own endeavors.”

Like father like son doesn’t stop there, females show an even higher likelihood of starting their own companies when they have mothers who work for themselves. Practice good money management with your children and teach them as they grow. Trying to bombard a preschooler with advanced retirement planning will largely confuse him; wait until he begins to work with more complicated numbers.

Prepare real life examples that children can change, like spreadsheet formulas where kids can alter the numbers or budget apps on an iPad that show color-coded spending habits.

Education Matters

Higher education affects your likelihood of founding a company, but nottext lead learn in the way you think it would. Entrepreneurs tend to make a choice about their future and it happens right around 25. At that point, with a bachelor’s degree, many opt to start their own company. Some of those degree holders will also work in the marketplace for a while, when they can find jobs, then return when they hit 30 to start their own company. That group joins the well-educated bunch who also tend to wait until their 30’s to start companies.

Science and engineering degrees were the most popular amongst start up founders in a Tech Crunch survey. Founders are also more likely to volunteer, take AP classes and skip grades.

If you’re not a first born, don’t fret. Parents who invest in their children, nurture strong study habits and good discipline raise hard working adults. Don’t be afraid of being creative and let someone else handle the rigid work, one of an entrepreneur’s great strengths is learning to utilize one’s assets.

Blog Post

The “Stumbled Upon” Business

Depending on how quick you are to pick on a retail cue, the chances of you stumbling upon a new business idea in the process of going about your main line of business can be potentially beneficial. A stumbled upon idea in business happens when you observe a viable pattern of consumer behavior related to a certain product or service you offer. That when taken out of its original context, keeps its viability intact despite being divorced from its original product equation.

Take a well-known restaurant offering grilled barbecued ribs, for example. You might find it so successful owing to its signature dish, in this case, the barbecued ribs. Patrons flock to the joint to enjoy its luscious goodness and the good times associated with dining in it. This is the main line of business. Whoever it is who came up with the great barbecued ribs recipe did a real good job of it. Word of mouth goes around fast and the joint fills to the rafters with diners day in and day out having their fill of the house’s specialty.

Consumer provocation

There is more, however, to the barbecued ribs recipe — the sauce. Not only does it enhance the taste of whatever grilled meat you lather it with, it is also another great concoction made up by the same guy who invented the barbecued rib recipe. Along the way of the barbecued rib’s success, people also found the sauce that goes with it equally good. In fact, it’s been made in such a way that the marinade that went into the making of the barbecued rib was meant to complement all the flavors of the spices that went into the making of the sauce’s recipe. Its creator thought it up that way believing it was the best way to come up with a barbecued rib configuration so inimitably good. So good that naturally, its maker often gets to be asked by patrons: “Where do you get this stuff and can we buy some?”

The light bulb moment

Business owners can sometimes encounter such unexpected business ideas “suggested” by customers in the course of their constant rapport. Such occurrences occasion light bulb moments for those running companies always on the lookout for potentially viable new product ideas. In the case of the barbecued rib sauce, its creator can consider turning one vital element of the barbecued rib configuration into a stand-alone product. It has, after all, proven itself to be an essential ingredient in the main line of business’ success as restaurant grilled food fare.

You can further take the viability quotient of this sauce into a much bigger equation outside of the restaurant fare configuration it currently sits in. What if this sauce is manufactured in larger quantities, bottled, packaged and marketed separately as a supermarket food item? Something to go with perhaps other food aside from its barbecued rib combo. If you can market it as something like ketchup or steak sauce, then probably it would be just as viable.

The big leap

Some stumbled upon business ideas can be turned into new business models, products or services by virtue of its being independently viable. The barbecued rib sauce starts out as a complementary feature to a restaurant’s signature dish. When mass-produced and sold as supermarket or grocery retail item, it increases its viability a thousand-fold. Imagine such product being packaged for mass consumption and with perhaps even a RingCentral toll free number. The big leap it makes from one food industry sector into another much bigger as a stand-alone commodity bearing its maker’s brand is a beneficial one. It definitely provides more leverage for its creator in terms of the possibility of expanding into other similar lines of products to follow in the path of the barbecued rib sauce.

Author’s Bio:

Henry Conrad is a 29-year-old game developer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aside from gaming and being a tech junky, he also dabbles in creative writing, which allows him to create great storylines and backgrounds for his characters. . Follow me on Twitter and join me in Google +

Online Revolution: How The Internet Has Changed The World

The power of the online revolution that has taken place over the past 13 years has been staggering. As we evaluate how to best use the internet for our business, let understand how the internet changed our world.

How the Internet Changed the World

How to Avoid Personal Information Harvesting Online

Data security has been a major problem in the whole world since the introduction of computers. The developed counties have come up with various mechanisms and measures to curb the people involved in cybercrimes, but they have not all succeeded. Online criminals have very little regard for how they get data and for how long it will take them to acquire that personal information to use it in various malicious and harmful activities known to them.

Hackers use several methods to get information including social media to grasp people’s sensitive information, hacking tools and software activities to access people’s and organization’s systems to get sensitive information. This problem has been common to those individuals and organizations who in one way or another transact through the internet. Various sites are created each and every day by imposters purporting to be international based companies selling their products and services online, but in real sense they only need access to one’s personal and very sensitive information to use for personal gain.

Measures and penalties may be put in place to curb these activities but no one will be charged or arraigned in court simply because they will never be implemented all over the whole world. Security for one’s personal information starts with the individual themselves. One is supposed to protect his/her information with a password which should be private and confidential.

There are various ways of how one can protect his/her information online, and make sure that we don’t expose our sensitive and personal information to other malicious individuals around the world. The guidelines below should therefore help you to protect your information online;

  • Check for trusted web certificates. Before giving out your sensitive information to any site, check whether a website is viable by trying to verify their list of trusted certificates of security and properly Secured Sockets Layer technology on the website. For any legitimate business selling online, there must be proof of trusted certificates. If none is found then you should be suspicious and skeptical in providing your private details.
  • Take care of your social profile. Most people will open their profiles to anyone. Anyone who leaves his/her social profiles open, are inviting possible threats from cyber criminals who upon getting your close information can easily invade your privacy and your information taken without your consent.
  • When you want to buy any product or service online, make sure that the contacts of the customer service of the given site is given and that one can chat online with them and ask a few questions to be given some assurance. If you find the contacts given are not genuine or no customer service then do not give out your personal details at all.
  • Regularly check firewall status. Before going to the internet, confirm your firewall from your machine as well as installed antivirus software such as Norton or MacAfee is on. Firewalls are important in preventing any malicious software that intends to access information without any consent.  There is a number of fake software which is meant to steal people’s sensitive and more personal information. Most people complain that browsing on an open firewall is slow. If you fall into this category it is wise of you to know that prevention of risks associated with lack of firewall are more serious than most people think about.

Author Bio: Article was provided by Kate Pirs, who is working in a team of mobile phone spy software developers. You can learn more about web security on our site!

 

 

 

Modernizing an Institution: Why Companies Should Enhance Their Employees’ Microsoft Office Skills

With all the hype riding Microsoft’s upcoming major Windows revision, Windows 8, it is easy to look past the software company’s greatest asset: MS Office. For more than twenty years, the office suite had been used across several businesses because of its numerous features and comfortable user interface. True, there have been lots of changes in the core functionality of MS Office throughout the years but Microsoft was able to introduce these changes gradually, in an even pace. This made the reluctant companies to move forward and update not just the suite itself but including the operating systems.

There are alternatives and competitors like OpenOffice, Google Docs and Apple’s iWork. However, Microsoft Office retains its throne as the king of office solutions with overwhelmingly large percentage of people tied within the software infrastructure. Even those people who are invested heavily in Apple’s ecosystem prefer to use Office for Mac than Apple’s native office solution suite.

MS Office has its own faults, and there are lots of them. But then again, the pros outweigh the cons in a great manner. The feature set is just too useful and robust. And it should not be forgotten, the Microsoft gene is embedded within our system. During the 90’s, almost everyone is using a Windows machine.

It’s difficult for most of them to learn a new interface and computing language. Microsoft is also spectacular when it comes to legacy support, so most of the businesses can retain most of its data and jump from one revision to another even if an entire generation is skipped. This makes the investments on workforce, hardware, and software worthwhile since the upgrading path is smoother than other solutions.

It can be argued that the free solutions like LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org can get the job done as well. However, the seamless integration within the suite, the operating systems, and networking if using Windows and MS Office is too good to give up. Support is also needed for business in times of troubles and hiccups, which the free solutions, understandably, can’t provide.

No matter how good the workers are, they are only as effective as how efficient they are with their tools. Companies need to pony up and start sending their employees to MS Office training camps. They could actually host their own MS Office seminars to enhance the Office skills of the workers. There are also books, e-books, and online tutorials that could help in improving Office skills. There are also web-based companies that offer online seminars, be it Word, Excel and even PowerPoint.

The upcoming Office 2013 will introduce new and modern ways of doing about the office suite. It would be the first Office iteration to vastly support touch and pen-based inputs. This is not surprising given the explosion of the tablet and other touchscreen-based devices. Of course, the Metro interface of the upcoming Windows 8 is conceived with touchscreen. There is also a movement from software companies to get the cloud computing moving forward.

But these evolutions on the technology side should never be feared upon. It’s a natural state, and also, the core functionalities remain the same. This is the most important part on why companies should invest in MS Office skills among its employees. There are incremental updates now and then but they are all worth it.

About the Authors:
Joyce Del Rosario and Jasper Dela Cruz are business bloggers. They blog for officekonsulenterne.dk. They focus on equipping business owners with business software knowledge. Aside from blogging, Jasper is also a toy enthusiast.

Halloween Fright!

Wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween! Do not give your social network a frightful day…or evening! Ha! Ha! Ha!

 

nosferatu appear

 

ghost

 

phantom skull

 

do not open

Sleep well! If you dare! He! He! He!