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Is Success Making You Lazy?

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When you’re starting out in business, you are hugely motivated. Everything matters. Every document is double-checked, every social media post is painstakingly planned. You ask for feedback, quiz your friends and agonise over proposals and approaches to make sure they’re exactly right.
Upon reaching a certain level, progress comes a little easier. However, without a conscious effort, success will make you lazy.

Is success making you lazy?
Unsplash Hanna Postova
When it comes to promoting themselves, established brands have it relatively easy. They’ve amassed a large, loyal customer-base through years of effort and brand-building work that snowballed. Some only have to soft launch a new product to sell out of stock. Their campaigns can’t fail and everything they touch turns to gold. Shareholders are happy. Executives are rich and doors are opened.
Upon reaching this level, it might be easy to coast. To spend less energy on writing great headlines, proofreading your emails, carefully crafting your approaches and honing your message. Who cares, right? Your subscribers will open those emails. They’ll probably buy, and if they don’t then someone else will.

Success creates success
I’ve seen, first-hand, how success in the world of marketing proliferates. My social media agency mainly represents small and medium-sized businesses. The team carefully designs and plans campaigns that will get our clients seen and remembered. However, when applying the same techniques to more established brands the results are dramatically enhanced. It would be easy to rest on these laurels when representing a big brand day-in-day-out.
But success can also render the most resourceful of people and companies lazy, causing them to regress. It’s a trap many have fallen into. Did you know that an intern first bought the idea of a Netflix-like movie streaming service to the Blockbuster chiefs? They didn’t listen; they just laughed. In 2000, Netflix itself approached Blockbuster with an offer to sell for $50 million. The CEO wasn’t interested in the offer because Netflix was a “small, niche business” and at the time was losing money. Now it’s a $6.44 billion revenue company. And Blockbuster is, well…

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Polaroid, Toys “R” Us, Tower Records, and Kodak are more big names that reached success and then got lazy. They missed the writing on the wall and acted too established in a fast-changing world. They were blindsided by smaller players who overtook them. More will follow.

Is success making you lazy?
Unsplash Thought Catalog
Don’t let it happen to you
Imagine how much further your brand might go if you put in just as much effort as you did at the start. If you conditioned yourself and your team to operate in startup mode so you seized every opportunity for growth and you worked on all of your weaknesses, however insignificant.
Tech giants including Facebook hire teams of ethical hackers to find flaws in their system. They want to expose their own imperfections before anyone else. Every product on sports brand SBD Apparel’s production line goes through twelve meticulous checks, to ensure they don’t miss a thread. BMW’s head of iX recently said, “We are trying to behave like a startup. We have small teams, we fail fast, learn and pivot as quickly as we can.”
In the book, The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, comprising lessons from copies of Jeff Bezos’ letters to his shareholders, the last principle is to “make every day, day one”. It’s solid advice. Run every day like you’re just starting out. Operate with the same enthusiasm and attention to keep your brand fresh and growing.
Set yourself high standards and keep reaching them. If you’re now consistently hitting the sales and exposure numbers that you once only dreamed of, up your game to make the growth exponential.
Take the notes, apply the feedback, scrutinize the reviews, talk to customers and keep your eyes and ears on the future. Pre-empt every market change and prepare yourself for every economic shock. Take calculated risks and keep taking them. Be known for what you did do rather than what you didn’t do. Always be improving your offering and looking for ways to surprise and delight your customers.
Times change, technology advances and that cash cow might not remain a cash cow without consistent and concerted efforts in the right direction. Momentum can take you so far, but manual pushes never go amiss. Don’t let success make you lazy.

How This Dutch Startup Is Going To Disrupt The Supermarket Landscape

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Pieter Pot
Pieter Pot
Through their packaged groceries, supermarkets are a significant source of waste—in particular of plastic. The average European consumer produces about 30kg of plastic per year, two-thirds of which stems from packaged food. This means that switching to waste free supermarkets could save up to 20kg of plastic per person per year.
Impossible? Not according to co-founders Jouri Schoemaker and Martijn Bijmolt of Rotterdam-based startup Pieter Pot—the first circular supermarket in the Netherlands. Driven by their own urge to reduce their climate impact and dissatisfied with existing solutions, they founded Pieter Pot in late 2019. As they observe, everyone wants less waste, but it is currently too difficult for the average consumer to realize this. Consumers don’t want to bring their own pots and packages and fill them in the supermarket, they want convenience. Enter Pieter Pot.
How It Works
The first thing to do is add yourself to the waiting list. Having launched in May 2020, Pieter Pot served a mere 3,000 customers at the end of 2020. Not because of a lack of demand—there are already 30,000 people on their waiting list. But getting the infrastructure ready and at scale simply takes time.

Once you made it to the top of the waiting list (I had to wait for about 7 months) the process is surprisingly simple. You order on their website, pick your delivery date and receive one or more burlap deposit bags filled with deposit glass pots delivered by Dutch post PostNL’s special food delivery service.

Pieter Pot’s pots and bags
Jeroen Kraaijenbrink

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Once your pots are empty, you collect them in the bags—dirty as explicitly requested by Pieter Pot to avoid water spilling—and hand them over to the deliverer with your next delivery. Once returned to Pieter Pot, the deposit for the pots and bags is added to your account which you can use as credit for your next order. That’s it, a smart and convenient circular system.
On the side of Pieter Pot, the system is simple too. They buy their products directly from suppliers in bulk thereby reducing the amount of waste throughout the entire supply chain. The pots are cleaned in an industrial dishwasher and filled at sheltered workshops, after which they are handed over for delivery.
How Waste Free And Sustainable Is It?
Pieter Pot’s approach is virtually waste free. There is no packaging at the consumer side other than the reusable pots and bags and also in the supply chain they use reusable bulk packaging wherever possible. The primary waste that is left are merely the printed paper labels on the pots. As they proudly claim, by working this way they have already saved 180,000 packaging units in their launching year 2020.
The cynic could ask whether all of this is really good for our planet. Sure, there is hardly any waste, but what about the carbon footprint of all the transport of these heavy glass pots? As Pieter Pot claims, even when you live in a rural area and your pots are delivered by a non-electric vehicle, the carbon footprint is still lower than if you would buy your groceries from your local supermarket.
So yes, it arguably is the most plastic free, waste free and sustainable alternative currently available. More details and data about this can be found in Pieter Pot’s sustainability report.
About The Company—And Its Name
Pieter Pot started in 2019 with €300,000 gathered via crowdfunding and a €100,000 subsidy. In November 2020, they received a further €2.7 million from three sustainability investment funds: Shift Invest, Future Food Fund and InnovationQuarter, enabling them to scale up.
They currently carry 250 different non-perishable and long-lasting products, such as rice, lentils, cookies, and ketchup. Their best sellers are peanut butter, olive oil, and oatmeal. Most of their products are white-label products, only carrying the name of their supplier—such as Odin and IDorganics for their organic products. But, the first A-level brands have found their way to Pieter Pot as well: Haribo sweets, Heinz tomato ketchup, and the (for the Dutch) indispensable chocolate sprinkles from De Ruyter, are also available in Pieter Pot pots.
Compared to the over 30,000 items carried by the average supermarket, 250 is obviously a very low number. However, by limiting choice to one or two types per category, their total variety in categories of products is richer than one might expect. Furthermore, their assortment is growing while scaling up.
Pricing is comparable to conventional supermarkets—and sometimes even lower. As Schoemaker and Bijmolt explain, this is possible by shortening the supply chain and by directly delivering to the consumer.
And then the name. The “Pot” in Pieter Pot is obvious. But what about the “Pieter?” Besides being a Dutch surname similar to ”Peter,” Pieter Pot implicitly refers to a well-known children’s animation series about a mailman that is running since the early 1980s. In the UK he is known as Postman Pat and in the Netherlands as Pieter Post. Remove the s and there you are.
The True Disruption: Growing Together
In and of itself, Pieter Pot is an innovative startup in the process of successfully launching a circular, waste free supermarket. They have a novel and original offering making it easy and convenient for consumers to buy groceries without producing waste. Furthermore, with their deposits and delivery system they have adopted a smart “soft lock-in” business model that stimulates existing customers to stay with them.
Looking ahead, their direct ambitions are to further grow their business, primarily by increasing the number of customers and the number of products they carry. Their target is to save on 1 million packaging units in 2021. Furthermore, they are also developing a new, even more sustainable lightweight pot that will replace the glass pots. Altogether, this will contribute to their further growth and success.
The true disruption, however, goes beyond the boundaries of their firm. Their two core values are “Transparency” and “Grow Together.” This means that they are very open about their approach and where they stand and that they team up with other sustainable brands such as Mud Jeans, Seepje, and Peerby and with impact initiatives such as the Plastic Soup Foundation.
But, most importantly, it reflects their focus on impact. They are quite aware that, to truly make a difference, it is conventional supermarkets that will need to make the shift towards a circular, waste free approach. To achieve this, they are targeting Albert Heijn and Picnic, the largest conventional and online-only supermarket chains in the Netherlands, to explore how they could also adopt Pieter Pot’s system. Once that happens, they are ready to truly disrupt the supermarket landscape.

The Afores that give the best returns according to your age

January 20, 2021 7 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

This story originally appeared on Alto Nivel
By Antonio Sandoval
Before the age-basic Retirement Fund Investment Companies (Siefores) give way to generational funds in the Retirement Savings System (SAR), it’s worth taking a look to see where we stand in Yield matters all of us who have a retirement savings account in an Afore. As well as knowing which are the best and worst Afores in the same indicator, that of net performance.
As a first observation, we can point out that in general the rates of return of the Afores have behaved in accordance with the trend of the reference rate, that is, they are experiencing a decreasing trajectory . This is not strange since, as we know, the resources of Mexican savers are invested every day in the markets, despite being very long-term, therefore, they are to some extent a reflection of the operating conditions of the same market.
It is also important to note, as a second observation, that in reality the returns are very varied, there are from very low, to some that are attractive according to current market conditions.

Image: Depositphotos.com
Before going to the list, let’s remember that the Siefores are divided into five and have different investment rules. Each saver is in a Siefore according to their age:
Siefore Basic 4: 36 years and under
Siefore Basic 3: between 37 and 45 years
Siefore Basic 2: between 46 and 59 years old
Siefore Basic 1: 60 years and older
Siefore Basic 0: Workers who are close to making total withdrawals due to pension or negative pension.
These are the best returns and the Afores that pay them
Afore Profuturo is the institution that dominates the market returns by far, it has been doing so for some years. It currently pays the best returns in four of the five basic funds, although in practically all of them its competitors have come much closer to it than in other years when the Afore reported a good distance between its returns and those of the other administrators.
For example, in the basic Siefore 4 , for workers who are maximum 36 years old, Profuturo has a yield of 7.53 percent, followed by SURA with 6.77 and Coppel with 6.18 percent ; At other times, the Afore that led this segment reached almost 200 basis points of difference with respect to its most immediate pursuer.
We must take seriously the possibility that the next economic crisis could lead to a full-scale military confrontation.
In the basic Siefore 3, for workers who are between 37 and 45 years old, Profuturo is also the leader with a rate of 6.74 percent, but very close is SURA with 6.16 and Coppel with 5.89 percent . In the case of the Basic Siefore 2, we must point out that this is the one with the lowest performance in the market, the one that provides the least benefits to the workers who are located in it and who are between 46 and 59 years old. In this case the most profitable Afore is also Profuturo, with a yield of 6.05 percent , followed by Coppel with 5.58 percent and Inbursa with 5.28 percent.
Finally, in the case of the basic Siefore 1, for workers aged 60 and over, the Afore that leads the returns is Inbursa with 6.90 percent , followed by Profuturo with 5.89 and PensionISSSTE with 5.76 percent.
The worst Afores
Invercap and Principal are the Afores that top the list of those that pay the lowest returns to their affiliates. In the basic Siefore 4, Invercap pays 3.70 percent , below Principal, which grants 5.02 percent and XXI Banorte with 5.24 percent . In the basic Siefore 3 again Invercap is the lowest with 3.58 percent, followed by Principal with 4.80 percent and Banorte with 4.96 percent; In the case of the basic Siefore 2, Invercap is at the bottom with a yield rate of 3.27 percent , above it is located PensionISSSTE with 4.33 percent and XXI Banorte with 4.41 percent . Principal is the Afore that pays the lowest rate of return in the basic Siefore 1, with 4.50 percent; Above is Invercap with 4.83 and XXI Banorte with 4.98 percent, Basic Siefore 0, for those who are on the verge of retirement, reflects that Azteca is the administrator with the lowest rate pays with 7.12 percent, followed by Invercap with 7.15 and Principal with 7.19 percent.

Image: Depositphotos.com
The case of the basic Siefore 0, high yields, but …
This basic Siefore is sui generis, it is a somewhat strange experiment that the regulatory agent did a few years ago and that, flat out, does not make much sense because in reality it only generates costs or at least distracts the Afores.
It is assumed that this basic Siefore includes people who are in a transition period close to making total withdrawals due to pension or negative pension , as well as for workers who are listed on the ISSSTE and have a redeemed bonus, that is, They are also close to withdrawing their resources.
If you look at the rates of return, they are actually very attractive because the Afores that pay the most have a profit very close to that of the reference rate of the Mexican central bank; even those that pay the least have a very attractive rate of over 7 percent.
For example, in this basic Siefore the Afore with the highest rate is again Profuturo with 7.40 percent ; if we consider that Banxico’s reference rate is 7.75 percent, we are really talking about a very attractive rate for investments in the SAR; Profuturo is followed by the Afore PensionISSSTE with 7.36 percent and Citibanamex with 7.31 percent.

Image: Depositphotos.com
The bad news is that they are investments with a very short term horizon , weeks or months, not even a year; the workers who are located there withdraw their money very soon, they are only passing through, their resources are in transition. It is true that workers should aspire to the best returns, but it seems a bad joke that they are paid just when they are already leaving and their resources are in this type of Afores for such a limited time.
Soon the Siefores will disappear, in fact, they will go along with this 2019 to make way for a generational fund scheme approved in the middle of this year. Unless there is a major surprise, little will move the performance photography of the Siefores, this is more or less how they will receive the generational funds whose supposed task and objective is to improve what was done before.

Leading By Example Into The New Year

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For as much as we may wish to believe in the power of our words, it’s what we do that most often compels others to follow suit. Words are easy; anyone can set forth directives, particularly if they have no intention to follow their own rules. Living and working by those measures is perhaps harder, but also the only way you can get your team to buy into your leadership. After all, who would want to follow the lead of someone they consider to be hypocritical, or that thinks themselves above the rules?
Having a strong team requires solid leadership, and that leadership is ultimately the willingness of others to place their faith and trust in you. Once trust is secured, it’s incumbent upon you to repay that faith in how you conduct yourself as a leader, not only making the right decisions for your company but modeling the ideal traits. A business may be an ultimately economic enterprise, but character counts and a lack of character will ultimately show through. 

Businesswoman with male and female colleagues in board meeting at workplace seen through doorway
getty
Although much has been written about what types of people should not be leaders, there’s no set template for who can successfully lead. Yet there are traits that good leaders tend to share, and poor leaders tend to lack; it’s those qualities we should seek to burnish in ourselves.

Honesty. For me this is the absolute cornerstone. Your leadership isn’t worth much if those you’re meant to lead can’t trust your word, or don’t believe that you’ll follow through. It’s one thing to have circumstances change or to fall short of your intended goals, but it’s something else entirely if you never meant to do what you promised, or if you were less than truthful about underlying facts or events. Broken trust is near impossible to restore, and repeatedly breaking your word, ultimately cannot be fixed. As difficult as the truth may be at times, you’ll be all the better for being someone your team can rely on for honesty. 
Respect for others. Who we are is ultimately reflected in how we treat others as much as anything else, particularly those we may hold power over. Some people might relish power a little too much, degrading and belittling others as a way to exercise their insecurities or pathology. It seems like it should go without saying, but I will spell this out: just because you have the power to treat others poorly doesn’t mean that you should. No one wants to be at a company where they aren’t respected, and lording your power over others is a sure way to lose a team in short order. Nothing is more important than treating others as we wish to be treated: with respect, dignity and kindness. 

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Thoughtfulness. People ultimately need to believe in the direction they’re being led, and nothing will undermine that belief faster than a series of poor, ill-considered decisions seemingly made without input or reasoning. Not every decision you make as a leader is going to be perfect, or even necessarily right. However, we can certainly strive to make the best possible decision given the information we have on hand and using the smart people we’ve hopefully included on our team. If you’re seemingly “shooting from the hip” based on little more than gut instinct, it’s going to be hard for people to trust your decisions, particularly if they go spectacularly wrong. That said, ignoring gut feelings has led me and my business astray in the past. Best to evaluate and give thought to your decisions, while seeking input from others.
Determination. The work you’re doing is hard, and there will undoubtedly be periods that prove even more difficult on all fronts. What is required in those times is the fortitude to continue with the work even when things aren’t going well. Your goal is to demonstrate to your team that you won’t quit on a problem that seems too tough and that they should remain similarly focused. As leaders, we cannot sidestep or avoid the hardest challenges of our business. It follows that we need a team suited to the hard, and often unpleasant work, of overcoming those challenges rather than being beat by them. 
Leadership can be hard work, and it demands the best of us. It may be available to anyone who desires to hold some level of power, but that desire in and of itself doesn’t make one worthy of a leadership position. With power comes responsibility and those who fail to respect that power, and dismiss their responsibilities to the company and their employees, demonstrate a lack of fitness for the role. We should all seek to be better each and every day and continue to evolve as a humble, kind leader. #onwards.