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Why Failure is Necessary in Order to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

February 3, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “Failure is success in progress.” As a quote, it sounds inspiring. But when you find yourself in the middle of failure, “inspired” is usually the last thing you feel. That’s because failure implies a flawed plan or an inherent weakness, which might make you question your abilities. And when setbacks are accompanied by the loss of hope, effort, money, and our most valued commodity, time, it’s even harder to keep perspective. So, it’s no surprise most of us go out of our way to avoid failure at all costs. 
But what I’ve embraced over the course of my career is that if you can get beyond the initial pain and take a long-term approach toward achieving your goals, you’ll begin to see failure not as a stumbling block but as a stepping stone on the path to success.  
Related: 6 Proven Strategies to Rebound From Failure
I learned some lessons the hard way, but that doesn’t mean you have to. In the spirit of a new year, I want to share some brief examples of my experience with professional failure, how I overcame them, and strategies that entrepreneurs can leverage to quickly recalibrate after the inevitable mistakes they will make by striking out on their own.
See your failures as learning opportunities
This first lesson is perhaps the most important because your perspective is critical. After the dust settles, train yourself to look at your defeat through an objective lens. By doing so you can understand where you went wrong and, hopefully, avoid that mistake in the future. 
One error I made early on was blurring the lines between employee and friend.
When I was 22, I took on my first management role at Procter & Gamble (P&G), where I was responsible for 50 employees working in a 12-acre distribution center. Chalk it up to being young and eager, but I mistakenly believed that by maintaining great relationships with colleagues, they’d automatically like me. By prioritizing the desire to be liked, however, I failed. I overlooked both professional and personal deficiencies of several workers I was tasked with managing, which led to a breakdown in effective communication – and productivity suffered.
Over my career, I’ve learned that people in leadership positions first and foremost need to lead. You are there to provide stability, direction, and vision. More than anything, your team depends on you to be good at your job, and people will respect you for your confidence and expertise.
Let failure drive you in a new direction
This second lesson might put you outside your comfort zone, but that can be a good thing. Don’t be afraid to pivot after failure – even if it means changing the trajectory of your career.
When I turned 30, I was working as the vice president of sales for a super successful billionaire in Silicon Valley. He’d purchased a company with the goal of scaling it. But when we got into the process of selling the software, it quickly became apparent that the existing business model was flawed. Rather than the coordinated effort to expand the consumer-facing sales group, what the company really needed was to hire significantly more people inside to generate leads.
Related: 5 Times Bill Gates Screwed Up
I knew I had to go back to the investors and tell them there was a critical defect in their business plan, but it took me far too long to summon the necessary courage to initiate that conversation. That failure taught me to never hesitate or back away from those difficult discussions. It also taught me that bad news early is good news.
While I ended up quitting because of this mistake, I still believed in myself and succeeded in securing a position at Oracle. The failure forced me into a new direction, but it ultimately led to one of my best career moves.
Use failure as a reminder to trust your instincts
The final lesson I’ll share with you is one of encouragement. A painful loss can serve as a reminder to believe in yourself, trust your instincts, and make sure your voice is heard. 
When I became CEO in my mid-40s, I wrongly assumed the level of skill and experience of other parties at the company I had just joined. That miscalculation resulted in a significant setback for our business. 
lemme While bidding on a billion-dollar asset, I was willing to pay a bit more in order to secure it, but I didn’t speak up and we were outbid. Because of this, we lost.
That misstep made me acutely aware of how important it is to be certain of yourself and remember that you hold a stake in your company’s decisions.
Yes, failure can feel devastating at the time it occurs. But don’t forget that failure helps you appreciate your wins that much more. It also builds character and resiliency, which can help you bounce back faster if and when future failures occur.  And while never pleasant, take heart that failure is often a byproduct of striving. Rather than let it stop you, allow it to fuel you, guiding you on your journey to success. 

Latest ADP Report: Small Businesses Add 51,000 Jobs in January

With -13,000 jobs in December, small businesses ended the year on a low note. But the rebound in January, with 51,000 jobs, is a step in the right direction according to the ADP National Employment Report. And it is good news as the pandemic continues to drag on.
According to Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, the impact of the pandemic seems to be affecting large companies now.
In the press release, Ahu says, “The labor market continues its slow recovery amid COVID-19 headwinds.” Adding, “Although job losses were previously concentrated among small and midsized businesses, we are now seeing signs of the prolonged impact of the pandemic on large companies as well.”

January 2021 ADP Small Business Report
Not surprisingly, the positive job gains are coming from the service-providing sector. This as more cities across the country start to open restaurants, bars, and other service-related businesses. Overall the service sector is responsible for a total of 57,000 jobs. However, the good-producing sector was responsible for a loss of 6,000 jobs, bringing the total down to 51,000.
The 51,000 jobs are split almost evenly between very small (1-19 employees) and other small (20-49 employees) businesses at 26,000 and 25,000 respectively.

Franchises Also Made a Recovery
Franchises didn’t end 2020 on a high note either, with -5,300 jobs, but January came in with 10,700 jobs. The biggest winner is the auto parts and dealers sector/industry capturing the lion’s share of the jobs at 8,600. Restaurants came next with 5,500 jobs and real estate at 200. Accommodations, business services, and food retailers all lost jobs.

National Employment Report Also on the Plus Side
From -123,000 to 174,000 jobs, the national numbers for January are also a reason for some optimism. Just as in December, midsized companies with 50-499 employees carried the load with 84,000 jobs in January. Small and large businesses brought in 51,000 and 39,000 jobs respectively.
The service sector led the way with 156,000 jobs. Education and health (54,000), professional and business (40,000), and leisure and hospitality (35,000) were the winners.
In the goods-producing sector, construction delivered 18,000 jobs and manufacturing added another 1,000 jobs.

Images: ADP

Amazon Introduces New Virginia-Based Offices

The helix-shaped building is inspired by nature; from DNA to the Milky Way.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

February 3, 2021 2 min read

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

After Jeff Bezos left control of the company in the hands of Andy Jassy, they also unveiled their plans to build their new offices as a futuristic building inspired by a double helix.
The 107-meter-high space is designed by the NBBJ architecture studio. According to The Washington Post , the study was inspired by nature for double helices, from the DNA strand to the Milky Way galaxy.
On social media, the design of the new building was compared to a Christmas tree, while others remembered the Tower of Babel. However, some less impressed thought it was like the poop emoji. But in general, it has been well accepted compared to the buildings that are commonly seen.
Image: NBBJ
According to the medium, the building will be more than just cubicles. The spiral-shaped structure will have trees and terraces along the side corridors, thus “evoking the feeling of walking in the mountains.”
But that’s not all, the company wants the building to blend in with the Virginia neighborhood, so it will offer a community center, amphitheater, dog park, and even new bike lanes.
“It is not just about work. But how you interact with your community ”, explained the architect Dale Alberda, director of the NBBJ studio.

What You Need to Understand Your Customer

February 3, 2021 1 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Eric Girouard is the founder and CEO of Brunt Workwear, a direct-to-consumer work boot retailer. In this clip from an episode of “The Startup Story” podcast, Girouard talks about the tactics he used to define his costumer personas.
Listen to the complete interview on this episode of “The Startup Story.”
Girouard recommends entrepreneurs use these four data sets to define their customer personas:
Anecdotal feedback
Qualitative research
Quantitative research
Social research
Related: How to Deal With Unforeseen Success

There Are 5 Major Components of an Entrepreneur. How Many Do You Have?

February 3, 2021 8 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Entrepreneurship is a topic that fascinates the brightest and wealthiest people. There is something magical about how a talented entrepreneur can change the world. But who are entrepreneurs? What makes them special? What is the definition of an entrepreneur? In this article, we will look at the five major elements of an entrepreneur.
The presented elements will serve as a checklist to determine whether you qualify as an entrepreneur. Remember that even if you pass the first hurdle and are considered an entrepreneur, you will still need to play your cards right to be in the elite group of “successful entrepreneurs.” 
Related: How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur During the Pandemic
So who is an entrepreneur? Let’s start with how I originally defined entrepreneur in my book The Necessity of Finance many years ago: “An entrepreneur is an individual who starts and manages his or her own business.” This definition captures an entrepreneur’s general essence, but time has allowed me to fine-tune the term. My slightly updated definition is the following: An entrepreneur is an individual who starts, manages, and owns a business or a nonprofit organization. Let’s break this down into five major parts, which will serve as a basic checklist for determining if you are an entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur is an individual
The first element of my definition of an entrepreneur requires that you are an individual. That is, you must be a living person. This is the easiest qualification to meet—anyone alive today (over seven billion people) is already one-fifth of the way to becoming an entrepreneur. The essence of an entrepreneur is personal. Groups cannot be considered entrepreneurs, only the individual members. Even though you may commonly hear the term “entrepreneurial business” or “entrepreneurial group,” it is the individuals within each group who are actually being referenced. An entrepreneur is not a football team, a chess club, or a giant corporation; it is simply a person.
Ok, you passed the first test. Let’s keep going to see if you still qualify!
An entrepreneur must start their own enterprise
The second element of my definition of an entrepreneur requires you to start your own business or nonprofit organization. The spiritual essence of an entrepreneur demands a creative presence; you must create a new product or service to sell to the world, whether it is a unique invention or your version of something else that already exists. Even if you started a business with generic products/services—for example, a seafood restaurant—it is your take on it that makes it unique. The combination of the many parts of your business (your location, your business culture, your menu, your customer service, etc.) is what gives your unique thumbprint. By starting a business, an entrepreneur participates in one of the hardest parts of creating a successful brand: building the foundation. That is, the product/service selection processes combined with the implementation of the startup plan are the crucial first steps to wealth building. If you start a company without really figuring out what you will sell and how you will sell it, it could be a recipe for a financial disaster.
Related: The True Meaning of Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur must manage their own enterprise
To be an entrepreneur, you must not only start your own business or nonprofit organization, but you must also manage it. There are many public companies where the owners pay managers to do the hard work for them. In this case, neither the owners (the stockholders) nor their executive managers (for example, the CEO and CFO) are entrepreneurs. One of the major things that make entrepreneurs special is their extraordinary ability to perform so many different tasks in a short period of time. This skillset can only be mastered from the experience of managing an enterprise simultaneously while being under the intense pressure found only as an owner. Thus, when the roles of a manager and an owner are separated, the evolutionary effects on the individual are completely different.  
It is important to understand that your job as a manager is to do whatever tasks are required to meet your goals (ethically, of course). A typical entrepreneur could do any, if not all, of the following diverse tasks in a 24-hour period: Answer calls, sweep the floor, take out the trash, teach a new employee, learn new computer software, weekly payroll, close the deal for a major account, attend executive-level meetings with new suppliers, make a company speech, and clean the floors again before closing the store for the night. Entrepreneurs must also do all of their required tasks while ensuring that bills are paid and profits are maximized.  
As you can see, becoming an entrepreneur for a manager is analogous to the major transformation that a caterpillar makes while becoming a butterfly. Through this extraneous multitasking process paired with the seemingly infinite pressure of extreme financial consequences, a manager can transform into a hardened leader. With so much to do in a short amount of time, this is definitely no job for the average employee.
Related: To Find True Success, Make an Empire, Not a Business 
An entrepreneur must own their own enterprise
Many definitions of the word “entrepreneur” often find a way to sneak the word “risk” into it.  Although entrepreneurship certainly comes with high risk, it is redundant to define if you include some variation of the word “ownership.” If you own your business or nonprofit organization, you already have assumed the highest risk levels. Ultimately, if the entity fails in any capacity, the owners will pay the highest price. This can usually result in huge monetary losses, starting with the organization’s initial investment.
An owner can also be personally responsible for unpaid debts from the enterprise. Further, lawsuits caused by negligence from an employee can also open up an owner’s personal wealth to attack. On the flip side, an owner of a business can also take all of the credit and the rewards if the company is successful.
In short, all roads of a business lead back to its owner, for better or worse. If you want to become an entrepreneur, you must be prepared to deal with all of the risks that inevitably comes with ownership. As Principle 94 from The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance book states: “The more risk you take, the more you can lose or make.”  
The enterprise must be a business or a nonprofit organization
The enterprise that you start, manage, and own must be a business or a nonprofit organization in order for you to be classified as an entrepreneur. Generally speaking, entrepreneurs are commonly associated with businesses, which is why I only added it to my original definition quoted previously. My updated definition of an entrepreneur includes nonprofit organizations because they also follow the same mechanics as a business; however, the key difference is where the wealth is funneled. Profits from a business are eventually directed back to its owners while profits from a nonprofit organization are directed to some other cause instead (for example, to help children with cancer). 
Conclusions
You don’t have to read Entrepreneur magazine to be an entrepreneur (although you probably should); however, you must meet all five of the criteria mentioned in this article. The previous five major elements of the definition of an entrepreneur can serve as a checklist for determining membership into one of the most important groups in our economic system. Without entrepreneurs, new products and services would never be invented and brought to the market for all consumers to purchase (assuming they have the money to buy it).
If you just found out that you are an entrepreneur based on the qualifications listed previously, please accept my congratulations. You should certainly feel special as it is an honor to be a part of this exceptional club. However, statistics show that most entrepreneurs fail, usually within the first few years. Consequently, qualifying as an entrepreneur alone is just the first of many long, painful steps to reach the elite category of “successful entrepreneurs.”
Some examples of people in the 20th and 21st century who have earned the right to be considered “successful entrepreneurs” include the following (in alphabetical order by first name): Barbara Corcoran, Bill Gates, Charles Merrill, Charles Schwab, Curtis “50 Cents” Jackson, Dave Ramsey, Daymond John, Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk, Henry Ford, Jack Canfield, Jeff Bezos, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Herjavec, Robert Kiyosaki, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, Steve Harrison, Tony Robbins, Walt Disney, and Warren Buffett.
If you want to be among the tiny percentage of elite entrepreneurs that broke through all barriers and fully maximized the potential of an enterprise, then you have to be prepared to commit to the study of finance, which is the science that teaches about business and entrepreneurship (as well as many other wealth-related subjects). The integration of financial knowledge with raw entrepreneurial experience might be the winning combination you need.

4 Ways an Entrepreneur Should Diversify Their Income

February 3, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The Office for National Statistics figures, released in December, state that “the number of payroll employees has fallen by 819,000” since February 2020. While these figures were front-loaded, the prime minister and expert commentators expect the overall COVID-19  situation to worsen before it gets better. It will be some time before the vaccination program has enough coverage to release the restrictions, and that is if the virus does not mutate to nullify the vaccines’ efficacy.
The above figures do not capture sole traders and SMEs’ picture without a payrolled workforce. In addition, with schools closed, for the time being, maintaining 9-5 working hours whilst at home proves problematic, particularly for parents expected to supervise their children’s learning.  Therefore, traditional working models are under increasing pressure, and we can expect no return to ‘normal’ even after widespread vaccination. What does this mean for future income streams? 
Financial ‘survival of the fittest’
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, … It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
This quote is often attributed to Charles Darwin. It is actually a paraphrase of Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ by Leon Megginson (Professor of Management and Marketing, Louisiana State). That the phrase comes from a management context is not surprising as it perfectly captures the entrepreneurial spirit with which we should face these uncertain times.
Many people day-dream, amidst the drudgery of a mundane 9-5 job, starting a business or applying a creative skill to a profitable side hustle. Perhaps people are watching your pension situation and realizing the state pension really is not sufficient, and you need another income stream. Most have fancied a passive income stream. Now is the time, especially if you are one of the 819,000 recently unemployed or if you want to financially benefit from your additional time due to lost leisure activities or released from your dead-time commute.
If your income streams are successfully adapted to change or sufficiently diversified to mitigate the risk of change, you will not only economically survive but potentially flourish in this pandemic.
It is frequently written that one of the defining characteristics of millionaires is that they have multiple income streams. This is largely true, of course. However, in the pop-culture presentation of this statement, the implication is that you too can be a millionaire so long as you have a second stream of income. Sorry, but it isn’t that simple. What it does mean is that the mindset of a millionaire is not ‘What do I need to do to get the money?’ but rather ‘How can I use money innovatively to work for me.’ Further, by diversifying one’s income streams, one can benefit from favorable tax arrangements rather than facing an ever-increasing Income Tax bill, and that financial risk is mitigated.
Income streams can be created in various ways. Many can work in conjunction with others, and some are more easily automated than others to provide a passive income stream. 
Diversification is key
As an investor and multiple business owner, I cannot push diversification enough. Make sure your eggs are not all in the same basket. This goes for investing in the stock market, becoming an entrepreneur, or even on the very basic scale selling products. Having your financial risk spread across multiple streams and increases your financial stability and longevity if one of those streams were to turn out a failure. Take your time and research into ETFs, Tracker Funds, Blue Chip Stocks & Property Crowd Funding projects. 
Related: Risky Business: Should You Diversify? 
Starting a side income
An online business can easily be developed during this period of time, and many ideas can be implemented with limited or no start-up costs or ongoing overheads. Services delivered online are the most obvious and COVID secure options. These side businesses can vary from dropshipping or start even smaller with freelance sites for small jobs like Fiverr.
Related: 50 Ideas for a Lucrative Side Hustle 
Utilize your network
Building business relations takes time and trust. Start with people who you know within your network. These individuals are more likely to give you a try because they know you personally. In this day and age, social media is booming. It’s now easier than ever to reach out to people on social media, especially Instagram. Spending time networking on social media is key to growing your brand recognition and gaining customers.Related: 6 Ways Networking Helps Entrepreneurs 
Manage Your Debt
Between having a 9-5 job to maintain and starting not only your side business but spending time on your branding and networking across social media, all whilst maintaining your available cash and outgoings, can somewhat be stressful at times. Lowering your debt is key to growing as an entrepreneur; the above points will definitely assist with this. However, for extra help and a somewhat hands-off approach, I love to use tools such as Moneybox, which is a clever app that allows you to round up those purchases you make on your card to the nearest whole number. These pennies can then be added to my first point of financial investments via the app in a simple, hands-off approach. Another great tool that can be used to save money to lower those debts would be utilizing the likes of Monzo Bank, which allows saving pots to put aside a certain amount of money each month, all whilst monitoring your outgoings and incoming payments in a smart manner. All automated, allowing me to focus all my attention on my core side businesses.
Entrepreneurs who have mastered the above methods to diversify their income are on the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur. 

Seize These Big Opportunities for Smaller Brands to Make More Money

February 3, 2021 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As part of the management team of several creative agencies throughout my career, I can remember having conversations about whether we could afford to take on a small, low-paying client that wanted us to help them establish and effectively amplify their brand. Unfortunately, I don’t ever remember the answer being “yes.” We always had to politely decline because we had overhead costs and margins that simply made it unprofitable.
Let’s face it, big agencies need big dollars to do what they do. Their business model requires significant infrastructure to service their clients: office space, equipment, department heads, agency management, human resources, technology, benefits, etc. — even the occasional foosball table. These agencies haven’t been able to unchain themselves from these anchors that act like a game of Hungry Hippos gobbling up profit.
What this means is that many of the most experienced and talented strategic, creative, and executional marketing minds are quarantined inside these agencies, completely inaccessible to smaller brands and start-ups that can’t pay the price. Small brands are given the Heisman to the kind of marketing and creative thinking that can help them compete.
Luckily, this is changing, and this playing field between the rich and powerful, and the small and hopeful, is beginning to level.
That’s because the infrastructure that used to be the traditional agency’s strength, is now its Achilles heel — possibly becoming its toe tag.
That’s because those fixed costs aren’t going away. Yet agency clients, in their own attempt to reduce costs, especially in these times of COVID, are cutting their fees. Which means the only recourse for agencies is to trim the one expendable asset they have: talent.
Agencies are being forced to compromise
Talent is an agency’s most important asset. Without it, there is no product. David Ogilvy famously said, “An agency’s assets go down the elevator every night.” So trimming talent means compromising the product. And a compromised agency product means you’re likely to see even fewer assets going back up the elevator the next morning.
So in an effort to hold on to their relevance as an important resource for brands, while still trying to maintain profit margins, many agencies have decided to eliminate the higher-priced and more experienced talent in favor of younger, less experienced ones. It’s cheaper, for sure, but this inexperience is also less precise, slower, and needs more supervision. And, unfortunately for the future of agencies, it’s a ding to overall product quality.
There are new opportunities for smaller brands
But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens. And while it’s not a door that’s opening for agencies, it’s a great big door that’s opening for brands, especially smaller ones.
It used to be that when experienced people left an agency they became freelancers and simply made a u-turn and looped back to working for agencies. Agencies would hire back these people, now as freelancers, thereby getting their talent and experience while avoiding a lot of the ongoing costs of full-time employees.
But over time, as more experienced people were forced out of the agency system — or simply left of their own accord because they were fed up with the lack of progress adapting to the new world — this began to change. Suddenly, some of the most experienced talent decided to bypass the agencies that abandoned them and offer their talent and expertise directly to clients, thereby creating a whole new world of opportunity. A world that offered the very same excellence that was previously quarantined inside of traditional agencies, without the exorbitant cost, labored processes, and antiquated ways of working that made these agencies so tough to work with.
So what happened? Freelancers began forming collectives to work together when and if necessary. These collectives are a network of the same expert specialists you used to find, almost exclusively, bundled together inside a traditional agency. Now they’re each an independent contractor. So much like ordering off the à la carte menu at a restaurant, these collectives allow businesses to only use, and pay for, what they need. Without all the infrastructure they don’t.
Another piece of the puzzle that makes this collective model work is technology. Technology doesn’t only make it possible to work effectively from anywhere, it puts more tools at the collective’s fingertips. What used to require an outside vendor, or massive internal infrastructure, now simply needs a laptop. And individuals inside of a collective are taking advantage of this to offer brands access to marketing tools in a whole new way. All of which saves massive amounts of time and money, and can add massive amounts of content for brands.
Related: Reorienting: From the Individual to the Collective
Same talent, new options for using it
As this different model for delivering marketing communications and creativity grows, there are basically two variations on the theme. The first is a business that assembles a large collective, allowing brands to pick and choose from within a group — freelance talent can apply to join the business’s collective, get vetted, and then become part of a pool of available individuals. These businesses create specialty silos that are filled with talent with a particular expertise. Clients can work with an individual within a silo, or a team made up of talent from different silos that the business puts together based on the needs of the project.
Options like Working Not Working, Upwork, Been There Done That, Satellite Office, and Topcoder are excellent examples of this growing model.
The other variation is an individual who has developed working relationships with other individuals with different expertise. Clients can hire the individual and have access to his/her collective of talent and experience if and when needed. This model is a bit more intimate because it’s a smaller collective that uses relationships that have already worked together and know working styles well. In this case, vetting has occurred through on-the-job experience.
Options like great·er·est (full transparency, great·er·est is my business), Underhead (led by industry greats, Gary Goldsmith and Robert Reiser), and The Core Collective (led by other industry greats, John Doyle and Justin Bastien), are excellent examples of this version of the model.
Regardless of the approach, this collective model is made up of various specialists who are available if needed — writers, art directors, graphic designers, strategists, technologists, researchers, producers, musicians, video and film makers, etc. It’s an à la carte model of marketing and communications where brands only use and pay for what they need, without any of the overhead and inefficiency.
Related: Use Subcontractors to Build Your Business
Will the growth of this collective model replace the traditional agency? No, and it shouldn’t. There’s still an important place for creative agencies as they are today — if you can afford them. But this new à la carte model needs to be an option. Businesses of all shapes and size — especially smaller brands that have always been priced out of access to this kind of talent and experience — need to know they exist. This new option needs to grow as an alternative so that smaller brands, and even start-ups, can take advantage of world-class talent and experience.
These are exciting times. Not just for the ability to open creativity up to a broader array of businesses, but these collectives see value in, and are taking on, more kinds of marketing and communications projects. Projects that are too small for agencies. They are free to apply their creativity to more things.
Finally, talent and experience are taking precedent over structure again. And the benefits are boundless.
Related: No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.

These 21 Projects Drove Mexico's Sustainable Development Goals in 2020

For 10 years, makesense has mobilized more than 200,000 citizens, entrepreneurs and organizations to carry out socio-environmental impact projects worldwide.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

February 3, 2021 4 min read

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

Despite a 2020 with many economic and health difficulties, makesense , an organization that designs social and environmental impact programs, had a positive impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. It did so through the development of 21 programs in Mexico on entrepreneurship, health, education, violence and gender equality, water care, promotion of clean energy and climate change.
Working together with three groups: citizens, entrepreneurs and organizations, makesense made possible the development of social impact projects:
1. Entrepreneurs: In this category, eight initiatives were promoted on the protection of nature and the environment, violence and gender perspective, economic inclusion and education, granting seed capital and accompaniment by experts in the acceleration of ventures. The projects were:
For the Agua x Nosotros project, in alliance with Rotoplas, water solutions were sought for people with difficulties in accessing water resources.

In alliance with the Cemex-Tec 2020 Award, social and environmental entrepreneurs who work to transform their communities were strengthened.

Through the Innovatón: Nosotrxs en Acción, in partnership with Google, sought to bridge the gender gap by rewarding the best projects .

During Hackaton 2020, it contributed to reducing the effects on the gender perspective in times of COVID-19.

makesense in alliance with   Kering Foundation Award strengthened Las Panas, an enterprise that fights against violence against women and girls.

In Ideathon Fincluye Citibanamex solutions were created to face the challenges of the new reality that our country faces due to COVID-19.

The G7 Boost Program contributed to the development of social and environmental enterprises to face the economic crisis in the sector.

In collaboration with Enseña por México, they sought to promote entrepreneurship projects in the education sector.

Photo: Courtesy makesense
2. Organizations: In this section, makesense supported six programs in partnership with companies to promote socio-environmental innovation within some of the most important corporations in Mexico:

Together with Veolia, socio-environmental impact initiatives were promoted that create solutions in the circular economy, social fabric, water and sanitation, among others. In addition, internal innovation was promoted with employees.

With Aeroméxico, the volunteer program with training in innovation methodology was strengthened.

In collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), it was possible to implement six projects of internal innovation, strategic communication, change management and design of tools for the bank in Mexico and Central America.

Through Tesobe, support was given to carrying out a pilot project to establish Open Banking standards in the regulation of banks in Mexico.

Through Nescafé and Dolce Gusto, inspiration sessions were held for the teams with the aim of introducing them to the Sustainable Development and Social Business Goals.

In conjunction with the Global Compact, a virtual closing session was held for the participants of the “Young Innovators for the SDGs” program.

3. Citizens: In this makesense space, through seven programs it helped all those citizens with creative and innovative ideas who, as agents of change, want to generate solutions to the country’s problems:
Through the Yo x los ODS project, 50 young people from the SDSN Youth network were trained in skills and innovation methodologies to comply with the 2030 Agenda.
With makesense TV a virtual community of 61 meetings was organized to share knowledge and inspiration in a free and massive way.
Through the annual sense_camp 2020 festival, with more than 500 attendees from different Latin American countries, sustainable initiatives were promoted.
Through the Active Citizens social leadership program, active citizens from around the world were received to invite them to meet impact projects in Mexico to be inspired and build a global community.
In alliance with EPI Energía, a virtual course of 6 sessions was implemented to sensitize young people about the importance of moving towards an inclusive energy sector.

Through the re_acción program, concrete actions were carried out to solve the problems caused by COVID-19, supporting 10 NGOs and mobilizing 30 groups of volunteers.

In community with Chevening Alumni, an event was organized to support scholarship applicants to resolve their doubts with people who had previously won the scholarship.

For 10 years, makesense has promoted 200,000 citizens mobilized in impact projects, 8,000 entrepreneurship initiatives accompanied in seven countries, and 10,000 collaborators of companies and organizations committed to transformation at a global level, through meetings and events digitally and face-to-face to solve specific problems in their communities.
Likewise, in Mexico City we have worked to promote and regenerate the urban social fabric for a sustainable metropolis, developing water projects (increasing levels of environmental health), mobility (preventing and reducing CO2 emissions), clean energy ( improving service and energy supply), urban design (promoting environmental conservation), sustainable food (promoting a diet that does not harm the environment), responsible consumption (offering ethical products and services) and social fabric (creating valuable human relationships) .

Apply Incremental Innovation to Cope With the Crisis

Large corporations partner with innovative startups that help them in the process of adapting to changes more efficiently and quickly.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

February 3, 2021 2 min read

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

Faced with the new reality, companies have been forced to implement innovation processes. However, the demand from certain sectors has led entrepreneurs to innovate or disrupt the usual business to implement novelties or significant improvements , resulting in an innovative project that will add value to the market in which it is implemented.
Innovation is a process to renew the market, from the improvement of a simple idea that can end up in a new product of the same range but with small variations, which allows satisfying other consumer needs.
98% of innovations are incremental , that is, they are changes or variations in an existing product to improve it or satisfy other customer needs. Entrepreneurship and innovation often go hand in hand. However, entrepreneurship does not always imply innovation, but when both characteristics are combined and a successful business plan is carried out, success is absolute.
Under the theme “How to adapt your company to the new reality with innovation” , Wortev , held its first Rise Day of 2021 underlining the need for companies to strengthen and improve the market in which they are, adapt to new demands to compete hand in hand with large companies, as its ease of change and adaptation will be much more agile than a corporate one.
Image: Courtesy Wortev
Rodolfo Ramírez, founder of the Redbox innovation agency, shared the methodology he has developed to innovate the Mexican and pointed out the process that companies must follow in order to achieve adaptation to the new demands of each market, and divided it into three points specific:
1.-Inspiration . To achieve it you have to open your brain to many references that accelerate the creative process and above all feed yourself with trends, solutions and things that can serve the problem you want to solve.
2.-Creativity. The bulk of the population believes that it is half creative, but that is just a fallacy because we are all tremendously creative, we just have to remove that label and work with our brain.
3.-Innovation. To get to this point you must understand that there are different types of innovation and incremental, which means taking something that already exists and reinventing it, is the most common and 98% of companies do it.
The Redbox manager assured that to be innovative it is necessary to be persistent and put all your heart into the ideas you implement.

7 Steps for Standing Out on LinkedIn

With usage soaring and only 0.5% of users sharing content, the grounds are fertile to build a sensational personal brand organically.
Free Book Preview: Unstoppable
Get a glimpse of how to overcome the mental and physical fatigue that is standing between you and your full potential.

February 3, 2021 9 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
LinkedIn is finally growing out of its Jurassic Park phase. 
From a deserted social media network inhabited by eager job seekers and lurking “do you have 15 minutes for a call” type of salespeople- the platform is finally shaping up. With new features like LinkedIn Stories, a sleeker interface (less dinosaur-ish), and an exponentially growing number of content creators waking up amid a sea of shiny corporate ads disguised as posts, 2021 will be packed with action. 
As a software sales executive (a shameless ex “lurker” myself), I’ve always been a heavy user. Then, last summer, looking for a creative outlet during what felt like the 10th lockdown, I decided to give content creation a try. Oh boy, little did I know the grounds were so fertile. By posting a few times per week, I’ve obtained over 15,000 engaged followers, over 1.5M of organic reach (0 ad spend), got listed on Scott Ingram’s (a LinkedIn influencer) Top 100 LinkedIn Sales Stars 2020, not to mention the hundreds of messages I received around job offerings and opportunities.
Madness. As Gary Vaynerchuk put it: “LinkedIn now is where Facebook was 5 years ago”. Attention, and loads of it, are organic right now, freely accessible to anyone ready to jump into what can seem like an intimidating room full of colleagues, managers, and high standards. Before I knew it, I started getting approached by CEOs, top executives, and young professionals alike for help with their personal branding. So here I am, sharing my proven, non-sugar-coated digital candy. 
Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage LinkedIn to Grow Their Business
Before we jump into the tips, consider the opportunity. Only 0.5% of users post on LinkedIn every week. Meaning, whoever is creating content is getting an unfair share of free attention and exposure to 2nd and 3rd tier connections (“friends of your friends”). LinkedIn is where loads of business happens, with the most senior, influential user base out there. The mindset though is its largest differentiator. While we surf on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook for leisure, we typically go on LinkedIn during work hours or when we’d like to learn about business opportunities and network. We’re receptive, a tad more patient and curious- which makes a huge difference for community builders. 
The challenging angle is that it’s a bit more political. On the one hand, you’d need to post bold content that may at times seem a bit controversial or have the “whoa, what did he just say” effect to actually build a community of eager followers. On the other hand- you probably wouldn’t want to be too flamboyant and cross lines that could backfire on your career. Finding the balance that works for your goals should be considered with care. 
Related: Learn How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile and Score Your Dream Job
So, if you’ve decided to embark on your personal branding journey, put on your best virtual attire, and follow my 7 tips for nailing your LinkedIn brand in 2021:
Leave vanilla flavor, consensus-fuelled, outwardly promotional content behind (people can smell it from far). You won’t cut through the noise by just having nice, trying-to-please-everyone content. Posts around celebrating team wins, photo collages with your dogs and babies, and insights that don’t actually spark debate- won’t get you very far. Your content needs to challenge the status quo, engage on an emotional human level, and be at times somewhat non-conventional and eyebrow lifting. There’s a price to pay for building a passionate community and that’s vulnerability. If you won’t expose some eccentricity, some unique perspective and take a stand courageously- don’t expect to become a top voice. Remember, if everyone kind of likes your content, and no one hates it- no one loves it either. Decide with yourself your balance between bold and “corporate pleasing.” I can promise you that on the other side of fear, there are very sweet fruits lying on the ground. 
Decide on who your target community is and, more crucially, who it is not. It’s very important you create your content for a particular niche audience – learn what really interests them, engages them, helps their journey. Only when you define your insiders and outsiders clearly, you’ll be able to produce content that really gets them hooked, and consequently, you’ll become a category leader. As Pedro Adao (The Challenges guru) put it “carve a niche so tight only you fit in”. 
Niche down onto three content pillars:
Insights – Crisp, updated professional tips and know-how that can help your target community. You don’t have to be a bigshot business guru to share valuable content. Think about your target followers. What bite-sized insights could help their daily lives? What could make them more awesome? Think practical, step by step, proven advice that has helped your own career.
Personal stories – You could post loads and loads of helpful tips, but if you don’t let your personality and spice shine through – you’ll likely not evoke much emotional bond. You need to connect to your community on a more intimate, personal basis. Include short personal development stories, important life lessons you’ve learned, things you wish you had known when you were younger, etc. In this kind of posts, use words that stress emotional states on an almost visceral level. Take your cape off occasionally, superman/superwoman.
Entertainment – Picture this: thousands of people are scrolling through LinkedIn, stressed from their workday and on their 4th cup of coffee. In between vanilla, obnoxiously promotional “download our free whitepaper” posts, they suddenly bump into an entertaining, funny, or playful post of yours, which puts a smile on their face. Boom. Unexpected entertainment drives the most engagement and boosts the follower-creator bond; it’s exactly the sort of content that propelled me forward the most with my own community.  

Include video – interestingly, reach tends to be smaller for video as it’s not a video-first platform. But (and there’s a big “but” here), the engagement rate and impact video has is unparalleled (3-4x higher engagement rate than text, based on my experience). Seeing another person come alive on a mostly text-based platform ought to make you stand out. Start with short 60 second videos, and once you build up a loyal community, you can go longer as you’ve earned more of their attention. Don’t overthink the quality of your videos. The equipment I use is my iPhone camera, a LED ring light, a small microphone, and a paper green screen (which is totally optional). Authentic, front camera clips work even better than polished productions (see TikTok’s top-performing videos as proof). Just make sure the light and sound are clear and add subtitles for those who watch videos on mute.  
Book your content creation slots on your calendar. Either pick a day in the week to plan your content fully for the next few days, or dedicate 30 minutes a few times per week for this purpose. The most difficult thing about content creation is to turn it into an actual habit- so when you are writing content, avoid email and phone distractions. There’s no magic or hack here- consistency and focus are key. Once results come pouring in your serotonin levels will motivate you to keep going. Until this happens, you’ll need to not just rely on motivation but follow an organized, disciplined framework to translate your goals into action. So, open up your calendars and make it official. 
Post 3-5 times per week. Don’t overthink the execution; frequency and speed matter a great deal, and this is exactly where almost all aspiring influencers fail miserably. They overanalyze, allowing the veil of perfectionism to slow them down until they quit. Give yourself time to experiment, tweak and diversify content formats- long text, short tips, videos, funny memes, interesting stats, inspirational quotes etc. Take a few months to find your sweet spot and keep going. 
Engage with others. The LinkedIn algorithm highly encourages discussions. Hence, a large portion of your profile traffic will come from engaging with other users’ posts, especially commenting (resharing has minimal reach, by the way). Avoid the “nice” or “that’s awesome” kind of comments. Instead, take a few seconds to write something thoughtful that would get people clicking on your profile. On days I engage more, I immediately see the positive effects with a lot more connection requests and visitors. Remember, content creation is not just your own posts; it’s also your thoughtful comments!

Related: The Underrated Power of LinkedIn Content Creation
This opportunity train won’t be parked here for long. LinkedIn will become saturated like all other popular social networks, and then we’ll have to pay to play. I’d encourage anyone reading this not to wait, not to over-strategize, and start somewhere. You’ll never feel fully ready- plant the seed, water it everyday and you’ll figure it out as you go along.


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