Showing: 1 - 10 of 69 Results

Launch These Businesses for Little to No Money

February 5, 2019 15+ min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Today, many people today are looking to leave the daily grind for something that feeds their passion. People do not want to retire at the age of 60 (or older) to look back on life and feel they have wasted it.
Related: Need a Business Idea? Here are 55
Luckily, it is now increasingly easy to start a business from scratch without spending a fortune. Below, I’ve highlighted 75 varied business ideas you can start cheaply from the comfort of your own home. Some of the business ideas listed require nothing more than an internet connection, while others demand a level of licensing or a specific set of vocational skills…the choice is yours!
1. Making Chatbots 
I am quoted on as, “ChatBot expert Murray Newlands commented that, ‘Where 10 years ago every company needed a website and five years ago every company needed an app, now every company needs to embrace messaging with AI and chatbots.'” That brings opportunity and jobs. You can learn to make them for free without coding for companies.
Chatbots are in, and it has reached the point where every business needs one. Chatbots have become a huge opportunity for companies to engage with their customers, gather data, and improve their marketing and customer care efforts. You can start your own chatbot creation business easily and quickly without needing to code. I created the free to use tool, but there are lots of others out there. All you need to do is:
Read about bots and their functions
Create an account 
Learn about the company who needs a chatbot
Create their bot through 
Launch it through Facebook Messenger
No coding or long courses needed

The platform is great, as it:
Works with Facebook Messenger and comments
Can push promotions to customers on demand
Recognizes variations on trigger words
Can process orders from Facebook
Integrates with all main payment processing platforms
2. Bookkeeping Services
Are you great with numbers and want to work from the comfort of home? To become a freelance bookkeeper, you do not need to be a Certified Public Accountant, but you do need to be good with numbers. There are lots of free to use online invoicing tools such as and online payments tools like Some services you could offer include:
Creating balance sheets
Providing income statements
Creating various monthly, quarterly, or annual financial reports
Related: Looking for a New Payment Company? You’re ‘Due’ for Some Good News.
3. Personal or Virtual Assistant
Although personal and virtual assistant jobs do not sound glamorous, they do pay well. If you have already held this job in an office, you will find the digital version allows for a lot more freedom. Use services like to find clients. You can choose:
Your clients
Your hours
Your hourly, daily, or monthly pay rate
4. Marketing Services
Marketing does involve a certain level of background knowledge. That said, if you are not experienced, investing in an online course is not only cheap but will equip you with the adequate tools to start a solo digital marketing agency you could expand in the future. There are lots of new marketing fields opening up such as influencer marketing.
Companies are always looking for freelancers able to provide marketing copy that is SEO-friendly and can transform website visitors into leads and, eventually, customers. In addition to offering optimized copy, you could offer to upload the content to their websites and improve their SEO further with:
Meta descriptions
The right titles
The correct keyword density
Tags and categories
Relevant images with SEO captions and alt tags
5. Social Media Consultant
Who doesn’t love Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Fancy yourself to be a bit of whiz, but don’t have any formal training? Twitter and Google, among other platforms, offer complete professional courses with recognized certifications that require little to no money. Social media is also a business that has unlimited potential with a client base that can span across the world. This trend is unlikely to die soon, if ever, and new platforms are being released every year, making the possibilities for expansion limitless. You can use social media management tools to make your job easy.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is extremely easy to get into and involves you earning a commission by promoting other companies’ products and services. Basically, you choose a product you like, promote it, and make a profit on each sale that stems from your marketing efforts. An affiliate marketing business is especially easy to start if:
You have a blog or website of your own
You can prove your success through visitor statistics
You have already successfully undertaken affiliate marketing and can show this to your potential clients
Related: The Affiliate Marketing Model: A Blueprint for Success in the Gig Economy
7. Tester or Reviewer
Individuals or startups often look for people to review their products to encourage others to buy them. You can either get started with a profile on freelancing websites or approach companies directly, offering them a review in exchange for a monetary reward by becoming an influencer. Even better, if you have your own website or blog, you could write entire posts about their products, thus allowing you to charge more money in the long run and build a portfolio with tangible results to show future clients.
8. Secretarial Services
Similar to virtual assisting, remote secretarial services require little to no experience. All you need is:
Strong organizational skills
Good communication skills
Good time management
A high level of autonomy

Your day-to-day tasks as a freelancing secretary will typically include:
Booking meetings
Organizing calendars
Replying to emails
Putting together presentations
Answering phone calls
9. Online Dating Consultant
Have you got a way with words? Or have you found your Mr. or Mrs. Right and want to share how you got there? You can become someone’s wingman or woman and help them find love by becoming an online dating consultant. This type of consulting comes with a large level of responsibility, as you will be guiding someone’s love life. Daily tasks include:
Acting as an account manager on dating sites
Writing profiles
Offering telephone updates on their matchmaking status
10. Ebay Assistant or Seller
An Ebay assistant or seller is similar to being a marketing affiliate. The key difference is that instead of marketing the product, you are selling it directly to the customer. When selling for others on Ebay or any other platform, you will sell the product and keep a commission as compensation.
Unfortunately, this type of job comes with risks. Commonly, scam artists attract Ebay sellers and use fake shipping papers to convince them to send payments. Unfortunately, even if you are scammed, you will be held responsible for your customers not receiving their items. Always remember to:
Get to know the distributor
Keep all payments in your e-wallet until the customer confirms having received the parcel
Report any suspicious activity
Do not share any of your banking details
11. Application Developer
New applications are launched on a daily basis and if you believe you have the skills to create your own and a unique enough idea, you should do it! Aside from the fact that you will have to invest little to no money to get started, it is far less time consuming than the average 9 to 5. Once you have created your application, couple it with the right marketing strategy and you’ll be making money in your sleep. The best part about developing applications is that you can do it from anywhere in the world.
Related: 11 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep
12. Website Developer
We live in a digital world where every business needs a website to drive their traffic to in order to make sales. If you have the skills, you could enter an industry that will never die. You can also start small by creating websites on platforms such as Wordpress. If you want to take your web-building skills to the next level, you can learn the language of website creation through, where you will be able to learn how to incorporate personalized:
Shopping carts
Product pages
Services pages
Feedback forms
13. Internet Security Consultant
Hacking, scamming, and viruses are just some of the security threats on the web today. If you know your stuff, you could make very good money consulting businesses, especially those who handle sensitive customer information and want to keep it as safe as possible.
14. Graphic Designer
Companies are always in search for branding that tells people about what they do. If you can follow company guidelines and customer needs, all you will need to get started is a computer and applications such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Types of media you will be responsible for creating include:
Information sheets
15. Desktop Publisher
Desktop publishers typically use publishing software to create:
Marketing newsletters
Other marketing materials
In order to offer a full service, you could also write the content or hire a content writer and create your own small team.
Related: Former Apple CEO John Sculley: The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned From Steve Jobs
16. Designing Business Plans
Having a eureka moment is great, but it can be hard to put that idea down on paper in a way that will speak to a potential investor. If you have owned your own business in the past or earned a business degree, why not help those with a eureka moment start something they love? Plan your fee around the various packages you are prepared to offer your clients. You can either:
Create an electronic copy that your client can customize
Keep a copy on file and continue customizing it according to their needs
Create various templates that you can show your customers and how you can customize the templates for             them accordingly
17. Tax Consultant
Companies big and small pay good money to have their taxes prepared for them. It gives them a chance to focus on the everyday operations of their business. If you have the appropriate experience, you could set yourself up as a freelancer; however, by starting with a tax preparation franchise, you will receive courses, seminars and training.
18. Blogger or Vlogger
Are you an expert in a specific field? From travel, fashion, cooking, to DIY, and removal services, if you know how to do something particularly well, why not tell the world through a blog or vlog? All you will need is a computer and a good quality camera. You can make money by offering advertising space and reviews of products on your platform.
Related: How Christen Dominique Went From Locker Room Makeup Artist to YouTube Star
19. Informational Product Creator
Similar to blogging or vlogging, creating informational products is your chance to put your expertise in an e-book or some form of digital format and selling it to the online world. Find a niche that’s not been overdone and start writing. You can sell your information piece on platforms such as Amazon Books.
20. Resume Writer
No matter the experience, there are very few people that enjoy or are good at writing their own resume. Individuals pay very good money to have their personal statements put on paper for them. It will cost you nothing to get setup and once you get the hang of it, you should be able to average a good hourly or daily pay rate.
Related: The Do’s and Don’ts of the Modern Resumé (Infographic)
21. Domain Name Buyer
As the name suggests, all you need to do is buy domain names you believe people will want and sell them for a profit. You will need to be able to:
Identify profitable domain names
Identify domain names that are memorable
Learn about SEO and keyword optimization
22. Flipping Websites
Flipping a website is the art of buying an already existing website, improving it, and selling it. With the right web development skills, it is a very easy and cheap trade to explore. That said, you need to be able to identify websites that have the potential for improvement.
23. Translator
Translating is one of the easiest and most profitable industries to delve into if you are proficient in more than one language. Sought out on a global scale, translators do not need any capital to get started and can earn a salary of $40,000 a year (minimum) depending on the size of the company you are hired by and the length of the contract they offer.
Related:  Global Business Leaders Speak Multiple Languages …
24. Financial Advisor
Although the number of people wanting to start their own business has grown, many still do not know how to organize themselves financially. Start by getting your Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificate to show clients you are credible. On the other hand, if you already have the experience, you can start by advising individuals and then grow your empire to consult for larger organizations.
25. Editorial Services
An editorial services business is easy to start, requires no initial monetary investment, and has a huge potential for expansion. From small and large businesses to authors and students, your client base could be endless. You can offer a variety of services, some of which include:
Magazine article writing
Newspaper article writing
Web content writing
Book writing
26. Online Photo Selling
If you are a professional photographer or just have a deep-rooted passion for it, you can make money from your pictures on photo selling websites. All you need to get started is a camera, preferably a digital SLR with a minimum of 8 megapixels, and a computer. Once you have established yourself on websites such as and, you can setup your own website with a list of your watermarked images and their price per unit.
27. Meal Planning
There are loads of people who love food but don’t have the first clue about what to buy. They are either not very confident in the kitchen, don’t know the first thing about a balanced diet, or struggle with maintaining a budget. As a meal planner, you would:
Create a list of ingredients
Create step-by-step recipes for your customers to follow
Explain the nutritional value of the meals to educate your customers
Explain to them how they are saving money by sticking to your meal plans
Related: A Startup To Get You Cooking Healthy Meals: Cook-A-Box
28. Patient Advocacy Services
Patient advocacy services are extremely important to communities across the world. On a daily basis, you would be:
Helping people track down hospitals for paperwork
Gather bills for insurance companies
Argue cases with insurance companies

People in need of these services are most likely ill or grieving, leaving them fragile and often unable to defend themselves. It is important they have the right support during this time in their lives.
29. Ecommerce Store
If you have a great product, but no money to invest in a physical storefront, staff, and bills, why not set yourself up online? Aside from the lack of huge monetary investment and time commitment, the marketing opportunities online are endless. Also, although a storefront is great for branding purposes, it does limit the size and scope of your audience. By setting yourself up with an e-commerce store, you can:
Sell to anyone in the world
Have a store that is open 24/7 (meaning you literally make money in your sleep)
Run promotions easily, whenever you want
Cross-sell between your marketing and social media platforms and your website
Run marketing campaigns through Google and other platforms
30. Survey Taking
Although you won’t get rich doing surveys online, you may make a steady income if you sign up to multiple sites. These surveys take barely any time at all to complete and can normally net you around $150+. Some of the most popular survey-taking platforms include:
Global Test Market
Harris Poll
31. Video Production
There are a number of ways you can use videography to create your own home-based business. There are so many people wanting to become YouTube celebrities who don’t have the skills to upload high-quality, well-edited videos. Other services you could offer include:
Vlog editing
Creating music videos
Related: 4 Tips for Hiring a Great Video Production Company
32. Sustainability Consultant
Businesses of all sizes are trying to find news ways to do their part for the environment by implementing greener practices. Unfortunately, many of the more eco-friendly options available today are also significantly more expensive, so business owners need someone like you who can advise them on how they can change their process without sacrificing their bottom line.
33. Call Center Representative
More companies are looking to hire call center representatives who are willing to work from home on customer care issues. All you need to get started is a computer and a phone line. Aside from the fact that you could earn a good base salary, you will not have any commuting expenses and can save money by cooking your meals at home.
34. Direct Sales Representative
The term “door-to-door sales” often puts off people, because all they picture is getting doors slammed in their faces on a daily basis. That said, by working for companies such as Avon, Mary Kay, and Tupperware in the right areas, you could host very civilized parties in your home, allowing you to make money while meeting new people.
35. Travel Planning
With all the booking platforms available online today, anyone can book a holiday from the comforts of their home. But with so many different factors to compare, it can be overwhelming. Some of these include:
Car rentals
If you have strong organizational skills and the knack for finding a good bargain, you could offer these services to others who have less time on their hands. Find the deals for your customers and add your surcharge for your services.
Related: 11 Strategies for More Efficient Business Travel
36. Online Custom Tailoring 
People are increasingly conscientious about the way they look, and with that comes the need for tailored clothing. One size does not fit all, and businessmen and women, in particular, want to look the part when they go into the office every day. The custom clothing industry is still relatively untapped, so starting a business now will offer you a significant potential for growth in the future. In addition to having their pieces delivered directly to their homes, you can offer customization of:
37. Currency Trading
Online currency trading is easier than ever thanks to the number of tutorial videos, online courses, and applications that offer step-by-step guides to becoming a currency trader. All you need is:
Technical skills
Fundamental analytical skills
A small amount of cash flow
A phone, tablet, or computer
38. Telemarketing Services
More and more companies are outsourcing their marketing efforts, and telemarketing is one of them. As a freelance telemarketer working from home, you will be setting appointments with customers and creating warm leads for companies. The amount you charge will depend on the size of the company you are working for, and the project they want to allocate you.
Related: The How-To: Using Chatbots As A Tool For Customer Service
39. Referral Services
Are you the person who all your friends and family call when they’re trying to find a good restaurant, lawyer, plumber or gardener? If that’s the case and you love referring them to all the lovely businesses you know of in your neighborhood, you could start a business doing just that. You’ll be able to work with individuals and businesses, helping customers find what they want, and businesses gain more clients. To get started, you will need to:
Gather a list of businesses you want on your referral lists
Sell them the benefits of being on your list
Place ads online and in the Yellow Pages to gain customers
40. Event and Project Planning
Event and project planning can be done remotely, but having a hands-on approach and offering your services in your local area will be more beneficial to you from both a quality control and monetary point of view. You can start this business from the comforts of your home and meet with clients in restaurants, cafes or at their office or home.
Related: How Event Management and Analytics Gave This E-Vite Company a Boost
41. Professional Photography
Whether it is a wedding, family event, or a business’ marketing materials, people pay good money for professional photography. Unless you feel the need to sign up for an online course, the only monetary investment you will have to make is for a camera. Establish your daily fee and remember to keep into account your travel expenses.
42. Tutoring
Have you worked as a teacher before? Are you proficient in a second language? Have you studied math, science, or any other subject? If so, you could tutor adults and children, provided you have the right paperwork for child protection reasons. It will cost you very little to get setup, and you can offer your services at people’s homes.
43. Computer Trainer
There are a number of seniors wanting to learn how to use computers and the internet, meaning that if you are proficient in both Mac and PC, you could offer your services in your neighborhood. Be warned, most will not be as passionate about computers as you, so they will only want to learn basics, such as emailing and using an internet browser.
44. Property Manager
As a property manager, you will be responsible for ensuring your clients’ properties are running smoothly. You will also be the primary contact for tenants and will be responsible for making sure the properties you manage are safe and well-maintained.
45. Home Inspector
This job may sound like it is just a matter of looking around people’s homes, but it actually requires a high level of expertise. You will need to learn about the new products that are constantly appearing in the market and stay updated with any changing laws. Networking and building positive relationships with your local real estate agents will give you the best chance of success, as they will recommend your services to others in your area.
Related: Need a Business Idea? Here are 55
46. Courier Services
You may be thinking “that is what the mail room is for”, but in actuality, businesses in busy areas often use local courier services, as they can offer more flexible pickup and drop-off times. Because of the specific services you are offering, you will also be able to charge more.
47. Life Coaching or Mentoring
If you have a proven track record in a particular field, can prove past success, or have trained in matters of the mind, life coaching or mentorship could be for you. People, especially soon to be entrepreneurs, seek guidance through mentorship and life coaches. You can setup your services from the comforts of your home with no monetary investment.
48. Massage Therapist
The licensing to become a massage therapist varies according to the state in which you reside, but if you have a passion for health-related activities, you could take a masseuse course and set up a clinic from the comforts of your home. Once you have completed your course and gained your license, you will have to invest in a massage bed as well as the appropriate oils and massage products.
49. Personal Trainer
Fancy yourself as a bit of a fitness fanatic? Then why not channel that energy into a course where nutrition and the anatomy of the body are also covered? With this, you can train novices from the comforts of your home or through your local gym.
Related: This Entrepreneur Lives in the Back Room at a Gym While Building His Business
50. Personal Chef
As a personal chef, you will spend your days cooking for people who do not have the time to do so themselves but do have the money to pay someone to do it for them. If you want to stand out from the crowd, offer meal plans that suit various dietary requirements, such as:
Gluten-free, lactose-free, or egg-free meals
Vegan and vegetarian dishes
Meals for those with diseases, such as coeliac
51. Cleaning Services
Cleaning services are easy to offer and require no training. You can either:
Offer discounted services, provided they have the necessary cleaning products onsite
Offer a more expensive service that includes you bringing your own products

Also, you can take your business in various directions by targeting different clients. Possibilities include:
Cleaning offices or shops in the evenings
Cleaning restaurants or people’s homes during the day
Providing morning housekeeping services for hotels
52. Dog Walker/Trainer/Groomer
In some places, dog walking alone can be a very profitable business. Those working from 9 to 5 either do not have time to walk their dogs before leaving the house or just prefer it if someone comes in to let them out of the house for some exercise. Also, dog walking businesses that offer additional services are becoming increasingly popular. Consider also offering:
53. Packing Services
If you have an eye for the little details, a packing service business could be your calling. When someone moves out of their home, they pay for removal services to take their belongings from their old house to their new one. But the process of packing all their belongings into boxes in the first place is extremely time-consuming. Why not offer people your time to do this for them while they are at work or busy running errands?
Related: How Technology is Infiltrating the Old-School Shipping Industry
54. Laundry Services
If you are looking for a way to make money at home without the need to learn new skills, home-based laundry services are easy to offer with the possibility for expansion in the future. The most complex part of the process will be establishing whether or not you need licensing to start this business from your home. This will depend on your location and the size to which you plan to grow your empire. Otherwise, all you need to do is:
Keep track of your sales, expenses, taxes, and general bookkeeping
Establish how much you will charge
Decide on how the payment process will take place (e.g., before or after you complete the service; in cash, or via card, bank transfer, etc.)
Create a website and other marketing materials to get your name out there
55. Caregiving
To become a caregiver, you will have to undergo professional training and acquire various certifications and health and safety diplomas. That said, if you’ve have cared for a parent, sibling, or friend in the past and feel this is something you want to pursue, it is a business you can set up cheaply. You can not only choose your clients but also your working hours. Daily tasks as a caregiver will vary; however, you will often be expected to:
Do laundry
Prepare meals
Take your patients outdoors for fresh air
Do their shopping
Potentially dress and feed them
56. Landlord or Bed and Breakfast
You do not have to own a huge building with multiple rooms to start your own bed and breakfast. If you have a nice, clean home with a spare room, why not advertise it? Websites such as Airbnb make it easy for people to rent out the spare rooms in their homes. You can even charge more by offering:
Food and beverages
City tours
Local experiences
Housekeeping services
By offering your customers something unique, you will find the experience gratifying and profitable.
Related: What 70 Airbnb Stays Can Teach Anyone About Running Any Business
57. Personal Concierge
You are probably thinking that being the concierge to the executive of a big company will be a piece of cake, think twice. Although you will make good money being someone’s personal concierge, it is a very challenging job in which you will be expected to deliver what has been asked of you, on time, with a smile. That said, you will normally be paid very handsomely for your services.
58. Grocery Delivery Services
Big supermarkets do offer this service, but delivery prices are often very high or the food is warm or bruised when it arrives at the customer’s home. If you own a large car, you could become people’s personal shopper. Some people do not have time to run errands after a long day at work and others may not have the physical capacity to do so, so why not do it for them? You could also couple this service with others, such as:
Being a concierge
Offering cleaning services
Daily or weekly dog grooming, walking, and training services
Being a caregiver
59. Lawn Care and Gardening
Although you will only be able to mow lawns for a limited time of the year, gardening services span throughout the 12 months. You can set up your own business with services, such as:
Snow removal
Herb farming

Herb farming can be offered as a service across most parts of the world. Whether you are in an urban or rural area, herb gardens take up very little space.
60. Babysitting Services
Babysitting may not sound like a profitable market to enter, but you’d be surprised how well you can get paid if you have the right experience, certifications and licenses. Although formal training is not required, this can teach you all the procedures in the case of any emergency. There are also a number of families offering service work as a:
Au pair
Related: 8 Tips for Anyone Starting a Child-Care Service
61. Childproofing Services
Childproofing is a trade that many do not think of these days. But every family with a newborn baby or small child wants to provide a safe home for them. There are so many areas of a home that can be dangerous, from sharp corners to stairs. A childproofing business is very cheap to start up, but you may be required to follow certain state regulations, depending on your location. To understand all the ins and outs of the industry, you may want to undertake an internship in the field before setting up shop.
62. Digital Media Conversion
Have you ever thought about what happens to all the old CDs and DVDs we used to use to listen to music and watch films? Well, the answer is, often nothing. For those who have only just started using the internet to download, purchase, and listen to music, their CDs are wasted. If you know how to transfer this media to a computer, you could be doing the tech-phobic and those with little time on their hands a serious favor. Offer your services on forums, social media or flyers. You may even end up with customers with more general tech needs on a long-term basis.
63. Personal Driver or Taxi Services
This is an especially easy business to start if you live in an urban area, as many businessmen and women prefer having a driver to go to and from work in order to make calls, schedule meetings, and generally work on the operational aspects of their companies during that time. On the other hand, if you are looking to start a business that is more like a taxi service, why not become an Uber driver? To become an Uber driver, you need:
A decent car
A clean driving record
A smartphone
To be 21 years or older
At least 3 years’ driving experience
A background check

Some of the main benefits of being an Uber driver are:
You can create your own schedule
You don’t have a real boss
You will benefit from “surge pricing” regularly
You’ll meet new people every day
Related: 5 Lessons Learned From the World’s Greatest Uber Driver
64. Hairdressing or Makeup Artist Services
If you have worked in a salon before or just know how to cut hair but do not have the capital to open your own business, you could start one from home. All you need to do is make sure you comply with all your state’s requirements for opening a salon in your home. That said, once you’ve got yourself up and running, you could earn anywhere from $22,500 and up. You could also offer other beauty treatments, such as:
Hair coloring
Hair extensions
Manicure and pedicures
65. Interior Designer
Both homeowners and business owners look for interior design and home decorating services in order to make the vision for their space come to life. Having a degree or certification will help you understand the different functions of a home or office, but it is not legally required in most places. You will be able to do most of your research from the comforts of your home, but you will need to get to know your client in order to understand how they want to use the space. Consider asking questions like:
Is it for adults or children, or both?
Does the space need to be pet-friendly?
What is the purpose of the room?
66. Tour Guide
Many tourists like visiting new places with a guide. It allows them to ask all the questions they want and get a real local feel of the place they are visiting. If you know your town like the back of your hand, why not charge people for tours? You can create packages that include:
Walking tours
Taxi services to and from their hotels
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner at a local restaurant
67. Bridal Concierge
The wedding industry is one that will most likely live in perpetuity. This is meant to be a special day for a couple, but often turns into a chore because of all the planning that comes with it. Because it is nearly impossible for brides and grooms to be able to enjoy the planning of their wedding, they often pay professionals to do it for them. If you have strong organizational skills, are communicative, pay attention to the little details, and love weddings, then you could set up shop from the comforts of your home. To get started and build a portfolio, offer your services to a friend or family member. From there, you can start charging other clients.
Related: What You Can Learn About Ecommerce From Used Wedding Dresses
68. House and Pet Sitting
People who go away on holiday often worry about whether or not they will come back to an intact home, especially if they have pets. This type of business requires little to no monetary investment. Start by approaching:
Family members

As your house and petsitting business gets on its feet, think about marketing yourself to your local community by:
Designing business cards
Launching a website
Hanging flyers in your area
Advertising in the Yellow Pages
69. Senior Home Companion
The minimum life expectancy is becoming later and there are now more than 45 million people in the United States who are 65 years old and up. As people age, they need more help with their day-to-day activities and may also appreciate some companionship.
70. Electronics Repair Services
The 21st century has led the majority of people to own at least one electronic device, if not multiple. Although many insure their products, most still prefer to get a quick fix rather than sending it off for a long time before getting it back. This type of business has room for expansion, and you can offer repairs for:
Speakers and musical equipment
Gaming devices
71. Upholstering Services
If you’re good with your hands and have a particular love for sewing, why not train as an upholsterer? There are a number of ways you can learn the upholstering trade, including:
A course
YouTube tutorial videos
Practicing on old furniture

There is also significant potential for expansion. Often people who need upholstering services also need their furniture repaired, so why not learn to repair furniture as well? You could also team up with a company who does repairs and add these costs to your customer’s final invoice.
72. Auto Repairs
You can start an auto repair shop from the comforts of your home if you have a garage and the right tools. On the other hand, if you don’t have the space to open a business from home but do have the tools, you could open a mobile auto repair shop where you travel to the location of the vehicle in need of repair. There is also the option to start your own car wash and detailing shop. You don’t need to have any mechanic skills, just a keen eye for detail and a love for getting your hands dirty. This is a very rewarding business that can become extremely profitable with the right promotion.
Related: How to Find the Right Tech Talent (for the Non-Tech Entrepreneur)
73. Bicycle Repair
Although a bicycle repair service can be seasonal, there are opportunities to tap into multiple markets so that you can have an income year round. For cyclists who just use their bikes to go to and from work, offer general repairs and maybe storage facilities during the winter months. If you want to attract cycling fanatics, you can offer year-round repair services. A Saturday shop in the right location is the perfect way to gather a bit of a crowd that will surely spend hours discussing their common passion.
74. Menu Planning Services
The restaurant chef is not the only person that has a say on what goes on the menu. High-end restaurants often find themselves indecisive when it comes to the food they want to serve, especially as seasons change. A menu planning business is a very low-cost idea, but is perfect for those who love to work with food without any direct involvement in preparing or serving it. Many places are willing to hire a consultant to design their seasonal menus, so visit local restaurants and make them aware of your culinary skill set.
75. Home Daycare Services
Firstly, you will definitely need the appropriate licensing and permits to start a home daycare business. That said, if you love children; have worked with them before; and have friends, neighbors, or family who take their young children to nurseries while they are at work, then starting your own home daycare business could be very profitable. When getting licensed, you will need to:
Research the requirements according to your state’s laws
Get the correct orientations
Submit your application
Get your training
Buy the necessary insurance
Have your home inspected
It may seem daunting to leave your 9-to-5 grind and start your own business, but by doing so, you are giving yourself a newfound level of freedom while doing something that feeds your passion(s). The internet has made it increasingly possible for you to brush up on your skillset or even learn new ones, leaving you with the opportunity to start a business easily and cheaply.
Listen to an audio version of this article.

Gmail Ads Are Going Away: Everything You Need to Know

In December of 2020, there was an addition to the Google ads support page on Gmail Ads. Google announced that dedicated Gmail campaigns will be converted to “read only” on July 1, 2021. Starting on that date, advertisers will not be able to create any more dedicated Gmail campaigns. Also, advertisers will not be able to edit any of their current Gmail campaigns.

If advertisers still want to run any ads on the Gmail placement, they are going to have to run Discovery campaigns instead. That will be the only way to run Gmail campaigns starting on July 1, 2021. This update could be a good way for advertisers to expand reach as well as testing a new campaign type. The problem is that there are clear differences between how Gmail ads work from the current dedicated format versus how Gmail formats in Discovery campaigns. I am going to show you what the differences are and what you can expect to lose once dedicated Gmail campaigns go away in July.
Say goodbye to manual bidding
Discovery campaigns in Google Ads do not support manual bid strategies. Currently, we can use manual and CPC bidding with Gmail-only campaigns. In the image below, I selected a Discovery campaign goal of “create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.” Even with that option, the only bid strategy I can choose is target CPA.

Now I am definitely not a “manual bidding only” person. I love testing out automated bid strategies. I only get a little annoyed when the option to test out different bid strategies goes away. Manual bidding does not perform the best every single time. The same can be said with automated bid strategies. So now that we do not have the option to choose anymore for Gmail campaigns is disappointing. We will have to just deal with automated bid strategies starting in July of 2021.
Say goodbye to device targeting too
Since Gmail campaigns are currently a part of the Display Network, we do have the ability to control which devices can see our Gmail ads. In my current Gmail campaigns, I constantly see better performance on desktop. We see a lot more people saving the ad to their inbox on the desktop device, and that is just one of the metrics we use to optimize performance. Well starting in July, we will be losing even more control with our Gmail placements.

You can probably sense a theme here. Yes, the device targeting is fully out of the advertisers hands in a Discovery campaign. When you are in the campaign settings for a Discovery campaign, you will not even see an option to update the settings. (You will still be able to segment performance data by device in the main interface).
Ad rotation settings are gone
Hopefully, in your other Display Network ads, you are testing a variety of ad variants to try and see which ones perform the best. Well with the standalone Gmail campaigns, we could do the same. Depending on the audience volume, I would try and create three to four ad variants in each one. If I was launching Gmail ads for the first time in an account, I would like to choose the “rotate evenly” ad rotation setting. This way I could try and give each ad variant the same amount of exposure to better judge the performance metrics.

Well now you can add ad rotation to the list of settings that are not available in Discovery campaigns. With the automated approach to this campaign type, advertisers will not be able to adjust the ad rotation for their ads no matter how many variants they may want to test. The hands-off approach does not help with my controlled ad testing, but it is just another thing we have to deal with when working with the shift to automation.
The biggest change: ad formats are NOT the same
Just because Discovery campaigns have a Gmail placement, it does not mean we can recreate our ads easily. There are a lot of differences (as subtle as they may be) that can change your approach to how you would want to use Gmail in your strategy. These differences are the biggest reason I am upset about this change. I feel that way because the ad creative is the most important part of a Gmail campaign in my opinion. And the components that are changing are going to give us, in my opinion, less appealing ads.
Text components of your Gmail ads are different
There are two main ad formats for Discovery campaigns. There is a standard Discovery ad as well as a Discovery carousel ad. No matter which option you choose, the headline can have up to forty characters. With Gmail campaigns, the headline character count maxes out at twenty-five characters. Because of this difference, I constantly see Gmail headlines get cut off on mobile devices if we’re not purposely shortening the text to make sure the message is fully visible on all placements.

The ad on the left is the Discovery carousel ad, and the ad on the right is the dedicated Gmail ad. While not visible in each image, the character count for the descriptions is still ninety characters for Discovery campaigns so no changes there. If you are, however, using the standard Discovery ad, you can add multiple headlines and descriptions just like you can with a responsive display ad.

Just like a responsive display ad, Google will have the ability to test any combination of these text components in a standard Discovery ad. The advertisers will not be able to see the combinations to know which ones are performing. It really is not a big deal since you only have to enter one headline and one description, but you then have to take into consideration how it affects the way your ad looks in the other placements of a Discovery campaign.
Where are my videos?
One of the main things I loved about Gmail campaigns was how we could integrate video into the ad creative when a user opened the Gmail ad. I always feel a video can better explain who your brand is or the value of your product over a standalone image. If it made sense, I would try to include a video in some (if not all) of my clients’ Gmail ad variants to push engagements and clicks to the website. The advertiser also has the option in a Gmail ad to only use videos if they choose. With the current Gmail campaigns, you do not have to use an image if you do not want to. All you have to do is search for a video if it is already on YouTube. Then you can add several videos to your ad if you want. Here is just one example of what an all-video Gmail ad could look like.

I have used this on occasion for a variety of product demos as well as brand awareness campaigns to get users engaged with our brand. We could then use the YouTube user audiences in Google Ads to give us more options for remarketing. As of right now, it appears that video assets are not allowed in Discovery campaigns. Odds are it is because the majority of Discovery placements are YouTube placements. And if you are going to try and promote videos within certain YouTube feeds, you might as well run a TrueView discovery campaign.
Custom HTML Gmail ads will be gone
Okay. I am not going to pretend I have used this ad format before, so this section is not going to be long. Advertisers could go beyond the default Gmail ad and create their own HTML Gmail ad version to enhance the user experience beyond the basic template. Pretty much the advertiser could upload a ZIP file containing all the files for both the collapsed and opened version of the Gmail ad. Again, I was never lucky enough to have a client build one of these in any of my campaigns so I really can’t speak to it. But if you are using the custom HTML Gmail ad in any of your campaigns, just know that it will go away in July.
The change to Gmail ads is coming. Start testing now. 
We really cannot be surprised by the direction Google is going with Gmail campaigns. The constant push towards automation and product adoption has been thrown in our faces for years. Bid strategies are becoming more automated. Ad types are becoming more automated. Even entire campaigns are trying to be automated. It was only a matter of time before Gmail ads were affected too. I am holding out hope that we will still be able to use the Gmail specific columns within Google Ads, but I have not been able to confirm that at the time of writing this post.
That being said, complaining will not help. The best thing for you to do if you still want to run Gmail campaigns is to begin testing out Discovery campaigns immediately. Learn how the campaigns and ad types work. See what learnings you can gather to make the proper optimization decisions with Discovery campaigns. It is better to get ahead of the curve before everyone else is forced to switch over at the same time.

The effects of climate change will be worse than those of the pandemic: Bill Gates

The Microsoft co-founder is pleased that interest in this topic has not waned despite the pandemic.
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!

February 16, 2021 2 min read

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

“Climate change is more difficult to solve than a pandemic, but if we don’t, the negative effects will be much worse,” says Bill Gates in an interview conducted by El País .
The Microsoft co-founder is pleased that interest in this topic has not waned despite the pandemic. He also declared that in its recovery plan the European Union plans to allocate 35% of its funds to climate change.
According to the billionaire, carbon emissions are increasing and in the future will be the product of basic services, in the same way he affirms that although “there is much talk about reducing electricity consumption” that is not the appropriate solution to reduce emissions to zero.
What is the solution?
The philanthropist explains that reducing energy consumption can be useful to reduce carbon emissions, “but the only way to achieve that goal is not to drive less, but to drive a zero-emission car.”
In this part, he adds that he knows that for poor nations resources such as aviation fuel, steel, and cement are necessary for their economies to grow and replacing them is not something viable if it involves a large increase in price.
For this reason it will be necessary to innovate so that green energy is also accessible to poor nations.

The Power of Empathic Storytelling: How to Make Your Customer the Hero of Your Story

February 16, 2021 15+ min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Imagine living in the 1800s. Besides (or perhaps because of) the obvious lack of modern technologies and medicines, the average life expectancy was just 40 years. I’d most likely be dust in the wind. 
Despite increases in global life expectancy over the last two centuries, as a global population, we’re now more overweight, more obese and more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions than at any other time in history. For some, Covid-19 has created a lightning rod for change. Specifically, it has systematically transformed healthcare, changing everything from professional care to self-care. Record-breaking investments in health and wellness, specifically in digital health, underscore the importance of, and support for, this transformation. 
My belief is that nutrition, fitness and preventative care create a trifecta for maintaining health and wellness. One approach to create awareness of all three is through storytelling, rather than lecturing (which doesn’t work). People open their minds and listen to stories with their hearts, making a personal connection to the message. I know I have.    
Some years ago, as I walked onto a platform and looked at the 585-lb. loaded barbell on the floor in front of me, I replayed a highlight reel of the 13 years of grueling workouts it took for me to get there. I didn’t see the crowd in the stands, or the judges all around me. All I saw was the barbell. With more weight on it than I’d ever lifted. I needed this lift to beat my opponent and break the California state record for my weight class. I took a deep breath, walked up to the bar, and pulled with everything I had. The bar slowed as it passed my knees, but then shot up for a full lockout. A good lift. I won. I earned the record. And it all ended in 15 seconds. 
I’m not an Olympian or a professional athlete, but because of all that training, nutrition and fitness are a way of life for me. They come naturally, like breathing. And it all started with the story of a kid getting picked on in school for being “husky,” the old euphemism for being overweight. That kid was me, but the story could be about millions of others. I’m constantly asking myself how I can inspire others to find their own story of triumph. After many phone interviews with leading executives at health and wellness brands, I found some surprising answers.
A prescription for storytelling 
When I think about storytelling, I used to think about Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks, and other nursery rhymes that Mom read to me at bedtime. But storytelling is more than fairy tales and bedtime stories. It’s the oldest form of human communication, dating back to sitting around the fire at night and paintings on cave walls. Behind every painting or symbol is a story. Storytelling connects with people on a deeper, inspirational level. It can transcend the product. It can be the very foundation for building a brand. 
Ruslan Tovbulatov, former Chief Marketing Officer at Thrive Global, has a powerful perspective. “How do we get people to introduce mindfulness or take a few more steps each day? The way we actually move and change their habits is through stories.” Tovbulatov tells us that storytelling moves people to action, which is why it’s at the heart of what he does at Thrive Global. 
Story is a powerful motivator because it connects us with our memories, evokes emotions, and even stimulates physiological changes. 
Peter McGraw, author of Shtick to Business, says, “Memory is built on associations. Whether exercising daily or smoking two packs a day, the unconscious mind has learned associations that have become automatic. To build a habit, you are essentially creating a new set of associations — weaving your own mental web.” Using storytelling as a means to create new memories and associations helps people build new habits, like taking a few more steps each day. Eventually, those habits become routine, and over time, they can become rituals. 
Anne-Laure Le Cunff, founder of Ness Labs, and prolific writer about mindful productivity, defines the difference between habits and routines. “Habits happen with little or no conscious thought; routines require a higher degree of intention and effort. The difference between a routine and a ritual is the attitude behind the action. While routines can be actions that just need to be done—such as making your bed or taking a shower—rituals are viewed as more meaningful practices which have a real sense of purpose.” Everyone has their own habits, routines and rituals. Like making your bed, brewing coffee, going to weekly worship, sports — work, the list goes on. 
Surprisingly, research has shown that nearly half of all behaviour is habitual. An experiment summarized in the book, The Choice Factory, described “two psychologists, Jeffrey Quinn and Wendy Wood, from Duke University, [who] gave 279 undergraduates watches programmed to buzz at set times. Whenever the alert was triggered, the students recorded, in detail, their actions at that moment. What they found was that across a range of areas from exercising to travelling, from eating to socializing, a full 45% of behaviours were habitual — the same decisions being made at the same time and place without full conscious thought.” How can brands and marketing build on this tendency? 
Steve Schwartz, CEO of The Art of Tea, says that ritual is a big part of his customers’ experience. During my interview with Schwartz, he asked me how I make tea. I was a bit embarrassed, because I know there’s an art to making tea. A methodical process, which is the exact opposite of my approach. Nonetheless, I explained what I do. On Sundays, I start by boiling 64 ounces of water. Once it starts boiling, I pour some into a ceramic teapot with loose leaf herbal tea. I use Alexa and set the timer to three minutes. Then, I pour the steeped tea into a 64-ounce growler. I let the growler cool down on the counter for a few hours before I put it in the fridge. (Sidenote: If there’s anyone else who drinks tea from a growler, please, let’s connect.) What he helped me realize is that this is indeed a routine. Perhaps close to becoming a ritual.
Thinking about how customers use your product or service and how it incorporates into their lives will help you define a ritualization process. The key to that process lies with your current customers. Launch an interview program to collect personal stories that will help you deeply understand and empathise with your customers. Then, build on their experiences to tell stories about how your product or service changes people’s lives for the better. 
Put simply, storytelling is about communicating a message to your audience — whether it be written, spoken, video or audio. When you know how to craft your story, it will help you move your brand forward to greater recognition, higher sales and better outcomes for both you and your customers. Storytelling takes what people already know and brings them in to engage them and evoke memory and emotion. It helps people make sense of events, actions and aspirations, while helping them interpret your reality and create context for their own experiences with your brand. 
Make your customer the hero of your story
Many brands position themselves as the hero in the story. But they’re not the heroes: their customers are. Customers won’t care about how great your product or service is until they know how it helps them. “Creating a relationship with your customers starts with making your customers the hero of your story,” says Lori Raygoza, vice president of Ecommerce at Performance Health. Raygoza recommended that a brand’s marketing message should be clear and speak directly to the customer’s needs. 
Zoe Wilson, Digital Marketing Manager at Betr Health, is largely devoted to creating compelling content. She works directly with clients to elicit case studies, stories and anecdotes to pay homage to their achievements and to inspire other members. One such story was about a client who was retiring and was diagnosed with cancer. The medicine she was taking was making her gain weight, which eventually brought on high blood pressure and cholesterol. From there, she spiraled into a depression. After starting her customized Betr Health program, she lost 35 lbs, restored her confidence, became much more energized and got back on her bike. She eventually stopped taking medication for depression. That’s the kind of story any company can be proud to share, and any patient will be able to relate to. 
Since users’ experiences with a business affect whether or not they return or refer others to you, your business is already directly invested in those experiences. Ruslan Tovbulatov, former chief marketing officer at Thrive Global, says, “It’s not some kind of productivity or efficiency game. It’s about the transformations we’re making in individual lives.” He cites one example: a series of 7- and 21-day Thrive well-being experiences they hosted for Walmart employees. Walmart learned that 97% of participants are now taking more time to manage their own stress, build resilience and help others do the same. Over 230,000 inspirational success stories came in from Walmart employees around the world. That’s a lot of positive habit building — and it generated a tremendous amount of first-hand, customer-centric marketing material. 
GE Healthcare Digital follows the same two-way benefit strategy. Lynn Eversgerd, chief marketing officer of Global Partners Consulting & Command Centers, told us that she and her team paved the way to create opportunities for GE Healthcare customers to tell their own stories. “We are fortunate that we have earned our customers’ trust as partners. When our technologies and solutions help our customers achieve an outcome, it’s their outcome that we celebrate,” she says. Eversgerd and her team develop stories about their clients’ experiences with GE medical technology in which they position their clients as the heroes. In return, she notes, “Our customers are ultimately telling the brand story for us.”
For these executives and their brands, the personal relationship between the business and its customers transcends the profit motive. Instead of focusing on profits, their businesses focus on helping customers make positive changes in their lives. Eversgerd wrapped up by saying, “If you don’t collaborate with customers to jointly tell the story of how together you make a bigger impact, you’re missing out on an opportunity for both sides.”
Make the customer the hero of all your content
Many brands struggle with making the leap from profit to impact. One requirement, beyond mindset and willingness, is to build trust with customers. Brands that seek to educate, empower, and enable their customers provide more than products and services: they also provide know-how through resources that educate and inspire. Ron Ribitzky, founder & CEO at R&D Ribitzky, and co-founder of Alliance Tech, explains that it’s important to establish yourself as a credible source, or, as he says, “How do we figure out who is a qualified player and who is just making noise?” 
To discover what kinds of resources would be most valuable to its customers, GE’s Lynn Eversgerd says, “When I think about the audience which I want to directly engage, my goal is to provide them with not only relevant and meaningful content, but a unique perspective that is differentiated from all the other noise in the marketplace. To do so requires the passion to learn everything we can about our individual customers, as well as their organizations, so that we can speak directly to their pain points. This includes everything from having frequent genuine conversations, to understanding their own target audience (physicians, boards, donors, communities and patients), to following daily news about their individual organizations. It goes back to the whole idea of being completely customer-centric and customer-focused.” 
Make the customer the hero of your communications programs
Working through stories also drives healthtech brands to be entirely customer- or patient-centric. Here we’re drilling deeper on content and how to deploy it. 
Content and stories need to be short. “My job is to entertain the audience,” says Rob Wilson, sales & marketing manager at GameTime. “A lot of content is far too long. It really should get straight to the point.” Content should also provide details about the process, guide your audience through the necessary steps to the outcome: “You can’t get to the goal without the process.” When it comes to technology, he thinks there are better ways than long-form media to provide value: use social media marketing to deliver short content posts that give the reader immense value on LinkedIn and Facebook in minutes. Finally, he underscored how much work these campaigns take. It’s serious business. 
Ribitzky has some advice on how to improve digital communication and operate more effectively in the virtual world. He says, “Think about relevance and ask yourself, ‘don’t we need to change the ways we use technology to help us provide information?’” He goes on to say that the likelihood a brand’s audience will read 100 pages of anything he writes is virtually zero. That content needs to be written in a way that will be relevant to them and respectful of their time. He says, “It’s all about knowing the audience and packaging content as a tool, so that they will be able to consume it very quickly.” He continued, “The days of publishing a five-page or eight-page whitepaper as a PDF and linking it are over.” While professional people still read whitepapers, books, and reports, your customers don’t. But in any medium, the content still has to be compelling. 
Simone Grapini-Goodman, MBA and Chief Marketing Officer at DiRx Health, uses a range of ethnographic and quantitative research techniques to understand their audiences. “Using design thinking principles and personas, we’ve broken down our customer cohorts into three main categories, and outlined their hierarchies of needs.” She says it was a challenge to present a single online experience that deeply connected to all three audiences. “Each audience has a slightly different lens, so we strive to build a frictionless experience based on what people want, what technology can deliver, and what is financially feasible.”
Former Head of Data at Curology, Anna E. Shen, has a different solution for the problem of creating customized experiences for different audiences. “We target numerous audiences over our marketing channels and have dozens of unique landing pages for each one to allow us to maximize our SEO and ad relevance/quality score.” She tells us that they start with quantitative research — clustering and “typing” of the customer relationship management (CRM) — to first identify the personas they’re investigating. After that, Shen and her team conduct rigorous research, including focus groups and interviews, to sample each persona so they can understand their customers in depth.
When developing new healthcare technologies, which many businesses are now doing, it’s important to pull away from the technology and look at the experience from the patient’s point of view: to become totally customer-centric.
Dr. John Reeves MD is CEO at conversationHEALTH, which is transforming the way pharmaceutical companies communicate with patients and healthcare professionals. 25 years of experience as a primary care physician helps him deliver a perfect product-market fit for his pharmaceutical clients. One thing he learned working as a physician is that patients don’t know how to be great patients. The stress of the doctor’s office and the possibility of a negative prognosis, makes it hard for them to take in important information about their condition and treatment. This insight inspired him to found a company to teach patients outside the office visit. Sending messages through texts, websites, voice devices and other channels lets patients learn more in the hopefully more relaxed atmosphere of home. The technology works in conjunction with the doctor to inform and educate the patient, at their own speed and in their preferred channel. That’s meeting patients where they’re at. 
Meeting people where they are is exactly what Sandra Sellani, vice president of Marketing at Discovery Behavioral Health, does when applying empathy to deeply understand its patients’ needs. “We start by talking to the people who are referring patients to us — their therapists. We ask them about the patient’s needs and develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient when they are admitted to the program.” She told us that they also listen to people in their call center to get a good sense of callers’ needs. They talk to program directors and facility staff, and gather the most meaningful feedback from patients about their experiences during treatment — what did they like? What could be improved? They even stay in touch with their alumni through a customized app to keep the dialog open and collect even more feedback. The app is also a virtual community where people can share their stories and encourage one another, and it creates an opportunity to support their recovery through content, communication, and connection.
Donna Cusano, former marketing and communications director at WellCare’s Collaborative Health Systems and now principal of Allegro Marketing & Communications, agrees that health care could use media and technology in better ways. “Many medical practices are extremely challenged with implementing technology to manage population health and using telehealth and remote patient monitoring to stay in touch with their patients.” She told me that older patients may be afraid to go to the office in person now, but they also have issues with using technology and having the right connectivity to reach their doctors in a virtual visit. “Communication channels need to meet patients where they are, on a level where they’re comfortable, and at convenient times. It’s not always on social media or a smartphone.” 
Deven Nongbri, associate vice president of marketing at HCA Healthcare, corroborated the challenges of content marketing, available technology, and having to be on multiple platforms to connect with an audience. “Social media listening becomes challenging because of the need to keep track of who’s starting what conversations and what they’re saying,” he says. He added that there’s no simple answer, or single platform, that solves all these problems. 
In digital health, it’s especially important to establish a voice for the user, says Carlo Rich, digital health management consultant, digital health office of Baylor Scott & White Health. He said, “you need to make sure everyone is coming along on the same journey, that the patient is represented and has a voice.” He said, “When you live and breathe your technology every day, sometimes what you say about it isn’t easy for others to understand.” This is the dreaded curse of knowledge.
Perhaps that’s why the stories and product offerings you develop through empathetic research are so powerful. They provide vivid pictures and relevant solutions instead of complicated jargon and feature-heavy, relevance-light technologies.

Listen, Lucy’s Founder Is Breaking Down Mental Illness Stigmas Through Awareness And Action

Share to Facebook
Share to Twitter
Share to Linkedin

Jordan Corcoran
Sami Saunders Studio
From health concerns to financial instability, 2020 took an emotional and physical toll on many of us. There has been a sharp increase in anxiety and depression on a global level which is worrisome given its impact on a person’s well-being. Karestan Koenen of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health equates Covid-19 to the physical and mental effects sustained by other types of trauma such as sexual assault or natural disasters. 
Jordan Corcoran is intimately familiar with some of the mental health issues facing people today. She understands the lasting effects of untreated anxiety and depression and has made it her mission to help others struggling with these disorders. In 2013, she launched Listen, Lucy, a mental health organization that uses lived experiences with mental illness to end the stigma that discourages individuals from receiving treatment.
At 19, Jordan was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. “Today, I see how much I was struggling prior to my diagnosis. When trusted people in my life suggested I seek help for anxiety, I was so embarrassed and humiliated I refused it for two years,” she says. Jordan perceived her mental health symptoms as weaknesses rather than illnesses. 

When she began college, Jordan’s condition escalated. “Things went from bad to unbearable. I was having panic attacks daily. When I wasn’t having a panic attack, I was fighting off another attack with every fiber of my being. I lost weight and couldn’t sleep. I was in and out of the hospital often, taken from my college campus on a stretcher in an oxygen mask. I was scared, lonely, lost and sick.”
A candid conversation with her boyfriend (now husband) encouraged her to begin therapy. During treatment, Jordan learned coping techniques that set her on a path of healing. Rather than fear it, she began to understand her mind and pinpoint stressors that induce panic attacks. With the tools she gained, she slowly learned how to curb her anxiety. Recalling her days before treatment, Jordan says it was messy and terrifying. “I was angry for so long and couldn’t figure out why my life felt so hard.” In therapy, she accepted this as a part of her life, and made the choice to stop feeling like a victim and be a survivor. 

Jordan decided to share her personal journey with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks in her college newspaper. The response she received was overwhelmingly supportive and empathetic. Jordan realized she wasn’t alone in the emotional turmoil she had experienced for so long, and decided to create a space where others could receive the same support she did from sharing her story. The feeling of connection was desperately needed in order to heal. From this, Listen, Lucy was born. 
For 7 years, Jordan has been public speaking to end mental health stigmas and help others out of isolation to reclaiming their lives. She has addressed mental health organizations and was a keynote speaker for conferences held by leading mental health organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Having experienced anxiety as a teen, her outreach extends to middle schools, high schools and colleges. She has appeared on hosting panels with Broglie Box founder Julia Broglie, Kate Spade’s social impact team, Carl Radke from BravoTV’s Summer House and the Heart Advocate’s Ta’LorPinkston. “While these big names have been moments in my career when I have had to pinch myself, some of the most impactful impressions were quieter times working with the incredible kids at Holy Family Specialized Learning in Pittsburgh, kids lining up to share their stories with me after an assembly, an older gentleman telling me I gave him the courage to speak up for the first time. These are the moments I will take with me for the rest of my life,” she shares.

Jordan Corcoran speaking to a group of students about mental health
Courtesy of Listen, Lucy
Jordan has written three books, including Little Lucy and the Little Butterflies, a picture book for kids ages 5-8 that approaches anxiety in a conversational and colorful way to reduce the trepidation adults may feel introducing these topics to them. 

Book cover of Little Lucy and the Little Butterflies
Courtesy of Listen, Lucy
When the pandemic hit, Jordan’s public speaking came to quick halt. Panicked, she began applying for public relations jobs. At one interview, she was told “to take out any mention of mental illness on her resume because people may not want to hire someone who had a nervous breakdown.”
That incident reminded Jordan why she starting Listen, Lucy: to address misconceptions around mental health and prevent hiring managers from discrimination. She pivoted her work and conceived a creative media hub exclusively for the mental health industry. “There are so many incredible stories, triumphs and missions that need to be shared with the world so everyone knows how common it is to struggle with your mental health. These issues do not mean we cannot achieve. We should not have to be afraid of our employers finding out if we have a mental illness.” 
While growing Listen, Lucy, Jordan is launching a new PR agency, The Corcoran Collective this month, listing Listen, Lucy as one of its top clients. Her goal is rapid expansion and a comeback country-wide speaking tour in May 2022. “The work is not done and neither am I,” she says.

3 Qualities of Leaders Who Succeed During Uncertain Times

February 16, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic upended the world, businesses were already becoming more accustomed to dealing with uncertainty. The geopolitical landscape was as tumultuous as it had been in many years, rocked by an erratic US administration and Brexit-induced volatility, and digital disruption was condemning a growing number of longstanding incumbents in numerous sectors to the graveyard, having failed to evolve.
Coronavirus, of course, amplified uncertainty by an order of magnitude no living business executive had experienced before, but that doesn’t change the reality that leaders were having to adapt at an unprecedented pace even before Covid-19 exhausted the use of the word ‘unprecedented.’ This means it is foolish for any company to assume it will revert to a state of blissful stability and clarity when the pandemic finally concludes, whenever that may be.  
Instead, it will have served as the latest, albeit the most extreme, example of uncertainty in a much wider period in which such an environment became the operational norm. Succeeding during a time when cycles of change are rapidly accelerated and strategic outlooks much shorter, requires a more fluid approach to leadership. While some leaders have risen to the challenge during the pandemic, others have been exposed for lacking the skills and behaviors that distinguish their more successful contemporaries.
What are those skills and behaviors? Three core attributes define the new breed of thriving business leaders in this age of perennial disruption, in which vital decision-making increasingly has to be based on limited reliable data. Given leaders represent their company’s culture and values, these attributes also speak more widely about how organizations can prosper through not just the new normal but the next one too.
Related: 6 Leadership Best Practices to Empower Your Workforce 
Spoilt by the user experience they enjoy on their smartphones and social networks, customers’ expectations have catapulted over the last decade across all manner of products and services. In this landscape, leaders didn’t require a global pandemic to teach them just how important agility now is to businesses, but needless to say, it has accelerated the need.
When leaders faced challenges in previous generations, most of the time, they were able to turn to a well-established playbook for dealing with them, based on prior experience. However, there can be no playbook for the unprecedented, so leaders have been forced to chart their own course. Agility underpins true resilience, and it can’t be taught on an MBA course.
Few leaders are excellent at both strategy and execution, which is fine, but agility does require the ability to switch seamlessly between the two. Crucially, agility is not simply the preserve of great leadership today – it absolutely must be ingrained throughout the organization. Agility is often wrongfully associated exclusively with digitization, yet it is not a technology. It’s a mentality. Our responsibility as leaders is to find the right balance between embracing the digital age and preserving the traditional values underpinning the fabric of our business and personal relationships for centuries.
Related: Leaders Facing the Unknown: Part 1 
It’s not only a pre-crisis desire for agility that has gained pace during the pandemic but also purpose-driven leadership and ESG issues. During times of difficulty or uncertainty, customers reward brands that behave fairly, ethically and increasingly wish to purchase from brands that align with their own personal values. Therefore, leading with a social conscience will make businesses and their people more resilient to disruption.
Driving strong financial results for a business during periods of uncertainty is difficult enough, but doing so while also satisfying a much wider breadth of stakeholders, including employees, minority communities and even the environment, is truly a leadership art form.
While remaining true to the socially-driven company mission and values they have defined, those that do so will be on the strongest footing for success in the years ahead, as customers gravitate to trustful and transparent brands, which inspires me to create The Bruno Effect. The best leaders view transparency not as a barrier but as a real opportunity to connect with staff and customers on a deeper level.
Related: Why Establishing High Expectations is a Quality of Good Leadership 
The best leadership amidst uncertainty and disruption is underpinned by honesty, humility and an unwavering commitment to really living the company’s values. In this environment, people respond positively to a personal, authentic leadership style, which requires great communication, a strong moral compass, mental agility, consistency – and even more transparency.
More than ever, businesses need calm and compassionate leadership and decisiveness, even when insights to inform decisions are lacking. One of the biggest challenges facing leaders in the post-crisis business world will be inspiring workforces to buy-in to the company’s mission. It’ll require the courage to boldly reset or pivot strategy, culture and processes when confronted with evidence of change or underperformance.
Authentic leaders, who engage well with their growing array of stakeholders, should aim at evolution, not revolution, in their approach to leadership. The pandemic aligned everyone’s attention on a single objective, but the number of so-called strategic imperatives at a company can multiply outside such times of crisis, resulting in a lack of focus. It falls to leaders to ensure their organization is united behind a clear vision and common set of goals.

In the Esports Trenches With Call of Duty League Commissioner Johanna Faries

Get downloaded on what it’s like to lead the league of the most iconic game in esports.
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!

February 16, 2021 2 min read

In 2003, a little game called Call Of Duty was released and since then, the gaming powerhouse has generated more revenue than the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and double that of the box office of Star Wars. In your face, baby Yoda.
That is, by all definitions, freaking insane. And this week’s guest, Johanna Faries, gave us insights into what makes this thing tick. As Call of Duty League Commissioner, Faries has led initiatives that increased CDL viewership up by 23% year-over-year — that’s during the most challenging business year in modern history. Check out all of the incredible events coming up in 2021 here.
Faries is not new to leading companies that are massive cultural forces around the globe. For over a decade, she worked at the NFL in a number of leadership roles spanning marketing, league initiative strategy, fan and business development, partnerships and consumer products. She is passionate about sports, considers herself competitive by nature and is by no means afraid to go big. “I think what drew me to this opportunity is how once-in-a-lifetime it is,” she explains. “To think about what a sports league of the future can look like and be able to design it and work with some of the brightest minds out there.”
Related: The Best Esports Games for 2021 | PCMag
Faries says there is a true entrepreneurial aspect to what the CDL is doing. “So much of this is about ‘may the best ideas win,'” she says. “Let’s mine for ideas not only around the company, but in the community, as well.” Faries relishes the amount of passion that fans and employees have for Call of Duty as she leads the evolution of the brand. “It is really an amazing moment in time for us to cultivate something new while harnessing the legacy and the power of what Call of Duty and Activision Blizzard stand for in order to do it well.”

Coca-Cola to test paper bottles in the summer

This is part of its aim to recycle 100% of the bottles and cans it markets by 2030.
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!

February 16, 2021 3 min read

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

Coca-Cola will test paper bottles in Europe. According to a statement from the company, it will be 2,000 consumers in Hungary who will see and experience the 250 ml paper bottle prototype this summer.
Although everyone would think that the soda giant would test it on the spot with its flagship drink, it is not like that, it will be with the AdeZ vegetable drink.
Last year, Coca-Cola unveiled the prototype of a paper bottle in Brussels, however now it will move on to the most important phase: the consumer test. In this way, the company will be able to measure the performance of the container and people’s responses to the new format.
The paper bottle
The prototype is being developed in a partnership between scientists at Coca-Cola’s research and development laboratories in Brussels, and a Danish startup, The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco), in cooperation with Carlsberg, L’Oréal and The Absolut Company. .
Paboco developed a technology to create 100% recyclable bottles made of sustainably sourced wood with a barrier of biological material capable of containing liquids such as carbonated and non-carbonated drinks, beauty products, among others. The current propotype consists of a paper shell with a recyclable plastic liner and lid.

True to our #WorldWithoutWaste vision, we are bringing our #PaperBottle prototype to consumer trial in Hungary with our plant-based #Adez drink in the innovative packaging created with #Paboco .Learn More @EU_ENV #EUGreenDeal#AdeZPaperBottle
– Coca-Cola EU Dialogue (@CocaCola_EU) February 11, 2021
“The trial we announced is a milestone for us in our quest to develop a paper bottle,” said Daniela Zahariea, Director of Innovation and Technical Supply Chain for Coca-Cola Europe.
The objective
Coca-Cola Company It has set a very ambitious goal with its strategy for a “World Without Waste” , which is to collect every can and bottle that the company sells by 2030 so that they can be recycled and are zero waste. So you are exploring new and innovative packaging solutions that contribute to a sustainable circular economy.
“People expect Coca-Cola to develop and bring new, innovative and sustainable types of packaging to market. That is why we are partnering with experts like Paboco, experimenting openly and conducting this first trial on the market. It is part of meeting our goals of A World Without Waste, ”said Zahariea.

Meet The Women Of The Next 1000

Cole is the founder of Slutty Vegan, a plant-based burger joint in Atlanta. She is also a philanathropist; in 2020, she partnered with Clark Atlanta University to provide the children of police brutality victim Rayshard Brooks $600,000 in scholarships to the historically black university. “Yes, the food is good,” Cole told Forbes at the time, “but it’s bigger than food. We’re putting our money where our mouth is.”