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Why Social Media Creators Are Poised To Run The World

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By Michael Gruen, blockchain, DeFi, CPG, SoMe Tech, and entertainment industry entrepreneur. At only 22, Michael has millions worth of BTC.

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Social media has gone through multiple iterations since it first took shape in the 1990s, but the current cohort of social media influencers and creators stands out from the rest. This unique class is blessed because they have the most advanced technology to date at their disposal and the most history to learn from, so it is no surprise that this cohort’s elite have made the fewest mistakes and are on track to change the world.
Venture capitalists view creators as worthy investments.
This class, per the New York Times, is the group that forced investors to “finally embrace the influencer economy as a legitimate business.” Another news outlet recently reported that “REMUS, an early-stage venture capital firm, recently hired an 18-year-old TikTok star, as a venture partner,” as an indication that Silicon Valley elite are finally realizing that there is something different about the incoming batch of creators.

Influencers have previously tried to cross over into the Silicon Valley bubble and have had only moderate success. Content-creator trailblazers like Cameron Dallas and Jake Paul teamed up with a funder to form TGZ Capital but didn’t stick together for a second fund. 
Creators have power through their numbers. In 2021, social following is a kind of currency, but the key difference between a creator’s reach compared to a traditional celebrity’s is the level of engagement, which is where the real value is. Today’s creators can generate substantial engagement and add value to the projects or ventures they support.

Tech companies recognize influencer status.
Several technology companies are also legitimizing these creators by developing software and partnerships that acknowledge them as substantial business owners, including:
• Stir, a back-end CFO suite for creators.
• Karat, a credit card company that allows creators to obtain a credit card with significant credit despite what FICO scores might dictate to a traditional lending service.
• Breakr, a music marketplace that allows influencers to seamlessly pair with independent artists and get paid. It had its round led by A16Z’s TxO fund, which invests solely in marginalized founders.
• PearPop, the Cameo-like company that allows creators to monetize their TikTok audiences through duets, creators to run charity fundraisers creatively and fans to become instantly famous.
• Versus Game, a company that allows creators to monetize, at scale, this or that questions.
These technology companies are starting to pop up and garner investments from some of the biggest VCs and angel investors. Karat raised $28 million in its series B in May of 2019, and that is just the start for the rapidly developing creator tech space. 
Wall Street acknowledges that social media creators can be formidable.
After the fiasco with GameStop’s stock due to social media platform Reddit, Wall Street is now also being forced to take social media influencers seriously. People follow with their wallets, and now that hedge fund managers have lost billions, it behooves them to delve into trying to understand social media and its top users. Waving off creators as futile children was an understandable first reaction a year ago, but at this point, an investor ignoring the creator economy is being grossly irresponsible.
This only proves that besides the power to create a new marketplace, creators can produce seismic shifts in the economy over time as well because trends change and technology advances, as in a split second. 
The future is creators.
In a forever-changing world, the internet is certainly playing a big part in driving the future. The internet has offered widely available access to information, decentralized media and opened the doors to the creator economy. In turn, society now has a hunger for a wide variety of content that will only continue to grow. It is only logical that creators who are native to the internet will have an advantage over traditional talent.

It’s A Trap! Safely Navigating The Minefield Of Workplace Communication

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By Jane Qiu, the co-founder of Kintell, a one-to-one video advice platform. She has a Ph.D. in international management.

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Communicating with your team can be a minefield. One misstep, and you’ve set off an explosion that could have serious consequences for your relationships with your team and the business as a whole.
Luckily, if you can identify the hazards before you step out, you’ll not only navigate tricky situations safely, but your whole team will also be more connected and productive. So what are the biggest bombs-in-waiting to avoid, and how can you get your comms back on track?

The Hazard: Getting Sensitive On Slack
Or email or text. Having difficult conversations can be scary, but having them in written form can be even worse. Even if someone writes with good intentions — say, wanting to avoid embarrassment or conflict — it can so often blow up. Without immediate answers and the tone and gesture cues of a face-to-face conversation, it’s easy for people to misread well-meant efforts and get angry or emotional as a result. 
The Solution: Knowing which channel to use is tricky, but it all comes down to understanding the situation’s level of emotional and logical complexity. Is the topic something that could set off emotions (e.g., a performance issue that may make a team member feel defensive), or is it straightforward? Are you dealing with a simple issue, or is it more complex?

I’ve developed a matrix for how I choose to communicate with my team:

Image courtesy of
Kintell
In the figure above, you can see when both emotional complexity and logical complexity are high, prioritize a communication style that will allow you to really connect with the person. When both are low, you can safely use email or Slack — well, you can see the matrix!
Try using this next time you need to communicate with your team and see how it helps keep emotional conversations in the right place.
The Hazard: A Culture Of Instant Replies
We’ve come to expect that our messages will get responses instantly — and that includes in organizations (think answering emails after work hours or answering your calls 24/7). While this can be great for quick action, it’s also pretty toxic: If you’re always responding to mundane operational stuff, you never create the time for strategic thinking or mindful conversation. 
The Solution: Build cultures that make shutting off OK. Encourage your team to block out time for deep thinking every week, and let them know it’s OK to not respond unless it’s an emergency. Sure, when you’re dealing with a complex issue, you may need to go back and forth quickly. But you have to be careful not to bring that level of responsiveness to all your comms — otherwise, you’ll squeeze out the space everyone needs for strategic thinking.
The Hazard: Information Overload
Think back to the last time you felt really overwhelmed in a meeting. It was probably when someone tried to cram so much info into your head that you could barely take any of it in. Whether it’s inducting someone, handing over a project or training, information overload gets in the way of effectively transferring knowledge.
The Solution: Consider everything you need to communicate and break it into bite-sized chunks. Let’s say you’re trying to decide whether to go into partnership with another business. You could send out a video that outlines the situation before emailing the team some questions to ponder and the contract to read and absorb. Then you might discuss the more emotional aspects in a meeting — say, why the team could be upset by certain items in the contract. Afterward, you can follow up in Slack to make sure everyone’s on the same page. The result? A far less overwhelming meeting. 
The Hazard: Using The Same Communication Style For Everyone
In any team, you’ll likely get a diverse mix of personalities. So why do we assume that everyone will respond well to the same kind of communication? While an extrovert may love brainstorming in groups and having a meeting for everything, you likely won’t get the best out of your introverts if you’re constantly forcing them to communicate in a way that drains their energy. 
Solution: There are two ways you can communicate: in a synchronous way (at the same time as the other person, such as in a phone call) or in an asynchronous way (such as via email, where the receiver can respond at a different time). Recognize who among your team will cope better with the different methods, and then test out the best mix of the two.
The Trap: Zoom Fatigue
We’ve all felt it at some point in the past year — that exhaustion that comes from being on video calls for hours at a time. We have a global team and identified quickly that having frequent meetings with a team in different time zones just didn’t work, both because of the challenge of getting everyone on at the same time and because we were so tired of being on Zoom.
The Solution: By implementing a mix of other kinds of communication (e.g., Drift, Slack, Asana), we’ve become more productive while still keeping the team engaged and on track. Ask yourself, “Do we need to meet?” before every meeting, and switch to a different form of communication if the answer is no. Remember that synchronous communication should be a luxury, so time it for when you most need it.
We all want to build businesses that are productive, but we also want to build great cultures. Mastering your workplace communication is one of the most effective ways to achieve both. If we can make conscious decisions about how and where we communicate, we can build better relationships with our team while still saving the time and resources that allow us to run more productive businesses.

Are companies aware? The 7 levels of personal and business consciousness

February 22, 2021 10 min read

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

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
While the world is struggling to find answers to almost everything amidst uncertainty and the fall of deeply rooted paradigms, we are witnessing a pivotal moment for humanity that, although it is not known where it will lead, if you are prepared to take advantage of it, it can be an instance of growth like no other.
Beyond difficulties and conjunctures, we hear more and more talk about consciousness . What is it about? According to the dictionary definitions, “it is the ability of the human being to recognize the surrounding reality and to relate to it, as well as the immediate or spontaneous knowledge that the subject has of himself, of his actions and reflections.” From a spiritual perspective, consciousness is a heightened state of being, which can help to successfully solve problems of meaning about life.
As an example, it is awareness to listen to your own emotions, make decisions in full use of your internal and external resources, go within yourself, “introspect” wisely to find answers.
The needs that Maslow raised
To focus on the different levels of consciousness, I invite you to explore a combined approach between the pyramid of needs by Abraham Maslow and the 7 levels of consciousness by Richard Barrett, an expert in business and social cultural transformation.
Maslow’s pyramid, or hierarchy of human needs, is a psychological theory proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 work “A Theory of Human Motivation, ” which he later expanded.
This theory focuses on five levels, like a pyramid. At the base are the basic needs, fundamentally physiological, that allow maintaining homeostasis to survive: for example, breathing and air quality, water and hydration, food, rest, avoid pain, maintain body temperature.
Then, security and protection needs , both in terms of physical and health, as well as resources such as housing, sustenance to live and employment.
Climbing the pyramid, social needs appear, represented by affective development, association and affinity with others, affection and sexual intimacy.
Next, the need for self-esteem . Maslow defined them as tall, characterized by self-respect, with feelings such as self-confidence, mastery, achievement, independence, and freedom; and a loss, related to the need for attention, appreciation, recognition, reputation, status, dignity and success and even fame. If these needs diminish, an attitude of low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority are reflected.
At the top of the pyramid appears the need for self-realization , focused on the development of their potential; in unlocking creativity and innovation, and in being able to realize their projects and ideas. Maslow also called them growth motivation and the need to be, and affirms that it is the highest psychological need of people, since it allows us to connect with the meaning of life. It is achieved when all the previous levels have been reached, or at least advanced to a certain point.
The 7 levels of consciousness
Building on Maslow’s work, British author Richard Barrett developed the theory of universal stages of evolution, and the concepts of personal and cultural entropy (transformation). At the same time, he created different evaluation methods to measure levels of values in people, companies and communities, including the 7 levels of consciousness.
Making certain parallels with the pyramid of 1943, Barrett marked 7 phases of consciousness with small differences depending on whether it is a person, an organization, a society; it even applies them to leadership consciousness.
The 7 levels of consciousness that Richard Barret raises are:
Level 1: Survival (in Maslow these would be levels 1 for physiological needs, and 2 for security). Here the focus is on guaranteeing survival not only physiological -health, eating, sleeping-, but also safety -income, housing-. It is a tangible, physical, concrete level. The first three levels are called “self-interest” by Barrett.
For companies, it would mean being aware of occupational health, having the appropriate structure to function, and obtaining benefits and profitability. Also in achieving and measuring the balance of satisfaction with the collaborators, and in guaranteeing the sustainability of the businesses as a means to be able to function, without ceasing to think about a more transcendent objective.
Level 2: Relationships (in Maslow it is level 3, social needs, affiliation): it focuses on affection and belonging to a tribe (groups, teams, affinities).
If we transpolate it to the organizational world, it is reflected in loyalty, the internal climate, the value chain. Also with the interaction with others with similar interests, social relationships, affiliative links with other representatives of the sector, fostering agreements, alliances and common business.
Level 3: Self-esteem – esteem (it is related to that same level, which is 4 in Maslow’s pyramid): it has to do with affection, prestige, respect, and with the recognition of others and of oneself; also, with achievement and differentiation, from the construction of self-leadership and self-confidence.
For companies, this level reinforces the self-esteem that it is possible to achieve great achievements working as a team. Also here are the stimuli of extrinsic motivation such as the emotional salary -which is not remunerative-, in the form of congratulations, recognition and listening skills. Used well, quality feedback can also foster corporate self-esteem, as well as continuous improvement of processes, quality and good practices, ethics and shared values.
Level 4: Transformation (connects with level 5 of self-realization). Here Richard Barrett creates 4 levels of consciousness, this being the trigger for higher levels pursuing the common good.
It is about personal development, evolution, lifelong learning and the unfolding of potential. It is a stage of evolution and learning from the permanent desire to question, search and explore in consciousness.
When we bring it to the world of organizations, this translates into the need for continuous evolution, reinvention, and innovation. It could be said that the cultural change in a company begins at this level of consciousness. To achieve this, they will need to work on team cohesion and on generating improvements and challenging opportunities that transform challenges into collaborative learning; and in generating transversal transformations.
Level 5: Internal cohesion (related to level 5 of self-realization) Following Barrett’s 4 higher levels of transformation of consciousness, the intention is to work on leaving the individualistic mode of the “I” to go to the encounter of a “we”. It applies to both individuals and companies. Here appears a consciousness of shared vision, where there are values at stake that are the ingredients that unite them: trust, integrity, honesty, communication, authenticity.
Companies can work on these aspects, generating opportunities for meetings, teambuilding , attracting the best available talent, and generating a community that creates a strong and solid culture, consistent and sustainable over time. Embracing a common cause often achieves this cohesion.
Level 6: Contribution (also related to Maslow’s level 5 of self-realization) This is about focusing on the contributions of value that, as individuals, we make to society. They can be thought of as part of the legacy left by living in the world, that is, leaving a mark.
In companies, it is possible to focus on these value contributions directed towards the customers of the products and services; towards suppliers, distributors, etc., and, of course, towards the internal public: collaborators at all levels. For example, providing equal opportunity treatment to suppliers viewing them as strategic partners is part of this spirit of contribution, and raises the level of consciousness since it goes beyond the merely transactional (I give you = you give me). In time, this generates an increase in the level of consciousness and is connected to the transcendent legacy. The result over time will be to leave a mark on the market segment where they operate.
Level 7: Service (complements the same level 5 from Maslow). Here people connect with a greater purpose: Why did we come to this world? What is my role? What legacy am I going to leave?
In the business world, it is the level of consciousness to solidify in the long term through ethics, to think about the generations to come, to make valuable contributions to humanity; in corporate social responsibility and in friendly dynamics with the environment and inclusion policies of all kinds. It is thinking of acting for the greater good, not just petty self-interest.

Image: Daniel Colombo.
Conclusions
As you may have observed, levels of consciousness are values, and values are transformed into culture, whether you work on it personally or as a company.
It is a gradual process, which needs the same as all good construction: strong pillars. The suggestion is to allow time for the process, and allow individual and collective maturation at your own pace.
The end result will be greater coherence, a feeling of internal well-being and greater responsibility and commitment; because there is no going back once consciousness has been raised. You can lose your way at times, although consciousness will always be a guide to get back on track.

Pressure Is A Privilege

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We all feel pressure from time to time. It’s butterflies in your tummy before a big meeting or that sinking feeling when confronted with adverse news. It’s the adrenalin rush before taking the mic or sleepless nights worrying about what the week entails. It’s feeling overwhelmed with all you have to do and wondering if you’ll ever fit it all in but knowing that you need to.
Pressure comes in various guises. Here’s why it’s a privilege.

Pressure is a privilege
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“Pressure is a privilege” was said often by tennis legend Billie Jean King and has wisdom beyond its simple premise. With 39 Grand Slam titles, she was expected to win. People were counting on her. The weight of expectation might have crushed anyone else but not King. She knew pressure was her privilege and she rose to meet it.
“Usually if you have tremendous pressure, it’s because an opportunity comes along.” She remembers thinking about the phrase on Centre Court at Wimbledon, realising that she had been dreaming about this moment and feeling a lot of pressure. Even then, she could appreciate how incredible it was to be standing there. “Most of the time… if you really think about it… usually it’s a privilege.”

What’s the alternative?
No pressure, no expectations. No records to set, no award-worthy performance. No finding out what you might have been capable of. No chance to serve, no time to shine. The world needs leaders, and you could be one of them but instead you shy away and look for the easy road.
What’s the point if no one is counting on you? What’s the use in your gifts if you keep them to yourself? They’re only watching because they want to see what’s next. You have inspiring to do and problems to solve. And people to help. So step up and stop complaining. Pressure might crack an egg but it can also form a diamond. What are you made of?

Pressure is a privilege
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What’s the worst that could happen?
So you fall over the hurdles or you can’t make it work. You lose the game or get overtaken. You pick yourself up. You find a new path. You come back stronger. You learn. They carry on doing their thing and you carry on doing yours. It’ll all be forgotten and will turn out just fine. Fallbacks are everywhere and it wouldn’t be so bad. They are plenty of people who don’t even try. So what if you fail?
You can always sit back and take it easy if you want; your choices are in your power.
The worst that could happen is the pressure is too much and you crack. Or you run away from everything and live an easy life somewhere rural. But even then, would it be so bad? Do your best and win or do your best and fail. Just don’t stop trying. Don’t let fear run the show and don’t let fear put you off entering.
Find the privilege
What’s the privilege you’re privy to? How have you earned the right to feel pressure? They’re expecting you to win because you’re the favourite. They know your work will be incredible because it has been before. They pre-book for your show because you don’t disappoint. They turn up at your door because you’re worth travelling for.
Having mouths to feed and bills to pay is an honour you have earned. Having to find answers, dream up great ideas or ship fantastic products is what you are here to do. Look ahead instead of inward. This isn’t about you.
Channel the feeling of pressure into the feeling of assurance. Feel deserving of the expectations and gratitude for the attention. The role is yours because you’re more than capable of doing the job.
Soldiers don’t cower away from battle; they step up and fight. It’s their chance to put their drills into action. Frontline healthcare workers take lives into their hands every day. They count on their training and do the right thing. Competitive athletes live for the platform. Leaders don’t avoid difficult conversations. Linchpin team members don’t shy away from doing the most important thing first. Pressure is a privilege.
In Billie Jean King’s words, find the “I-want-the-ball feeling”, not the “please double fault” feeling. “Give me the ball. Give me the problem to solve. Let’s figure this out. Let’s go.”