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AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine 100% Effective Against Hospitalizations and Deaths, Per Final-Stage U.S. Testing

The UK-based pharmaceutical maker’s two-shot solution appears to be even more efficacious against symptomatic infection than Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose injection.

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March
22, 2021

2 min read

Every major vaccine developed in the race to ward off Covid-19 has experienced a similar narrative arc: initial optimism over its potential; momentary wariness over its efficacy and/or side effects; and eventual acceptance and desirability. AstraZeneca’s two-shot offering — already in widespread use around the world, though not without intermittent hesitancy — appears headed toward its ultimate destiny in the U.S.This morning, the UK-based, British-Swedish pharmaceutical company released partial results from late-stage testing on more than 32,000 adult U.S. participants. Of those, only 141 developed symptomatic Covid-19, according to AstraZeneca’s press release, which summarized its findings. That amounts to a 79% efficacy rate against symptomatic cases (80% for participants 65 and older). The test results yielded a 100% success rate in shielding against hospitalizations and deaths related to Covid. The studies were conducted under a randomized, 2:1 distributions vaccine versus placebo. Related: FDA Says Johnson & Johnson’s One-Dose Vaccine Is Safe and EffectiveAs AP reports, AstraZeneca will apply for authorized FDA use of the vaccine in early April and, if approved, be prepared to deliver 30 million doses right away and another 20 million by the end of that month. As of this writing, the CDC tabulates that more than 13 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated. Roughly half of those have been 65 or older.Recent fears over a possible link between administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine and subsequent blood clots have been largely allayed by the global scientific community. Related: AstraZeneca Claims to Have the ‘Winning Formula’ for Its Vaccine

Advantages and disadvantages of angel investors

Consider that an angel investor can be your rich uncle who has available capital that he can lend you, a friend who believes in your project, or a much more professional angel investor.

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March
22, 2021

3 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.

A startup has the advantage of being able to raise capital at any stage of its life cycle, because the venture capital ecosystem is highly evolved and allows people or institutions to support companies at any stage of maturation. One of the most recurrent figures in this process is that of the investor angel for the first stages of the project, since the amounts that can be bet on these entrepreneurs are small tickets that can be covered by the famous FF&F ( Friends, Family & Fools ) . Consider that an angel investor can be your rich uncle who has available capital that he can lend you, a friend who believes in your project or a much more professional angel investor, that is, who is dedicated to the business, who understands how the startups, you probably have an investment thesis and can contribute smart capital and relationships to push you to the next stage of maturity. It is a great source of financing that comes from angel investors, however, before making a decision, you should make an analysis of your needs, objectives, risks, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of having an investor of this professional type or not: Image: Isaac Alcalá / Entrepreneur en Español Advantage: The first advantage is that angel investors do not depend on an investment vehicle or other investors to make a decision, that is, it is a much faster process than a venture capital (VC), whether professionalized or not. In the case of going to an informal angel investor, that is (FF&F), there are usually no guarantees or personal assets that are committed for that investment. You can have access to knowledge in case the angel investor you approach is an expert in the industry and in startups. If the angel investor is close to the industry in which you operate, you will surely have access to industry contacts. If you are part of the FF&F, they probably won’t charge you interest. Disadvantages: An angel investor who is not an expert in the topic of investing in startups, may not be the one for your company, investment is not only capital, but the value that accompanies it. In any case, as in the VC’s, the angel investors ask you to be partners in your business. The problem is that if you are an angel investor of the FF&F who does not have knowledge of how the exchange of capital for equity works and you do not make it clear, you will surely have a serious problem for the company in the future.

Elon Musk Hits Back at Claims That Teslas Could Be Used to Spy on Chinese Military Facilities

The Tesla CEO recently addressed the Chinese military’s concerns that his company’s vehicles could ‘be a source of national security leaks.’

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March
22, 2021

2 min read

Tesla CEO Elon Musk attempted to assuage the Chinese military’s concerns that the company’s electric vehicles could be used to spy on restricted facilities, CNN reports. On Saturday, Musk spoke at the China Development Forum — an annual event organized by the Development Research Center of China’s State Council —  and dismissed fears that Tesla, an American car manufacturer, could be leveraged as a spy.”There’s a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information,” he said. “If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down.”Related: Elon Musk Says He Sleeps This Many Hours, Despite All the Projects That Are on His PlateThe billionaire businessman went on to compare the Chinese military’s fears with the U.S. government’s mistrust of Chinese-owned video-sharing platform TikTok. In 2020, former president Donald Trump threatened to permanently ban TikTok unless it was bought by a U.S. firm. “The United States wanted to shut down TikTok,” Musk said. “Luckily, it did not happen. Many people were concerned about TikTok, but I think this kind of concern is unnecessary, and we should learn lessons from it.”Several hours before Musk spoke, the Chinese military announced that it would ban Tesla vehicles from entering any of its premises, citing concerns over the cars’ cameras, according to Bloomberg. The military has also directed all Tesla owners to park their vehicles outside military property. As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier, Chinese officials appear to be uneasy that “data the cars gather could be a source of national security leaks” and had previously restricted the use of Tesla’s vehicles by military staff and employees at state-owned companies. Musk has enjoyed a bit of celebrity in China in recent years since Tesla entered the country’s market in 2019. The Chinese government purportedly gave the company complete control over its projects in Shanghai, even though other U.S. competitors have had to work with Chinese counterparts to produce cars. That perk has paid off in many ways. Last year, for instance, Tesla sold 147,445 vehicles in China, accounting for 30% of its total worldwide. 

This Black Woman From the Projects of South Philly Built a Million Dollar Real Estate Portfolio at Age 30

Ayesha Selden currently owns over 40 rental properties, thanks to saving early.

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March
22, 2021

3 min read

This story originally appeared on Black Enterprise

Ayesha Selden has inspired millions with her journey from the projects to becoming a real estate millionaire at age 30.Now, the Philadelphia native owns over 40 rental properties. She’s teaching others about the importance of ownership and what it takes to get started.“Condition yourself as a saver first,” Selden shares during a podcast interview. “There are steps to this game. You can’t go from one end of the process all the way to a disciplined investor and think that everything is going to be gravy. I always say that someone who hasn’t mastered the art of being a saver first…how are you going to be a landlord if you don’t have any money saved? If you can’t figure out how to save reserve money, you are going to lose your house and destroy your credit. Figure out how to be a saver first, then investor, and then a disciplined investor.”Getting Started in Real EstateSelden was raised by a single mom in one of the most under-resourced communities in South Philly. When she was 18 years old, her family moved to a better area. Selden believed that the area she left would turnaround and that her mom’s property would become valuable one day. She was right.“I told her not to sell our house and that she should rent it,” Selden shares with Shoppe Black. “She was nervous about being able to find a tenant and sold it in 1997 for $35,000. Within 10 years of her selling, that house was worth 10 times what she sold it for and today, it’s probably worth around $500k to $600k.”Related: A Brief Guide to Letting Black Entrepreneurs Be EntrepreneursSelden has never forgotten the moment, using the lesson as motivation to become a competent investor.She started her real estate journey at age 24. Selden bought a foreclosure in Philly for $67,000 using her personal savings. She rehabbed the place, moved in, and got a roommate. Due to house hacking, Selden was able to save more money. She invested in equities and bought a rental property two years later. In 2011, she used the equity from her first house to buy and rehab more properties.Going From Poverty to PlentyAlthough Selden has amassed a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio, she still works as a Private Wealth Advisor. She helps others manage their money since that has been something that has always come easy to her.“As a kid, money just always made sense to me,” Selden shared during her podcast interview as she talked about growing up poor in Philly. “I could always save a buck. If you gave me a $10 allowance, I would have that same $10 six weeks later. ”But it wasn’t until she landed a job at a bank that she started to expand her view of money. “I started seeing real money. People started coming in with millions.”The light bulb went off when she realized that the customers did not work. They were investing in stocks, mutual funds, and other assets that worked for them. That’s when Selden realized that she needed to transition from saver to investor.Although Selden has a range of investments in her portfolio, she shares that real estate is her favorite. She has published a digital guide to help more people build their wealth to 7+ figures.

5 Tips for Navigating the Entrepreneur/Investor Relationship

March
22, 2021

8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Marshall B. Rosenburg, founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, once said: “At the root of every tantrum and power struggle are unmet needs.” This quote sums up the story of the start-up founder-investor relationship.When an entrepreneur and an investor first team up, it is almost akin to the initial phases of falling in love. Each side sees the common interests and vision of success, and nothing can come between the partnership except failure. Unfortunately, just as perfect love is an illusion, the path to an ideal partnership is arduous. Many outsiders do not know that this relationship dynamic can either make or break an organization depending on what is at stake. Power, money and success form an intoxicant that brings people together and also causes them to drift apart. Both sides’ perspectives change with the evolving life cycle of a start-up. In part one of this article, I will focus on how founders can navigate the power game, and in part two, I will discuss the investor’s POV.Amazingly, it is “unmet needs” that inspire an entrepreneur to partake in an unknown journey, driven by hunger, vision and passion. You want to sprint and soar but quickly run out of fuel. And so begins the saga of investor wooing. A founder first approaches an investor with trepidation. You covet the finances to spur growth but risk losing out on equity and ownership control. Investors fund a start-up to multiply their return on investment (ROI). But they worry about the dilution of their equity, too, which impacts their ROI. A typical tech start-up goes through several rounds of fundraising. The longer your timelines, the thinner the investors’ patience. Moreover, multiple rounds of funding often mean diverging interests on the board. How deftly an entrepreneur handles the political landscape is as significant to a start-up’s success as the actual business performance.“You are fired!” As a founder, these are the last words you expect to hear in your own company. However, this is a real scenario that often plays out in start-ups. As the flaws begin to accumulate, the magic between the founder and the investors starts wearing off. Each side then looks at the situation through their lenses. For a founder who created the start-up, this suggestion of leadership change stabs you to the core. I didn’t peek into the soul of 30-year-old Steve Jobs when he got fired from Apple, but I am sure that he would agree with me that this pain stings. With the romantic veil lifted, you are faced with a difficult choice like Hamlet: “To be or not to be?” As an entrepreneur and a current angel investor, I empathize with both sides. Founders need to realize that when investors seek a management or leadership change, they are choosing the optimal way to get their money back, preferably in multiples. In most cases, it is not personal, it is business as usual.Related: What Happens When Founders Are FiredLet’s dive into some tips and insights on how we can survive and rise out of such a challenging situation.The art of anticipationThe wise person anticipates and preempts future moves; the fool reacts to situations as they unfold. Founders should be cognizant that you lose your absolute control of strategic decisions once you bring outside capital. To avoid turning into driftwood swayed by the higher winds, take control of the strings you do hold. Are you an innovator? Then, invest in your field knowledge so you are perceived as the container of elite information. A strategic genius in your field? Then plan to stay on top of the market competition, manage the timelines. Remember the power of allies. It is not enough that you alone evolve with the company’s life stage while your teammates are left behind. Your early employees are likely to be your closest allies; you picked them for a reason, right? Protect, train and prepare your early employees to grow with the company and strive to put them in power positions. If budget permits, hire experienced industry veterans to lend you their experience. You will need top managers on your side in case of a power struggle with your investors later down the road.Related: How to Pick the Right Team for Your StartupThe beauty of balancingHave you ever marveled at the dexterity of a juggler as he tosses several objects in the air, performing the act in perfect harmony? Well, as an entrepreneur, you need to master the skill of balancing. There are multiple forces you need to harness, making sure they are in cadence. First, your product or service needs to cater to the changing market forces, staying ahead of the curve. The idea that you started with may no longer be relevant, so imbibe the art of pivoting. Next, you will have a growing team to contend with, so be aware of impending structural changes. Finally, it is essential to stay on top of board politics by working on your people skills. A single source of capital means power bias. Diversity in the funding sources goes in your favor most of the time. Still, by the time you have to juggle the disparate investor groups, you will have mastered the art of balancing and pocketed some allies on the board, I hope. Whenever a difficult investor situation confronts you, rather than quitting, always remember, they are here because you invited them in the time of your need. This acknowledgment will lead to a deeper introspection of the case on hand.The rewards of due diligenceSeeking and gaining investors without thorough due diligence is doomed to lead to a dysfunctional relationship in the future. Just like your start-up’s success depends on your early team picks, your early investor team is crucial to your organization’s strategic path forward. Make sure that you are approaching experienced and credible investment sources; this is vital when you want to bring in more significant funding sources such as VCs and private equity down the road. Rushing into contracts with random investors early on means you lock yourself into no-escape deals and you lose bargaining power later. As you start building your investor Rolodex, be aware of group dynamics. Not all investors think alike or have the same values. Sometimes all it takes to bring down a start-up is an unresolved conflict between two warring groups of investors.Related: More Than Money: How the Right Investor Can Add Lasting Value to Your StartupThe power of honestyThere is no greater power on earth than the virtue of honesty. Deception can take you some distance, but a shaky foundation has never supported a high rise. Be upfront when you are signing a contract with your investors. You must have heard of “promise less, deliver more.” Let them know of the risks inherent in your company timeline and the start-up’s issues and values that are nonnegotiable. Honest entrepreneurs know that business is frequently not easy when you refuse to compromise the truth. Things go south, patience runs thin, and pressure starts building to deliver results. However, investors respect founders who are accountable for their word, so learn to control expectations and confrontations with truth and facts as your power weapons.The wisdom in walking awayOne of the hardest things you can do in life is to let go of your love. A start-up to a founder is the seed you planted and nurtured as it grew into a plant. You did such an excellent job so far that it might come as a shock that you need to trust the higher powers to help ensure your beloved tree flourishes and bears fruits. And that might mean handing over the reins to somebody else who is more adept at that task than you. Rather than acting like a child whose favorite toy was snatched away, founders should look at the bigger picture. Sometimes walking away gracefully is the greatest thing you can do to let your start-up thrive with your dignity and relationships intact. Remember, in the start-up’s success lies your victory.Many critical factors need to converge to make a start-up successful, the founder-investor relationship being one of them. It often starts on a high note only to get complicated as time passes. Entrepreneurs should know how to design and plan the power game to level the playing field. The tips and insights mentioned above will hopefully lend you an arsenal against mounting investor pressures.

From 0-400,000 TikTok Followers in 40 Days

March
22, 2021

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To say I wasn’t expecting this to happen is a gross understatement. Whenever I hear people talk about building six-figure followings in short periods of time, I immediately assume they’ve paid for the followers (or been featured by Oprah). After all, it seems impossible to build an organic following that large that quickly these days, right?And yet, after just three days on TikTok, I garnered a million views on my content. Within a week, I had 40,000 followers. And over those first 40 days, my following grew to over 400,000.As a content creator who has spent almost a decade writing, editing, and distributing videos, blogs, and articles across multiple platforms, it was easy to write off this phenomenon as luck.But after reviewing the stats and my approach, I realized there were a number of factors contributing to my growth on this platform, which I want to share with you now.If you’re looking to grow a social media following quickly, here are seven strategies I recommend: 1. When joining a new platform, commit to being an active user.One of the surprising things I learned after joining TikTok was that a majority of users only consume content; they don’t create it. With TikTok’s Creator Fund initiative, like many other platforms, they’re specifically looking for creators who will keep users engaged.When I joined Instagram and Youtube, I was a non-committal user. I figured I’d fly in under the radar and see how things went, which left me DOA for building an organic following. Having coached and worked with numerous elite-level influencers, I now understand how platforms reward new users for posting frequent content. When I joined TikTok, I committed to posting a video a day for a week and immediately saw results.Related: How to Use TikTok to Promote Your Business 2. Consider how the platform wants you to create and distribute content.Oftentimes, whether due to burnout, overwhelm, or sheer laziness, people will post the same piece of content across platforms without modifications. It’s important to consider the types of content being pushed out by the platform and the features the platforms provide to you (i.e., filters, sounds, editing tools, etc.).I found the more I utilized the features TikTok provided me, like adding in soundtracks, title cards, and faster cuts, the more it rewarded me. Similarly, I’ve seen videos in a square format (1:1 ratio) not perform well because they’re not platform-friendly. 3. Save the best for first.Oftentimes, people want to ‘save’ their best content, waiting to post it until they’ve accumulated a certain number of followers because they want it to go viral. This is a mistake.To give your profile the best shot, I advise you to lead with content you feel will perform well for you. Let your best content give you an initial boost.Related: Five Things to Keep in Mind When Using TikTok For Your Business 4. Experiment. A lot. The biggest lesson I’ve learned as a content creator over the years is that while it’s great to do content you love, you have to consider what your audience wants to watch. You’ll have a better understanding of what that is after you’ve posted twenty TikToks and can analyze their performance to see what types of content people are gravitating towards. 5. Engage with your audience.When people comment on your videos, respond back! I was shocked to learn that most content creators do not engage with their viewers. Sending replies to commenters can make a long-tail difference in their loyalty to you and your content. However, this can become a big-time commitment the more comments you get. So be prepared!Related: How This 18-Year-Old TikTok Star Built a Business With 5 Million Followers 6. Don’t allow a ‘flop’ video to discourage you from creating. TikTok can be fickle (as can any platform); one video may perform really well, and the next may tank. I, too, have experienced disappointments when a video doesn’t perform the way I hoped. But, the beautiful thing about TikTok is that initial performance is not necessarily indicative of long-term success. Just by having a couple of videos perform well, the surrounding videos also received bumps. And the worst thing you could do for your following and yourself is to judge your content’s quality (or ability to grow an audience) by the initial views.  7. Release attachment to the numbers.This may feel hypocritical considering this entire article is about garnering a following, but I’m convinced that part of my success was because I was unattached to the outcome. When I joined, I was more interested in exploring TikTok and took a purely experimental approach. I had fun with the process. I didn’t join in search of a following or needing numbers to affirm my worth.  While I now have almost 700,000 followers on the platform, I still have other platforms with just a few thousand followers. This tells me that growing an organic following is about finding a platform where your audience lives, not about spreading yourself thin across all platforms.As a brand strategist, I work with clients who have millions of followers on Instagram, but only a few thousand on TikTok. I work with clients who have hundreds of millions of views on YouTube but don’t have a Facebook following. You don’t need to have it all to succeed in a digital content world.If you can figure out where your audience lives, make a run at connecting with them on that particular platform.

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Report: Donald Trump to Launch His Own Social Media Platform by June

The former president is expected to launch the new platform in ‘two or three months.’

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Winfluence

Get a glimpse of how to influence your audience’s buying habits using traditional and unconventional influencer marketing techniques.

March
22, 2021

2 min read

This story originally appeared on PCMag

Donald Trump is reportedly returning to social media—with his own platform. A senior advisor told Fox News last week that the former president, permanently banned from Twitter, will resume posting from a service of his own.”I do think that we’re going to see President Trump returning to social media in probably about two or three months here, with his own platform,” political advisor Jason Miller told Fox News on Sunday. “And this is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media. It’s going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does.”Related: The Most Shocking Revelations From the New York Times Report About Trump’s Tax ReturnsNo further details were revealed. Miller did note that Trump has held “high-powered meetings” at his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida to discuss the venture, and that “numerous companies” have approached the businessman. “This new platform is going to be big,” Miller added, predicting “tens of millions of people” will join the site.Days after the US Capitol attack (and less than two weeks before President Joe Biden’s inauguration), Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s personal account, citing fears that his posts might further incite violence in the US.”I long predicted this would happen,” he wrote in a fleeting message on the official White House account. “We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENCED,” the former Commander in Chief tweeted.YouTube suspended Trump’s access after his supporters stormed Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6; the seven-day ban was later extended for another week, and then indefinitely—until the risk of political violence has subsided. Facebook also barred Trump after the violent insurrection on the nation’s capital, going as far as establishing a high court and accepting public comment to help rule on the “indefinite suspension.”

25 criteria to connect (or not) on LinkedIn

March
22, 2021

6 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.

LinkedIn is a professional social network, which has 722 million users worldwide -data until 2020-; about 100 million are in Latin America. Since its inception in December 2002 by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant, and its launch in May 2003, it has been a social media oriented to business, business and employment use. Each user has a personal profile, and there are also companies. In this way, LinkedIn is an excellent tool to establish the Personal Brand of a professional, and also the employer brand of companies. The daily dynamics is nourished by publications, participation in affinity groups by subject -there are hundreds of them within each segment- and the interaction between users, who can join each other as contacts, or follow people who share interesting content. It also has advanced functions of job opportunity publications, many of which receive applications directly from the platform, just by sending the profile that you already have structured, as a virtual resume. An extremely useful aspect of this platform is to share content of interest from the professional world in which each person works. Thus, the network becomes a kind of great encyclopedia of visions, opinions and job sharing, adding value, inspiring, motivating and interacting in various ways: comments, reactions, live broadcasts, videos, downloadable material, uploading presentations and documents of case studies, for example. Another interesting function is designed for product sellers, who have Sales Navigator, a specific system to contact potential customers or business prospects within the network. LinkedIn has several membership options: the free one is very complete and functional; And there are three other paid categories, including one designed especially for recruiters. Who to accept and who not to on LinkedIn If you have an active profile where you share content regularly (and this is what I recommend), you may receive a lot of connection requests weekly. The initial trend is usually to accept everyone, although there comes a time when you will need to apply some criteria, because, as LinkedIn suggests, it is not convenient to accept people you do not know in any way or who you feel do not add value to you. , or that they have nothing in common. It is worth clarifying that this network is not the same as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other, because here it is about links with professional profiles only. The intention is not to make friends, like or post personal life issues, but the focus is on work and networking. Image: Depostiphotos.com In fact, in March 2021, the network privately sent me a survey to find out where I knew the last 20 people I had added as contacts: it asked me if we had been together in person, via the Internet or did not know them at all way. When at the end of 2019 I received the distinction as ” LinkedIn Top Voice Latin America ” – we were 16 people among the 95 million profiles in the region that they analyzed that year – I received in less than a week more than 7000 invitations to connect; making it virtually difficult to access all requests. For that, the network has the “Follow” function, which you can activate, by which people will see your publications and can comment, even if they are not connected in the first degree (1-to-1). 25 criteria for connections on LinkedIn Thinking about this issue, I drew up this list with my 25 criteria that I take into account every time I receive an invitation from contacts on the professional social network. In turn, I asked 30 people in my network some criteria, who added their contributions. This is the list. As you will see, most are criteria that are based on common sense, such as that whoever sends me a request has their complete profile, including a photo; or that we have something in common: ✔ Have a complete and up-to-date profile ✔ With professional photo ✔ Active profile (minimum publications 2 times a week) ✔ Own content in the feed and in the blog (articles) ✔ Clear description of who he is and what he does ✔ Own network of contacts ✔ That there are people and interests in common ✔ Groups in common ✔ Express your own opinions and visions ✔ Impeccable spelling and grammar ✔ To teach or contribute something that adds ✔ That has its own voice ✔ Personal brand developed or on the way ✔ That shows passion for his activity, and interest in mine ✔ If you write to me, let me know very well what I do ✔ If I write to you, let him respond with the same urgency that he demands ✔ If you need anything, please address it respectfully and professionally ✔ Take time to write well ❌ That is not a “serial contact aggregator” ❌ If you copy content, it recognizes the source ❌ That not only share what others, or give “likes” ❌ Don’t send an immediate message to want to sell something ❌ Avoid using LinkedIn like other networks: this is different. ❌ Don’t copy / paste comments, or send pre-built InMail messages ❌ That you do not want to promote yourself by putting your links when commenting. I hope you find this list of criteria based on my experience on LinkedIn useful: I have been interacting and generating content online for almost 15 years, and it is one of the most important professional tools for my Personal Brand.

What Companies Can Change in the Office Space to Increase Productivity

The corporate world should pump the brakes on formats with uncertain effectiveness.

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Unstoppable

Get a glimpse of how to overcome the mental and physical fatigue that is standing between you and your full potential.

March
22, 2021

4 min read

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Do you remember the open office layout? You probably do since it hasn’t gone anywhere. The layout emerged in the 1960s as a format that enhances employee collaboration, and its popularity led many companies to spend tremendous sums of money reconfiguring their office layouts.Well, research suggests the open office floorplan actually produces less meaningful interactions.When the pandemic came, tech giants led the way in closing their physical campuses, and much of the corporate world followed suit as employees across countless industries worked from home. At the time it didn’t matter if workers had a home office, a distraction-free environment or the necessary resources to do their jobs. Since everyone thought the arrangement was temporary, organizations encouraged employees to make do while remaining as efficient and productive as they were in the office — which wasn’t exactly an easy ask.Related: Pros And Cons Of Open-Plan OfficesHow employees really feel about remote workThis month marks the one-year anniversary of businesses going remote due to COVID-19, so it’s important to understand and empathize with how employees are feeling. According to a recent study from big data firm Databricks, connectedness levels dropped among employees compared to last year. Employees may feel happy and productive, but the lack of in-person interactions has had an accumulating impact, leaving them feeling more drained and less creative in their work.To be as effective as possible, many people prefer to stay physically connected to their work and the work of their teams. In fact, a 2020 study from Salesforce reveals 61 percent of the workforce misses going into the office. When employees feel connected, there is an increase in engagement and productivity. The context, structure, tracking and visibility present in a physical communal workplace can also help imbue work with meaning beyond the paycheck.Related: 8 Ways the Crisis Will Forever Change the Future WorkforceWhat does the physical office need to succeed?With the COVID-19 vaccine in distribution, enterprise leadership teams are eyeing the return to the physical office. However, there are critical changes to the workplace that have happened in the last year that impact this timeline. The new workplace will function best if it prioritizes collaboration. Communal, free-flowing workspaces will allow employees to be transient and hybrid, while still having the resources they need to effectively work and communicate together in-person.Technology will be the most supportive tool in successfully bringing employees back to the office. To be clear, a hybrid workplace will be the de facto workplace of the future. Temperature scanners and distancing stickers are valuable for a safe workplace right now, but revamping the workplace will require a more permanent makeover. Physical offices deserve novel technology and infrastructure features that can truly support hybrid teams, facilitate collaboration and catalyze innovation.Portability, flexibility, ease-of-use, integrated support for an entire ecosystem of software, support for the cloud, data-driven communication and collaboration tools and security are all key tenets in this newly rearchitected workplace. The physical workspace can leverage technology systems, such as room scheduling signage or in-room control devices, to communicate safety measures and reinforce protocols. Scheduling panels can show a room’s occupancy status and new cloud solutions enable CIOs and technology managers to remotely deploy, manage, monitor and measure room device and space usage through the cloud. These solutions can also make safety and sanitation measures more visible, assuaging concerns of accountability and ensuring proper policies are followed. Businesses will rely on a variety of solutions to keep their office space not just financially viable, but commercially vibrant.Contrary to what you may have read, the office isn’t dead, in the same way rock music isn’t dead and New York isn’t dead. So rather than kill the office, let’s reimagine and redesign it. Let’s make it a place where collaboration and community is prioritized over just a place with a desk, a chair and a static eight-hour workday. Let’s create a digital-first, smarter workplace that can withstand future complications and crises, while supporting a new culture and paradigm for the way employees want to work.Related: These 9 Gadgets Prove Office Tech Is Finally Getting Interesting

How To Turn Your Idea Into A Successful Business Like Joy Mangano

We all saw her portrayed in the 2015 hit movie, Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence. Joy Mangano, a divorced working mother of three, created a self-wringing mop, which eventually became a successful business. Now she has more than 100 patents and trademarks to her name and has developed more than $3 billion worth of unique products.
Do you secretly dream of becoming an inventor like Joy? Maybe you’ve had a plethora of creative ideas over the years, but you come up with the same excuses:

Where do I start?
Who would buy this anyway?
Hasn’t someone already thought of this?
What do I know about starting a business?
How can I afford to get this idea off the ground?

Don’t let your doubts and fears get in the way of launching a product or service that could eventually become a successful business. Here’s some sage advice from some of the world’s most well-known inventors and entrepreneurs:

Find a problem that you’d like solved
Great inventions usually start with a problem that you’d like solved. “I was tired of bending down, putting my hands in dirty water, wringing out a mop,” Mangano told ABC’s 20/20. “So I said, ‘There has got to be a better way.’” Many inventors suggest keeping a notebook of ideas. This approach is helpful whether you can immediately afford to proceed with your invention plan or not. Use your notebook to describe your thoughts and include sketches. Carry it with you so you can write down the problems and needs that you encounter daily. Even if you don’t have a solution, it will help document your ideas to spark future concepts.

Protect your idea
While it can be tricky to balance protecting your intellectual property while conducting market research, patent protection is essential. Inventor, entrepreneur and Shark Tank personality Lori Greiner advises against putting your unprotected idea online. “If you put it online, it can go around the world in a second, and someone will knock it off,” she says.
Believe in yourself
As you develop your business, there will be plenty of people who will undermine your efforts. Although it can be easy to feel vulnerable when you’re starting out, don’t let other people’s negativity compromise your drive. Look at Suzy Batiz, the CEO and founder of Poo-Pourri. In a recent Forbes interview, she revealed that “not one person thought my idea for Poo-Pourri was a good idea, and in fact, they all thought I was nuts—and here we are 13 years later and on the Forbes Richest Self-Made Women in America list!”
Test your ideas
Lindsay Cook, CEO and founder of the digital fitness app FitOn, suggests doing your own research. “Honestly, just try to test out your ideas before you go full steam. When I started this company, I began testing out ideas in a scrappy way with other women. I would do focus groups. I would try to get people in a room and ask them questions about what I was building and what their needs were in the health and fitness space—basically, any questions I could think of that would help lead us in the right direction to build a great product.”
Look for mentors
Kendra Scott, CEO, designer and philanthropist, recommends working with mentors, “The most important thing that I did to help me through my journey was always having really good mentors,” she says. “I wake up every day, and I’m running a company bigger than it was the night before. I still have amazing mentors who have run businesses bigger than mine, who I pick up the phone with and say, ‘Hey, this is happening. What are your thoughts? What do you think I should do here?’”
Be persistent
Persistence is the key to establishing a successful business. Daina Trout, founder of the number three kombucha brand, Health-Ade, shares, “Even in the farmers market days, I remember one brand in particular that started right around the same time as us. They had a great product, great brand and great packaging—the whole thing felt really spot on. Then by the end of the farmers market, they quit, and we quit our full-time jobs to grow Health-Ade. I don’t think it had to do with having the right product, I think it was that they gave up and we didn’t, we kept going. We kept pushing. We kept getting better. We kept forcing ourselves to evolve. I think that’s the key to success—it’s that hustle, that grit to get better and that relentless drive and tenacity.”
Don’t be afraid to fail
The last thing you want is to come up with an idea and, a few months later, see someone else bring it to market. If you feel like you have a great invention, don’t wait. Lori Greiner encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to gain wisdom from tough times. “You learn the most from what you consider failures or difficulties,” Greiner shares. “I look at them as the greatest and most valuable lessons. There are no failures in life, just great lessons.”
Ultimately, listen to your intuition. If deep inside you know that your idea could become a successful business, don’t be afraid to take a risk. It’s better to try and fail than fail to try.

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