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Wendy's President Reveals the Special Sauce Behind Their Design Strategy

13, 2021

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When it comes to the concept of innovation among fast-food chains, few succeed in the design innovation space as much as Wendy’s.“We’ve been a leader in innovative restaurant designs since day one with our pickup window, for 51 years,” Abigail Pringle, President, International and Chief Development Officer of Wendy’s said in a virtual call.Pringle says that food is always at the heart of the chain’s design strategy.“How do we make sure that design [not only] enhances our food and our restaurant experience, but how do we make sure that design is really delivering on the experience of where people work, live, and play?”Pringle says that this mindset has been a recent shift for the brand, which has led to several activations, pop-ups and kiosks in unique places like colleges, hospitals, zoos, and even military bases.“We want to be where people are, and we want to look at those occasions, we want to look at those experiences that people are wanting in their lives,” she explained.From the brand’s mobile order app, to curbside pickup to kiosks in the dining rooms, Wendy’s objective in recent years has been to not only make the lives of customers easier, but to have a presence where customers are already populating.Related: 6 Innovative Ways to Increase Brand AwarenessBecause to Pringle and the company at large, smart design drives better performance and makes for a better overall customer experience.“We definitely look at what we can do to make sure we can improve speed of service,” Pringle says. “We can also take the friction out of the experience, but also change everything from when you drive up on the parking lot to when you place your order to when you get your food and to when you leave through the dining room or through the pickup window.”This was seen in the launch of Wendy’s Smart 2.0 designs in 2017 which aimed to decrease the company’s energy footprint by using less water, less heating, smaller seating areas and smaller storefront sizes.Of course, the concept of smaller and more automated experience calls into question whether or not the company will downsize its labor force, though Pringle insists that these design initiatives do not have the chain planning to reduce workers — in fact, it’s away to reallocate the jobs that workers will be doing.Whether it’s greeting customers, assisting them through the drive-thru experience or overall just engaging more with the customer, there are ways to use the chains labor force to make the customer experience more enjoyable.“Labor is an important part of our P& L and economic model but we look at how can we use design to really enhance the experience, and use that efficiency to really reinvest in the customer and employee experience to drive better throughput meaning drive more productivity in the restaurants, but also improve our order accuracy.”Wendy’s has also led the charge in the fast-food world by the implementation of dark kitchens, which are delivery-only locations without an actual sit-in restaurant area.“[Dark kitchens have] our menu, great high-quality food, and a commitment to all the things that people love about Wendy’s around convenience and great affordable price, but in a way that where we can actually go into some of the biggest cities around the world where we don’t have traditional restaurants,” Pringle explains. “In the U.S. we only have one restaurant for every 135,000 people in some of our biggest metro cities. That’s people that have to give up on having Wendy’s and we don’t want to have that, so we want to bring Wendy’s to people through convenience and delivery, and we think these dark kitchens can help us do that.”The company hopes to continue its innovative footprint as it hopes to reach 8,000 locations globally by 2025, expanding its growth by 30 percent.“I can’t see any reason why we can’t achieve and even exceed our goals for the long term,” Pringle said. “So really excited about our growth projects.”Related: Here’s Why So Many Fast Food Logos Are Red

Read Next Job, Best Job If You’re Ready for Change

ContentFreshnessUsefulnessIt’s the “What Color is Your Parachute” of the new world of work. A great book for someone who wants more than just an average day job.If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.“Can you help me figure out what I actually do?”Yes. That was an actual question from one of my oldest friends who started her career as a highly paid biomedical engineer, then decided to pursue her dream of being a professional singer.In order to supplement her income and work during her downtime, she took a retail job. And, of course, proceeded to lose the retail job during the pandemic.As of this minute, she’s what I’d call a virtual marketing assistant to a small business owner. She’s been exploring the world of freelance work where she’s put her engineering organizational skills to use in project management and her artistic and design skills to use doing small marketing projects.Her next step is transforming her skills and talents into either a freelance career or a new job.I think I’m going to send her my review copy of Next Job, Best Job: A Headhunter’s 11 Strategies to Get Hired Now by Rob Barnett.If You’re a Freelancer or Solopreneur — this Book is For You Too!Don’t stop reading because you’re not in the market for a full-time job! The principles Rob Barnett covers in Next Job definitely apply to you!Rob Barnett reimagines today’s career search and offers a proven process to land the right job (or client) fast.This book is written for job hunters. But a lot of his advice applies to freelancers, consultants, and solopreneurs as well. In fact, the one complaint I have about this book is that it’s targeted at folks looking for employment but everything he recommends will be just as useful for solopreneurs and startups who are looking for that first long-term customer.Let’s face it, there’s really no difference between marketing your skills and marketing a product or service. I think that Next Job, Best Job is a terrific gap filler for new solopreneurs and freelancers who are looking for that first client.In just 11 short chapters, job and client hunters will take a journey through a process that incorporates just as many mindset strategies as job-hunting strategies.Rob Barnett Turns the Dreaded Job Search Upside DownRob Barnett is a two-time entrepreneur with five decades of experience working for successful media companies. He has advised thousands of job seekers and heads of companies. With that kind of experience, he has a unique approach to helping anyone find the right job (or client).But what makes him the ideal person to write this book is his personal journey through the modern job-hunting process. He even coined a hashtag for it #iBJA (in between jobs again).Here’s what happened. Tell me you don’t see parallels to some really solid marketing strategy here.After being out of work for more than six months and anger, frustration, and fear taking permanent residence in his psyche, Barnett picked up his iPhone and clicked the record button.He opened up about his career and his concern about supporting his family. He spoke with unbridled vulnerability with the goal of reaching everyone who was in the same boat. His philosophy was to create a tribe and work together.Needless to say, the video went viral. Since then, he’s created a new short video focused on getting people back to work.And this led to a career transforming call when someone asked him if he was a headhunter. Without thinking he said “Yes” and has never looked back. Just a few minutes after the call he realized that he had never considered being a headhunter. But that this was the perfect job that would leverage his extensive executive experience.Is Your A-HA Moment Just Around the Corner?Next Job, Best Job starts your A-Ha journey via 11 self-care strategies that are designed to take you from where you are now, to where you’re excited to be.At the end of the day, you’ll come away with valuable and actionable tips that you can take to the bank. Here are just a few:Rebrand yourself with a unique and easy-to-remember-and-refer headline. Burnett calls it your North Star. I call it a personal brand or what you want to be known for.Embrace an “Entrepreneur-tude”. See, I told you this was ideal for the freelancer and solopreneur! You’ve already got this one down. It simply means being fluid and flexible and embracing and taking advantage of change.Market yourself. Whether you’re looking for a job or a client, you’re going to need to market yourself. Regardless, you’ll need a powerful LinkedIn profile. Burnett provides tons of helpful tips on exactly how to write it up.Build your tribe. Like all good marketers, you’ll want to build a networking community where you offer support and get support. One rule — no pity parties allowed.What I Loved About Next Job, Best JobI’m generally not a fan of employment books. But Next Job, Best Job is different. I’m an entrepreneur and when I read this, it really resonated with me.For one thing, Rob Barnett’s point is that you should be “working on your next job while you’re still working at the old one.” That means that as a freelancer or self-employed person you need to constantly be networking. After all, every client is your next job.Another great thing about this book is that it is very practical. Barnett tells you specifically what to do and when with checklists of questions for every step in the process.Why I Think Every Entrepreneur Should Have a Copy of Next Job, Best JobI think every entrepreneur, freelancer, or solopreneur should have a copy of Next Job, Best Job because it doesn’t treat marketing yourself like some corporate activity. It incorporates all the practical elements of personal branding and marketing to a customer of one.So, whether you’re looking for your next full-time gig or your next big client, Bob Burnett will guide you through the process, transform how you see yourself and your business and lead you to your Next Job, Best Job.Image: amazon

How The Patient-Centric Interdependence Model Is Revolutionizing Healthcare

How The Patient-Centric Interdependence Model Is Revolutionizing Healthcare

By Dan Lambert, the CEO of PathologyWatch. Dan earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and has led successful ventures and company exits. 
If you are like 64% of American households, you own at least two Apple products. Since emerging out of Jobs’ garage 44 years ago as a startup, Apple’s valuation has reached as high as $2 trillion dollars, making it the second-largest company in the world. For hundreds of millions of people, an iPhone is the first thing they reach for in the morning and the last thing they set down at night.
How does one company become such an influential fixture in a global culture?
The impact of Apple’s success is largely credited to Steve Job’s vision for an integrated, seamless customer experience. Take iTunes, for example. Apple didn’t have the first MP3 player or the first place to download music or the most content. What Apple created was an integrated system catered to the customer’s need for an easy way to listen to music. 

This was complicated to build. It required developing a device, sourcing content, building a digital store, negotiating prices and obsessively shaping a user experience around that integration. Apple’s focus on integration laid the groundwork for customer experience-centered digital transformation in all industries — by 2023, global spending on services and technologies to enable digital transformation is estimated to amount to $2.3 trillion. 

In the healthcare space, my colleagues and I have the opportunity to create our own “Apple moment” of interdependence. While integrating healthcare systems has been difficult to date, the future is to integrate healthcare in the same way — where we pull together devices, systems and healthcare providers into a single amazing experience that begins with the patient. Whether it’s a hospital stay or, in my case, a digital diagnostic lab, the competitive advantages of interdependence in healthcare are significant. 

The Competitive Advantage Of Interdependence 
The Theory of Interdependence and Modularity provides a framework from which we can understand interdependence. When a product is modular, it includes standardized components that work together in codified ways, similar to a lightbulb and its socket. Alternatively, a product is interdependent when one part is made and delivered depending on the way another product is made and delivered. In the iTunes example, Apple had to develop all interdependent components in order to develop any of them. While adoption is slow, components must be made in-house rather than outsourced, and if they are not price-and-speed-optimized compared with modular counterparts, there are significant advantages. The unique interdependent components are optimized for function and reliability — for an optimal customer experience — that can create industries. 
Salesforce is another good example. Founded with the idea of creating a customer relationship management cloud platform based on clicks and not code, Salesforce has expanded its interdependent products and services to the tune of trillions. Beginning with products such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Community Cloud — built on Salesforce’s unique programming language, Apex — they then expanded into industry-based, add-on products such as Health Cloud and Manufacturing Cloud.
Health Cloud, for example, is Community Cloud with a health use case overlay. This interdependence has created not only a profitable business but also its own industry. In a recent study, International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasted that Salesforce and its partner ecosystem will create 4.2 million jobs and $1.2 trillion in business revenues between 2019 and 2024. Salesforce is driving massive gains for its partner ecosystem, which will see $5.80 in gains for every $1 Salesforce makes by 2024. You can view the revenue trajectory in this infographic.
As this example illustrates, once an interdependent product delivers reliably for customers, its components and processes begin to become standardized. At this point, suppliers can compete to deliver what have now become modules more cheaply and quickly (e.g., knock-off iPhone charging cords).
Benefits Of Interdependence In Healthcare
The interdependence model is a natural fit for healthcare. As subspecialties continue to mature, procedures, devices and technologies used to treat patients become increasingly disparate from one another. Payers — driven by rising costs and variation in quality medical care — are starting to designate certain hospitals as “centers of excellence,” where focus on certain conditions require integrated care and are expected to yield better outcomes, lower costs and greater value. At these centers of excellence, patients are selected to be treated for a specific condition, doctors specialize in one type of surgery, equipment is specialized and billing is focused on one type of surgery.
In that vein, PathologyWatch was created as a center of excellence for dermatopathology, where we aim to provide an optimized end-user experience for our dermatologists and integrated care for patients. Our end-users — dermatologists — needed an entire pathology system, not just a device or an expert. They wanted digital pathology, EMR integrations, the ability to show the case to the patient and an expert opinion (or sometimes multiple expert opinions). 
This optimal use case requires bringing together a lab, specimen tracking software, digital scanners, viewing software, AI, expert pathologists, insurance contracts for reimbursement and supply chain capabilities. Most importantly, all of these components existed in some form before but had never worked before in a fully interdependent system.
The end result of this integration is a fantastic experience for both dermatologists and patients. Patients can see and understand cases, doctors receive clinical correlation and offices can potentially bill more for reviewing the pathology as a second reference. Slide turnaround time has increased by up to 75%, and staff in some clinics save one hour per day of manual work with the new integrated system. Some dermatologists are 75% more efficient in their slide review, and some clinics even see improved insurance coverage. Everyone wins because we connected a whole system of people, tools, devices and supply chains together into one comprehensive solution. 
Final Thoughts
The healthcare industry is rapidly adopting a model of interdependence to fuel patient-centric digital transformation. This is how we can reduce the cost of healthcare in the US without sacrificing quality. And while further study is necessary to understand best practices for centers of excellence as well as potential pitfalls for an integrated system, I am cautiously optimistic that this new commitment to interdependence will yield better outcomes, lower costs and overall greater value in healthcare.

Health Insurance Tips for Gig Workers

It goes without saying that you need health insurance, even when you participate as a gig worker and take on contract work instead of working for an employer.

13, 2021

5 min read

This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

It goes without saying that you need health insurance, even when you participate as a gig worker and take on contract work instead of working for an employer. You might not even get that excited about paying for health insurance because you’re not sure whether you’ll make any money in the next week, let alone over the next six months.
The gig economy continues to explode. On average, one in four workers serves as a gig worker in 40% of companies. In 6% of companies, gig workers make up as much as 85% of the workforce. Finally, the workforce in the finance sector makes up 25% of gig workers, primarily independent contractors, according to ADP Research Institute’s recent report.
Curious about how to find health insurance if you live and breathe the gig economy? Take a look at a few quick tips below.
How Gig Workers Can Get Health Insurance
How do you get health insurance as a gig worker? We’ll go over a few options.
Option 1: Self-Employed Health Insurance
Self-employed health insurance, also called individual health insurance, offers a plan directly the opposite of a group health insurance plan from an employer. In most cases, you must enroll during the open enrollment period. You can take a look at the various plans available on the Marketplace, a shopping and enrollment service for medical insurance created by the Affordable Care Act through the federal government.
Option 2: Spouse or Domestic Partner’s Plan 
I recently ventured out into the gig economy and I chose this option — staying on my spouse’s plan. You can often tap into lower premiums when you hop on a spouse or domestic partner’s plan because the employer and employee split the premium cost. 
More than half of non-elderly Americans had group health insurance coverage through their employer or the employer of their family member in 2019. 
Employees with a same sex or opposite sex domestic partner can also get health and/or dental insurance for their domestic partner and family.
Option 3: COBRA 
Thinking about leaving your job to try out the big, wide world of gig working? You may want to find out if you can convert your group plan into an individual plan before you say sayonara. Your plan provider can explain how the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) might fit your coverage options best. COBRA specifies that you can extend your health care coverage up to 18 months after you leave your job.
COBRA gives you a kind of safety net by giving you more time to look into various insurance options.
Option 4: Gig Worker Associations
Did you know that you can get insurance as a gig worker? You sure can! 
For example, the Freelancers Union offers a health insurance plan. You can also find dental coverage and life insurance. If you belong to a professional association, find out whether it offers coverage before you strike out on your own or try the Marketplace. It might offer a cheaper option.
How to Get Health Insurance 
First of all, remember that in all likelihood, you will qualify for the special enrollment period. This means you may have 60 days before or 60 days following the event to enroll in a plan. This may make it convenient for you to take some time to evaluate the right health insurance option for you. Take these two simple steps to get health insurance:
Step 1: Compare costs. 
Ask yourself these questions among each plan you consider:

How much do you pay for the premium per month?
What is the annual plan deductible? A higher deductible means you pay a lower premium and a lower deductible means you pay a higher premium. Learn more about what you need to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance plan will kick in and start paying.
What will you pay out of pocket for the entire year, also referred to as your out-of-pocket maximum?
What are the coinsurance and copayment (copay) amounts? The coinsurance percentage refers to how you and the insurance policy split the cost of care. Your copay involves how much you pay for a covered service, which you pay to your doctor before you receive the doctor’s care. 

Step 2: Sign up for a plan.
You may want to make your first stop You can find a multitude of options on the Marketplace for your state. You can also opt to use a private company if you don’t want to get insurance on the Marketplace.
All ACA plans must cover the following:

Emergency services
Out-patient services
Maternity and newborn care
Mental health, behavioral health and substance use disorder services
Prescription drugs
Rehabilitative services
Laboratory services
Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management

Just know that insurance companies can choose how they handle these benefits. You still need to pay your premium to keep your plan every month and all might have various copays! 
Choose the Right Health Insurance Option for You
When you think you might be ready to jump ship from the nine to five slog, remember that you still need to think about practical matters — freedom and “being your own boss” aside.
No matter what, remember that you need to get health insurance. Don’t even think for one second that you can go for one day without health insurance. Remember, even a simple surgery like taking out an inflamed appendix can cost thousands of dollars. 
You want to do as much research in advance prior to leaving your job (if you can) so you can find the best health care option for your personal situation.  Featured Article: What is the Fibonacci sequence?

Wolverine Worldwide, Inc Is A Buy On Post-Earnings Weakness 

Shares of Wolverine Worldwide are down more than 10% from their recent high and in deep correction despite better than expected earnings and positive guidance.

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Money-Smart Solopreneur

This book gives you the essential guide for easy-to-follow tips and strategies to create more financial success.

13, 2021

4 min read

This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

Wolverine Worldwide, Inc Forecasts Strong Rebound 
Wolverine Worldwide, Inc (NYSE: WWW) and the shoe industry at large didn’t have a fantastic 2020. Like other retailers of apparel, there was little impetus for demand due to social distancing and work-from-home trends. At least in the beginning. Now, more than a year into the crisis, not only is the shoe industry at large posting a nice little rebound but the trends are accelerating. Assuming the reopening continues unabated we expect to see Wolverine World Wide outpace even its own updated and very positive guidance. 
“We believe 2021 will be a breakthrough year for the Company, and our first-quarter performance was an excellent start,” said Blake W. Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer “ … Our brands are well-positioned in trending, performance-oriented product categories like running, hiking, and work; and their momentum remains strong. We anticipate growth to continue to accelerate moving forward.”
Wolverine World Wide Falls On Market-Beating Results 
Wolverine World Wide had a great quarter and one in which sequential growth continued for the 4th quarter. The $510.7 million in net revenue is up 16.3% from last year and beat the consensus if only by a slim 25 basis point margin. Gains were driven by strength in the company’s two top brands as well as eCommerce. The Merrel brand saw its sales surge 25% while Saucony sales jumped 55% and eCommerce 84%. 
The revenue gains were translated into higher margins as well and despite the impact of upward price pressures. The gross margin widened by 210 basis points GAAP and 290 basis points adjusted to hit 4.3% and drive operating gains of larger proportion. The operating margins widened by 760 bps GAAP and 320 bps adjusted to drive significant improvement in earnings. At the GAAP level, the $0.45 in EPS is up 200% from last year and beat the consensus by 1000 basis points. At the adjusted level the $0.40 in reported earnings is up 55% but missed consensus by a penny, that’s the only bad news we could find. 
Guidance for the remainder of the year is equally positive if a little light in regards to earnings. The company upped its target for revenue to $2.24 to $2.3 billion versus the $2.23 consensus which is estimating 25% to 28% YOY growth. The adjusted EPS target was also increased but to a range that brackets the consensus with the consensus above the mid-point of the range. In our view, the guidance but possibly cautious in light of our expectation for the economic rebound. The Fed’s GDPNow tool is tracking Q2 GDP in the double-digit range and we think GDP could accelerate from there before it cools off. 
Wolverine Worldwide Could Increase Its Dividend 
Wolverine Worldwide is not a well-recognized dividend-grower but it does have a history of increases. Based on the Q1 results, the outlook, and the balance sheet we think the company could not only sustain its current payment but increase it as well. Not only is the payout ratio very low but free cash flow is good and on the rise too. The company paid down a substantial amount of debt over the past year that has improved liquidity, leverage, coverage, and FCF. If these trends continue the next dividend increase could be substantial as well. 
The Technical Outlook: Wolverine Worldwide Enters Correction
Shares of Wolverine Worldwide shed more than 8% and are on the verge of a deeper correction because of the Q1 earnings. The earnings weren’t bad, nor was the outlook, but what they were was not enough to spark buying in the face of a broader market sell-off. What this means is share prices for this stock are going to continue falling until finding a firmer level of support that can sustain price action until market conditions improve. In our view, this stock could fall another 10% to 12% before hitting major support but, if it does, we’d be buyers. At that price point, near $34 to $36, the stock would be trading about 17.5X to 18.5X its earnings at the low end of the range and present a much better value-to-yield.Featured Article: Trading signals using Bollinger bands

4 Things You’re Missing When Tracking Your Content

Content is the cornerstone of marketing, forming the foundation of many businesses’ attempts to grab attention or differentiate themselves from their competitors. Inseparable from the content model is tracking, the methods by which you monitor and evaluate the reach and impact of your content. Metrics like impressions and volume are par for the course, but are they really all you should be looking at?The simple answer is no, but it’s probably not immediately obvious what else you should be focusing your attention on. Here are 4 key areas you’re probably overlooking during the content tracking process:

1. Looking for Stolen Content
It should be no surprise that the internet is rife with content thievery and plagiarism. If you’ve put a lot of work into developing something worth sharing, odds are that someone else will sense an opportunity in appropriating what you’ve created. 

You’ve likely heard of Google Analytics, the most popular ad and content metric-tracking platform, but Google Alerts should be the go-to for companies looking to ensure none of their content has been nabbed. Just input key phrases into the tracker and be prepared to scan for any instances of plagiarism that may be out there — this is crucial for ensuring tight control over your brand’s image. 

2. Monetizing Content
For most businesses engaging in content marketing, the point is to spread the word, not directly generate revenue — but why not dabble in a bit of both? The methods for monetizing both videos and blogs are well known, so the transition into making money from your content should be a relatively smooth one.

Of course, you’ll want to take existing content metrics and generate revenue estimates with them before diving in head first. Digital rights management platforms like Aux Mode work to provide concise financial reporting for each piece of content and track the ad dollars tied to it. Use a YouTube revenue calculator to get a good sense of what the financial impact of content monetization will be for your business — plug in a few numbers, and you’ll see that it’s likely too large to ignore.
3. Surveying Customer Intake
If you want to know the true impact your content is having, simply ask your new customers if they’ve encountered it. This will give you a rough sense of your content’s reach, and some more pointed questions will help you gauge its reception as well.
Customer experience platform GetFeedback’s guide to developing customer surveys for content marketing is a helpful jumping-off point, but be sure to pose questions relevant to your content in particular. Are your customers getting the right message from your content? Does it have the precise impact you’re hoping for? Your customers will be able to answer — you just need to ask first. 
4. Word-of-Mouth
Your content reaches more than just your customers. Though it’s not a simple thing to track empirically, the word-of-mouth impressions of people can have a significant impact. Don’t be afraid to ask people on the outer fringes of your network about how they view your content — if they’ve viewed it at all. The more perspectives you can get, the more you’ll know, regardless of whether or not you can compile it all into hard data.
The point of tracking is ultimately to know how your content is being received in the world at large and to understand how that reception is affecting business. To be able to see the full picture, you’ll need to start tracking in ways that might seem unconventional but are critical for the future of your content strategy all the same.

Presentation Tips From An Entrepreneur Who Won A $100,000 Pitch Competition

If the odds of success were stacked against Daniela Blanco, she didn’t get the memo.
 Blanco fled Venezuela after the country’s economic collapse. While pursuing her Ph.D. in chemistry at NYU, she entered a prestigious international pitch competition and won first place, taking home the $100,000 grand prize. 

Blanco is one of several student entrepreneurs featured in Own the Room, an uplifting and inspiring documentary on Disney Plus. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Blanco and award-winning filmmakers Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, who call their documentary “A love letter to entrepreneurs and small business owners.”
Their pitch tips are invaluable for entrepreneurs, leaders, or business professionals who need to express their ideas clearly and convincingly.
1. Share personal stories.
Daniela began her winning pitch with a personal story. “My name is Daniela Blanco. I was born in tropical Venezuela,” she began. “I was four years old when I told my mom that I wanted to do science, but the good kind of science, the kind of science that helped people.”

 Blanco told me that when she pitches potential investors and partners for her startup, Sunthetics (a renewable chemical company), they’re not just interesting in the technology. They need to believe in the person they’re backing. “To sell yourself as an entrepreneur, you need to show people the numbers, of course, but also tell them why you’re doing what you’re doing,” Blanco says.

After explaining the technical problems of creating materials like nylon sustainably, Blanco offered the solution her company is researching.  She returned to the story of her mother to end the pitch on an inspiring note. 

“I don’t feel discouraged by all the challenges that I’m going to face. Without realizing it, my mom taught me exactly how to be an entrepreneur: she always encouraged me to find my purpose. She was always a perfect example of determination, and that is how, as a female engineer, entrepreneur, or immigrant, I keep fighting for my dream. Whatever comes next, I know that, just like my mom, I am unbreakable.”
The judges, along with everyone in the audience, applauded and rose to their feet. In ten minutes, Blanco had won them over. 

2. Express your big idea in one sentence.
Regular readers of my column or books know that I’m a big believer in condensing your idea until you can express it in one short sentence. 
Filmmakers Costantini and Foster say, “If you can’t summarize your idea in one line, you need to practice more. One line shows that you have a clear idea of what your business is and what you hope to accomplish.”
 Although Blanco’s technology is complicated, her mission (and her pitch) is simple: “My mission is to make the chemical industry more sustainable.”
 Give your audience the big picture in one sentence before diving into the details.
 3. Practice like a performer.
Costantini told me she was shocked at the amount of practice the finalists put into their 10-minute pitch. They rehearsed on planes, in hotel rooms, and hallways. “The thing I learned is that there is a lot of preparation that goes into making something look effortless,” says Costantini. 
Practicing a presentation like a theatrical performance will give you confidence and calm your nerves before the main event. 
“Nobody else in the room knows that you’re nervous if you don’t let them know it,” says Blanco. “With practice, you can take your time and walk into the room like you own it.” 
For Blanco, practice has paid off. Her company, Sunthetics, has raised more than $400K in funding, thanks in large part to pitch competitions.
“I have found that, especially in science, the most important part of communicating your idea is to make it so simple that you can talk to anyone about it,” says Blanco. “It’s a common mistake to think that the more complex, the more complicated you make something, the smarter you’re going to sound. That’s not true. People only get behind what they understand.”
Blanco’s right. You can have a great idea, but the secret to turning that idea into a reality is to convince others that it’s a great idea.

Why Being A Jack Of All Trades Is Essential For Success

When you hear the phrase jack of all trades, what judgment does your mind make? It likely conjures up negative connotations. A wheeler-dealer who will sell anything to anyone. Someone who knows a little about a lot and uses it to get their way. A lack of specialist skills and knowledge in favour of giving any old thing a try.Jack of all trades has become somewhat of an insult, but it didn’t begin as one. The phrase was originally used to describe a playwright who was always hanging around the theatres. He would help with the stage, the set and the costumes. He would remember lines and try directing. This so-called jack of all trades was in fact William Shakespeare. The full phrase is “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one”. It was a compliment. 

Far from letting it deter their path, some entrepreneurs swear that being a jack of all trades brings benefits.
Picking an area and learning it inside-out is one way to begin a specialist career but trying lot of things can lead to self-discovery. To working out who you are and where your skills lie. Therapist and business owner Sunayana Clark says that when she started out, she was a jack of all trades. The benefits were, “you understand your strengths and weaknesses very quickly. You learn about time management and boundaries.”

Paul Clarke from Connect Performance has explored working in sales, human performance and sports performance throughout his entrepreneurial journey. Although he says they are “seemingly unconnected”, the combined skillset has “allowed me to develop a scientific solution for improving the wellbeing and performance of salespeople.” Knowledge across many areas can combine to create well-rounded experts.

International speaker and mentor Kitty Yeung Downer studied business studies at university, “as I didn’t have an idea what I wanted.” She found that exploring and experiencing different paths gave her the confidence to leave “[her] six-figure income to make a leap of faith moving to a new city with no visa, job or home awaiting.”

Keeping your eyes and ears open to opportunities, coupled with learning and growing in multiple areas, means self-awareness and confidence in your path.
Allowing flexibility
Holding a solid grasp of many concepts or decent proficiency in multiple skills can allow for flexibility, in a life and career. When a breakdown forced self-employed dressmaker Holly Winter out of a PR career of nearly two decades, her “sewing hobby accidentally turned into a bridal dressmaking business.” Winter had sewed since the age of five “but it never occurred to me to sew for a living. Friends asked me to make a few things, then friends of friends and it snowballed. Having PR experience definitely helped [my business].”
Marketing and events specialist Ben Allen thinks “monotony is torture!” He prefers to think of his work as a “portfolio career” and enjoys “being able to dance between marketing/pr and event production work, especially in the summer.” Allen says, “with ADHD it helps to work on different projects and keep stimulated with different tasks.”
The flexibility can benefit your clients as much as yourself. According to marketing consultant Andie Coupland, who likes the term “generalist” and “spent a ten-year in-house career climbing the ranks before setting up on my own last year”, “being able to pick and choose different projects or clients works really well for me.” Coupland says it gives her “exposure to lots of different areas of marketing. My natural curiosity led me to find out how other departments functioned, how marketing could help them and how they could help me.” This means she is “now able to adapt my approach to all sorts of client needs.” Less pigeon holing, more being able to adapt to any requirements, can be a winning strategy.
Great in business
Companies want to hire useful people who can find analogies and draw trends, with a curiosity for solutions outside a narrow sphere.
Cliff Gibson, founder at New Key Homes, admits he has “No education”, but has “worked in garages, finance, purchasing, warehouse management, IT development, data architecture, GDPR, built [his] own house, and now run[s] a growing property development company.” Gibson’s “self-taught jack of all trades approach to life has put me in a good position to be able to understand every role required in my businesses.” PR consultant Catherine Bolado agrees. “You have to have an eye on what is happening in other areas to provide the best advice for clients. As a former journo, charity comms and now PR… I can advise on anything from fundraising to digital strategy.”
Alex Yates is a web development consultant who has noticed tech is going through a movement “away from highly specialised technical roles and teams toward more general individuals and teams who are better at collaboration.” Specialising too narrowly causes systematic problems and means departments don’t understand each other and it’s now considered old-fashioned by the best tech organisations.” Yates said that, “the market is shifting toward a higher percentage of broader generalists, who can thrive in smaller ‘startup’ style teams.”
Broader knowledge leads to greater understanding and being better able to advise clients across multiple areas. It’s not adequate to specialise and turn a blind eye to other influences. As covered in David Epstein’s book, Range, progression and breakthroughs happen at the interfaces between specialisms.

Why being a jack of all trades is essential for success


Required for roles
In some fields, being too narrow can be costly. This is especially true in digital marketing, which changes all the time. Digital marketer Heather Topf doesn’t think you can be accomplished in this area if you’re not a jack of all trades. “Constant professional development is so important to keep up! One minute you’re deep delving in data, the next learning how to use After Effects.” Topf loves the mix.
Katherine of Kattack PR finds that working in comms she “tend[s] to do social media, marketing, video, audio, image editing, copywriting, web design, analytics, events” and more, but specialises in PR. “No day is the same! As I’m [just three years in to] my career I’m slowly specialising in related industries as there are far more generalists out there competing for work than specialists.” Her strategy is simple; learn everything first and specialise after.
Blogger Taty said that being a jack of all trades developed her transferable skill set, including writing, web design, SEO and languages, and helped her “stand out in full-time and part-time positions and made it easier to secure jobs because I already had the exact skills they wanted. It made employing me easier because they didn’t have to spend much time training me.”
Curiosity as a strength
Bringing curiosity to any work makes you better at doing it. According to proud non-nicher and all-round useful person Francesca Baker, “I set up my own business because I love variety. I’m one of those people always out exploring more, learning new things, discovering how the world works. That innate curiosity is something I bring to my work.” Her work includes writing, copywriting, journalism and PR.
Hortense Julienne, whose list of titles includes food writer, photographer, snack brand owner, advocate for rare diseases, speaker on visible and invisible disabilities, NGO trustee, community volunteer manager, and ex-events manager, says “I make myself dizzy, but all this knowledge comes in handy. You’re never bored, there is something bubbling up. You can contribute to many people and sectors. You are an eternal learner. I get joy from meeting people who know more than me as I soak in their knowledge. She describes it as being an “unboxable chameleon.” Too interesting to categorise, too cool to care.
Being a master of one thing might mean you are an artist or an academic. Being a master of more means your work has a chance to reach people. You don’t wait to be discovered; the power is in your hands. Holding good working knowledge of a lot of areas is desirable and those who hire you might feel like they have hit the jackpot.

20 Habits That Prevent You From Being a Millionaire

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.

Most of us, including you, have bad habits that get in the way. If you are able to abandon the following habits, you must be able to understand that becoming a millionaire is not as far from reality an idea as you think. We all want to be.For me, as for many other people, these 20 habits were what kept me from becoming a millionaire.1. Sleep when you shouldn’tIf you wake up until noon and work 12 or more hours per day to make up for a late start. Here’s the thing. I understand perfect, because I struggled with it for years. We are not all active people in the morning. Me, I still stay in bed on cool, rainy mornings.Successful people are known to wake up early, usually before everyone else at home, so they can get started early on to get work started, catch up on the news, answer emails, and exercise without sacrificing time. they spend with their family.2. Neglecting your health”When it comes to health, bad habits do harmful damage,” writes Thomas Corley in ” Change Your Habits, Change Your Life: Strategies that Transformed 177 Average People into Self-Made Millionaires .”When you’re unhealthy, you’re tired, less productive, more stressed, and much more likely to get sick. How can you focus on building your health, if you fight those factors every day?3. Don’t readPeople with money invest the time and effort necessary to expand their knowledge, keep up with the news and trends within their industry, learn from others and take responsibility for continuing to innovate.As Lipovsky wrote, reading brings different perspectives, allows you to gain various points of view that will in turn expand yours, giving you the necessary push to dream big and motivate you to never give up.4. Rely on a single source of incomePeople with a lot of money have several sources of income. Which means that for those of us who aspire to wealth, we have to invest part of our income to pay off our debts, and reserve for retirement and invest.This doesn’t mean you have to get a second job while waiting for results (not a bad idea until you have a better option). It could be something you’re passionate about, like writing about technology. You can do it through a blog and start earning a passive income through the market.5. Not setting a budgetEveryone needs to create a budget and stick to it, but unfortunately, there are many people who do not. Since they can’t see if they are spending more than they are accurately earning, it often leads to financial problems. If you notice that this is your case, then you need to start reducing unnecessary expenses and you should talk to an advisor to claim you.In fact, this is another habit discovered by millionaire authors such as: Thomas Stanley and William Danko after analyzing millionaire people for their book The Millionaire Next Door.6. Don’t think ahead”In my study, ninety-five percent of poor people did not save and most of them accumulated debt to subsidize their quality of life. Consequently, they do not have money either for the time of their retirement or for the their children’s education, or for the opportunities that come their way, “wrote Tom Corley in” Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. “Just like Corley says. “Not saving and spending more than you earn creates long-term poverty with no hope of escaping.”7. Not paying attention to small expensesYou may think that spending $ 40 a day on a cup of coffee has no effect on your wallet. The same goes for that $ 500 gym membership you hardly ever use. But, despite the fact that in the scheme of things these are small expenses, believe it or not, they add up quickly.I recently randomly checked my company’s credit card payments. I found that 35 percent of people who buy coffee at least 4 times a week or go to the cafeteria every day only pay the minimum on their credit card monthly.Again, this is why a budget is so helpful. It helps you manage these small expenses so you can adjust and focus on the important things. Remember to only keep the subscriptions that you actually use.8. Dating the wrong peopleReplace the toxic and negative people in your life with those who are optimistic, motivating and supportive. “In life, you will only be successful if you surround yourself with the right people,” says Corley.9. PostponeIt is one thing to say that you want to become a millionaire and quite another to start doing it. If you want to get out of financial stagnation, then you need to take action as soon as possible. If you sit down with a financial professional to adjust your budget, this would be a great step to start doing rather than talking.10. Drink and gamble”There’s nothing like getting rich quick”; “Financial success takes time, initiative and requires relentless effort”; “Those who gamble are deluded into thinking there is a shortcut to success,” Corley writes.Instead, millionaires “get in the habit of pursuing their dreams and goals.”On the other hand, excessive alcohol consumption prevents you from becoming a millionaire since it damages your memory, the ability to think clearly and your health. That doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally have a glass of wine or beer. Don’t make drinking a habit.11. Watching too much TV”Rich people have small televisions and big libraries. Poor people have small libraries and big televisions,” Zig Ziglar once said.Do not misunderstand. I like to watch Netflix from time to time. But, as in Corley’s discovery, the wealthy prefer to read, exercise, or educate themselves rather than waste time watching television. “Making productive use of time is a hallmark of millionaires.””Wasting time belongs to poor people,” says Corley.12. Not finding a mentorI’m sure if I had found a mentor years ago I would have gotten rich since then. Why do I believe it? I could have learned from the successes and mistakes of someone who has developed in those fields, their advice could have helped me to omit so many mistakes that I have experienced and instead I could have obtained some benefit.Instead of going out to get a mentor, open your eyes, they are all around you. You can take the advice of a college professor or your parents.13. Stay in your comfort zoneTaking risks and getting out of your comfort zone is unsettling. I understand. But until you take that leap, you will find financial success. This is a habit that worked very well for Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Larry Ellison, and Warren Buffet.”The pursuit of wealth requires risk, most people do not, so they are not rich,” says Corley.14. Don’t ask questionsYou don’t know everything. Put your ego aside for a moment. I hate being the bearer of bad news, but that’s a fact and it will keep you from being rich until you deal with it.I learned the hard way that trying to guess the future leads to failure and poor decisions. If you are not sure about an investment or an idea for your business, do not hesitate to ask for feedback and advice.15. Being consumed by failureEntrepreneurs wear failure as a badge of honor. That doesn’t mean they enjoy or want to fail. Going out of business and losing almost everything is rubbish, but those bumps of life are necessary to become as strong as you can be.Do not get confused. Failure is horrible. But you shouldn’t let that stop you. Take risks, and if you fail, learn from your mistakes and move on.16. Not setting daily goalsOne of the best habits I have adopted in recent years was writing my goals daily and first thing in the morning. This inspires and encourages me to achieve my goals.I found that setting daily goals helps prioritize from the most important to the least important. For example, instead of looking for my $ 100 overdue bills, I focus on one or two of $ 1,500. Prioritizing means doing what really matters.17. Thinking negatively”Long-term success is only possible when you have a positive mindset,” Corley writes.Here are some examples of the most common negative thoughts we have that most can overcome:- Doubting yourself. Training, education, and a mentor can change this thinking.- Believe that your goals cannot be achieved. Focus on reaching your daily goals and pushing yourself.- Have bad grades. No. Grades and learning difficulty do not determine success. Ask Richard Branson who overcame dyslexia.- The competition is too tough. You will never know until you try. And, in the worst case? Just turn around.- Lack of concentration. Living healthy and setting daily goals can keep you focused.18. Don’t save”A job will never make you rich. Nor will saving all your money in a piggy bank. So how do you build wealth?” Asks Brandon Turner, vice president of growth at how is it achieved? Through tangible assets such as a profitable business, a growing stock portfolio or investing in real estate law.Remember, your car and toys are responsibilities that take away the income from your future wealth. Focus on acquiring things that will make you money in the long run.19. Make excusesExcuses were one of the biggest obstacles between me and wealth. Making excuses is easy when we are trying to understand why we have so much debt and if we don’t have a six-figure income. Saying that we want to “live in the moment” is an excuse not to work and create a better future. Stop making excuses and start working.For example, don’t worry about saving when you’re drowning in debt. Pay first, and that way you can start saving and investing. If you’re not making enough money, find another source of income like selling things online or delivering pizzas. That won’t solve all your problems, but at least it’s a start to ditching excuses.20. Failure to follow the 70/30 Rule.Jim Rohn, one of the county’s leading business authority figures, has a simple formula for building your wealth.”After paying your taxes, learn to live with 70 percent of your income for your necessities and luxuries”, “it is important to see how you allocate the remaining 30 percent after that.” Mentions Rohn.Rohn suggests giving one third to charity, one third to equity investments and the last third to savings. You won’t notice anything at first, but “let five years go by and the differences will be noticeable. 10 years later, they will be completely solid.”We recommend: 4 habits of millionaires that work for everyone.