Intel Stock is a U.S. Semiconductor Infrastructure Play

U.S. semiconductor developer Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) stock has staged a rally back towards its 2019 pre-pandemic highs to set-up a either a double-top or a breakout.

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April
13, 2021

4 min read

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U.S. semiconductor developer Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) stock has staged a rally back towards its 2019 pre-pandemic highs to set-up either a double-top or a breakout. With a long-awaited new CEO, Pat Gelsinger, installed and with plans to build chip fabrication (FABs) plants directly in the U.S. changes the narrative as a U.S. infrastructure play. This has bolstered sentiment and performance with shares out rising over 37% year-to-date (YTD), not only outperforming but lifting the Nasdaq 100. The Biden infrastructure package seeks to bolster U.S. supply chains from rare earth materials, clean energy to semiconductors. Considering 80% of the world’s semiconductor production is manufactured by two foreign companies, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM) and Samsung Electronics (OTCMARKETS: SSLNF). The rollout of it’s much delayed Ice Lake-SP chips and plans for Meteor Lake and new research collaboration with IBM (NYSE: IBM) indicates the reawakening of the sleeping giant. Prudent investors looking to get exposure in a U.S. semiconductor infrastructure play can monitor shares of Intel for opportunistic pullback levels.
Company Guidance Update
On March 23, 2021, Intel raised its Q1 2021 EPS guidance above its prior guidance for $1.10 versus consensus analyst estimates of $1.11. The Company sees it Q1 2021 quarterly revenues for the month ending in March 2021 exceeding the prior guidance of $17.5 billion versus $17.59 billion consensus analyst estimates. However, the Company trimmed full-year 2021 EPS guidance to come in around $4.55 versus consensus estimates for $4.74 and lowered full-year 2021 revenues to come in at approximately $72 billion versus $73.03 billion analyst estimates. While Q1 2021 strength was driven by continued strong notebook demand, the industry wide shortage of third-party components and entity list uncertainty was responsible for the trimming of estimates. CEO Gelsinger stated, “2021 is a transitional year as we accelerate Intel’s trajectory, invest in our future and improve out execution. We’re working aggressively with our supply chain partners and leveraging our unique manufacturing capabilities to solve for industry-wide component shortages and outperform this guide.” 
IDM 2.0
On March 23, 2021, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, unveiled the Company’s integrated device manufacturing model known as IDM 2.0. The Company plans to construct two new fabs in Arizona at a cost of $20 billion. This will create 3,000 permanent high-tech, high wage jobs, over 3,000 construction jobs and approximately 15,000 local long-term jobs. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo participated in the IDM 2.0 event. CEO Gelsinger summed it up, “We are excited to be partnering with the state of Arizona and the Biden administration on incentives to spur this type of domestic investment.”
Intel Foundry Services
Intel plans to become a major player and provider of foundry capacity in the U.S. and Europe to serve customers globally. The newest fab, Fab 42, at its Ocotillo campus in Chandler, AZ, became fully operational processing 10nm chips in 2020. The two newly planned fabs will also reside at the Ocotillo campus with construction planned to commence later this year. The fabs will be part of a new standalone business, Intel Foundry Services (IFS), led by semiconductor veteran Dr. Randhir Thakur. The new business will differentiate itself from competitors offering process, packaging and committed capacity in the U.S. and Europe. Intel’s IP portfolio is available for customer including x86 cores, ARM and RISC-V ecosystem Ips. The Company has already received “strong enthusiasm and statements of support from across the industry.” The Company also expects to tape in the compute tile for its first 7nm client CPU, Meteor Lake, in Q2 2021. The downplaying of full-year 2021 guidance may be an attempt to set the bar low heading, however, the market is clinging to the infrastructure and turnaround narrative with extremely positive sentiment. Prudent investors will need to administer patience avoiding the urge to chase entries.
INTC Opportunistic Pullback Levels
Using the rifle charts on the monthly and weekly time frames provides a broader view of the playing field for INTC shares. The monthly rifle chart is uptrending with a rising 5-period moving average (MA) support at $59.67 with monthly upper Bollinger Bands (BBs) near the $72.03 Fibonacci (fib) level. The monthly stochastic is still rising through the 60-band. The weekly rifle chart triggered a market structure low (MSL) buy trigger above $55.95, while the monthly market structure high (MSH) sell triggers under $53.60. The weekly rifle chart has an uptrend powered by a stochastic mini pup flushing shorts higher towards the weekly upper BBs near the $74.58 fib. Shares are nearing the pre-pandemic highs which will either form a double-top or a breakout. Prudent investors can monitor for opportunistic pullback levels at the $65.29 fib, $63.53 fib, $60.58 fib, $58.51 fib, and the $55.95 fib. The upside trajectories range from the $78.15 fib up towards the $88.03 fib level. 

The Four Morning Routines Of Successful Entrepreneurs

If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all approach to your morning routine, stop right there. There isn’t one. The perfect formula does not exist. The morning routines of successful entrepreneurs vary wildly because successful entrepreneurs operate differently.
The one thing that these morning routines have in common is that they are routines. The focus is on consistency; on deciding what you will do each and every time you wake up. The consistency itself becomes the practice. The day is intentionally set up and the magic happens from there.
The morning is a glorious time and not to be wasted. From interviewing over one hundred entrepreneurs and business leaders, here’s what I learned about their morning routines and priorities, and the four broad categories in which they fit.

Focus first
There’s an argument for doing your most important work first, and many entrepreneurs swear by this practice. Before the sun has risen, before the kids have woken up and before anyone has tried to call; just you and your deep, focused, most important work.

Dr. Ivan Zakharenkov, whose company works to transform the business processes of veterinarian professionals, knows that, “the first 90-180 minutes of the day is when the brain is most productive in combining the information deposited in the long-term memory during sleep.” He doesn’t waste this precious time. “I drop into doing the most important work that I lined up the night before with all distractions turned off.” Business coach Melitta Campbell also plans her day the night before, “so I wake up with intention. Before getting out of bed I remind myself of that day’s goal and my first steps towards this. It prevents me from being distracted by social media or email, i.e. other people’s priorities!”

Natasha Glover, founder of ecommerce store Brown Skin Dark Lips, has a novel way of getting things done. “Every day I log into Zoom at 5:30am to join a power hour with fellow entrepreneurs. We sit in silence with our cameras on and I focus on tasks which need uninterrupted quiet time and concentration before the children wake up.” For Glover, this is about companionship whilst she’s building her business. “Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey, something only fellow entrepreneurs can empathise with. If I can physically see that I’m not really alone, it’s encouraging and motivating on the difficult days.”
Mind matters
Many entrepreneurs I heard from use the morning to create an optimal headspace and get in the right frame of mind, sometimes in novel ways. “I have Alexa wake me up with a ‘Hello gorgeous’ message and a positive saying every morning, which puts a smile on my face”, said Shilpa Panchmatia, business coach to entrepreneurs. “I then hit the yoga mat for a Zoom class, after which I feel more energised and positive, especially when the days are freezing cold and dark.
Yoga was a common response from the entrepreneurs I quizzed, but Panchmatia uses her yoga class to set her intention for the day, explaining that, “It means I feel more aligned to my purpose in life and then I work with that intention in my thoughts during the day. Today my intention was flow.”
Entrepreneur and angel investor Henry Joseph-Grant also works on his mindset first thing. “I spend a few minutes looking in the mirror to be thankful and remind myself I’m blessed. I listen to positive music whilst in the shower and I eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast. A grateful, positive mind plus an energised body equals being ready for a kick ass day ahead!” Joseph-Grant says running his mornings like this means that his mindset is super positive all day. “I’m enjoying my work. I’m laser focussed and I get my tasks done. I don’t find myself indulging on the negative things, or doom & gloom news.”

The four morning routines of successful entrepreneurs

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Creating connections
People first, profits second. Many entrepreneurs interviewed spent the morning improving their relationships. Whether that was with those with whom they lived or further afield, their first few waking hours were spent sharing experiences or reaching out.
Hannah Cox, who helps businesses become B-Corp certified, reaches out as part of her morning routine. “While I make my morning brew, I always text a different friend or family member to wish them a good day and ask them what they’ve got planned. It’s a daily reminder that my business isn’t everything, my relationships are important and an easy way to show I care.”
Emma from Bee Money Savvy is similar, “I start every day by checking in on family. They are my motivation for getting out of bed and building a better life and it’s great to catch up on their work projects and careers.”
Sanjay Aggarwal, founder of Spice Kitchen, chooses the difficult conversations first. “We have a team meeting where we discuss the hard stuff; what went well and what needs improving.” He says it creates a culture of “continuous business improvement and less about blame.” The team meeting is positive in its approach, “We don’t get bogged down with mistakes, just re-training or adding a process to try to make it possible. It’s really important to how we run our factory.”
Healthy habits
Those who don’t make time for their wellness will one day be forced to make time for their sickness. Entrepreneurs who wake up and work out see benefits in all areas of their life. Whether it’s hitting the roads for a run, a round of stretching before sitting down or making only nutritious food for breakfast, a healthy body equals a healthy mind, and a healthy business is sure to follow.

The four morning routines of successful entrepreneurs

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Charlie Day of the Entrepreneurs Growth Club is an early riser who has her routine set in stone. “I am up at 5am every morning and I have a fixed morning routine. Meditate, gratitude journal, running, writing. It sets me up for the day and brings massive benefits. I am more productive; I have more energy and above anything I feel like my happiness levels are through the roof.” Peter Rabey, CEO of the X4 Group also chooses exercise early doors, with a side of thinking. His morning is spent “clearing my head on my bike to allow me to think about what I’d really like today to be about” and Paul Harrison of The Travel Franchise plays golf at 6am every day during summer. “It’s a bit of me time, I walk 12,000 steps, so it gets me feeling energised and fit. I then start work at 9am and I feel refreshed and revitalised.”
Eco entrepreneur Russ Avery, whose focus is sustainability marketing, swears by a hit of H2O. “I drink half a litre of water as soon as I wake up, which has been an absolute game changer. While I’m drinking it, or straight after, I have 5-10 minutes of mindfulness and practice deep breathing before I think about the day ahead.” For Avery, the benefits have been noticeable throughout the day. “It makes me feel way less sluggish, has improved my digestion, completely got rid of the mid-afternoon slump. I can’t believe I didn’t know about it before. Everyone should try drinking loads of water as soon as they wake up!”
It matters not what your routine contains, it matters that you have a routine. Creating and executing intentional morning practices that set up your day for success and work for your unique situation is far more important than copying what someone else does. Choose one or a combination of mindful moments, creating connections, healthy habits or focused work. Find your perfect practice and stick to it daily.

Infographic: 6 Reasons You Should Leave Early

Leaving work on time is much more than a whim or an act of rebellion: it is a premise for our physical and emotional well-being.

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

A new day begins. As soon as we got to the office, we decided, “today I WILL get out of work on time.” But as the day progresses, the earrings accumulate; the dreaded bombings arise and the purpose of going home early becomes increasingly unattainable. And well, this happens practically every day. Leaving the office on time is much more than a whim or an act of rebellion: it is a premise for our physical and emotional well-being, and although it may not seem like it, also for the benefit of our own work. We leave you six compelling reasons to leave the office on time. (With information from Paulina Santibáñez and infographic from Andrés Gras) Do you agree with this premise?

The 12 Parts of a Successful Signature Presentation

June
14, 2017

9 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Dan S. Kennedy and Dustin Mathews’ book No BS Guide to Powerful Presentations. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.Note: This excerpt was guest-written by Dave Vanhoose, co-founder of Speaking Empire.A Signature Presentation is a message that works for you no matter when, where or how you share it — speaking, in a webcast or webinar, facing one person across a desk or 100 people from a stage. This becomes the core of any and every presentation you deliver.Related: Why Every Personal Brand Needs a Target AudienceThe following Speaker’s Formula™ organizes your presentation into 12 component parts, in a particular order.  When most people get up on stage, make a video or hold a webinar, they talk at people. That’s a pushing energy. It actually pushes people away. It’s better to draw them toward and into your presentation so they give you their attention and get interested in what you have to say. A compelling emotional or dramatic story can do this. This can tie to your reason for making your presentation and for being in the business or for selling the product you’re selling. A set of provocative questions is another approach. A set of specific, intriguing promises is yet another. One way or another, the first block of your presentation needs to be about getting and holding attention.2. Build rapport People buy from people they know, like and trust. People don’t just buy things from you; they have to buy you. An excellent way to build rapport is with personal transparency. You may choose to share your personal challenges, an obstacle you’ve overcome or doubts you conquered that got you to this moment of appearing before your audience and introducing them to your opportunity. It’s usually a mistake to barrel ahead with a presentation of facts, figures, product features and benefits, and propositions without first establishing some rapport with the audience.3. Gain credibility An audience needs some reassurance that you deserve being listened to. The same presentation gets very different results if delivered by two different people and only one gives reasons why he has the right to talk about the subject and to talk to the audience in front of him. Are you part of a respected group or association? Are you an author? Have you been seen in relevant publications? Have you been seen on TV or heard on radio? Are you just another cosmetic surgeon, or are you THE cosmetic surgeon who wrote The Official Consumer’s Guide to Cosmetic Surgery . . . who lectured at known hospitals . . . who has been a guest on a popular TV show . . . who is certified in the technique favored by major movie stars? In short, you need to lay out your claims to fame at this point in your presentation.4. Target problems Your audience entered the room, came to the webinar, started listening to your audio CD already in and with pain — if not physical, then in the broader sense: disappointment, frustration, recurring failure, anxiety, confusion. Everybody has something of this nature going on. For many people, it’s simmering — not acute or urgent. At this point in your presentation, you want to draw it out and state it, turn up its heat and make it acute and urgent. Relatively few people can be motivated by gain alone. Most move toward gain as a way of escaping pain.5. Deliver solution After you’ve dialed up the pain, it’s time to show the audience your solution. This may be your product or service, your diagnostic process, an appointment with you or exam by you or otherwise engaging with you. This point is fifth in the sequence because if you get to it too quickly, you haven’t laid the groundwork needed for your solution to be readily accepted. If you get to it too late, you may frustrate your audience. At this point, you want people to know you have a solution and to be excited about it without getting bogged down in its details.6. Set expectations An audience needs to know where they’re going with you. They don’t want to join you in your presentation without a good idea of the destination and the landmark points along the way. Any uncertainty raises anxiety. So you need to tell them what you’re going to tell them.On a more sophisticated level, you want to try to direct and control their reactions to your presentation. This is sometimes called “framing” or “pre-framing.” By setting these expectations, you create an open loop in their minds, particularly in their subconscious minds. How they feel about and respond to what you say, do and ask of them during the rest of your presentation will loop back to what you told them to expect.Related: How to Target the Right Audience in 5 Simple StepsWhen you present a product, service or just an idea, people have objections and doubts. Maybe, in their mind, they’re saying, “I don’t have time,” or “It won’t work for me.” They’re saying something, and it will likely be a reason not to go forward. The antidote is targeted social proof. You need to identify five to seven typical objections or doubts likely held by large percentages of your audience. Then find five to seven matching social proof stories, testimonials or fact-filled case histories. Each one erases one of the objections or doubts.8. Show benefits This is elementary, but it still needs to be said: People don’t buy a product to have the product or even because of its features. They don’t even buy the benefits of the product. They buy the benefits of the benefits. Nobody buys fast-drying paint because it dries fast, or even because of the benefit of that: less chances of it being touched, smudged, dirt falling onto it. They’re buying time and freedom (from drudgery). Virtually every presentation needs at least one slide that lists or depicts the benefits of the benefits.9. Irresistible offer Think about offers as “1 to 10.” One is basic, ordinary and/or unexciting. 10 is absolutely overpowering, “must have,” urgent and exciting. Think about the offer you’re going to make. Is it a one, a three, a five, a seven? It’s hard to get to 10 — to absolutely irresistible — but the closer you get, the better. A great presentation can fall flat and fail if it brings everybody to an unexciting offer.10. No-risk guarantee The number-one reason people don’t respond to the offer you make with your presentation is that they feel they were let down by somebody else. As you’re presenting, they’re remembering! A strong, simple, straightforward guarantee gives them needed reassurance that they can make a decision with you without getting burned.You might ask: How long should a guarantee be? It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you have an appropriate guarantee. If they can judge in seven days, then that’s fine. If they need a month, then a month is better. What’s most important is that you have a guarantee, period.  11. Give a deadline The last thing you want is a presentation that lets the audience off the hook and lets them meander out of the room or exit your webinar to think things over. The whole point of doing powerful group presentations is efficiency. The last thing you want to wind up doing is chasing people who saw your presentation, by email, mail or phone. Your goal is to have a presentation that has people running — not walking — to the back of the room to buy or sign up for whatever next step is offered.A lot of people will do this with now-or-never discounts. This can be effective, but I personally never like lowering prices because it’s what everybody does. Other techniques are fast-action bonuses, a limited bonus only for the first x-number or an impending event, like a fast-start class, breakfast, lunch or online session within hours or the very next day. In any case, the deadline itself must be very clear.Related: 10 Ways to Learn About Your Target Audience12. Call to action I see so many people who seem afraid to make the call to action and tell people exactly what to do and to do it now. You need to be very direct about this. You can tell them to get up and go to the table at the back to schedule an appointment or quickly complete a form and buy the product. You can have forms handed out as you’re getting to this point in your presentation and tell them to fill them out and take them to back tables, “the folks in the red jackets at the doors,” or to bring them up to the front to you. If you’re delivering your presentation in a physical location, it’s a bad idea to send them to some location outside of that room and out of your sight. If you’re delivering a presentation online as a webinar or webcast, this step should be easy and seamless. Whatever they’re supposed to do as the response to your presentation, they should be told exactly what to do.With a Signature Presentation built with this Formula, you really can sell anything.Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.

Pressure to Increase on Senate to Pass the PRO Act

Back in March, the US House of Representatives passed what’s known as the PRO Act.While the legislation is gaining notoriety over its content on unions and employees’ right to organize, it also aims to completely change the job marketplace for freelancers and independent contractors.However, the PRO Act faces a major hurdle, or two, in the US Senate. You can expect to hear more about the PRO Act in the coming days or weeks now.Last week, Amazon workers voted against unionizing. Now, it appears pro-union lobbyists will be upping the pressure on Democrats in the Senate to get the PRO Act to President Joe Biden for his signature.The only way that may happen is if the Senate votes to end the filibuster. And right now, that doesn’t seem likely.Regardless, if you’re an independent contractor, freelancer, or small business owner with employees, you’ll want to closely follow this bill as it’s debated in the coming weeks. It could have major implications for all.The PRO Act’s Effect on Small Business, Independent Contractors and FreelancersLet’s look at what’s in the bill and what’s been said about it so far, mostly in debate among the US House of Representatives.The House of Representatives passed the PRO (or Protecting the Right to Organize) Act March 9 by a 225-206 vote.On March 11 the PRO Act (HR842) was received in the Senate and referred to the committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). HR842 will be debated in committee before being presented to the Senate for vote.The PRO Act and Independent ContractorsHR842, as it’s written now, adopts California’s ABC test for independent contractors. Here’s the text for the ABC test:“An individual performing any service shall be considered an employee (except as provided in the previous sentence) and not an independent contractor, unless—(A) The individual is free from control and direction in connection with the performance of the service, both under the contract for the performance of service and in fact;(B) The service is performed outside the usual course of the business of the employer; and(C) The individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.In other words, the PRO Act would change the 1099 classification of independent contractors. Many people currently working as freelancers or subcontractors are presently doing work or service “outside the usual course of business of the employer.”US Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, said that the ABC standard would eliminate contract-based work.“It would be disastrous for independent contractors,” Stefanik said. “The majority of independent contractors prefer that status, and (the PRO Act) would take that choice away from millions of workers.”Stefanik has introduced legislation called the Modern Workers Empowerment Act, which she called a bill to “protect their right and choice to be independent contractors.”The PRO Act and Union DuesExisting laws in 27 states prevent companies from requiring its employees to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. These laws are called “right-to-work” laws.Those who back labor unions say “right-to-work laws crush unions. The PRO Act language states that employees can be required to pay union dues “notwithstanding any State or Territorial law.” Employees who decline to pay can be fired. Right-to-work laws would be made null.The PRO Act and Union OrganizingUnder the PRO Act, employers could not hold mandatory meetings to speak against creating a union or share facts about what union organization could mean.The PRO Act also tightens the timeline for negotiating a collective bargaining agreement. It requires the employer and union to begin bargaining within 10 days of a written request, and if no agreement is reached within 90 days, either party can request a federal mediator.Employers would be required to provide all names and contact information of employees to the union. Employers would not be permitted to replace workers who participate in a strike.National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) finesThe PRO Act creates a fine structure for the NLRB to impose civil penalties. Penalties would up up to $50,000 for labor violations or up to $100,000 for repeated violations.The National Federation of Independent Business’s Response to the PRO ActAccording to the NFIB, 70% of its members oppose repealing state “Right to Work” laws. Nearly 100% of NFIB members believe small businesses should be able to hire independent contractors to perform tasks essential to their business.The NFIB also opposes the PRO Act language which requires employers to provide the personal contact information for all their employees to union organizers without the consent of the employee.“This is a bill with labor policy proposals that have not only been dismissed in the courts, but have been rejected by Congress for decades,” said Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB’s Senior Director of Federal Government Relations. “If passed, the PRO Act of 2019 will put employees’ private information at risk, expose small businesses to unrelated secondary boycotts, impose labor union dues on employees regardless of whether they are a member of the union, and dramatically change decades of employment law.”“Small business optimism is at historic levels, and owners are increasing hiring, wages, and investment,” he added. “This damaging bill that would stifle such tremendous gains.”President Biden Strongly Supports the PRO ActThe President clearly supports the PRO Act as part of his pro-union agenda. In a recent statement, he said, “The PRO Act defends workers’ right to strike—a fundamental economic right—and to engage in boycotts and other acts of solidarity with workers at other companies without penalty.“It clarifies that employers may not force employees to waive their rights to join together in collective or class action litigation. The bill also closes loopholes in Federal labor law by barring employers from misclassifying workers as independent contractors and preventing workers from being denied remedies due to their immigration status.“It establishes an expansive joint employer standard, allowing workers to collectively bargain with all the companies that control the terms and conditions of their employment. The bill allows unions to collect fair-share fees to cover the cost of collective bargaining and administering a union contract for all workers who are protected by the contract’s terms. H.R. 842 restores workers’ access to fair union elections, and ensures the results are respected.”What’s Next?Though it now seems unlikely that the Senate will vote to end the filibuster, an impediment to getting the PRO Act through the chamber, it certainly doesn’t sound the death knell for the bill.Parts of the PRO Act could get through to Biden for his signature and if that happens, it could lead to big changes with your business.Image: Depositphotos

Stan Lee, superheroes and the weaknesses of the entrepreneur

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.

Of the many phrases, stories and lessons that Stan Lee left us, there is one that seems particularly valuable to me: “If Achilles had not had his heel, perhaps today we would not even know him.” The phrase reveals the value of our weaknesses, those aspects of our body or personality that make us vulnerable. Although we normally wear them hidden, we all have them. We don’t talk about them. Better we show our strengths: we boast of what we are capable of doing well, of our gifts, of our attributes. Of our superpowers. Weaknesses and defects remain in the shadows as we walk through the corridors of offices and corporations, hoping that others will never perceive them. The worst thing is that sometimes, we ourselves refuse to see our flaws . We pretend they don’t exist and we obsess over showing ourselves always infallible, indestructible, like superheroes. But just like Achilles, with that vulnerability from the day his mother grabbed him by the heel and then submerged him in the cold waters of the River Styx, wishing he were invincible, so we too have aspects that make us weak. Rather than shy away from them, we must recognize them, work on them and accept that they are part of our personality and that they contribute to making us unique and different. THE CHARM OF WEAKNESSES In 1954 Stan Lee was already working as an editor at Atlas Comics (a company that would later change its name to Marvel Comics). After having lived through its golden age during World War II, comics were going through a bad time: that same year the Authority of the Comics Code was created in the United States that sought to regulate the content of this type of publications because it considered them too violent and an incentive to juvenile delinquency. Hand-tied, the writers struggled to create products that would captivate young readers, and the publisher was basically betting on romantic or old-western comics. Tired of the situation, Stan Lee confessed to his wife Joan that he was about to resign. She said to him: “Before you quit, why don’t you make a story like you would like it to be? The worst thing that could happen is getting fired, right? Anyway, you were thinking of quitting … ” His wife’s advice coincided with the appearance of the Justice League in the competing publisher (National Comics Publications, later to become DC Comics) and with the request of Atlas owner Martin Goodman to think about a cartoon starring a group of superheroes. Stan Lee then wrote the first Fantastic Four story and gave his characters what would make them different: weaknesses, complexes, problems and insecurities. Reed Richards was that scientist gifted with great intelligence, but who lived with a brutal feeling of guilt for having caused irreparable harm to his friends on that mission to space; Ben Grimm was transformed into a monstrous and very strong being of orange rock abandoned by his fiancée due to his horrifying appearance; Johnny was the teenager with superpowers, too immature to understand them and more busy racing cars and dating girls than defending the world from a villain; Sue Storm was trying to keep the team together and her marriage to Reed alive, despite her doubts. The comic was a huge success, and Goodman allowed Stan Lee to continue experimenting with flawed characters. The Fantastic Four was followed by the Hulk , the story of that man doomed to turn into a green monster with an uncontrollable power of destruction every time he got angry. Then Spider-Man , a frail and insecure teenager who acquired his powers from being bitten by a spider. The young man was bullied by his classmates, he had to pay for his studies by working as a reporter and also, he did not know how to approach the girl he liked. Later, with the X-Men , Stan Lee addressed the issue of minorities through the social rejection that people with genetic alterations suffered. Like the superheroes of the golden age of comics, Stan Lee’s characters were strong and powerful, loaded with incredible abilities, but what made them truly different and charming were their flaws, problems, and fallibility. That and the way in which they managed to, despite everything, get ahead … THE INCREDIBLE STORY Both in life and in entrepreneurship, our biggest obstacle will always be ourselves. Our ideas, our fears and our complexes could prevent us from reaching the potential that we truly have. To the extent that we accept that, like the characters imagined by Stan Lee, we are fallible, erratic and weak beings, we will have the possibility to improve ourselves. Just as we are captivated by the story of that teenager who loses his uncle at the hands of a criminal that he himself could have arrested and then begins to use his powers to fight crime, so too could our own story captivate us. The one that narrates the path of beings willing to get ahead despite adversity and doubts in a complex environment in which the only way to win is to work tirelessly from dawn to dusk, believing in the superpower that ideals and goals have. dreams That story of superheroes, of ourselves, of our weaknesses transformed into strengths. But above all: of our undertaking.

3 Technologies You Can Use to Re-Skill Your Employees

November
11, 2019

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Caroline Stokes’s book Elephants Before Unicorns. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.I’d like to introduce you to three technologies that will help people leaders discover talent and fuel your teams’ evolution to avoid dinosaur syndrome (falling behind in terms of the skill and functionality of your teams). Let’s walk briefly through each of them.Bias Avoidance Talent MatchingThe first tool is SquarePeg, a matching service for job seekers and employers that uses online assessments to measure a candidate’s aptitude, preferences and character traits, and determine which organization would be the best fit.When founder Claire McTaggart spoke to me of her time leading a recruitment team as a hiring manager for a strategy consulting firm, she said she found that her team was asking the wrong questions. Instead of, “Where did you go to school? What was your GPA? Which company are you at now?” they should have been asking, “Do you enjoy solving analytical problems? Do you work well on teams? Are you interested in working with a large organization?”The SquarePeg platform takes such psychometrics and preferences into account. How it works: The candidate takes the assessment, which matches her with jobs for which she’s a strong fit. Each employer has taken the assessment as well. When the candidate receives her report at the end of the assessment, it tells her, “You’re an 84 percent match with Company XYZ, and here’s why.” She can then choose to connect with the companies she matched with.On the employer side, the hiring manager now has a curated selection of people who are a good fit for the organization and interested in working there. The recruiter gets to skip the tedious work of scanning through resumes and can focus on higher-value human-to-human exchanges, educating the candidate about the role and telling her where she may experience success as well as which job functions might prove challenging.Related: How to Commit and Turn ‘Diversity’ into ‘Inclusion’Predictive Machine Learning Evolving at the Speed of Your OrganizationPymetrics uses neuroscience and machine learning to help companies hire in a way that’s predictive and diversity-friendly. A candidate encounters Pymetrics as the first step in a company’s job application process. Pymetrics uses neuroscience games and machine learning to predict whether a candidate would be a good fit in the workplace. Here’s how it works: The candidate takes a 20-minute assessment in the form of computer games that analyze things such as memory, planning, attention, risk tolerance, risk and reward profile, and learning style. Prior to this, everyone else in the company had taken the assessment, too. Pymetrics then compares the data from the assessments to determine whether the candidate is a good match.This technology has three especially cool features:It’s self-learning and adaptive. As your organization’s needs evolve, the tech can evolve with it. Pymetrics can anticipate the “future person” you’ll need to move your company forward and test candidates to see if they fit that future role.It’s designed to be bias-free. All humans have biases, whether we want to admit it or not. When a recruiter scans resumes, a candidate is less likely to get an interview if said candidate is a woman, a person of color, older, etc. Pymetrics selects candidates via an unbiased algorithm; the recruiter can then focus on human-centered aspects of the work.If a candidate isn’t a good fit, it will direct him to other companies for which he might be better-suited. I particularly love this last aspect. If candidates go through the application process and don’t end up signing on with the company, they still leave happy — now they have all these other options!Related: 3 Ways You Can Help Your New Hires to SucceedEvolving Your Current EmployeesYour current internal operations need to be evaluated, evolved and invested in. The Riff Learning technology has the potential to transform them. Riff measures conversational dynamics and provides feedback during and after video interactions.What percentage of your business do you conduct via videoconferencing? Chances are, it’s a high number. Riff Learning works to enhance the satisfaction of participants in these conferences. In a meeting — whether in person or via videoconferencing — the goal is dynamic collaboration. You want an environment in which participants freely share ideas and opinions to arrive at authentic solutions. As a people leader, you want to know whether this collaboration is happening or whether one person is grandstanding and discouraging the participation of others, either consciously or subconsciously.The Riff platform has three core features to make your videoconferencing as productive as possible. Riff uses the vocal activity and facial-gesturing patterns of participants to measure when people are talking, whether they’re agreeing with each other, and participants’ levels of engagement (it does this without recording the content of the conversations). It also offers real-time feedback through a feature called the “meeting mediator,” which tracks “turn-taking” in the exchange and notes whether one person is dominating the conversation. Finally, after the meeting is over, Riff offers an analysis of your interaction and gives you a history of your interactions in past videoconferences.For companies that do a significant portion of their business remotely, Riff is enormously beneficial. Conference participants who tend to take up most of the air in a conversation may not realize what they’re doing. Conversely, less talkative participants may feel there’s no opportunity for them to share their thoughts — they leave such meetings feeling frustrated and disengaged. Riff measures these dynamics in real time and provides the data to the employee so they’re aware of the behaviors impacting collaboration and other team dynamics that are skewing in a less than optimal way. Riff values the contribution of all your team members — not just the loudest. By measuring participation and engagement, team members are invited to rethink their conversational dynamics and aim for more genuine collaboration.Whatever your organization’s current status, when used correctly, tech can be a powerful unicorn-attraction tool. So pick the tech that suits your needs, and re-skill your teams accordingly.Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.

The 9-Step Quick Guide to Rehabbing Your Career

January
7, 2020

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Kanika Tolver’s book Career Rehab. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.One of the most important phases of your career rehab journey is creating your Rehab YOU career blueprint. Become the architect of your career by considering your desired career path, location, salary, scope, organization type, benefits and perks and mentors. You’ll start to feel more confident in your career renovations as you craft your vision of your dream career. Here’s how to get started: Related: Building a Meaningful Career1. Be a brand, not an employee Most employees don’t see themselves as brands because they don’t feel empowered by their company’s leadership or don’t like what they do every day. As you rehab your career, you’ll identify your strengths, subject-matter expertise and professional experience and use those to create your brand. 2. Build your brand by “dating” jobs As a professional career coach, I always advise my clients that it’s healthy to “date” jobs until you find the one you love. In other words, don’t be afraid to try a job for a limited time and then move on; it’s OK to find a new job every 12 to 24 months. The more professional experience you have, the more you learn and the more you can earn. Not only do you build your personal brand as you date jobs, but you’re constantly building your professional network as well. My motto is: Date jobs and marry the dream. Until you find your dream job, define your purpose and execute your passions, you should date jobs before settling down.3. Market yourself like an ad As you date jobs and develop your personal brand, learn how to market your new experience and skills using social media. Some of the best authors, speakers, actors and athletes use the internet to market their personal brands. Use your resume and LinkedIn profile to socialize your brand and connect with other professionals in online groups and forums.Related: The Risks of Candidates Climbing Back Down the Corporate Ladder4. Be you, sell you As you market yourself and test what works, be ready to launch your personal brand by focusing on authenticity. You’ll soon be selling yourself to industry leaders, recruiters and hiring managers, so the real question is: What are you selling to them besides your resume? Where is the real you?You can launch your brand by selling yourself through presentations, blogs, websites, white papers and courses that will enhance people’s perception of your professional experience and you’ll become more comfortable selling your authentic self by going to job interviews, speaking at conferences, attending meetups and participating in networking events.5. Network like a hustler Networking is a critical asset to rebuilding your personal brand. While professional networking isn’t easy for everyone, no matter what your personality type, you need to expand your network to take advantage of all the career benefits of professional networking.Professional networking expands your industry knowledge as you learn from others and it opens doors to new career opportunities. Besides networking in person, you can network online using social media, virtual events and online learning platforms.6. Get paid now: Money, power and respect No one wants to go through the process of designing, building, testing and launching their revamped personal brand without getting the pay, power and respect they deserve along with their new role. You need to learn how to negotiate your salary, benefits and incentives using the professional experience and education you already have. That sounds easy, but most professionals don’t take the time to research the correct salary range for their city and state, leaving them at a disadvantage when negotiating. It’s time to take back your power.7. Don’t overcommit to work The career rehab journey is all about letting go of what doesn’t work for you and deciding how your career should be renovated, developed and managed. Your career should always be centered around work-life balance. It’s important to eat right, exercise, spend time with your family and take vacations. Put your physical, mental and spiritual well-being first while still having an awesome career.Related: How Burned-Out Workers Are Jump-Starting Their Careers8. Commutes worth the coins According to 2016 U.S. Census Bureau data, the average one-way commute in the U.S. is 26.1 minutes. That adds up to 4.35 hours a week and more than 200 hours (nearly nine days) per year for full-time employees. In my experience as a career coach, professionals who have a long commute tend not to have great work-life balance and aren’t as excited about their jobs as someone with a commute under 30 minutes. You need to find a job that gives you more career opportunities close to home and provides telecommuting options throughout the week.9. Stay focused on you Career rehab takes a lot of work. But the most difficult part is maintaining a healthy career lifestyle and a solid personal brand as you do it. It can be hard to sustain a good work-life balance, a healthy lifestyle and a good working relationship with the jobs you date. We have to care for ourselves, our families and our careers without falling into patterns of neglect that can tear away at the “good bones” of our careers. Career rehab isn’t a one-time renovation but a lifestyle, but you can learn to maintain your personal brand as you deal with the ups and downs of life.Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.


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