2. Be open-minded. Know when to say “when.” Your idea of what’s right may actually be wrong. Be open to other suggestions and ideas. Remember, your business is actually not about you. It’s about delivering a good product to your customers and doing whatever it takes to ensure that your customers turn into repeat customers. In other words, be ready to embrace fresh ideas, even if they go counter to your own beliefs.
Reed McManigle: Historically tech transfer and entrepreneurship was seen as a distraction for a successful academic career. Strong publications and a history of successfully pursuing grant funding for research are the key metrics for advancement in an academic career. CMU has had a much more entrepreneurial history and culture than many other universities, but even here it has taken decades, multiple success stories, and long-term investment in a tech transfer and entrepreneurial support ecosystem to get to the point we are today (supported in large part by our outstanding foundation community).

The same can be done with professional goals. Don't make your goal to start a company or get promoted to an executive-level position right off the bat. Instead, identify skills and areas of improvement. Start with one of those by taking a course, working with a business advisor or doing research. These relevant steps will help you on your way to that larger, more complex goal.
Robo-advisors are diversified investment accounts that are automatically managed by a computer algorithm (as opposed to a human money manager). If you want to invest, but don’t have the money, or don’t want to invest with a money manager, robo-advisors are for you! Robo-advisors make investing easier—and cheaper—so they’re perfect for new investors.
There's an audience for everything, whether it's making dollhouse furniture or creating organic dog food. With a specialty e-commerce store, you can reach those customers who are seeking your specific products. All you need is a web-hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or with e-commerce software, and your business will be operational in no time. You can even work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf, which means you don't need to own a lot of inventory. [See Related Story: A Small Business Guide to E-Commerce Shipping]
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Online marketing consists of the digital channels (i.e. your website, emails, banners, social channels, videos, etc.) that businesses use to attract and capture customers and prospects. Whereas traditional marketing focuses on reaching massive mainstream audiences using tools like radio and television, online marketers concentrate on reaching niche audiences through digital interfaces.
The quote above comes from a CIO article titled 8 Expert Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff. In it, Skuba states that webinars could have a 70 percent rebound effect, both from broadcast viewers and other individuals. Content-rich, relevant webinars could also potentially maintain attention because they are more interactive. Just make sure they are well-organized and hosted by an experienced speaker.
"By blogging at least twice a week, you significantly increase your website's ability to be found on search engines," adds Mike Lieberman, chief marketing scientist and president, Square 2 Marketing. "The more you blog, the more traffic your site will get from Google, Yahoo and Bing... [because] you are adding fresh content to your site [assuming your blog resides on your company website]," he says. And "if each of your blog posts includes a call to action, you might even generate some leads from your blog."
Maybe you’ve been dreaming since childhood that one day you would invent something amazing and start your own company. Or you taught yourself code as a teenager, all the while scheming to build the next great web property. Or you’re a secret risk-taker, trapped in a corporate day job — and now you’ve got a chance to start that business you’ve always imagined.
"I recommend that first-time entrepreneurs take this as a real wake up call to avoid making excuses for not getting meaningful product validation before spending resources on development. You need at least 95% confidence that the thing you're working on will be predisposed to some initial success. There are too many other factors out there working against you when you're first starting out and are tight on resources that make the road of entrepreneurship hard enough as-is. Don't make it more difficult for yourself by building a bunch of features no one really wants to pay for."
That's where Swagbucks comes in. Marketers and brands literally pay Swagbucks users to try their products and services. In many cases, the amount of money that marketers pay will cover a portion of the cost of the product or service itself. However, there are some cases where companies reward users with more than the cost of the service. This is often the case with subscription services where advertisers want to entice consumers into an initial trial of their service with the hope that consumers will stay subscribed after the trial period.
One of my mentors/business partners sold his business to Richard Branson and has had some pretty wild success. When I asked him the single most important advice he could give me about being an entrepreneur, he said: “Your health is your most important asset. You can be the most successful person in the world, but that won’t matter if you don’t have your health.”
For budding entrepreneurs, with the business in a very nascent stage, it is often difficult to create a user base or a customer base. This is because you are fresh off the boat and not many people know about you. This is the time to leverage your personal network, seek leads, and ask for recommendations. There is nothing wrong in asking for help from friends and family. That’s how every successful business has grown out of! Your friends can refer your products or services to their friends, colleagues, peers, etc. and you will land your first set of clients or users.
Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).
Entrepreneurship is a challenging but rewarding path to take and you have highlighted some great tips here. I agree with your point that to be a successful entrepreneur you need to work smarter, not harder. I believe that working smarter is all about hiring the right team and delegating responsibility. Think about it this way. Today’s entrepreneurs are working with the ‘Millennial’ generation, those born after 1980 and before 2000. These people are digital natives who have very different ideas around what they look for in their leaders, compared to the ‘Baby Boomers’ generation. For example,‘Millennials’ look for their leaders to be strategic thinkers, inspirational and have strong interpersonal skills. Millennial’s will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020, so entrepreneurs really need to tap into their younger employees and involve them in company decisions.

If you're at all interested in starting your own online business, there's no time like the present. We live in a golden age of wealth. As much as the media tries to glorify the perils of our society, we actually live in a time that's ripe with opportunity and the potential for monumental business growth at a scale never before experienced. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, the amount of commerce being conducted online has experienced explosive growth.
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