Three Things I Learned From The Worst Job Ever – May 26, 2015
A terrible job today might be the perfect education for tomorrow’s entrepreneur. What made me so miserable at a previous job proved to be valuable class time, teaching me the skills needed to be the entrepreneur I am today. This is a brief memoir I’ve written that outlines but a few of the lessons I learned while in this toxic environment. If you take one thing away from the article, let it be this: ask the right questions. Not only will it save you grief, but it might also save your life.
11 things your startup should look for in a creative hire for 2016 – December 8, 2015
When Mashable asked me to contribute to this article, the answer instantly came to me. I said, “In its simplest form, it’s all about their work. What have they created? It’s not about a process, a system or organizational skills. Forget about all of that. It’s all about the end result. When William Roam hired someone, we looked for an individual or team who could set trends, not simply follow them. It’s pretty easy to find a designer who can copy and manipulate what is en vogue at any given moment; those designers are a dime a dozen. To create something original is extremely difficult — anyone who has worked with a second-rate designer can tell you horror stories. There are plenty of designers out there, but to find one who’s truly creative and can help you fill that hole you’ve identified in your particular market is like discovering pure gold.” Then I contributed this somewhat humorous tweet!
When Do You Let An Underperforming Employee Go? – June 24, 2015
This is an interesting question with a variety of different answers, all of which are valid. I contributed the following: “Hiring someone is expensive. Once hired, training a new employee is time-consuming. If there’s an employee that is underperforming in their current role, assess what skills they bring to the table and if another role in your company would better suit their talents. Sam might be a poor salesperson, but he could make a fantastic customer care representative. Termination is always my last resort.”
12 Sales Tips for First Time-Time Founders – May 18, 2015
The answers provided in this article are from members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. A member of YEC, I shared the following:
“1. Listen to the Market. ‘They just don’t get it.’ I once heard an employer say [that]. The truth was, she didn’t get it. If your product or service is based upon your personal preferences, your chances of success are slim to none. What you have to sell should either solve a problem or help a prospect meet an aspirational goal. You’ll never have to convince someone to buy if they believe you can make their life better.”
13 Biggest Business Mistakes You Can Make – May 6, 2015
While most people accept that slip-ups are unavoidable, entrepreneurs often don’t like to own up to making mistakes. There are certain behaviors or horribly misguided decisions that get in the way of small business owners taking their business to the next level. The key is to learn from and overcome your mishaps.
On this topic, I offered up the following advice: “The more scared you are to ask a question the more important it is for you to ask it. Early in my career I was afraid to ask the tough questions, and it was costing me; literally. I finally took a just go for it attitude and, like many things, asking hard questions wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Having polite, frank and direct conversations is essential to any successful business.”
11 Major Challenges of Manufacturing Your Product Abroad – April 28, 2015
A group of young entrepreneurs answer the daunting question: what is one major challenge of which I should be aware before manufacturing abroad?
While there are endless reasons to manufacture abroad, one major deterrent immediately came to mind. “Manufacturing abroad, especially in Asia, could be detrimental to the integrity of your brand. So much of what we buy comes from China and, while people are generally accepting of items like electronics being made there, there’s a trend towards domestic manufacturing for personal care items. If your product goes in someone’s mouth or on their body, think twice before producing it abroad.”