entrepreneur tip

entrepreneur tips

Being first is not about an end result,

heather hiles equity entrepreneur

As of 2016 (when Cengage bought Pathbrite), I hold the dubious distinction of having raised the most venture capital of any African American woman founder, and of being the first and only African American woman to have successfully exited a venture-backed company in the United States.

But, being first has not about an end result, it’s always been about my process and practice.

...

I have again and again:

  • Developed an uninterrupted commitment to an idea.
  • Worked on that idea diligently.
  • Remained as equally committed to rest and reflection as I have been to the idea itself.
  • Surrounded myself with creative, empathetic, high-functioning individuals.
  • Developed and maintained a discerning eye, personally and professionally.

But most important, I have never believed I would fail.

Focusing on the act of being first won’t serve you. Very few celebrate the first to fail, or develop a terrible concept, or even a mediocre product.

We celebrate ingenuity, progress, a penchant for the bold and clever. We celebrate greatness.

Greatness is only ever achieved by developing a lifelong practice of making every moment a personal first.

Every moment is the first time in a specific part of your journey, one in which you can choose to excel.

And it is that choosing - that sustained practice of aligning yourself with a purpose, showing up for yourself, working diligently, and editing (your plan, your process, even your circle) fastidiously - that gets you to the finish line, not just quickly, but exceptionally.

To read Heather's full post as a part of LinkedIn's #IWasTheFirst series, CLICK HERE.

 

EXPLORE: Women at Work: Heather Hiles

entrepreneur tips

We could all learn something from this 22-year-old millionaire

growing wealth

There are so many things you can do in your 20s to grow wealth by the time you're 30. Like putting 25% of your paycheck into an untouchable savings account, saving specifically to invest, focusing on earning money and securing a financially stable future ... the list goes on.

rudolph maag

At 25, knowing that I still have about 5 years left to "get it together," my biggest obstacle is finding a well-paying job that will provide me with the biggest opportunity to invest in my future (read: I need a real paycheck and a real salary).

Being in your 20s and in debt because of college is challenging, especially when you're living paycheck to paycheck and essentially chipping away at your student loan interest. It's discouraging. You can't get a job in your field of study because you don't have enough experience, and you can't get any experience unless you're willing to intern for free, and interning for free doesn't pay the bills.

rudolph maag seattle

It's a double-edged sword - you work to survive and you survive to work. And that's not the life that I envisioned for myself 10 years ago.

So I'm trying to change it, and I'm starting to think differently, with a little help.

Tucker Hughes is an entrepreneur and a real human being who generated a million dollars in commissions - in the real-estate industry - by the time he was 22.  Of course, he's something of an overachiever: He received his master's at the age of 20 after fast-tracking four years of school, he's traveled to more than 50 countries, he's completed 13 triathlons; this list, too, continues. 

When Hughes finished school, however, he was broke, but, luckily, not broken. In fact, Hughes attributes his success in the business world to a shift in his mental thinking.

Check out the seven shifts Hughes made in his thinking + the  core values in the video below.

 

SEVEN MENTAL SHIFTS TO HELP YOU BUILD WEALTH

  1. Age is just a number.
  2. Reinvest in yourself.
  3. Avoid decision fatigue.
  4. Build a resilient mind.
  5. Think big. Be big.
  6. Be methodical.
  7. Believe in yourself.

Your life is your investment, and it is critical, and so, so necessary, to invest in your personal growth in ways that you probably didn't think about before. Because if you don't invest in yourself, no one will.

Not sure how to get started?

Consume knowledge voraciously and know that you will always have an appetite for more. 

  1. Pick up a book about an unknown subject and read it for an hour a day 
  2. Listen to podcasts while you're driving and engage yourself mentally. 

Avoid distractions, and avoid wasting your energy on things that you don't have any control of - focus on what you do have control of.

  1. Focus on yourself.
  2. Set your goals, write them down, and fall asleep asking yourself what you can do to achieve them, then wake up, read them, and pursue them.

Here's to making your first million!

 

By RUDY

EXPLORE: Internet personas are really only 20% true

We get it.  We know you wake up every day … and conquer the world.  So we’ve reposted some helpful hints on how to streamline all of that  just for you.  
  Ok maybe not, just for you … share it with someone who needs it just as bad as you do.  
  jaclynday : 
 
 Working part-time or full-time from home is a big adjustment if you’re used to working in an office full-time. When I made the transition, my biggest challenges were keeping to a schedule, staying organized and not becoming distracted by my surroundings (laundry! dishes!). (Here are  some general tips I wrote a few years ago  about working from home.) I’m constantly tempted to stay in my pajamas all day.  Leggings may not be a far cry  from pajamas, but  at least they’re not my pajamas .  
 In the past three years that I’ve worked full-time from home, I’ve discovered a few helpful tools and wanted to share: 
   A designated office space . When I first started working from home, we turned our guest room into a guest room/office, but that guest room/office is now a nursery. We struggled about the best place to move my office—we tried a corner of the living room for a while and that was great when Isobel was a newborn. Now, though, we made a spot in the corner of our bedroom for my desk, chair and a rug and while I hate staring at our bed all day (I want to get back in it, please), I do feel like I have a designated “work" spot. When I’m sitting in my chair, I feel like I’m at work. It feels different than if I was to take my laptop and sit on the couch. It doesn’t have to be a big space or a fancy space, but it does need to be  your own space .  
   A headset  . I sit on a lot of conference calls and like to use a USB headset in conjunction with my Google Voice account. A headset will usually have a clearer sound quality than using a phone on speaker.  
   Russell + Hazel Acrylic Stapler  . I originally didn’t buy a lot of standard office supplies but soon realized it was better to have them than not have them.  
   Martha Stewart Home Office Accordion File  . Once again—I didn’t expect I’d use/print a lot of paper at home, but I ended up needing several accordion files to keep it all organized.  
   Greenroom Eco Planner  . I live and die by my paper planner. I use my iPhone too, but nothing will ever truly replace a paper planner for me. When you work from home, there aren’t the typical reminders you might get an office environment (“don’t forget—meeting in 15!”), so you have to stay on top of all your shit yourself. Google Calendar is great, but I always record meetings or other items in my paper planner too. I find that the smaller the planner, the more I use it. If it’s not easily portable, I tend not to use it as religiously. That might not be true for you, but something worth mentioning! 
   Martha Stewart Home Office Trays  . I always find I have these little knick knacks floating around my desk and I don’t necessarily want to stick them in a drawer. Trays are good for keeping these organized and visible.  
   Rifle Paper Co Journal  . I keep notes two different ways: on paper and electronically (more on that later). If I’m using paper to keep notes, I prefer to use a hefty journal (in a compact size) so that I can look back and easily find notes from a call two weeks ago, for example. I date each page and write a title at the top—the name of the meeting or project. I use paper to take more general notes—ideas, who said what.  
   Hello Fax  . People still rely on faxes. I do not understand this. But inevitably someone, somewhere will need something faxed to them and that’s where Hello Fax comes in handy. Another great thing is the ability to sign and edit documents electronically. (Makes processing invoices or expense reports easy.)  
   imo app  . My office uses Gchat for internal IM and I connected my account to imo on my iPhone so I’m accessible even if I step away from my computer.  
   Pencil/pen cup  . I hate when I can’t find my good pens. I hate using bad pens. GOOD PENS STAY IN THE CUP.  
   Simplenote  . Some people swear by Evernote, but I’ve never been able to find a way to seamlessly integrate it into my workflow. Simplenote, on the other hand, is something I use all day, everyday. I use ResophNotes on my PC and Notational Velocity on my Mac and have the Simplenote app installed on my iPhone. All the notes sync across these apps and are searchable. The no-frills, minimalist appearance is really great. I use this to take the electronic notes I mentioned above. I use this for more in-depth note-taking: actual action items, to-do lists, general information I need at my finger tips to do my job effectively.  
  Google Drive . Google Drive has really transformed the way I work in the past three years and I love being able to access work documents from whatever device I’m using.  
   Rifle Paper Co. To-Do List .  Keeping a list-type notepad around is handy. I’ll often stick one in my handbag so if I am out and about and need to take notes or get a few ideas, I can jot them down quickly. Once again, I can do this in my phone too, but sometimes paper feels best. Later I’ll either transfer my paper lists to my Google Calendar, paper planner or Simplenote—whichever is most appropriate.  
  Basecamp . For more complex projects, using a collaboration tool like Basecamp can really simplify things so conference calls don’t have to happen every three days to catch people up. It’s invaluable to me as a remote employee because I can write notes, keep track of files and manage projects—and other members of the team can see these edits in real time.  
  Google Voice . I don’t have a dedicated work landline phone but instead use a Google Voice number. When it rings, it also rings my cell, our home phone and Google Voice in Gmail.  
  Dropbox . DO I NEED TO EXPLAIN WHY THIS IS ESSENTIAL? Dropbox is the sun, moon and stars. It is all-power and all-knowing.  
  Do you have any other tools (or tips) to share?

We get it.  We know you wake up every day … and conquer the world.  So we’ve reposted some helpful hints on how to streamline all of that just for you.

Ok maybe not, just for you … share it with someone who needs it just as bad as you do.

jaclynday:

Working part-time or full-time from home is a big adjustment if you’re used to working in an office full-time. When I made the transition, my biggest challenges were keeping to a schedule, staying organized and not becoming distracted by my surroundings (laundry! dishes!). (Here are some general tips I wrote a few years ago about working from home.) I’m constantly tempted to stay in my pajamas all day. Leggings may not be a far cry from pajamas, but at least they’re not my pajamas

In the past three years that I’ve worked full-time from home, I’ve discovered a few helpful tools and wanted to share:

  1. A designated office space. When I first started working from home, we turned our guest room into a guest room/office, but that guest room/office is now a nursery. We struggled about the best place to move my office—we tried a corner of the living room for a while and that was great when Isobel was a newborn. Now, though, we made a spot in the corner of our bedroom for my desk, chair and a rug and while I hate staring at our bed all day (I want to get back in it, please), I do feel like I have a designated “work" spot. When I’m sitting in my chair, I feel like I’m at work. It feels different than if I was to take my laptop and sit on the couch. It doesn’t have to be a big space or a fancy space, but it does need to be your own space
  2. A headset. I sit on a lot of conference calls and like to use a USB headset in conjunction with my Google Voice account. A headset will usually have a clearer sound quality than using a phone on speaker. 
  3. Russell + Hazel Acrylic Stapler. I originally didn’t buy a lot of standard office supplies but soon realized it was better to have them than not have them. 
  4. Martha Stewart Home Office Accordion File. Once again—I didn’t expect I’d use/print a lot of paper at home, but I ended up needing several accordion files to keep it all organized. 
  5. Greenroom Eco Planner. I live and die by my paper planner. I use my iPhone too, but nothing will ever truly replace a paper planner for me. When you work from home, there aren’t the typical reminders you might get an office environment (“don’t forget—meeting in 15!”), so you have to stay on top of all your shit yourself. Google Calendar is great, but I always record meetings or other items in my paper planner too. I find that the smaller the planner, the more I use it. If it’s not easily portable, I tend not to use it as religiously. That might not be true for you, but something worth mentioning!
  6. Martha Stewart Home Office Trays. I always find I have these little knick knacks floating around my desk and I don’t necessarily want to stick them in a drawer. Trays are good for keeping these organized and visible. 
  7. Rifle Paper Co Journal. I keep notes two different ways: on paper and electronically (more on that later). If I’m using paper to keep notes, I prefer to use a hefty journal (in a compact size) so that I can look back and easily find notes from a call two weeks ago, for example. I date each page and write a title at the top—the name of the meeting or project. I use paper to take more general notes—ideas, who said what. 
  8. Hello Fax. People still rely on faxes. I do not understand this. But inevitably someone, somewhere will need something faxed to them and that’s where Hello Fax comes in handy. Another great thing is the ability to sign and edit documents electronically. (Makes processing invoices or expense reports easy.) 
  9. imo app. My office uses Gchat for internal IM and I connected my account to imo on my iPhone so I’m accessible even if I step away from my computer. 
  10. Pencil/pen cup. I hate when I can’t find my good pens. I hate using bad pens. GOOD PENS STAY IN THE CUP. 
  11. Simplenote. Some people swear by Evernote, but I’ve never been able to find a way to seamlessly integrate it into my workflow. Simplenote, on the other hand, is something I use all day, everyday. I use ResophNotes on my PC and Notational Velocity on my Mac and have the Simplenote app installed on my iPhone. All the notes sync across these apps and are searchable. The no-frills, minimalist appearance is really great. I use this to take the electronic notes I mentioned above. I use this for more in-depth note-taking: actual action items, to-do lists, general information I need at my finger tips to do my job effectively. 
  12. Google Drive. Google Drive has really transformed the way I work in the past three years and I love being able to access work documents from whatever device I’m using. 
  13. Rifle Paper Co. To-Do ListKeeping a list-type notepad around is handy. I’ll often stick one in my handbag so if I am out and about and need to take notes or get a few ideas, I can jot them down quickly. Once again, I can do this in my phone too, but sometimes paper feels best. Later I’ll either transfer my paper lists to my Google Calendar, paper planner or Simplenote—whichever is most appropriate. 
  14. Basecamp. For more complex projects, using a collaboration tool like Basecamp can really simplify things so conference calls don’t have to happen every three days to catch people up. It’s invaluable to me as a remote employee because I can write notes, keep track of files and manage projects—and other members of the team can see these edits in real time. 
  15. Google Voice. I don’t have a dedicated work landline phone but instead use a Google Voice number. When it rings, it also rings my cell, our home phone and Google Voice in Gmail. 
  16. Dropbox. DO I NEED TO EXPLAIN WHY THIS IS ESSENTIAL? Dropbox is the sun, moon and stars. It is all-power and all-knowing. 

Do you have any other tools (or tips) to share?