Every day, it feels like we are barraged by more and more responsibility for company mistakes while they suffer fewer and fewer consequences. After banks went into bankruptcy in 2009, we bailed them out. Meanwhile, if you have a credit card at 29% and can’t pay it, you are given the choice of bankruptcy and being hobbled financially for 10 years. When I lived in Germany, a country with a generally strong economy whose inhabitants almost never use credit cards, I shared American CC interest rates. “Here we would put someone in jail for rates like those,” they said. I could spend a day on the credit situation in this country but that’s for another article. What I want to talk about is the numerous hours each of us spends every year fixing company mistakes. Problem with your phone bill? That’s an hour on the phone. Computer breakdown? Three hours. Gas or internet set up? You might have to take off an entire day of work to be home between the hours of 10 and 6pm when the repair man might or might not come. Is there a reason we aren’t allowed to charge for our time? If I’m a graphic designer at $50 an hour, those three hours fixing my computer just cost me $150. Depending on your salary, these losses could be anywhere from $45 dollars to $600 each time. Why aren’t companies paying us for that time?
Once upon a time, companies used to pay us back when they made a mistake. It was called, credit. Companies seemed to be concerned with making us happy. When problems arose, you spoke with a human being who most often, would give you a refund to pay you for your trouble and inconvenience, A win-win for everyone. In the past decade, with the rise of digital companies who opted for no customer service and no way to reach a human being, other firms followed suit. After all, business is about money and customer service costs money. Since those days, it seems as if today’s business strategies revolve around how much money they can make with the least amount of effort and how much of their responsibility they can shove onto us. Here’s what is fundamentally wrong with that business format. We’re human. Paying someone for their time shows respect. It shows that you value that person’s expertise. By not reimbursing us, companies are in effect demonstrating that we don’t matter. Now on top of taking up our time, they are also taking our private, personal information. And what was the solution to protect our privacy? Use up more of our time. Take the current privacy crisis with social media. What solution did great minds come up with to solve this problem? They decided to set up light boxes that force anyone who wants to protect their privacy to read through pages and pages of legal documents few understand and no one has time for. That might be fine if each of us dealt with only one online company, but we don’t, we deal with hundreds. The other solution? Make us give our personal email and location information in order to have “privacy” with zero assurance we are actually getting it.
I am continually amazed by how kind, thoughtful, generous and nice people are, by how long they are willing to put up with persecution and only stand up to fight back when things have gotten to a point where they can no longer survive. Why are humans so patient in the face of injustice? I for one, say, companies should pay us for our precious time that they waste. Credit card companies should cut us the same breaks they get, our data should be private without having to read a legal forms, and none of us should have to miss work for a day for the repair man.
There are a couple of caveats. First, the organizational documents for any particular entity can modify these general rules. For example, technology startups often organize as LLCs but use a corporate management style.
The place of incorporation is the source of law for forming your type of entity. A corporation in California uses California law, an LLC in New York uses New York law, and so on. While there are many commonalities, each jurisdiction may impose limits on both internal and external corporate structure.
The Internal Revenue Service also creates restrictions on corporate structure. For example, under federal tax law, S Corporations cannot have more than 100 shareholders to qualify for pass-through tax status.
Type of ownership
The form of ownership traces a spectrum from the simple to the complex.
Partnerships usually convey “partnership interests” to each partner.
Limited Partnerships, including limited liability partnerships, might refer to “limited partnership interests” or “limited partnership units”.
Limited liability companies call ownership units “membership interests.” Some jurisdictions allow an almost corporate approach to units of ownership for LLCs.
Corporations can simply have “shareholders” or “stockholders”. Whether there are 2 or 2,000, the structure is simple.
Corporations can also have complex ownership structures where equity includes, classes of stock, options, warrants, and convertible debt holders.
Strategy and business objectives
Most importantly, the objectives of the business are critical to designing a corporate structure. A US corporation which wants to enter the Argentinian market will need to form an Argentinian legal entity. It will have to make choices about management and ownership under local law. Those choices will also influence the results of the business back in the US.
An LLC creates a subsidiary that it plans to take public. Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) are typically accomplished by selling stock in corporations. The parent LLC forms the new entity as a C corporation.
Corporate structuring can enhance the value of any business. It is important to consider the legal form, the governing jurisdictions, type of ownership, and business objectives. The best way to handle this complexity is with entity management software.
It's almost 40 years since Dolly Parton wrote a song “9 to 5” and it seems the world finally got the message. It doesn't matter where you do your job as long as it is done.
Digital nomads, freelancers, corporate teams or early-stage startups — they all create connections and collaborate in co-working spaces. The environment makes them feel comfortable and offers ideal conditions for building innovation projects.
“Co-work space is a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.” — WeWork
I'm personally a big fan of co-working spaces and would choose them over conventional office anytime. They consist of super smart people from various backgrounds who are building something they can be proud of.
#Meet Like-Minded People
Being in a shared office space with dozens of other people from different industries gives you an opportunity to interact with all sorts of people. Working towards the same goal with other people give you a chance to see the things from multiple perspectives.
#Enjoy The Benefits of Shared Economy
Based on the Coworking Manifesto, an online document signed by members of more than 1,700 working spaces, the values that the co-working movement aspires to, includes community, collaboration, learning, and sustainability. Sharing human or intellectual resources open up new opportunities to collaborate. The culture of shared economy creates a space for people to help each other and contribute with the knowledge and resources they have.
“The goal is to take advantage of diversity that is the art of thinking independently together.”
By thinking differently about the way you do your work, you start thinking differently about the workspace. By trying new things, you can challenge the convention. Get things done, and done well.
Say NO To Things You Don’t Believe In Without explaining yourself.medium.com
Lift People On Your Way Up Not because you have to, but because you want to.medium.com
Self-Discipline Keeps You Going Even when it is hard sometimes.medium.com
In a world of automation, I’m choosing to not use robots in most situations.
A few days ago I got an email that caught my attention. It was similar to some of the emails I’ve gotten in the past. It was regarding a request to include an article that they created and wanted me to link it into one of the articles on my site.
Or at least I think that’s what it was.
You see, this email was cryptic and poorly written. Here’s the full email with the links and article titles removed:
I was researching my next article and came across your post: “[edit: article name]” — [edit: my article link](awesome article by the way)
I noticed that you [Compititor topic] — [Compititor URL]
Just wanted to give you a heads up that you are promoting the organization that’s been working for finance, money saving, debt relief and etc.
Even I am working for [edit: article name]: [edit: their article link]
We provide honest and trustworthy perspective programs for debt relief. We are driven by reviews left by those who have struggled through finding the right debt program and have dealt with too many debt settlement companies.
I’d be very honored if you may want to consider linking to my website from your page.
Thank You, Regards Kevin.
Well, Kevin, I’m quite glad that you sent me this email for a few reasons.
One it’s helped me to realize just how simple our lives are and how easy it can be to screw up every bit of benefit from it with a single slip up.
Two, it’s given me an article that I can write about.
In a world filled with automation, done-for-you templates, and other convenient tools, I’m hardly using any of them.
Full disclosure here, the only app I use that is pretty much automated is This Then That, a cause and effect tool that I use whenever I post an article or upload a Youtube video (whenever I do that.). That and naturally I have an email list with some email templates that I’ve created myself that I use to send emails.
And there’s a reason I’m not using automation as much.
Well, two actually.
One is because I was dirt poor and couldn’t really afford to pay for special automated tools. But now I’ve got some level of money, I don’t see the point.
But more importantly two, I feel it’s a lot better to be personable these days.
I agree that automation or templates are easy and convenient. I can see the benefits of them if you’re sending these things out by the hundreds or even thousands at a time. But it is worth looking a bit closer. Because where convenient rests, there is also a massive opportunity for you to completely screw this up.
Look at our friend Kevin. He uses a template and maybe an auto-sender. He sent me a cryptic as hell email. Don’t be like Kevin.
It Tells The Person You Don’t Have Time For Them
I get it. Automation will save you a massive amount of time. And time is certainly a precious commodity.
But while time is certainly precious and what we do with it drastically important, time isn’t the only thing that is valuable. This especially applies to people who want to help others.
Your time is important, but other peoples time is even more important.
It’s not that every other person is better than you or anything, but when you send something or do something, you want to make sure that it’s worth it.
You need to add a personal touch and a generic template doesn’t quite fit the bill. The same applies to auto-messages as well. No matter how friendly or genuine the message is, there is a clear level of disconnection.
It feels like you don’t have time for the other person.
And sure I understand that people can be very busy. But I think that we all have a little bit of time to check our emails and even send some out and give it a fair shake.
For example, automation may be convenient for you in responding to comments or other emails quickly, but time and again I’ve seen stronger methods being used. This method is simply talking on a broader platform. There is nothing wrong with saying “Hey I got a lot of emails, comments, etc. I want you to know that even if I don’t respond, I do read them.” and communicating that through your content, whether that’s through a video or a post on social media or something else.
It’s called audience building and when you grow an audience to a certain size, people begin to understand that not all of their messages will get a response. But when you’re sending an auto message or you’re putting a response into a template, it feels more harmful than good.
On the good side, you’re getting the satisfaction of “replying” to every person.
The harmful is that to that reader you’re wasting their time by giving them a generic response.
It’s Doesn’t Build Relationships
In cases like Kevin, automation or templates are more harmful when you’re doing outreach as well.
For sure there is a lot of convenience behind using automation to do your own outreach but it is worth looking at in terms of relationships.
In a world where we have multiple platforms to make us feel connected, we all know now that these platforms don’t really connect us very well. For sure they keep us in touch with people, but despite the lack of relationships I have, I know you need to do a lot more than sending a few messages or read a person's statuses.
It’s sitting down and doing video chats, hanging out with them, planning activities together. And sure social media has helped a lot with making that easier and smoother, trying to do that on a larger scale is incredibly difficult.
You run into people like Kevin who are probably decent people, but how they present themselves is in a darker light. They send messages where you gloss over and feel no connection at all.
You feel like you’re being used.
That they don’t care at all about you.
And yet they want to form some level of relationship with you.
It’s hard to do that when you receive generic emails or an obvious auto-message no matter the nature of that message.
It’s also worth looking at the quality of the relationships as sending a mass outreach of emails like this doesn’t exactly breed confidence that you’ll be building a stronger bond with the person. To me, Kevin seems like so many others where they send this email and when and if they get what they want, they never send another email to me again.
And automation only further emphasizes those sentiments.
It Doesn’t Get You Quite As Far
To expand on that point it is worth looking at the quality of the relationships. Whether you’re sending a lot of emails for outreach purposes or receiving a lot of comments, emails and other things, automation will make it convenient to “respond” or “send” everything with ease.
But it’s worth looking at those relationships you’re building.
For sure there are many decent people out there in the world and your audience is important. But we all don’t have the time to maintain and grow a bond with every single person.
These days many people feel connected when they consume the persons content but not necessarily engage with the person directly.
And if you’re looking for something a little more intimate, that’s where you need to do your own outreach. It’s things like commenting on their content on the regular, sharing insightful things, engaging with the person.
And sure automation can help with some of those things, but again, it’s generic. It doesn’t necessarily build confidence with the other person if you’re using a template every time. There is more weight when we write how we feel and when we write from the heart.
And that can only be achieved when we choose to do things ourselves, to be personable.
It’s not that every single person is not worth responding to. When I grow a large audience, I know it’s going to be tough for me emotionally to read comments but never respond. But I want to be a person that is genuine that takes time out of my day to respond to a person who appreciates my time just as much.
I want to feel a connection. And that connection can only happen if we set aside the templates, and the automation and do most of the work manually.
In 2011, I left a great corporate gig to start my own software professional services company. And while the corporate setting taught me a lot about how to navigate professional life early in my career, starting my own business has taught me so many lessons that I can point to as ‘things I wish I knew back in my corporate career.’
That said, here are some of the transferrable skills and perspectives I have gained since starting my own business. Things that I know would translate well in a return to a traditional corporate setting.
Business is a people-first proposition
When considering business operations and culture from an analytical viewpoint, it is easy to misinterpret the importance of how to put people or clients first. Many professionals believe that as long as a company’s standards result in high success rates, more business will soon follow. In actuality, one’s likability will often outweigh any technical skill or professional accomplishments, whether in an entrepreneurial or corporate setting.
Something to be noted when attempting to secure new customers is the idea that there’s a balance to reach between presenting that professional business side of operations and cultivating personal relationships. Customers may seek you out for your expertise, but their executive decision to hire you is based on your relationship. Always take the time to get to know your clients in the workplace and build a relationship that allows for a deeper understanding of their needs and expectations during your partnership.
Keep in mind that regardless of your expertise, if people don’t like you, they will not want to work with you. That same logic is just as beneficial when developing relationships with your employees. Leaders that have taken the time to develop employees in a people-first environment allow for improvement in an innovative, efficient, and productive manner. In addition to fostering a group of high-spirited employees, the retention rates and trust build over time, leading to better sales and services.
Tell stories to engage people
Learn to tell stories — and not in a fabricated way to impress your listener. Utilize interesting themes and attention-grabbing details to make your point and keep your audience interested, but, ultimately, it’s important to learn how to engage your customers, recruits, employees, investors, etc. through honest connections.
When sharing relevant stories, be sure to keep your focus on the audience. Ask yourself if your story created an impact. Understanding the audience’s preference and structuring your story to meet that ensures they will be engaged and interested in your story. In addition, controlling the tension and tone of your story keeps any listener interested and waiting for more. Lastly, include facts along with a single message so your audience can clearly gain something from your experience together.
There is no business without money
Despite all your lofty ambitions to create the greatest work environment, save the world, become the market leader, or create the next cool technology, the fact remains that “cash is king.” There is simply no chance of running a business without money, and that has to be the central purpose of your work.
It is completely acceptable to have more than one passion, but realistically, your passions should support one another. Focus on your goal to bring in revenue, and once you have worked to reach that goal, you will find that you have more time to bring on board passion projects.
Don’t do it alone
More likely than not, the combined efforts of a team results in a product that is greater than a single individual’s achievements. Working together creates the options to plan, problem solve, and make proper decisions utilizing solutions that, as an individual, you may have found difficult. A team brings in fresh perspectives, new insights, and promotes creativity.
To put into further perspective, even the most skilled and talented individuals need advisors, confidants, or coaches. Not only can they provide different perspectives and valuable insight, they can bring on a unique range of knowledge and skills you may lack. Though you might not require their efforts on a project, it is always important to surround yourself with other business professionals to seek advice when you find yourself in a difficult situation or stay updated on current business trends.
Nothing is more important to your success than the people you hire
It is extremely difficult to acquire success alone, and it is highly likely that you are surrounded by a team that has helped you develop your business to where it is now. Contrary to what most people may think, your employees need to have more than just hard skills to gain momentum. In any given situation, you can always bring on more individuals to master new skills, but the attitude of your team is everything.
Finding employees with a hard-working, creative, or analytical attitude, can be the determining factor between simply getting a project “done” or completing the project with the best efforts to set yourself up for success. In addition, a diligent and spirited team can create an atmosphere that makes the 40-hour work environment a joyous one.
Just as company culture plays a large role in the professional world, the ability to grow and adapt to new changes in the company is just as important. When your success grows, take those that supported you along for the journey. Acquiring this type of attitude is dependent on management generating a culture of individuals who want to develop themselves personally and professionally alongside their peers.
Success Does not Always Comes From Hard Work (Being An Workaholic),
As You May Have Heard, Smart Work Is Better Than Hard Work.
Here Are Some Tips And Tricks From WagaBiz That Helps You Build Your Business Without Turning Into A Workaholic.
This Is The First And Foremost Requirement, You Should Learn To Say This Magical Word, Which Is Invented The Way Before You Were Born And That Magical Word Is “NO”. You Have To Say No A Lot More Than You Say Now. You Have To Say No To Everybody Whether It May Be Your Friends, Family, Associates, Co-Workers, Or Your Hot And Sexy Girlfriend (Just Kidding). But The Most Difficult Sometimes You Have To Say No To Some Opportunities. You Have To Let It Go.
You Have To Set Boundaries Between Your Yes And Other Persons No. If You Failed To Do So And Keep On Being An “Yes Man” You Will Surely End Up With Being A Workaholic. So Are You Ready To Say No?
Nobody Other In This Whole World Care For Your Money, Time, Values Or Other Things That Might Work As An Catalyst In Your Success. That is Why You Yourself Have To Be Accountable For Your Time And Money. The Best Way To Do So Is To Make A Schedule. You Have To Set Boundaries In Terms Of How Much Time You Can Spend On A Single Work? How Much Money Can You Spend On A Thing? Or Per Day?.
Once You Incorporate This Habit Of Being Accountable For Your Valuables You Will Soon See The Changes In Terms Of Increase, You Can See Your Money Growing, You Will Realize You Have Lot More Time Than Before. Go Give It A Try.
While In The Business, You Can Not Value Each And Every Thing On The Same Level Of Importance. There Is Always One Better Than The Other. You Have To Know Which One. You Have To Get Clear On Your Values.
Having Difficulty In Finding Your Core Values? Let Me Help.
Its An Easy Thing, Just Ask Yourself Why Did You Started Your Business?
List Out Your Answer. Mark Up Two Topmost Answers, And That is It Those Are Your Core Values. It Can Be Anything It Can Be Massive Financial Freedom, Tons Of Free Time, Or The Feeling Of Self Independence. But At Last Those Are Your Core Values And You Have To Work Only Towards Achieving Those Values.
In The Earlier Stage You Have Defined Your Core Values. Now You Have The Answer Of What, What You Should Work On, The Next Step Now Is To Get Clear On “How?” .For This You Have To Prepare A Schedule,
Here By Schedule, I Means The Whole Action Plan, And Just Not A Routine. In fact While Working Towards Your Values You Also Have To Forget Your Routine. You May Have To Skip The Breakfast Or Morning Walk, Or Up Late At Night. Now How To Prepare This Action Plan I Called “The Schedule”. Well If I Told You The Answer Is “You Know It Already” .Just Answer All The “WH” Questions Like “When? Where? How? How much? Etc.
While Answering These Questions Just Remember Keep Your Core Values In Mind.
This Is Also One Of The Most Important Thing, Defining Values, Preparing The Schedule Does Not End The Task. You Have To Improve It Make Changes From Time To Time In It. With Each Phase Of Business Growth, Comes Further Refinement, Revisit Your Values And Schedule. Its Part Of A Never Ending Circular Spiral Of Upward Success.
To Create Success Without Being An Workaholic, You Must:-
Writing copy for your Messenger chatbot can be daunting. You feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, and then writer’s block (and maybe a little bit of self-doubt) creeps up on you, so you decide to watch another episode of The Good Place on Netflix instead of finishing your bot.
No one should have to experience the paralysing fear of writing, especially when it’s meant to be a fun conversation for a Messenger bot. Basically, you shouldn’t feel like this…
Many of the clients I work with have the exact same problem when it comes to writing, from tone of voice to greetings, and even the wording of their terms and conditions for bot competitions.
I’ve worked with close to 1,000 clients and the one thing that they know is crucial is copywriting. And for my Messenger bot clients, they know the bot is representing their business so their #1 priority is the bot HAS to sound like them.
So, let’s go through some things that can help you approach copywriting for your Messenger chatbot like a pro, so you can banish the self-doubt and “writing demons” once and for all. (I think I also have a voodoo spell for that.)
But why is copywriting so important?
Put simply, copywriting can increase both the quality and quantity of your leads.
“Once you understand what makes people buy things, you know how to sell — and how to write copy.”
– Robert W. Bly, The Copywriter’s Handbook
Why you should care about copywriting
Serial entrepreneur Ramit Sethi was asked what the most underrated skill was to grow a business, he replied, “I’d have to say copywriting. I spent years studying it, we’ve generated millions of dollars using copywriting, and I’m still amazed by the masters.”
I am #TeamRamit on this one. I created an email for a SaaS startup that generated a 10% open rate in 2 hours to a list of 11k (higher than industry average)… I then built a Facebook Messenger bot and a two-email sequence that made $3,000 in sales and 68.2% open rate, with a 36.5% CTR and 71.5% CTR to the sales page.
I wrote a landing page for a USD $69.95 per month subscription product that outperformed the control by 44%.
So, copy is key when it comes to getting the attention of your audience.
But bot copy is a little different. So here are some things you should follow:
5 powerful rules for giving great bot copy
It’s a conversation in Messenger — treat it like one.
Brevity is ALWAYS best in this platform. If you can say it in 2 sentences, say it in 2 sentences ONLY. Don’t waffle on.
Use emojis. If you have to convey a lot of information, use emojis as bullet points to create visual interest.
Use GIFs. Copy can be enhanced by appropriate GIFs to show humour or reward the user for performing a task.
Don’t forget your buttons — they need some copy love, too. 💖
Button, button… Who’s got the button?
SURPRISE! People don’t read all of your message text within the bot, so your buttons or quick replies are going to have to do MORE of the work.
For example, say you have a realtor bot and it sends a message asking subscribers if they can attend an open house on a particular date. Normally, you would write quick replies as “YES” or “NO”.
But if you write them as “Yes I can attend” or “No I can’t attend”, the click-through rate will be higher as people will skim your message and be able to respond a lot faster to your question. We’re all too busy, OK?
Think about including a “something else” option for some yes/no questions. For the realtor bot, this would be “Not sure” option for the same open house question.
Tone of voice is also important here. A button response like “Yes! Gimme!” to a question would be appropriate for a young, fun brand (think Tarte Cosmetics) while a reply that’s “Yes! I’d like that” is better suited to a more sophisticated brand, like Vogue.
The biggest secret: reuse existing content
When I create copy for a Messenger bot campaign, it includes:
Custom template for Facebook keyword trigger in the ad
Bot flow in ManyChat
Email (triggered by the bot and delivered by Mailchimp)
Usually, I’ll use copy from the website or brief to create the bot copy, then I’ll use copy from the Facebook Ad and bot flow to create the emails we send out (or vice versa). Everything is created once, and modified for each use, keeping best practices for each use in mind.
Gamification works great for helping your audience find a product that works for them. You may have seen them already. Something like this:
Which product is best for you?
“5 Days and 5 Ways to a Healthier Body Challenge”
Which perfume would suit you?
This also ties into qualifying leads.You can do this via a series of questions, which your customers are MORE willing to answer than they would if they were talking to a human (because they know there isn’t a person at the other end judging them).
You can find out things like what their budget is, if they’re ready to buy or just browsing, and what they’re looking for. Then target your marketing based on this segmentation.
For dating expert Matthew Hussey, I created a dating quiz that tied into his appearance on reality show “The Single Wives”, and also allowed our subscribers to brush up on their dating prowess with 5 dating questions.
The results were super encouraging:
5 foolproof gamification rules
Use existing copy ﹘ When creating a quiz, use a guide, an article you’ve written, eBook or whitepaper to source material that can form your questions.
Turn the questions into Q&A. Map it out! I use XMind ZEN.
Limit it to 5 questions.. Any more and it’s too long and the audience will drop off.
Limit it to 2 answers as A LOT of building goes into these!
Make them evergreen. This means they’ll live in your bot for a long time with a great shelf life.
BONUS: quizzes also perform well in Facebook Ad campaigns.
So now you have the best-kept secrets for writing fun Messenger bot conversations. Writing doesn’t have to be scary, you just need the tools to make it work for you. The rest is practice.
Want to know more about how Messenger Marketing can help your business?
> Click here to get the Essential Messenger Marketing Guide delivered to you via Facebook Messenger (what else?). 😉
Not sure you can tackle the copywriting or Messenger bot yourself?
> I only work with a handful of clients, so drop me a line via my Facebook Messenger botand answer some simple questions about your business to see if we’re a good fit.
ELC: What do you think about regulating cryptocurrencies and blockchain activities?
Growdigi: “ I don’t feel comfortable with external regulators coming in and regulating this from the outside. I believe they don’t know how this industry works. They will use traditional guidelines they use in traditional markets and try and apply them here- but they are not relevant.
The challenge is regulation and how do we handle that? I think internal — self regulation is a lot better way to do that.”
ELC: Where do you think the blockchain industry will be headed in the next few years? What will it look like?
Growdigi: “I think that equity investment in projects is going to be the new wave during the next few years. People are sick of investing into coins that really have no value or offer any equity into a project — apart from the “that’s the way it was always done” argument. People would much rather invest into a business that is generating revenue and get a return of that via an equity share or a dividend.
I also feel that in the next few years regulators will clamp down severely on exchanges. Exchanges are a lot easier to regulate and right now the popular business model with exchanges is to make their money through listing fees. Many exchanges don’t care about the validity of a project as it is in their interest to list as many as possible to maximize their revenue from listing fees. This environment allows for scam projects to continue to operate and the exchange is a centralized point where this is facilitated.”
ELC:What’s an average workday like for the Founder of Proof of Review?
Growdigi: “The first point of work when I get up is to check social media channels, emails, comments and updates from the team, new orders, or any feedback. Once I’ve done that, I’ll prioritize the current work load and any outstanding work or outstanding reviews that need to be done. Most of the day is spent processing any review related work. Then I will usually liaise with the POR team, and any projects we might be reviewing for more information or adding updates to the projects we have already reviewed. I’ll also spend some time of the day contacting new teams and developers, marketing the project and aiming to get some new teams on board for review.”
ELC: Who do you think is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Growdigi: “I’m pretty sure it’s the U.S. government. With all the information that’s come out in the last couple of years with the liaisons the early dev’s had with the CIA, NSA- It makes sense to me that it was a group of individuals from some sort of government organization, maybe a shadow organization; but I genuinely think it was the U.S. government.”
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way
— Viktor Frankl
For the longest time, I believed that there was only one purpose of life: to be successful.
Right?! I mean why else would I be going through all of this trouble to achieve career success. Working extra hours, always focused on the goal, the mission.
How I first looked and failed to find purpose
As many young people coming out of high school do I chose a major that my parents and all of the adults in my life thought would lead to a respectable profession: engineering. It was fine with me since I liked math and physics and felt like I fit in as a nerd.
I enjoyed my four years at university, for the most part. I worked and learned a lot and set myself up for a pretty stable career. Of course I felt like I was doing pretty well since I was on my way to what a lot of people were calling a “successful career”: something I’d get paid well for and a title that people respect.
Yet as time went on, I was working at the same time as doing my Master’s degree, I felt that something was missing: I still didn’t feel happy. I had a drive to work and achieve, to push towards what people call “success”, but there was still this void. Something just wasn’t there.
Was this it? Was this all there was? Frankly I expected more to life than just this. There wasn’t anything that really genuinely excited me. I couldn’t honestly say that I loved my work.
I wanted more. I had seen people on TV and YouTube that were what society would call “successful”: aka had lots of money, and I guess you could say some of them seemed pretty happy. But there were also others that had money and didn’t seem to be doing too well: celebrities with sex scandals, power hungry executives, and drug addicted athletes. Plus I wasn’t really all that interested in being a rich play boy. I wanted financial stability but also a family, interesting career, flexibility, and some time to just explore and adventure and learn things. A lot of that can clearly get taken away from you once you’re famous, especially the flexibility part.
OK, so money might help but can come with some of those major down sides.
I also started to do a bit of self-observation asking myself: when do I feel truly happy? Most of them didn’t have much to do with money at all: hanging out and just chatting with my family, going out with my girlfriend, working out, reading, achieving some big goal I had set, and eating some delicious food!
You’ll notice like I did that those things don’t have much to do with money. Sure a gym membership costs money, but not as much as the exotic sports cars and endless sex people usually imagine when day dreaming about finding their purpose and becoming successful. Maybe I was looking in the wrong place.
Man’s Search for Meaning
So I was out of ideas for finding my purpose; it was time to look elsewhere. I loved to read and had already learned so much from books so I figured what the hell, I’ll look there.
I first heard about Man’s Search for Meaning from an unlikely source, a YouTube channel called strengthcamp. The channel was mostly about lifting weights, but also had a good batch of videos with general advice about career, confidence, and life. A few days later, I picked up the book from the local library.
Man’s Search for Meaning was written by Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the horrific World War II Holocaust. It chronicles his experiences while he was a prisoner in the concentration camps, and how he found purpose through it. The main, beautiful question that Frankl tries to answer is: how can one find purpose, even in the darkest of places?
Frankl goes on to talk about three psychological reactions experienced by all inmates throughout their arrival, prisonership, and freedom from the camp:
(1) Shock and denial during their initial admission to the camp
(2) Acceptance during the camp stay
(3) If they survive through to liberation, loss of moral and disillusionment
The first stage begins even before a prisoner arrives, during the transportation to the camp. They have hope that this will only be temporary, that it’ll all be over soon, like a bad dream. Yet within the first few days the prisoners are broken. They realise that there is no dream, just despair.
In the second stage, Frankl observed that most prisoners fall in to an acceptance their fate. They accept the camp as life itself and choose one of two paths: (1) that of forfeit, in which they forfeit their hope of survival and give up (2) that of hope, in which they hang on to something: a lover that awaits them, children, or some happy thing they can’t give up on.
Frankl describes the third stage as the most difficult. For prisoners who survive until liberation, many feel that the hope and happiness they held on to for all the horrid time in the camp was in vain. Their families are lost, careers are destroyed. They no longer feel happiness or freedom: they are foreign things.
But Viktor Frankl saw something special during his captivity, something that helped him survive: the men who held on to their hope were the ones who survived. He described instances of his friends falling into despair, and no matter how much he or others would plead with them, they would insist that they were going to die. Some would even purposefully make themselves sick out of desperation.
But there were others who held on to things despite the grimmest of circumstances. There were inmates who still spoke of seeing their families again or continuing on with their professions when they become free; those men survived. They were able to find, perhaps not happiness, but a sense of meaning. Their bodies were captive, but their minds were free.
Inmates would find meaning in whatever they could. A fellow inmate who had fallen into despair, whom they felt they had a chance to save. A family on the outside who he had to survive for, because they needed him. Something, anything, to hold on to.
Purpose lies in everything you do
Frankl observed that those who had a positive mindset had survived the camp and those who did not had perished. That positive mindset came from finding a meaning to their lives, a purpose.
You can find purpose everywhere and everyday in your life.
That purpose can be anything:
A dog that needs walking to feel loved
A task at work that needs to be done, if not for the customers whom it will serve then for your family’s well-being that your salary provides
Your Mom who need’s a hand around the house
Pouring your full passion and effort into a dinner meal you’re cooking for your family
That waitress who’d feel better about herself if you said thank you
A smile you can share with everyone you meet, to make the world just a little bit brighter
It doesn’t have to be a fancy career, an amazing achievement, or becoming famous. You don’t need any of those external things. All you need is to feel like you are making some positive impact on the world, no matter how small.
Define who you want to be as a person. Discard all of the influences and expectations of society. Throw away all of the external labels. How can you be the absolute best version of yourself?Don’t think, feel.
Then do your best to be that person every single day.
Prisoners in the camp who saved positive didn’t have their career. They didn’t have good food. They didn’t have their hobbies that they enjoyed. They didn’t even have their families.
But they did have themselves. They had their own lives and minds and hearts. They did their best with what they had, no matter how little it was.
Do your best. With whatever you have, with whatever life gives you. Do your best to learn from it, smile, and make a positive impact in any way you can.
More than anything, other than how to achieve work-life balance, I get asked questions about how to start a business. In many ways, these two questions overlap. However, starting a business is often perceived to mean exactly not experiencing work-life balance.
There are a myriad guides of and seminars on ‘starting a business’, and many more perspectives on how to do it ‘right’. It’s obvious, then, that I’m not the only one being asked this question. One thing is clear: Most people who question me most often preface the question with “Given all you’ve had to go through…” or “Being a woman…”
Understand this!: Starting a business the right way requires the same attention and key elements, regardless of gender (…or ethnicity or nationality).
First, is identifying what ‘right’ means to you. Ask and answer: Is this the right time to start a business? Don’t just consider the timing of the market for your particular offering; consider, equally, if the timing is right for you and your family. This means more than financial considerations, although such considerations are critical. Many well funded ideas fall flat because of timing. It’s very important that you know: Business requires time and timing!
Innovation is often lauded, but not as often honored. What do I mean? Because an idea is new to you does not mean it’s new to the world! While you will need to be highly innovative to build a solid, sustainable business, you will need to be dynamic in creating an innovative environment within your business. There are ideas expressed abundantly in books and classes on how to be innovative and how to encourage it. There is no lesson that teaches a complete formula for it. After all, innovation is the core of ‘evergreen’; and, if your business will be built well, it will be evergreen.
Goals are not wishes. Goals are not ideals. Goals may be seeded from wishes and ideals, but they require strategies to be realized. Be very clear and concise in identifying your goals; then, be even more critical and precise in defining your strategies. Goals, without strategies, are wasted thoughts. One more thing about goals: They must be checked on regularly and moved as soon as achieved, lest stagnation occur.
How you intend to grow is equally important to what you intend to grow. You’ve heard it said “It’s not always what you say, but how you say it” and “People won’t long remember what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel”. Well, in business, people may not remember what your name is, but they’ll remember how your business impacted — or did not impact — them. It’s not always the What that brands your business, but the How!
Talent is key to the success of any business, and great talent is needed to start great businesses. My company, AppleOne, provides talent for some of the best businesses of all sizes. Whether start-ups or mature, the companies we work with depend on us to identify the best people in an employee driven market where culture matters! The sooner you bring great people into your business, the closer you will get to growing a great business. In your very early days, you may be the only person working in your company. However, the second you hire an employee, you’re no longer the key personnel; they are!
Promising you 7 keys, here are the last two:
Ownership and Negotiation
If you’re going to start that business, own it! Don’t just own the property, regulations and resources of it. Own the responsibility for everything of it. In my ‘own’ business, the Act-1 Group, we teach that ‘Everything Matters!” We teach it with an exclamation mark because it’s just that critical to us. Give smart attention to everything and you’ll actually save time, money and other resources.
The essence of genius, in my company, is knowing what to overlook. This is as true in personal, as well as in business, settings. However, nothing must be overlooked during the negotiations of contracts. Whether the contract has you as the customer or as the supplier, read, question and understand Everything! The difficult question or uneasy ‘No’ during negotiations is what builds the relationship that later allows for friendly business.
Understanding and implementing these 7 keys won’t bring magic formula to building your business; it will set your business on the RIGHT path to sustainable success.
Right — Know what it means to and for you!
Innovation — Keep it core
Goals — They’re not wishes; they’re strategic.
How — What is not enough. How builds brand!
Talent — The key to it all….
Ownership — It’s everyone’s contribution, but your fault if it fails.