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Starting my own business in my early twenties with a laptop, communal Wi-Fi, and student loans, I quickly learned that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know (and I didn’t know anybody).
With limited funds and even less finesse, I struggled to connect with other professionals in my industry. I felt subconscious about my company’s early stage status and was almost convinced no one would ever hire me to market their brand. I knew networking was really important (I mean, it’s in all the business books), but armed with just with a well-worn Target suit, a couple dozen self-printed business cards, and an almost maxed out credit card, I wasn’t exactly positioned to network with the pros, or so I thought.
I joined my first Facebook group way back in 2013.
I can’t remember what it was called, but know it had something to do with business.
The digital space was just picking up steam as an entrepreneurial hub, and many of the widespread social courtesies we experience today weren’t really “widespread”, yet.
Needless to say, that well-intended business-focused Facebook group quickly became overrun with a steady stream of shameless self-promo leading to a feeding frenzy of tabloid-like social spats and virtual pissing contests.
Bottom-line: it wasn’t helpful. Continue Reading…
With over 470 million users, LinkedIn has emerged as the digital hub for professionals across the globe.
Replacing the old school resume with a nifty customizable profile url, and outdating the rolodex in favor of Connections, LinkedIn is where today’s business professionals connect.
A 2014 Jobvite survey indicated that 94 percent of recruiters search for job candidates via LinkedIn, while only 36 percentof job seekers have a LinkedIn presence.
For entrepreneurs, the impact of maintaining a standout LinkedIn profile can extremely influential, as prospective clients and investors often vet companies and founders through social platforms.
LinkedIn offers the ideal platform features to showcase one’s professional expertise and network influence in ways other social apps are lacking. Continue Reading…
Starting a business for the first time can be scary, stressful, and all other terrifying adjectives.
Even with all the right “things” in place – supportive team, business education, adequate financing, etc. – first time entrepreneurs can be swept away with the hundreds and hundreds of critical decisions that rewired within those first few months.
As with any new venture, entrepreneurship is trial and error – sometimes you make good decisions, other times, those decisions prove to not be so good.
Reflecting over my years of serial entrepreneurship – some which were profitable, others not so much – I’m reminded of some major mistakes I made my first year in business. It’s my hope that by sharing these new entrepreneur “oops!” you can be saved some unnecessary headache as you chart your own entrepreneurial journey. Continue Reading…
Job hunting is the worst.
Rejection after rejection after rejection has become the norm for even the most talented of professionals.
Having your entire career scrutinized by people that don’t know you, don’t care about you, and are probably driven by their many subconscious biases regarding “people like you” isn’t fun.
In fact, recent studies indicate unemployment is a little more than nauseating – it can have disastrous effects on your health and relationships (not to mention finances).
As a job seeker, it’s hard to keep your chin up when you feel like putting your best foot forward simply results in being knocked to your knees – over and over and over. Continue Reading…
Today’s modern business scene conjures images of international exposure, World Wide Web maestros, and Just in Time shipping from the Orient with limited, if any, personal contact with the customer, suppliers, or actual community with which the business person spends their time.
However, even in this digital, efficient, and fast-paced impersonal business culture, there are those among us who run service operations or brick-and-mortar businesses based on personal interaction.
While it is important and perhaps vital to be digitally astute even in this arena, the art of personal contact, especially in small town USA, is essential for success and growth.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your personal interactions and grow your professional network within a small town: Continue Reading…
We live in a digital age – it seems as though everything is online these days, including networking. Forget Chamber Coffees, Meet and Greets, and the Elk Lodge; millennials are networking, but they are doing online.
While popular social media platforms – like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram- can be used for networking purposes, they aren’t really set-up for developing professional network, and one’s attempts to “connect” can come across as rather spammy.
Good News: There’s a variety of network-specific apps with easy-to-use connectivity functions and a user base of like-minded professionals eager to grow their networks.
Here’s a listing of seven networking apps every millennial professional should explore: Continue Reading…
We’ve all been there – at that lame ass conference hosting nothing more than mediocre speakers, flopped networking, and high parking fees.
Don’t get stuck wasting time at not-worth-the-money conferences.
You’re a busy millennial professional – you’ve got places to go, things to do, and a business to run!
Ensuring conference quality is key when scheduling out your year.
Here’s a list of 7 favorite conferences for millennial entrepreneurs that can help you plan your next CE: