Briefing Room

Briefing Room

Apples To Apples

Evaluate
When looking at the state of your business, it is natural to compare it to other businesses. If you want to get a realistic picture of your business, who you compare it to matters. Recently, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz gave an interview about how well the company was doing. He and the interviewer kept talking about how strong same store sales were and how no other brick and mortar retailer was holding on to customers like Starbucks. The statement was completely true. It was also completely irrelevant. Starbucks does not face the same challenges as retailers. No one is buying a cup of coffee at Amazon and waiting for next day delivery. If he wanted to make his point accurately, he should have compared Starbucks to businesses in its own sector…
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3 Ways to Think Like an Innovator

Innovation
Most people struggle to do what innovators excel at: connecting the unconnected. Here are three ways to get in the habit of making new associations: Just do it. Force associations across different ideas when they don't come naturally. Ask yourself: What else could this idea be connected to? Shake it up. When associations don't emerge, try forcing them to surface. Put seemingly unrelated ideas or words together and see what comes to mind. The creative combinations may spark a new idea. Repeat. Research shows that if you practice associational thinking long enough, the task will energize you rather than exhaust you.
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Imposter Syndrome Means You’re On The Right Track

Attitude and Mindset
You've probably heard people say it. You may have said it yourself. "I'm worried someone will find out I'm a fraud." In general, it refers to the feeling that you're not qualified to do what you're doing. It's an insecurity that is referred to as imposter syndrome. If you start to feel imposter syndrome, embrace it. It means you're on the right track. Imposter syndrome never occurs when you're in your comfort zone. People only feel it when they stretch into unfamiliar territory. If you stay in your comfort zone, your potential is limited. Feeling like you are reaching beyond your grasp means you are trying new things, learning more, and having new experiences. These are necessities if you want to accomplish more. When you feel imposter syndrome take these…
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Finding Positive Things at Work Can Decrease Stress

Attitude and Mindset
Over the course of a typical workday, negative and positive things inevitably happen — and many people focus mainly, or exclusively, on the negative ones. But research has found that even small positive experiences are a valuable resource for reducing stress. When people spend time thinking about what went well that day, their mental and physical stress levels decrease by small but significant amounts, and they have an easier time detaching from work. Thinking positively doesn’t come naturally for most people: We’re attuned to paying attention to negative things, which makes it hard to notice positive ones. So instead of ruminating on negative events, make time to relive, enjoy, and share the positive events of your day. Doing so creates bonds with other people and reduces evening stress, improving your…
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The 2016 Entrepreneur (Part IV): The Freelance Entrepreneur

Attitude and Mindset
Like the sharing economy, freelance work allows you to be an entrepreneur while working for a company. More and more companies are hiring freelancers to handle projects instead of bringing on full-time employees who they may not need at the end of a project. Being a freelancer also gives you the opportunity to work only as or a freelancer or on the side while you hold on to your 9 - 5 job. However, you must realize that being a freelancer is running a business. You are responsible for sales and accounting in addition to the job you are hired to do. As a freelancer you must be able to meet deadlines without someone looking over your shoulder. It is not something you can do half-heartedly. You must commit to…
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The 2016 Entrepreneur (Part III): Protection In The Sharing Economy

Process
by Charlie Schein Star Schein Insurance Everyone is looking to save or make an extra buck!  That’s ok…after all, who couldn’t use a few extra dollars in the holiday/vacation or weekly grocery fund?  People are turning towards web enabled 3rd party apps to turn their vehicles in to taxis and homes in to an instant Bed and Breakfast.  All this can be done quickly, easily and cheaply using the internet!  Or can it? As an insurance agent, I have concerns.  Not that I mind anyone making extra money…my concern is that personal auto and home owners policies are just that…personal.  Each contain exclusions for commercial enterprises.  When you open your home and car to commercial risk, the insurance company has the right to decline to pay any claims arising from…
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The 2016 Entrepreneur (Part II): The Sharing Economy

General Business, Process
The sharing economy offers entrepreneurs a great way to start making some extra money and dip a toe in the water before going full tilt into a new venture. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, the sharing economy refers to businesses where you are paid to share your car (Uber/Lift), home (Airbnb) or other asset. We'll take a look at Uber as an example here. Start up is simple with these companies and the initial investment can be minimal. You do need to make sure your car or home is up to the company's standards and that you are mentally prepared for having strangers in your car. Remember your fares can include drunks, criminals and out of control teenagers in addition to the business people…
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The 2016 Entrepreneur (Part I): Yes! You Can Be An Entrepreneur

Attitude and Mindset
Most people have an image in their heads of what an entrepreneur is. The tech genius in a garage or the person pulling an all-nighter several times a week to get their dream of the ground. The truth is that most entrepreneurs work in company its that they don't own or work as a consultant or freelancer. Not only is it easier than ever to be an entrepreneur it is becoming necessary. Large companies are hiring more people as consultants and freelancers than they are full time employees. Over this series of articles, we'll examine the different ways to be an entrepreneur and how you can make the switch. The first part of that switch is your mindset.  Ask yourself who you work for. If you are answering the name…
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Don’t Make Resolutions, Make Goals

Attitude and Mindset, Evaluate, Process
It's the start of a new year and everyone is talking about their new year's resolutions. If you want to make a difference in your life, your business, your career, or anything, you're better off forgetting the resolutions this year. Instead make goals and keep making them. Resolutions are generally vague. Losing weight is the most common one. Make a specific goal instead. More importantly, forget these year-long ideas. Make a goal about what you will do this week. Then make a goal of what you will do next week and so on. You don't have to make them all right now. You can set your goals each Sunday night for that week. Why should you this? Making a goal includes a measurable outcome (lose 10 pounds, exercise for 20…
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