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Do This in the Morning and Be More Productive All Day

Inc Small Business - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 6:00am

If you think coffee gets you kickstarted, just wait until you try gratitude.

Everyone has a unique way of starting their day off on the proverbial right foot. What do successful entrepreneurs do every morning to ensure they are über-effective at getting things done? We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization to provide their tips and tricks for maximum productivity.

Say thank you.

"Every morning, before I even put one foot on the floor, I think of one thing for which I am thankful. Starting with a positive thought and reminding myself of the good things I have in life gives me perspective for the day, should any unpleasantness unfold."

--Michael Zwick, EO Detroit

President, Assets International

Work on the business, not in it.

"I keep a recurring one-hour meeting for myself called 'Working on the Business.' This is a time to think about those higher-level issues that are so important and too often trumped by other meetings and 'urgent' emails. Though this meeting lasts an hour every day, it makes all the difference. Why wouldn't you spend at least five hours a week working on your business?"

--Kevin Menzie, EO Colorado

CEO, Slice of Lime

Prioritize.

"In order to have a productive day, I start out every morning writing down my top three MITs, or most important tasks, that I need to focus on for that day. I write them down at home before I leave for work, prioritize them, and then make sure I schedule time on my calendar early in the morning for each one of them. This process only takes a few seconds and ensures that every day is productive."

--Jay Feitlinger, EO Arizona

CEO, StringCan Interactive

Exercise.

"I made a promise to work out at least 45 minutes every morning before doing anything else. This has made a huge difference for both myself and my business. Through exercise, I start the day refreshed and ready to take on the many challenges of startup life. I'm more able to approach challenges with an open mind, remain healthy to work long hours, and keep a positive outlook when met with roadblocks."

--Amy Balliett, EO Seattle

President, co-CEO, chairman of the board, Killer Infographics

Start earlier.

"One day, I had to get to my office at 6 a.m. to be on a conference call with a London-based client. The call only lasted about 20 minutes, and I was left with two and a half hours before my employees started to arrive. I accomplished more in that time of solitude than I ever had in a standard eight-hour day with a fully staffed office. As more and more staff arrive, my productivity tends to decline dramatically. I now regularly work from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m."

--Jeff Cooper, EO Philadelphia

President and CEO, Expo Logic

Meditate for five minutes.

"I start every day with a five-minute meditation and relaxation breathing exercise. This gives me the focus and peace to tackle my hectic day as an entrepreneur. I used to check my phone first and get stressed out, but now this short exercise gives me the balance I need."

--Nick Friedman, EO Central Florida

President, College Hunks Hauling Junk

Podcast with the kids.

"Once I hit the office, there is very little time to explore new trends and topics in my industry. I start each morning with a curated list of podcasts. First, I listen to two of my shows (10 minutes each), but I also listen to a podcast with my 5-year-old and 3-year-old. Everyone's happy, I'm up to date on my industry, and the commute goes quick!"

--Nicholas Holland, EO Nashville

President, CentreSource

Categories: Small Business News

Do You Make it Too Hard to Get Promoted?

Inc Small Business - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 6:00am

Having problems with your superstars leaving rather than moving up? Out-of-date promotion practices may be part of the problem.

For those who lead companies, how difficult do you make it to promote someone? Is all the effort worth it to your managers, supervisors, and the person themself? Or are you practically posting an Exit sign for your most ambitious, talented workers, who will inevitably seek jobs elsewhere?

Here are a couple of promotion practices that may be out of date and hindering your efforts to keep employees engaged, contributing, and moving up the ladder.

Promotions happen only once a year.

In corporate America, there's a long-standing practice of doling out promotions once a year at annual review time. Though this may have worked well once upon a time, it seems old, outdated, and just plain antiquated at this point.

Nowadays, we move fast. People change, jobs change, and organizations change.

An employee might be ready for a promotion in February. Do you really wait until the end of December to promote her--if she even sticks around that long? In this competitive hiring environment, your best employees may get scooped right out from under you if you fail to promote them when they deserve it.

True, many of us are still using this once-a-year promotion schedule because we're tied to it with budgets, approvals, and so on. But I think we can be more creative. Though some companies pooh-pooh off-cycle promotions because it "looks bad," I'd argue that it's actually really motivating for employees to see deserving folks getting promoted and proving there's a viable career path in the organization.

Job descriptions and skills are not defined.

In many organizations, it's unclear how to even get promoted. Job descriptions aren't published, and skill sets that are needed for each job aren't clearly defined. Distinguishing an associate from a manager from a director gets muddied up. An employee asks his or her manager the million-dollar question: "How do I get promoted to the next level?" And the manager is placed in the precarious position of trying to make sense of something that's undefined.

This leaves a lot of room for inconsistent practices and could result in some very unsatisfied employees who may choose to explore opportunities elsewhere instead of trying to figure out what they need to do to move up the ladder in your organization.

If your job descriptions and required skill sets aren't clear and shared within your organization, work with your human-resources team and supervisors to outline clear roles and responsibilities, and also what differentiates one job (or title) from another. These subtleties are what your employees and supervisors need and want, to be able to clearly articulate what each level does and the skills and abilities an employee will need to get there.

If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free VR Buzz and check out the VerticalResponse Marketing Blog.

Categories: Small Business News

Why Great Speakers Are Like Yoda, Not Luke Skywalker

Inc Small Business - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 5:30am

Author and Duarte Design CEO Nancy Duarte on the right way to use slides, how to cure stage fright, and taking lessons from 'Star Wars' for your next presentation.

No matter how frustrated you are with your presentation--no matter how bad your slides currently seem--chances are that Duarte Design has seen worse. The 90-person company has worked on hundreds of thousands of presentations, for clients including Twitter, ESPN, and the Food Network.

Duarte is probably best-known for its work with Al Gore and the environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth, transforming Gore’s passion and mounds of research into Oscar-winning storytelling. Inc. editor-at-large Kimberly Weisul spoke with author and Duarte Design CEO Nancy Duarte about presentation mistakes, investor pitches, and why speakers should think of themselves as Yoda.

Your company, Duarte Design, has worked on literally hundreds of thousands of presentations. What mistakes do you see over and over?

The biggest thing is that people don’t have enough empathy.

When you have an opportunity to present, you tend to start to processing information from your own perspective. Usually, it’s all about the information you want to give, instead of being about the information the audience wants to receive. You need to spend an enormous amount of time thinking about what the audience wants to receive. You need to really think through who you’re talking to, and how to make a deep connection with them. Then you need to create content that supports that.

Think: How do I want the audience to change? If they spend an hour with me, how do I want them transformed? Then everything you create needs to support that transformation in them.

How does a great presenter use slides? Most people know they shouldn’t read the slides, but what should you do with them instead?

There are two ways to use slides.

You can use slides as cinematic visual aids. The slides should be breathtaking and easy to process. They should pass what I call the glance test. It should take no more than three seconds to process a slide.

Or you can use slides to create your documents. I call these slide docs. That’s when you have your whole presentation--almost like a script--in your slides.

If your PowerPoint makes sense on its own, without anyone presenting the slides, you’ve created a slide doc.

Sometimes sending a slide doc ahead as a pre-read and then doing a glorious presentation is the way to go.

How do you handle a pitch to an investor? Is that a "real" presentation, or are you writing a slide doc?

If an investor is interested, he’s going to ask you to send five slides. In that case, you’re asking your slides to be your emissary--the emissary that opens the door. Pack as much information as you can on those slides.

Then when you get in the door and get asked in for a meeting, instead of preparing 30 minutes of content, you need to do 10 minutes or 15 minutes, tops. Then let the investor take over. To do a 10 or 15 minute talk well takes an enormous amount of time.

You can put your entire script in the "notes" view in PowerPoint. You can do a nice big layout and make it almost like a brochure. Then it can travel without you. That goes along with the slides you’ll show the VCs, but it's not projected. Print it out. When you present to the VC, hand out the "notes" section right away. Say "Here’s a handout where we can dig into the numbers." Then do your presentation, and use the handout for the question and answer part.

Are there times when you should just ditch the slides entirely?

Sheryl Sandberg did a great talk at TED Women, but she had no slides.

She didn’t need slides. The subject matter was very personal to her. She had plenty of stories. The words that came out of her mouth were visual. She’s beautiful, and that helps. She’s articulate. She’s riveting. It’s not like she had to display a piece of data. It made it feel like you were sitting in her living room having a conversation with her.

One of my favorite lines from your TED talk is, "You’re not Luke Skywalker, you’re Yoda." Could you explain that a bit?

Think about movies and myths. There’s often a likeable hero who encounters obstacles and, in overcoming them, is transformed. That’s Luke Skywalker. When you're presenting, that's not you.

People go up on stage and set themselves up as if they’re the hero. The attitude is, "I'm going to give you this information and it’s going to help you." Or, "I’m going to give you this information and you're going to admire me." That’s an arrogant stance.

In movies and myths, there’s also often the mentor, who comes alongside the hero to help them get unstuck or give them a magical tool. That’s Yoda. When you're presenting, that’s you. If you look at it that way, suddenly you’re more humble.

The presenter's success is completely dependent on the audience adopting the idea. The presenter is not the protagonist. You need to take that and respect that. The audience has the power to take your idea and spread it far and wide. Or it can die.

Do you get nervous when you go on stage?

I do when I’m doing new material that I only feel kind of rehearsed for. And I get nervous if the audience astounds me. I had Deepak Chopra and James Cameron in an audience at the same time. That’s kind of intimidating. They were very kind.

How do you handle your nerves?

The best tip I have comes from [speaking coach and author] Nick Morgan. When you’re about to go on stage, sometimes your fight or flight reaction kicks in. You think you’re being threatened. What you need to do is flip the chemistry back. So when you’re backstage, think about someone you love that you haven’t seen for a long, long, time, and convince yourself you’re going to see that person when you go out onstage.

Categories: Small Business News

5 Things You Need to Know Today

Inc Small Business - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 3:33am

A roundup of the day's news curated by the Inc. editorial team to help you and your business succeed.

1. Unwearables

Hardware founders take note: Naveen Selvadurai, the co-founder of Foursquare, isn't convinced the future of tech is all wearable. "What if we didn't have to/weren't meant to carry our technology with us as we moved around town? What if the technology was actually already in the room when we got there? Maybe that's the kind of Internet-of-things that will be more sustainable and will win long-term." Selvadurai has a name for this tech, by the way: "there-ables."--X.naveen.com

2. Bonus Behavior

Maybe it's time to ditch the sales bonuses. Deirdre Connelly, president of North America Pharmaceuticals at GlaxoSmithKline, says bonuses should incentivize more than selling. "Ultimately every leader knows that you get the behavior you reward," Connelly writes. If you create a business that incentivizes people to do good and make customers happy, you'll create more value.--HBR

3. The Digital Divide

Moleskine's dive into digital is a lesson in what can happen when a decidedly offline brand tries to go online. Known for its trendy (or pretentious, depending on who you ask) notebooks, Moleskine has tried to branch out online, with moderate success. The luxury brand is still selling its analog notebooks, but its fans aren't all that interested in connecting online. Go figure.--The New Yorker

4. Clean Slate

If your smartphone is a mobile trove of your most valuable personal and professional data, take comfort in knowing that by 2015, all new phones will come with a "kill switch." Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft have agreed to equip phones with a system that will allow them to be wiped remotely.--CNN

5. The Honest Selfie

Do you spend your time online wisely? If you really want to know, check out the Surfkoll tool, which will tell you just how much time you spend where.--Fast Company

Categories: Small Business News

10 Ways to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Inc Small Business - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 3:00am

Your comfort zone feels great, but it isn't where you need to be. To push your company forward, you have to take risks.

As entrepreneurs, we crave a challenge. It's a critical component of peak performance because it provides stimulation. Without it, when we get too comfortable, we are bored, which can be the death of motivation and creativity for an ambitious business owner. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is key. If you don't, you risk stagnation.

Remaining challenged and staying out of your comfort zone, however, is not easy. When you step too far out in business, you risk making costly mistakes; not out of it at all, and you are bored and underutilized. For example, say you are a CEO running a business that you love, but you are constantly reacting to your work versus being proactive. You don't have time to stop and think if you are really challenging yourself in a way that maximizes results to achieve your long-term goals.

Busyness can get in the way of optimizing your talent, and before you know it, you are spending all your time in your comfort zone. If that is happening, you are probably feeling less inspired, more tired, and unsure of how work that you used to love is now more taxing.

To avoid the comfort-zone blahs or the risks associated with going too far out, review the list below. These 10 indications can help ensure that you are staying in the sweet spot of challenge and remaining a healthy distance from your dreaded comfort zone.

1. Your activity is linked to your overall mission. It's clear that working on this challenge will get you a step further in your company's path forward.

2. You are the originator of the challenge. You are not doing this because someone else has dictated it. Someone else could have a fantastic idea, of course, but you want to avoid getting into a situation in which you feel out of control or as if you have no autonomy within the challenge. This can be tricky, especially if you are answering to a board of directors or investors. You may think you are in control of your work, but overbearing board members could be thwarting your ability to challenge yourself in the way that you want.

3. The challenge leverages your unique genius or natural talents. If not, then rethink the ownership if this particular challenge--and find a better fit within your company or your job responsibilities.

4. You enjoy the challenge. Being mentally switched on is the best way to succeed.

5. You're excited to push your abilities to overcome this challenge. It's not an easy challenge, but the thought of conquering it is energizing. It's a comfortable uneasiness because you don't know how you are going to succeed, but you know figuring it out will be a blast. And you know if you fail, it's OK.

6. You don't let this challenge take over your life. You are able to focus on it, step away, and then come back without it affecting your ability to sleep, socialize, or have some downtime.

7. Your stress levels are manageable, despite the challenge. You are not feeling overly anxious about the process or the outcome of the challenge--which, in turn, makes success more likely.

8. Others respond to your energy for this challenge and show interest and support. Your team, partners, or colleagues are motivated by your enthusiasm. You can tell because they share that with you or offer to help you succeed with what you are doing.

9. You make positive and incremental progress with the challenge. You see regular indications of progress in spite of the disappointments. Which means you are making a difference and are engaged in the process of actualizing this goal.

10. You have moments in which you are super-energized, to the point where you feel like you are buzzing. We all have those moments when we are so aligned with our work that we feel like we are on a high. These are what a challenge junkie lives for, and if you are experiencing these, then you know you are pushing the limits of possibility--and are on the right track.

Categories: Small Business News

How One Tiny Business is Dominating Social Media

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:01pm

Retailer The Brooklyn Circus has an award-winning social media strategy, despite having only two people dedicated to it.

Last week a group of media moguls, business leaders and entertainment stars named the best and the brightest on social media at the Shorty Awards in New York City. The award ceremony included a wide range of categories in social media excellence, from the Best Comedian to the Best Video Campaign to the Best Use of Vine.

It is definitely worth checking out the entire list of Shorty Award winners--after all, these are the individuals and companies you should be emulating on social--but one important honoree to note in particular is The Brooklyn Circus. The retail and design company (based, of course, in Brooklyn, New York) won the Shorty Award for Best Small Business on social media--even without a staggering number of tweets or social media followers.

The Brooklyn Circus didn't even have the most followers among the finalists in the small business category (The Hay Merchant, a craft beer and food company, and She's the First, a sponsor of girls' education in developing nations both had more). So how did the company, which has a social media team of just two people, bring home the Shorty? Inc. spoke with BKc founder and creative director of Ouigi Theodore about the brand's social media strategy. Here are some of the major takeaways:

Find your voice and be consistent

Theodore stresses the importance of developing a specific voice on social media that creates a unique mood. He says that you won't find BKc chiming in on what is happening in politics or around the world. "We always make sure that the voice [on social media] is the brand's voice and not Ouigi's voice or anyone else's," the founder says.

Once you find that voice, he adds, it "has to be consistent--whether it is on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, or Tumblr, and so on and so forth. That voice has to be pretty much what we are saying offline."

Approach each platform with a strategy

It is important to understand that being consistent doesn't mean that you copy and paste a tweet to your Facebook page. BKc uses individual platforms differently. "Of course they all have to link, but every one of the platforms needs a separate strategy," Theodore says.

The BKc team's main focus is Instagram, on which it uses imagery to illustrate its brand and products. The company uses Twitter to quickly interact with customers, and views Facebook as a place to communicate with the business's older customers.

Don't focus on numbers

BKc currently has more than 23,100 Instagram followers, more than 12,600 Twitter followers, and more than 9,400 likes on its Facebook page--not a bad following, but to Theodore, these numbers are meaningless. He stresses that social media isn't a numbers game; what matters to him is how many people are actually listening to what BKc has to say.

"I know in social media, people tend to count how many, but for us it's about how many of these people are actually interested in what we are saying, will actually do what we tell them to do, and how many of them actually get the message," he says. "It is really about our ability to move a crowd."

Don't become a victim

Theodore adds that although it is important to be accessible to customers on social media, there is a line you shouldn't cross. "At the end of the day, we have to run a business. We are operating a brand. That is very important and it shouldn't take a backseat to all the people asking you questions online," he says. "We don't allow ourselves to become too available. If [a customer] asks a question, we will be more than happy to answer it, but there are some questions you just can't answer."

Categories: Small Business News

Social Media Hiring Isn't Just for Late Night TV

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:59pm

Seth Myers might have a leg up on most business leaders when it comes to social media recruiting.

Okay, you probably don't need to hire a comedy writer. (Though maybe the tone of your daily email slog would benefit from doing so.)

But there's still an important, if simple, recruiting message in this Vulture article about Bryan Donaldson, an IT professional from Illinois whose Twitter comedy act landed him a gig writing for Late Night With Seth Meyers.

That lesson: Social media is, indeed, a recruiting tool. And that doesn't just mean LinkedIn, the network most people associate with recruiting.

Twitter and writing gigs might be well aligned from a recruiting perspective, as seen in Donaldson's example. The social network serves as a ripe opportunity for potential recruits to show off their sense of humor or wordsmithing abilities. But it can also serve as a great opportunity to find people who are passionate about an industry, and who aren't afraid to contribute to the conversation around it.

Facebook, however, might be more broadly applicable. Stephane Le Viet, the CEO of Work4, a company that helps businesses use social media to manage talent, says Facebook is an underrated place to look for talent. While LinkedIn offers a strong user base of career-minded people, Facebook, with its billion-plus members, "inherently has skin in the recruiting game," he says.

Facebook's recent innovations, like graph search, make it possible to search for people by education and the industry they work in. Meanwhile, new ad targeting options allow companies to post job listings as advertisements and make sure they wind up in the right hands.

What's more, Le Viet says, is that studies have shown that 81 percent of Facebook users want to see jobs posted there.

A story like Donaldson's looks at first glance like a fun story from the goofy entertainment industry, walled off from everyday business.

But when it comes to having a social recruiting strategy, the rest of the business world might be the butt of the joke; only 7 percent of companies boast a formal social recruiting strategy.

Categories: Small Business News

SQL: The Hack Attack You'll Never See Coming

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:00pm

SQL injection attacks are among the most common security threats businesses face, and they're on the rise.

You may not have the slightest idea what an SQL injection attack is, but that's okay, you're in good company.

It turns out that SQL injection attacks are one of the most common hack attacks businesses of all sizes face, but a lot of small business owners don't really know what they are.

And like your peers, you're probably woefully unprepared to meet to the challenge SQL attacks represent, according to Ponemon Institute, the information, privacy and security researchers, which released a report about the gravity of the threat on Wednesday.

Ponemon surveyed 595 IT professionals at businesses of all sizes, ranging from less than 1,000 employees to more than 75,000 people. Twenty percent of the survey sample had fewer than 1,000 employees.

It turns out 65 percent of businesses had experienced at least one SQL attack in the previous 12 months, according to the report, and half of all businesses identified such attacks as a significant threat.

"Organizations believe they struggle with SQL injection vulnerabilities," Larry Ponemon, founder and chairman of Ponemon Institute, said in a press release, but their issues are complex.

Defining an SQL Attack

SQL is shorthand for "structured query language," a computer program that lets you search relational databases, typically used by any business with structured employee records, financial information, or information relevant to manufacturing.

An SQL attack typically occurs through a consumer facing software application, where hackers exploit coding holes and then insert malicious code inside the database itself. Intruders can then use that code to query the database, to find valuable information.

A Growing Problem

SQL attacks are on the rise. Forty percent of respondents said SQL attacks were increasing, yet nearly two thirds said they either had no knowledge at all or were not familiar with the techniques criminals use to launch the attacks, which is to bypass firewall protections that Web applications have built into them.

Despite the escalating problems, about a third of respondents say their IT personnel lack the knowledge and expertise to quickly detect and rid themselves of such an attack. More than a third said they also lacked necessary tools and technology to quickly detect an SQL injection attack.

While forty-four percent of respondents said they use outside professionals to test their Web applications for security threats, only 35 percent said they tested for SQL injection threats. Meanwhile, about half of all companies either don't check for such threats at all, or only on an irregular basis.

How to Prepare

Fortunately, there are some things you can do:

  • Run security tests on any third party software you use, especially if it is Web-facing
  • Consider installing behavioral analysis tools that examine all data base queries for irregularities that stand out from the normal operation of your business.
  • If you don't have an IT professional on staff, bring one in from outside to test your network for vulnerabilities.
Categories: Small Business News

When Cloud Computing Giants Go to War, You Win

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 11:51am

With Microsoft, Google, and Amazon slashing service fees, it may no longer be worthwhile to build your own computing systems.

As prices for cloud services drop, you may want to rethink your efforts to build your own computing and data storage systems.

According to the The Wall Street Journal, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have started a price war to lure customers to their cloud services (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Compute Engine, respectively). Last month, the three tech companies slashed their prices by as much as 85 percent within days of each other.

Research firm Gartner predicts companies will spend $13.3 billion this year on renting computing power from other providers, a 45 percent increase since 2013, the Journal reports. Although that number is still a fraction of the $140 billion companies spend a year to build their own systems, the price competition is making it harder to justify continuing to do so.

Technology-consulting firm SADA Systems estimates that a medium-sized website that gets 50 million monthly page views could spend at least $1,200 a month to buy servers and other necessary equipment, the Journal reports. If that same company were to rent its computing system from Amazon, Google, or Microsoft, the bill could range from $270 to $530 a month.

In a survey by consulting firm RightScale, 87 percent of tech executives said their companies outsource computing power for at least one task, WSJ reports.

Michael Simonsen, CEO of real-estate startup Altos Research, tells WSJ that his company uses Amazon Web Services to "crunch data on about 100 million U.S. home listings." Thanks to the warring cloud factions, his bill was cut almost in half last month.

"Nobody ever gives you a 40 percent price break overnight," Simonsen tells the paper. "Our direct benefit is the opportunity to create more products, faster."

Categories: Small Business News

Grab a Snack: Science Suggests Hot Tempers Set Off By Hunger

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:54am

Fits of anger can be be set off by temporary drops in blood glucose levels, according to recent research.

Employees' low blood sugar levels might be bad news when it comes to workplace harmony, suggests new research. According to several studies, a temporary drop in blood glucose might cause individuals to fall victim to angry and aggressive spells. In other words, they become "hangry" versions of their usual selves.

Many -- particularly those who own an "I'm Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry" T-shit -- will tell you it's a real phenomenon. But it's only recently that a growing body of research is making that case, according to Vox.

One study found that married couples displayed greater levels of both anger and aggression toward their spouses when they had low blood glucose levels. The researchers, who monitored 107 couples over 21 days, measured this by asking participants to stick needles into voodoo dolls representing their husbands and wives. Participants were also given the opportunity to blast their partner with loud noises like fingernails on a chalkboard and dentist drills.

"As expected, the lower the level of glucose in the blood, the greater number of pins participants stuck into the voodoo doll, and the higher intensity and longer duration of noise participants set for their spouse," the study's authors wrote.

So why does hunger cause some people to act unpleasantly toward others? Voluntary behaviors, like self-control, literally require large amounts of energy. The brain, which accepts glucose for fuel, performs less than optimally when it is glucose deficient. And this leaves you with less energy to control your actions.

In a separate study, researchers also looked at the effect that the likely fix -- i.e. sugar -- had on individuals. Again, participants were given the opportunity to blast other participants with loud noise. But this time the researchers found that those who had consumed lemonade were more compassionate and blasted other participants with softer noises than those who had drank the placebo.

Categories: Small Business News

Ask the Social Media Experts

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:30am

Likeable Media founders Dave and Carrie Kerpen talk to Inc.com Executive Editor Laura Lorber and answer viewer-submitted questions about social media, rapid business growth, and more.

Categories: Small Business News

Why Every Business Should Be on Google+

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:30am

Although Google+ has fewer users than other platforms, it's essential for search purposes.

Categories: Small Business News

Dave and Carrie Kerpen: Social Media Trend Watch

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:30am

Keep an eye on erasable media like SnapChat, visual platforms like Instagram, changing Facebook demographics, and LinkedIn content dominance.

Categories: Small Business News

Turn Challenges Into Successes

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:30am

For Carrie Kerpen, staffing for a rapidly growing company was a major challenge--but having great employees is the payoff.

Categories: Small Business News

Think of Social Media Like a Giant Cocktail Party

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:30am

For small business owners, the first step for using social media should be connecting with your existing customers.

Categories: Small Business News

How to Turn a Wedding Into a Marketing Business

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:30am

Dave and Carrie Kerpen were so successful in getting sponsors for their wedding that they decided to go into business together.

Categories: Small Business News

Why Leaders Need to Be Likeable

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:30am

Dave Kerpen talks about the principles behind his new book, Likeable Leadership.

Categories: Small Business News

Get Your Team Out of the Office

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:30am

Get your leadership team into a different environment to clear heads and figure out the next steps.

Categories: Small Business News

2 Keys to a Fast-Growing Business

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:30am

If you want your company to grow quickly, you need to focus on delivering great results and hire the right people.

Categories: Small Business News

You're No Better Than a 3-Year-Old at Reading People

Inc Small Business - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 9:31am

A recent study finds that children and adults have a comparable ability to assess people's trustworthiness and competence based on their appearance.

If you've hired a lot of people, you may think you've developed a knack for sizing people up just by looking at them. The truth is, you're no better at it than a toddler.

During the hiring process, if you rely on your time-honed skill or innate ability to judge a candidate's trustworthiness, competence, and dominance by reading their faces, you're giving yourself credit for an ability you don't possess. All you're doing is judging a book by its cover.

A recent study published in the research journal Psychological Science, "Inferring Character from Faces: A Developmental Study," found that discerning character traits by judging a stranger's face is not a skill developed over time, experience, or some genetic gift. In fact, the study found that children's ability to judge trustworthiness based on appearance is comparable to that of adults (it did not draw conclusion about the accuracy of the judgments).

So, the next time you judge if a candidate is competent based on a first impression, remember you might get a similar conclusion from a 3-year-old.

Categories: Small Business News
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