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Why Amazon’s HQ2 Should Choose Pittsburgh



Amazon’s HQ2

Amazon is hosting a bidding contest amongst the nation’s most desirable cities for their second headquarters. The search for Amazon’s HQ2 had reached Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and 19 other cities on the top 20 short-list. The possibility of locating Amazon’s HQ2 to the Steel City is anticipated as an obvious choice to most, including Shark Tank entrepreneur Mark Cuban. Pittsburgh’s bid to the massive tech company is currently a secret, but two of Amazon’s c-suite executives have deep connections to the city already to be an influence in the decision process.

A potential site for Amazon’s HQ2 is the former J&L Steel mill that is now known as Hazelwood Green. The site has 178-acres of land and is a 15 minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh. The potential location for Amazon’s HQ2 is also down the hill from Carnegie Mellon University, a very pristine neighbor that is filled with talent.

Although Pittsburgh lacks quality transportation, the city makes it up through their technology innovation. The growing tech-hub is currently home to Heinz, PPG Industries and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Amazon may be the next business to call Pittsburgh their home, along with other respected businesses.

Amazon’s HQ2

The city’s tech sector from 2011 to 2016 have grown by 24% due to the prestigious universities of Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh. They have been casted as the center of technology research from their specialization in machine learning, robotics, and more. So besides Amazon, other tech companies have taken interest upon Pittsburgh’s talents. Companies like Apple, Facebook, Google and Uber have already taken action to preserve Pittsburgh’s talent from Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh. “Companies have kind of discovered Pittsburgh is a great place to do business, and that’s why Google is here, and Intel is here and the Uber driverless car is here,” Allegheny County’s executive in Pittsburgh named Rich Fitzgerald said. “In fact, not only are young people staying, but there’s more young people coming to Pittsburgh,” he said.

Primanti Bros is a local restaurant in Pittsburgh that is offering free sandwiches to every employee working at Amazon HQ2. The total would be $350,000 worth of free sandwiches to employees, an offer that appeals to everyone involved in the Amazon move. 

Small businesses and agencies within Pittsburgh are able share their professional insight to Amazon now. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Pittsburgh: 

How will Amazon HQ2 affect the economy of the city?

“I think the effect on Pittsburgh would be a mix of positive and negative depending on multiple factors.  This will bring and create thousands of new jobs both at Amazon and outside of Amazon, but I think that it will have a significant effect on the affordability of Pittsburgh.  The house market is already highly competitive, so I anticipate an increase in home prices which will cause a domino effect for the increases of prices in all other industries.  If Amazon offers California sized salaries at their jobs and other local businesses follow suit, this is okay, but if the average household incomes remain relatively flat…we’ll see some struggles.  HQ2 is a great opportunity for the aggressive and could (years down the road) end up causing some hardship for others. It all depends on if income levels keep up with cost levels”. -Jeff Swartz of Ethic Advertising.

Amazon’s HQ2

Amazon is searching for talent in software development and related fields. What is your city’s tech scene like?

“Technology is one of the major industries Pittsburgh is becoming known for.  We’ve had one of the best tech universities for decades in Carnegie Mellon, but companies like Uber, Google, and other local companies have really taken our industrial/steel city roots into the future of machine and computer development”. -Jeff Swartz of Ethic Advertising.

Amazon’s HQ2

How will the community welcome Amazon HQ2?

“Pittsburgh is a very proud city.  We’ll make the HQ2 our own icon symbol to rally behind.  The one thing Pittsburghers might complain about is the increase in traffic”. -Jeff Swartz of Ethic Advertising.

Amazon’s HQ2

Do you support the major’s proposal? Why, or why not?

“I don’t know what is in it.  The city won’t release it which makes me nervous about what they are offering”. -Jeff Swartz of Ethic Advertising.

Amazon’s HQ2

Image From Pittsburgh Courier

Besides financial incentives, what does your city offer?

“I don’t know.  I’d like to know”. -Jeff Swartz of Ethic Advertising.

Amazon’s HQ2

What is in your city that isn’t found anywhere else?

“Pittsburgh’s a beautiful city with a rich history and culture.  What makes it different is the unique blend of midwest and east coast culture.  We are hospitable and neighborly, but won’t stand for B.S.. A blue collar work ethic runs deep even though we are a forward thinking city”. -Jeff Swartz of Ethic Advertising.

Amazon’s HQ2

If you are an agency from Pittsburgh, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here:

*Sponsored by Penji

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How To Journal As An Entrepreneur



I’ve been journaling around 3-4x a week for the past year or so now. Basically, I focus on asking myself 3 questions every morning.

The first question I write down is: What good will I do for the world today? ( I learned that Ben Franklin used to write this question down every morning, so I took a page out of his book). The purpose of this question is to set the priority for the day. For me, it helps me understand that focusing on how you help others is what matters the most. Typically, my answers include:

–         Be kind

–         Make others smile around you

–         Be empathetic- look beyond people’s actions

–         Help someone!

The second question I ask myself is- what three things am I grateful for today? Usually the answers include my health, care for the people around me, and of course, hearing the birds! (favorite part of my day!) Again, the theme here is perspective- focusing on the basic essentials puts you in the right state of mind to start your day. Being grateful is not innate in everyone, and it takes practice and focus to make this type of thinking instinctive.

The last section I title is called Reflections. This section is a little more open ended. Typically, the topics include:

1.      Lessons I’ve learned from the day before. Usually this involves feedback I got in a conversation, an area where I think I made a mistake, or just an interesting observation that sticks with me.

2.      Giving advice to myself- I try to take a step back, and imagine if I was an observer giving me advice, what I would I tell him? Key phrases usually include “Stay hungry, stay humble”, “Act in a way that you’ll be proud of in five years”, and of course “Have fun!”. I also remind myself to try to be as strategic as possible, and to make sure that each action I take is bringing about the greatest return. I’ve found this also helps because by giving yourself advice in the morning, you no longer have any desire to give other people advice, unless you are asked.  I’ve found that giving people unsolicited advice is something people do not appreciate or like.

3.      Write down any stresses, or worries- then write down motivational lines, or actionable steps to get through it.

That’s it folks- takes about 10-15min, but I’ve noticed it builds my subconscious mind to instinctively be nicer, more positive, and more self-aware. For my company, it’s led to dealing with conflict in a more constructive way, accepting and pivoting faster on things I cannot change, and being a more empathetic leader. I highly recommended business professionals add this to their daily habits!

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How You Know A Co-Working Space Is For You



co-working space

Working at home is one of the best reasons to become a freelancer. However, there are people who work better when they need to get up and get dressed or when they are surrounded by co-workers. A group of people doing different jobs but working together in the same space is called co-working. Here are some ways to determine whether it’s time to look for a co-working space.  

You’re Not Getting Work Done

Working from home is great but only if you get work done. This is perhaps the obvious sign that you need to find a co-working space. If you’re snacking every 15 minutes or you spend lots of time on social media instead of getting work done, you seriously need to consider a co-working space.

You Want Human Interaction

Humans are naturally social beings. Even if you hate some of your old co-workers, there is something about being about other people that can help you work hard throughout the day. You might not like some of your co-workers but sometimes it’s nice to have somebody to complain to or chat with every day. If you find that you’re missing water cooler chats or if chat messaging is not enough, perhaps it’s time to look for a co-working space.

Your House Is Distracting

Your house has a bed, a TV, a fridge full of food and maybe your kids. All of these can be distracting especially if your kids need attention or if there’s noisy construction nearby or when a telemarketer calls. Distractions also keep you from focusing on work and getting it done in a timely manner.

You Need To Meet Clients

Yes you house is cozy and warm, but is it really an ideal place to meet clients? What if your home is a studio apartment? Is there enough space for all of them to discuss matters comfortably? Co-working spaces have common areas like conference room where meetings can take place in a more professional atmosphere.

You Need Space

There are just some types of work where you need a big space. You might need lots of light, big windows or a big table or space for bulky equipment. Not all co-working spaces are big, but there might be something that can accommodate your need for bigger space.

You Need To Get Out Of Your PJs

If you haven’t changed out of your pajamas for a couple of days, perhaps you need to look for a co-working space. Changing into something more professional could help you focus and become more productive.

You Need A Central Location

Your house could be out in the suburbs or somewhere not accessible to public transportation which can create logistics problem not only if you’re meeting clients in their offices but for supplies deliveries too. A central location – which some co-working places have – is not only convenient to clients but for other matters too.

You Need To Grow Your Business

A home business is fine if you only have 1 or 2 employees. But what happens when you need to scale up and need more space? A co-working space can give you the flexibility to scale up or down depending on your needs. Depending on the co-working space, it can be for a small 1-man team or a 10-person team with access to a conference room.


When you’re in a co-working space, you are surrounded with other goal-oriented people. This is a good opportunity to network with them, learn their business or share thoughts. Having access to people in different industries can open new doors of opportunities.

You Need Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is important but it can be hard to achieve for some people when you work from home. Chores, children and distractions make it hard to focus on work so it creates an imbalance by making it hard for you to work. When you’re in a co-working space, you can forget about your house for a while to focus work. However, you still have the freedom to attend to your child’s PTA, go to the gym or pick up your dry cleaning.

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Things Successful Entrepreneurs Never Say



successful entrepreneurs

Mindset is what separates successful entrepreneurs from the rest of the pack. While many people complain and let their negative thoughts get to them, successful entrepreneurs are steadfast in their thoughts and words. If you’re constantly thinking negative thoughts and saying negative things, it’s time to stop because you will never hear successful entrepreneurs say the following:

Because I Said So

Everybody knows you’re the boss but saying “Because I said so.” shows unnecessary bossiness. Not only is it unnecessary, it is also rude to speak to an employee this way. This statement can humiliate and disrespect an employee because they feel that their ideas are worthless or is not valued. Good leaders know that employees are not puppets with strings to pull. Good leaders know how to give input in a more pleasing way.

I’m Not Good Enough

Everybody experiences self-doubt every once in a while. However, successful entrepreneurs know when to detach themselves from this feeling. Dwelling on this kind of feeling can have a negative effect on your self-esteem and you’re going to need to stay positive especially when you’re running a business.

I’ll Try

I’ll try has a very negative connotation. For recipients of this reply, it sounds like a dismissal or an admission of defeat. Successful entrepreneurs on the other hand get things done.

I don’t have time

Successful entrepreneurs know how to manage time especially if it is about business. They make time for things because they know that it is important to the success of their business.

X Does This Better Than You

If you want to demotivate your employee say these words. However, if you want to keep them motivated and productive, do not compare them to other employees. If you want to give feedback, give it in a constructive manner so that employees gain insight and perspective without losing self-respect.

I Don’t Care

This is another demotivating phrase that can ruin your working relationship with your team. This phrase also breeds mistrust and disbelief. A great leader always, cares, always has ideas and opinions. Successful entrepreneurs praise their employees and know how to give constructive criticism.

We Don’t Need New Ideas

You will never hear successful entrepreneurs say this because they know that companies constantly need new ideas to stay competitive. They know that new ideas can help expand their business, retain their competitive edge or venture into a totally new market.

Don’t Show Up With Bad News

This phrase is demotivating to employees because it leads them to hide issues from their employees which in turn could be dangerous for the company. Good leaders know that receiving bad news from employees is normal because there is no such thing as a perfect business. Instead of this phrase, say “I want to hear good news today”.

That’s Not Fair

Business has nothing to do with fairness. Business is about being prepared and knowing to anticipate developments and keeping up with the competition.

It’s Too Hard

Nobody said going to business is easy. Successful entrepreneurs know it’s hard. However, they don’t see it that way because they see the hardships as a challenge.

I Did It On My Own

Successful entrepreneurs know that they need the support of their employees to become successful. They also know that they are only as good as their employees.

I Don’t Have Time For A Break

Successful entrepreneurs know when it’s time to take a break. They know timeouts are important in order to stay productive. They also know that their employees need periodic breaks and encourage them to do so.

It’s Impossible

Saying something is impossible is like saying that they don’t trust their employees. This phrase is another demotivator because trusting employees helps boost their self-confidence and can help motivate them to try harder.

It’s Too Early/Late

It’s never too early or too late to attend a business meeting or networking opportunity. True entrepreneurs never fail to seize an opportunity especially if it is related to the business.

I Never Read Books

According to Tom Corley of Rich Habits, rich people read more books than other people. What’s more, rich people rich people tell their kids to read 2 or more non-fiction books per month compared to the rest. 63% of rich people also listen to audio books on the way to work compared to 5% of the rest.

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