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How this successful entrepreneur spent his 35th birthday

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Over the weekend I was going through my Twitter feed. Rather than seeing a ton of political “artistry” and random gifs, I stumbled across this incredible set of non-obvious business strategies (or better known as tweets) that maybe some of the largest pieces of gold someone can read when they want to start a business.

Twitter has received its fair share of opinions within the past year, but it’s safe to say that if used correctly; it’s the most powerful social network on the planet.

Scott Gerber, a New York-based entrepreneur, best selling author, father, and straight-up badass, celebrated his birthday in an unconventional way. The “Super Connector” took to Twitter to grace us with 35 “non-obvious business strategies and lessons” that he has learned over the past decade in business. Below are his tweets directly quoted from his Twitter feed. If you care to follow Scott, you can do so at @scottgerber.

Lessons From Scott Gerber

1. Beware of “boss metrics”

Macro trends are great IF they are based on the right micro trends. Macro trends can easily be manipulated to show a rosy picture while making major micro issues seem smaller or irrelevant. Ensure your KPIs align with your true performance.

2. Optionality is your lifeblood

Your job is to maximize optionality every day in everything you do. There should never only be one path. In fact, try never to only have two potential paths. Always have a variety of obvious and non-obvious traditional and non-traditional options.

3. Bad Decisions

Bad decisions are due to failures to ask the right people the right questions. Don’t be “surface level”. Ask follow up questions. Don’t mistakenly believe what you want to hear. Instead, probe deeper on what you actually hear.

4. Two rules

Two rules if your goal is to one day sell your business. 1) Be a revenue multiple companies. 2) If you aren’t a revenue multiple companies, see rule #1.

5. Anecdotal evidence

Never allow your team to use “anecdotal evidence”. First, anecdotes are not evidence of anything nor are they based in facts, science or statistical relevance. It’s simply opinions on top of gut feelings and emotions. Poor decisions come from this sort of “evidence”.

6. Train with fake fires.

Train with fake fires. Your company needs a good fire drill once in a while. What happens if you don’t raise money? What happens if your biggest client fires you? Get smart people in the room. Figure out how you would disrupt your own business and solve the issue.

7. Never give a “definitive yes”…

Never give a “definitive yes” to a contractual term without reviewing it in its proper context. A one-line term can easily become 100 lines or be defined by 100 terms that you never agreed to. It can also mess up other terms if everything is not contemplated as a whole

8. Don’t just listen

Don’t just listen to what’s being said–listen to what is not being said. More importantly, listen to what’s not being said on purpose. People that try to sell you something are often experts in the art of mindful editing.

9. Automating

Automating humans out of a process still takes lots of humans. Don’t be fooled by the concept of “automating a system”. It often takes more man-hours, money, time and technologies than the task itself is worth. Look at the full picture before you invest time or treasure.

10. Follow the bonus.

Follow the bonus. If you help others hit their financial goals, they are more likely to become an ambassador of your BD efforts with their colleagues. Building a partnership with someone who is top-line revenue based versus quota-based is different. Align incentives.

11. Never partner with adulterers or known cheaters.

11. Never partner with adulterers or known cheaters. If they are willing to screw over their spouse, they will have no problem screwing you tenfold if it suits their needs.

12. Sell with a “2-for-1” mentality.

Sell with a “2-for-1” mentality. Many companies get one big client name and are happy with that. BUT they forget the big client has dozens of divisions. One client could actually become 2 or 3 clients once you open the right doors. Don’t stop after the hardest one!

13. The 3rd party

Don’t let a 3rd party control your destiny, cash flow or your decisions. Whether you need an investment, a platform or a vendor, if a 3rd party becomes a vital piece of your plan you are taking a bet. Calculated bets can be smart, but don’t kid yourself. You’re making a bet.

14. Don’t be a conventional scheduler.

Don’t be a conventional scheduler. We’ve been taught to think in blocks of time (ie 30 minutes). Why have a 12-minute meeting, then burn 18? Think in smaller chunks like 2 or 5 minutes. When you adapt to this, you’re capacity and efficiency will dramatically increase.

15. The Final Offer

Know the final offer you’d take before the first offer. Before you do any deal, know your absolute last stand deal–the absolute worst terms you are willing to accept. Having that thought out beforehand will stop you from making bad deals that aren’t in your best interests.

16. About Acceptance

Don’t ram your model into new industries and assume the other side will understand it (or accept it). Engineer your model to adapt to the lingo, structures, and terms of the industry. Make the numbers work using the financial standards of that industry.

17. Always be the first salesperson.

Always be the first salesperson. If you don’t know how to sell your product, no one will! Even if you aren’t a professionally trained salesperson—or the tech guy!!—you need to learn to articulate your value proposition and see what people really need.

18. About Department Heads

Have your department heads always do every task in their department before they are allowed to assign it to anyone else. This will ensure that they know what success and failure look like beforehand.

19. About Sales Meetings

In sales meetings, always ask more questions than you answer. Answer questions with follow up questions until you have the most amount of detail possible before you fully answer. Most prospects will TELL YOU what they need and how they want it. You just need to ask and listen

20. Know your team’s real capacity.

Know your team’s real capacity. Break down your staff’s tasks into units and total task costs. You would be shocked to see how “busyness” and real-time communication gives the false impression of full capacity.

21. “Layer”

“Layer” your business over time, not all at once. Layering new revenue centers is certainly smart, just don’t try to do it all today.

22. Buying into passion and enthusiasm can be a disaster.

Buying into passion and enthusiasm can be a disaster. Don’t get caught up in hype and sexiness (or a good salesperson’s spin!). Never make instant yes decisions no matter how good you feel. Even if they feel right, you should still do your diligence.

23. Train your brain

Train your brain to think about what is wrong, not right. What could go badly, not well? And why something won’t work, not will. Your love for your idea, your process or your product can be your worst enemies.

24. Invest in the right systems BEFORE you scale.

Invest in the right systems BEFORE you scale. Failing to create the processes and systems needed when things are manageable will become incredibly costly longer-term—and more time consuming and tedious.

25. Rules of the DM

Expect that anything you send via email or send via DM to anyone about anything will get out there and will be made public at some point. It will. Don’t be an idiot.

26. Surprise Yourself

No matter how “conservative” you believe your internal projections or goals are—LOWER THEM AGAIN. Surprise yourself, don’t be surprised.

27. Sell your way out of financial trouble

Sell your way out of financial trouble. The idea of “raising money” or “raising debt” is not a good mindset to be in if you find your company in a cash crunched position. You might end up getting financing, but relying on it is a fool’s errand. Sell! Sell! Sell!

28. Are your customers asking the same question twice?

If customers ask you the same question twice, you’ve failed them. When customers ask a new question, write it down, formalize an answer, and find ways to promote that answer (eg FAQs, call center scripts, website, etc.) so that another customer will never need to ask again.

29. Never blindly listen

Never blindly listen to someone who doesn’t have to live with the consequences of the decision. Advisors are great but you must make final decisions. Getting an “I’m sorry it didn’t work out” from an advisor without any downside won’t won’t make you feel better in the end.

30. Unlock your entrepreneurial mind.

Unlock your entrepreneurial mind With everything that happens around you, go beyond the surface and ask “why”, “how”, “is it the best”, “what’s better”, and “how would I do it.” Feed on curiosity and your ability to ask great questions will be sharp when you need it.

31. User adoption isn’t simple or guaranteed.

User adoption isn’t simple or guaranteed. Changing user behavior is not easy. Remember: everyone is busy (life, family, work) and you want to add yet another thing. Remove as much friction as you can. Save as much time as you can.

32. Shut up after yes

Once you’ve got a ‘yes’ shut up and stop trying to further sell. You can’t go further than a win, so shut up. I’ve met more than my fair share of people that lost deals because they kept selling past the ‘yes’.

33. Everyone always has an angle.

Everyone always has an angle. Know the angle before you react to the situation. Don’t end up a pawn on someone else’s chessboard.

34. Community is crucial.

Community is crucial. The power of association and coalition is more powerful than being a lone wolf. Build one. Be a big part of many. Give more than you take (and don’t be a taker or a sleepy networker!).

35. A Quote to End Them All

Live by this quote from one of my mentors and you’ll be better for it: “You can’t cheat real-time. And real relationships take real-time.” With my addition: “But your job is to find ways to cheat your time to create more real-time.”

Here’s to liven out that last quote. Thanks for the free advice Scott and Happy Birthday.

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Top CEO Salaries

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Elon musk

One of the most coveted positions is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) role. The position comes with benefits and bonuses. However, it does come with many responsibilities to ensure that the company operates smoothly. 

That’s why corporations need to entrust the role to someone deserving of the position and can help raise the company soar to new heights. When done right, that CEO can get so much more than what their company offers. As such, in this article, we discuss the top CEO Salaries in 2019.

ELON MUSK

Two CEO indexes list Tesla, Inc.’s Elon Musk as the CEO with the highest salary. The majority of his salary is option awards ranging from $500M to $2 B, which made him high up the list. His actual salary is around $56,000.

Meanwhile, for the Forbes Billionaires 2019 list, he was number 40. His net worth is $22.3 B.

Not only does he leads Tesla, but he’s also the CEO of SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company.

SAFRA CATZ

Before Mark Hurd’s passing in 2019, Safra Catz and Hurd were both the CEOs of Oracle. Based on the New York Times index, Catz and Hurd received equal pay as Co-CEOs. Catz (and Hurd) gets more of her CEO salary from stock options. She has $103.7 M from stock options.

Furthermore, she’s also part of the Forbes Billionaire 2019 list having a net worth of $1.1B.

ROBERT IGER

Walt Disney Co.’s Robert Iger is always part of the Top 10 CEO salaries index. He’s both the Chairman and CEO of the company. Most of his salary comes from stock options or acquisition awards ($30 M to $100 M range). His actual salary is more or less at $2.8M.

TIM COOK

It’s no surprise that Apple’s CEO makes it on the list. Apple continues to become one of the largest tech corporations in the world through innovation. According to Bloomberg, Tim Cook has an estimated $140M overall compensation. Most of his salary comes from stock awards (~$125 M) and bonuses ($12 M). 

DAVID ZASLAV

Discovery Inc.’s David Zaslav has been the media channel of Discovery Media since 2007. He receives most of his salary from stock options and retention awards ranging from $60 to $100 M. He also receives $3 M as his actual salary, making him part of the Top CEO Salaries list.

NIKESH ARORA

Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity company and welcomed its new CEO in June 2018. The newly-appointed CEO, Nikesh Arora, has one of the highest CEO salaries. Even if his actual salary is on the $100K to $200K range, his stock options gave him the boost. The range of his options is from $60 to $70 M.

JOHN LEGERE

As CEO of one of the largest mobile networks in the US, it’s no surprise that T-Mobile’s John Legere is part of the top 10. As with many on the list, stocks are one of his main sources of compensation. As such he receives around $58 M from it. Based on the S&P 500, he has an annual salary of $66 M.

JAMES HEPPELMANN

James Heppelmann is the president and CEO of PTC, Inc. It’s a company delving into software solutions. Most of his salary comes from stock, ranging from $20 M to 45 M. According to the Russell 3000 Index, his annual salary was at almost $50 M.

VIVEK SHAH

J2 Global is a global internet and service company that handles known brands like Mashable, IGN, and PCMag among others. Vivek Shah is their CEO accumulating around $45 M in 2018. The majority of his salary comes from stocks valued at $35 M.

RICHARD HANDLER

Richard Handler is the CEO of Jeffries Group. The company handles financial services such as investment banking and asset management. According to the New York Times Index, his overall salary is around $45 M, and he receives most of his salary with stocks priced at almost $39 M.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Some corporations provide a low basic salary, but through stocks, some are compensated. In turn, they’re able to skyrocket at the top of indexes. Meanwhile, some have high salaries, but get more through stocks and benefits. 

In this regard, not all CEO salaries are the same. It’s dependent on what the corporation gives them and how they can make better use of their salaries especially when given stock options or rewards.

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How To Successful Deal With Stress Like A CEO

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White man with plaid shirt sitting stressed out by ocean

You’ve encountered stress countless times. And everyone has their own way of dealing with stress. Whether it’s taking a quick walk, drinking some water, or reading, knowing how to deal with stress effectively is essential to both your personal and professional life. Stress is a natural part of existence and knowing how to deal with it effectively will be the difference between success and failure. Here are some effective stress management techniques used by some of the most successful people in the world.

Taking A Walk

Man walking in a field

Despite its simplicity, taking a walk does several things for you. First, it removes you from the environment or situation that’s causing the stress. And by removing you and taking you as far away as possible from the source of stress, you’re much more likely to be able to think more clearly. Taking a walk also has the added benefit of promoting more blood flow to your brain. Your legs are powerful pumps that help circulate more blood throughout your body. And taking a stroll outside also gives you a nice breath of fresh air. All these factors combine to give you an edge in thinking more clearly and then deciding what to do with the situation.

Take A Nap

Beautiful white woman sleeping on bed

Or get a good night sleep. Your ability to think clearly can be inhibited if you’re not well rested. Taking a quick nap or attempting to get a good night sleep will help reduce tension and allow you to wake up with renewed energy to tackle the problem at hand. Taking a nap or getting some sleep is also effective at removing you emotionally from the problem. Constantly dwelling on the source of stress might not yield any immediate answers. However, waking up from a good nap may give you some newfound perspectives on the situation.

Writing Things Down

Person writing using pen and paper

Sometimes the thoughts in our head aren’t as clear as we’d like them to be. Sitting down and writing down what’s stressing us out and clearly detailing the event/incident can often give us insights into the situation. Writing things down also helps to calm us down if the stress is high and caused anxiety. The simple act of writing and keeping the notes also helps us recall past events that are similar to this one. And you can look back at some previous notes you’ve written to see if there are similarities and draw conclusions.

Do Something Nice For Someone

Asian woman holding up red heart cutout

As odd as it sounds, the more we think to ourselves and about ourselves the more likely we are to obsess over our own stress. Sometimes we forget that we’re all in this together and that everyone also goes through stress – just like us. By doing something nice for someone else, it removes us from our current self and allows us to empathize and think about another human being. It’s a simple act of kindness that helps someone else and at the same time, buys us a bit of good karma. Helping another individual also helps release dopamine, a chemical that helps us feel good about yourself. And sometimes we just need a bit of boost to give us the confidence to go back and face the situation at hand.

Ask For Advice From A Colleague

Man and Woman sitting outside talking

Talking to someone can certainly help. But you don’t want to come off as venting or complaining about your life. It’s better to consider carefully who you’re going to reach out to and frame the conversation as getting advice on a situation, rather than needing to vent. Because when you’re venting or releasing steam, the other party is less likely to add value to the conversation, since you’re not looking for anything other than someone to vent to. When reframed as getting advice, you’re giving someone the permission and space to review your situation, ask productive questions, pick at the problem, and hopefully help you see the problem from a new perspective that you didn’t see before.

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Hedgehog Umbrella: The Umbrella For All Seasons

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With the stormy season just over the horizon, what better time to invest in a high-quality umbrella other than now?

Introducing the Hedgehog Umbrella; a compact umbrella that is able to withstand strong winds up to 70mph without breaking. Yes, 70 miles per hour winds, that’s already a category 1 hurricane.

The structure was inspired by automobile technology. Its WINDFlex system can confidently say that it can withstand anything nature has to offer. It has a carbon fiber construction, a sturdy stainless steel shaft and handles, with polycarbonate joints.

One might ask, why in the world would someone need an umbrella that can hold up or withstand hurricane-level winds? Well, we would say, “Why not?”. Umbrellas were designed to either keep us dry during the rain or provide shade when it’s sunny. That is often the case. But when faced with strong, chaotic winds – our umbrellas tend to break – making us buy umbrellas over and over again.

But the hedgehog umbrella provides a solution to a problem we always tend to sometimes overlook. As its company has boldly stated, “the hedgehog umbrella is engineered to be unbreakable, tested to the extreme, and backed by a global lifetime warranty.”

To understand this statement, let’s have a look at the different aspects of what makes the hedgehog umbrella amazing.

Fashionable and Customizable Canopies

With the hedgehog umbrella, you can choose from a variety of colors. The canopy is comprised of a 210 thread count Pongee fabric that is water repellent – which is thin sturdy. It is also built in a way that you can easily switch out canopies if the need arises.

The hedgehog umbrella will also be releasing an option in the near future to customize your own canopy via uploading an image. Now your dream of having an umbrella with your dog’s face on it can come true- or not.

Short and Practical Umbrella Shaft and Handle

The hedgehog umbrella also comes with the usual umbrella “slip” so you can easily store it all tight and snug like. Once collapsed and ready for storage, the umbrella is only 13 inches long and weighs 1 lb, making it easy and practical to bring along with you anywhere.

Unfortunately, the hedgehog umbrella does not come with an automatic button for deployment. Though priced at $99, it is a fully manual umbrella. But at the same time, the automatic machinations are what makes umbrellas weak, so though the hedgehog umbrella sacrifices a little bit of luxury, it makes up with emphasizing its bold statement of being “unbreakable”.

On that note, to deploy the umbrella, one just needs to hold the handle and use the other hand to push the frame up towards the lock at the top. To close it, one just needs to press the button at the center to unlock the lock mechanism.

The handle is thick, making it easy to grasp giving out a feeling of sturdiness and dependability. The overall feel of the hedgehog umbrella gives out a sense of comfort. Even though it’s made of high-grade materials able to withstand hurricane-level winds- it’s petite structure and design can sometimes make you forget.

Width Capacity

When fully deployed, the hedgehog umbrella can comfortably fit two people within its canopy span. So you don’t have to worry if this umbrella can fit you and your significant other because yes, it can.

To summarize, the hedgehog umbrella has the ability to:

  • Be unaffected  by 70MPH winds
  • Interchange canopy 
  • Design your own canopy (for the fashionista inside all of us)
  • Provide lifetime warranty
  • Ensure practicality and be built using high-grade materials

What does that mean? It means that the hedgehog umbrella has successfully solved most problems people have with umbrellas:

  1. it’s unbreakable
  2. it’s compact and practical
  3. it’s eloquently designed, and
  4. it has a lifetime warranty

Wrap Up

Gone are the days when you have to lower your umbrella or to make sure you’re walking downwind just so your umbrella won’t break. Gone are the days where you have different separate umbrellas for different occasions; be it windy, rainy, or sunny – the hedgehog umbrella is a star for all seasons.

You will no longer have to think about where to put your big long umbrellas. With the hedgehog umbrella, you can easily store it inside your bag. With the design, you also don’t need to worry about putting an eye out. The hedgehog umbrella can be the best friend you never knew you needed. Be it rain or shine, it will be there for you – protecting you. 

Though it is indeed a bit pricey at $99, plus it lacks the automatic button for deployment, it is still without a doubt one of the best umbrellas out there. If you live in a windy or rainy area, the hedgehog umbrella is a must-have item for you. 

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