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Entrepreneurship

Serial Entrepreneur Nabeel Ahmad Shares 6 Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

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Recently I had the chance to sit down with Nabeel Ahmad, a serial entrepreneur who is running many successful businesses across a range of fields. Nabeel is the founder of Vertabyte, The Influencer Factory, and many other companies. He is a writer for some of the world’s most renowned publications, and his work has been featured in top media outlets like Yahoo Finance, business.com, The Good Men Project, Noobpreneur, e27, and many more. Thrive Global calls Nabeel a “marketing genius” and Influencive refers to him as a “media mogul”. Nabeel has 6 tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:

Figure out what you’re passionate about

So many people are stuck doing what they don’t like. Business is tough. And there will be tough times. There will be days when things won’t work out the way you want, and you will feel like giving up. Unless you’re really passionate about what you’re doing, you will just give up. Entrepreneurship requires persistence, and that persistence is often directly derived from passion. If you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, if you have a burning desire to achieve something, then you will persist through the hard times, and succeed as an entrepreneur.  

Take risks and be willing to fail

Taking risks is absolutely essential in order to win at business. Big goals require big risks. Every successful entrepreneur had to take a risk at one time or another. There will be failure down the road, but failure doesn’t preclude you from ultimately succeeding – in fact, it’s often a necessary step. The best entrepreneurs don’t let the fear of failure prevent them from going for what they believe to be a great idea. Some of those risks won’t pan out, but the ones that do will be the ones that define you.

Hire the right people

Hiring the wrong people is one of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs. You need to bring on employees who have the relevant background and experience. They need to fit into the company culture you are trying to build. They need to be hard-working and flexible, as employees in startups often have to function in multiple roles‎. You must do thorough reference checks on them. Make sure your offer letter says they are “at will” employees and can be terminated at any time. Don’t forget the old quote: “Hire slowly. Fire quickly.”

Ask for advice from other entrepreneurs

Advice from other entrepreneurs and business professionals (such as lawyers and accountants) can prove to be invaluable. Consider putting together an advisory board, and don’t be afraid to motivate members by giving them stock options in your company. Read industry newsletters and startup publications like AllBusiness.com and Entrepreneur.com. Find mentors who can give you advice on hiring, product development, marketing and fundraising‎.

Never stop networking

Networking can land you a new investor, a great employee, a new customer, or a great mentor. Attend industry and startup events. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to help you network, so make sure both you and your company have profiles on LinkedIn and that you are constantly adding new connections. When someone does a Google search on you, your LinkedIn profile will usually show up at the top of the search results, so be sure you’re making a good first impression.

Just do it

There is never a perfect time to launch a startup, so follow that famous advice and “just do it.” Take the first step to building your business, even if it’s only part time while you still have a paying job‎. Sometimes it’s just important to start. If we keep waiting around for the right moment, success will never come. That right moment is just an illusion. It’s important to act right now.

Abuhuraira Ramay is founder & CEO of The Brand Wire, a branding agency. Abuhuraira is also an author & a public speaker, and has a vast experience as a trainer & coach. He is often invited as a speaker to share his views by reputed organisations, leading institutions & academia in Pakistan and overseas. Abuhuraira has successfully navigated the social-media world with an extensive online . Being An award-winning journalist, his freelance work has appeared in Time, Thrive Global, Dawn, Express Tribune and other national publications.

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Entrepreneurship

Bark Up! A Look Inside America’s Top Doggy-Treat Delivery Service by Sean Kelly

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pooch perks

The premise of the dream varies for every player in the game. Life, the ultimate simulation, as referenced by entrepreneur Daniel Barrios is “turning nothing into something; beating the odds by constantly challenging yourself” The million dollar question we can all ask ourselves is something along the lines of: “What is my calling?” Today, we will examine some of the strategies and methodology of successful business “Pooch Perks

Commonly, we see business owners fail time and time again by making the same mistakes; Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Why not succeed from the first month of business? Barrios is a strong proponent toward structured approaches whenever even $1 is involved. From the moment he wakes up to the minute he falls asleep, his mindset is calmly approach his desired goals by completing incremental steps to set himself up for the big goal. We are all aware, being successful in business relies on two things: who you know and how much capital ($) there is to invest. Barrios shared with me that in addition to these two essentials, it is important to acknowledge the importance of growing and developing professional relationships with investors. Ideas are wonderful. Some human beings are naturally gifted; abilities to network and sustain professional relationships are often difficult because they require equal interest from both parties, frequent communication, and responsible transparency.

I was DMing Barrios on Instagram before we spoke via Video Call. I asked as a preliminary inquiry “What do you think of the phrase ‘fake it til you make it’ & does it have any significance in your start-ups?” The established Pooch Perks co-owner had a lot to say- he picked up my video chat. Letting him have the floor, I came to many new conclusions about this popular rhetoric. Barrios cites it having an inverse significance to him, refuting the expression completely. His explanation was predicated on how nothing can be faked; products cost money, ads cost money, promotion costs money, and progression takes time. I followed up by asking him “Hypothetically, why can’t a beginner flex a connection that he may not totally have? Example: Fabricating being close friends with Lebron James?” Barrios held his standpoint by going to say how the desired connection would have further inquiry about (X) relationship with Lebron- even to the point where the desired connection may ask for screenshots proving this relationship is indeed alive and real. Barrios went on to say how “It is impossible to fake a bank statement, and doing so would only harm the credibility of persons involved.” Additionally, Barrios mentioned how “Almost 99% of free shoutouts will be totally garbage- having 10k followers is irrelevant if the engagement rate on that is 0.1%” After this conversation with Barrios, I was interested enough to schedule a follow-up interview including his ride-or-die business partner, Chris Maura

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Entrepreneurship

5 Things Photographers Need to Know By Jaime Flores

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Jaime Flores is a photographer based in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). He is best known for his portraits but also does a variety of different types of photography. In just a span of a year, he grew his two instagram accounts to have 10x more followers than he had we started. Before photography, Jaime was going to college with no real idea of what he wanted to do for a career. After receiving his Associate’s degree with an emphasis in business, Jaime decided not to continue school and look for something new to pursue in life. He bought his first camera in April of 2018 and quickly gained the knowledge needed in order to be commercially successful in his hometown.

At first his focus was only portraits but later on he began doing product photography, events, landscapes and more. In May of 2019 he started his own Media company called Digital Trends Media. The company provides photography, videography, graphic design, and social media management services. Jaime hopes to inspire and help others find skills that are needed in today’s world driven by social media.

 

1. Carry your camera at all times

It’s actually really important to always have your camera with you. Pretty often, people get curious and will ask you: “Are you a photographer?” or “What kind of camera do you have?”. Use that as a chance to show them your work and/or hand them a business card (you should always have some). Take your camera everywhere you go and learn to take candid photos of people out in the city, take pictures of your food/drinks, take pictures of nature, etc. This seems pointless but people are willing to buy print versions of those types of photography. Expand your skillset beyond portraits.

 

2. Leverage your personality

Don’t rely solely on your work to catch the attention of potential clients. Your work will only get you so far but you have to be willing to put your personality out there as well. If you take a look at some of the most successful and well known photographers, you’ll notice that they not only take amazing pictures but they also have huge personalities. People love to see what the person behind the camera is like.

 

3. Make your photography stand out

Editing is crucial, spend lots of time learning new editing techniques. Also, when shooting portraits, take your time and really analyze backgrounds. Take pictures from numerous angles to give your pictures unique perspectives. Combine a unique editing style with new angles/ideas, and you will gain popularity.

 

4. Youtube is your best friend

A question I get asked all the time is: “How can I get better at taking pictures?” My answer is always Youtube and practice. Of course you can pay to attend seminars and pay for online photography courses, but to me that’s all unnecessary. All the information you need can be found on YouTube for FREE. At least that’s how I learned everything I know.

 

5. Cameras don’t do the work for you

A common misconception that people tend to have is that having a good camera is all it takes to be a good photographer. Nowadays an iPhone camera is the best camera to use as a beginner. Anyone can buy the most expensive camera but it takes knowledge about camera settings in order to take the best pictures, as well as good editing skills.

 

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Entrepreneurship

There are 4 Ways to have Fun All Summer Long

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Three Connecticut friends transformed a dream into a booming business. While watching sports one night, something sparked their creativity and they realized that there was a gap in the sports industry. After conducting additional research, they found that they truly had an original idea, so they came together and created the blueprint for their game, and within a year, a prototype was born! Now there is a new way to enjoy summer sports whether you’re on a beach, at a picnic, gym, or park. This four- way intersecting volleyball net has all the fun of a traditional volleyball game but with a unique twist and a brand-new set of game rules.  

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The real final four.

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The World’s First 4-Way Volley Ball Net

Chris Meade, the co-founder of CrossNet recounts the journey of creating the world’s first 4-way volleyball net when the idea was only in its infancy. “A prototype that was created and tested on a beach in the summer of 2018 gained lots of attention. It went from the four of us playing and having a good time to 25 people waiting in line and me not even getting to play my own game at the beach. As soon as that happen, we knew we had a great game.”

Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

In most cases, success doesn’t happen overnight, and this was definitely the case for the Connecticut trio, they attribute their success to creating a clear set of game rules for their users, implementing strong branding techniques, and utilizing social media to build brand awareness and outreach. “We were three kids from a farming town in Connecticut. We had an idea and we were able to make it come to life, and now we’re being played in over 500 gym classes across the world. You can also find their products in some of the world’s top retail stores like Walmart, Target, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Amazon, and many more.

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The best place to meet your friends is at the net.

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New-Found Freedom

Meade enjoys the life that entrepreneurship has awarded him. Since the business has taken off, he’s able to reclaim his time, energy, and life back. When asked how has entrepreneurship improved his life, he had this to say: “I have more flexibility! “Nothing is worse than going to a job everyday and working for somebody to improve their business. Everyday I wake up and ‘think how do I improve my business?’ Which is a direct impact on my life and the life that I live.”

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Spike what? CROSSNET!

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Changing the Game of Outdoor Sports

Meade is proud of the success and attention that the CrossNet game has gained since it’s release in June 2017, he also mentions that the sports industry has plenty room for innovation, yet, despite the passing of time, the industry lacks fresh innovation, until now! “The outdoor game and sports market is a very boring industry, and I mean that in the sense that no innovative outdoor game products really came out to the market. Our parents and their friends have been playing corn hold, Frisbee, and basketball outside for the last 100 years. There’s only so many times [that a new outdoor game is developed] and becomes a game changer, and we’ve brought in a four-way volleyball net, four-square combined, and a new game of CrossNet.”

CrossNet Brings Value to Players

CrossNet is a unique game that brings value to anyone who is willing to take part in the sport. Families can enjoy this game at a picnic, or at the beach. Physical education instructors can use this game as a pre-workout tool or as a fun workout for students. Even professional athletes can find ways to enjoy this game. Its versatility and easy game rules makes this a suitable activity for anyone to enjoy. Meade says “Leisure players can now play volleyball in a one-on-one setting. Children and young adults who are looking to learn the basic skills of volleyball can now play with select friends. It’s also a great warm-up and skill and development tool as well.

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Sunset CROSSNET in Australia. (via @nbva.manly)

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Here’s to the Future!

Chris Meade is a young 26-year-old who has successfully traversed the world of business and entrepreneurship. Together, him and his friends were able to take an idea, and turn it into profit. As a piece of advice to young aspiring entrepreneurs, he says “Have a concrete idea and run it by your peers. Don’t give up! It’s been over two years in the making and we went from a company that celebrated one sale a day, to now making the news in Minnesota were sport anchors are taking our game out of the box and showing the entire state of Minnesota.”

For business inquiries and questions, Chris Meade can be reached at [email protected].

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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