Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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7 Brain Hacks to Improve Your Focus at Work

7 Brain Hacks to Improve Your Focus at Work | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Mastering your focus is not an easy task. We did not evolve to cope with the massive number of distractions that we face in our daily lives. However, by making sure that you are properly fueling and stimulating your brain and eliminating distractions wherever possible, you will be able to master your brain and increase your focus.

Your ability to focus on a task until it is complete is one of the greatest indicators of your future success.

All millionaires and billionaires have mastered the art of single focusing on one thing until completion before they move onto the next task.

However, we live in a world that is full of distractions and notifications that are constantly vying for your attention.

Your brain is simply not equipped to deal with the massive number of ‘shiny objects’ that are perpetually trying to disrupt your focus.

Learning to become the master of your brain instead of its slave is no easy task.

But, with a few simple hacks, you can quickly take charge of your mind and develop laser-like focus. Read more: click image or title.

 

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Via massimo facchinetti
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Totally agree with Neil on all of these points. Great article.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, August 14, 2:42 PM

Excellent points, totally agree.

Danielle A. Harrison's curator insight, August 14, 3:44 PM
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6 Unexpected Techniques to Increase Your Focus

6 Unexpected Techniques to Increase Your Focus | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Unusual but effective ways to fight back if tech has destroyed your capacity to concentrate.

It's the quintessential problem of the modern world -- too much information has fried our brains. With constant pings and push notifications coming at us day and night, it's hard not only to decide what to concentrate on, but even to sustain focus once you decide where to turn your attention.

And because pretty much everyone living in the modern world suffers from this problem, there's no shortage of solutions on offer. Meditation is one extremely popular prescription. Others suggest various forms of "digital detox" or "digital sabbath" to refresh your brain.

But you've already heard of these solutions. If they were going to work for you, you'd probably already have implemented them. Maybe you need something different. If so, a handful of recent posts on boosting concentration are for you. They offer a handful of offbeat (if not sometimes outright wacky-sounding) suggestions for improving focus that you can try if the usual prescriptions haven't yet cured you. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Via Jean-Pierre Blanger
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Focus is of prime importance for many reasons: the health and optimal functioning of your brain, success in business, winning in sports and much more.

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5 Ways Mindfulness Can Make Your Brain Healthier

5 Ways Mindfulness Can Make Your Brain Healthier | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Mindfulness is a simple, research-proven technique that physically alters your brain. Learn how to use it to become more effective and less stressed.

There's no shortage of advice out there claiming to make you better, but mindfulness meditation is the rare, research-proven technique that boosts your performance by physically altering your brain.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia recently pooled data from more than 20 studies to understand how practicing mindfulness affects the brain. While the researchers found significant changes in eight brain regions, there are two regions that are of particular importance to you.

In these brain regions, the simple act of practicing mindfulness increased both brain activity and the density of brain tissue:

Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via Rami Kantari, Antonio Ormachea
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Amazing results from an approach that is very different.

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Meus's curator insight, May 13, 4:14 AM

Mindfulness doesn't have to take place in the mountains of Nepal or a weekend retreat under a vow of silence. The beauty of the technique is that it's so simple you can do it anywhere and just about anytime.

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 13, 8:06 AM

#Mindfulness is mainly about where your #focus is and how you use your #brain. This process has the ability to completely restructure your brain.

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9 Powerful Ways to Use the Pareto Principle in Marketing

9 Powerful Ways to Use the Pareto Principle in Marketing | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Never heard of Pareto? First, consider a little history about 19th century Italian land-ownership patterns.

Chances are, you’ve heard of the Pareto Principle. But do you understand it? It goes under various monikers: “the 80-20 Rule,” “the Law of the Vital Few” and “the Principle of Factor Sparsity.” It has far-reaching implications. And its idea is simple, yet profound: 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.

Related: The 80/20 Rule and Listening to Your Inner Procrastinator

Its genesis, interestingly, was a revelation about Italian land-ownership patterns: Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) discovered in the course of his research that most of his nation's land, around 80 percent, was owned by just a few powerful people: 20 percent of the population.

Pareto was surprised by this finding; and, to his astonishment, when he did more research, he learned that the major proportion of land in other countries and regions was owned by roughly 20 percent of the population in those places, as well.

The Pareto Principle, then, was first applied to wealth distribution. Later, it was proved to be operating in other arenas, too, from gardens and shoe ownership to crime rates and business: Read more: click image or title.

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Pareto is a powerful concept. Apply it and get more focus in everything you do. Don't waste time on anything less.

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Don't Let Your Startup Fail - Huffington Post

Don't Let Your Startup Fail - Huffington Post | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Startups are almost like real businesses, except they often lack a long term plan, a stable customer base, a staff and money. Finding those crucial ingredients is part of a startup's journey toward profitability and stability.

The talk here in Santa Monica is of startups. You can't get a kale salad or espresso without overhearing conversations about product-market fit, minimum viable product, or customer development as you munch your blast of green nutrients and slurp your caffeine.

At one time just another small seaside town with a pier, the little sister to Hollywood, the forgotten sibling to Culver City, Santa Monica is thriving, with new real estate development, new places to work, like WeWork, and even a new train line. Santa Monica has come of age. But there is something forgotten in all the startup excitement. Starting something is fun. Sustaining it is pretty hard.

Startups are almost like real businesses, except they often lack a long term plan, a stable customer base, a staff and money. Finding those crucial ingredients is part of a startup's journey toward profitability and stability. From what I have seen, many startups find those things out of order. They may get money first (and burn it off) or they may have a talented staff (but no money to pay them.) They may have a few customers but now way to find more. Let's figure out what should come first, and let's start with the obvious thing. Read more: click on image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km




Via ventureLAB
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Focus on what matters, you're building a business, not just writing some #code or have the #bigidea. Your #audience is what matters, give them what they want/need.

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This Is Where Big Ideas Come From

This Is Where Big Ideas Come From | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Big ideas for successful businesses don't come often, but when they do, you always know it and never expect it.

If you really want to beat the odds and become a successful entrepreneur, the last thing you want to do is sit at your computer and try to come up with a startup or small business idea out of the blue. That’s just not the way it works.

So what’s wrong with that picture? You’re asking the wrong question of the wrong person in the wrong situation.

Ask the right question.

The right question to ask is what problem or need do you feel so passionately about that you’re willing to take on great risk and make a long-term commitment to solve it?

Look, it’s fine to have personal motives or self-centered reasons for starting a business. Maybe you want to be your own boss and rule your own destiny. Perhaps you’re fed up with the corporate world and the corporate world is fed up with you. Or maybe it’s just that time.

But if you want your business to be successful, you’ve also got to come up with a product or service that solves a big customer problem way better than anything else out there. And if you don’t feel strongly about meeting that particular need, you won’t have what it takes to stick with it over the long haul.

The truth is, building a successful business from the ground up takes great personal sacrifice to work long hours for months or years on end to see it through. Not only that, but there inevitably will be all sorts of hurdles that threaten to derail the venture. If you’re not deeply and emotionally committed, you won’t make it. Read more, click on image or title.





Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Sometimes you really have to focus on finding a solution. Next you let it go and do something else. #Solutions show up, one way or the other, if you're open. An open mind, a clear thinking head, and the intent to find answers. #Inspiration is always there, allow it to happen.

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7 Strategies for Dealing With Negative People

7 Strategies for Dealing With Negative People | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/CfUe

Pessimism is contagious. Have a plan to shield yourself from the people who know no joy.

We’ve all experienced the side effects of a negative friend, colleague or co-worker. Perhaps you work with someone who complains endlessly about his job but never offers any solutions. Or, a good friend speaks unfavorably about others in your circle and creates drama.

These negative people are markedly pessimistic and will exhaust anyone. Destructive energy and drama follow them everywhere. If you’re not careful, they can pull you into their chaos -- disrupting your focus and sidelining your goals.

Use these seven strategies to better deal with negative people in your life.

Read more: http://snip.ly/CfUe




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Hello Dave,
You are a treasure to the Business community.
I have completed my business plan on the second day with your template.  And I had tried and failed for a year before.
Dawson

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Keeping negativity out of your life is important. It obstructs your productivity and clear thinking. Stay focused.

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Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain - HarvardBusinessReview

Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain - HarvardBusinessReview | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/fxGZ

It’s good for resilience and decision making.
The business world is abuzz with mindfulness. But perhaps you haven’t heard that the hype is backed by hard science. Recent research provides strong evidence that practicing non-judgmental, present-moment awareness (a.k.a. mindfulness) changes the brain, and it does so in ways that anyone working in today’s complex business environment, and certainly every leader, should know about. More here: http://snip.ly/fxGZ



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"Thanks for all you do to encourage entrepreneurship! You and your team have successfully created a road map that most could follow to completion and exit strategy. Yes, it is possible to do these things on your own, but it can be short-cutted by using your strategy."
Jay Ed Moore


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

MIndfulness, being here and now with all of your attention makes you a better listener and better observer. Also a better person. All good for better business.

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Why I Look for Obsessive and Competitive Founders

Why I Look for Obsessive and Competitive Founders | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
  Obsession. The drive to succeed at all costs. When second place isn't good enough because we live in winner-take-most markets. The desire to be better

This blog started from a series of conversations I found myself having over and over again with founders and eventually decided I should just start writing them.It would often make my colleagues laugh because they’d hear me like a broken record and then the next week read my ramblings in a post.

Last week’s obsession was about obsession itself.

10 days ago I saw the film, Whiplash, which is one of my favorite films of the year. I would be shocked if it doesn’t win at least one Oscar. I won’t have any spoiler alerts here, don’t worry.

The protagonist in the film, Andrew, is a drummer and the story is his experiences in his freshman year of one of the most elite music conservatories in the country. He wants to compete to be the lead drummer in the competitive ensemble and study under Terence, an obsessive instructor who is hell bent on winning competitions for the school.

I absolutely loved the film. I loved the music. I loved the intensity. I loved the drive to succeed, to compete and to be one’s best. As you can imagine – all great films have conflict and the tension is this – what is an acceptable level of obsession to put into success, whether instructor or student?

The rest you should see for yourself.

But the film has my brain buzzing all week about obsessive and competitive people. Think about Kobe Bryant. Kobe is famous for waking up crazy early every morning and practicing for longer and harder than nearly anybody else in the NBA. Kobe isn’t Kobe just because he was born naturally tall and athletic – although that is a sine qua non.

Kobe is kobe because he practices more than even the most elite professionals in a hyper competitive industry and because he is simply more dedicated to his success than many other people are.

In our society we revere athletes. We revere musicians. We glorify their successes and we marvel at their achievements.

Yet somehow many people think that startups intended to operate at massive, Internet scale can be casual affairs. I see founders who think they can be at every conference, advise multiple companies, do side investments in angel deals, leave the office at 6pm and have a balance life. I don’t believe it’s possible to compete at Internet scale and have balance.

I’m not making a qualitative statement that I believe obsession in startups is necessarily a good thing. In fact, I have written about the negative health consequences and sometimes mental consequences of doing so.

But I would make the observation that if you stumble on to a really important idea that has the potential to be really valuable know that others will enter into the market precisely because markets are competitive and a lot of money and prestige is at stake. In fact, think about it. Even MORE money is at stake than what Kobe or even the best rock bands in the world can make by being at the top of their game. Zuckerberg. Larry / Sergey. The founders of DropBox, Airbnb, Uber – you name it.

So if you’re going to raise venture capital and compete in large, growing, winner-take-most markets you had better be prepared for other people to want to knock you off your stool, steal your limelight, grab your customers and muck you up.

I don’t know Mark Zuckerberg. But I’m willing to bet (and certainly from the profiles I’ve read) that he was pretty obsessive and all in at Facebook for many years (if not still) to drive their success. It isn’t as if there weren’t other people trying to dethrone Facebook all along.

I write all this because I am constantly asked “what I am looking for when I make an investment” and the most honest answer I can give is that I’m looking for maniacally driven individuals who are obsessive in their pursuit of an idea and who are so competitive and driven that they can’t accept failure.

I know it sounds cliché.

But I would ask you this. If it takes compulsive individuals to be at the absolute peak in sports or music – why wouldn’t it take the same to create a disruptive product or service that can change an industry. It’s not a 9-to-5 job. It’s not for people with soft elbows or compressed egos.

I look for many things. I’ve even written about the Top 12 attributes of an entrepreneur here (each number is clickable).

But I’ve also got to be able to observe the inner Whiplash.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Creating a startup, or even simply your 'own' business, does not come easy. This blog from a world renowned entrepreneur illustrates that very well.

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20 Signs You’re Succeeding In Life Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

20 Signs You’re Succeeding In Life Even If You Don’t Feel You Are | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Do you feel like a failure sometimes? Don't worry, here are 20 signs that you are probably succeeding a lot more than you think you are.

We all feel like failures from time to time. While this is a normal feeling, you have to find a way to see yourself and your life from a different perspective. Sometimes we ignore the “little things.” Just because you are not a millionaire, don’t live in a mansion, and you don’t drive a fancy car, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.

Here are 20 signs that you are succeeding in life:

1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they used to be.

Drama is not maturity. As we age, we should develop maturity. So maybe your relationships were drama-filled in your past, but if you have moved beyond that, then you are successful.

2. You are not afraid to ask for help and support any more.

Asking for help does not equal weakness. In fact, it is a strength. No person has ever succeeded in isolation. It takes teamwork to accomplish goals.



3. You have raised your standards.


You don’t tolerate bad behavior any more – from other people, or even yourself. You hold people accountable for their actions. You don’t spend time with the “energy vampires” in your life anymore.


4. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good.


No, this is not narcissistic even though it might seem like it. Self-love is success. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t serve your purpose, or drags you down.


5. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror.


Ideally, you should appreciate who you see in the mirror at every moment. But even if that doesn’t happen, if you do it more than you used to, then that is success. Love yourself. You are awesome.


6. You have learned that setbacks and failureare part of self-growth.

Not everyone can have success 100% of the time. That’s just not realistic. Life is about victories and losses. So look at your setbacks as stepping stones to something better. In reality, there really is no such thing as as setback. It’s all just part of a wondrous journey.

7. You have a support system that includes people who would do anything for you.

If you have figured out the people who “have your back” and recognized the ones who only pretend that they do, then you have succeeded. This is a painful realization, but once you learn to see the signs of betrayal, you can stay away from those people.

8. You don’t complain much.

Because you know there really is nothing to complain about. Unless you really have gone through some horrific life experience and had unimaginable losses, most of what we all experience on a day-to-day basis is just mundane. And successful people know that. And they live in a space of gratitude.

9. You can celebrate others’ successes.

Just because other people succeed, that doesn’t make you a failure. Applaud the people who rise to the top. The more positive energy you give to other people’s victories, the more you will create your own.

10. You have passions that you pursue.

You are not stagnant. You know you have something wonderful to contribute to the world. You have unique talents and gifts. Not only do you know that, you pursue it.

11. You have things to look forward to.

If you don’t have exciting things going on in your life that you are eagerly anticipating, then you are slowly dying inside. Successful people create goals that they are passionate about pursuing. They let this excitement drive their life.

12. You have goals that have come true.

Even though “failures” are a part of life, you have stuck to your goals and dreams long enough to make them come to fruition. You have  some tastes of victory. It fuels you.

13. You have empathy for others.

A person without empathy is dead inside. Empathy equals spreading love and positive energy into the world. Successful people know this. They love others as if they are family.

14. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others.

Love is risky, and sometimes scary for people. It’s the one thing we all strive for, but it’s also intimately tied to the one thing we fear the most – rejection. If you open your heart enough to love and be loved, then you are successful.

15. You refuse to be be a victim.

You know that life doesn’t always happen to you. Many times, you are a co-creator of your life experiences. Successful people know this and refuse to be kept down by life experiences. The rise up and conquer anyway.

16. You don’t care what other people think.

You know you can’t please everyone. You know that the standards with which society judges people is many times unrealistic. So you just keep true to yourself and love the person you are.

17. You always look on the bright side.

Life can be full of disappointments – if you choose to see them that way. Otherwise, they are learning opportunities. No negative experience is ever wasted as long as you learn from it.

18. You accept what you can’t change.

Let’s face it – there many things you can’t change in life. All you can change is how you view what happens. If you can change your negative perspective on situations to a positive one, then you are successful.

19. You change what you can.

And let’s face it again – there are many things you can change in life. Successful people don’t sit around accepting the negatives that are changeable. They get out there and do something about it!!

20. You are happy.

To me, this is the ultimate definition of success. It doesn’t matter what the balance is in your bank account, how big your house is,  or how many fancy vacations you take. If you are happy, then you are succeeding in life.

Even if you don’t see yourself in many of these 20 things, don’t fret. It’s okay. Be happy that you see yourself in just a few. In time, the rest will come. You just need to keep moving onward and upward.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Via massimo facchinetti
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Very often things like 'feeling good', 'being healthy', 'being happy', are not very obvious, or are just there when there are no negative symptoms or pain. You function and move ahead and focus. It's only when we're out of 'sync' that we become aware of our situation.

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12 Business Questions You Should Ask Yourself Today

12 Business Questions You Should Ask Yourself Today | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it


What single business-related question should every young founder ask themselves tomorrow and why?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Alldens Lane
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some tough questions. Good to look over this list once in a while.

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It's Not About You - Focus 5 Design

It's Not About You - Focus 5 Design | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Real success happens when you realize it's not all about you. You have to think more about what you can give rather than what you can get.

When starting out in your business, stop trying to figure out how your product or service can make you lots of money. Instead, ask yourself how it can truly help someone. What real problem does it solve? How does it make the world a better place, even for just one person?

When you find yourself in a social situation like a meeting, a conference, or a seminar, don’t go into it thinking what you can get out of it. Think instead of what you can bring to the situation to make it better. How can you be helpful to others? What skills and talents can you bring to the table to improve the experience for those around you?

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Building a business is all about value. What do you offer? It's not about you, it's about how you can help your client. Then they will pay you.

The same reasoning for your business plan: what problem do you solve? How do you bring value?

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12 Habits of Genuine People

12 Habits of Genuine People | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Genuine people have a profound impact on everyone they encounter. Discover the unique habits that cause them to radiate energy and confidence.

There's an enormous amount of research suggesting that emotional intelligence (EQ) is critical to your performance at work. TalentSmart has tested the EQ of more than a million people and found that it explains 58 percent of success in all types of jobs.

People with high EQs make $29,000 more annually than people with low EQs. Ninety percent of top performers have high EQs, and a single-point increase in your EQ adds $1,300 to your salary. I could go on and on.

Suffice it to say, emotional intelligence is a way to focus your energy with tremendous results.

But there's a catch. Emotional intelligence won't do a thing for you if you aren't genuine.

A recent study from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington found that people don't accept demonstrations of emotional intelligence at face value. They're too skeptical for that. They don't just want to see signs of emotional intelligence. They also want to know that it's genuine--that your emotions are authentic. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Dave...I downloaded your business plan template...It is great!!!...My tax consultants say your plan is amazing. Thanks Dave!!!


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

People sense immediately if someone is real or fake. Being #genuine is about being who you are and showing respect for others.

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20 Easy Ways to Be a Great Communicator

20 Easy Ways to Be a Great Communicator | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

This infographic provides the basic rules for connecting with your employees, customers and coworkers.

I'm often surprised at how many people--even dedicated entrepreneurs--can be clueless when communicating with others.

I recently received an excellent infographic from the loan provider NetCredit and Neomam Studios explaining the basic skills that everyone needs.

The entire infographic (along with the sources) is posted on the NetCredit site I've provided main points below, along with my personal commentary. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Dave...I downloaded your business plan template...It is great!!!...My tax consultants say your plan is amazing. Thanks Dave!!!

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Simple rules for becoming a better #communicator

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7 tricks to keep a stressful job from taking over your life

7 tricks to keep a stressful job from taking over your life | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Holding down a demanding job these days can sometimes make you feel like your back is against the wall.

But when that feeling follows you home and makes you want to punch the wall, that’s a problem.

Work stress has invaded your downtime, threatening to mess with your personal life so you never score that breather everyone needs from the 9-to-5 pressure cooker.

Science backs up the way job anxiety chips away at your well being.

Chronic stress at work that you’re bringing home regularly “does damage — it causes a rise in blood pressure, GI issues and brain cell death over the long haul,” says Gail Saltz, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at The New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell Medical College.

If that doesn’t put job stress in perspective, listen to this: A 2015 Harvard and Stanford study even found that stress related to work is as bad as secondhand smoke exposure, insidiously seeping into your life like bus exhaust. Yikes.

Thinking about due dates and competitive coworkers when you should be chilling out and indulging in activities you love? It’s not what you’ve worked so hard for in your career. These strategies will help you create boundaries so the office can’t invade your brain after hours. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

 Find or list funding opportunities:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com


Via Enzo Calamo
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Stress is a tightening of your system. You have to find ways to unwind.

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6 Easy Ways to Decrease Stress and Improve Focus for Greater Productivity

6 Easy Ways to Decrease Stress and Improve Focus for Greater Productivity | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
No need to book a trip to an Ashram to control your stress. Your solutions for improved happiness, focus and productivity are right in front of you.

Meditation is now a multi-billion dollar business. In 2015, the industry generated more than $1 billion in revenues, not including revenues from mobile app downloads, and almost 25% of employers will offer mindfulness training to its employees in 2016.

Clearly, we are all seeking ways to reduce our stress and quiet our minds. As a slightly ADHD dual-CEO/author/speaker/wife/hands-on mom to two teenagers, I'm intentional about activities and natural remedies that help to quiet my mind and keep me focused.

Here are 6 ways I keep my stress at a manageable level so that I can be my happiest and most productive self. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via Jean-Pierre Blanger
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

More weekend litterature. Do we have to re-learn how to #relax and decrease #stress? Find a few ways to add to your relaxation tools and in the end find greater productivity.

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Johnson Hung's curator insight, March 25, 6:09 PM

More weekend litterature. Do we have to re-learn how to #relax and decrease #stress? Find a few ways to add to your relaxation tools and in the end find greater productivity.

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How to Turn a Bad Day Around

How to Turn a Bad Day Around | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Tips for changing your mood.Let’s face it. Life can be full of frustrations—an argument with your teenager over breakfast, a missed train, or even just a spilled coffee can make you wish you could crawl back into bed. How can you change your mood when you’ve started your day off on the wrong foot? How do you stop annoyances from dragging you down and killing your productivity? Read more: click on image or title.



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Via Sandra Brevett
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Your day is full of #choices. Sometimes there are some potholes on the road. Here are some good tips to get over it. #Focus on what works.

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Best Kickass Advice For a 1st Time Entrepreneur

Best Kickass Advice For a 1st Time Entrepreneur | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Make Sure You Buckle Up Before You Hit Top Speed :)

Entrepreneurship is a total roller coaster ride and if someone has told you to just take it easy, well buckle up and gather all you can to prepare for this crazy ride.

So whats that kickass advice for a first time entrepreneur ?

Henny Kel asked this fantastic question in the Startup Specialists Group on LinkedIn and gathered some really interesting and fantastic answers from across the globe.

Some of the awesome insights were :

Michael Felix added this fantastic thought :

Focus on your strengths and hire people whose strengths are your weaknesses". Too many entrepreneurs try to do it all, and it causes them to see entrepreneurship as this daunting venture

Read more great advice here: Best Kickass Advice To A First Time Entrepreneur




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

My take: when creating your first entrepreneurial venture, stay focused. It requires and incredible amount of effort to create something of value that will last for a long time. That initial effort will take everything you got, give it all...

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Distracted? 11 Hacks That Will Help You Focus. (Infographic)

Distracted? 11 Hacks That Will Help You Focus. (Infographic) | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

These easy tips will help you zero in on the task at hand -- so pay attention!

Just because you’re not doing work right now doesn’t mean there’s no work to be done. I’ll bet you’re just about to get started on that work right after you read this. Well… you do have to return that phone call first, but then you’ll do work. Oh wait… but isn’t it someone’s birthday today? You’ll just check Facebook and make sure you’re not being so incredibly rude by not wishing your friend (read: that acquaintance that you very rarely talk to) a happy birthday. It’ll only take three minutes and then, you swear, you’ll take care of work.

Sound familiar? If procrastination and a lack of focus are problems for you, check out the infographic below by Anna Vital, information designer at Funders and Founders. These 11 tricks to help you get your focus on, if you can pay attention long enough to remember them. Some Cliff’s notes: Classical music and pets are helpful, a cluttered desk and an uncomfortable chair are not.

Check out the rest of the advice and get to work.

See the infographic here.



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Via Oliver Durrer
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good tips to get focused.

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Ten Rules for Web Startups

Ten Rules for Web Startups | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
#1: Be Narrow
Focus on the smallest possible problem you could solve that would potentially be useful. Most companies start out trying to do too many things, which makes life difficult and turns you into a me-too. Focusing on a small niche has so many advantages: With much less work, you can be the best at what you do. Small things, like a microscopic world, almost always turn out to be bigger than you think when you zoom in. You can much more easily position and market yourself when more focused. And when it comes to partnering, or being acquired, there's less chance for conflict. This is all so logical and, yet, there's a resistance to focusing. I think it comes from a fear of being trivial. Just remember: If you get to be #1 in your category, but your category is too small, then you can broaden your scope—and you can do so with leverage.

#2: Be Different
Ideas are in the air. There are lots of people thinking about—and probably working on—the same thing you are. And one of them is Google. Deal with it. How? First of all, realize that no sufficiently interesting space will be limited to one player. In a sense, competition actually is good—especially to legitimize new markets. Second, see #1—the specialist will almost always kick the generalist's ass. Third, consider doing something that's not so cutting edge. Many highly successful companies—the aforementioned big G being one—have thrived by taking on areas that everyone thought were done and redoing them right. Also? Get a good, non-generic name. Easier said than done, granted. But the most common mistake in naming is trying to be too descriptive, which leads to lots of hard-to-distinguish names. How many blogging companies have "blog" in their name, RSS companies "feed," or podcasting companies "pod" or "cast"? Rarely are they the ones that stand out.

#3: Be Casual
We're moving into what I call the era of the "Casual Web" (and casual content creation). This is much bigger than the hobbyist web or the professional web. Why? Because people have lives. And now, people with lives also have broadband. If you want to hit the really big home runs, create services that fit in with—and, indeed, help—people's everyday lives without requiring lots of commitment or identity change. Flickr enables personal publishing among millions of folks who would never consider themselves personal publishers—they're just sharing pictures with friends and family, a casual activity. Casual games are huge. Skype enables casual conversations.

#4: Be Picky
Another perennial business rule, and it applies to everything you do: features, employees, investors, partners, press opportunities. Startups are often too eager to accept people or ideas into their world. You can almost always afford to wait if something doesn't feel just right, and false negatives are usually better than false positives. One of Google's biggest strengths—and sources of frustration for outsiders—was their willingness to say no to opportunities, easy money, potential employees, and deals.

#5: Be User-Centric
User experience is everything. It always has been, but it's still undervalued and under-invested in. If you don't know user-centered design, study it. Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live and breathe it. Get your whole company on board. Better to iterate a hundred times to get the right feature right than to add a hundred more. The point of Ajax is that it can make a site more responsive, not that it's sexy. Tags can make things easier to find and classify, but maybe not in your application. The point of an API is so developers can add value for users, not to impress the geeks. Don't get sidetracked by technologies or the blog-worthiness of your next feature. Always focus on the user and all will be well.

#6: Be Self-Centered
Great products almost always come from someone scratching their own itch. Create something you want to exist in the world. Be a user of your own product. Hire people who are users of your product. Make it better based on your own desires. (But don't trick yourself into thinking you are your user, when it comes to usability.) Another aspect of this is to not get seduced into doing deals with big companies at the expense or your users or at the expense of making your product better. When you're small and they're big, it's hard to say no, but see #4.

#7: Be Greedy
It's always good to have options. One of the best ways to do that is to have income. While it's true that traffic is now again actually worth something, the give-everything-away-and-make-it-up-on-volume strategy stamps an expiration date on your company's ass. In other words, design something to charge for into your product and start taking money within 6 months (and do it with PayPal). Done right, charging money can actually accelerate growth, not impede it, because then you have something to fuel marketing costs with. More importantly, having money coming in the door puts you in a much more powerful position when it comes to your next round of funding or acquisition talks. In fact, consider whether you need to have a free version at all. The TypePad approach—taking the high-end position in the market—makes for a great business model in the right market. Less support. Less scalability concerns. Less abuse. And much higher margins.

#8: Be Tiny
It's standard web startup wisdom by now that with the substantially lower costs to starting something on the web, the difficulty of IPOs, and the willingness of the big guys to shell out for small teams doing innovative stuff, the most likely end game if you're successful is acquisition. Acquisitions are much easier if they're small. And small acquisitions are possible if valuations are kept low from the get go. And keeping valuations low is possible because it doesn't cost much to start something anymore (especially if you keep the scope narrow). Besides the obvious techniques, one way to do this is to use turnkey services to lower your overhead—Administaff, ServerBeach, web apps, maybe even Elance.

#9: Be Agile
You know that old saw about a plane flying from California to Hawaii being off course 99% of the time—but constantly correcting? The same is true of successful startups—except they may start out heading toward Alaska. Many dot-com bubble companies that died could have eventually been successful had they been able to adjust and change their plans instead of running as fast as they could until they burned out, based on their initial assumptions. Pyra was started to build a project-management app, not Blogger. Flickr's company was building a game. Ebay was going to sell auction software. Initial assumptions are almost always wrong. That's why the waterfall approach to building software is obsolete in favor agile techniques. The same philosophy should be applied to building a company.

#10: Be Balanced
What is a startup without bleary-eyed, junk-food-fueled, balls-to-the-wall days and sleepless, caffeine-fueled, relationship-stressing nights? Answer?: A lot more enjoyable place to work. Yes, high levels of commitment are crucial. And yes, crunch times come and sometimes require an inordinate, painful, apologies-to-the-SO amount of work. But it can't be all the time. Nature requires balance for health—as do the bodies and minds who work for you and, without which, your company will be worthless. There is no better way to maintain balance and lower your stress that I've found than David Allen's GTD process. Learn it. Live it. Make it a part of your company, and you'll have a secret weapon.

#11 (bonus!): Be Wary
Overgeneralized lists of business "rules" are not to be taken too literally. There are exceptions to everything.


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Via Justin Jones
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Rule #12: Break all the rules.

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Ibrahim Rahmani's curator insight, January 30, 2015 3:06 PM

Focus on the smallest possible problem you could solve that would potentially be useful. Most companies start out trying to do too many things, which makes life difficult and turns you into a me-too. 

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To Be Successful, Do Only What Matters

To Be Successful, Do Only What Matters | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Popular wisdom says your sphere of influence -- your communications and social network -- should be big. Popular wisdom is wrong.

Everyone is obsessed with the habits of the wealthy these days. The great irony is, if successful people concerned themselves with that sort of nonsense they never would have made it big in the first place. Truth is, none of that stuff matters. It’s all just a waste of time and focus.   

If you want to be successful, you have to learn what really makes a difference. What really matters. You need to do that and keep the distractions – everything that doesn’t matter – to a minimum. Now I’ll tell you what matters but I’ve got to warn you: it’s really simple. But then, all great lessons in life are simple.

What matters is what you do. How do you figure out what to do? Strangely enough, you figure out what to do by doing. By …

  • Getting out into the world, getting a job, experiencing and learning.
  • Figuring out how business works.
  • Learning what you like to do and what you’re good at – your strengths to leverage and weaknesses to overcome.
  • Gaining confidence from your successes and wisdom from your failures.
  • Meeting smart people, asking good questions and listening to what they have to say.
  • Figuring out what it takes to be a good employee and how to motivate and manage others.
  • Learning what works and what doesn’t work in the real world.
  • Putting yourself out there so you’re aware of opportunities and maybe even create your own luck.
  • Understanding that it’s all completely and entirely up to you – nobody else can do it for you and nobody is holding you back, either.
  • Having your priorities straight, the work ethic to always get the job done, and the discipline to focus on what matters and not on what doesn’t.

It always comes down to the same thing. Doing what matters. That’s exactly how world-class companies like GE and P&G breed hundreds, if not thousands, of entrepreneurs who found tomorrow’s startups and CEOs that turn good companies into great ones: on-the-job experience.

Now I’ll tell you what doesn’t matter. What doesn’t matter is what everyone else says and does. That’s right; none of it matters. Not a word. Of course, the exception is the people you come across in your real-world experience. If you get out in the world and do things, you will inevitably meet and learn from thousands of people. That’s 99 percent of the wisdom you’ll need. No kidding.  

Here’s another way to look at it. Let’s talk about spheres of influence. The popular wisdom of the day is that everyone should have these enormous spheres of communication and social networks, the bigger the better.

Popular wisdom is wrong and I’ll tell you why.

Social networking – tweeting, posting, linking, blogging, too – is what I call “one-to-many” communication. The level of interaction and quality of communication is lousy because a billion people are all doing the same thing so nobody has the bandwidth to read but a tiny fraction of what shows up in their stream.

That’s why the vast majority of online interaction is a complete waste of time. Everything you post just bounces around the Web and nothing ever really comes of it. Nothing that matters, anyway. It’s like throwing a bucket of water into the ocean. Sure, there’s more water in the ocean now, but so what?  

Also, whatever you learn online is visible to everyone so it provides no competitive advantage whatsoever.

The way to be successful is to keep your sphere of influence small and focused. How small and focused? That depends. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates wrote code. Richard Branson sold records. Their spheres were relatively small and extremely focused in the early days of their careers while they were building their businesses. Then they grew in time. That’s usually how it works.

It basically comes down to this: You do want to broaden your sphere but you want to broaden it by doing what matters, not by wasting your time on what doesn’t matter.

Not only does reading about rich people’s habits not matter, the same is true of the vast majority of what you do online. And if they wasted their time with all that stuff, wealthy people would never have become wealthy to begin with. The only thing successful people do that matters is focus on doing what matters. Simple as that.


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To Find Your Next Great Business Idea, Narrow Your Focus

To Find Your Next Great Business Idea, Narrow Your Focus | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
A winning business opportunity often isn't obvious at first. Successful entrepreneurs can identify new niches and whether they can be profitable.

When you’re just starting out in business, narrowing your target market can be difficult for fear you’ll be excluding part of your potential customer base.

But if you can clearly define a market and its needs upfront, you can tailor your product or service offerings narrowly to meet that demand and quickly gain more wallet share than your competitors.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Via THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good idea: narrow down and find a new niche. This article is illustrated with some great examples. 

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THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*'s curator insight, June 16, 2014 8:28 AM

Companies with focus grow precisely because their niche is so distinctive.

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Serial Entrepreneurs Chart

Serial Entrepreneurs Chart | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Do most great entrepreneurs focus on one idea or pursue many? A quick look at billionaire entrepreneurs reveals that most of them are serial entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs are known for being able to focus on one thing to the point of making it a reality. Entrepreneurs are also known for their ability to recognize business opportunities when they come. These two qualities can be at odds with each other: focusing on one thing while looking around for more opportunities contradicts itself.

For many new entrepreneurs there is a real dilemma here. Should you start a lot of companies, or should you focus your whole life on one, like Zuckerberg?

To read the full article, click on the infograph chart. Click on the chart again to read the article.



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How to Stay Fresh and Focused in Business

How to Stay Fresh and Focused in Business | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Via Daniel Watson
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Common sense, down-to-earth tips. Good to remember.

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Carlos Polaino Jiménez's curator insight, April 15, 2014 6:40 AM

Recomendaciones importantes, sobre todo para los trabajadores solitarios, cada vez más numerosos.

Lynne M. Williams BS, MA, ABD★'s curator insight, April 15, 2014 8:39 PM

Great tips to plan each day!

4twenty2's curator insight, April 16, 2014 4:18 AM

7 Tips for keeping focused and relaxed through the day.  It will not only make you more productive, your team will follow suit.  The more relaxed your work environment is the more you can achieve and the more approachable you are to your team.