Jada Pinkett Smith on the Persistence and Passion That Drives Her as an Entrepreneur !

Jada Pinkett Smith has had an exciting few years. The multi-hyphenate star’s 2017 hit film Girls Trip broke records at the box office, 2018 saw the launch of her passion project, the Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk  and in January, Hala, a female-led and directed coming-of-age film she executive produced garnered rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival and was bought by Apple in the tech giant’s first purchase at this year’s festival.

Over the course of the 24 episodes that have been released thus far, Red Table Talk, which Pinkett Smith hosts with her daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, has been dedicated to helping viewers have candid, meaningful conversations about  topics including motherhood, mental health, addiction, and forgiveness.

The discussions between the three generations of women — and guests like Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo and Will Smith — have resonated, with more than 275 million combined views, 4.6 million followers, and inspring spinoff groups like Memphis SistahFriends Red Table Talk in Memphis, TN, Red Table Talk RVA & Red Table Talk California.

We caught up with Pinkett Smith who shared her insights about how to pursue and execute the ideas that matter to you.

Full article here: Entrepreneur



5 Ways to Avoid Common CEO Mistakes !

5 Ways to Avoid Common CEO Mistakes

As the CEO, you’re responsible for everything.

You serve as the public face of your company, liaise between the board of directors and employees, and you make sure your team feels heard and happy. For better or worse, your decisions impact every aspect of the business, from the bottom line to employee happiness.

My experience as the CEO of ShipChain has made me realize the importance of prioritizing your long-term vision over short-term profit.

Take Sears, an innovator, an industry disruptor and dominant market force, thanks to its mail-order catalog. You could even argue that it pioneered the direct-to-consumer shipping model we’re seeing in the market today. Sears could’ve been the world’s leading ecommerce company — there’s no reason why it couldn’t have been as big as Amazon. But the executives ignored the importance of the internet, and today, an American icon is tragically going bankrupt after being in business for more than a century.

While not every misstep you make will lead to bankruptcy, each bad decision can cause the company’s reputation to take a hit. To direct a thriving company as a CEO in any industry, here are five common mistakes to avoid:

1. Know when to delegate.

Executives often fall for the trap of trying to do everything themselves. After all, you can probably complete a task faster and cheaper than anyone else, and you trust yourself to do it correctly. But unless your company is in its infancy, getting involved in the day-to-day activities is actually more of a hindrance than a help. When you’re stuck in the weeds, you don’t have the time or mental clarity to focus on your business’s core vision.

If you’re like most CEOs, you’ve achieved success due to your work ethic and strong personality. But you have to be willing to step back and accept the reality that you can’t do everything and effectively guide the company at the same time.

In a growing company, your job is to set the tone and manage the C-level, not do the books or write the code. Hire an accountant to help with the numbers, pay a programmer to do the coding.

2. Recognize that your expense costs aren’t everything.

Everyone wants to improve their bottom line, but you need to be strategic about which costs you try to cut.

Think about mail consolidators, the third-party companies that the U.S. Postal Service hires to sort some of its mail. While mail consolidators do save the USPS 5-7 percent, this isn’t the whole story. Adding in a middleman means the mail can take up to twice as long to deliver when compared to first class mail. And in the age of Amazon Prime, most customers are not happy about waiting an extra few days for anything.

On the surface, saving 5-7 percent sounds great. But in the long run, trimming expenses without maintaining quality and efficiency will cost you more in refunds and disgruntled customers, not to mention the harm to your brand identity and reputation.

Don’t cut costs without thinking about how it will impact your brand.

3. Always think in the long term.

Building a brand doesn’t happen overnight, and you have to always train one eye toward the future in order to be competitive.

I admit that I’ve been guilty of getting so engrossed in the short term that I lose sight of my company’s long-term vision. But when you’re not looking ahead, you’re like a horse wearing blinders — you see only three feet in front of you instead of the entire horizon. This is a huge problem. Not only will you have difficulty solving problems, but you won’t be able to figure out what the problem is in the first place.

I studied physics in college, and the professors of my upper-level classes didn’t simply give me an equation to solve. Instead, I had to figure out what the problem itself was before I could apply an equation to it, and eventually solve it.

Isaac Newton didn’t just define gravity: he had to figure out why the apple fell out of the tree in the first place. Likewise, you have to think long term to be able to anticipate and understand the problems facing your company and industry.

4. Pay your people well.

Many leaders commoditize human labor. Instead of paying a little more for the best people, they accept high employee turnover. But the more turnover you have, the more you have to pay for training. Worse yet, you’ll earn a reputation for treating your workers poorly.

Besides paying your employees more, you should show them you care about what they do. If I ran a trucking company, for instance, I’d get my commercial drivers license to prove that I really enjoy the freight movement and respect the amount of work my employees put it. People are everything, and creating a positive work environment is key to any thriving company.

5. Never blame your team.

As a CEO, you have to accept responsibility, even if something’s not your fault.

In the logistics world, parcels get lost or damaged and vendors don’t deliver on time. Trucks crash, destroying the containers and their contents. Between shippers, carriers and customers, there’s a lot of finger pointing when something goes wrong. But this is par for the course. There’s always a risk with using a third-party intermediary or driving on a public road, and you have to communicate this reality to your customers in a graceful way.

If you take responsibility for errors and never blame your team, both customers and employees will respect your authority.

If you avoid these five mistakes and keep your eye trained toward the future, you and your company will be well on your way to becoming the next Amazon, rather than the next Sears.

Full article here: Entrepreneur

Don’t Forget About the Paperwork — You Need Proper Documentation to Run a Successful Business!

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Peter Voogd talks to Randall Pich about his journey through entrepreneurship as the CEO of Live Fit Apparel.

Voogd asks Pich what he would recommend to a young entrepreneur, one who is just starting his entrepreneurial journey. Voogd asks if there are any particular roadblocks young entrepreneurs should look out for that perhaps only come with experience and time.

Pich talks about the importance of being decisive and organized in your hiring. Moreover, your management should be organized and executed smartly, as well. With job titles and paperwork, you must make sure that you are covering your tracks with official documents.

Full article here: Entrepreneur


7 Ways to Become Smarter Every Week !

7 Ways to Become Smarter Every Week

Image credit: yipengge | Getty Images

With practice, anyone can increase their knowledge base, sharpen their intellect and learn new skills. There are a number of ways to boost your cognitive skills and expand your mental capacity.

We should aim to spend time every day learning something new. The more we learn and the more deeply we understand, the better we can improve our brain performance and increase our capacity to learn.

The list below includes the best ways to engage your mind and grow your intelligence so you can meet the ever-mounting challenges you face. By following these seven tips, you can become a little smarter every week.

1. Spend time reading every day. 

The mind is like a muscle: the more you use it the stronger it will become. Reading is an important element for developing your mind, as it’s one of the basic ways we gain knowledge and learn.

Through reading, you can discover new things and educate yourself on any topic. Reading also helps develop your creative side by engaging your imagination. Words, both spoken and written, are the building blocks of our social existence — and through words, you can go anywhere in the world.

If you’re looking to quickly grow your knowledge, one easy way is to speed up your reading so you can charge through books, written material and even online articles (like this one!). Most people read at an average rate of 250 words per minute. At that rate, it would take you about six minutes to read this article. But with speed reading, you could cut that time in half. Just remember, the goal is to help you rapidly consume more information, not just zoom past words without fully comprehending their meaning.

2. Focus on building a deeper understanding.

Becoming smarter takes more than just absorbing information — true wisdom comes from deeply understanding a subject. The most successful people consistently outpace everyone else because they’re able to quickly learn new skills, adapt to changes and work both collaboratively and independently.

They use a deep and meaningful knowledge of their world and a flexible mindset to understand problems and quickly come up with solutions. Their deep knowledge base gives them the foundation they need to perform.

Work to steadily build a deep and meaningful knowledge base on a few key topics and issues. Be honest with yourself about areas you are weak in and seek to reinforce your understanding of important subjects until you have a rock-solid foundation that you can build on. Knowledge is cumulative, so start with the basics. You need to have a firm grasp of how something works before you can fix it. It’s good to have a breadth of knowledge, but it’s also important to take “deep dives” to truly understand difficult and complex issues.

3. Constantly question and seek clarification.

Asking questions is the single most important factor in becoming smarter. Innovation always begins by asking questions and being curious. There is value in asking questions because it’s the way we push the boundaries of our world and our mind. That’s why it’s so important to hone a curious, open mind by constantly questioning everything.

It’s not just a matter of asking questions; you should be asking insightful questions that probe the validity of assumptions, analyze logic and explore the unknown. Practice asking questions that get to the heart of a matter and cultivate a willingness to push for answers.

Like anything else, developing this skill takes time. As you’re working, reading or engaging in activities, keep a running log of questions that come to mind about anything and everything that you’re involved with. Don’t be afraid to seek clarification when something isn’t clear.

4. Diversify your day.

One of the best ways to increase your intelligence involves flexing different areas of your brain. You aren’t going to get any smarter by doing the same ol’, same ol’ every day. While having a routine is a good thing (so your body knows when to get up and when it’s bedtime), you don’t want to spend your waking hours stuck in a rut.

By inviting a little novelty into your daily life, you keep things fresh and interesting. That might mean checking out a new place for lunch, or going for a midday stroll on which you pay attention to the sights and sounds around you. You can also mix things up during working hours by simply finding new ways of doing your everyday tasks.

If you’ve been working for a while on one thing, try switching to something else. Look for ways to do things slightly differently. This will fend off boredom and help your mind stay sharp and focused. By mixing things up, you’ll use parts of your brain a little differently each day. This helps you increase your intelligence by forcing you to flex your brainpower in different ways — think of this as an overall workout for your brain.

5. Review learned information.

We recall new information most crisply right after we’ve learned it. If you don’t use that information again soon after you’ve learned it, it will quickly fade from your mind. After a few days, we may only be able to recall a little of what we initially learned. In order to increase our ability to remember, we need to store this information in our long-term memory, and the best way to do this is to frequently review what we’ve learned until it’s locked in our memory banks.

Make notes while reading or researching something, or take a few minutes when you’re done and write down the main points. Then spend even a few minutes every day reviewing this material. It takes a little effort, but once it’s a habit you’ll be amazed at how well a quick review of the information will help confirm that you understand it — and help you see what areas you need to focus on.

You can also try rewriting the information or reorganizing your notes — this will actively reinforce what you’ve learned. The act of rewriting notes helps us clarify our understanding of a topic and reduces the time it takes us to “relearn” it when we need to use that knowledge in the future.

6. Keep track of your ideas.

As you work to build your knowledge base, you’ll find your mind expanding and growing in new ways. If you’re filling your brain with great information, your mind is going to do its thing and start interpreting that information in a useful way. You may find that you’ve suddenly become an idea machine. You’ll start experiencing “aha moments” — those little breakthroughs where you suddenly connect one idea to another to form an even bigger and better idea.

Make sure you’re taking note of these ideas. Write them down, keep them handy and make sure you continue to refer back to them. Remember, even your biggest and best ideas are utterly useless unless you actually do something with them. If you have a stroke of genius but lose your train of thought and never go back to build on that idea or refine it — well, then you’ve just missed a great opportunity!

Not all of your new ideas are going to be winners. Some may be fleeting or simply won’t pan out. But once in a while, you might have a lightbulb moment that could change your life.

7. Allow yourself to change.

Whether we realize it or not, sometimes we hold ourselves back. There are times when even the smartest people allow themselves to become bound to obsolete or erroneous ideas and ways of thinking. To become truly intelligent, you must allow yourself to make mistakes, to take risks and leap at opportunity and learn from all these experiences.

You must allow yourself to change, to be open to new things and to ultimately become a different, better version of yourself. By opening yourself up to new sources of knowledge and pushing your mind to learn new things, you may ultimately question some of your old, foundational thinking. You may find that some of your perceptions were off, or that your viewpoints weren’t grounded in fact.

Challenge ideas, discuss them with others, hear out other sides and flex your analytical skills. But be open to changing your mind. And above all, give yourself room to grow and continue on your path to seeking wisdom. As you become smarter, success will follow.


Full article here: Entrepreneur



The Morning Routine That Can Completely Change Your Productivity Levels!

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Jack Canfield talks about some of the small tweaks in your morning that can lead to more success.

A few habits successful people to each morning may sound familiar to you: meditation, exercise and something uplifting.

Another habit Canfield emphasizes is the tendency of being an early riser. Canfield mentions that many successful business leaders wake up before the sun rises, mainly to get ahead of their days or begin diving into reading early. This habit feeds into Canfield’s personal habit of a morning power hour. Canfield explains that this slice of time has drastically improved his mental health, as well as empowered him to make better decisions.

Canfield ends with this: Small changes in your routine can have a big impact on your daily results.

Full article here: Entrepreneur