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Micah Daigle

Micah Daigle

5 months ago

Facebook is going away. Here are two explanations for why it hasn't been replaced yet.

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Athirah Syamimi

Athirah Syamimi

4 months ago

Here's How I Built A Business Offering Unlimited Design Services in Just One Weekend.

Weekend project: limitless design service. It was fun to see whether I could start a business quickly.

I use no-code apps to save time and resources.

TL;DR I started a business utilizing EditorX for my website, Notion for client project management, and a few favors to finish my portfolio.

First step: research (Day 1)

I got this concept from a Kimp Instagram ad. The Minimalist Hustler Daily newsletter mentioned a similar and cheaper service (Graphically).

I Googled other unlimited design companies. Many provide different costs and services. Some supplied solely graphic design, web development, or copywriting.

Step 2: Brainstorming (Day 1)

I did something simple.

  • What benefits and services to provide

  • Price to charge

Since it's a one-person performance (for now), I'm focusing on graphic design. I can charge less.

So I don't overwhelm myself and can accommodate budget-conscious clientele.

Step 3: Construction (Day 1 & 2)

This project includes a management tool, a website, and a team procedure.

I built a project management tool and flow first. Once I had the flow and a Notion board, I tested it with design volunteers. They fake-designed while I built the website.

Tool for Project Management

I modified a Notion template. My goal is to keep clients and designers happy.

Screenshot of project management board in Notion

Team Approach

My sister, my partner, and I kept this business lean. I tweaked the Notion board to make the process smooth. By the end of Sunday, I’d say it’s perfect!

Website

I created the website after they finished the fake design demands. EditorX's drag-and-drop builder attracted me. I didn't need to learn code, and there are templates.

I used a template wireframe.

This project's hardest aspect is developing the site. It's my first time using EditorX and I'm no developer.

People answer all your inquiries in a large community forum.

As a first-time user developing a site in two days, I think I performed OK. Here's the site for feedback.

Screenshot of deuxcreators.com homepage

4th step: testing (Day 2)

Testing is frustrating because it works or doesn't. My testing day was split in two.

  • testing the workflow from payment to onboarding to the website

  • the demand being tested

It's working so far. If someone gets the trial, they can request design work.

I've gotten a couple of inquiries about demand. I’ll be working with them as a start.

Completion

Finally! I built my side project in one weekend. It's too early to tell if this is successful. I liked that I didn't squander months of resources testing out an idea.

Thomas Tcheudjio

Thomas Tcheudjio

7 months ago

If you don't crush these 3 metrics, skip the Series A.

I recently wrote about getting VCs excited about Marketplace start-ups. SaaS founders became envious!

Understanding how people wire tens of millions is the only Series A hack I recommend.

Few people understand the intellectual process behind investing.

VC is risk management.

Series A-focused VCs must cover two risks.

1. Market risk

You need a large market to cross a threshold beyond which you can build defensibilities. Series A VCs underwrite market risk.

They must see you have reached product-market fit (PMF) in a large total addressable market (TAM).

2. Execution risk

When evaluating your growth engine's blitzscaling ability, execution risk arises.

When investors remove operational uncertainty, they profit.

Series A VCs like businesses with derisked revenue streams. Don't raise unless you have a predictable model, pipeline, and growth.

Please beat these 3 metrics before Series A:

Achieve $1.5m ARR in 12-24 months (Market risk)

Above 100% Net Dollar Retention. (Market danger)

Lead Velocity Rate supporting $10m ARR in 2–4 years (Execution risk)

Hit the 3 and you'll raise $10M in 4 months. Discussing 2/3 may take 6–7 months.

If none, don't bother raising and focus on becoming a capital-efficient business (Topics for other posts).

Let's examine these 3 metrics for the brave ones.

1. Lead Velocity Rate supporting €$10m ARR in 2 to 4 years

Last because it's the least discussed. LVR is the most reliable data when evaluating a growth engine, in my opinion.

SaaS allows you to see the future.

Monthly Sales and Sales Pipelines, two predictive KPIs, have poor data quality. Both are lagging indicators, and minor changes can cause huge modeling differences.

Analysts and Associates will trash your forecasts if they're based only on Monthly Sales and Sales Pipeline.

LVR, defined as month-over-month growth in qualified leads, is rock-solid. There's no lag. You can See The Future if you use Qualified Leads and a consistent formula and process to qualify them.

With this metric in your hand, scaling your company turns into an execution play on which VCs are able to perform calculations risk.

2. Above-100% Net Dollar Retention.

Net Dollar Retention is a better-known SaaS health metric than LVR.

Net Dollar Retention measures a SaaS company's ability to retain and upsell customers. Ask what $1 of net new customer spend will be worth in years n+1, n+2, etc.

Depending on the business model, SaaS businesses can increase their share of customers' wallets by increasing users, selling them more products in SaaS-enabled marketplaces, other add-ons, and renewing them at higher price tiers.

If a SaaS company's annualized Net Dollar Retention is less than 75%, there's a problem with the business.

Slack's ARR chart (below) shows how powerful Net Retention is. Layer chart shows how existing customer revenue grows. Slack's S1 shows 171% Net Dollar Retention for 2017–2019.

Slack S-1

3. $1.5m ARR in the last 12-24 months.

According to Point 9, $0.5m-4m in ARR is needed to raise a $5–12m Series A round.

Target at least what you raised in Pre-Seed/Seed. If you've raised $1.5m since launch, don't raise before $1.5m ARR.

Capital efficiency has returned since Covid19. After raising $2m since inception, it's harder to raise $1m in ARR.

P9's 2016-2021 SaaS Funding Napkin

In summary, less than 1% of companies VCs meet get funded. These metrics can help you win.

If there’s demand for it, I’ll do one on direct-to-consumer.

Cheers!

Navdeep Yadav

Navdeep Yadav

1 month ago

31 startup company models (with examples)

Many people find the internet's various business models bewildering.

This article summarizes 31 startup e-books.

Types of Startup

1. Using the freemium business model (free plus premium),

The freemium business model offers basic software, games, or services for free and charges for enhancements.

Examples include Slack, iCloud, and Google Drive

Provide a rudimentary, free version of your product or service to users.

Graphic Credit: Business Model toolbox

Google Drive and Dropbox offer 15GB and 2GB of free space but charge for more.

Freemium business model details (Click here)

2. The Business Model of Subscription

Subscription business models sell a product or service for recurring monthly or yearly revenue.

Graphic Credit: Business Model toolbox

Examples: Tinder, Netflix, Shopify, etc

It's the next step to Freemium if a customer wants to pay monthly for premium features.

Types of Subscription Business Models

Subscription Business Model (Click here)

3. A market-based business strategy

It's an e-commerce site or app where third-party sellers sell products or services.

Examples are Amazon and Fiverr.

Marketplace Business Model
  • On Amazon's marketplace, a third-party vendor sells a product.

  • Freelancers on Fiverr offer specialized skills like graphic design.

Marketplace's business concept is explained.

4. Business plans using aggregates

In the aggregator business model, the service is branded.

Uber, Airbnb, and other examples

Airbnb Aggregator Business Model

Marketplace and Aggregator business models differ.

Aggregators Vs Market Place

Amazon and Fiverr link merchants and customers and take a 10-20% revenue split.

Uber and Airbnb-style aggregator Join these businesses and provide their products.

5. The pay-as-you-go concept of business

This is a consumption-based pricing system. Cloud companies use it.

Example: Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) (AWS)

Pay-as-you-go pricing in AWS

AWS, an Amazon subsidiary, offers over 200 pay-as-you-go cloud services.

“In short, the more you use the more you pay”

Types of Pay-as-you-plan

When it's difficult to divide clients into pricing levels, pay-as-you is employed.

6. The business model known as fee-for-service (FFS)

FFS charges fixed and variable fees for each successful payment.

For instance, PayU, Paypal, and Stripe

Stripe charges 2.9% + 30 per payment.

Fee-for-service (FFS) business model

These firms offer a payment gateway to take consumer payments and deposit them to a business account.

Fintech business model

7. EdTech business strategy

In edtech, you generate money by selling material or teaching as a service.

Most popular revenue model in EdTech

edtech business models

Freemium When course content is free but certification isn't, e.g. Coursera

FREE TRIAL SkillShare offers free trials followed by monthly or annual subscriptions.

Self-serving marketplace approach where you pick what to learn.

Ad-revenue model The company makes money by showing adverts to its huge user base.

Lock-in business strategy

Lock in prevents customers from switching to a competitor's brand or offering.

It uses switching costs or effort to transmit (soft lock-in), improved brand experience, or incentives.

Apple, SAP, and other examples

Graphic Credit: Business Model toolbox

Apple offers an iPhone and then locks you in with extra hardware (Watch, Airpod) and platform services (Apple Store, Apple Music, cloud, etc.).

9. Business Model for API Licensing

APIs let third-party apps communicate with your service.

How do APIs work?

Uber and Airbnb use Google Maps APIs for app navigation.

Examples are Google Map APIs (Map), Sendgrid (Email), and Twilio (SMS).

Types of APIs business model

Business models for APIs

  1. Free: The simplest API-driven business model that enables unrestricted API access for app developers. Google Translate and Facebook are two examples.

  2. Developer Pays: Under this arrangement, service providers such as AWS, Twilio, Github, Stripe, and others must be paid by application developers.

  3. The developer receives payment: These are the compensated content producers or developers who distribute the APIs utilizing their work. For example, Amazon affiliate programs

10. Open-source enterprise

Open-source software can be inspected, modified, and improved by anybody.

For instance, use Firefox, Java, or Android.

Product with Open source business model

Google paid Mozilla $435,702 million to be their primary search engine in 2018.

Open-source software profits in six ways.

  1. Paid assistance The Project Manager can charge for customization because he is quite knowledgeable about the codebase.

  2. A full database solution is available as a Software as a Service (MongoDB Atlas), but there is a fee for the monitoring tool.

  3. Open-core design R studio is a better GUI substitute for open-source applications.

  4. sponsors of GitHub Sponsorships benefit the developers in full.

  5. demands for paid features Earn Money By Developing Open Source Add-Ons for Current Products

Open-source business model

11. The business model for data

If the software or algorithm collects client data to improve or monetize the system.

Open AI GPT3 gets smarter with use.

Graphic Credit: Business Model toolbox

Foursquare allows users to exchange check-in locations.

Later, they compiled large datasets to enable retailers like Starbucks launch new outlets.

12. Business Model Using Blockchain

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that allows firms to deploy smart contracts without a central authority.

Examples include Alchemy, Solana, and Ethereum.

blockchain business model

Business models using blockchain

  1. Economy of tokens or utility When a business uses a token business model, it issues some kind of token as one of the ways to compensate token holders or miners. For instance, Solana and Ethereum

  2. Bitcoin Cash P2P Business Model Peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain technology permits direct communication between end users. as in IPFS

  3. Enterprise Blockchain as a Service (Baas) BaaS focuses on offering ecosystem services similar to those offered by Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) in the web 3 sector. Example: Ethereum Blockchain as a Service with Bitcoin (EBaaS).

  4. Blockchain-Based Aggregators With AWS for blockchain, you can use that service by making an API call to your preferred blockchain. As an illustration, Alchemy offers nodes for many blockchains.

13. The free-enterprise model

In the freeterprise business model, free professional accounts are led into the funnel by the free product and later become B2B/enterprise accounts.

For instance, Slack and Zoom

Freeterprise business model

Freeterprise companies flourish through collaboration.

Loom wants you to join your workspace for an enterprise account.

Start with a free professional account to build an enterprise.

14. Business plan for razor blades

It's employed in hardware where one piece is sold at a loss and profits are made through refills or add-ons.

Gillet razor & blades, coffee machine & beans, HP printer & cartridge, etc.

Razor blade/Bait and hook business model

Sony sells the Playstation console at a loss but makes up for it by selling games and charging for online services.

Advantages of the Razor-Razorblade Method

  1. lowers the risk a customer will try a product. enables buyers to test the goods and services without having to pay a high initial investment.

  2. The product's ongoing revenue stream has the potential to generate sales that much outweigh the original investments.

Razor blade business model

15. The business model of direct-to-consumer (D2C)

In D2C, the company sells directly to the end consumer through its website using a third-party logistic partner.

Examples include GymShark and Kylie Cosmetics.

Direct-to-consumer business Model

D2C brands can only expand via websites, marketplaces (Amazon, eBay), etc.

Traditional Retailer vs D2C business model

D2C benefits

  • Lower reliance on middlemen = greater profitability

  • You now have access to more precise demographic and geographic customer data.

  • Additional space for product testing

  • Increased customisation throughout your entire product line-Inventory Less

16. Business model: White Label vs. Private Label

Private label/White label products are made by a contract or third-party manufacturer.

Most amazon electronics are made in china and white-labeled.

Amazon supplements and electronics.

White-label business model

Contract manufacturers handle everything after brands select product quantities on design labels.

17. The franchise model

The franchisee uses the franchisor's trademark, branding, and business strategy (company).

For instance, KFC, Domino's, etc.

Master Franchise business model

Subway, Domino, Burger King, etc. use this business strategy.

Opening your restaurant vs Frenchies

Many people pick a franchise because opening a restaurant is risky.

18. Ad-based business model

Social media and search engine giants exploit search and interest data to deliver adverts.

Google, Meta, TikTok, and Snapchat are some examples.

Ad-based business model

Users don't pay for the service or product given, e.g. Google users don't pay for searches.

In exchange, they collected data and hyper-personalized adverts to maximize revenue.

19. Business plan for octopuses

Each business unit functions separately but is connected to the main body.

Instance: Oyo

OYO’s Octopus business model

OYO is Asia's Airbnb, operating hotels, co-working, co-living, and vacation houses.

20, Transactional business model, number

Sales to customers produce revenue.

E-commerce sites and online purchases employ SSL.

Goli is an ex-GymShark.

Transactional business model

21. The peer-to-peer (P2P) business model

In P2P, two people buy and sell goods and services without a third party or platform.

Consider OLX.

OLX Business Model

22. P2P lending as a manner of operation

In P2P lending, one private individual (P2P Lender) lends/invests or borrows money from another (P2P Borrower).

Instance: Kabbage

P2P Lending as a business model

Social lending lets people lend and borrow money directly from each other without an intermediary financial institution.

23. A business model for brokers

Brokerages charge a commission or fee for their services.

Examples include eBay, Coinbase, and Robinhood.

Brokerage business model

Brokerage businesses are common in Real estate, finance, and online and operate on this model.

Types of brokerage business model
  1. Buy/sell similar models Examples include financial brokers, insurance brokers, and others who match purchase and sell transactions and charge a commission.

  2. These brokers charge an advertiser a fee based on the date, place, size, or type of an advertisement. This is known as the classified-advertiser model. For instance, Craiglist

24. Drop shipping as an industry

Dropshipping allows stores to sell things without holding physical inventories.

Drop shipping Business model

When a customer orders, use a third-party supplier and logistic partners.

Retailer product portfolio and customer experience Fulfiller The consumer places the order.

Dropshipping advantages

  • Less money is needed (Low overhead-No Inventory or warehousing)

  • Simple to start (costs under $100)

  • flexible work environment

  • New product testing is simpler

25. Business Model for Space as a Service

It's centered on a shared economy that lets millennials live or work in communal areas without ownership or lease.

Consider WeWork and Airbnb.

WeWork business model

WeWork helps businesses with real estate, legal compliance, maintenance, and repair.

Space as a Service Business Model

26. The business model for third-party logistics (3PL)

In 3PL, a business outsources product delivery, warehousing, and fulfillment to an external logistics company.

Examples include Ship Bob, Amazon Fulfillment, and more.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

3PL partners warehouse, fulfill, and return inbound and outbound items for a charge.

Inbound logistics involves bringing products from suppliers to your warehouse.

Outbound logistics refers to a company's production line, warehouse, and customer.

Inbound and outbound in 3PL

27. The last-mile delivery paradigm as a commercial strategy

Last-mile delivery is the collection of supply chain actions that reach the end client.

Examples include Rappi, Gojek, and Postmates.

gojek business model

Last-mile is tied to on-demand and has a nighttime peak.

28. The use of affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting other companies' products and charging commissions.

Examples include Hubspot, Amazon, and Skillshare.

Affiliate business model

Your favorite youtube channel probably uses these short amazon links to get 5% of sales.

affiliate link from a youtube video.

Affiliate marketing's benefits

  • In exchange for a success fee or commission, it enables numerous independent marketers to promote on its behalf.

  • Ensure system transparency by giving the influencers a specific tracking link and an online dashboard to view their profits.

  • Learn about the newest bargains and have access to promotional materials.

29. The business model for virtual goods

This is an in-app purchase for an intangible product.

Examples include PubG, Roblox, Candy Crush, etc.

virtual goods business model

Consumables are like gaming cash that runs out. Non-consumable products provide a permanent advantage without repeated purchases.

30. Business Models for Cloud Kitchens

Ghost, Dark, Black Box, etc.

Delivery-only restaurant.

These restaurants don't provide dine-in, only delivery.

For instance, NextBite and Faasos

Cloud kitchen business model

31. Crowdsourcing as a Business Model

Crowdsourcing = Using the crowd as a platform's source.

In crowdsourcing, you get support from people around the world without hiring them.

Crowdsourcing Business model

Crowdsourcing sites

  1. Open-Source Software gives access to the software's source code so that developers can edit or enhance it. Examples include Firefox browsers and Linux operating systems.

  2. Crowdfunding The oculus headgear would be an example of crowdfunding in essence, with no expectations.

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Jim Clyde Monge

Jim Clyde Monge

5 months ago

Can You Sell Images Created by AI?

Image by Author

Some AI-generated artworks sell for enormous sums of money.

But can you sell AI-Generated Artwork?

Simple answer: yes.

However, not all AI services enable allow usage and redistribution of images.

Let's check some of my favorite AI text-to-image generators:

Dall-E2 by OpenAI

The AI art generator Dall-E2 is powerful. Since it’s still in beta, you can join the waitlist here.

OpenAI DOES NOT allow the use and redistribution of any image for commercial purposes.

Here's the policy as of April 6, 2022.

OpenAI Content Policy

Here are some images from Dall-E2’s webpage to show its art quality.

Dall-E2 Homepage

Several Reddit users reported receiving pricing surveys from OpenAI.

This suggests the company may bring out a subscription-based tier and a commercial license to sell images soon.

MidJourney

I like Midjourney's art generator. It makes great AI images. Here are some samples:

Community feed from MidJourney

Standard Licenses are available for $10 per month.

Standard License allows you to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, and/or sell copies of the images, except for blockchain technologies.

If you utilize or distribute the Assets using blockchain technology, you must pay MidJourney 20% of revenue above $20,000 a month or engage in an alternative agreement.

Here's their copyright and trademark page.

MidJourney Copyright and Trademark

Dream by Wombo

Dream is one of the first public AI art generators.

This AI program is free, easy to use, and Wombo gives a royalty-free license to copy or share artworks.

Users own all artworks generated by the tool. Including all related copyrights or intellectual property rights.

Screenshot by Author

Here’s Wombos' intellectual property policy.

Wombo Terms of Service

Final Reflections

AI is creating a new sort of art that's selling well. It’s becoming popular and valued, despite some skepticism.

Now that you know MidJourney and Wombo let you sell AI-generated art, you need to locate buyers. There are several ways to achieve this, but that’s for another story.

obimy.app

obimy.app

4 months ago

How TikTok helped us grow to 6 million users

This resulted to obimy's new audience.

Hi! obimy's official account. Here, we'll teach app developers and marketers. In 2022, our downloads increased dramatically, so we'll share what we learned.

obimy is what we call a ‘senseger’. It's a new method to communicate digitally. Instead of text, obimy users connect through senses and moods. Feeling playful? Flirt with your partner, pat a pal, or dump water on a classmate. Each feeling is an interactive animation with vibration. It's a wordless app. App Store and Google Play have obimy.

We had 20,000 users in 2022. Two to five thousand of them opened the app monthly. Our DAU metric was 500.

We have 6 million users after 6 months. 500,000 individuals use obimy daily. obimy was the top lifestyle app this week in the U.S.

And TikTok helped.

TikTok fuels obimys' growth. It's why our app exploded. How and what did we learn? Our Head of Marketing, Anastasia Avramenko, knows.

our actions prior to TikTok

We wanted to achieve product-market fit through organic expansion. Quora, Reddit, Facebook Groups, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Apple Search Ads, and social media activity were tested. Nothing worked. Our CPI was sometimes $4, so unit economics didn't work.

We studied our markets and made audience hypotheses. We promoted our goods and studied our audience through social media quizzes. Our target demographic was Americans in long-distance relationships. I designed quizzes like Test the Strength of Your Relationship to better understand the user base. After each quiz, we encouraged users to download the app to enhance their connection and bridge the distance.

One of the quizzes

We got 1,000 responses for $50. This helped us comprehend the audience's grief and coping strategies (aka our rivals). I based action items on answers given. If you can't embrace a loved one, use obimy.

We also tried Facebook and Google ads. From the start, we knew it wouldn't work.

We were desperate to discover a free way to get more users.

Our journey to TikTok

TikTok is a great venue for emerging creators. It also helped reach people. Before obimy, my TikTok videos garnered 12 million views without sponsored promotion.

We had to act. TikTok was required.

Our first TikTok videos

I wasn't a TikTok user before obimy. Initially, I uploaded promotional content. Call-to-actions appear strange next to dancing challenges and my money don't jiggle jiggle. I learned TikTok. Watch TikTok for an hour was on my to-do list. What a dream job!

Our most popular movies presented the app alongside text outlining what it does. We started promoting them in Europe and the U.S. and got a 16% CTR and $1 CPI, an improvement over our previous efforts.

Somehow, we were expanding. So we came up with new hypotheses, calls to action, and content.

Four months passed, yet we saw no organic growth.

Russia attacked Ukraine.

Our app aimed to be helpful. For now, we're focusing on our Ukrainian audience. I posted sloppy TikToks illustrating how obimy can help during shelling or air raids.

In two hours, Kostia sent me our visitor count. Our servers crashed.

Initially, we had several thousand daily users. Over 200,000 users joined obimy in a week. They posted obimy videos on TikTok, drawing additional users. We've also resumed U.S. video promotion.

We gained 2,000,000 new members with less than $100 in ads, primarily in the U.S. and U.K.

TikTok helped.

The figures

We were confident we'd chosen the ideal tool for organic growth.

  • Over 45 million people have viewed our own videos plus a ton of user-generated content with the hashtag #obimy.

  • About 375 thousand people have liked all of our individual videos.

  • The number of downloads and the virality of videos are directly correlated.

Where are we now?

TikTok fuels our organic growth. We post 56 videos every week and pay to promote viral content.

We use UGC and influencers. We worked with Universal Music Italy on Eurovision. They offered to promote us through their million-follower TikTok influencers. We thought their followers would improve our audience, but it didn't matter. Integration didn't help us. Users that share obimy videos with their followers can reach several million views, which affects our download rate.

After the dust settled, we determined our key audience was 13-18-year-olds. They want to express themselves, but it's sometimes difficult. We're searching for methods to better engage with our users. We opened a Discord server to discuss anime and video games and gather app and content feedback.

TikTok helps us test product updates and hypotheses. Example: I once thought we might raise MAU by prompting users to add strangers as friends. Instead of asking our team to construct it, I made a TikTok urging users to share invite URLs. Users share links under every video we upload, embracing people worldwide.

Key lessons

Don't direct-sell. TikTok isn't for Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube promo videos. Conventional advertisements don't fit. Most users will swipe up and watch humorous doggos.

More product videos are better. Finally. So what?

Encourage interaction. Tagging friends in comments or making videos with the app promotes it more than any marketing spend.

Be odd and risqué. A user mistakenly sent a French kiss to their mom in one of our most popular videos.

TikTok helps test hypotheses and build your user base. It also helps develop apps. In our upcoming blog, we'll guide you through obimy's design revisions based on TikTok. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy

1 month ago

Activating Your Vagus Nerve

11 science-backed ways to improve health, happiness, healing, relaxation, and mental clarity.

Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

Vagus nerve is the main parasympathetic nervous system component.

It helps us rest and digest by slowing and stabilizing a resting heart rate, slowing and stabilizing the breath, promoting digestion, improving recovery and healing times, producing saliva, releasing endorphins and hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, and boosting the immune, digestive, and cardiovascular systems.

The vagus nerve sends anti-inflammatory signals to other parts of the body and is located behind the tongue, in the throat, neck, heart, lungs, abdomen, and brainstem.

Vagus means wandering in Latin. So, it's bold.

Here are 11 proven ways to boost health, happiness, and the vagus nerve.

1. Extend

“Yoga stimulates different nerves in your body, especially the vagus nerve that carries information from the brain to most of the body’s major organs, slows everything down and allows self-regulation. It’s the nerve that is associated with the parasympathetic system and emotions like love, joy, and compassion.” — Deepak Chopra

Stretching doesn't require a yoga background.

Listen to your body and ease into simple poses. This connects the mind and body.

If you're new to yoga or don't have access to an in-person class, try Yoga with Adrienne. Over 600 YouTube videos give her plenty of material.

2. Inhale

Because inhaling and exhaling activate the autonomic nervous system, we can breathe to relax.

Exhaling activates the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). One inhales stress, the other exhales it.

So, faster or more intense breathing increases stress. Slower breathing relaxes us.

Breathe slowly, smoothly, and less.

Rhythmic breathing helps me relax.

What to do is as follows:

1. Take 4 smooth, forceless nose breaths.

2. Exhale smoothly and forcefully for 4 seconds

3. Don't pause at the inhale or exhale.

4. Continue for 5 minutes/40 breaths

5. Hold your breath as long as comfortable.

6. Breathe normally.

If four seconds is too long, try breathing in and out for two seconds, or in and out for three seconds, until your breath naturally relaxes. Once calmer, extend your breath.

Any consistent rhythm without force is good. Your heart will follow your lead and become coherent.

3. Chant/Hum

Singing, chanting, or humming activate the vagus nerve through the back of the throat.

Humming emits nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide improves blood circulation, blood flow, heart health, and blood pressure.

Antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties kill viruses and bacteria in the nose and throat.

Gargling water stimulates the vagus nerve.

Simple ways to heal, boost energy, and boost mood are often the healthiest. They're free and can be done anywhere.

4. Have more fun

Laughing stimulates the throat muscles, activating the vagus nerve. What's not to like? It releases dopamine.

Take time to enjoy life. Maybe it's a book, podcast, movie, socializing with friends, or laughing yoga.

Follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell says.

Laugh at yourself

Actually. Really.

Gagging activates vagus nerve-connected muscles. Some doctors use the gag reflex to test the vagus nerve.

Grossness isn't required. While brushing, gag quickly. My girlfriend's brother always does it.

I'm done brushing when I gag, he says.

6. Take in the outdoors

Nature relaxes body and mind. Better if you can walk barefoot.

Earthing is associated with hippies dancing in daisies.

Science now supports hippies.

7. Enter some chilly water.

The diving reflex activates the vagus nerve when exposed to cold water.

The diving reflex involves holding your breath in cold water. Cold showers work best.

Within minutes of being in cold water, parasympathetic nervous system activity, which calms the body, increases.

8. Workout

Exercise increases dopamine, blood circulation, and breathing. So we feel energized, calm, and well-rested.

After resting, the parasympathetic nervous system engages.

It's worth waiting for, though.

9. Play music with brainwaves

Brainwave music harmonizes brainwave activity, boosts productivity and mental clarity, and promotes peace and relaxation by stimulating the vagus nerve.

Simply play a song.

My favorite.

10. Make gentle eyes

Eyes, like breath, often reflect inner state. Sharp, dilated, focused eyes indicate alertness.

Soft, open eyes reflect relaxation and ease. Soft eyes relax the nervous system.

This practice reduces stress, anxiety, and body tension. It's a quick and effective way to enter a calm, peaceful state.

Wild animals can be hunted one minute and graze the next.

Put it into action:

Relax while seated.

Gaze at a distant object

Use peripheral vision while looking straight ahead

Without moving your eyes, look up and down. Connect side spaces to your vision.

Focus on everything as your eyes soften.

Keep breathing

Stay as long as you like

11. Be intimate

We kiss, moan, and breathe deeper during love. We get dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and vagus nerve stimulation.

Why not?

To sum up

Here are 11 vagus nerve resets:

  1. Stretch

  2. Breathe

  3. Hum/Chant

  4. More humor

  5. Amuse yourself

  6. Spend time outdoors

  7. Leap into chilly water

  8. Exercise

  9. Play music with brainwaves.

  10. Make gentle eyes.

  11. Be intimate

If these words have inspired you, try my favorite breathwork technique. Combining breathing, chanting, and brainwave music. Win-win-win :)