More on Entrepreneurship/Creators
6 months ago
10 hard lessons from founding a startup.
Here is the ugly stuff, read this if you have a founder in your life or are trying to become one. Your call.
#1 You'll try to talk yourself to sleep, but it won't always work.
As founders, we're all driven. Good and bad, you're restless. Success requires resistance and discipline. Your startup will be on your mind 24/7, and not everyone will have the patience to listen to your worries, ideas, and coffee runs. You become more self-sufficient than ever before.
#2 No one will understand what you're going through unless they've been a founder.
Some of my closest friends don't understand the work that goes into starting a business, and we can't blame them.
#3 You'll feel alienated.
Your problems aren't common; calling your bestie won't help. You must search hard for the right resources. It alienates you from conversations you no longer relate to. (No 4th of July, no long weekends!)
#4 Since you're your "own boss," people assume you have lots of free time.
Do you agree? I was on a webinar with lots of new entrepreneurs, and one woman said, "I started my own business so I could have more time for myself." This may be true for some lucky people, and you can be flexible with your schedule. If you want your business to succeed, you'll probably be its slave for a while.
#5 No time for illness or family emergencies.
Both last month. Oh, no! Physically and emotionally withdrawing at the worst times will give you perspective. I learned this the hard way because I was too stubborn to postpone an important interview. I thought if I rested all day and only took one call, I'd be fine. Nope. I had a fever and my mind wasn't as sharp, so my performance and audience interaction suffered. Nope. Better to delay than miss out.
Oh, and setting a "OoO" makes you cringe.
#6 Good luck with your mental health, perfectionists.
When building a startup, it's difficult to accept that there won't be enough time to do everything. You can't make them all, not perfectly. You must learn to accept things that are done but not perfect.
#7 As a founder, you'll make mistakes, but you'll want to make them quickly so you can learn.
Hard lessons are learned quicker. You'll need to pivot and try new things often; some won't work, and it's best to discover them sooner rather than later.
#8 Pyramid schemes abound.
I didn't realize how bad it was until I started a company. You must spy and constantly research. As a founder, you'll receive many emails from people claiming to "support" you. Be wary and keep your eyes open. When it's too good to be true. Some "companies" will try to get you to pay for "competitions" to "pitch at events." Don't do it.
#9 Keep your competitor research to a minimum.
Actually, competition is good. It means there's a market for those solutions. However, this can be mentally exhausting too. Learn about their geography and updates, but that's it.
#10 You'll feel guilty taking vacation.
I don't know what to say, but I no longer enjoy watching TV, and that's okay. Pay attention to things that enrich you, bring you joy, and have fun. It boosts creativity.
Being a startup founder may be one of the hardest professional challenges you face, but it's also a great learning experience. Your passion will take you places you never imagined and open doors to opportunities you wouldn't have otherwise. You'll meet amazing people. No regrets, no complaints. It's a roller coaster, but the good days are great.
Miss anything? Comment below
5 months ago
This Is How Much Quora Paid Me For 23 Million Content Views
You’ll be surprised; I sure was
Blogging and writing online as a side income has now been around for a significant amount of time. Nowadays, it is a continuously rising moneymaker for prospective writers, with several writing platforms existing online. At the top of the list are Medium, Vocal Media, Newsbreak, and the biggest one of them, Quora, with 300 million active users.
Quora, unlike Medium, is a question-and-answer format platform. On Medium you are permitted to write what you want, while on Quora, you answer questions on topics that you have expertise about. Quora, like Medium, now compensates its authors for the answers they provide in comparison to the previous, in which you had to be admitted to the partner program and were paid to ask questions.
Quora just recently went live with this new partner program, Quora Plus, and the way it works is that it is a subscription for $5 a month which provides you access to metered/monetized stories, in turn compensating the writers for part of that subscription for their answers.
I too on Quora have found a lot of success on the platform, gaining 23 Million Content Views, and 300,000 followers for my space, which is kind of the Quora equivalent of a Medium article. The way in which I was able to do this was entirely thanks to a hack that I uncovered to the Quora algorithm.
In this article, I plan on discussing how much money I received from 23 million content views on Quora, and I bet you’ll be shocked; I know I was.
A Brief Explanation of How I Got 23 Million Views and How You Can Do It Too
On Quora, everything in terms of obtaining views is about finding the proper question, which I only understood quite late into the game. I published my first response in 2019 but never actually wrote on Quora until the summer of 2020, and about a month into posting consistently I found out how to find the perfect question. Here’s how:
Go to your Home Page and start scrolling… While browsing, check for the following things…
Answers from people you follow or your followers.
These two things are the two things you want to ignore, you don’t want to answer those questions or look at the ads. You should now be left with a couple of recommended answers. To discover which recommended answer is the best to answer as well, look at these three important aspects.
Date of the answer: Was it in the past few days, preferably 2–3 days, even better, past 24 hours?
Views: Are they in the ten thousands or hundred thousands?
Upvotes: Are they in the hundreds or thousands?
Now, choose an answer to a question which you think you could answer as well that satisfies the requirements above. Once you click on it, as all answers on Quora works, it will redirect you to the page for that question, in which you will have to select once again if you should answer the question.
Amount of answers: How many responses are there to the given question? This tells you how much competition you have. My rule is beyond 25 answers, you shouldn’t answer, but you can change it anyway you’d like.
Answerers: Who did the answering for the question? If the question includes a bunch of renowned, extremely well-known people on Quora, there’s a good possibility your essay is going to get drowned out.
Views: Check for a constant quantity of high views on each answer for the question; this is what will guarantee that your answer gets a lot of views!
The Income Reveal! How Much I Made From 23 Million Content Views
DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!
8.97 USD. Yes, not even ten dollars, not even nine. Just eight dollars and ninety-seven cents.
Possible Reasons for My Low Earnings
Quora Plus and the answering partner program are newer than my Quora views.
Few people use Quora+, therefore revenues are low.
I haven't been writing much on Quora, so I'm only making money from old answers and a handful since Quora Plus launched.
Quora + pays poorly...
Should You Try Quora and Quora For Money?
My answer depends on your needs. I never got invited to Quora's question partner program due to my late start, but other writers have made hundreds. Due to Quora's new and competitive answering partner program, you may not make much money.
If you want a fun writing community, try Quora. Quora was fun when I only made money from my space. Quora +'s paywalls and new contributors eager to make money have made the platform less fun for me.
This article is a summary to save you time. You can read my full, more detailed article, here.
4 months ago
Updates From Google For Content Producers What You Should Know Is This
Every Google upgrade causes website owners to panic.
Some have just recovered from previous algorithm tweaks and resumed content development.
If you follow Google's Webmaster rules, you shouldn't fear its adjustments.
Everyone has a view of them. Miscommunication and confusion result.
Now, for some (hopefully) exciting news.
Google tweeted on August 18, 2022 about a fresh content update.
This change is another Google effort to remove low-quality, repetitive, and AI-generated content.
The algorithm generates and analyzes search results, not humans.
Google spends a lot to teach its algorithm what searchers want. Intent isn't always clear.
Google's content update aims to:
“… ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”
Isn't it a noble goal?
However, what does it mean for content creators and website owners?
How can you ensure you’re creating content that will be successful after the updates roll out?
Let's first define people-first content.
What does "people-first-content" mean?
If asked, I'd say information written to answer queries and solve problems.
Like others, I read it from the term.
Content creators and marketers disagree. They need more information to follow recommendations.
Google gives explicit instructions for creating people-first content.
According to Google, if you answer yes to the following questions, you have a people-first attitude.
Do you have customers who might find your content useful if they contacted you directly?
Does your content show the breadth of your knowledge?
Do you have a niche or a focus for your website?
After reading your content, will readers learn something new to aid them in achieving their goals?
Are readers happy after reading your content?
Have you been adhering to Google's fundamental updates and product reviews?
As an SEO writer, I'm not scared.
I’ve been following these rules consciously while creating content for my website. That’s why it’s been steadily growing despite me publishing just one or two stories a month.
If you avoid AI-generated text and redundant, shallow material, your website won't suffer.
If you use unscrupulous methods to boost your website's traffic, including link buying or keyword stuffing, stop. Google is getting smarter and will find and punish your site eventually.
For those who say, “SEO is no longer working,” I dedicated the whole paragraph below.
This does not imply that SEO is obsolete.
“People-first content creators focus on creating satisfying content, while also utilizing SEO best practices to bring searchers additional value.”
The official helpful content update page lists two people-first content components:
meeting user needs
best practices for SEO
Always read official guidelines, not unsolicited suggestions.
SEO will work till search engines die.
How to use the update
Google said the changes will arrive in August 2022.
They pledged to post updates on Google's search ranking updates page.
Google also tweets this info. If you haven't followed it already, I recommend it.
Ranking adjustments could take two weeks and will affect English searches internationally initially.
Google affirmed plans to extend to other languages.
If you own a website, monitor your rankings and traffic to see if it's affected.
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26 days ago
8 Communication Hacks I Use as a Young Employee
Learn these subtle cues to gain influence.
Hate being ignored?
As a 24-year-old, I struggled at work. Attention-getting tips How to avoid being judged by my size, gender, and lack of wrinkles or gray hair?
I've learned seniority hacks. Influence. Within two years as a product manager, I led a team. I'm a Stanford MBA student.
These communication hacks can make you look senior and influential.
1. Slowly speak
We speak quickly because we're afraid of being interrupted.
When I doubt my ideas, I speak quickly. How can we slow down? Jamie Chapman says speaking slowly saps our energy.
Chapman suggests emphasizing certain words and pausing.
2. Interrupted? Stop the stopper
Someone interrupt your speech?
Don't wait. "May I finish?" No pause needed. Stop interrupting. I first tried this in Leadership Laboratory at Stanford. How quickly I gained influence amazed me.
Next time, try “May I finish?” If that’s not enough, try these other tips from Wendy R.S. O’Connor.
Others don't always see what's obvious to you.
Through explanation, you help others see the big picture. If a senior knows it, you help them see where your work fits.
4. Don't ask questions in statements
“Your statement lost its effect when you ended it on a high pitch,” a group member told me. Upspeak, it’s called. I do it when I feel uncertain.
Upspeak loses influence and credibility. Unneeded. When unsure, we can say "I think." We can even ask a proper question.
Someone else's boasting is no reason to be dismissive. As leaders and colleagues, we should listen to our colleagues even if they use this speech pattern.
Give your words impact.
5. Signpost structure
Signposts improve clarity by providing structure and transitions.
Communication coach Alexander Lyon explains how to use "first," "second," and "third" He explains classic and summary transitions to help the listener switch topics.
Signs clarify. Clarity matters.
6. Eliminate email fluff
“Fine. When will the report be ready? — Jeff.”
Notice how senior leaders write short, direct emails? I often use formalities like "dear," "hope you're well," and "kind regards"
Formality is (usually) unnecessary.
7. Replace exclamation marks with periods
See how junior an exclamation-filled email looks:
Hope you’re as excited as I am for tomorrow! We’re celebrating our accomplishments with cake! Join us tomorrow at 2 pm!
See you soon!
Why the exclamation points? Why not just one?
Hope you’re as excited as I am for tomorrow. We’re celebrating our accomplishments with cake. Join us tomorrow at 2 pm!
See you soon.
8. Take space
"Playing high" means having an open, relaxed body, says Stanford professor and author Deborah Gruenfield.
Crossed legs or looking small? Relax. Get bigger.
2 months ago
What I learned from my experience as a recent graduate working in venture capital
Every week I meet many people interested in VC. Many of them ask me what it's like to be a junior analyst in VC or what I've learned so far.
Looking back, I've learned many things as a junior VC, having gone through an almost-euphoric peak bull market, failed tech IPOs of 2019 including WeWorks' catastrophic fall, and the beginnings of a bearish market.
1. Network, network, network!
VCs spend 80% of their time networking. Junior VCs source deals or manage portfolios. You spend your time bringing startups to your fund or helping existing portfolio companies grow. Knowing stakeholders (corporations, star talent, investors) in your particular areas of investment helps you develop your portfolio.
Networking was one of my strengths. When I first started in the industry, I'd go to startup events and meet 50 people a month. Over time, I realized these relationships were shallow and I was only getting business cards. So I stopped seeing networking as a transaction. VC is a long-term game, so you should work with people you like. Now I know who I click with and can build deeper relationships with them. My network is smaller but more valuable than before.
2. The Most Important Metric Is Founder
People often ask how we pick investments. Why some companies can raise money and others can't is a mystery. The founder is the most important metric for VCs. When a company is young, the product, environment, and team all change, but the founder remains constant. VCs bet on the founder, not the company.
How do we decide which founders are best after 2-3 calls? When looking at a founder's profile, ask why this person can solve this problem. The founders' track record will tell. If the founder is a serial entrepreneur, you know he/she possesses the entrepreneur DNA and will likely succeed again. If it's his/her first startup, focus on industry knowledge to deliver the best solution.
3. A company's fate can be determined by macrotrends.
Macro trends are crucial. A company can have the perfect product, founder, and team, but if it's solving the wrong problem, it won't succeed. I've also seen average companies ride the wave to success. When you're on the right side of a trend, there's so much demand that more companies can get a piece of the pie.
In COVID-19, macro trends made or broke a company. Ed-tech and health-tech companies gained unicorn status and raised funding at inflated valuations due to sudden demand. With the easing of pandemic restrictions and the start of a bear market, many of these companies' valuations are in question.
4. Look for methods to ACTUALLY add value.
You only need to go on VC twitter (read: @vcstartterkit and @vcbrags) for 5 minutes or look at fin-meme accounts on Instagram to see how much VCs claim to add value but how little they actually do. VC is a long-term game, though. Long-term, founders won't work with you if you don't add value.
How can we add value when we're young and have no network? Leaning on my strengths helped me. Instead of viewing my age and limited experience as a disadvantage, I realized that I brought a unique perspective to the table.
As a VC, you invest in companies that will be big in 5-7 years, and millennials and Gen Z will have the most purchasing power. Because you can relate to that market, you can offer insights that most Partners at 40 can't. I added value by helping with hiring because I had direct access to university talent pools and by finding university students for product beta testing.
5. Develop your personal brand.
Generalists or specialists run most funds. This means that funds either invest across industries or have a specific mandate. Most funds are becoming specialists, I've noticed. Top-tier founders don't lack capital, so funds must find other ways to attract them. Why would a founder work with a generalist fund when a specialist can offer better industry connections and partnership opportunities?
Same for fund members. Founders want quality investors. Become a thought leader in your industry to meet founders. Create content and share your thoughts on industry-related social media. When I first started building my brand, I found it helpful to interview industry veterans to create better content than I could on my own. Over time, my content attracted quality founders so I didn't have to look for them.
These are my biggest VC lessons. This list isn't exhaustive, but it's my industry survival guide.
2 months ago
Start organizing your ideas by using The Second Brain.
Building A Second Brain helps us remember connections, ideas, inspirations, and insights. Using contemporary technologies and networks increases our intelligence.
This approach makes and preserves concepts. It's a straightforward, practical way to construct a second brain—a remote, centralized digital store for your knowledge and its sources.
How to build ‘The Second Brain’
Have you forgotten any brilliant ideas? What insights have you ignored?
We're pressured to read, listen, and watch informative content. Where did the data go? What happened?
Our brains can store few thoughts at once. Our brains aren't idea banks.
Building a Second Brain helps us remember thoughts, connections, and insights. Using digital technologies and networks expands our minds.
Ten Rules for Creating a Second Brain
1. Creative Stealing
Instead of starting from scratch, integrate other people's ideas with your own.
This way, you won't waste hours starting from scratch and can focus on achieving your goals.
Users of Notion can utilize and customize each other's templates.
2. The Habit of Capture
We must record every idea, concept, or piece of information that catches our attention since our minds are fragile.
When reading a book, listening to a podcast, or engaging in any other topic-related activity, save and use anything that resonates with you.
3. Recycle Your Ideas
Reusing our own ideas across projects might be advantageous since it helps us tie new information to what we already know and avoids us from starting a project with no ideas.
4. Projects Outside of Category
Instead of saving an idea in a folder, group it with documents for a project or activity.
If you want to be more productive, gather suggestions.
5. Burns Slowly
Even if you could finish a job, work, or activity if you focused on it, you shouldn't.
You'll get tired and can't advance many projects. It's easier to divide your routine into daily tasks.
Few hours of daily study is more productive and healthier than entire nights.
6. Begin with a surplus
Instead of starting with a blank sheet when tackling a new subject, utilise previous articles and research.
You may have read or saved related material.
7. Intermediate Packets
A bunch of essay facts.
You can utilize it as a document's section or paragraph for different tasks.
Memorize useful information so you can use it later.
8. You only know what you make
We can see, hear, and read about anything.
What matters is what we do with the information, whether that's summarizing it or writing about it.
9. Make it simpler for yourself in the future.
Create documents or files that your future self can easily understand. Use your own words, mind maps, or explanations.
10. Keep your thoughts flowing.
If you don't employ the knowledge in your second brain, it's useless.
Few people exercise despite knowing its benefits.
You may continually move your activities and goals closer to completion by organizing and applying your information in a way that is results-focused.
Profit from the information economy's explosive growth by turning your specialized knowledge into cash.
Make up original patterns and linkages between topics.
You may reduce stress and information overload by appropriately curating and managing your personal information stream.
Learn how to apply your significant experience and specific knowledge to a new job, business, or profession.
Without having to adhere to tight, time-consuming constraints, accumulate a body of relevant knowledge and concepts over time.
Take advantage of all the learning materials that are at your disposal, including podcasts, online courses, webinars, books, and articles.