Entrepreneurs – Why Is Mentoring Important for You?

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When I was reading the recent Startup Genome Report, I saw that Silicon Valley has again come out on top as the best start eco-system in the world. When I was going through the parameters that made Silicon Valley the best, I noticed an important fact. Silicon Valley has the largest number of mentors and serial entrepreneurs as opposed to other startup eco-systems globally.

Which brings me to the discussion of the need for mentors for an entrepreneur.

The word "Mentor" is misunderstood in the context of our lives. Who is a mentor and what does a mentor do? Why do we need a mentor? Can we do without a mentor? Is it a must-have?

Oxford Dictionary defines mentor as "An Experienced and Trusted Adviser" .

Since times immemorial, every successful leader had a mentor. In family owned business, mentors were usually one's father or uncle or some trusted person associated with the well-being of the family. Famous politicians had mentors. Emperors had mentors.

The term "Mentor" has been age-old.

In today's context of entrepreneurship, the term mentor has taken more holistic guidance but its ethos still remain the same.

So why should an entrepreneur have a mentor:

1. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey – Whether you have friends, you have a life partner, your girlfriend / boyfriend, the path of entrepreneurship still seems very lonely. And none of your "social" and "personal" circle can understand this loneliness that you have. Having a mentor makes it easier to talk to someone and ease your path a little bit more

2. Have someone to report to – In entrepreneurship, you are your own boss. You have to define your own metrics and stick to them.You have only yourself to answer to. Yes, customer is the ultimate person to whom you are answerable, but unless you stick to the metrics you have defined for yourself, there will be no customers. Having a mentor helps you to be more accountable

3. You fight numerous personal battles – Entrepreneurship is as much about external situations, as much as it is internal. In fact I would say, entrepreneurship is more an internal battle than an external. You will be going through a wide range of emotions which none can understand. Having a mentor makes it easier to win those personal battles

4. You are often clueless – There will be times, when you will be clueless as to what you should be doing next. Whether you should build "this" feature or "that" feature, whether you should change your marketing strategy or whether you should target a different customer segment. An experienced mentor can help you and guide you into the right direction.

5. Contacts – An experienced mentor brings with him / her a wealth of contacts. These contacts are what is needed often to give you the break that you need to grow.

How should you select a mentor?

You should take your time to select a mentor. Some of the things you should look for are:

1. Do you share a good camaraderie with the mentor

2. Are you comfortable being yourself with the mentor

3. Is the mentor reputed in his / her field

4. Whether the mentor is giving you advice that you feel is valuable to your growth

5. Is the mentor very honest in his association

6. Whether the mentor has any conflicting interest working with you.

7. What does the mentor bring to the table which you can never do it by yourself

How should you engage with a mentor?

Take time to find the right mentor. Mentorship is not a "profession". It is about someone giving his / her time for you because he / she really believes in you and your vision. When you talk to people, you will know who are genuinely interested in you and who are not. Have multiple conversations. Meet with them, take them out for drinks, discuss about your business. Listen to what they have to say. The more you listen, the better will be your understanding of a mentor.

Never work on retainer fee model upfront. Gauge each other's qualities before getting into formal business agreement. When you see value in someone, you will want to retain that person. So wait till you get that value.

Is your mentor your savior?

No, never. And do not expect him / her to be your savior. You are responsible for your own business. So man up and take responsibility for your actions. A Mentor is someone who brings in his / her experience to help you. But he / she is not god. To Err is human.

How do you find such mentors?

You can find the best mentor in someone from your family. But chances are less that your mother or father will always give you a neutral view-point of you and your business. So usually someone who is not related to you works better, except of course you own a family business.

Find people in the same industry as yours, who have been successful. Attend and network at events. Get connected to the best and the most hard-working people in the business world. The best mentors are often the quietest and the most low profile ones. So take time to find them.

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Source by Raunak Guha

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How Social Networking Sites Can Derail Your Job Search

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For many, the start of a new year means the start of a new job search using the internet to research employers. For up coming college graduates in particular, it is opportunity to get a head start in getting their careers of the ground using online resources. At the same time, many employers are also researching potential job candidates through Google, Myspace.com and Facebook.com and what they are finding could have been used as reasons not to hire you.

A recent poll managed for Careerbuilder.com showed that 26 percent of hiring managers admitted to using the Internet to perform background checks on job candidates. A further 12 percent informed to using social networking sites such as MySpace.com and Facebook.com as a screening tool.

For many college students, social networking sites such as Facebook.com and Myspace.com are a core part of their cyber profile used for networking. However, many students are surprised to learn that their candid and sometimes sexually explicit photos and the details of their drinking and dating lives in their profiles can negatively affect their job search. Those disparaging comments, risqué photos, inappropriate language and lewd jokes posted on their profiles could have been viewed as a reflection of their character by a potential employer.

According to an HR director, people should carefully consider their potential audience and the impression they may have based on your pictures, personal opinions, and ideas posted online. "We were in the process of extending an offer to a great candidate, until his myspace page was brought to our attention. profile highlighted his recreational drug use. This made us immediately reconsiderer hiring him, "says an HR Director for a financial services company in Toronto, Ontario. "Our company is very conscious of client relations and our public image and we could not risks this candidacy's background being taken as a reflection of organization."

A recent poll of Resume Solutions student clients showed that over 60% of the respondents were unaware that their profiles on social networking websites could have been viewed by potential employers. This is surprising, despite the increased media attention focused on employees reviewing Myspace and Facebook prior to making shaving decisions.

Prior to starting a new job search, it is recommended that job seekers perform a Google search on their names to find out what a potential employer may read or see about them online. If any questionable content is discovered, that is content you would not feel comfortable if an employee or your parents view, then request that the site's webmaster remove it immediately. Questionable content may include nude photos, slanderous comments or those drunken pictures from your Cancun vacation. Keep in mind you may encounter resistance in getting the content removed, however, you can let them know that they may be affecting your future job prospects and you may have no choice but to seek legal recourse. For that information, absolutely you can not have removed due to lack of control, construct a plausible answer to counter or explain away to a hiring manager.

We are not advocating that social networking sites are to be used solely for job searching or building a web portfolio of your resume and job skills, but it makes sense to remove as much of the negative content about yourself as is possible. You should be smart and discreet in their online communications and consider creating private profiles for just your family members and friends.
There are many ways to create a "positive cyber profile" that does not affect your career prospects. College students can create personal web pages and profiles at social networking sites that include their resumes, hobbies and interests, details on leadership activities or academic successes. You can also include photos of yourself but ensure they do not include explicit materials.

Job seekers can use their online profiles to demonstrate their excellent communication skills, establish a professional image of themselves prior to an in person meeting, demonstrate their creativity and diverse interest – things that can set them apart from other job seekers.
As more and more users flock to social networking sites, the affect the sites have on the job search and candidate screening may include employers going even deeper into candidate's personal and professional lives. It is therefore advisable to put nothing online that have the potential to hurt your future job prospects and include anything that would help you in landing a new job. Use common sense when creating an online profile. Remember that employers who do online searches are looking for reasons not to hire you, by searching for any detail that could embarrass or put their company at risk.

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Source by Surranna Sandy

How to Market Your Book on Twitter

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If you've been on the web at all in the last three years, you've probably heard of Twitter. You may have heard that people have used it to drive traffic to their sites. And, if you're an author, you've probably heard of other authors using it to sell copies of their books or ebooks.

Twitter can be a powerful social media tool for building awareness of you and your books. Many authors, however, do not use it well and see poor results. In this article, we'll discuss how to use Twitter effectively.

1. Gradually accumulate followers representative of your target audience

Some authors go out and follow everyone and their dog (sometimes using automated services to do so) while others only follow a few people, if anyone. While the first tactic can get you a lot of followers, it'll be dumb luck if any of them actually read books in your gen or area of ​​expertise. If you do not bother amassing any followers, however, nobody is going to notice your posts or 'tweets.'

There are many third-party tools that make it easy to find followers who share your common interests, but we'll just use the basic Twitter page for now. Try searching for people talking about things related to your books. For example, if you're a space opera author, you might search for folks talking about science fiction or Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, etc. Folks talking about such topics are just the kinds of Twitter users or 'tweeps' you'd want following you, because they're the right audience. They're fans of the genre, and maybe they want to read your books and they just do not know it yet.

Try following people you've selected as potential fans (you can always un-follow them later if they ignore you). If you can, retweet one of their messages or send them a friendly comment on one of their recent tweets. Many people will not automatically follow back, but this lets them know you're a human being interested in the same things as they are. You can also look at their following / followers numbers to get an idea on whether they tend to follow folks back. People who have far more followers than people they follow will probably think they're too special to bother with you (hmmphf!). Those who only follow a few people probably use Twitter mainly to interact with friends. You can try following anyway, but do not hold your breath waiting for a follow-back.

2. Tweet interesting messages, not just promotional content

Another area where authors fail is by only – or predominately – tweeting about their books. People log on Twitter for a social experience, not to be sold to. This does not mean you can not throw in a promotional link now and then, but do not hound folks every day.

Instead, use your profile space to mention your book and add a link to your author site. In your actual tweets, work on becoming someone interesting people want to follow and read about. Share links to news-worthy blog posts or sites related to your book / genre. Retweet other people's tweets. Mention funny or unique things that happen in your life. Mix it up. People want to follow people, not link-spitting machines that never let their personality – or humanity! – show.

By using those tactics, you'll have no trouble growing a list of followers who might just become buyers of your books. At the least, they can help you spread the word.

Good luck!

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Source by La Buroker

Utilize Google AdWords To Send Visitors To Your Internet Sites

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Google AdWords is the most used advertising technique on earth in regard to volume. If you desire to send traffic to your blog, this is a strategy users should use. If users do not how this works, it is very easy. Any time a person enters a query on Google, they use certain keywords in that query. This tells Google's query engine marketing application to search for specific websites associated to these phrases. At the same time, it also uncovers commercials directly correlated to these phrases. After all, the majority of individuals searching on Google are aiming to resolve a problem. If a targeted ad purported to resolve this obstacle, would not you click on the link to examine the site? Of course users would, and millions of people around the globe do as well.

To begin utilizing Google AdWords is simple. You can simply just enter that phrase into Google, and then navigate over. Register for an account in about five minutes and you are good to go. Each AdWords account is subject to permission, so it may take a day or two before your account is approved. Now before users go sending large quantities of ads all over the net, users should really concentrate on your central customer. Think of the phrases that would choose if they were seeking for your product. This is often the exact thing done when working on search engine optimization for a web site, but utilizing it for advertising. users want to break down your advertising into groups, with each group of ads targeted at a particular niche of client that you need to visit your website. Once users have them up and running, users can examine the click through, conversion and various other analytics and create adjustments to perfect the ads over time.

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Source by Lisa Sanderson

Facebook Infidelity – Harmless Flirting Online Can Lead To A Full Blown Affair

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Being a victim of a cheating partner it is indeed a painful experience. What makes it even a more haunting one is when your partner has been doing the wrong deed right under your nose, or in some cases, right in your computer. To avoid feeling stupid and sometimes, feeling responsible for keeping a blind eye to your partner’s illicit Facebook activities it is indeed a good idea to explore more about this field.

There are millions of people engaged in Facebook each second. You can’t blame it! It is indeed addicting to interact with people. There’s a famous saying, “No man is an island”, and this constant need of human beings to socialize and connect to its own specie dates back to early human civilizations.

Prehistoric men and women used to hold storytelling sessions with their tribes around bonfires during nightfall. This is part of their civilization. As humans, it is within our genetic make up to belong and be accepted in a circle, a group, a society.

With today’s technological advances, the early storytelling rituals have evolved into an easier, faster and more convenient way of communication- sans bonfires and tribe leaders. Facebook has changed the course of sociology by simply reinventing the modes of long distance communication.

How powerful is Facebook?

Facebook defies distance. It doesn’t matter if your friend is in Greece and you live in a small town called Wallah-Wallah, you can still gain access to his daily endeavors. Facebook defies time. It allows for two people, who have not seen each other for decades, to reconnect and update each other.

Facebook defies privacy. Today, we can tell exactly what one person is thinking, we can identify his whereabouts and even his most embarrassing photos on the internet can now be spread like wildfire. Thanks to

Facebook photo-tagging.

Unfortunately, because of these conveniences, we also need to pay a price. Facebook can also defy fidelity in a relationship. By simply clicking on old flames, we can get ourselves in a whole lot of trouble.

The works

It begins with a simple click of a button. You check your Friends Request List, and find out that your old classmate added you as her friend. Facebook then asks you, do you “Confirm” or “Ignore”? Many people do not understand that this is the most critical point in one person’s social and emotional life. By confirming a friend into one’s Facebook account, you are actually allowing this person to gain access to your life.

So which button do you click? How can you spare yourself from a potential damage to your current relationship? How can you tell if it is safe or if it’s swimming in unchartered waters? These are just questions that will inevitably run into your mind at this point. And usually, if not all the time, we stick to our biological make up. We hit Confirm!

The next thing we know, we are chatting with the new and improved versions of our grade school seatmate who used to tease us about our high pitched laughs back then. And perhaps during that time the teasing seemed annoying, if not merely platonic, today these kinds of “harmless” teasing can seem endearing.

Thus, a little flirtation can go on. Taking a tour down memory lane as we rekindle with past crushes, ex love affairs, high school flings, college quarterback stars and even that hot ex-coworker whom we never got to date because we used to be too self conscious back then, can be truly very engaging.

Today it can be high school, college, or small town Temecula all over again. Although this can be good news to our social life, this is definitely bad news to our current relationships. Why? It is simply because it creates a bigger avenue for reconnecting with people we don’t want our partners to know about.

Facebook and its relation to cheating

In the science of emotional cheating the concept is not focused on sexual activities. Emotional infidelity is actually more rooted on the side of emotional closeness. The desire of one person to feel more connected and comfortable with a person instead of his or her partner defines the gateway to all infidelity cases. Facebook is a tool that opens that gateway even wider.

If we open our eyes we can actually realize the many points of conversation there is available for our partners to discuss with their controversial Facebook friends. They don’t even need to feel that uncomfortable nervousness in initiating conversations because Facebook gives them the privilege of a non personal approach.

This means that talking to your crush in person, for example, is even more threatening to the ego than sitting behind a computer and typing in your pick up lines. Internet communications makes you less vulnerable than personal correspondence.

Hence, writing compliments and flatteries on the comments box of one’s Facebook photo or clicking on the “Like” button under his or her status can definitely open a whole can of worms in an existing relationship.

So how do we know which actions are safe and which are deal breakers? Good question.

First of all you need to ask yourself. What will I benefit from this? What is my intent? Say you are on the verge of accepting a friend request from an ex girlfriend. You need to be able to assess if your partner is okay with the idea and if you and that ex have clearly established a suitable closure to your romantic relationship because ever engaging in a platonic one. If not, then this may not be a good time to be clicking that “Confirm” button.

If we turn the tables around and you are contemplating about adding your ridiculously good looking next door neighbor into your Facebook friends, what is your intention behind this idea? Do you really just want him to be your friend? Or are you making things harder for yourself if he will begin flirting with you in Facebook? If so then better just skip him and go on to searching for your long lost relatives instead.

How do you know which comments are appropriate?

Again think first before you say what’s on your mind. Do you ignite a fire by making flirty and sexually-provoking remarks about a friend’s Beach Vacation album, such as “I’d like to get dirty on the sand too, LOL! Hahaha!”?

Or as a respect to your current partner, would you rather just write down neutral and safe comments such as “The weather looks nice out there!”? These are the simple yet very powerful things that one needs to consider before creating any emotional damage into your relationship.

What to do when Facebook flirtation gets initiated by other people?

Communicate with your partner! Inform him or her right away because sooner or later if that issue would be raised in the future and you have failed to let your partner know it can be used against you. Always make sure that your hands are clean in every situation.

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Source by Jason Dee Dickson

How to Get Facebook Likes – 4 Proven Ways

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If you’ve just set up a Facebook fan page, your next concern would most likely be how to get Facebook likes for it. Truth is, there are countless techniques out there that you may employ at some point with the time-honored trial and error approach. But if you want quick results, you should focus on these tested techniques for increasing Facebook likes.

Leverage Existing Networks

It makes more sense to devote your initial efforts to getting more Facebook likes to people you already interact with. Ask your relatives, friends, colleagues, employees, and online contacts on Facebook and other social networks to like your Facebook page. While it may be tempting, don’t jump to Facebook’s suggest feature for asking them to like your page. It’s wiser to stagger your like campaign prioritizing the people closest to you or are already familiar with your Facebook fan page and the business, service, product or brand you’re promoting. You can then proceed farther away from your social circle until you’re satisfied with the likes you’re getting.

Tasks:

· Include your Facebook page vanity URL in your email signature

· Chat with your online contacts about liking the page

· Post like buttons and a Facebook Like Box on your Website or blog

· Ask friends and relatives to promote your Facebook fan page if they can

Connect to Your Offline Activities

This is an often ignored method for getting Facebook likes, but connecting your offline activities and marketing efforts to your Facebook like campaign can be a very effective strategy. In fact, it’s a lot better to ask this as a favor in person than say, sending a request or email. Discuss your Facebook fan page and its benefits to the people you meet whenever possible. Include your vanity URL on your marketing and promotional materials.

Tasks:

· Include your Facebook like page URL on your business cards, brochures and ads

· If you have a brick-and-mortar store, post notices about your page on prominent areas

· Discuss your Facebook fan page on networking events you attend

· Find other Facebook like page owners in related industries to exchange links with

Run a Facebook Ad

This one will cost you some money, but if you’re serious about your Facebook like page campaign and you implement the ad wisely, you’re sure to see handsome returns. The idea here is to use Facebook’s in-house advertising platform to reach out to your target demographics and markets who might not find you otherwise. It’s actually rather easy, because Facebook’s ad wizard can help you whittle down your ad exposure to your desired demographic, i.e. people who have liked similar pages, live in the same locality, within your target age bracket, etc.

Tasks:

· Limited budget? Run ads only on select parts of the year when you need more exposure

· Align your Facebook ad with an existing promotion, limited offer or key development

· Run themed ads on special occasions and holidays

Post Exclusive Content and Special Offers

Ever heard of a reveal tab? It’s a custom Facebook page tab that serves as a default landing or welcome page for non-fans. In it, you can welcome non-fans to your page with information and a call to action for them to click like. But it you’ll definitely get more likes if you try to offer exclusive or premium content for liking your page, such as a discount, a free report, a great video or some other incentive. It’s used in a lot of pages, and is one of the most powerful ways to get more likes.

Tasks:

· Decide on what exclusive offers you can provide your likers

· Hire a designer or better yet, get a software to help you customize your Facebook page

· Don’t forget to monitor your success rates

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Source by Gary O’ Brien

Internet Marketing For Newbies – Google AdSense

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Google AdSense is an awesome, amazing tool that can make you a lot of money for doing very little work. That is, once you understand it and the techniques that go into making it work for you. Google AdSense is a program through Google that has you put advertisements on your website and in return you will get paid every time someone clicks on one of the ads.

When I first began internet marketing I made the beginner mistake of just slapping ads where ever I wanted and expected them to make me money. But I found out that there is more to it than that.

One very basic tip is do not add Google AdSense to your website before it is finished. Google AdSense ads are generally based on the content of your website. If you put Google AdSense on a page that has nothing on it, Google will simply send random ads to that page. But it won’t change as soon as you update your page. It could be days or even weeks before Google crawls your site and tells AdSense to run a different set of ads that are more relevant to your site.

Another tip is to read the Google AdSense Terms of Service before you place your ads anywhere. In case you don’t want to read through all the legal mumbo-jumbo, here is a quick breakdown of what you can not do with Google AdSense:

  • Pornography, adult or mature content
  • Violent content
  • Content related to racial intolerance or advocacy against any individual, group or organisation
  • Excessive profanity
  • Hacking/cracking content
  • Gambling or casino-related content
  • Illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia content
  • Sales of beer or hard alcohol
  • Sales of tobacco or tobacco-related products
  • Sales of prescription drugs

Sales of weapons or ammunition

  • Sales of products that are replicas or imitations of designer goods
  • Sales or distribution of coursework or student essays
  • Content regarding programs which compensate users for clicking ads or offers, performing searches, surfing websites or reading emails
  • Any other content that is illegal, promotes illegal activity or infringes on the legal rights of others “

When I was new to internet marketing I hadn’t read Google AdSense’s TOS and made some mistakes. Luckily I caught them before Google did and saved my butt. Hopefully that list will help keep you out of trouble as well.

Google pays out once per month and you have to have a certain amount in your account otherwise it rolls over to the next month and you have to continue building on that amount. Even if you reach the amount where Google pays out, you still have to wait until the month is over to be paid. If you selected to get paid by check then you must have $100 built up in your account and Google will take $10 for having to pay you by check. If you prefer to be paid via PayPal or direct deposit into your bank account then Google pays out at $10 and there is no charge to you for that.

If you want more information on Google AdSense and how you maximize your profits with a passive income then you should check out sites like Internet Marketing For Newbies.

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Source by Adam F Miller