Angie’s List Founder Leads with Her Introversion — and Has Thrived For Two Decades

To be a great leader, you don’t need to be anyone but yourself. May 25, 2018 8 min read In this series, Open Every Door, Entrepreneur staff writer Nina Zipkin shares her conversations with leaders about understanding what you have to offer, navigating the obstacles that will block your path, identifying opportunity and creating it for yourself and for others. When you’re starting a new venture, even if you think it’s a great idea, when you look at the competition, and some of the most successful entrepreneurs, it can be so easy to doubt yourself — especially if you don’t see other leaders who look like you or approach things the way you do. In 1995, with her economics degree in hand, Angie Hicks found herself at a fork in the road. Did she go the more conventional route and take a gig as a business consultant or take the leap […]

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What’s the Secret to Becoming a Leader? Stop Being a Boss.

Striving to become a legendary leader? Ditch those management habits — fast — and focus on the bigger picture.. May 22, 2018 7 min read Although the difference between managers and leaders appears almost nitpicky at face value, it’s actually quite distinct. The former control the direction of progress through existing and emerging processes; the latter provide vision and inspiration without getting in the trenches. Think of leaders as premium fuel and managers as an efficient engine: Both are necessary to get a sports car from one destination to another. That distinction, however, is darn hard to implement in most companies. Related: 10 Traits of Managers Whose Teams Are Happy to Come to Work The basic issue is that when strong managers rise to leadership levels, they’re expected to change their way of doing things. But just because they boast a C-suite title doesn’t mean they can let go of their […]

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A Meeting Agenda Guide That Actually Works (Infographic)

Running a meeting isn’t always easy. However, this guide will make them a piece of cake. May 19, 2018 2 min read Meetings can go two ways: They can end up being hour-long slow-talking processes that rarely cover what they needed to cover, or they can be productive, to-the-point collaborative get-togethers that solve problems and move a business forward. Clearly, everyone should strive for the latter case. How can that be done, you might ask? Start with setting a strong agenda. By having a clear agenda to guide your meeting, you can ensure you cover what needs to be covered, get to the point and waste no one’s time. Meetings are major opportunities to move a business forward. Related: Why Elon Musk Hates Meetings First on your meeting agenda, list out the topics you’d like to cover, how long to spend on each, who will be leading them, their levels of importance […]

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Free Chrome Extensions for Entrepreneurs With Crazy Long To-Do Lists and Too Many Open Tabs

Trick out your browser to simplify your life. If you spend all day in your browser, you need to get organized. You’re likely toggling among social media accounts, email, shared documents, search queries, to-do lists and articles you’re meaning to read, and when the tabs pile up, it can be hard to focus. You might try keeping things in separate windows or on separate monitors, but that doesn’t change the fact that most of what you’re looking at is likely browser-based. Google Chrome is your connection to nearly everything you need to access, but the trouble is, it’s also a window to distractions. That’s why it’s up to you to hack it, to tame it and to download a bunch of browser extensions that will put you back in control. Related: A Guide to Reducing Unneeded Distractions and Time-Sucks So You Can Be More Productive Read on for 15 browser […]

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How This Entrepreneur Saved a Damaged Brand (Remember About.com?)

Learn how Neil Vogel took over the old internet giant About.com and transformed it into a thriving company called Dotdash. May 15, 2018 2 min read This is an episode of our podcast Problem Solvers. Each week, an entrepreneur reveals how they overcame an unexpected problem in their business — and were happier and more successful as a result. The show is hosted by Entrepreneur’s editor in chief, Jason Feifer. Listen below, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. How do you give new life to an old company? Bring new vision to a place that lost its own? And how do you bring your team — and your new audience! — along for the change? Those are the challenges Neil Vogel faced when taking over the old internet giant About.com and transforming it into a thriving company called Dotdash. Related: This Entrepreneur Shares How He Sold the Product That Everyone […]

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Open Offices Are Destroying Productivity

The open office was an exciting innovation in 1900, and people didn’t like it then, either. May 15, 2018 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. For as long as there have been businesses in operation, leaders have been looking for ways to boost productivity in the workplace. In 1856, the British government conducted a report on office space layouts. The report said, “For the intellectual work, separate rooms are necessary so that a person who works with his head may not be interrupted; but for the more mechanical work, the working in concert of a number of clerks in the same room under proper superintendence, is the proper mode of meeting it.” Fast-forward to 1906 and the opening of the Larkin Administration Building. Dubbed the first modern office, the building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and highlighted an open office plan. The open-office concept […]

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5 Rules for Staying In Charge of Your Inbox

Work smart to manage your messages, and not the other way around. May 11, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. I am inundated with emails. I get hundreds a day, and make sure there’s resolution to each and every one. With the influx of messages, I could easily spend the near-entirety of every day replying, in conversation, typing. However, I have a business to run, and being in the business of eliminating the idea of waste, I need every ounce of the time and energy I have. Related: The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Etiquette Staying in control of my schedule is one of the most important ways I stay productive. On the surface, busying yourself with email exchanges may seem innocuous, even industrious. But, the truth is, emails can be a time zapper and a productivity drainer. Letting your email set your agenda distracts […]

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What the ‘Sixers School of Management’ Teaches Us About Strategy Execution 101

‘Trust the process!’ To envision a winning strategy, you need a Sam Hinkie. To execute effectively, you need a Brett Brown. May 8, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Trust the process! For years, this stadium-shaking chant has been filling Philly’s Wells Fargo Arena as the Philadelphia 76ers (“Sixers,” for short) have evolved from an epically atrocious band of losers to championship contenders. How was this possible? We hometown fans have taken a keen interest in this question, even as the NBA playoffs continue. Related: What the NBA Playoffs Can Teach You About Client Acquisition We think the team’s resurgence should interest our fellow entrepreneurs, too. If you want a lesson in how to execute a strategy, look no further than the contrast between the numbers-oriented Sam Hinkie, the Sixers’ former general manager, and the team’s current people-person coach, Brett Brown. Hinkie had what management gurus call […]

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9 Ways to Focus a Wandering Mind (Infographic)

Staying focused isn’t always easy. Here are some tricks to help. May 6, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Whether you’re daydreaming about a tropical beach or envisioning yourself getting a promotion, the mind has a tendency to wander. While at times it might feel difficult to reel it back into reality, it’s important to be able to control your focus and concentration in order to get things done. Related: 13 Ways to Develop Laser-Like Focus Of course, that’s easier said than done. But with a few quick changes, you’ll be well on your way to controlling your wandering mind and increasing your concentration. It might sound ironic, but one place to start is actually by adding distractions, according to a study by University College London. However, that doesn’t mean any distraction will do. For example, playing music without lyrics adds to background noise and helps […]

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10 Techniques to Meet a Deadline (Infographic)

With these helpful tips, you’ll never miss a deadline. May 5, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Missing a deadline can make you look bad — or even worse, make you lose a job or fail a class. Whatever the scenario might be, you should always get your work finished on time. However, due to all of the distractions in our lives, it can be difficult to hunker down and get things done. Luckily, there are a few techniques to help you meet deadlines. Related: 5 Ways to Never Miss a Deadline For starters, clarify exactly what is expected from you. When you understand exactly what needs to be done, you’re already setting yourself up for success. Of course, sometimes you might feel stress or pressure from a long-winded assignment and an upcoming deadline. Instead of freaking out, take a second to breathe and ask yourself […]

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How to Deal With Distractions Stealing Time Away From Your To-Do List

New research says gripping tightly to your to do-list might actually be harming your productivity. May 2, 2018 3 min read Many successful entrepreneurs swear by some variation of the to-do list. Barbara Corcoran maintains several on her phone at the same time. Casper’s Jeff Chapin prefers using sticky notes. Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann is a fan of apps such as Clear. Randi Zuckerberg sets regular alarms to spur her back into action. But in any given day, there will be things that will throw you off course: an unexpected meeting, dealing with a customer complaint, or maybe you just didn’t get enough sleep and your third cup of coffee isn’t cutting it. Your impulse might be to stay the course as best you can and not let distractions sap your productivity. But a recent study from University of Texas, University of Maryland and UCLA sought to explore how effective […]

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Can the Annual Review Be Replaced By an App?

More companies are turning to apps that offer real-time feedback from bosses, peers and subordinates alike. But do they work? May 2, 2018 7 min read This story appears in the May 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » There are few workplace institutions so widely reviled as the annual performance review. Managers dread them because they’re time-­consuming to prepare and nerve-racking to deliver. Employees see the review process as upsetting and outdated. In a recent study conducted by the software company Adobe, 59 percent of office workers said reviews had no impact on the way they approached their work, and 37 percent said they had reacted to a review by looking for a new job.  Related: The 10 Golden Rules of Effective Management When it comes to providing companies with solid appraisals of their people, performance reviews disappoint there, too. The management research firm CEB Global reports that nearly nine in 10 […]

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Powerful Productivity Tips to Get More Done in Less Time

Be more productive by getting your mind and body in sync. April 24, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you’re working on a deadline, trying to build something in your free time while working a full-time job or just hoping to be more productive, Entrepreneur Network partner Ben Angel can teach you strategies that will help you get more done in less time. These strategies can get your body and mind in sync so you have better focus when you need it.  You might need to take a look at any potential food sensitivities and your sugar intake to see how you can change your diet, or make other simple changes that will make a big difference in the long run. Click play to learn more and get more done. Related: How to Get Into Your Most Productive Zone — Faster Entrepreneur Network is a premium […]

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13 Ways to Develop Laser-Like Focus

Here are some surprising ways to help boost your focus and performance. April 24, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you want to be successful, you have to find strategies that will help you focus despite all of the distractions that prevent you from doing the task at hand. Luckily, with the help of science, developing laser-like focus is easier than you think. Related: The Most Successful People Learn How to Focus on the Positive To start, make sure you’re sleeping well and getting regular exercise. These are the basis of productivity, performance and focus. Next, simply look at the color red — just the sight of red can boost performance and focus. If that doesn’t work, turning up the thermostat in your office is another option. According to research, people who work in a room set to around 77 degrees are more successful […]

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This Entrepreneur Shares How to Name Your Company — or Fix a Bad Name

The founder of PolicyGenius walks us through the rigorous process she went through to scrap a confusing name and create one that led to success. April 24, 2018 2 min read This is an episode of our podcast Problem Solvers. Each week, an entrepreneur reveals how they overcame an unexpected problem in their business — and were happier and more successful as a result. The show is hosted by Entrepreneur’s editor in chief, Jason Feifer. Listen below, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. A company’s name is one of (if not the) biggest early decisions a company founder will make — and they often get it wrong. Google was first called BackRub, Best Buy was Sound of Music, eBay was AuctionWeb and Policygenius was KnowItOwl. In this episode, Policygenius’s founder walks us through the rigorous process she went through to scrap a confusing name and create one that led to […]

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I Ran My Day Like Elon Musk Runs His — and This Is What Happened

Here’s what scheduling each five-minute chunk of my day and skipping breakfast taught me. April 19, 2018 4 min read What happens when you try to run your day like Elon Musk, but you’re neither a CEO (sorry, Mom) or a billionaire? I decided to find out by breaking up my schedule on Tuesday, April 17, into five-minute time slots à la the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. I double-majored in theater in college, so I was planning to take on this challenge through some method acting — but since Musk has been sleeping on the Tesla factory floor and skipping showers as of late, I decided to spare my co-workers. Musk reportedly sleeps about six hours per night, wakes up around 7 a.m. and usually skips breakfast. We share the same wake-up time, but due to my inability to turn off reality show satire UnREAL the night before, I […]

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How to Get Into Your Most Productive Zone — Faster

Finish that big project sooner rather than later. April 17, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Getting into a hyper-focused state of work can do wonders for your productivity. This sweet spot — or “the zone” — is where you aim to hit when there is a big deadline fast approaching. In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Ben Angel recommends a few steps you can take to work faster and more efficiently by finding your zone. Trying out a few natural products with focus-enhancing (and not anxiety-enhancing) ingredients, like green tea, can be a helpful nutritional fix. Angel also recommends music. A go-to soundtrack can be a great way to trigger your brain into that familiar level of productivity. But, make sure not to put too much uneeded pressure on yourself. In order to get into a flow, it’s important to not force yourself into this behavioral mindset. Use small, […]

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These 5 Simple Tweaks Will Make Your Office More Productive

Rethink everything from how you schedule conference rooms to temperature control. April 15, 2018 7 min read A Note From The Editor Think your company has what it takes to make our Top Company Cultures list? Apply now. Apply now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Thanks to the rise of mobility tools like Slack, Google Hangouts and the newly announced Facebook Workplace, fewer and fewer workers rely on an office to get work done every day. As a result, nearly 37 percent of the workforce elects to work remotely at least part of the time. And those who do say they are not only happier but more productive. Still, not all companies embrace a flexible work-from-home policy. Marissa Mayer of Yahoo famously rolled back the company’s telecommuting allowance in 2013, citing that employees are more collaborative and innovative when working in proximity. Despite taking quite a bit of flack for […]

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How Your Small Business Can Take Advantage of Instagram

In this video, Entrepreneur’s Andrea Huspeni explains how you can start using Instagram to grow your business. April 13, 2018 1 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Instagram is a great social media channel for marketing your business. However, with 25 million businesses on Instagram today, it’s a pretty saturated platform. So, how can you stand out from the crowd? In this video, Entrepreneur’s Special Projects Director Andrea Huspeni shares her tips for optimizing Instagram as a business owner. Related: 7 Marketing Tips to Help Grow Your Brand on Instagram According to Huspeni, first things first: Get a business Instagram account. Unlike a personal Instagram account, a business one provides users access to important analytics, contact methods and other helpful tools. After you switch over, you should also think about developing a content calendar so you’re constantly posting, engaging users and staying active. Related: 11 Ways to Make Your Next Instagram […]

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