Learn to see opportunity in adversity and you can overcome anything

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Starting a business is like sailing a freshly built ship into the open sea. You start with a brilliant idea, a dream to conquer the horizon. Then come the architectural blueprint and countless engineering intricacies. Finally, one fine day you roll out your ship into the sea — and come the storms.

Just like no two storms at sea are alike, no one can exactly prepare us for the exact challenges of entrepreneurship. However, just like a captain has all kinds of strategies, helpers, and gear to weather the storm, so does a business owner.

To understand what kinds of…

According to 100+ entrepreneurs

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If 2020–21 has been the year of agitation where businesses were forced to pivot and improvise around pandemic-inflicted tsunamis, 2021–22 is seeing a deeper transformation take place on the business seascape.

Replacing the survival mode strategy of the previous year, business owners are now applying the pandemic as a litmus test regarding the overall effectiveness of their companies. In particular, the most successful companies are busy developing strategies based on organizational gaps exposed by the previous year’s struggles.

To better understand these struggles and predict some of 2022’s key business developments, I questioned over 100 entrepreneurs and business experts on…

At all stages of professional development

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A “last of the Mohicans” to embrace inclusivity among established patriarchal fields, the STEM industry (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) has been historically slowest to welcome women into its realms.

Progress made over recent decades has been steady, yet still far from satisfactory. From 8% of women in the STEM industry in 1970, today’s workforce shows 19% of positions being filled by women. As female experts in tech and STEM agree, propelling those numbers forward, closing the gender gap, and embracing diversity is a matter of providing the right learning and mentorship opportunities for women of all ages.

Over the past…

Insights from a marketer turned software engineer

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IT jobs are among the most progressive, exciting, and well-paid in today’s market. The average salary of an IT-related career is 44% higher than that of other occupations, and senior IT professionals are among the highest-paid specialists in the United States. Moreover, with a career in IT, you combine logic and creativity — a combination making it a perfect match for many women.

Nevertheless, getting into IT for the first time, especially from a humanities background, can seem daunting. …

Design expert shares true vs. false signs

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A digital brand’s design is the visual message it projects to the wide world. Effective visual design boosts web conversion up to 200% and effectively so, considering how 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Indeed, people are visual creatures, but as they say, that’s only half the deal. The real deal is that your customers are visual creatures. And as businesses, we can’t afford to overlook the gold mine of potential customers missing out on a product because of a poor or outdated visual design experience.

This makes many digital companies stop and think: when is…

According to collegepreneurs who’ve done it

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Why do young people go to college? The straightforward question was posed to 11,113 high school students and 2,960 parents by The Princeton Review in 2021. For 43% of respondents, the answer was “getting a better job with higher income”, while only 25% correlated college with “education”.

Meanwhile, more studies show that 72% of high schoolers plan to start their own business one day, with 61% being specific about becoming entrepreneurs “right after college”. Turns out, the Princeton survey should’ve had one more checkmark: college as a pathway to entrepreneurship. …

As retold & explained by UX experts

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According to the Forrester UX report, every $1 that a business invests into its User Experience (UX) gives a $100 return. But UX isn’t just about generating revenue. It’s also about preventing losses. With poor UX pushing as many as 70% of customers to abandon their purchases of a product or service, efforts invested into product development, marketing, and sales may end up just purging your company of dollars and clients.

What goes into making outstanding UX in digital products? How can you know if usability changes, new features, and specific customer wants are worth the trouble of urgent implementation…

+ 1 business app tucked away into your iPhone

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Here’s a fun random fact from Merriam Webster: all the pre-digital definitions of the word “application” have to do with “practical use” or “putting something to practical use”. All, except for definition 1c: “assiduous attention”. This one’s not just about usage but its quality: attentiveness.

Coming back to the modern “app” and its application in the framework of simplifying usage, one thing which is certainly missing from many apps is their ability to foster “assiduous attention”. Too often, our fleeting attention spans blow up as we jump from one app to another. The result? …

Know thyself before you can lead others

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Transformation is a big word. When we think of transformation in business, we also think in big images, like forces of nature. Business transformation is like a metaphorical earthquake that’s supposed to shake a company from head to toe and where colleagues, like the prophets of old, will suddenly come out renewed and with flames of burning inspiration above each other’s heads.

The reality of business transformation, however, is subtle and long-term. Like all change, it starts from the head of the company: either the entrepreneur(s) in charge, in the case of startups and smaller teams, or CEOs and senior…

If you can prove it, can you deduct it?

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“A spoonful of tar spoils a barrel of honey,” goes the old proverb. For most entrepreneurs, if there’s one date on the calendar that spoils the sweet month of April, it’s Income Tax Day. Enter 2021, when Income Tax Day falls in the middle of a global pandemic, and things seem pretty sour.

Unlike last year, when taxpayers got a break until July 15th to file their taxes due to the storm of COVID, this year the IRS has been a lot less compliant. …

Angela Yurchenko

Bilingual pianist & business journalist. Exploring the Human Experience.

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