From World Economic Forum: Why the most successful businesses have strong values

most successful businesses

“By using a behaviour-based lens instead of a checklist, LRN’s PEI study demonstrated that companies with the highest levels of ethical behaviour are the ones that have placed values at the centre of their organizations.

Among high-performing companies, two-thirds are increasingly focusing on values instead of rules. That compares with one in three of the lowest-performing companies. In fact, the highest-performing organizations in our study have elevated human values to such an extent that more than 90% of those values have become part of the company’s brand appeal. In 70% of high-performing organizations, values have also become a business enabler, providing a reference point for the tough decisions, and in turn leading to better decision-making.”

most successful businesses

 Want a peak at our values and ethics here at Eazl? Visit us on Instagram!

Getting Right With Your Finances (Actionable Calendar for May 2017)

getting right with your finances

Your ability to use modern financial tools and systems is a crucial ingredient for a successful and happy life. Credit scores, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, tax-deferred investment accounts, and financial instruments like index funds, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds are fundamental to existence in our modern world.

Commit to getting right with your finances this May with this calendar that will keep you on track, taking you from assessing your current financial health to creating a plan for adding more income and determining investment opportunities.

personal finance calendar

Use the calendar (download and/or print) as a supplement to the tools and process we laid out for you in our newest course.

Ignorance is an expensive choice and there are plenty of organizations who would be happy to keep taking advantage of people who can’t navigate these systems. Get out of the weeds and upgrade your financial prowess!

Top 6 Personal Finance Resources

personal finance resources

At Eazl, we create content that helps our community members feel more empowered and confident by focusing on knowledge and innovation. After taking a step back from our current course catalog that includes training on entrepreneurship, management, freelancing, marketing, and career, we asked ourselves, “What is missing and what would make this group of courses more complete?”

Our answer to that question is something that so many of us struggle with today: managing personal debt and finances.

Luckily, we had the expertise for that area right here on our team so we immediately went to work to create the training, which includes a list of resources that will help you get real control over your money and your future.  

Money management is all about having the right tools and sources for knowledge. From handling debt to buying a home, you want to make sure you are using quality sources for information.

We put together this list of Top Personal Finance Resources:

  1. Browse Homes and Home Prices
    Zillow is one of the best resources for researching homes and their prices in the neighborhood that you are thinking about investing in. Just search a zip code and get an idea of the price range, browse through all available listings,  and specific the features you are looking for in your new home.

2. Estimate Monthly Mortgage Payments
Bankrate’s Mortgage Calculator will help you estimate your mortgage payment, how much interest you might pay, and your estimate principal balances. Determine the impact of taxes and insurance on your total monthly payment.

3. LifePower: Credit, Debt, Saving, Investing, & Buying a Home
Eazl’s new course on personal finance will help you learn how to build and manage your credit, handle debt, use credit cards, start saving and investing, and buy real estate.

4. Check Your Credit
Credit Karma is our favorite resource for checking your credit score. It’s totally free and will give you an idea of what actions have lowered your score and what options are available to you if you have a favorable score.

5. Learn how to Repair Your Credit
Fico gives some actionable tips on dealing with bad credit and how to maintain good credit.

6. How to Negotiate Fees with Your Realtor
Dealing with realtors can be tricky and frustrating because they are middlemen who generally receive insane fees for what they do. Learning how to negotiate with a realtor is essential if you are looking to buy or sell a home. Aaron Crowe at Credit Sesame has some tips.

 

Do you have any other personal finance resources that you love? We’re working on creating a master list and would love your input. Comment below!

Personal Finance: Terms You Need Know from a Money Guru

personal-finance-terms

If you’re anything like me, you might find the world of personal finance (think: credit, debt, and acquiring property) to be strange and unfamiliar. I never had my parents teach me and it was never a focus in school. The only advice I ever received came from my mom when she said, “Don’t get a credit card,” when I headed off the University of Texas at Austin at age 18.

I may not have listened to that advice. : /

The lack of guidance from adults in my life combined with having worked hard on my education and career for the past 12 years hasn’t left me much time to school myself on the ways of dealing with money, debt, and assets in any remotely competent way. I mean, there is a lot to know and it can get pretty complicated and time consuming.

personal finance terms

I got lucky… really lucky when I met my now husband and business partner, who purchased his first stock at age 12 and went off to school in three-piece suits, thinking he would someday become an investment banker.

Davis has fun playing with money and learning about all of this adulting business that most of us find so boring and stressful, plus he had a few good role models who passed down some wisdom to him along the way and has had a ton of experience managing the financials of small businesses and artists.

On any given day, you might find him on the phone with a creditor transferring a balance, negotiating account fees for our business and personal bank accounts, or maybe even closing a bank account to switch banks when they won’t wave an outrageous annual fee. (He holds the banks accountable!)

If there is one thing I’ve learned about Davis –and something you might have learned too if you’ve taken any of our courses– it’s that he will do the hard stuff and he always finds a way to work the system.

That’s why, in our newest course, he continually repeats the phase, “I use the system. The system does not use me,” as a mantra for all things personal finance.

If you are clueless when it comes to personal finance or you need some brushing up on your skills after frantically submitting your taxes and feeling kind of crappy about how you have handled your money, start with this list of terms that you should know and understand in order to upgrade your wealth management game.

personal finance terms

Then, come join us in the course because we have all kinds of little secrets about handling your money the right way.

personal finance course

From Freelancer’s Union: Six Ways to Crush Solopreneur Burnout

solopreneur burnout

“As solopreneurs, we’re either feeling guilty for not being busy, or we’re in over our heads with work. Neither phase in the ‘feast or famine’ work cycle is stress-free, which means solopreneur burn out is a real problem.

Here are a few common situations I experienced myself, along with ways to overcome them. I am not going to include tips like taking a deep breath or working on multiple projects as I have tried them before – but these did not seem to help me solve my burnout problems from the origin.

Here’s how to turn your marketing campaign around…”

Solopreneur Burnout

From Business2Community: Influencer Marketing 101

influencer marketing 101

“Most marketers don’t need another blog post convincing them to hop on the influencer marketing bandwagon.

They get it. It’s effective – influencer campaigns drive 11 times more ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.

The problem is that everyone’s an influencer now. Follower count doesn’t necessarily translate to influence anymore. Everyone with an opinion about your product or service that posts on social media has the power to influence their friends, family, and coworkers.

Research by Markerly shows that Instagram influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers have a like rate of 8%, while those with between 1,000 to 10,000 followers only average around 4%. Once a social media influencer reaches a critical mass of followers, audience engagement actually begins to decrease.

So does this mean we can only ever have one or the other: engagement or reach? Is there a happy compromise? How do you find the right individuals that will represent your brand and drive ROI?

The key lies in picking out the right influencers and getting them on board.

Heres how:”

influencer marketing 101

My Marketing Campaign Checklist

ludell jones

My marketing process is ever-changing and evolving but I’ve found that the more organized and repeatable I make my processes, the more effective our campaigns are. These systems do take a while to develop as they are totally dependent on what works for you and your product or service. There’s a lot a trial and error, but it does help to have somewhere to start.

I’ve created this skeleton checklist for the marketing process that I follow every time I launch a marketing campaign. When I’m planning out the details of my campaigns (usually a month ahead of time or more), I just copy this list and build it out as I discover more details and develop my ideas.

When I’m working on the campaign, I simply format the text on my Google Sheet to strikethrough the elements of my campaign that have been completed. That way, I can see my progress at a glance, I never feel lost or forget what I’ve done to promote my campaigns, and I don’t leave out any of the important actions that drive traffic to our content.

We’re a small team and a lot of responsibility rests on my shoulders. It’s not feasible to store something like this in my head or constantly retrace my steps. Plus, creating these processes as you find constants and things that work makes your business scalable. It also eases the process of on-boarding employees.

If you’re struggling with feeling overwhelmed by digital marketing –or marketing in general– for your business, I invite you to start with this checklist and integrate it into your daily marketing activities.

ludell-jones


A few of notes about this checklist:

  1. To use it and make it editable, you’ll need go to “File” → “Make a copy” to save to your own Google Drive account.
  2. I’ll be constantly updating the sheet so check back in for improvements.
  3. The Pre-Launch phase of marketing is the most important. Do not neglect to prepare your marketing resources ahead of time or you’ll be faced with a mountain of work on Launch day. NOT IDEAL!
  4. In addition to striking through tasks as you complete them, you’ll want to add links to corresponding text so the resources can easily be found. If you keep all of your images and blog posts in a file on Google Drive, this checklist will be even more convenient for you. Any document you create or image that is uploaded comes with a link, which you can add to your checklist to stay organized.
  5. Create a separate folder in Google Drive for every campaign that you launch. That way, you can return later to repeat a campaign and you’ll know exactly where everything is.
  6. Make whatever changes you need to…this checklist was created with our training and events in mind.
  7. Usually, these campaigns last about 3 weeks. For smaller/lighter campaigns that last 1-2 weeks (those not directly related to new product launches), you can trim down some of the promotional activities if it makes sense to do so.


If you have any questions about this checklist or tips of your own to share, Tweet at me.

From World Economic Forum: The 5 Skills All Job Recruiters Look For

skills job all recruiters look for

“Sometimes our clients will provide us with about five non-negotiable criteria for candidates to meet; skills they must possess or experience they have to have to be considered for a specific role. Of course this varies across positions and companies, but there are several items we see cropping up again and again. I compared notes with the other recruiters in our office to come up with those criteria we are asked to identify most frequently these days.

1. Leading up, down, and across
For directors it’s not just about management anymore. It’s all about leadership. Have you honed your management style in a way that inspires others and makes them want to follow you, not just listen to you? Have you looked for training and mentors? Good managers don’t just turn in your review and manage time and expectations, they develop talent and motivate their team to strive further and achieve more. Our Vice President, Kassie Wilner, adds that the ability to “use your influence to gain consensus cross-functionally and build effective relationships across divisions in a matrix corporate structure” is a skill that she sees coming up again and again.”

hai ninh nguyen

QUIZ: What kind of freelancer are you?

freelancer quiz

If you’re a freelancer and anything like me, you’ve developed a very particular style and way of doing things. You have to…being financially independent comes with a lot of responsibility so focusing on perfecting your offering and your service (so it’s right for your client AND for you) comes with the job.

Take this quiz to learn more about how you deal with clients and sticky situations. Share your result in the comments below!

What kind of freelancer are you? I’m really curious…let me know your results in the comments.

Be Your Own Inspiration: Hai Ninh Nguyen Modernizes a Vietnamese Tradition

hai ninh nguyen

Did you know that Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil and that coffee is a huge part of Vietnamese culture? Neither did I until I came across Hai Ninh Nguyen’s profile on Instagram.

I was looking for entrepreneurs who have experience manufacturing their own products when Ninh’s post about his modernized Vietnamese coffee press –called a phin– caught my eye.

A year of side hustling. Last year I started my second venture, my first physical product. It’s been a huge learning curve ever since and I learned how important it is to create prototypes before going into mass production. Fortunately, we live in a world were services such as 3dHubs or Shapeways can make our life so much easier. I created a blog post with all essential tools that you need to create a physical product. Follow the link: bit.ly/ToolsForPhysical⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #design #designer #designers #designinspiration #designing #designporn #designerlife #designproject #industrialdesign #productdesign #designprocess #inspiration #prototype #3dprinting #3dprinted #vinabrew #coffeeset #ceramics #sidehustle #entrepreneur #entrepreneurlife #lifestylebusiness #instadaily #picoftheday ⠀

A post shared by DESIGNER⠀ & ⠀ENTREPRENEUR (@ninjaninh) on

Ninh’s Creation Journey
I love Ninh’s story about modernizing a product used in everyday life in Vietnamese culture and exposing those who aren’t Vietnamese to this important part of life in Vietnam.

Check out Ninh’s beautiful and informative post about the traditions of Vietnamese coffee, how the traditional phin works, how he assessed ways that the traditional coffee press could be improved, his materials testing and prototyping, and the tools he used to create the first version for marketing purposes.

hai-ninh-nguyen-1


Ninh’s How to Create Physical Products from Scratch
Ninh also developed this guide for creating a physical product from scratch (and it’s SUPER useful!).

“I created this article to help you design and manufacture a physical product from scratch and sell it for profit.

I will take my own product as an example to guide you through each step and cover as many aspects as possible so you can apply the knowledge to your specific product.

  • You will learn about each step of creating a physical product
  • You will learn how to prototype products
  • You will learn how to find manufacturers
  • You will learn how to communicate with manufacturers
  • You will learn how to order first samples of your product”

hai ninh nguyen

More Resources
You can follow Hai Ninh Nguyen on Instagram or connect with him on LinkedIn.

If you are interested in hearing additional perspective on creating physical products, check out my interview with Jessika Jake of Rist Wellness, an entrepreneur in San Diego who learned how to design and manufacture her own wellness products.