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Consider the Camel: 3 Ways to Build a Resilient Business

Unicorns are overrated….

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EntrepreneurConsider the camel

This desert mammal might not be the most attractive creature. But a camel is built to last. Unlike other animals, camels can withstand extreme changes in body temperature and water consumption. You probably picture camels in the scorching, dry desert — but they can also survive in frigid mountain climates. 

Why is it? Camels evolved to be resilient, so they can adapt to conditions that would kill other animals.

I love to use camels as a metaphor for entrepreneurship in the current economy. In recent years, many of us embraced the “unicorn” mindset, hustling at all costs to disrupt our respective industries. 

But during a global pandemic, rapid growth isn’t as realistic as it once was. That growth-at-all costs perspective can only occur in the strongest economies — and right now, it comes with significant risk.

It’s time for entrepreneurs to start thinking like camels instead of unicorns: To embrace the resilience and adaptability that come with slow growth. It might not be as exciting — and opting out of risk-taking isn’t easy — but we’ll only survive with a weather-proof approach. 

Here are three, simple ways to boost your business’ resilience so you can ensure your growth and success for the long-haul. 

1. Embrace a slow-but-steady trajectory

Back in college, I had a friend whose parents paid for his entire degree. I was a bit envious at first, since I had to rely on scholarships and part-time jobs to carry me through those four years. But in the end, I’m grateful the money wasn’t simply handed to me. I developed the work ethic that built my startup, gaining crucial skills like responsibility, initiative, and long-term planning. 

That grit is also one major perk of building a business from the ground up. Yes, landing VC funding might be a fast way to grow your business. But it’s not always the most promising way to ensure success over time — especially during a time of such economic uncertainty.

Related: How to Strengthen Your Personal Resilience

I started JotForm long before the pandemic hit, but we still opted to bootstrap simply because it fit our mission as an organization. It was a slower process, to be sure, and it was admittedly difficult to watch other entrepreneurs gain momentum overnight.

But our choice to build on our own terms allowed us to do things the way we wanted: to make decisions that would improve our customers’ lives for the long term and, in return, keep them coming back to us. The slow-but-steady process also helped us gain and sharpen skills we embrace to this day.

As venture capitalist and author Alex Lazalow put it, a long-term strategy allows time to “build the business model, find a product that resonates with the market, and develop an operation that can scale.” Sure, the timing might not be ideal. But it’s not about who gets to market first, as Lazalow notes. It’s about who survives.

2. Be strategic, not opportunistic 

Entrepreneurship is often seen as pure opportunism: Simply come up with a great idea, then do everything you can to bring it to life. (Usually, that translates to finding a source of money.)

But for startup endeavors, I’m convinced real success is more about strategy than mere opportunity. Risk-taking is necessary for any new venture, but entrepreneurship without a map almost always leads to chaos, especially in such uncertain times like we’re living in now.

Keep in mind that strategy and opportunism aren’t mutually exclusive, and that planning ahead doesn’t mean you have to give up dreaming. In my experience, a firm understanding of your purpose actually enables innovation. No organization or group can innovate if they’re completely derailed. 

Related: 11 Tips to Build Emotional Resilience

Think of your strategic plans as a protective buffer. “Ventures that lack strategic bounds try to do too much and spread themselves too thin,” writes author and Harvard lecturer David Collis. “Because they fail to concentrate their available resources, they can’t win in any key market.”

How can you create that buffer? One way is to hire the right people — folks who are energized about and invested in your vision, and who have realistic ideas about how to connect it with your target market, especially when barriers arise.

Secondly, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s tempting to respond to an initial demand for your product or service, but staying focused on your target market from the start will protect you from making rash, derailing decisions. 

Sometimes, that means adapting when things don’t go as planned. The used-car platform Frontier Car Group is a perfect example. Initially, they launched their service in five markets, but not all of them caught on. Faced with a tough choice, they shuttered the unsuccessful markets and instead focused their efforts on the successful ones.

It might sound counterintuitive, but only with boundaries in place will you be able to pivot to new opportunities when it matters most.

3. Hone in on your mission 

Like most people, my family and I struggled to cope with our new lives in the early part of the pandemic. Life stuck at home indefinitely felt dismal, and it was at times difficult to muster up motivation to get things done each day. Even the hobbies and projects that once excited me.

Then, in a timely Zoom call with an old friend, I was reminded of something important: We all need a sense of purpose to persevere. When I considered my purpose as a husband, father, friend, and business leader, it was so much easier to stick with it in the trying times. Like gas in a car, a sense of meaning is what fuels us to keep going in new, uncharted territory.

I’m a firm believer that it’s much the same for businesses. Focusing on your purpose — the problem you set out to solve when you launched your startup, and the people whose lives you want to transform — is the most effective way to deal with difficulties. Because even when you take unexpected turns, one thing will stay constant: your purpose.

So instead of measurable metrics like sales and deadlines, focus instead on your organization’s mission and vision — and always use them as lenses to make difficult choices about how to move your organization forward.

I’ve found that remembering what you set out to do in the first place makes big problems manageable, because you always have a clear goal in mind: when things get hard, just do what you set out to do. After all, as Collis writes: “A firm evolves as the result of incremental choices made every day.”

It might take some time to emerge from the struggle or to expand your business to what you envisioned. But over time, you’ll see growth — the kind of growth that remains steady in every climate.

Related: 3 Reasons Investing in Employee Resilience Pays Off

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/u21lrOWs_XE/358847

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Entrepreneur

How Success Happened for Josh Harris, Co-Founder of Apollo Global Management and Co-Founder of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment

Harris has a knack for building and growing forward-thinking ventures.

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Harris has a knack for building and growing forward-thinking ventures.

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July 13, 2021 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Josh Harris has a short resume. For nearly his entire professional career, he has held only one job, sitting at the helm of Apollo Global Management.

Since co-founding Apollo in 1990, Harris has spent the last 31 years building and shaping what has become a leading alternatives asset manager. But even with 15 offices globally and over $460 billion in assets under management, Harris has found time to pursue passions outside of the financial industry. With an eye for uncovering potential value, the investor maintains a robust family investment office, is an active philanthropist through family foundation Harris Philanthropies, and has successfully launched a premier sports and entertainment platform, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which has grown to include the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey.

Related: Check out recent guests Josh Harris and Thomas Tull on the How Success Happens podcast

Harris credits wrestling for unlocking his internal drive. After participating in wrestling at summer camp at a young age, he was hooked. The intensity of the sport and raw physical strength it demanded was motivating and compelling to his innate competitive spirit. But he quickly learned that without preparation — a healthy diet, cross-training and time on the mat — you get physically dominated. Once a struggling student, wrestling helped Harris turn his academics around and earned him acceptance to the University of Pennsylvania — and a coveted spot on the wrestling team there.

It was at Penn where Harris first got a taste of finance. An introductory economics class ignited a similar spark within him, compelling him to go to the fast-paced world of Wall Street. He transferred to Wharton and dove headfirst into finance.

“I was allured by [the idea of] helping companies grow,” Harris says. “I was a sponge for knowledge and wanted to learn everything I could … from the best people.”

The decision was made. He bought his first suit and headed to Wall Street.

“This is what I would recommend to [anyone just starting their career]: Treat your life like an investment,” Harris says. “Do something you are passionate about … look at the upsides, the downsides. What is your competitive advantage? … Really look at it analytically.”

Harris used that same lens when faced with an even bigger decision, several years into his career. After cutting his teeth at Drexel Burnham Lambert and attending Harvard Business School, Harris accepted a position at Blackstone. A few weeks in, he got a call from former colleagues Marc Rowan and Leon Black, asking him to join a new firm, the fledgling Apollo. Harris had worked only weeks at Blackstone — and used his signing bonus to pay off his student loans — but he was enticed by an opportunity to build with people whom he knew.

Fast forward thirty years, Apollo has become the second-largest alternatives and largest alternative credit manager in the world. Harris has been the architect of some of the firm’s most successful deals, including the historic LyondellBasell transaction, one of the most profitable deals in PE history.

In 2011, Harris applied skills from his day job to a new venture — joining forces with David Blitzer to purchase the Philadelphia 76ers from Comcast in a corporate carveout. One of the most rewarding aspects of owning sports teams, Harris says, has been serving as a steward of the city.

“[Sports teams] are public assets…you take on a real obligation to help the communities where you are playing,” he adds.

Related: Check Out These Top Sports Podcasts

Giving back to the communities where HBSE operates — namely Philadelphia, Camden and Newark — is of top priority for Harris. In our conversation, it was clear how deeply he believes in the power of sports to change lives, just as wrestling had changed the trajectory of his life. Through his many charitable endeavors with HBSE and Harris Philanthropies, Harris is focused on creating opportunities for kids to experience sports who might not otherwise be able to, providing access to sports programming and pairing it with academic resources and other support. More broadly, Harris Philanthropies is focused on catalytic giving and creating equitable opportunities in the communities where the Foundation has a deep connection.

In the past year, however, Covid-19 was front and center, requiring the Foundation to adjust their strategy to address needs brought on by the pandemic. We [immediately] had to pivot [our strategy] and lead,” says Harris, who through HBSE and Harris Philanthropies, set to work distributing food, medical supplies, frontline equipment, laptops and other resources to local communities.

Now Harris is starting a new chapter, returning to his entrepreneurial roots. Having recently announced that he’ll be stepping back from his day-to-day role at Apollo, Harris is excited about continuing to expand HBSE, as well as his multi-asset class investing business and diving deeper into social impact. But he hasn’t lost touch of what has driven him throughout his career — building and investing in success.

Related: Let us Help Your Brand Create Its Own Podcast

Related: Check out recent guests Josh Harris and Thomas Tull on the How Success Happens podcast

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/j7fh3NY-vQE/374991

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Virgin Galactic Cleared by FAA For Passenger Space Travel

Will billionaire and founder Richard Branson beat Jeff Bezos to space?

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June 25, 2021 2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, in a statement, announced the FAA has upgraded its existing license to include passenger flights.

The company also says the approval is the first of its kind. Shares jumped 12% in premarket trading.

The journey, however, has been somewhat bumpy, Engadget reports. In December 2020, the company’s test flight ended in a motor ignition failure. In February of this year, Virgin Galactic delayed its tourism flights until 2022 saying more “technical checks” were needed.

Related: Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity Completes Human Spaceflight

The company then had to complete dozens of verification and validation requirements to clear the final two steps for the FAA’s approval. CEO Michael Colglazier says the crewed test flight on May 22 was a success:

“We’re incredibly pleased with the results of our most recent test flight… [which] performed flawlessly, and the results demonstrate the safety and elegance of our flight system. [We’re confident] as we proceed toward our first fully crewed test flight this summer.”

Related: Elon Musk’s SpaceX signs alliance with Google Cloud to offer satellite internet with Starlink

The company, which began working on its mission to space in 2004, says it’s preparing for the remaining three test flights.

Unconfirmed reports also suggest Virgin Galactic is working to send Branson on a suborbital flight during the July 4 weekend, according to Business Insider. That’s two weeks before Jeff Bezos is scheduled to board his Blue Origin’s New Shepard for space on July 20.

Related: Blue Origin Is Challenging SpaceX’s Artemis Lander Contract From NASA

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/MOGXdxbDu3A/375771

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10 Deals for $20 That You Won’t Find on Amazon

After all, Amazon doesn’t have everything.

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After all, Amazon doesn’t have everything.

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June 21, 2021 4 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Despite diversifying its options over the past few years, Amazon doesn’t have everything. One of its biggest shortcomings is its lack of educational resources. If you’re looking for a more substantive purchase, consider investing in your own professional development. We’ve rounded up a collection of courses you won’t find on Amazon and, for a limited time, they’re all just $20.

The Professional Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle

The Professional Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle

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Microsoft Excel is the world’s most ubiquitous office software, used in just about every industry. You may think you know Excel, but after this eight-course bundle from Excel Maven, you’ll understand just how little you knew. You’ll cover advanced formulas, data visualization, PivotTables, and much more.

Get The Professional Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,600) for a limited time.

The Fundamentals of Real Estate Investment Bundle

The Fundamentals of Real Estate Investment Bundle

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The real estate industry is booming, for both commercial and retail investors alike. In this five-course bundle, you’ll learn how to think like a professional real estate investor. You’ll explore pre-investing practices, wholesale deals, and much more.

Get The Fundamentals of Real Estate Investment Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,000) for a limited time.

The Google Analytics Master Class Bundle

The Google Analytics Master Class Bundle

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Google Analytics is one of the best tools for businesses to understand their web traffic. In this bundle, you’ll learn how to use GA to draw better insights from your traffic data and institute changes to make your webpages as strong as they can be.

Get The Google Analytics Master Class Bundle for $20 (reg. $995) for a limited time.

The Ultimate Financial Accounting & CPA Certification Training Bundle

The Ultimate Financial Accounting & CPA Certification Training Bundle

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Every business owner should have at least a functional financial skill-set. In this bundle, you’ll learn how to be the accountant for your business with the same education a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) would get.

Get The Ultimate Financial Accounting & CPA Certification Training Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,592) for a limited time.

The Ultimate Candlestick Trading & Analysis Masterclass Bundle

The Ultimate Candlestick Trading & Analysis Masterclass Bundle

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Earn some extra money in the stock market by learning the trading techniques employed by the pros. This technical analysis bundle will teach you how to analyze candlestick patterns and use data to make more informed investment decisions.

Get The Ultimate Candlestick Trading & Analysis Masterclass Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,000) for a limited time.

The Premium 2021 Project & Quality Management Certification Bundle

The Premium 2021 Project & Quality Management Certification Bundle

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After a lengthy pandemic that hurt many small businesses, it’s important to hit the ground running in this hot economy with more efficient and productive processes in place. This bundle will introduce you to a range of project management methodologies, from Agile to PMP, to help you institute positive changes in your business.

Get The Premium 2021 Project & Quality Management Certification Bundle for $20 (reg. $4,400) for a limited time.

The 2021 Complete All-in-One Adobe Creative Cloud Suite Certification Course Bundle

The 2021 Complete All-in-One Adobe Creative Cloud Suite Certification Course Bundle

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Got a creative streak? Indulge it! This extensive bundle covers the entire Adobe Creative Cloud, teaching you how to edit photos with Photoshop, become a graphic designer with Illustrator and XD, edit videos with Premiere Pro, and much more.

Get The 2021 Complete All-in-One Adobe Creative Cloud Suite Certification Course Bundle for $20 (reg. $2,400) for a limited time.

The Complete Mobile & App Development Bundle

The Complete Mobile & App Development Bundle

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Got a brilliant app idea? Learn how to bring it to life with this nine-course bundle. You’ll get an introduction to building apps for iOS 14 using Swift 5, learn how to build apps for Android 11, get up to speed on Java programming fundamentals, and more.

Get The Complete Mobile & App Development Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,791) for a limited time.

The Create Your Own T-Shirt Side Business Bundle

The Create Your Own T-Shirt Side Business Bundle

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You know a great T-shirt idea when you see (or say) one. If you have a tendency to say “that should be on a T-shirt” after saying something out loud, you might just want to start a T-shirt side business. This extensive bundle will teach you everything you need to know, from printing shirts to packaging.

Get The Create Your Own T-Shirt Side Business Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,393) for a limited time.

The Cryptocurrency with Ethereum & Solidity Blockchain Developer Bundle

The Cryptocurrency with Ethereum & Solidity Blockchain Developer Bundle

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Take a deep dive into one of today’s most exciting, innovative technologies. Across six courses, you’ll learn how to build web apps that run on a blockchain using Solidity, launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), and even build a decentralized exchange.

Get The Cryptocurrency with Ethereum & Solidity Blockchain Developer Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,200) for a limited time.

Prices subject to change.

Get The Professional Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle for $20 (reg. $1,600) for a limited time.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/qjaGMTjjFy4/375040

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