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Stan Lee, superheroes and the weaknesses of the entrepreneur

He was the legendary creator of some of the most iconic characters in pop culture, including Spider-Man and the Hulk. What can we learn from them? To love our weaknesses …

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He was the legendary creator of some of the most iconic characters in pop culture, including Spider-Man and the Hulk. What can we learn from them? To love our weaknesses …

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Of the many phrases, stories and lessons that Stan Lee left us, there is one that seems particularly valuable to me: “If Achilles had not had his heel, perhaps today we would not even know him.” The phrase reveals the value of our weaknesses, those aspects of our body or personality that make us vulnerable.

Although we normally wear them hidden, we all have them. We don’t talk about them. Better we show our strengths: we boast of what we are capable of doing well, of our gifts, of our attributes.

Of our superpowers.

Weaknesses and defects remain in the shadows as we walk through the corridors of offices and corporations, hoping that others will never perceive them. The worst thing is that sometimes, we ourselves refuse to see our flaws . We pretend they don’t exist and we obsess over showing ourselves always infallible, indestructible, like superheroes.

But just like Achilles, with that vulnerability from the day his mother grabbed him by the heel and then submerged him in the cold waters of the River Styx, wishing he were invincible, so we too have aspects that make us weak. Rather than shy away from them, we must recognize them, work on them and accept that they are part of our personality and that they contribute to making us unique and different.

THE CHARM OF WEAKNESSES

In 1954 Stan Lee was already working as an editor at Atlas Comics (a company that would later change its name to Marvel Comics). After having lived through its golden age during World War II, comics were going through a bad time: that same year the Authority of the Comics Code was created in the United States that sought to regulate the content of this type of publications because it considered them too violent and an incentive to juvenile delinquency. Hand-tied, the writers struggled to create products that would captivate young readers, and the publisher was basically betting on romantic or old-western comics.

Tired of the situation, Stan Lee confessed to his wife Joan that he was about to resign. She said to him: “Before you quit, why don’t you make a story like you would like it to be? The worst thing that could happen is getting fired, right? Anyway, you were thinking of quitting … “

His wife’s advice coincided with the appearance of the Justice League in the competing publisher (National Comics Publications, later to become DC Comics) and with the request of Atlas owner Martin Goodman to think about a cartoon starring a group of superheroes.

Stan Lee then wrote the first Fantastic Four story and gave his characters what would make them different: weaknesses, complexes, problems and insecurities.

Reed Richards was that scientist gifted with great intelligence, but who lived with a brutal feeling of guilt for having caused irreparable harm to his friends on that mission to space; Ben Grimm was transformed into a monstrous and very strong being of orange rock abandoned by his fiancée due to his horrifying appearance; Johnny was the teenager with superpowers, too immature to understand them and more busy racing cars and dating girls than defending the world from a villain; Sue Storm was trying to keep the team together and her marriage to Reed alive, despite her doubts.

The comic was a huge success, and Goodman allowed Stan Lee to continue experimenting with flawed characters. The Fantastic Four was followed by the Hulk , the story of that man doomed to turn into a green monster with an uncontrollable power of destruction every time he got angry. Then Spider-Man , a frail and insecure teenager who acquired his powers from being bitten by a spider. The young man was bullied by his classmates, he had to pay for his studies by working as a reporter and also, he did not know how to approach the girl he liked. Later, with the X-Men , Stan Lee addressed the issue of minorities through the social rejection that people with genetic alterations suffered.

Like the superheroes of the golden age of comics, Stan Lee’s characters were strong and powerful, loaded with incredible abilities, but what made them truly different and charming were their flaws, problems, and fallibility. That and the way in which they managed to, despite everything, get ahead …

THE INCREDIBLE STORY

Both in life and in entrepreneurship, our biggest obstacle will always be ourselves. Our ideas, our fears and our complexes could prevent us from reaching the potential that we truly have. To the extent that we accept that, like the characters imagined by Stan Lee, we are fallible, erratic and weak beings, we will have the possibility to improve ourselves.

Just as we are captivated by the story of that teenager who loses his uncle at the hands of a criminal that he himself could have arrested and then begins to use his powers to fight crime, so too could our own story captivate us. The one that narrates the path of beings willing to get ahead despite adversity and doubts in a complex environment in which the only way to win is to work tirelessly from dawn to dusk, believing in the superpower that ideals and goals have. dreams

That story of superheroes, of ourselves, of our weaknesses transformed into strengths. But above all: of our undertaking.

Although we normally wear them hidden, we all have them. We don’t talk about them. Better we show our strengths: we boast of what we are capable of doing well, of our gifts, of our attributes.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/LOcGn3pVKFY/368999

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7 Quick Ways to Make Money Investing $1,000

If you’re shrewd, you can turn one thousand bucks into even more money. Here’s how.

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If you’re shrewd, you can turn one thousand bucks into even more money. Here’s how.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you’re sitting on at least $1,000 and it’s scratching an itch in your pocket, consider investing it rather than spending it on something frivolous. But the question that then beckons us is: Can you really make money quickly investing with just $1,000?

The answer to that is a resounding, “Yes.”

While there are plenty of ways you can make money fast by doing odd jobs or generating it through things like affiliate marketing or email marketing, actually making money by investing with just $1,000 might present more challenges, and frankly, more risks. That is, of course, unless you know what you’re doing.

However, all risks aside, even if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, you still may be able to conjure up $1,000 to put towards an investment if you’re creative.

Before you dive in, there are some mindset principles that you need to adhere to. Moving beyond the scarcity mentality is crucial. Too many of us live our lives with the notion that there’s never enough of things to go around — that we don’t have enough time, money, connections or opportunities to grow and live life at a higher level.

That’s just a belief system. Think and you shall become. If you think you can’t get rich or even make a sizable amount of money by investing it into lucrative short-term investment vehicles, then it’s much more of a mindset issue than anything else. You don’t need to invest a lot of money with any of the following strategies.

Sure, having more money to invest would be ideal. But it’s not necessary. As long as you can identify the right strategy that works for you, all you need to do is scale. It’s similar to building an offer online, identifying the right conversion rate through optimization, then scaling that out. If you know you can invest a dollar and make two dollars, you’ll continue to invest a dollar.

Start small. Try different methods. Track and analyze your results. Don’t get so caught up on how you’re going to get wildly rich overnight. That won’t happen. But if you can leverage one of the following methods to make money by investing small, short bursts of capital, then all you have to do is scale — plain and simple. You don’t have to overthink it.

Related: 13 Easy Investing Apps and Websites for Millennials

How to invest $1,000 to make money fast

If you have $1,000 to invest, you can make money a variety of ways. But there are some methods that trump others. The play here is speed. We’re not talking about long-term, buy-hold strategies. Those are terrific if you’re looking to invest your capital over at least a two- to five-year period. We’re talking about ways you can make money fast.

Even when it comes to markets that might take time to move or have longer cycles, investments can often turn into realized profits and quick gains by leveraging the right strategies. What’s the right strategy? Sure, long-term works. Real estate and other time-intensive strategies will eventually get you there.

Raghee Horner of Simpler Futures says that “long-term interest rates are the next big trade,” while Jim Cramer of Mad Money says that “there are tons of people who are late to trends by nature and adopt a trend after it’s no longer in fashion.” By jumping in and out of long-term investments like that, you’re far more likely to lose your shirt than if you time your short-term plays just right.

It’s not so much about trying to catch the latest trend. It’s not about becoming a webinar guru like Jason Fladlien or Liz Benny — or even building out sales funnels or optimizing your conversions. Investing your money is more about paying careful attention to indicators that can really move the needle in the short-term as opposed to the longer term. It’s also about leveraging and hedging your investments the right way without putting too much risk on the line.

That doesn’t mean that you don’t need a long-term strategy. You definitely do. But if you’re looking to create some momentum and generate some capital quickly, in the near-term, then the following investment strategies might help you do just that.

1. Play the stock market.

Day trading is not for the faint of heart. It takes grit and determination. It takes understanding the different market forces at play. This isn’t something intended for amateurs. But, if learned and learned well, it is a way where you can quickly — within the span of hours — make a significant amount of money with a relatively small investment.

There are also ways to hedge your bets when it comes to playing the stock market. Whether you play the general market or you trade penny stocks, ensure that you set stop-loss limits to cut any potential for significant depreciations. Now, if you’re an advanced trader, you likely understand that market makers often move stocks to play into either our fear of failure or our greed. And they’ll often push a stock down to a certain price to enhance that fear and play right into their pockets.

When it comes to penny stocks, this is further exaggerated. So you have to understand what you’re doing and be able to analyze the market forces and make significant gains. Pay attention to moving averages. Often, when stocks break through 200-day moving averages, there’s potential for either large upside or big downside.

Related: What’s a Cause of Stock Market Crashes? Too Much Testosterone, Science Says.

2. Invest in a money-making course.

Investing in yourself is one of the best possible investments you can make. While you might not be able to pinpoint an actualized return on investment, there’s no money that’s better spent. Invest in yourself. Invest in your education. Learn. Adapt. Grow. Discover what you’re passionate about.

There are loads of money-making courses on the internet. The hard part is choosing the right one. From ebooks to social media marketing, search engine optimization and beyond, the possibilities are endless. While many money-making gurus might pop up on social media, not all courses are created alike. Spend time doing your due diligence and research to choose the one that’s right for you.

Related: Mark Cuban’s 3 ‘Smart Money Moves Everyone Should Make’

3. Trade commodities.

Trading commodities like gold and silver present a rare opportunity, especially when they’re trading at the lower end of their five-year range. Metrics like that give a strong indication on where commodities might be heading. Carolyn Boroden of Fibonacci Queen says, “I have long-term support and timing in the silver markets because silver is a solid hedge on inflation. Plus, commodities like silver are tangible assets that people can hold onto.”

The fundamentals of economics drives the price of commodities. As supply dips, demand increases and prices rise. Any disruption to a supply chain has a severe impact on prices. For example, a health scare to livestock can significantly alter prices as scarcity reins free. However, livestock and meat are just one form of commodities.

Metals, energy and agriculture are other types of commodities. To invest, you can use an exchange like the London Metal Exchange or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, as well as many others. Often, investing in commodities means investing in futures contracts. Effectively, that’s a pre-arranged agreement to buy a specific quantity at a specific price in the future. These are leveraged contracts, providing both big upside and a potential for large downside, so exercise caution.

Related: What Starbucks Teaches About Marketing Commodity Products

4. Trade cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies are on the rise. While trading them might seem risky, if you hedge your bets here as well, you could limit some fallout from a poorly-timed trade. There are plenty of platforms for trading cryptocurrencies as well. But before you dive in, educate yourself. Find courses on platforms like Udemy, Kajabi or Teachable. And learn the intricacies of trading things like Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and others.

While there are over 3,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, only a handful really matter today. Find an exchange, research the trading patterns, look for breakouts of long-term moving averages and get busy trading. You can use exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken or Cex.io, along with many others, to make the actual trades.

Related: 6 Cryptocurrencies You Should Know About (and None of Them Are Bitcoin)

5. Use peer-to-peer lending.

Peer-to-peer lending is a hot investment vehicle these days. While you might not get rich investing in a peer-to-peer lending network, you could definitely make a bit of coin. Which lending platform do you use? Today, there are many to choose from, but the most popular ones include Lending Club, Peer Form and Prosper.

How does this work? Peer-to-peer lending platforms allow you to give small bursts of capital to businesses or individuals while collecting an interest rate on the return. You get more money than you would if you placed it in a savings account, plus your risk is limited because the algorithms are doing much of the work for you.

Once you identify the offer, you can dig in and do some research — then, you can either take the deal or not. You’ll have your risk evaluated based on a proprietary algorithm that includes employment and credit history, and you’ll be able to make the decision to invest based on a variety of well-thought-out data.

Related: Why Peer-to-Peer Lending Could Be a Good Investment Choice

6. Trade options.

When it comes to options, Tom Sosnoff at Tastyworks says, “Trade small and trade often.” What type should you trade? There are loads of vehicles, such as FOREX and stocks. The best way to make money by investing when it comes to options is to jump in at around 15 days before corporate earnings are released. What type should you buy? Money calls.

The optimal time to sell those money calls is the day before the company releases its earnings. There’s just so much excitement and anticipation around earnings that it typically drives up the price, giving you a consistent winner. But don’t hold through the earnings. That’s a gamble you don’t want to take if you’re not a seasoned investor, says John Carter from Simpler Trading.

Related: 2 Strategies for Making Money Day Trading With a Bit Less Risk

7. Flip real estate contracts.

Making money with real estate might seem like a long-term prospect, but it’s not. There are ways you can take as little as $500 to $1,000 and invest it in flipping real estate contracts to make money fast. How? Use a system like Kent Clothier’s REWW to first understand how the market works. It’ll then provide you with the data and tools to identify vacant homes, distressed sellers and cash buyers.

While most people think that real estate is won by flipping traditional homes and doing the renovations yourself, the fastest money you can make in real estate involves flipping the actual contract itself. It’s arbitrage. Identify the motivated sellers and cash buyers, bring them together and effectively broker the deal. It might seem odd on the first go, but once you get the hang of it, you can become a mini-mogul in the real estate industry by simply scaling out this one single strategy. It works, and it’s touted by some of the world’s most successful real estate investors.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/WtSqocXzSLM/303429

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Let Go of Assumptions and Reset Your Brand Mindset

Many small businesses make the mistake of trying to please everyone. You can’t, so stop trying.

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Many small businesses make the mistake of trying to please everyone. You can’t, so stop trying.

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May 13, 2021 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following is an excerpt from Sean and Thora Dowdell’s Brand Renegages: Our Fearless Path From Startup to Global Brand, out May 25 on Entrepreneur Press. Pre-order it now via Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Bookshop. Find out more about Sean and Thora at ClubTattoo.com.

Small-business owners make several common misguided assumptions about branding, including:

  • Small businesses do not have brand recognition.
  • My business is too small to be a brand.
  • There are so many competitors in our industry that striving for individuality is pointless.
  • Having the lowest price is the only thing that matters to my customers.

Do you recognize any of these assumptions in your own mindset? If so, your thought process may be a bit misguided. It took several years in business for us to start to recognize these limiting mindsets. We didn’t realize that we could truly stand out as a national brand from other tattoo companies.

Related: To Build a Powerful Brand, Begin on the Inside and Move Out

We started out small, but eventually realized that we could become a recognizable brand that people sought out based on how they related to us and not simply because we were the closest or cheapest. We knew that we had created something different within our industry when we realized that most of our clients were women.

We made a conscious choice when we opened Club Tattoo to disassociate ourselves from the stereotypical image of tattoo and piercing parlors as dark, dingy and dirty. We didn’t put up old, grubby and outdated art on the walls, like most of our competitors at the time. We created a brightly lit interior with a roomy lobby and put the art designs into neat books that were laid out nicely onto our lobby tables.

We were an upscale “studio” rather than a “parlor,” and our clients could see we were different from the moment they walked in the door. Do you feel that your company could benefit from branding itself differently? Before you dive into figuring out what your brand is, ask yourself what you want out of your brand. You should know the answers to the following questions so you can create a solid strategy that will help you achieve your desired outcome.

So what’s your goal? Ideally you might want all these things, but what is your priority? Pick one, start with a goal, and build a strategy to accomplish it. Do you want to:

  • Make more money?
  • Stand out from your competitors?
  • Be more consistent?
  • Be more effective?
  • Be better appreciated by your clients?
  • Make a difference in the world?

Related: Treat Your Brand Like a Relationship: 8 Ways to Reignite the Romance

Many small businesses make the mistake of trying to please everyone. You can’t, so stop trying. We had to come to this realization quite early when some clients would come in and expect us to price match with our competitors down the street. When we refused, we had angry customers on our hands. Nobody wants that, but we had to decide who our clients were going to be.

We chose to be an upscale experience, and we made it clear to our clients that we were not going to be the least expensive choice in the market. But we knew who our target audience was, and we had a fairly good idea of how to get in front of them. In the end, we helped our entire industry change their approach to business as a result.

  • Small businesses do not have brand recognition.
  • My business is too small to be a brand.
  • There are so many competitors in our industry that striving for individuality is pointless.
  • Having the lowest price is the only thing that matters to my customers.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/AS0YFlsB_U0/371877

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How a Big Idea and a Big Heart Can Come Together for Big Success

Inside the launch of a company that aims to make dental care better and safer for all.

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Inside the launch of a company that aims to make dental care better and safer for all.

May 12, 2021 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Tara Tan is a New Zealand-based founder and CEO of Grin Natural, an all-natural oral care brand that’s bringing innovation to the beauty category while inspiring more sustainable choices to consumers around the world. Tara studied at the University of Auckland and graduated with a Master of Commerce, majoring in finance.

Her own life journey as an Asian mother sparked Tara’s commitment to bringing much-needed change to the industry due to concern about the oral care products her daughter will be exposed to and the belief that all parents deserve access to more environmentally friendly solutions.

In a recent interview on Medium, the entrepreneur described two factors that inspired her to start Grin Natural Products…

Notice an un-tapped niche

“My husband and I were anticipating our first baby. We began hunting for natural, safe products for us to consume and feel good about using. We noticed that we could not find a toothpaste that was effective yet toxic-free such as artificial flavors, sweeteners, parabens and sulfates—so we set out to make one.”

Be aware of every demo

“When we started, our goal was to create the best toothpaste that not only we would be proud to use, but our next generation, would love, too! As a mum, you find yourself not only thinking about your own child, but you also want to look after everyone as well as the planet. We’re all humans and part of this one ecosystem; we need to support each other to live happier lives together.”
Related: Take Care of Your Teeth With This Amazon’s Choice Oral Hygiene Set

Immediate accolades & plenty of partnerships

Grin Natural products appeared live on the Today Show with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager within just weeks of launching into the US Markets. They were additionally, awarded, via half a million votes, top spot in the NZ Best In Beauty contest in the best natural beauty product, best innovation, and best sustainability champion categories.

Over the past five years, Tara has successfully managed the Grin brand’s growth, launching into eight international markets and building social good partnerships with some of the world’s most respectable organizations including UNICEF, PADI, UN Environment Programme and Baby2Baby, (a Los Angeles-based, national non-profit organization that provides children living in poverty with diapers and clothing).
Related: 7 Electric Toothbrushes for Healthier-Looking Teeth

“We are so grateful to Grin Natural for their commitment to providing thousands of oral care products for children living in poverty who COVID-19 has impacted,” said Jen Armstrong, COO of Baby2Baby. “After months of lost income from the pandemic, the families in our program are struggling to provide the most essentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste to their children, and it is donations like this that allow families to reallocate their limited funds to other critical needs, food or even rent.”

Grin Natural’s responding grin was, well, never more natural…

“With an increased dependency on local charities to deliver on their mission and a rise in displaced low-income families due to the pandemic. We believe that low-income families should not have to sacrifice their health because of their socio-economic status,” said Tara. “Therefore, what better time to start this joint partnership than in February, which aligns with our mission to curve oral health literacy and to join Baby2Baby in their mission to provide families in need with oral care essentials.”

The timing of the commitment between Grin Natural products and Baby2Baby arrives during the celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month in February. The NCDHM promotes the benefits of good oral health and dental care hygiene habits among children. Grin Natural plans to deliver $50,000 worth of products to Baby2Baby over the next 6 months and they require everyone’s support to share a grin. Through said campaign every purchase made on grinnatural.com allows them to give oral-care products to the families living in poverty supported through Baby2Baby.

While Grin Natural continues to make big waves across eight international markets with endorsements from dentists and healthcare practitioners, Tara is committed to creating all-natural oral care for happy, healthy families with all-natural toothpaste eco-friendly oral care essentials for kids and adults. She is also committed to giving back as part of the organization’s mission, bringing more families products irrespective of their social-economic status.
Related: How This Dental Care Center Leveraged AI Robots & Technology To Combat the Pandemic

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