Why You Have to Get Better at the Boring Stuff

There are plenty of thrills when you’re starting up. But those long stretches of mind-numbing work? That’s what ultimately determines whether or not you’re successful.



How to Hack Sleep

Improve your productivity (and the productivity of your employees) with these tools and tips for better rest.



Top Stories: New iMac, Yosemite Update Premiered

Latest newsEDIT
Apple is premiering new technology. And that includes tools and features helpful to small businesses too. You’ll find details on these and other important small business stories in this week’s small business news and information roundup.

Tech Tools

Apple Claims the New 5K Retina iMac Has the Best Resolution – Ever

Apple claims its new 5K Retina iMac has the best resolution of any digital display — ever. It might sound like an idle boast were it not for the fact that the company has some numbers to back it up. The new iMac’s Retina display contains a total of 14.7 million pixels, for a 5120 x 2880 pixel resolution.

The OS X Yosemite Update Unites iPhone and iMac

The latest update to the Apple operating system OS X Yosemite brings a new feature called “continuity” that officials say unites operation of the company’s iPhone and iMac. Think of it as a way to “hand off” active apps, documents, emails and even phone calls from your iPhone to iMac and back again.

Samsung SMART Signage TV: Digital Signs and TV for Small Businesses

Lots of small businesses use televisions in their premises: gyms, sports bars, restaurants — to name some.  But what business owners may not realize is that using consumer televisions for commercial purposes may void or reduce the warranty. And if you decide to use a TV or monitor to run an in-house presentation, say in your lobby, it can be cumbersome and expensive.

Marketing Tips

Busted: Hotels.com Caught Buying Links, Apology is Weak

As is true of so many things in life, the big boys have it a whole lot easier than the rest of us. Fishing for backlinks in exchange for money can be risky (not to mention deeply unethical), but that didn’t stop Hotels.com, an Expedia property, from sending out spammy emails asking travel bloggers for precisely that.

When and How to Use Autoresponders

If your small business wants more customer conversions (i.e. sales), then learning when and how to use autoresponders is a step in the right direction. These pre-scheduled emails, usually one or more in a series, are triggered by customer behavior and can be used to target, engage and convert prospects to buyers.

Mary Lou Song of Fuel451: Using Ad Tech to Turn Videos into Digital Marketing Campaigns

According to a report earlier this year by ZenithOptimedia, global ad spending is on track to grow 5.5% this year to $537 billion, with Internet advertising expected to account for almost one-quarter of that, at $121 billion.

Finance

Gross Fixed Capital Formation Weak at Non-Corporate Businesses

Capital investment activity at non-corporate businesses has been declining for the past decade, data from the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds report shows. Between 2000 and 2011, the latest year data are available, the average non-corporate non-financial business reduced its gross fixed capital formation by one-third, when measured in inflation-adjusted terms. This decline is troubling.

Startup

13-Year-Old Entrepreneur Makes a Deal with a “Shark”

At an age when most kids may be thinking about the next new video game, Noah Cahoon, 13, was thinking of how to expand his father-son business, Paper Box Pilots. Recently, Cahoon was featured on the ABC pitch show, Shark Tank, where he was offered $35,000 for a full half of the business from Kevin O’Leary, a big name in the toy industry.

Employment

Survey: 11 Percent of UK Workers Want Flexible Hours

There’s been plenty of debate over the last several years about the pros and cons of flexible hours for workers. But whether businesses think it is a positive or a negative, it’s a concept that is becoming more commonplace in workplaces around the world. In fact, the U.K. enacted a new law that allows workers to request flexible hours.

Social Media

20 Ways to Avoid Screwing Up Your Facebook Presence

Facebook can be an incredible tool for small business promotion. In fact, there are some businesses that have even built their entire marketing strategy around Facebook. The site offers so many different opportunities for both paid and free promotions that it can be difficult to know which tools will be the most effective.

Green Business

Getting Your Business Energy Efficient Before the Holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching, meaning less time to focus on the finer details of running your business and more time focusing on holiday shoppers. As a small business owner, you know the holidays are a crucial time to your bottom line. However, as many found out during the Polar Vortex last year, it is easy to lose a significant portion of those profits to high energy costs.

Holidays

Wow Your Staff With These 18 Clever Employee Gift Ideas

Your employees are a big part of your business’s success story.  So understandably you want to reward them and make them feel appreciated. That may include a special gift at that special time of year. So here is a list of 18 clever employee gift ideas for 2014. It’s a list compiled to fit a variety of small business budgets.

9 Holiday Marketing Tips to Make Your Retail Store Stand Out

With Halloween almost here, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday aren’t far behind. For small retailers, that means it’s time to gear up for your holiday marketing moves. Like last year’s, this is a short holiday shopping season (just 26 days between Black Friday and Christmas, compared to the more typical 31), so you’ll want to make the most of it.

Latest news photo via Shutterstock

The post Top Stories: New iMac, Yosemite Update Premiered appeared first on Small Business Trends.

Top Twitter Reactions to Blue Ivy’s Halloween Costume

Your Halloween was just made a lot better thanks to two-and-a-half year old Blue Ivy and her precocious outfit.

No surprise for fans of the Beygency and Roc Nation, as Beyoncé (as Rhythm Nation Janet Jackson) trotted out her young prodigy decked out as Michael Jackson for All Hallow’s Eve. For those wondering if it was a wreck or a success, just look at the picture to your left, as the kid works it in the iconic jacket with the glove, the sunglasses and even a little baby microphone.

The late Michael Jackson was such a motivation to Beyoncé that it is no wonder that she would keep his legacy alive in her child. As the world continues to watch her every step, people are noticeably wondering just what Kanye and Kim West’s child, North, is going to be for the festive holiday. Is her time as the most cutest little bambino in the Roc-A-Fella household up? We’re not so sure, but Twitter certainly had a thing or three to say about Blue Ivy channeling the deceased King of Pop.

With that said, we are going to spotlight members of the Twitter community who had something to say about Blue Ivy and her flawlessness. Leave your own thoughts and theories in the comments section below! Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

4 Ways To Get Noticed for the Job You Want

Figuring out how to climb the ladder within your company is no easy task. You’ve been busting your butt doing good work, but still don’t understand why you’re getting passed over for the promotions you’re clearly qualified for. Well, let’s talk about what you can begin doing immediately to get noticed and prevent another opportunity from passing you by!

1.  Get clear about your true value. This is not about what you “feel” like you contribute to the team.  You need to identify your contributions and be able to quantify them at a moment’s notice. Know current statistics on your work. Measure your successes by cost savings, increased productivity and overall contribution to the company. Did you save your department $34,000 this quarter? Are you already at 96% of your annual goal? No team wants to lose their most valuable player and similarly no company wants to lose their most talented employee.  Be crystal clear and completely honest about what qualities you bring to the table first with yourself and then with the powers that be.

2. Share your desire to move up with your boss. Learn how to articulate your wishes efficiently. Unless your supervisor or manager is a mind reader, don’t assume they know you’re interested in another position. They might believe you’re 100% comfortable doing what you’ve been doing all this time. . . especially when you’re so darn good at it! Ask for a face to face meeting rather than attempting to present your case in a letter or via e-mail. That type of one-way communication doesn’t allow you to develop a mutual understanding of the situation and what to do about it. Ask about what opportunities for advancement may be coming up and what steps you would need to take to work towards that. Try to enroll your boss in your vision and use the meeting to toot your own horn a little and share the running list of professional accomplishments you compiled while getting clear about your value.

3. Begin to look the part. A mentor shared with me years ago that you dress for the job you want, NOT for the job you have. Now, this doesn’t mean to spend what money you may have on clothes you simply cannot afford, but it does mean you should do the best you can with what you have. Try not wearing jeans and sneaks just because your office is laid back. Do you want to blend in with your co-workers or wear a sleek pair of slacks and pumps so you stand out a little above the rest?

4. Network on the job. Remember, moving ahead is not only about who you know, but who knows you! Don’t reserve all of your networking skills for those awkward “business” networking mixers at the club. Get to know different folks in and outside of your department. Make a friend in the HR department. Aren’t they usually the first to learn of internal job postings? If another department peaks your interest, start showing an interest in what’s going on and how things work.  Let the manager there know you’d be interested in learning more and would even be willing to come in after hours or on an off day to help out.  As long as it doesn’t affect your performance, your manager shouldn’t be upset and you’ve let everyone know that you are definitely the one to watch for the next big opening!

Most people will sit around complaining and waiting to be noticed. Be willing to go beyond what the average person is willing to do and expect the best! Get clear, get vocal, get connected and get noticed for the job you want!

 

Patrice C. Washington is the #1 best selling author of Real Money Answers for Every Woman and the Money Maven of the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show where she hosts her own weekly segment, Real Money Answers. Patrice is a highly sought after speaker whose mission is to move the masses from debt management to money mastery. To learn more, visit www.bookthemoneymaven.com.

“ABFF Independent” Presents All-New Episode “Hope Floats”

Omari Hardwick Hosts ABFF Independent

(Image: Aspire)

On Monday, Nov. 3, The American Black Film Festival Presents ABFF Independent latest short film entries, ‘Hope Floats.’ The series, which comes on every Monday on the Aspire network at 8 PM, showcases indie films and is hosted by Omari Hardwick.

This episode’s six hopeful films include:

Thula – 15 Min. – Two friends struggle to find peace and forgiveness across continents as they navigate their roles as blood daughter, surrogate daughter, and best friends.

From Prison to NYU – 14 Min. – A short documentary that showcases one man’s shot at successfully redeeming himself against all the odds. It’s a documentary about the determination and love that motivated an African American man to make the journey from incarceration to education.

I’d Rather Be Dancing – 30 Min. – A paralyzed African American dance diva, now wife and mother, confronted by her ex-lover/dance partner, who shows her that the spirit of a dancer doesn’t die with the use of her legs. The bitter choice between her family, her lover and an artistically fulfilling life from her wheelchair, make this decision an intensely poignant spiritual battle between the three great loves of her life. IRBD is a soul searching look at what keeps us bound in our lives mentally, emotionally or physically and is a heartwarming testament to the human spirit.

Standing Reign – 5 Min. – “If you don’t stand for something…”  This film was in competition for the 48 Hour Film Festival of Atlanta. Filmed at Tyler Perry Studios.  Standing Reign was awarded “Best Film of Atlanta” in the 48 Hour Film Festival, ‘Best Short’ in the TOMI Film Festival of New Orleans and “Best Narrative Short” in the International Black Film Festival of Nashville.

Crown Heights – 5 Min. – Set during the racially charged Crown Heights, New York riots of 1991, “Crown Heights” is the story of a young man, Elijah, African-American, who is confronted with a split-second decision whether or not to save the life of an innocent Hasidic Jewish man who’s out alone in the racially mixed neighborhood.  Elijah, the sole grocery store bagger in his local neighborhood bodega is fired up, angry about the Crown Heights riots, which occurred because a Hasidic Jewish motorcade struck and killed an African-American boy who was playing along the sidewalk at night.  Racial tensions soon flare up throughout the neighborhood, leading two young men into Elijah’s store that night.  When they spot Gary, a lone Hasidic Jewish customer, they nod to Elijah to lure the man outside to attack him while he’s carrying his bags to the car.  Amidst the anger and anxiety, Elijah has to decide whether or not to side with his race, and friends, and attack the man, or side with the man, and risk getting attacked himself by the local riff-raff.  Elijah’s decision, though a very short and quick one, has endless ramifications for himself, his neighborhood, the potential perpetrators, and victim.

Strange Fruit – 11 Min. – On August 7, 1930, two African-American teenagers, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were lynched by a violent mob in Marion, Indiana. Moved by the infamous photograph taken that night, Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high school teacher in New York City, wrote a protest song entitled, “Strange Fruit.” The song soon became a signature of a young jazz singer named Billie Holiday, the unforgettable finale of her live performances, inspiring generations to believe in the power of music and the dignity of the human spirit.

This is the story of an American masterpiece, the song TIME Magazine in 1999 called “the song of the century.” But even more, this is a Good Friday story, an Easter Sunday story, a deeply human story of tragedy, defiance, genius, and grace.

Meet Patricia Cesaire, Co-Host of Our World with Black Enterprise

Image: File

Living by the motto “Live life like everything is rigged in your favor,” Patricia Cesaire knows all about stepping out on faith and going after your passion.

Wearing the hat of a digital strategist, entrepreneur and corporate coach, Cesaire is known as the go-to person for digitally taking a brand to newer heights.

As the founder of the Cesaire Group L.L.C., she offers consultation to businesses looking to expand their involvement in the digital space. She’s worked with several top brands including Google, AMEX, and Pepsi, and even  some local political campaigns. Admitting her fascination with the way people connect and communicate digitally, this young entrepreneur has shared her insights on numerous panels, workshops, and even on MSNBC.

With years of media experience that includes working as manager of audience development and digital PR for Warner Bros., Black Enterprise and Hill & Knowlton as a digital strategist, Black Enterprise is proud to welcome Cesaire back to the family as the host of a dynamic new season of Our World With Black Enterprise.

“I’m most excited about connecting our viewers to the learned experiences and insights of exceptional entrepreneurs and corporate leaders in the most entertaining format possible,” said Cesaire on her new hosting role.

Co-hosting alongside author, entrepreneur and professional matchmaker Paul Brunson, Cesaire says that Our World will fill a void in television that often provides inadequate coverage of black professionals.

Our World highlights the successes of our brothers, sisters and friends,” said the Worcester, Massachusetts native. “There are so many remarkable black professionals making phenomenal career moves, and creating powerful legacies–we simply don’t see adequate representation of this reality across the majority of televised media. Our World mitigates this disparity by sharing positive, genuine narratives of amazing individuals across a myriad of industry and backgrounds.”

Catch Cesaire on the new season of Our World With Black Enterprise, which premiers for a new season this weekend and returns every Saturday, (check your local listings for times) and Sunday at 10a.m. on cable network TV One.

Infographic: What You Could Buy with the Nation’s Student Loan Debt

According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the average student loan borrower will be about $26,600 in the hole upon graduation. Furthermore, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, total student loan debt is more than $1.2 trillion. Have you ever wondered what you could buy with all the student loan debt in the United States? Well, wonder no more. Personal finance website Debt.com has released a new infographic showing exactly what you could purchase if someone owed you $1 trillion. Think iced-out Rollies and private celebrity concerts. But remember, this is just for fun. If you really do happen to inherit a large sum of money, make sure you’re responsible and continue to live within your means.

Living Large On America’s Student Loan Debt – An infographic by the team at Debt.com