Safeguard Your Startup Sanity and Success

A number of issues affect the mental state of entrepreneurs—from depression to substance abuse. What is one strategy that you can use to avoid some of the issues that plague yourself and your fellow entrepreneurs?

BlackEnterprise.com consulted with members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Here’s their prescription:

1. Talk to Other Founders. Depression, fear, and self-doubt grow larger and more problematic when we keep them to ourselves. Talking with other founders helps in two big ways. First, it brings these emotions out into the open where they lose their power. Second, you begin to realize that you are not alone and that these feelings are normal as a founder. Seek out and speak with mentors and peer founders. – Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Video Doorbell

2. Meditate. Studies show that meditation helps fight depression, stress, and anxiety. Taking time out to be centered, still, and quiet pays huge dividends towards reducing stressors and keeping your mind right. – Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40 / Finance Whiz Kids

3. Create an Entrepreneurship Therapy Group. Meet and talk with other entrepreneurs to get a sense of how they feel and how they cope. Your listening and encouragement could help them and you, simultaneously. You will see that other people are facing similar things, and you might be able to solve them together, rather than remaining in your silo. – Andrew O’Connor, American Addiction Centers

4. Reclaim Your Weekends. Entrepreneurs can get caught in a cycle of never-ending work, but we all need to recharge every now and then. Set aside your weekends to spend away from screens and work. Once you start the cycle, you’ll find yourself scheduling hobbies and meet-ups. You’d be surprised at all the activities you can think of when you allow yourself to get bored. Weekends not an option? Pick two weekdays instead. – Jared Brown, Hubstaff

5. Don’t do it Alone. This is a really personal issue for me, as I lost one of my closest startup mentors early on to suicide. Depression is always going to be a factor for entrepreneurs who must contend with pressure, fear of failure, and uncertainty all the time. If you’re battling depression, don’t try and do it alone. I made a point of starting therapy once I started my company, and I went diligently once a week. – Jonathan Shokrian, MeUndies Inc

6. Book Vacations for the Entire Year. It is essential that entrepreneurs schedule up their vacations, block them on the calendar, and book them for an entire year in advanced. Taking time during the December holiday season, when you are already reflecting on the past year and the year ahead, affords the chance to set time away from business. Once it’s set, it’s easy to keep. – Eric Mathews, Start Co.

Safeguard Your Startup Sanity and Success

A number of issues affect the mental state of entrepreneurs—from depression to substance abuse. What is one strategy that you can use to avoid some of the issues that plague yourself and your fellow entrepreneurs?

BlackEnterprise.com consulted with members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Here’s their prescription:

1. Talk to Other Founders. Depression, fear, and self-doubt grow larger and more problematic when we keep them to ourselves. Talking with other founders helps in two big ways. First, it brings these emotions out into the open where they lose their power. Second, you begin to realize that you are not alone and that these feelings are normal as a founder. Seek out and speak with mentors and peer founders. – Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Video Doorbell

2. Meditate. Studies show that meditation helps fight depression, stress, and anxiety. Taking time out to be centered, still, and quiet pays huge dividends towards reducing stressors and keeping your mind right. – Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40 / Finance Whiz Kids

3. Create an Entrepreneurship Therapy Group. Meet and talk with other entrepreneurs to get a sense of how they feel and how they cope. Your listening and encouragement could help them and you, simultaneously. You will see that other people are facing similar things, and you might be able to solve them together, rather than remaining in your silo. – Andrew O’Connor, American Addiction Centers

4. Reclaim Your Weekends. Entrepreneurs can get caught in a cycle of never-ending work, but we all need to recharge every now and then. Set aside your weekends to spend away from screens and work. Once you start the cycle, you’ll find yourself scheduling hobbies and meet-ups. You’d be surprised at all the activities you can think of when you allow yourself to get bored. Weekends not an option? Pick two weekdays instead. – Jared Brown, Hubstaff

5. Don’t do it Alone. This is a really personal issue for me, as I lost one of my closest startup mentors early on to suicide. Depression is always going to be a factor for entrepreneurs who must contend with pressure, fear of failure, and uncertainty all the time. If you’re battling depression, don’t try and do it alone. I made a point of starting therapy once I started my company, and I went diligently once a week. – Jonathan Shokrian, MeUndies Inc

6. Book Vacations for the Entire Year. It is essential that entrepreneurs schedule up their vacations, block them on the calendar, and book them for an entire year in advanced. Taking time during the December holiday season, when you are already reflecting on the past year and the year ahead, affords the chance to set time away from business. Once it’s set, it’s easy to keep. – Eric Mathews, Start Co.

America’s Shrinking Middle Class

I was recently watching a documentary about San Francisco. One of the people profiled was a 60-year-old unemployed male, who had been out of work since The Recession.

This gentleman, who once made a very comfortable living in the financial services sector, now lives in a small and broken down single-room apartment, and gets most of his meals from food kitchens.

The documentary highlighted how the surge in upper-income residents to San Francisco, and the wealth the tech industry has brought into the city, is squeezing middle-income residents, prompting many to leave town.

This San Francisco story is consistent with recent data from Pew Research that found from 2000 to 2014, the share of adults living in middle-income households fell in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas – a level that could foretell the end of the middle class as the majority in this country.

What’s interesting is like the man from San Francisco, the shrinking middle class is as much a story about increasing fortunes as it is one of economic misfortune.

“The shifting economic fortunes of localities were not an either/or proposition: Some 108 metropolitan areas experienced growth in both the lower- and upper-income tiers,” say study researchers.

Case in point: Goldsboro, North Carolina and Midland, Texas. According to Pew data, in Goldsboro, an old railroad junction town and home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the share of adults who are middle income fell from 60% in 2000 to 48% in 2014.

The study also found, however, that in Midland, an energy-based economy, the share of middle-income households dropped from 53% in 2000 to 43% in 2014, the share of adults in upper-income households in Midland, which doubled from 18% in 2000 to 37% in 2014.

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“The national trend is clear—the middle class is losing ground as a share of the population, and its share of aggregate U.S. household income is also declining. But, as the trends in Goldsboro and Midland demonstrate, similar changes in the size of the middle class could reflect very different economic circumstances and reactions at the local level,” say researchers.

As we draw closer to the presidential election, the middle-class squeeze, and the spotlight it puts on growing income inequality in the United States, are sure to be a topic of serious debate.

Click here to find out if your household demographics and location make you part of America’s shrinking middle class.

How Can Businesses Use Facebook Continuous Live Video?

Facebook continuous live video API

When it comes to social media, Facebook is undeniably king. That’s why businesses bend over backwards to try and engage with users via the social media platform — and it’s also why they’ve been working hard to take advantage of Facebook’s video capabilities.

With the launch of the new Facebook continuous live video API, those capabilities have drastically expanded.

Announced in April, this latest expansion of Facebook Live will enable users to stream 24-hour live coverage of anything and everything — from a window filled with adorable puppies to the backstage goings-on during an awards show.

Facebook Continuous Live Video Growing

A few weeks on, the new Facebook continuous live video API has grown by leaps and bounds. Over 100 broadcasters have already hopped on the bandwagon, and global brands are leveraging these new platform capabilities in order to reach users in new and engaging ways.

Disney has used Live API to hand fans sneak peaks from the red carpet, CSPAN has used it to bring viewers closer to this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner and Bleacher Report has been using it to answer questions about the NFL Draft.

“We’ve already seen some interesting use cases — for example, it was used by explore.org to power nature cameras — and we’re looking forward to seeing what Live API developers come up with in the future,” Facebook video head Fidji Simo told TechCrunch. “We expect developers and publishers to get creative with this new capability.”

That being said, there are plenty of ways that smaller businesses can get creative with the new Facebook continuous live video API.

According to Simo, restaurants can utilize Facebook Live in order to walk diners through a typical service, cottage manufacturers can showcase their processes and B2B companies can stage live tutorials. Weather-driven industries like ski resorts or surf shops can even host a continuous stream of local weather conditions so that customers from across the globe know when it’s time to come in.

Better yet, businesses can then directly interact with those viewers in order to generate leads and forge stronger consumer relationships.

“Live video on Facebook is truly interactive ,as broadcasters engage with their commenters and respond to their suggestions and questions,” Simo said. “In fact, from initial data, we’ve seen that people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos.”

Continuous streaming isn’t the only new addition Facebook is making to its Live API. The social media giant will also enable businesses to post videos that are only visible to users based in particular locations that are relevant to that business.

Businesses can also select a video to expire after a certain amount of time in order to generate a sense of urgency around their continuous stream — and Facebook has introduced an age-gate that ensures underage users cannot view certain videos. That will prove a huge benefit for alcohol brands or local bars looking to leverage Facebook’s Continuous Video Live API capabilities.

“We’ve been humbled by all the amazing and creative ways that people have used Facebook Continuous Live Video so far, and we’re committed to creating the best experience for everyone who wants to create, watch and interact with live videos on Facebook,” Simo said. “We’ll keep working to bring you the best ways to broadcast, interact with, and discover live video. Stay tuned.”

Image: Facebook

This article, “How Can Businesses Use Facebook Continuous Live Video?” was first published on Small Business Trends