Small business owners and other independent authors interested in publishing their own books have traditionally had a couple of options. They can find a more traditional publisher, then help promote the book on their website, through speaking engagements or in any other way and be paid an advance and eventually a royalty for their work. They can create an ebook for download from Amazon and other sites and digitally distribute it making money from a percentage off each online sale. Read Full Story

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What do Mao Zedong, Huawei and WeChat have in common? Their expansion – encirclement – strategy. Continue reading →

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Most people don’t go out of their way to buy apparel they consider to be ugly. But over the last few years that has changed, at least around the holiday season. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day and ugly sweater parties have gained popularity in recent years. At first, people had to ask their grandmas or scour the racks at thrift stores to find sweaters with gaudy bells or cats wearing Santa hats. But now, retailers big and small have grabbed onto the trend and made it much more accessible for everyone. Read Full Story

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I would like to describe a model for developing an effective strategic planning process. Most organizations do a poor job at planning and even poorer at execution. One of the major reasons that most strategic development plans fail is that most strategy models are one or two dimensional. SWOTs, Boston Consulting Matrix and the famous 7S model are all deficient in that they… Continue reading →

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I have the opportunity to participate in about 15-20 conferences a year, in addition to hosting my own annual event. It’s pretty hard to get one hundred people to an event. It’s even harder to get 100 quality attendees in your target audience group to come and stay a day or two. But to get one thousand people in your target audience to do that year in and year out is a pretty unbelievable feat. Read Full Story

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I’m a tracker. When I order something from Amazon and other online retailers, I love nothing more than to see where in the U.S. my purchase is currently located. “Oh good, my cake pan is in Kentucky now!” “Hooray, that iPhone case is already in Wisconsin!” “My new Peanuts collection is ‘out for delivery?’ WOO-HOO!” So I can totally identify with this kid. Read Full Story

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Innovation is far too often an organizational orphan. How can you make sure it is not just fostered, but becomes adopted and part of the family? Continue reading →

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AdWords Editor is still much-loved by search marketers, judging by the reaction when we suggested a year ago that Google seemed to be deprioritizing it. Now, with the release of Google AdWords Editor version 11, there’s even more to love. AdWords Editor is one of Google’s most popular tools, according to the search giant itself. I’ve questioned over the last 18 months or so why AdWords Editor seemed to be lagging so far behind the web version. In their Version 11 announcement, Google said this is the biggest update to the tool since it launched in 2006. Read Full Story

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Zipz, a single serve wine company, made Shark Tank history last week by closing the biggest deal in the show’s history. The company makes a wine-by-the-glass product that is covered in a protective wrapping to increase its shelf life. Zips came to Shark Tank seeking $2.5 million for 10 percent of the company, which it received from Kevin O’Leary along with some other contingencies. To date, the company has raised $8.5 million from 25 backers, including six former Goldman Sachs partners. Not every Shark Tank investor was enthusiastic about the idea though. Read Full Story

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Being a founder or CEO requires a lot of time, and you often can’t chat with your employees as much as you’d like to. So how do you know if they’re happy and doing the best work they can? To find out some direct, easy ways to learn this important information, we asked 11 founders the following question: “I don’t check in with my employees often but would like to. What is one straight-to-the-point question to ask them when I do?” Here’s what YEC community members had to say: 1. What Can I Do for You? “If you have a good team, you’re really just there to support them. Read Full Story

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