Why Some Employees Don’t Like Having Freedom at Work

Many leaders are, by nature, entrepreneurial. But that doesn’t mean the workers they manage share a drive to think for themselves and solve problems. Some tasks simply don’t have room for it.

Some types of work require problem-solving and risk-taking, while more rote, structured jobs have less room for creativity. For workers in the first camp, having the freedom to dream up and experiment with new ideas is crucial to getting their jobs done. But those who aren’t responsible for creative solutions might be frustrated or confused when given autonomy.

study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior concluded that empowering workers — letting them work without monitoring, asking for input and giving them a role in decision-making — does not always translate to job satisfaction, skill-building and productivity. In some cases, employees may feel uncertain about how to proceed or even resent leaders who empower them.

Researchers from the University of Exeter Business School, Alliance Manchester Business School and Curtin Business School conducted the study. They examined the performance of 8,500 workers from 105 companies around the world in a range of industries and found that employees responsible for routine tasks do not respond well when presented with autonomy by their boss. Instead, many suspect a boss is dumping his or her own higher-level responsibilities, such as decision-making, on them. In turn, these frustrated workers are less productive day to day.

Conversely, empowerment encourages those responsible for more creative tasks to work harder, help others and be proactive.

What’s more important than granting everyone the independence to manage themselves is trust-building between bosses and employees, the researchers note. Sometimes, empowering a creative worker can backfire if a boss tries to have it both ways, saying they’ll let the worker make their own decisions but not giving them the authority to actually do so — or not being there for employees when they inevitably want to discuss ideas from time to time.

Meanwhile, workers have to prove to their bosses that they can function productively without close monitoring.

“Workers have got to feel that their boss supports them to take risks when empowering leadership is being used,” says Allan Lee, a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter Business School who led the research, in a summary of the findings. “But bosses are also vulnerable when they manage people in this way. People could take advantage of the trust put in them. Trust is a powerful factor in how effective empowering leadership can be.”

Lee and his fellow researchers also made a counterintuitive conclusion about whether managers should give new hires more freedom: It turns out people who are new on the job both respond and perform better when empowered at work, compared to employees who have been on board longer. Even though they don’t know the ropes as well, they may be less cynical and more willing to experiment, the researchers note.

Original Article:www.entrepreneur.com


Why Storytelling Will Continue to Be the Go-To Marketing Strategy in 2018

For 2018 trends, we asked an expert on what entrepreneurs can expect this coming year in marketing.

Traditionally, you raised money from friends and family, bootstrapped, lost money for one to three years and then you became profitable and got acquired or went public. That was the cadence of entrepreneurship. But because Amazon for its entire life has made no money, and is the fourth most valuable company in the world, that has reshaped entrepreneurship. Now the path looks like this: Raise as much capital as cheaply as possible, and quickly establish a leadership position. There is a race to identify yourself as the leader in every sector. You don’t brag about profits. You brag about year-on-year revenue growth, mindshare and leadership position.

What this means is that the core competency in building value now is not operations, not data — it’s storytelling. It’s painting a really compelling vision for markets, then making progress against it every day. You can’t be an effective CEO today without being an effective communicator and storyteller.

Of course, you still do need a much better product than your competitors’. Then you need to use new channels of distribution and marketing to scale fast, and use that scale to raise capital. Also, get to a city. Two-thirds of the growth is in cities, and two-thirds of that is in New York and San Francisco. There’s one venture capitalist in St. Louis, and even if your company does take off there, you’re going to spend the majority of your time on planes to San Francisco and New York.

To be an entrepreneur, you have to be comfortable with tireless, obnoxious self-promotion. Some people are comfortable with it; some people are not comfortable with it but will do it. Most people would never dream of doing it; those people go to work for other people. You’re in the business of constantly telling your brand’s story.

Original Article:www.entrepreneur.com


The One Strategy That Could More Than Double Your Sales

There are two basic ways you can increase sales: Close more often or close bigger deals. Most salespeople focus on trying to close more sales, but the truly successful among them instead sell to the “top dogs” in their industries.

There’s a catch, of course. If you want to reach high-level prospects at big organizations, you can’t simply make haphazard phone calls and send random sales emails. You need to implement one can’t-fail strategy: an organized sales-prospecting campaign.

Have you ever gone after a big fish in your industry before? What was the result? (If you’re unsure where to start, my free 1-Minute Sales Strength-Finder Quiz could help you focus on how your skills best match with a strategy to improve your track record.)

 Setting up the perfect campaign plan will help you more than double your sales and dominate your competition:

1. List your 10 ideal prospects.

It’s fine to start by listing the top organizations you’d like to convert to customers. But you need to be more strategic in your approach. Identify specific people you’ll need to meet within each company so you can secure the sale. Don’t waste your time with low- or mid-level management. Go after the VPs, CEOs and C-suite executives who have the power to invest in your offering.

2. Plan ahead for every point of contact.

Cold-calling doesn’t work when you’re going after valuable prospects. These people often get hundreds of sales calls every week. To stand out from the crowd, map out your plan for every prospecting touch before you ever make a call or send a prospecting email.

3. Think outside the box.

Next, brainstorm seven different ways you can “touch” your prospect. Calls and emails don’t count. Plan unique ways to offer something of real value so you can catch your prospect’s attention and stay on her or his radar.

4. Send personalized packages.

When you’re brainstorming those seven touches, look for ways to send something of value and personalize it to your prospect. Special reports, samples, case studies, handwritten notes and invitations to events all are examples. As a bonus, these valuable, information-packed offerings position you as an expert in what you’re selling. When you’re working toward a massive sale, you can afford to invest time and money in these personalized packages.

5. Send everything through FedEx.

No, I don’t get paid by FedEx to say this. I’ve simply found that everyone opens a FedEx box or envelope. Not even CEOs at large organizations can resist the curiosity. It’s a great method to ensure your prospect will open your package and actually lay eyes on the gift you’ve so carefully planned and customized.

6. Now you can call and email.

Once you’ve sent your package, follow up with a phone call or email. Because your prospect has seen your name on something of value, he or she will be far more likely to know who you are. That makes it much easier to start a conversation than a cold call ever could.

7. Don’t give up.

Some prospects will be responsive right away. Others will not. Just stick to your planned touches and rinse, wash, repeat. If you never get a response, move to another high-level prospect within the same organization and try again. Closing big sales takes persistence and patience, but doubling your sales certainly is worth the effort.

Original Article:www.entrepreneur.com

Stop Spending So Much Money on Lead Generation and Do This Instead

You’re tricked into thinking you want more sales, more leads and more customers.

But, you don’t want more sales — you want more profit. You don’t want more leads — you want more calls. You don’t want more customers — you want more people to buy your stuff, come back again and again, and talk about how amazing you are with their friends.

This is how to become an influencer in your industry.

With this outlook, it isn’t about the simple want of more, but rather your desire to have a greater impact (on their lives and yours). But, this doesn’t just happen. As human beings, we need intimacy and connection. We need to believe what we’re buying (and who we’re buying it from) is the real deal.

Yet, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you dedicate most of your time and money toward getting more leads and sales, using the standard online marketing tricks to do so.

But, what if you didn’t? What if instead of spending so much money on lead generation, you spent it on getting in front of your audience more often? Not with the same ad or video, but with different pieces of content each time that ensure you remain top of mind, all the time.

While your competitors are busy putting people into one funnel after another, you can prove you are the most relevant person in your industry. You can seem to appear everywhere in their lives: their Facebook feed, inbox, YouTube, large publications, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

The best part is, this approach will save you money because you no longer focus on lead generation or webinar registrations, but instead on becoming “top of mind” (which is much cheaper).

So, if you want to know how to become an influencerand your industry’s “go-to” expert, this is how.

1. Value customers as human, not leads.

Your first step to becoming an omnipresent and relevant force is to treat your audience as human beings, not as leads. Your competitors have set the bar so low. You know this already, because every time you log into Facebook you’re bombarded with the same lead-gen driven messages.

There’s so much content these days that everyone panics. Your competitors worry about not getting leads and sales, and forget about why they want these leads and sales in the first place.

Not you; not if you want to know how to become an influencer in your industry. For this, you need to prove you are relevant — and this begins with building a meaningful connection with your audience. If every post, email and message you publish is about your products and services, you are not treating customers as humans. Share your story and life with them, ask them questions and invite them to share their own thoughts and feedback. Conversations are not a one-way street, so start speaking with your audience, not at them.Once you have, you’re ready to take them down the rabbit hole.

2. Be relevant at the right time.

Here’s an idea — instead of manipulating your audience and using scarcity tactics, how about you hit them with the right message at the right time (and in the right place)?

I’ve been guilty of this in the past. I’ve used every marketing tactic we’re told to use. And although they do work, they do not create the long term success you crave.

And let’s face it, people are onto us. They know there aren’t 100 seats in your webinar. They know you will take their money, even if the 24-hour deadline passes. They’re not idiots, and you need to stop treating them like they are.

Relevance begins with trust. Engage your audience, and spark conversations. Listen to what they say, and take note of when they are saying it. For instance, before I create any sort of guide, product or service, I ask my audience if they want it (and invite them to get early access).

If engagement is high, I create it. If not, I create new content until I find the most relevant “thing” that will help them right now. With this approach, you won’t have to stoop to scarcity tactics ever again, which is when you’re ready for the next step.

3. Illuminate their pain.

Although you don’t need to use scarcity tactics, you do need to illuminate your audience’s pain, and explain why they feel it.

Unlike your competitors, you don’t have to manipulate them or build on their fear. You simply say they hurt, and that there’s an alternative. I often do this by writing a Facebook post that highlights some of the common issues and pains they may be feeling, and what I’ve personally done to change this. You don’t need to ram it down their throat. Be relevant and speak to them (not at them). They are not idiots, and if they are the right person for what you’re building, they will relate to what you’re saying.

Trust builds. Relevance explodes. And all the while, you remain a constant force in their lives who continues to give, give, give. You are now top of mind, which allows you to complete the final step.

4. Show them you can help.

The final piece of the puzzle is to show your audience how you can help. You still need to sell. You still need to tell your audience when to buy. You still need to push your products and services, and you still need to place your audience into certain funnels. The difference now is, it’s easier to complete the process — in fact, you will often find they come direct to you and ask, “I’m ready … what’s the next step?”

This happens to me all the time. I publish a short post hinting at the offer when a product is almost live, and soon have people message me to ask how they can buy. They are ready to pull the trigger, and just need me to say how.

For most entrepreneurs, this is the hardest part of the process, but with this approach it becomes the easiest.

This is not rocket science. You don’t have to be a genius to do this. But, most people don’t (and most people won’t) because it doesn’t bring overnight success. But, overnight success does not exist!

So, stop begging for leads and treating your audience as idiots. Instead, treat them as human beings and provide a lot of value (often). Continue to show up with relevance every day, and give them the right message at the right time. Build trust and illuminate their pain, not with scarcity or fear, but with a solution to their problem. Finally, show them how you can help — they will do the rest.

This is how you become a big fish in a small pond, and this is how you become an omnipresent and relevant force that sets you apart from everyone else. With this approach, you become top of mind.

Original Article:www.entrepreneur.com

Understanding the Risks of Wall Street Investing

As individuals, we have little to no control over the investments made with our money on Wall Street. That said, when we do have the opportunity, wouldn’t we like to make the best choices and decisions as to how it is invested?

Understanding that there’s no such thing as a perfect investment, I think you’d agree that it’s only prudent to learn about some fundamental strategies to improve your odds of winning on Wall Street. Let’s consider three key concepts: drawdown, decumulation and sequence of withdrawal.


Drawdown is the historical loss of an investment that’s calculated by subtracting that investment’s lowest value from its highest value over a market cycle. (It’s important to note that the recovery from drawdown isn’t linear, which is why the average rate of return of an investment can be markedly different from the real rate of return.)

As the definition states, recovering from a loss isn’t linear — it’s exponential. So if I lose 50 percent and then earn 50 percent, I am not whole. I need to earn 2 x 50 percent, or 100 percent, to make up for a 50 percent loss.

The other thing that’s important to note is why it’s more reasonable to accept more risk when you’re younger. With more time to recover, your returns can be much smaller but will still grow your investments. For instance, let’s say you were about to retire in 2008 and the market crashed. You could have lost 50 percent of your retirement nest egg right before you planned to access that money. Many people did find themselves in that exact situation and had to postpone their retirement as a result, hoping the market would recover in the next five years and the value of their accounts would be restored. But, that would take a 20 percent return every year for each of those five years. Do you know how many times the stock market earned 20 percent for five years in a row? Never! What if you don’t have time? What if you’re going to retire and need to spend down your nest egg?

To illustrate the reality of the stock market, Wall Street uses the expression “No tree grows to the sky,” meaning the stock market doesn’t go up forever. Eventually, it goes down, referred to as a “correction,” and what that means is you lose money. Drawdown has a profound impact on earnings. The problem is only exacerbated if you make withdrawals. This situation is referred to as “decumulation.”


Decumulation is a condition whereby investment withdrawals occur while, simultaneously, the principal remains invested. Therefore, as withdrawals are made, there’s still potential for ongoing gains. There’s also the risk of ongoing losses.

Decumulation is what every retiree faces with their retirement nest egg. After all, one has to take some risk. With no risk, there are no earnings, no rate of return. We need to invest with Wall Street. It’s almost impossible to avoid it. Yet, even modest losses at the wrong time can blow up a retirement plan completely over a short period time.

Can I paint a bleaker picture? Of course I can. Let’s talk about one last concept: the “sequence of withdrawal” risk.

Sequence of Withdrawal Risk

If an investment isn’t protected from losses while withdrawals are made during a down market, that investment is subjected to profound negative effects, which are exacerbated by those withdrawals. If one takes withdrawals and simultaneously experiences serious losses, then there’s very little chance of recovery and the investment will likely be depleted entirely over a relatively short period. That’s the sequence of withdrawal risk.

The solution to this problem is simple. Simply, never choose to retire immediately prior to a market downturn. As long as you can predict the future accurately, then you can avoid the sequence of withdrawal risk altogether.

But, unless you’re a fortune-teller, there’s no way you can correctly predict just what will happen in the market. So now you’re probably asking yourself, “What the heck should I do about investing in Wall Street?”

  1. Be smart and do your homework. Understand the true risks involved with your investment options.
  2. Be realistic and understand that there’s no such thing as the perfect investment.
  3. Plan ahead, creating a long-term financial plan to better under­stand your financial needs and the time horizon you face.
  4. Do something, because doing nothing will guarantee failure. Get involved, learn and be willing to take an appropriate amount of risk.                                                                                                                                                                          Original Article:www.entrepreneur.com