• 4 Ways the Power of Habit Benefits Your Business

    An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? There’s a reason why adages like these become stuck in our heads. The power of habit is a spectacular thing. From childhood, we are taught structure: we get up, we get dressed, we brush our teeth, we brush our hair, we eat breakfast, etc. Somewhere along the line, certain habits fall out of line and we let things go. Luckily for us, time has passed and we are again, utilizing the power of habit to benefit our businesses. Here’s how: Habits bring your team together In the digital world it’s easy for people to become caught up in their role within a company. They do their work and do it well, but when it comes to working with other departments, team members may begin to fall short as they delve into their own projects. Incorporating habits for workflows between departments can help things move more steadily. We recommend implementing the use of the same software of apps across the company. For example, if the marketing team uses one application to keep all of its information, it’s best that the other teams do the same. If everyone in the company has the…

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  • Entrepreneurship: A Heady Cocktail of Action and Connections

    What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word entrepreneur? Someone so dedicated to their innovative business idea that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to see it succeed? A person with such passion for their dreams that they work harder than just about anyone you know – and love every minute of it? Or maybe you see yourself in that word, your own passion and drive propelling you down the bumpy – but rewarding – path of entrepreneurship. The word entrepreneur comes from the Old French, and those linguistic roots provide some surprisingly nuanced insight into the nature of people who found businesses. The French word entreprendre means to undertake, which has a long list of such dynamic synonyms as embark, endeavor, tackle, devote, stake, venture, and set in motion. Entrepreneurs are doers. They turn their passion into action, and make things happen. But our little language lesson doesn’t end there. The French word entre, by itself, means between, and that gives us our second insight into entrepreneurship. It’s all about making connections between people. Connections between the entrepreneurs and their customers, yes, but also connections with their peers in the business world,…

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  • Marketing Zen Accepts Award at United Nations in New York!

    We’ve got a riddle for you. What’s cooler than being recognized as one of the top American entrepreneurs under 35? Being recognized as one of the top American entrepreneurs under 35 – at the United Nations in New York, that’s what! The Marketing Zen Group is proud to announce that our CEO, Shama Kabani, was chosen to be one of the select few honored at a ceremony held in the United Nations building in New York yesterday, October 24. Out of the thousands of young entrepreneurs across the country, only the top 100 are chosen for inclusion in the Empact100 Showcase each year. And Shama? Well, she’s taken Marketing Zen to the top two years in a row now. The Empact100 Showcase was developed by Sheena Lindhal and Michael Simmons, owners of Empact, a world-renowned firm specializing in entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial mindset, innovation, and leadership events and programs. Lindhal explained the purpose of her organization’s award program: “Our goal is to celebrate the stories and faces of young entrepreneurs. We do this by selecting entrepreneurs 35 and younger from companies they have founded that have made at least $100,000. We focus on a variety of areas where entrepreneurs succeed. This…

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  • 6 Ways To Gain Credibility as an Industry Thought Leader

    Let’s say you’re looking for a real estate agent to help you sell your house. You find one agent’s website with all the standard stuff – a generic welcome, a bio page, listings… But then you discover a realtor webpage that’s obviously different. It grabs you from the very first page with important information that’s extremely useful for someone looking to sell their house. Free downloads are available, with tips on how best to stage your home when potential buyers come calling. There’s a daily blog discussing the real estate market in depth, and how you can take advantage of – or work around – current trends. Later that day, as you’re browsing through some real estate groups on LinkedIn, you see that same realtor taking part in discussions, and answering people’s questions – not in a sales-y way, but just to help them out, no strings attached.   Which of these two realtors would you choose to sell your house? Of course, you’d choose the second one! And that is the power of becoming an industry thought leader. So how can you apply this real estate scenario to your own business? Just follow these six steps to establish yourself…

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  • Day 5 in Egypt – One Journey Ends, Another Begins

    Every day in Egypt has felt like two days squeezed into one. Today was different. It felt like a week had been squeezed into a day. Early in the morning, all the delegates took a bus to the Smart Village for the final day’s activities. That’s when the fun began. All 18 teams made their final business pitches. What did their companies do? What was their revenue model? How would they stand out? It was wonderful to see how far the groups had come in just 5 days. They were articulate, confident, and had taken our feedback to heart. We knew that choosing the final four winners would not be easy. After all the Egyptian teams had pitched, but before we tallied up the scores, we all had something on our hearts and minds. We wanted to share what this experience had meant to us. The U.S. and Danish delegates thanked the Egyptian entrepreneurs and the organizers for inviting us to mentor, and expressed our deep delight at the progress of all the companies. Read more

  • Day 3 in Egypt – The Gloves Come Off

    For two days, the young Egyptian entrepreneurs we’ve been mentoring have been focusing on business challenges my fellow U.S. and Danish delegates and I have given them. On the third day, we told them it was their turn to challenge us. We picked four of their suggestions, which we felt would apply to the majority of their fledgling companies. But they still had work to do—they had to come up with solutions. The first group I met with had an excellent start-up idea revolving around group-buying websites. They didn’t have any business plan, nor a PowerPoint. They just had a really good idea with some sense of the direction forward. I decided that I wasn’t doing them any favors if my feedback wasn’t honest. I was straightforward. I told them that they must have their plans written down, that they had to answer some basic questions. When would they launch the website? When would they start to approach other businesses? To their credit, they took these tough questions in great stride. I introduced these eager entrepreneurs to a group I had worked with on Monday, the second day of this week-long experience. Monday’s group shared their plan with Tuesday’s, and…

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  • Day 2 in Egypt – An Entrepreneurs Pursuit, Passion and Perils

    It’s day two of the NextGen boot camp for young Egyptian entrepreneurs in Cairo, and the day starts off on a disappointing note—four teams dropped out of this week’s event, forfeiting the business competition. I couldn’t believe anyone would give up such an amazing opportunity, and was told the reasons were rooted in the realities of life here. Some of the entrepreneurs couldn’t make it because of the disastrous transportation system in Cairo, while others had been called into work. I felt deeply for them, because I realized that it couldn’t have been an easy choice to make. It boiled down to a matter of their current jobs versus their future entrepreneurial dreams. Their dilemma weighed on me as I looked over the keynote I’d be delivering in a few moments. My talk was to be about how to make a business viable—the theme of the day. My gut reaction was to say “A great idea and apparently solid transportation!” But, as I looked around the room at the now familiar faces eager to hear my story, I decided to get personal and shared my own journey in a presentation called “Pursuit, Passion, and Perils: The Story of One Young…

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