Tuesday, March 21, 2017

10 ways smart people handle negative people

friends clasp hands
Build a bridge. Flickr/Mathias Klang

Difficult people defy logic.
Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people's buttons.
Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all, stress.
Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain.
Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus — an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory.
Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your success — when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer.
Most sources of stress at work are easy to identify. If your non-profit is working to land a grant that your organization needs to function, you're bound to feel stress and likely know how to manage it. It's the unexpected sources of stress that take you by surprise and harm you the most.
Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions — the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with difficult people — caused subjects' brains to have a massive stress response. Whether it's negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome or just plain craziness, difficult people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs.
The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we've found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to neutralize difficult people. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep difficult people at bay.
While I've run across numerous effective strategies that smart people employ when dealing with difficult people, what follows are some of the best. To deal with difficult people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can't. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.

1. They set limits

Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don't want to be seen as callous or rude, but there's a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral.
You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You'd distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

2. They rise above

Difficult people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. So why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix? The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps.
Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they're a science project (or you're their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don't need to respond to the emotional chaos — only the facts.

3. They stay aware of their emotions

Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can't stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don't recognize when it's happening. Sometimes you'll find yourself in situations where you'll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you shouldn't be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.
Think of it this way — if a mentally unstable person approaches you on the street and tells you he's John F. Kennedy, you're unlikely to set him straight. When you find yourself with a coworker who is engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it's best to just smile and nod. If you're going to have to straighten them out, it's better to give yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it.

4. They establish boundaries

This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn't be further from the truth. Once you've found your way to Rise Above a person, you'll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand.
This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don't. For example, even if you work with someone closely on a project team, that doesn't mean that you need to have the same level of one-on-one interaction with them that you have with other team members.
You can establish a boundary, but you'll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you'll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.

5. They don't die in the fight

Smart people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you're able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

6. They don't focus on problems — only solutions

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you're facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.
When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you. Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and focus instead on how you're going to go about handling them. This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them.
You can establish a boundary, but you'll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you'll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.

7. They don't forget

Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn't mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what's happened so that you can move on. It doesn't mean you'll give a wrongdoer another chance. Smart people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others' mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.

8. They squash negative self-talk

Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There's nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.

9. They get some sleep

I've beaten this one to death over the years and can't say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, so that you wake up alert and clear-headed.
Your self-control, attention and memory are all reduced when you don't get enough — or the right kind — of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. A good night's sleep makes you more positive, creative and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.

10. They use their support system

It's tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To deal with toxic people, you need to recognize the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation.
Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can't because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation.

Bringing it all together

Before you get this system to work brilliantly, you're going to have to pass some tests. Most of the time, you will find yourself tested by touchy interactions with problem people. Thankfully, the plasticity of the brain allows it to mold and change as you practice new behaviors, even when you fail. Implementing these healthy, stress-relieving techniques for dealing with difficult people will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.
Read the original article on Entrepreneur. Copyright 2017. Follow Entrepreneur on Twitter.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

This Married Couple Built a $30 Million Company--Selling Fancy Bedsheets to Millennial Hipsters

Rich and Vicki Fulop built Brooklinen by understanding who their customers were and what they wanted

Rich and Vicki Fulop, co-founders of Brooklinen.
 CREDIT: Courtesy of Brooklinen

Rich and Vicki Fulop, the co-founders of Brooklinen, have a leg up when it comes to understanding who their consumers are and what they really want. Like their core consumer base, they are also Millennials who can spend a little more on high-quality products.
That knowledge has helped the husband-and-wife duo build Brooklinen, a startup that sells luxury bedding and other home accouterments like candles and blankets--all under $200, and only purchasable online. On Thursday, the company announced it has raised $10 million in series A funding from FirstMark Capital, an investor in Airbnb. Since it's inception in 2014, Brooklinen has generated more than $30 million in sales.
The Fulops, both 31, came up with the idea for Brooklinen after trying to buy a set of sheets they liked at a hotel. The bedding cost about $800, a price way out of their budget. As they searched online for other alternatives, they discovered older chat forums where other folks faced the same dilemma. The couple soon realized that when it came to bedding, there were only two purchasing options: High-quality and pricey, or low-quality and cheap.
"We were 20-something Millennials who had our own apartment, and no one was making cool and chic bedsheets that were both awesome quality and affordable," says Rich, who is also CEO of Brooklinen. "We knew there were enough people out there looking for the same thing."
Rich and Vicki began building out their startup plan with a rigorous amount of research. They wanted to know exactly who their customers would be, and how to appeal to them. As it turns out, they are Millennials with a steady income who prefer to shop online. Through email campaigns and in-person surveys, the couple asked about 500 of their target consumers what they wanted in bedding and how much they would pay. The two looked into which blogs these people frequented, what magazines they read, and even what coffee shops they visited.
Once they had a physical product and price point, they rented a van and delivered sheets to editors at multiple publications. Each included a hand-written note that asked them to try the products and write an article if they were impressed. The reception was positive, the Fulops say.
Early in Brooklinen's development, the Fulops approached investors that Rich met through connections at New York University Stern School of Business. But they didn't take the idea seriously. To prove their concept, the couple decided to launch a Kickstarter in 2014, with an initial ask of $50,000. Instead, they received $236,888 in pre-orders.
In 2015, Brooklinen's subway ads filled a station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a well-known hipster haven. Vicki, who had previously worked in public relations, wanted the ads to be creative and show the product in a real way. The advertisements featured people eating, snuggling, and lounging in bed.
The bedding industry may have similar companies fighting for business, but the market is large: the home textiles industry is a $22 billion market, according to Home and Textiles Today. Brooklinen isn't the only startup hawking sheets. Similar companies, like Parachute and Casper, also sell luxury bedding within the same price range. However, Parachute offers additional goods like towels and Casper also acts as a mattress company. But Brooklinen considers retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond, Bloomingdales, and Macy's as their competition. 
As business continues to grow, the Fulops make a point to stay connected to their clients. The company continues to collects feedback, suggestions, and complaints to come up with new new product ideas and improve existing items.
"We bank everything they are saying and asking for and implement changes quickly," says Vicki, adding that these requests have included "long side" or "short side" tags on sheets or bigger buttons. "Everything our customers say, we really listen to. It's a community-driven brand."

Learn from the Navy SEAL

Monday, February 20, 2017

If You Do These Things Every Day, You’ll Become Smarter

Thomas Oppong

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Getting smarter takes time and genuine commitment. You need to work hard at it. Knowledge builds up, like compound interest says Warren Buffett. And he couldn’t have said that any better. You get to cash in when the time is right. All of us can build our knowledge but most of us won’t put in the effort.
We all differ in our abilities to solve problems, learn, think logically, understand and acquire new knowledge, integrate ideas, attain goals, and so on. But when you put your mind to it, you will work better, smarter and faster.

Intelligence is always work in progress so you are never too late to add to what you already know.

The good news is, you don’t have to learn everything in hours, days or even months. The focus should always be on progress.
The simplest, most direct way to be smart is to build deep knowledge about things you care about. Building knowledge of an area improves your memory, thinking, and decisions about that topic. You can gain knowledge faster about a topic you care deeply about than a random topic.
But if they are not really the kinds of things you are interested in, then you will be hard pressed to devote time and effort to learn much. One thing that most people seem to agree on is that reading is near the core of how to be smart. Don’t get in the way of your own learning. Most people don’t really think much about how they learn.
The world is changing fast and new ideas pop up everyday; incorporating them into your life will keep you engaged and relevant. It pays to crave and keep an open mind. Incredibly smart people aren’t always born that way, but rather are constantly working to improve their intelligence.
You have every opportunity to improve and enhance your way of thinking. Choose smart and stay curious.

Start getting curious about almost everything

Some people are naturally curious and others are not. Your learning should not stop at school, college or your job. Life-long learning has a lot to do with your success than you think.
Nothing beats a curious mind!
The number one way to expand your mind is through questioning everything. It’s certainly much easier to accept information that comes to us, instead of questioning it and being susceptible to having to think. Have you ever wondered why a flower is a certain color, why someone said they like us, where someone got a percentage from.
As is usually the case, asking ourselves questions, leads to more questions, and then some more. Sometimes we do get reasonable answers, but it’s important to note that the mere act of asking expands our minds and allows us to try on an infinite number of paradigms.
A new question, brings a new outlook, which potentially changes everything we know about the world.
“Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren’t you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind — to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity.” — Albert Einstein

Be willing to try new things

Here is a short fascinating story of Steve Jobs’s youthful calligraphy class. After dropping out of school, the future Apple founder had a lot of time on his hands and wandered into a calligraphy course.
It seemed irrelevant at the time, but the design skills he learned were later baked into the first Macs. The takeaway: You never know what will be useful ahead of time. You just need to try new things and wait to see how they connect with the rest of your experiences later on.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,”.
In order to have dots to connect, you need to be willing to try new things.It pays to break some of your routines sometimes. Try consciously breaking one of your habits, just for a moment. Eat a different breakfast. Take a different route to work. Sleep in the opposite direction. Read fiction.
Get out of your comfort zone once a while. You will always get the same results if you never push the boundary. If you expect something different, change things. Change how you work. Don’t do what you’ve always done.

Expose yourself to different world views

Be genuinely curious about other cultures, languages or how things are done differently by others. Different cultures could have a big positive effect on your own ideas. Read about other industries. Find out how work is done in different markets. Get out of your own perception for once. Be open to discussions that does not share your world view.
Read books on topics you usually ignore. Unconsciously, you are are more likely to search, find and read about everything you know something about. It’s a way to protect and reinforce your beliefs, perceptions and opinions.
The only way to get out of your own world view is to step outside your perception and embrace new knowledge.
Get fascinated by a lot things. If you can’t get fascinated, you won’t care enough to really learn something. You’ll just go through the motions. How do you get fascinated? Often doing something with or for other people helps to motivate me to look more deeply into something, and reading about other people who have been successful/legendary at it also fascinates me. Allow yourself to wander.

Reflect on your learning by writing

You soak up a ton of information and patterns, and you can put that into action, but when you sit down and reflect on what you’ve learned, and try to share that with others (as I’m doing right now), you force yourself to think deeply, to synthesize the knowledge and to organize it, much as you do when you teach it to others. Blogging is a great tool for reflection and sharing what you’ve learned, even if you don’t hope to make a living at it. And it’s free.
Writing expands our vocabulary, which has been shown to be directly correlated with success. Any career that involves people (that’s all of them isn’t it) is based on solid communication with a firm grasp of vocabulary and knack for self-expression.

Commit to lifelong learning

One of the best ways to gain knowledge is self-education. Period. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop. As long as you are genuinely interested in what you are studying, don’t stop. Make the most of your time and get the best education you can can offer yourself.
People who take the time and initiative to pursue knowledge on their own are the only ones who earn a real education in this world. Take a look at any widely acclaimed scholar, entrepreneur or historical figure you can think of.
Formal education or not, you’ll find that he or she is a product of continuous self-education.
Lifelong learning will get most of your questions answered.
You don’t even have to commit long hours everyday to learning. Whatever time you decide to put in your own education, stick to it.
What are the most interesting topics you wish to know more about. The goal here is to find as many sources of ideas and knowledge as possible. Brain Pickings is a good place to start. It’s one of my favourites. And it’s free. Go subscribe and you won’t be disappointed.
Find other blogs blogs, websites or online courses that can broaden your horizon. Read expert opinions about topics of interest on Quora. It’s a game-changer in the world of question and answer websites. Look for answers to some of your most important questions at places people normally ignore.

A curiosity exercise

Write down 50 questions if you can. You can try hitting 30 if 50 is way too much. They can be anything from “How can I become rich?” to “Does the Universe have an edge and if so what is beyond it?” Just write down all the questions that come to mind, all the things that you would love to know the answers to.
Don’t stop until you’ve got the 50 or whatever number you settled on. Look through the questions and notice if any dominant themes emerge. Are there any areas of life that you seem most concerned with? Such as money, work, relationships, love, or health?
Pick your top 10 questions. The ones that seem the most important to you. You don’t have to answer them right now. It’s enough that you have organised them and know that they are important to you. Use the “Top 10 questions” technique on any area of your life where you are looking for improvements.

Embrace the genius in you!

Be productive. Make a dent in the world. Break rules. Ask lots of questions. Have fun. Love life. Start. Move, make, create, do. Just start something. Sometimes it is something big. Sometimes it is a big failure. Either way, you made a step.
Genius is much less about genetics and much more about mindset, ridiculous amounts of hard work, self-belief, focus and perseverance in the face of any setback.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What Is Gaslighting? Here's What to Know About This Form of Emotional Abuse

Julia Naftulin

This sophisticated emotional abuse tactic makes victims question their own sanity. 

Photo: Getty Images

Once in a while, it's normal to have a fleeting moment where you question your own sanity, like when you're severely sleep deprived or stressed out. But if a relationship leaves you constantly second-guessing your own instincts and feelings, you may be a victim of a sophisticated form of emotional abuse: gaslighting. Like other types of abuse, gaslighting can happen in all sorts of relationships, including personal, romantic, and professional.
Ben Michaelis, PhD, a New York City-based clinical psychologist, has worked with victims of gaslighting. For one of his patients—we'll call her Marie—the gaslighting began when her husband shouted another woman’s name during sex. When she tried to discuss the incident with him, he flatly denied what he’d said and told Marie she was hearing things. Marie figured she must have had too much to drink. But then the lying continued: Marie’s husband would change his alibi constantly, and when Marie questioned him, he'd say she was acting delusional. It wasn’t until almost a year later when Marie realized her husband had been hiding an affair the whole time.
“[Gaslighting] is like someone saying the sky is green over and over again, and at first you’ll be like ‘no, no,’” says Gail Saltz, MD a psychiatrist and host of the podcast The Power of Different. “Then over time the person starts to manipulate you into saying ‘I guess I can’t really see what color the sky is.’ It’s just this sense of unreality.”
Acknowledging you’re a victim of gaslighting like Marie did can be tricky at first, says Michaelis, who is the author of Your Next Big Thing: 10 Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy. “Initially, if someone is insisting on a reality that is different from your own, you’ll think, Why was I off that day? Was I tired?” As the gaslighting continues, victims begin to question themselves and their judgment more and more. Michaelis says this can go on for months or even years before they realize they’re being gaslighted. “People who experience gaslighting may show obsessive-compulsive symptoms because they want to constantly check themselves and recheck themselves,” says Dr. Michaelis. The confidence-depleting nature of gaslighting could contribute to increased anxiety in many or all aspects of a victim’s life, not only in the relationship. Many gaslighting victims berate themselves or feel the need to apologize all the time, explains Dr. Saltz.
Gaslighting can manifest in a workplace environment as well. “Your boss may use gaslighting to hide a mistake or cover up information they didn't mean to share,” says Michaelis. “It can also be a passive-aggressive gesture used among peers who are competing.”
If you realize you’re being gaslighted, the first thing you need to recognize is that a gaslighter may not be conscious of the effects of their actions, especially if they have issues with being wrong or out of control. In this case, confronting the gaslighter could work. Michaelis suggests conducting all conversations you have with the gaslighter in a recorded format, like through email or text. Then, when gaslighting occurs, tell the person what they originally said. “If they continue do deny what they said, you can supply the recorded evidence so they have a concrete understanding of what happened,” says Michaelis. This method works best when confronting a friend or partner.
In professional relationships, Michaelis suggests reaching out to a third party, like human resources, which can make the confrontation more objective. You can take this route in your personal relationships as well by enlisting a friend or family member to help. “If you find it happening to you, be thoughtful of the person’s motivations,” Michaelis says. “They don't usually do it out of pure ill-will. It usually correlates with trying to cover something up, so first try to repair the relationship if it’s worth it.”
If confrontation fails and ending the relationship is an option, Dr. Saltz recommends doing so. Michaelis agrees: “All relationships are changeable. Maybe not immediately, but they are changeable or severable if need be,” he says.
If you have to stick it out with a gaslighter, though, try to boost your confidence with the support of good friends. “If you’re having a hard time changing the situation, they can bolster your reality otherwise,” says Michaelis. In a work environment, you should also be wary of what information you share with a gaslighter. Michaelis suggests withholding personal life details with a gaslighting co-worker or boss to protect yourself from emotional abuse in the office.
No matter which method you choose, it’s important to take control of reality again, says Dr. Saltz. This involves setting limits that stop gaslighting attempts in their tracks. For example, if your boss calls you overly sensitive when you ask, “Why won’t you let me work on big company projects?” demand true feedback rather than accepting blame on your character. “It’s holding the line for what you’re wanting to achieve," Dr. Saltz says, "and not buying into accusations intended to knock down self-confidence."  

Friday, January 27, 2017

5 Productivity Tools for Self-Employed Internet Entrepreneurs

by Nathan Resnick

Technology can offer you many helping hands.

5 Productivity Tools for Self-Employed Internet Entrepreneurs
Image credit: GetResponse

For many, working for themselves online is a dream come true. Not only are they able to choose clients, manage responsibilities and work how, when and where they want, but the overall sense of empowerment that comes through being their own boss is a feeling that’s second to none.
In the words of Sir Isaac Newton, however, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So, while working from the comforts of a home office in pajamas might seem like an irresistible offer, taking to the internet to make a living has its downsides, too. Chalk it up to the frustrations of client management, being solely responsible for the success or demise of your digital business or struggling to focus while working alone from a personal computer, being self-employed is one of those things that’s easier said than done.
Fortunately, there are a number of tools available to lend a helping hand. Nowadays, as far as keeping yourself as productive as possible is concerned, there are more than enough high-quality resources to keep you on task. Care to check ‘em out? Below, you’ll find five of the best:

1. GetResponse.

If you’re looking to boost your inbound marketing efforts, GetResponse is for you. This marketing automation software makes it extremely easy to create online sales funnels that convert.
Whether you’re looking to create an email marketing drip campaign or a robust webinar, GetResponse has a full suite of software that can automate your funnel. When it comes to being an internet entrepreneur, this type of tool can make the difference between a high grossing month and a loss.
It makes sense. No matter your money-making niche or area of expertise, countless emails are constantly being sent and received. As such, why not make email a more effective marketing tool with a top-notch, first-rate automation platform? With one in place, your business stands to benefit.

2. Slack.

While there are bound to be a number of Skype, Fleep and HipChat proponents who read this post, Slack is hands down the best messaging software available to self-employed entrepreneurs. When used correctly, it acts as the key component of your team’s internal communication.
And don’t go thinking it’s just another messaging program. The beauty of Slack is that it’s able to integrate with other productivity tools like Trello (see below) or Jira. Furthermore, with Slack, file-sharing is a drag-and-drop activity. Afterwards, everything is organized and searchable.

3. WorkFlowMax.

Real-time communication is nice and all, but for a more robust means of enhanced productivity, project management plays the most important role. Yup, you guessed it -- this is where WorkFlowMax stakes its claim as the simplest, most straightforward job management software on the market.
Getting beyond the unnecessary bells and whistles of most job management platforms, what distances WorkFlowMax from the rest of its competitors is its unique, cloud-based interface. Representing vital tasks, team members can send instant quotes and easily track time spent working on projects. This enables an internet entrepreneur to streamline the process of invoicing through trackable time. The platform also integrates with world class software solutions like Xero for accounting and Hubspot for marketing.

4. Evernote.

If you’ve taken the entrepreneurial plunge and are now working for yourself, you’ve likely heard of Evernote. And with good reason -- it's a game-changing resource. For example, have you ever read or seen something online you felt could greatly change your business for the better? Of course you have. But bound by an endless to-do list, you’re likely to either forget where you found the top-tier tidbit, the message it transmitted or the impact you originally felt it could have on your business. Needless to say, none of these options will work.
Luckily, as a cross-platform, note-taking program, Evernote makes remembering important information a breeze. Whether it be formatted text, a full webpage, voice memo or photograph, Evernote takes jotting down notes to a whole new level. Don’t bypass this one-of-a-kind tool.

5. If This, Then That (IFTTT)

Time is a businessperson’s most valuable asset. Think about it. No amount of entrepreneurial brilliance can recoup the precious hours and minutes that’ve been lost. Simply put, once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. No time-saving tool understands this better than IFTTT.
IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That.” Basically, IFTTT is a web-based service that allows self-employed entrepreneurs to create chains of simple, task-oriented statements that incorporate a host of popular tools. The result? Automation kicks into high gear, saving you some serious time.
For example, let’s say that yours is a business that relies heavily on Facebook for marketing means. Using IFTTT, the moment someone likes a photo your business posted, you can set things up to receive an email notification and automatically download said photo to DropBox.
Twitter, Instagram, MailChimp, Spotify and even Alexa -- if there’s a tool you’re routinely using during the workday, there’s an incredibly high chance that IFTTT is able to use it to help you build out a more meaningful, streamlined working experience.
This list doesn’t contain many surprises. Time and time again, each of the above tools has proven themselves invaluable for the self-employed. If you work for yourself, you owe it to your business to give them a try. You’ll be glad you did.
Nathan Resnick is a serial entrepreneur who currently serves as CEO of Sourcify, a marketplace of the world's top manufacturers. Having brought dozens of products to life, he knows the ins and outs of how to turn ideas into realities. 

12 Tools for Running Your Business From Anywhere in the World (Infographic)

by Jonathan Long

Internet access is transforming how companies recruit talent and how tolerant employees are of commutes. The right tools make everyone happier

Telecommuting and working remotely was once reserved for trendy Silicon Valley based startups, but these days it’s more of a common occurrence. In fact, 37 percent of Americans worked from home last year. 
It has benefits both sides love -- the company gets to reduce operating costs and the employee eliminates long commutes, providing them with more personal and family time. The internet is entirely responsible for how businesses operate these days. Whether you operate a large company with hundreds of employees, or you are a solopreneur building a small team, you can leverage online tools and software to run your business from anywhere in the world. There are no geographical limitations, provided you have an internet connection.
There are several options when it comes to cloud-based tools and SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications, so Wabash Power Equipment Company put together the infographic below to highlight twelve useful online tools that can be used to run a remote business from any location in the world.