Even Superman Needs to Be Clark Kent Some of the Time by Roger J Hamilton

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What’s the most dangerous advice to receive when you’re ready to take the leap and start your own business?

It’s the advice given in reality-TV shows and heroic entrepreneur fiction: “Quit your job, put your life savings on the line and risk it all!”

That sort of advice is fine if you’re a student with few outgoing expenses and OK about sleeping on a friend’s sofa while the business is in startup mode. But if you have a house, a family and other commitments, it’s the very worst advice to take.

Sure, the current job may not pay well. You may not enjoy it and it may feel exciting to jump into the unknown. But the moment you quit your job without any cash flow to replace your salary, you risk entering into negative cash flow territory and the clock is ticking.

Too many people jump into their own business wanting to be Superman and give up their Clark Kent job, as if the situation required the wannabe entrepreneur be all one or all the other.

The most successful wealth creators in the world understood that even Superman needs to be Clark Kent some of the time. Before starting Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg began by being paid to write code for others. Warren Buffett began his investment career working for Benjamin Graham.

Oprah Winfrey began as a radio host before starting her own show. In each case, they bought their time first. Remember, Superman doesn’t get paid to save the world. He needs that Clark Kent newspaper reporter’s job some of the time to pay for his stretchy suit and cape.

Where’s your telephone booth? How do you make the transition from being a full-time Clark Kent with zero hours as Superman (or Wonder Woman) to being a mix of the two? There are three questions to ask:

1. What is your minimum Clark Kent time?
Work out what will give you the maximum return on time to cover your commitments and keep you cash flow positive. What is the minimum number of hours of work that you need to work at your current rate to cover that? It may be four days a week instead of the five days you’re working. It may be switching to a higher-paid opportunity in the short term to bring the hours down further. This is a temporary phase as you move from where you are to where you’re going.

2. What is your maximum Superman time right now?
Even if you devote only one hour a day or one day a week to your entrepreneurial project, when you define a profitable Superman project and allocate time for it, you immediately feel inspired to spring into action.

Change your getup or bring about a total change of environment to spur you forward. As you secure income through your Superman role, you can further cut down your Clark Kent tasks.

3. Where’s your telephone booth?
Clark Kent doesn’t jump into his cape in the office cubicle. He finds a telephone booth. What’s the best location or situation for you to make a transition? It could be a mentoring group. Or you might become involved with a crowdfunding site, a freelance role or an Amazon store until the money for your business starts flowing.

The risk-it-all mentality is far and away the exception in the success stories I’ve witnesses but all too common for the failures. The failures involve not only those who jump and crash but in those who remain stuck in the wrong job or business.

As long as you believe that making a transition should be an all-or-nothing leap, you will jump at a high-risk opportunity or delay jumping at all times. Once you envision the entrepreneurial process as something that can begins today, all the reasons for not starting immediately fade away .

So what are you waiting for, Superman?

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Watch Where You Swipe: Hackers Have Done More Damage Than You Realize by Laura Entis

 

 

 

1408996483-2-watch-where-swipe-hackers-done-more-damage-realizeIf you want to keep your credit card information and other personal data safe from hackers, it’s a scary time to go shopping in America: Payment system hacks have targeted a rash of retail chains of late, including Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, Goodwill, SuperValue and most recently, UPS.

Sadly, the cyber attacks we do know about are likely just the tip of the iceberg: According to an advisory report by the Department of Homeland Security, more than 1,000 American businesses have been affected by the same payment system hack that compromised in-store cash registers at Target.

Earlier this summer, Homeland Security asked companies to check their in-store payment systems for a malware package, known as Backoff, found on Target’s registers; seven companies that sell and manage in-store registers subsequently discovered that they have multiple customers who have been affected, The New York Times reported. While some companies, such as UPS, have alerted customers that their information “may have been exposed” most affected companies have yet to take that step; at least in part, that’s because many remain unaware that their payment systems have been breached.

At Target, Backoff malware siphoned away shoppers’ personal data via the magnetic stripes on their credit and debit cards. In response, banks have been pushing for increased security standards courtesy of chip-based smart cards, which are much harder to hack. By October 2015, credit card companies want American retailers to switch from magnetic in-store registers to chip-based terminals.

It’s unlikely retailers will meet the deadline, however, primarily because upgrading payment systems is expensive, upwards of $500 a terminal, the Times reported.

But if retailers continue to drag their feet, American consumers will continue to pay: According to the Times, the black market is flooded with payment information stolen from American credit and debit cards.

In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security has some basic, practical tips for retailers looking to protect themselves against a hack job: Restrict the number of vendors who can access your internal network, improve existing passwords (the longer and more complex, the better) and shut down access to an account after multiple incorrect log-in attempts.

Out of Office: When You’re Flying, So Should Your Mind BY Beth Comstock

 

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LinkedIn Influencer, Beth Comstock, published this post originally on LinkedIn.

I have status. Not because I’m fabulous but because I spend weeks and months every year shuffling in and out of hotels and airports, meeting with customers, attending events and talking to our global teams. Travel is a big part of most business jobs and, through the years, I’ve learned how to make the most of it – even make it a time for creativity without distraction. Being a million miler is great, but doing corporate travel right is invaluable.

Sometimes I’ll find that my schedule is so chaotic that I wish I had a 13-hour flight to Asia to do some thinking. I’m constantly tweaking my tips for the road to figure out the best way to travel with purpose. Here is my updated list:

Pack for Simplicity… and Peace of Mind
If packing were an Olympic sport, I’d be a medalist. I refuse to take more than a carry-on bag lest I face last-minute flight changes. I have gone for more than two weeks, between snow and heat, supplied by only one suitcase. Still, efficiency comes at a price: I was a laughable sight wearing way too many clothes at a Lufthansa gate in Hong Kong, refusing to let my bag be rejected as too heavy.

I prefer lightweight, fabric bags with lots of pockets and zippers (Lipault is my current favorite). I roll up all my clothes and build a wardrobe around one pair of business shoes and basics. Hotel laundry is expensive but essential for long trips.

I also pack workout clothes and my almost weightless Nike Hyperfeel shoes. On arrival, especially after an international flight, I try to walk outside to soak up the sunlight in beautiful parks like these favorites: Munich’s English Garden, Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, San Francisco’s Embarcadero and anywhere in Paris.

Be Creative at 38,000 Feet
Airplanes may be physically constricting, but they’re a great place to let your mind wander without distractions. It’s ironic because once upon a time, I feared flying and now I look forward to it as a place to let my mind wander.

Before my flight, I choose one or two projects or ideas that require deep thought and organize all of the reading materials and briefs I need. When we take off, I like to write long hand or do mind mapping. I think of the air as a respite from PowerPoint. Finally, I limit myself to bursts of 90 to 120 minutes of work. More than that, and I tend to lose the creative spark. Finally, I wind down with a novel or a sitcom and try to let the ideas settle.

Be Ready for Unplanned Downtime
Flights get canceled. Meetings get canceled. It can either be incredibly frustrating or an unexpected gift. If I haven’t gotten to the airport, I’ll often direct a cab to drive the long way to take in a few extra sights. For long waits at airports, I always have a number of books on my Kindle app and a variety of music and audio books so I can match my mood. Hanging by the gate is a good time to clean out the email box or update my to-do list.

It took me years to learn that it’s much better to be resigned to inevitable delays, and grateful for the gift of unfettered time and the opportunity to let my mind fly.

10 Surprising Things You Should Know About Social Media (Infographic) by Kevin Allen

Did you know Fridays are funny on Pinterest? Or that brands have one hour to respond to someone on Twitter? Or that Twitter has six distinct communication networks?

Social media is evolving so rapidly that it can be tough to keep up.

The infographic below by digital marketing firm Mainstreethost is another great resource, revealing 10 surprising facts about social media. I consider myself a pretty savvy person when it comes to social, and even I’ll admit a few of these were definitely eye-opening.

 

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