Owntrepreneurship Blog- 2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 28,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Why baking is the perfect pastime for busy entrepreneurs?

I admit it. I love to bake.

bake1
Just the start…

 

Bread

Buns

Pizza

Pretzels

Bagels

Love ’em all..

It sounds weird, right? Who in their right minds will spend hours (yep, baking is time consuming) to make something they can buy fresh off the shelf?

Well, hear me out first, and then decide if I’m crazy… well- why do I love baking so much?

  1. Its predictable- baking is a science. Unlike any other culinary discipline it is done according to strict rules, using exact amounts of every ingredient and in order to success one needs to follow the instructions precisely as they are written. But, given that you have done so, you are guaranteed to get the same great result. Every time. How many thing in our world can claim this? In a way, it is a rare thing that guarantee success and pleasure in a very unpredictable world. And that is comforting.
  2. It cannot be rushed- want to speed things up? Cook a stir-fry. You need to slow things down and be patient. Like, really. Wait for the dough to raise, let the dough wait overnight, bake it just enough… it forces you to slow down. It also enables you to have some time to think about things, relax and be creative.
  3. Its physical- so much of our lives today is virtual- text, music, even friendships. We do so little in the physical dimension, that we forget the simple pleasure of working with our hands, creating something new, something you can touch, feel and smell
  4. Its creative- sure, you need to follow the recipe. But after you learn the basics you can make your own adjustments and modifications- the level of sweetness, extras you can pour in, even the color of the glaze (shinny or matt? You decide).
  5. It’s magic- alchemy was the pseudo-science where people tried to make gold out of other materials. Well- in Baking, you can! You pour all these non-tasty ingredients (eggs, flour, yeast etc.) and it turns into something wonderful
bake2
Nearly there…

 

And the nicest thing? It isn’t hard at all. If all your life you were afraid of baking, give it another go.

Take your time, don’t be afraid to experiment.

And fail.

One time, two times, by the third attempt you are almost surely to succeeded. Give it a go, and let me know how it went. And also tell me if you liked it as much as I do.

bake4
Here we go…

 

Good luck!

LinkedIn Limits

In whatever professional arena we play we must know the rules. The rules usually apply to all participants in the same field and knowing them should give you an advantage over the others.

linkedin limits
Oops, I’ve reached yet another (LinkedIn) limit..

 

LinkedIn is not different.

Only that it is, in one simple aspect. It doesn’t tell you all the rules (perhaps somewhere, deep inside the end user license agreement it says something obscure about some limitations, and some additional information can be found at the help center).

And it changes them, often, too.

Also without notifying you.

Now, as a free platform which provide exceptional value to its user, LinkedIn is entitled to do pretty much whatever it pleases. But for us user this could be a frustrating experience, especially when we hit a “wall” or an obstacle we don’t understand.

Have no fear. This post will cover some of the most basic LinkdeIn-tations known (or unknown) to man. A disclaimer- as LinkedIn changes these limitations can and will be updated, so please follow this blog for additional updates.

    1. LinkedIn invitations limit: LinkedIn initially allows all users to send up to 5000 invitations. This limit is an automatic method to prevent accidental abuse and protect both senders and recipients (https://www.linkedin.com/static?key=pop%2Fpop_more_invitation_limits)How to bypass this? – if you know someone’s email address, you can still invite them to connect ( a proof you want? I 7,000 connections have…).
    2. Oh, and you can also ask the LinkedIn help team nicely, they are said to increase the limit for such requests.
    3. What’s the effect?– well, if you’ve sent 5,000 invitations, your gone. No more new connections,
  • Group limits :

 

You can be a member of no more than 100 Groups.

What’s the effect?– see a new group you like? You need to give up on a group you’re already a member of to join.

How to bypass this? – not really a hack, but you can own an additional 30 groups, so that brings the total number to 130.

  • Maximum character counts

 

Professional Headline: 120 character limit. Summary: 2,000 character limit. Recommendation: 3,000 character limit. LinkedIn Publisher Post Headline: 100 maximum characters ** LinkedIn Publisher Post Body Text: 40,000 characters ** Company Page: 2000 maximum characters Description: 200 minimum and 1500 maximum characters

Company Update: 600 characters or 250 if including a link. LinkedIn Status Update: 600 maximum characters. Group Discussion Subject Title: 200 maximum characters. Group Discussion Subject ‘Add More Details’: 4,000 characters.

(There are other- like phone number length, but they are very technical)

Do note that Characters are counted including spaces between words and sentences.

What’s the effect?– You need to meet these limits, or no post/update etc. will be enabled

How to bypass this? – no way that I’ve found yet. Just need to be concise (see the benefits of Twitter: https://owntrepreneurship.com/2015/10/18/i-dont-get-twitter/)

 

  1. Twitter limits;Not really a limit of it’s own, but if your aiming at spreading your updates far and wide you should try to learn and limit your message length.
  2. When sharing a regular update, your text limit is 600 characters maximum. However, remember if you select to also post on Twitter from LinkedIn, only the first 140 characters will be visible on your Twitter post.
  3. Obnoxious user- no such limit or definition exists. But if you abuse the platform you will be regarded as one, so don’t (over- post, share or comment). People need to know your there, but do not want to feel like you are always, there, everywhere.

Now you know your limits. and LinkedIn’s.

Fifty shades of “No”

They say that A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. They even say Mahatma Gandhi said it. Well, he heard a fair number of “No”s in his life, and even a greater number of “Yes” which should have been “no”, so he knew what he was talking about. Prior to saying this phrase, he was a lawyer and an advocate of human rights, and even a national leader. He sure knew by then how to tell one “no” from the other and how to utilize this knowledge in business negotiations.

No means NO!

But most entrepreneurs don’t know that. They either wait to hear a No which will never be said, or interpret an indecisive “no” as a maybe, or hear the wrong no.

So in order to assist, I’ve selected the three most important “No”s in the business world, ones which are critical to tell apart, especially for entrepreneurs.

  1. The hell- no. Usually said much more politely, but irrevocably. This is the “no” which means NO- not now, not ever. Not on my watch at least. Smile, shake their hand and walk away. And don’t pick up the phone later, trying to convince that “maybe”. What do you have to lose? They already made it clear they do not want to engage. Should they change their mind they will need to start a discussion/ negotiation in a much lower stance,
  2. The “Not-XXX”: not now, no budget, no internal resources to implement etc. This is better because they left the door open. Now it’s up to you to exploit this- should you be bold and persistent enough they might actually respect you for chasing them and like you for it.
  3. The No which is never spoken. Mostly a cultural issue, some people (and nations) never actually say no. They change the subject. Or utter an ambiguous phrase. Or you thought it meant no by the body language but the translator said otherwise. If you press harder (for instance, ask if they will buy your product by the end of the year ) they will say that they will be happy to work together, but need to see how this aligns with their overall business plans. And while you may think they are doing you a favor be not saying no to your face, they are actually doing the opposite- but not acknowledging a dead end you might continue to pursue it, wasting time and valuable resources which could be utilized to pursue more tangible leads. How to identify this? Trust your instincts, and, if need be, ask a local or someone familiar with the culture. In some cultures saying no is considered offensive, and people will do anything to avoid it. Others simply like to please and hate to evoke negative feelings, regardless of territory and culture. If you have identified this “No”, walk away. You will make it easier for everyone, and much less awkward should you choose to engage this person in the future.

There are other “No’s of course- some more verbal and deterministic in nature, other are so benign that they stretch like bubblegum until someone pokes a hole in it- and it will not be the other side. With time you will get better at identifying what the “No” really means, and learn how to respond to each type. And you will also learn how to say No yourself and to what purpose.