I know this sounds completely ridiculous, but I wanted to create a site where people could come and ask for literally anything and get a meaningful and freshly generated response. That was the brief and it took me a while to figure on how it was going to work, a bit longer to design, then about six months to build.
Responsibility is a mandatory for business - and it's about being mindful. Mindful of others feelings, experiences, ambitions and hopes. Mindful to avoid upsetting them. Mindful to make them happy. Mindful of the things that are important to them. Anyway, I was thinking about my own sense of responsibility (and hopefully integrity) in the context of my business interests and thought I'd explore some of the thinking behind the things I get up to and why I do them.
So, you want to be an entrepreneur ? It's not for wimps or the delusional . It's a long term play and you need to have the stamina for it. My advice : add real value for the customer, by picking a hard problem that can change the status quo, dream up a solution for them forgetting the obstacles you'll face along the way.
When most entrepreneurs think of getting paid, they think about money--a cheque, a big contract, a client bringing in a lot of new business.
The UK has one of the most laissez-faire business regimes in the world. Anyone over the age of 16 whether resident in the UK or abroad, with some minor exceptions, can become a company director.
Over the past few months much has been written about how stressed people are at work. The number of days off due to stress related conditions has risen over the past three years and now costs UK business about £70billion each year in lost productivity.
Whatever the make up of the next government - one thing is for certain - it will need to find more revenue. All parties are committed to deficit reduction, and as services and benefits have already been cut to the bone, the only way is to increase taxes on those who can afford it most. Raising taxes is always politically tricky.
To claim an increase in minimum wage will not cause employment consequences is to ignore the prevalence of technology within low-skilled jobs. As the Centre of Policy Studies quite rightly points out, increasing minimum wage is "essentially a tax on those who hire unskilled labour".
In the old days, people had one job throughout their entire life or if they felt very brave, they had two jobs. They worked 30 years or more to retire; but things have changed and the old days are nothing other than history for the youths and memories for those lived those days.
Almost as soon as we realise we can be a better version of who we are, we set the wheels of improvement in motion. Consider you assets and what you do well. Then, consider what you'd like to improve, or further enhance and change for the better.
Einstein said "Compounding is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it .... he who doesn't .... pays it". If you have been in trouble with a credit card then you would know what I mean. Investors, like Warren Buffet, and lesser-known, but hugely wealthy traders, like John W. Henry, have all learned to make compounding work for them with jaw-dropping results.
A good leader will know exactly how to get each member of staff motivated. Remember we all have different drivers so the one-size-fits-all approach isn't a good one to take. Take the time to understand what makes each person tick and what sort of managerial approach they respond best to.
As part of an ongoing effort to add insight into some of the most successful business tomes, I am pulling my favourite leadership books off the shelf and giving them another worthwhile read.
I realise that that seems like an especially surprising statement given that the deficit has come down by a third, our balance of trade is improving, there are more people in work than ever before, unemployment and youth unemployment is coming down, and growth rates have surpassed expectations and are predicted - by the IMF amongst others - to continue to do so.
The entrepreneurial spirit is often difficult to define. If we take the word 'entrepreneur' in its literal context, its French roots could be defined as "between jobs" - and the 'in-between-ness' of the word's original meaning is interesting.
A weeks ago, the Huffington Post ran an article making a lot of assertions about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a deal currently being negotiated between the US and the EU that could boost both economies significantly. As a member of the European Parliament's International Trade Committee, I have been observing the negotiations firsthand for the past year or so, and would like to respond to the many alarmist points made that do not reflect reality.