10 Free Productivity Apps to Make Your Life Easier - Entrepreneur

10 Free Productivity Apps to Make Your Life Easier - Entrepreneur

10 Free Productivity Apps to Make Your Life Easier - Entrepreneur

Posted: 06 Oct 2020 12:00 PM PDT

Now more than ever, we can all use help keeping ourselves organized and on track.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The one thing that we all have in common is the number of hours in the day. As a busy (or aspiring entrepreneur), you likely have to make tough decisions all day long about the most important tasks to spend your time on. With the current global pandemic limiting all of our direct interactions with people, our digital lives have gone into overdrive. I reached out to some other entrepreneurs to get an idea about what apps they believe are boosting their productivity, even during a pandemic. Here's the top 10 list (in alphabetical order) with commentary from the feedback I received.

  1. Evernote: Rachel Johnson Burns, founder of RLJ Public Relations relies heavily on Evernote. She says "Evernote is my daily lifesaver. Because it syncs on all of my devices: computer, phone and iPad, I can take notes, jot down to-dos, and keep organized with any device. I can even share notebooks with team members and clients. It saves me a ton of time." 
  2. FollowUpThen: Rick Barrera of RBA Associates uses this free app to make sure he stays on top of reaching back out to people and says "It's quite simple and I love that I can just bcc 1pm@followupthen.com (for example) and at 1 pm that day, I'll get an email reminder to take the appropriate action. I use it for remembering my client's birthdays, upcoming events that I want to make sure I get tickets for, etc. I can also use it to send my associates reminders. It's such a time saver and makes me so much more productive."
  3. Hugo: Christinnah Oyedeji of Calendly shared that for meetings, she has moved off of Evernote where she had lots of stacks and notebooks. Hugo is much simpler because the calendar connection organizes everything for her. Hugo provides one place to collaboratively prepare, take notes, assign tasks and share, and integrates with more than 20+ work apps.
  4. Loom: I personally love this app because it allows me to make quick video or voice recordings to show a teammate or client how to do something, record demonstrations that I can reference later, or even just take notes for myself. Loom also has a handy Chrome extension so you can quickly start recording a video of your screen without additional set up. 
  5. Notion: Matt Bowman of Thrive Agency described why he thinks this app is incredible. "Being the person who spearheads most of the company's functions, Notion is my go-to free app that keeps my workflow well-organized. What I like about Notion is that it is very collaborative! Anyone can see what others are doing that week at any time. My favorite feature of this app is probably the to-do list; it may be basic for others, but it helps me keep track of what I do for that particular day. As I tick off the tasks that I completed, it makes me feel that the day has been productive."
  6. Otter: Sam Lessin of Fin says, "Otter.ai helps me remember things I need to get done. I frequently will just speak rather than type and then share these thoughts with a few friends, partners or colleagues. It used to be that speaking is faster than writing for most people, but listening is much slower than reading. Otter takes excellent notes, but with a hybrid approach of having the text plus the audio to refer to, so it is actually faster for the person generating content and faster for the person receiving the content to get to the key ideas and go and get things done. With remote work and hours spent on web-conference calls, it's an essential tool to support collaboration and increase productivity."
  7. PartnerHere: Stephanie Burns of Chic CEO uses Partner Here because she believes, "nothing wastes more time than doing something you're not good at. I love PartnerHere. It's a platform for entrepreneurs to connect and create no-cash deals like bartering or equity exchange. It's super fast to find someone who can swap tasks with me so we can both move our businesses forward by doing what we're good at." 
  8. Streak: Chris Kaiser of Click A Tree has saved a ton of time by using this free plug-in with Gmail. Chris says "It's a CRM built right into G Suite and comes with snippets (reusable templates for phrases or paragraphs you often use) and mail merge to contact many people at once — but each of them with a personalized touch. It has saved me tons of time compared to having a CRM in a different window and a mass mail system in yet another app, then trying to sync all these apps. Streak is a huge time-saver for everyone working with G Suite or Gmail."
  9. Trello: Michelle Knight of Brandmerry shared one of her favorite productivity apps that has helped her achieve her personal goals. She shared "as a business owner who is RVing around the world with my family, it's important to maximize my working time so I can stay focused and productive. I'm a lover of all things Trello. It has boards, lists, and cards that allow entrepreneurs to organize and prioritize projects. You can use Trello to organize your content, workflows, weekly schedule and daily tasks. It makes planning and executing blog posts, podcasts, and social media content super easy — especially when you live a life like mine where planning far in advance is a necessity."
  10. Vibe: Vibe's co-founder, Zach McMahon shared some background on how the app increases productivity. He said "it helps listeners get into the zone faster by building a custom and personalized playlist for each experience. Our AI learns what music boosts focus and productivity, and what music is distracting and shouldn't be played. Each person's experience with music is unique and personal, it's crazy to think that there are millions of people all listening to the same study playlist!"

Hopefully, these tools help you be more productive during a time when life may seem even more out of control than we could have imagined. Be safe out there, now get back to work!


Personal brand: Everything an entrepreneur needs to know - The Advocate

Posted: 07 Oct 2020 08:37 AM PDT

  • Personal branding is the soul of your brand.
  • Make a business plan.
  • Check with your network of contacts.

Developing our personal branding ( personal brand ) is gaining popularity not only among the Baby Boomers and Generation X generations, but also among the youngest such as millennial entrepreneurs .

The statistics prove it: Mexican millennial entrepreneurs are becoming the group that registers an accelerated growth.

According to data published by the digital magazine Entrepreneur:

33 percent of entrepreneurs in Mexico are between 25 and 34 years old.

  • 66 percent of entrepreneurs are men and the remaining 34, women.
  • 52 percent of the businesses are operated from home.
  • 1 out of 3 Mexicans who want to start a business stays in the attempt.

Now, if we were to ask the hundreds of thousands of successful millennial entrepreneurs what the key to their success is, I imagine many would mention that they have a personal branding strategy .

Are you a millennial entrepreneur What is part of this new productive and driving force in Mexico?

Then, you will be interested in knowing the following definitive personal branding guide that you can follow to achieve a good position in the market.

1. Personal branding is the soul of your brand

As an entrepreneur, it is essential to know in depth who you are, what you do and what you offer, including both your weaknesses and your strengths.

This exercise will help you to detect your personal branding (personal brand) understood as the perception that others have of you.

Photo: Amarnath Tade via Unsplash

To achieve self - knowledge of your entrepreneurship, I suggest you ask yourself the following question:

What distinguishes me from others?

To be able to differentiate yourself you must be able to answer this question: Why would they buy from me and from anyone else?

2. Make a business plan

An essential condition for your personal brand to transmit coherence and harmony from the beginning is to develop a business plan .

What is the business plan ?

It is a document where you include:

  • The objectives of your venture
  • The strategies to achieve these objectives (the personal branding strategy enters here )
  • The organizational structure (if you will have collaborators)
  • An estimate of the initial investment
  • A communication manual

You will try to create a vision of your entrepreneurship and write the ideas, implications and routes that will make it grow. Learn in this article what are the 8 benefits of having a personal branding.

3. Check with your network of contacts

Contact your network of contacts (friends, family, former university colleagues, colleagues from the last job) so that you can find three things in them: inspiration, success stories based on their own experience and your first clients.

Your network of contacts is the most important asset you have when you start your business.

Photo: Trent Erwin via Unsplash

Little by little, the synergy you achieve by connecting with those people who are around you will help them to recommend your business in the medium term and become your promoters.

But to achieve this, you must always keep in mind the following point:

4. Projects a professional image

To connect with the audience that will give life and value to your business, you have to decide to project a professional image from the beginning.

If you want to build a professional image that gives credibility to your venture, Experts recommend that you pay special attention to the following points:

Photo: bruce mars via Unsplash

Dress for success

Dress for success refers precisely to placing emphasis on visual presentation, which to be effective, must consider the place, audience, type of event and the message you want to send. Remember that the first impression is never forgotten. Another point to consider is the turn in which you work since the traditional or modern of your arrangement and clothing will depend on them. If your business is focused on digital, creative areas, marketing or communications, clothing can be more relaxed, modern and disruptive; not as sober as what would be recommended for the entrepreneur working in finance or law.

Be authentic

Consider reflecting some of your personality in the way you dress, find your personal style . If it is difficult for you to find it, we recommend you go to an image consultant who will help you to do so as well as highlight your best features

Be congruent

It's funny, but the professional image can be the main ingredient for a person to be memorable. People can come to associate a personal brand with a certain type of arrangement, clothing, gestures, postures, phrases and vice versa. That is why it is very important that you learn to build magnetic messages through the way you dress, which always has to be in accordance with what you do and what you do.

5. Take advantage of social media for personal branding

I suppose that as a millennial entrepreneur you live online in the world of social networks.


That is a great advantage.

However, to achieve effective personal branding it is not necessary only to "be" present in them and build a community of followers, but to "interact" within them. This is known as a social media strategy for personal branding.

How can you build successful personal branding on social media?

Photo: Erik Lucatero via Unsplash

Here we list some tips:

  • Know the social networks that your audience focuses on.
  • Choose the channel (s) where you will promote and promote your personal brand. Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, each of them has its own personality and is an effective tool for your personal branding strategy.
  • Create a professional and creative profile on the network you have chosen , taking great care of the quality of the photography, the good spelling and the description of what you do. Remember to talk more about the benefits that your product or service offers and less about its characteristics.
  • Define your personal brand image (name, logo, feed design, color palette and typography). Consistency is essential to build highly effective personal branding .
  • Create and share useful, original, relevant and attractive content.
  • Interact with your community, as it is the only way to grow in social networks and to consolidate more and more and in a better way your personal brand. This is achieved by replying to each message and thanking them when they share our content.


The success of personal branding is the result of the work that you must do every day so that your business can go as far as you want.

It is the result that is obtained with dedication, planning and, above all, disposition, since projecting to others the image you want and that identifies you will take some time.

But once you do it and see how you managed to make a positive difference to others, you will know that all the effort was worth it.


Copyright 2020 Entrepreneur.com Inc., All rights reserved

This article originally appeared on entrepreneur.com

Why High School Students Should Try Entrepreneurship - Entrepreneur

Posted: 07 Oct 2020 07:00 AM PDT

The skills, values and philosophies they'll learn can help them in many areas, now and in the future.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting a while still in may seem intimidating, but it's a challenge that will improve your skills and enhance your perspective on growth and opportunity for years to come. The point isn't necessarily to create a business worth millions or to build an enterprise you can lead for the rest of your life, though these outcomes can happen. Instead, most high school students who delve into establish skills, values and philosophies that can help them in many areas, from getting into better schools to starting a bigger, more impactful business in the future.

Examples of Teen Entrepreneurs

There are many examples of young entrepreneurs who started impressive businesses while still in high school. For example, Sanil Chawla (now 19) launched a web-development startup while he was just a sophomore in high school. Next, he pivoted to focus on the nonprofit sector and developed software to automate the paperwork associated with sponsorship deals. That startup became Hack+, an organization that has helped more than 1,000 students launch startups, nonprofits and events.

There's also Jamie Beaton, who got his start at 18. Beaton dreamed of attending the most competitive universities in the world. After gaining acceptance into all 25 of the world's highest-ranked universities, including Harvard, Stanford,  and the University of Cambridge, Beaton decided to help other students achieve their goals of attending prestigious universities by creating Crimson Education, an organization that mentors, guides and supports students in getting into their best-fit dream college. Crimson Education is known for guiding middle and high school students to learn key skills, helping them leverage entrepreneurial practices to start projects, initiatives, nonprofits, businesses and more. It's no coincidence that Crimson's student network has secured more than 1,400 offers to the top 50 U.S. colleges, as well as 269 offers to Ivy League universities.

Related: Top 5 Lessons From a Kid Entrepreneur (Pay Attention, Public Schools!)

The Skills that Student Entrepreneurs Learn

Entrepreneurship rapidly teaches you several important skills, all of which can be used in many different contexts in your life. These are some of the most valuable:

  • Leadership. Entrepreneurship forces students to learn leadership quickly. Student entrepreneurs are the ones in charge of developing their business from the ground up. They are often navigating managing other students, employees, partners, contractors and other professionals, coordinating them to function efficiently. Student entrepreneurs can seek out leadership building through books, podcasts, online courses and more. One of the to help guide a student through learning leadership is by giving them practice within their own extracurricular clubs; they can look for solutions within existing organizations.
  • Creative problem-solving. Most businesses don't go the way they're initially planned. That's because unforeseen obstacles and new developments (like competitors entering the market) can stand in an entrepreneur's way, and if they're a high school student, they have not likely faced that problem before. Student entrepreneurs do best when they develop creative problem-solving skills, allowing them to see and resolve issues in novel ways.
  • Strategic communication. No matter what type of business the entrepreneur runs, they'll hone communication skills. Student entrepreneurs have many opportunities to pitch their concept at youth-oriented entrepreneurship competitions. There are several designed for high school students, such as the Tiger Global Case Competition, Blue Ocean, Diamond Challenge and Green Idea, which allow students to pitch directly to investors and mentors. Students need to learn both the brevity and power of persuasion.
  • . Businesses need to be carefully financially managed. Student entrepreneurs need to understand what they are spending and how they are spending it, what they are charging for their products and how they will grow in the future. This careful balance demands the development of financial-planning skills, which they can use in business, in financial career fields and even in their personal life.
  • Overcoming adversity. Entrepreneurship also teaches students about failure and allows entrepreneurs to embrace the challenges of adversity. After owning a business, entrepreneurs become more resilient to setbacks and more willing to move past mistakes.

How Entrepreneurship Sets You Up for Success

Becoming an entrepreneur while you're still young can also set you up for success in many ways:

  • College applications and attending university. Having a business under the belt looks great on college applications. It's the ultimate extracurricular activity that showcases incredible skills and impact. Entrepreneurs often have success rates with competitive programs such as Penn's Management & Technology degree. This is a great way to meet other high-achieving and like-minded entrepreneurial students, professors and receive access to top-notch competitions, funding sources and more. 
  • Resumes and job interviews. The increasingly competitive job-hiring process calls for evidence of not only your personal attributes but prior work. By adding your business to the top of your resume's most recent work experience list, you're sure to stand out from the crowd. Come interview time, you will also have memorable, impactful experiences to reference that are far from the norm.
  • Entrepreneurial experience. Serial entrepreneurs tend to see higher rates of success because they have learned from past failures. If you decide to start another business in the future, your experience with your first startup will set you up for success as you learn from your mistakes.
  • Networking. In the course of developing your first business, you'll likely meet a number of other professionals, including investors, other entrepreneurs and skilled talent. This network can be useful to you no matter what your future career plans are.
  • Intrinsic motivation. Entrepreneurship also cultivates intrinsic motivation. As a business leader, you're forced to be self-reliant and self-motivated. These qualities don't fade over time; instead, they tend to grow.
  • Life skills. Don't forget that many of the skills you learn as an entrepreneur will be useful not just in future entrepreneurial endeavors and careers, but also in your personal life. Financial planning and communication, for example, are vital for personal success.

Related: Teen Entrepreneurs Learn to Embrace Failure. Can Adults?

Starting a business while still in high school isn't easy, especially if you're already juggling academic work, sports, personal responsibilities and the ever-looming deadlines of applying to colleges. But in the long run, your entrepreneurial experience can give you untold advantages both in your college applications and for the rest of your life.


Check Out How These Ideas Became The Top Healthcare App Development Business Ideas Of 2020 - Customer Think

Posted: 06 Oct 2020 03:10 PM PDT

healthcare app dev

Just like water and food, healthcare is a necessity and not a commodity. With the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, it became really important for people to maintain their health without coming into contact with other people.

And the best way to do it at this time is by using healthcare apps, and due to this, the demand for healthcare app development is increasing exponentially.

People are becoming more curious and careful about their health, and therefore healthcare apps are offering numerous benefits for everyone. Some of them have been listed below:

  1. Easily accessibility
  2. Easy data management
  3. Effortless communication
  4. Maintaining social distance
  5. Accurate reports

With all the above-mentioned benefits, the healthcare app development business has also brought some economical advantages.

The following are some of the ideas that became top healthcare app development business ideas for 2020:

  1. On-Demand Doctor Consultation Apps
  2. Appointment Booking
  3. Healthcare Apps For Women
  4. Health Reminder Apps
  5. Healthcare Management
  6. Medical Record Maintenance
  7. Weight Loss And Diet Apps
  8. Meditation And Mental Health

1. On-Demand Doctor Consultation Apps

It can be very difficult to handle symptoms like headache, cold, fever, and it is not safe to go out for checkups due to the spread of COVID. And this is where doctor consultation apps come in handy.

You can consult your doctor anytime from the comfort of your home and get yourself diagnosed by using these apps.

Even if you are at home or in the office, or driving your car, you just have to log in to your app and you can easily consult your doctor. You don't have to come into contact with anyone while doing so.

You can consult your doctor through video chats and pay them via the app only. If you are a doctor and you want an app like that for your clinic or hospital then you can consult healthcare app developers.

2. Appointment Booking

If you have a minor health concern that can be diagnosed via a doctor consultation app but if you have to get tested in person, then you will have to make an appointment to a hospital or a clinic.

Waiting in long queues can be tiring, time-consuming, and difficult if you are sick. By using appointment booking apps, you can book your appointment online and then go for checkups on time.

This will save a lot of time and effort and due to this, the demand for healthcare app development is increasing.

3. Healthcare Apps For Women

Women always have to multitask. Be it a housewife or a working woman, in the chaos of maintaining a balance, they always forget about maintaining their health.

A mobile app development company should focus on making apps that can track the menstrual cycles and medical issues of women.

Along with physical health, it should also track and take care of their mental health and inner peace.

Most of the time, women don't have time to go to a doctor for consultation and due to this, they ignore their health.

The app should provide them with access to gynecologists, dieticians, and therapists so that they can consult them from the comfort of home at any time.

4. Health Reminder Apps

Not only women but most people tend to forget about consulting a doctor on time due to a busy schedule or sometimes even due to old age. People tend to forget to take their medicines or their diet on time.

Healthcare IT solutions should create apps that will remind people from time to time to take their medicines, proper diet, and exercise, and give some tips according to their health problem.

It must also remind them about the appointments with their doctor. This idea has proved to have the potential to be the best startup idea in 2020.

5. Healthcare Management

In 2020, due to the current pandemic situation, everyone is concerned about maintaining their health, and it is important as well to maintain your health and a good lifestyle.

Healthcare app developers have gained a lot of popularity by making apps that help people with this. These apps will monitor your health regularly and if you have symptoms of a serious disease then they will offer you professional medical help as well. This will also help patients to conduct virtual meetings with their doctors from time to time.

6. Medical Record Maintenance

These apps are revolutionary. In the field of healthcare, they have proved to be one of the best apps. If you are going to a new doctor and they don't know about your medical history then it could be a problem.

These apps maintain all your medical records and will automatically show the doctor your medical history and if you had any allergies or chronic illnesses. Everyone in the healthcare app development market wants to hire dedicated developers to build and maintain such apps.

7. Weight Loss And Diet Apps

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very risky to go to the gym, for a walk, or for yoga. Weight loss and diet apps are on the top of the list of business ideas.

Every mobile app development company is focusing on making such apps as they are currently highly in demand. Most people are crazy about fitness and getting in shape these days. To engage people developers can create fitness challenges, and that can place the app on top of the trending list.

Such apps include features like heartbeat monitoring, footstep monitoring, GPS, water intake level, calorie meter, etc. Dieticians, gym trainers, and yoga gurus can also be consulted virtually via such apps which helps to increase the popularity and demand of the apps.

8. Meditation And Mental Health

As everyone is restricted to the four walls of their home, the demand for meditation and mental health apps has increased a lot. It has proved to be one of the best healthcare IT solutions.

Among all the disorders, mental health disorders could be the most dangerous ones. As people are concentrating more and more on improving their lifestyle, mental health apps are one of the best ideas for the healthcare app development business.


Due to COVID, the world economy is suffering a lot and healthcare apps development is a ray of hope for businesses in 2020. Such apps have provided solutions for both businesses and people around the world.

It is beneficial for both parties as along with helping users in maintaining their health, it is also one of the best ideas for developers for making a top healthcare app in the healthcare app development business. If you also want to build such apps, you can hire dedicated developers.

5 Ways to Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Mindset - Entrepreneur

Posted: 07 Oct 2020 08:30 AM PDT

7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I've got news for you: developing an doesn't require an MBA.

Some people seem to be born with the entrepreneurial spirit – that drive to start something new, solve the problems they see in the world, and strike out on their own.

Others work really hard at developing that mindset and keeping it strong.

Whether you're hoping to start your own business in the near future or years down the road, sharpening your entrepreneurial mindset can have an enormous impact on your life. It'll help you keep learning, growing, and stretching yourself to your greatest potential. (And that's always a positive, no matter where your life takes you.)

Here are five ways you can work on cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.

1. Prioritize learning and growth

It's all too easy to look at a successful entrepreneur and assume they've got it all figured out. But the most successful entrepreneurs readily acknowledge that they'll NEVER know it all. They're constantly pursuing new knowledge and .

I love to learn and consider myself a student of life. I'm always reading a new book, practicing a new skill or researching a new subject I'm interested in.

Make personal development a part of your lifestyle. Each day, set aside time to read blogs, articles, and books that help you increase your knowledge, sharpen your skills, and feel even more motivated and inspired to move forward.

Related: 3 Relationships That Will Build the Tribe Every Entrepreneur Deserves

Every great leader is a reader. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs attribute their success to reading. Warren Buffett famously spends as much of 80% of his day reading, insisting that anyone hoping to achieve similar success should go to bed a little smarter each day and read 500 pages daily. , , and also make time to read every single day, even while running their businesses. If they can do it, so can you.

2. Set goals (and make daily progress on them)

Successful entrepreneurs don't accomplish great things by accident – they set thoughtful goals they care about and work towards them. Small achievements day in and day out accomplish big goals. And nothing's more empowering than achieving a goal. It helps you get used to the idea that you have control over your life and that you have the ability to accomplish anything you put your mind to. (Because you do!)

Set goals each day. Each night before I go to sleep, I prioritize the 3 things I need to accomplish the next day. This can be anything from following up on a deal I'm working on, reaching out to  a friend to have a scheduled lunch or writing a chapter of my new book. Big or small, professional or personal, significant or a little silly, you should always have a few goals you're working toward. If you set a small goal, accomplish it quickly and move on to the next. If you set a larger goal, break the path into small, achievable, realistic steps – ones you can make daily progress on.

Related: How Resilience Led Me to Success

I've set some pretty big ones in my day. Six years ago, I set the goal of selling my company. Every night before going to bed, I'd review my goal and make a list of what I'd do the next morning to accomplish it. As if that wasn't enough of a reminder, I also wrote it down on a post-it note and taped it to my bathroom mirror. (That's another success tip for you – studies show people who write their goals down are 42% more likely to achieve them than people who don't.) I'm proud to say I achieved that goal! Don't just think it, ink it!

3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

Honestly? There's nothing comfortable about being an entrepreneur. It involves loads of rejection, , , embarrassment, anxiety, criticism, tears, doubt… you know, the sort of stuff nobody particularly enjoys. But it's the price we pay for the creative freedom and fulfillment that can't come any other way. If you let your discomfort keep you from moving forward, you'll miss out on so many opportunities.

Put yourself in new and unfamiliar situations that force you to grow. Try something you've never done before. Get rejected. It's scary, but it's also thrilling.

Jia Jiang decided to take this advice extremely literally. After realizing his fear of rejection was holding him back, he spent 100 days getting rejected on purpose. Each day, he came up with a different way to get rejected – from asking for $100 from a stranger to asking to plant a flower in his neighbor's backyard. Not only did he overcome his fear, but he also learned powerful strategies for turning a "no" into a "yes."

4. Embrace risk

Whenever you take a risk, you've got two possible outcomes: you'll either win or you'll learn. And failure is the best teacher there is. It's an opportunity to grow, adapt, and learn new strategies for next time. Don't avoid failure, embrace it. Fail fast and fail often. It'll set you up for success in the long run.

 In my life, I use failure as a bit of a benchmark – if I'm not failing or getting rejected enough, I'm clearly not taking enough risks. Sure, failure can be scary, but regret is way, way scarier.

Related: Why Entrepreneurs Should Aim to Fail -- That's Right. They Should Actively Seek It.

Sometimes, failure feels like the end of the world – but it certainly wasn't for a lot of entrepreneurs out there. James Dyson created 5,126 failed prototypes before finally creating a Dyson vacuum that worked. Other entrepreneurs created entire businesses that failed before moving on to bigger and better things, like Evan Williams, co-founder of a podcasting company that went south after the release of iTunes. Seeing they wouldn't be able to compete with Apple, he and his team were left having to scramble and work on other ideas…one of which was a little site called Twitter.

5. Spend time with other entrepreneurs

The most significant factors in your life are the people around you. If you surround yourself with negative people who complain there's nothing they can do to improve their circumstances, you'll eventually find yourself feeling the same way. But if you surround yourself with energizing, inspiring relationships, their optimism will rub off on you.

Build relationships with entrepreneurs who have been in your shoes. Learn from their successes and failures. Find mentors or other experts who you can learn from through courses or one-on-one coaching. (The Side Hustle Accelerator is a good place to start!) Network, research, reach out to people you admire, chat a stranger up on LinkedIn – whatever it takes to surround yourself with people who can help you foster a growth mindset. Who knows? They might end up being your business partner one day.

That's what happened for cofounders Jenny Fleiss and Jenn Hyman. They started out as Harvard Business School classmates and friends who met casually for lunch every week to brainstorm entrepreneurial ventures. Their idea to rent out designer dresses has since blossomed into a hugely successful company with over a $1B valuation.

I definitely consider myself an entrepreneur, I can feel the fire in my bones – but I've also found that practicing these 5 habits have helped me sharpen my skills and increase my odds of success. Implement these 5 habits for cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset, and I guarantee you'll feel more confident about seizing opportunities that come your way. 


Pitt Alum, Entrepreneur Makes Tails Wag | Pittwire | University of Pittsburgh - UPJ Athletics

Posted: 06 Oct 2020 10:38 AM PDT

A small dog on a table, and a healthcare professional holding an oxygen mask to its faceStarting a business wasn't on Blake Dubé's (ENGR '17) mind when he enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh.

However, the chemical engineering alumnus from Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering now finds himself at the forefront of addressing respiratory needs for animals as a local entrepreneur, a feat that recently landed him on the Pittsburgh Business Times' 30 Under 30 list.

"Starting off in engineering school, I had a lot to learn. It was the people around me—my professors, colleagues and co-founders—that helped me realize how I could use my education to solve real world problems," said Dubé, co-founder and CEO of Aeronics, a spinout company formed out of Pitt.

Aeronics focuses on manufacturing portable medical oxygen tanks that are smaller in size than traditional tanks, using a technology Dubé studied while an undergraduate—and with help from an advisor who would help the young engineer and entrepreneur change his career focus. Through the company's Pawprint Oxygen brand, the company found its niche in the veterinarian market shortly after spinout out in 2017, while the tanks were in the prototype phase.

"A veterinarian who happened to be our landlord at the time came to us with a heartbreaking story about a dog that died in her arms on the way to the emergency hospital because they didn't have portable oxygen," said Dubé. "She told us this was a pretty common problem. Even though oxygen is standard of care in veterinary medicine, it's often just not accessible. We made a prototype to suit her needs, but saw the need existed for veterinarians and pet parents everywhere."

While Dubé said Aeronics is continuing plans to make oxygen tanks for humans, the company is focusing on pet delivery systems, which are about one-tenth the size of the tanks for human patients. Each tank comes with adjustable flow rates for oxygen to be administered to pets of different sizes.

Breathing life into a future startup

Dubé, a Dallastown, Pennsylvania, native, became interested in creating these tanks after joining an undergraduate summer research lab led by Chris Wilmer, William Kepler Whiteford Faculty Fellow and associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at Pitt.

"His lab's research on gas storage was fascinating to me; there are so many big problems to be solved. Dr. Wilmer gives his students a lot of freedom to decide their own projects, and he has experience starting companies," Dubé said. "Dr. Wilmer played a big role in turning this idea into an actual product."

Dubé worked with Wilmer, who would become another co-founder of Aeronics, to further develop making oxygen storage easier.

"Blake is amazing; he's a superstar, he's friendly and organized. Aeronics is punching well above its weight from its earliest days," said Wilmer, who was featured in Forbes' 30 Under 30 list in 2012. Wilmer also previously led startup business efforts during his graduate studies, resulting in his own spinout, NuMat Technologies.

The team worked with Pitt's Innovation Institute to accelerate their ideas through the commercial pipeline. Aeronics entered various competitions at Pitt while still focusing on human health. The team won the Michael G. Wells Healthcare Competition, the Kuzneski Innovation Cup and the Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh).

"Blake saw the opportunity, learned everything he could through our programs and then launched his startup upon graduation," said Babs Carryer, director of the Big Idea Center, part of the Innovation Institute. "I highly applaud them for their accomplishments and I thank them for giving back every semester and every year to students to inspire and support them in their own entrepreneurial journeys."

"Early on, when Blake joined my lab, I felt like I was helpful to him by lending my entrepreneurial experience. But, the more I got to know Blake, the more I realized he probably would have been successful no matter what I said," Wilmer said. "It's more of the case of I was just lucky he dropped into my lab."

Upon graduation, Dubé had a job offer from the multinational chemical company, BASF Corporation. He'd completed an internship there, which he said was great experience. However, he turned down the offer to focus more on the "rare opportunity" with Aeronics.

"We were young, able to take risks and had momentum with an exciting new technology. I knew that I had to see it through," he said.

Dubé's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs in college is to do more than just classwork, proactively find resources and find a team of like-minded individuals to work with.

"Pitt played a huge part in getting us started and giving us the right environment and support to start our company," he said.

How 8 Founders Are Preparing for Continued Economic Uncertainty - Entrepreneur

Posted: 06 Oct 2020 06:00 AM PDT

5 min read

This story appears in the October 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

We asked eight of the featured on our 100 Powerful Women list: How are you preparing for continued economic uncertainty? 

"I founded my company in 2009, in the midst of the last economic downturn. A lot of the lessons I learned then are applicable today, but most come back to the team. It's vital to hire those driven by and committed to your mission, who embrace wearing many hats and new things. By constructing the right team, we remain lean and versatile, with a low burn rate, to keep pace with economic curveballs. This is critical for most startups, but as companies are forced to navigate major market fluctuations, it is key to maintaining continuity." — Pooja Sankar, Founder and CEO of Piazza, an online educational platform

Related: 4 Ways to Turn Uncertainty into Strength for Your Business

"We're saving as much as we can, reducing overhead costs (especially with the temporary closing of our brick-and-mortar shop), strengthening our online presence, and meeting consumer needs. We're leaning into what sets our apart from your typical bookstore, home goods retailer, record shop: We have rare, one-of-a-kind objects and artifacts. Continuing to make Black cultural ephemera accessible means literally filling a void in the antiques/vintage industry, best filled by the people to whom those histories belong." — Kiyanna Stewart, Cofounder (left), with Jannah Handy, cofounder, BLK MKT Vintage, an antiques shop and online community

"Our products are designed to take the anxiety out of accessing the right healthcare for your pet, and with so many people bringing home their first pets during this period, our plan is to double down on making our products helpful and easy to use. We have introduced additional services like a pet parent concierge, discounts on dog training, and access to a community of other new pet parents. Wagmo was built out of empathy for our customers, and we carry that throughout the entire experience, including providing options for members who find themselves in financial stress." —Christie Horvath, Cofounder and CEO (right), with Ali Foxworth, cofounder and COO, Wagmo, a pet insurance startup

Related: Taking Coronavirus Uncertainty Head-On: A Small-Business Owner's Guide

"Despite everything that has occurred, there's one Frederick Douglass quote that keeps running through my mind: 'If there is no struggle, there is no .' In the midst of uncertainty, the only way to move forward is to do one thing: Focus. It might sound simple and clichéd, but it's one of the hardest things for to do. At the beginning of each week, write down three things you want to accomplish. (Make sure they are realistic.) Believe me, in a month you'll look back and give yourself a high-five." — Lisa Love, Cofounder and CMO of Tanoshi, an ed-tech startup that creates and distributes kids' computers

"Both our customers and our employees are parents, and it is really hard to be a parent right now. Our goal is to be a much-needed support system. For employees, we are subsidizing 1:1 in home childcare, and offering tutoring stipends and flexible working hours. Our shared struggles are actually the source of inspiration for future product ideas. If we stay focused on being of service, we can thrive during these challenging times." — Jessica Rolph, Cofounder and CEO of Lovevery, an education-based toy company for babies and toddlers

Related: Focus on Stability During the Uncertainty That Coronavirus Brings

"We knew that this period of economic uncertainty would be particularly difficult for our landowners. While shelter-in-place was in effect, we added an option for Hipcampers to donate to the host of a canceled trip. (We are proud that one in four participated!) Since shelter-in-place orders have lifted, campsite hosts are earning more than three times the income they made this time last year as people are eager to get outside — and connecting them provides economic distribution between rural and urban communities." — Alyssa Ravasio, Founder and CEO of Hipcamp, a booking platform for campsites

"We're doubling down on two things within our control: our products and our customers' happiness. Back in March, as people began to spend more time indoors, we saw an explosion in sales. Managing that demand came with its own challenges, but as lockdowns ended and people began to get back out, a curious thing has happened for our : That demand continued. So we're staying focused on the goal of delivering great new puzzles and new products." — Rachel Hochhauser, cofounder (right), with Jena Wolfe, cofounder, of Piecework Puzzles, a jigsaw puzzle startup

Related: Entrepreneurship Often Involves Uncertainty. Here's How to Deal With It Productively.

"The pandemic has given our Burn Boot Camp community the chance to shine. We meet our members where they are: our gyms, the parking lot, their homes. Our future success depends on our ability to bolster our core offering by servicing a hybrid of digital content to supplement our in-gym experience while layering nutrition, retail, and equipment into our wholesale model. We are a franchise company, and we will not allow a pandemic to change that; we take extreme pride in servicing our franchise partners who've invested in this brand." — Morgan Kline, Cofounder and COO of Burn Boot Camp, a fitness franchise for women

Check out more stories from our October/November issue's list of 100 Powerful Women.


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