The answers you need are right in front of you…

I believe great leaders are never fully convinced they’re great. Part of what makes them great is that little bit of doubt — the realization that there’s always learning to be done, always a new way to grow and improve.

There are countless books and articles out there that will try to tell you if you’re on the right track. But the best proof of your aptitude as a leader is right in front of you — it’s your team. …

“It’s a step toward increasing the number of people in your life and work who you like and trust…” That’s how Ross McCammon describes his Two Beers and a Puppy

Precedented tips for staying calm during these unprecedented times.

We’ve been living in the throes of a worldwide pandemic for almost a year now. Most Americans have been staying at home and socially distancing for at least nine months. About 7% of the country is out of a job (twice the pre-pandemic average). Essential workers are potentially exposed to the virus every day.

Our individual and collective health, economic stability, social connections, and way of living have all been overthrown. So there’s never been a better time to talk about anxiety, amIright???

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah…

You don’t have a brand; you are a brand.

When was the last time you thought about your personal brand? If you think personal branding is just for influencers, think again. A strong brand can serve as a stepping stone to a variety of opportunities: expanding your network, attracting clients or customers, creating a community of like-minded colleagues, or even lining yourself up for that coveted promotion.

If you’re new to the idea of personal branding, Ahmed Ali Akbar’s personal branding course on Knowable is a good place to start. …

I’m known for efficiency. Few things make me happier than checking off another box on my to-do list or pushing a big project across the finish line. Working in a bustling fintech environment, I have to maintain a high level of efficiency to stay on pace.

In many ways, this has worked for me, enabling me to streamline my team’s entire production workflow and scale our output about 5x over the past few years. But as I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve realized that my penchant for efficiency can sometimes work against me — especially when it comes to communication.

The bombshell piece of advice that I use every day

Ship. Launch. Publish. Implement. Roll out. I don’t care what you call it — just get it done.

In the business world, it seems like everyone is talking about strategy these days. Talking is fine. Strategizing is even better. But without execution, what do you really have? Nothing. Ideas and strategies don’t pay the bills — acting on them does.

Trent Miskin, one of the smartest guys I know, often says that ideas are cheap. What he means is this: a great idea is worthless if you’re not doing anything with it. …

Small business financing in America is no fairy tale.

Although 40% of small employer firms applied for financing last year, big banks are only approving about 26% of applicants. That means the majority of businesses that need capital are being stood up by big banks.

The result: our nation is losing more small businesses than we’re starting. Just 1 in 7 US metro areas is keeping pace with the national startup rate, while corporate profits as a share of the GDP have seen unprecedented growth in recent years. The gap between big and small, rich and poor, is getting wider.

When you think of millionaires, what comes to mind? If you picture haute couture handbags, flashy cars, and bottles of Dom Perignon, you’re not alone. But you’re also way off the mark for spotting most millionaires.

The average American millionaire wears jeans and drives a Ford.

Yes, I’m serious.

Why is this information important? Are we going millionaire spotting later on? Is this like bird watching? Um, no — and no.

But knowing how most millionaires got to where they are — and following in their footsteps — is a smart move for people like you and me.

Luckily, following…

I finished up a job interview yesterday by throwing up on the sidewalk in front of the potential employer’s door. Here’s to strong first impressions, right?

Yes, this really happened.

The Summary (minus the icky details)

Despite a few prior lousy nights of sleep, I felt okay when I arrived. I was excited about the company I was interviewing for. I made cordial chit chat with the gal in the reception area. I had what I would consider a successful conversation with Potential Employer about the opening. I liked the company’s eco-friendly products and commitment to creativity. …

Melissa Zehner

I’m a marketing leader who specializes in connecting with online communities in meaningful ways.

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