Loyal employees tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear.

Jack got fired because he kept telling his boss what his boss did not want to hear – the truth.

The last straw was when one of Jack’s co-workers made a costly mistake, and Jack suggested to change the process to make such mistakes less likely. That process was set up by the boss, and the boss did not want to take any responsibility.

Jack was a typical loyal employee:

1) He cared about success – of the team, of the boss, and his own

2) He told the boss what the boss needed to hear

3) He never disagreed with his boss in public, and supported his boss decisions publicly

4) He worked hard and was dependable

In New York where this all took place, employment is “at will”.

Thus, firing Jack was easy.

Dealing with the consequences would be hard even for a strong leader.

For a weak one, his boss, it was impossible. Other loyal employees were dismayed at this firing and quit within a few months. Critical knowledge of systems and processes was not replaceable.

The boss had to leave within a year.

To be leaders, we have to understand that

1) loyal criticism is a true blessing

2) loyalty is built on honesty and trust

3) loyal employees are precious gems, not stepping stones

“Never push loyal people to the point where they do not give a damn !”

If we are not ready to be loyal to our loyal employees, we are not ready to lead them.

Do you agree ?


5 Ways to Win Your Pitch, According to ‘Shark Tank’s’ Robert Herjavec



    The cybersecurity tycoon and investor shares a few insider tips to capturing his attention – and his money.

    As one of the original Shark Tank investors, Robert Herjavec has seen his fair share of pitches. He’s sat through presentations for everything from an energy drink for cougars to a book that becomes a lamp. Along the way he’s learned what works and what falls flat. And as “the nice judge,” he’s consistently offered helpful and constructive advice — even if the recipient didn’t deserve it.

    As he’s now in his ninth season on the show, the cybersecurity tycoon offers entrepreneurs some suggestions for making their pitches stand out from the pack.

    Know your numbers.

    “I can’t count how many times we’ve met with companies who don’t even know their own numbers. Take the time, make the effort and know the ins and outs of every facet of your business. You have to know where you stand financially in order to take the next step forward.”

    Be open, not oppositional.

    “When someone comes in to pitch and just doesn’t want to hear what we have to say, that’s challenging. Just because you don’t like the feedback you’re receiving doesn’t mean it’s wrong — or right, for that matter. Be open to other people’s perspectives. When an entrepreneur doesn’t hear us out and instead gets defensive or aggressive, I know we’re not going to get a deal done.”

    Relax, breath, repeat.

    “Remember to slow down and tell us a story. You’ve got to relax, take deep breathes, watch your pace and calm your mind. Tell us your story, and let your passion for the business shine through. Control those nerves.”

    Be Tom Brady.

    “You have to be passionate about one thing. Be great at one thing. The world will reward your knowledge of a very narrow field. Tom Brady gets paid $25 million a year to throw the ball. He doesn’t get paid to block, he doesn’t get paid to tackle. Be Tom Brady. Be world class at one thing.”

    Keep us on the edge of our seats.

    “Most important, you need to engage us. It’s your job to make us listen. We want to learn from you and be inspired by your pitch. Capture our attention, stand out, be different!”

    ‘Shark’ Mark Cuban Makes Waves In And Out Of The Tank


    Mark Cuban isn’t afraid to make waves on “Shark Tank,” ABC-TV’s hit reality series about investing in startups. It isn’t simply that he’s the big fish — with a net worth of $3.3 billion, according to Forbes — he also isn’t afraid to criticize what he regards as other Sharks’ foolish investments or the lack of preparation by many of the show’s contestants.

    A study by Forbes of the Tank’s first seven seasons (its eighth just ended) showed that Cuban was the best at closing deals in three industries: entertainment, food/drink, and exercise equipment. His biggest single investment was $2 million in Ten Thirty-One Productions, which produces the Haunted Hayride and other live events. So what’s surprised him the most about the Shark experience?

    “How many families watch the show together and how proud parents are when their kids are excited about business,” Cuban told IBD. “I never expected it to have the impact on them that it has.”

    Cuban, 59, was born in Pittsburgh’s working class suburb of Mount Lebanon. At 12, he caught the entrepreneur bug, going door-to-door to sell plastic garbage bags in order to buy some expensive athletic shoes.

    He sold stamps and coins in high school and during a strike by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette workers, brought newspapers from the printer in Cleveland to Pittsburgh. He took his high school GED a year early and became a full-time student at the University of Pittsburgh. While there, he worked as a bartender, taught disco dancing and promoted parties to pay his bills. After his first year of college, he transferred to Indiana University in Bloomington because it had the lowest costs of any business school in the top 10. There, he continued to make money as a dance instructor while also operating the most popular bar in town.

    After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business in 1981, he got a job at a Pittsburgh bank, helping it convert from a manual operation to an automated computer system. In the process, he says, he not only learned about systems, but how big companies operate and middle managers think.

    His next gig involved trying to convince TV repair shops to join a franchise. And though he only sold one, he says there was a lot of value in learning about cold-calling and franchising.

    He moved to Dallas in 1982 in search of more fun and sun. He had little money, so became the sixth roommate in an apartment where he had to sleep on the floor or a couch. He got a job as a salesman at the city’s first PC software retailer and learned the business by reading manuals every night. He went from living on bar food to making large commissions and doing consulting work outside regular hours, splitting his fees with the owners of the software business. But nine months into this, after asking another employee to open up for him so he could meet a potential client, he was fired for being absent from his job — even though he’d brought back a check from that meeting.

    From MicroSolutions To Mavericks

    In 1982, Cuban started MicroSolutions, a software reseller and system integrator — though he didn’t own a computer. One of his first clients was Martin Woodall, who sold multi-user systems, and he offered Cuban office space and to pay him for attracting clients. Two years later, MicroSolutions had $85,000 in the bank — or so Cuban thought: His secretary had cleaned out all but $2,000 before disappearing.

    “What was done was done,” Cuban wrote in “How to Win at the Sport of Business,” figuring that “worrying about revenge” and venting his anger at the bank were just “a waste of energy.”

    Instead, his effort went into getting smarter. “I would continually search for new ideas in books and magazines available to anyone,” he wrote, “but most people won’t put the time in to get a knowledge advantage.”

    In 1990, he sold MicroSolutions for $6 million. His next venture, with partners Todd Wagner and Chris Jaeb, was AudioNet, which began with webcasting college basketball games. In 1998, they renamed it Broadcast.com, went public, and the next year sold it to Yahoo for $5.6 billion in stock.

    Cuban purchased the Mavericks in 2000 from H. Ross Perot Jr. for $285 million. The Mavericks had been longtime losers, but after Cuban revamped its player roster and built the team a new stadium, its fortunes revived. The Mavs qualified for the playoffs in 2001, then made it to their first NBA Finals in 2006. And although they lost to the Miami Heat that year, the Mavs came back to beat the Heat in 2011’s finals to become NBA champs.

    What has Cuban learned from this experience that might apply to other businesses (other than the publicity that comes from being fined $2 million for arguing with officials)?

    “Good businesses are personal and the best are very personal,” he said. “Sports bring out emotions, as a great business should.”

    In 2001, Cuban joined Philip Garvin to launch HDNet, a high-definition network that eventually became AXS TV. And Todd Wagner has been Cuban’s partner in other ventures, including 2929, which produces and distributes movies and TV content, owns Landmark Theatres, and has a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment.

    “As an investor, he has an intricate portfolio of organizations across a wide range of industries,” said Michael Parrish DuDell, chief strategy officer of CouponFollow.com, who interviewed Cuban for his book “Shark Tank: Jump Start Your Business.” “He learned early on how critical it was to develop a keen eye for talent and empower that talent to share in the responsibility of leadership. It’s no surprise he’s helped so many people build extraordinary businesses.”

    Into The ‘Shark Tank’

    Cuban replaced an original member of the “Shark Tank” panel in 2011, joining Kevin O’LearyBarbara CorcoranDaymond JohnLori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec. Broadcast on Friday nights, the series has had an average audience ranging from 5 million to 9 million in its eight seasons, and it was renewed for a ninth, and moved to Sunday nights, starting Oct. 1. It won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured or Competition Reality Program in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

    The power of “Shark Tank” to immediately impact tiny companies can be illustrated by the $100,000 that Cuban invested for 30% of Simple Sugars in season four. Owner Lani Lazzari had created a line of cosmetics as a teen to clear up her eczema and began selling it to others who had problems related to sensitive skin. She arranged to take off her senior year of high school for independent study so she could focus on growing her business. In the year leading up to her appearance on “Shark Tank,” she had 1,300 orders; within three days after the broadcast, she received 15,000.

    Mark Cuban’s “Rules for Startups” from some of his most popular posts at http://www.markcuban.com and his real-time engagement platform, Cyber Dust, under +MCuban:

    • Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession.
    • Hire people who you think will love working there.
    • Know how your company will make money and actually make sales.
    • Let people use the technology they know.
    • Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them. Pay up for people in those competencies, but hire cheap for those who fit your culture and have other competencies.
    • Keep the organization flat and have open offices to keep everyone in tune with what is going on and keep the energy up.

    Cuban says he used to be preoccupied with work 24/7, but by managing his time smartly, he’s now able to put his family first. (He married Tiffany Stewart in 2002 and they have three children).

    “Mark Cuban has mastered the very thing most entrepreneurs struggle with the most — delegation,” said DuDell.

    “Time is the most valuable asset you own,” Cuban said. “How you use it is the best indication of where your future is going to take you. Sell in the morning, keep your customers happy the rest of the workday, and push the envelope at night.

    “I used to be in the middle of everything, but I hire people I can build trust in, then let them take the ball and run with it.”

    Cuban’s Keys

    Owner of NBA Dallas Mavericks and one of the investors on the hit TV program “Shark Tank.”

    Overcame: Boring, poor-paying jobs with no future; he decided to learn something from each one.

    Lesson: Be brutally honest with yourself about the quality of your ideas, products, and services and why customers buy and at what price.

    “Passion for a particular business is overrated. It’s really about where you put your effort. If you’re willing to work hard at something, a passion will naturally develop.”

    My top 3 shows on Netflix

    Just this morning I had 2 hours blocked out for writing. But you know that feeling when you just stare at your screen…for an hour?

    It happens a lot to newbies and experienced writers alike.

    The difference is that experienced writers know how to get over it faster.

    For me, the answer is giving myself a break…in this case, FOUR episodes of “Surviving Escobar” on Netflix.

    Finally, I’m back to work actually writing this email to you right now.

    (Btw, my top 3 Netflix shows right now: “Surviving Escobar,” “The Hunt,” and “The Good American.”)

    Part of being a Top Performer is existing in the real world. You and I don’t need a desk in a soundproofed zen meditation garden. We need a way to do work even when we’re distracted — because the world will always be distracting.

    That’s why today I want to talk about 3 of my most effective approaches for dealing with distraction.

    Btw, this is about more than being exceptionally productive. It’s about developing the Mental Mastery to draw hard boundaries in your work so you get what you need done while leaving ample time to enjoy your personal life.

    1. Understand distraction is human nature

    When most people plan their day they say, “I am going to work straight from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with absolutely zero distractions.” They try to be crazy disciplined.

    Then, as soon as they get a little distracted or they fall behind their perfectly planned schedule, their day goes completely off the rails. Next thing they know, they’re lurking their high school crush’s Facebook, texting their friend for a spontaneous coffee date, and checking movie showtimes for the early afternoon. They go into a downward spiral and can’t get back on track.

    In psychology they call this the “what-the-hell effect.”

    It’s just like when you go on a diet, things are going great, and then you slip up and eat a piece of cake, and say, “Well, there goes my diet for the day so what the hell, I might as well eat the rest of this cake and this pizza and this box of cookies.”

    The difference is Top Performers understand that getting distracted is human nature. They accept it’s going to happen, and they don’t beat themselves up when it does.

    2. Build in a distraction buffer

    Once you accept that you’re going to get distracted, then you can plan for it. Something I’ve found really helpful is building a buffer into my day.

    Instead of scheduling my day down to the minute and leaving no room for error, I make sure I leave a couple hours every Wednesday and Friday so that I can catch up when I do get off-track. (Not IF — WHEN. It will happen.)

    I feel so strongly about this that we’ve instituted a companywide policy of “No Meeting Wednesdays” so everyone has a one-day buffer to catch up on work during the week.

    No meeting WednesdaysNo Meeting Wednesdays (DND = Do Not Disturb)

    Here’s the last thing I do to deal with distraction — I just let it happen! I indulge it!

    This is what I did this morning when I couldn’t write. Instead of pushing through and forcing myself to write, I decided to take a break, indulge the distraction and actually go watch an episode.

    But here’s the key. Once I indulged my distraction, I pulled the Google Doc back up on my computer, refocused, and worked EVEN HARDER the rest of the day to make up for it.

    There’s something really powerful about being able to indulge in fun things that crop up — whether that’s a show, a friend, or an insanely beautiful day you just can’t pass up. And yet, after you’ve indulged, having the confidence to know you’ll buckle down and finish the work.

    It’s like that metaphor of the tree and the reed. When a storm comes in, the tree fights it and snaps. But the reed bends with the wind and gets right back up after the storm.

    So there you have it — 3 of my most brutally effective ways to deal with distraction.

    Try them out yourself and tell me how it goes.

    Here is Why you should think of Social Selling

    Social Selling 

    Social Selling generates better quality leads, increases sales opportunities, and increases overall deal size. Here’s how to use social selling to your advantage.

    What is social selling?

    Social selling is about leveraging your social networks to find the right prospects, to build trusted relationships, and ultimately, to help you achieve your sales goals by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content and insights to match each stage of their buying journey.

    Through commenting, liking, or sharing content with prospects, salespeople become part of the conversation and boost their own credibility by showing an active interest in what their buyers are posting. Social Selling is essentially another form of lead generation and lead nurturing.

    To do it well, you have to have a deep understanding of how it works — and accept that it’s not ‘owned’ by one department in your organization. In fact, social selling is — much like a lot of successful business initiatives — a team effort.

    Why should I use it?

    Social Selling may still seem like a buzzword, but the tactics work. Instead of jumping into your sales pitch, you are now are spending time interacting, engaging, and building a trust with prospects via social media.

    Still unsure if social selling is right for your business and B2B sales?

    • Social sellers outsell colleagues who don’t use social media by 78%. (LinkedIn)
    • 64% of teams using social selling attained their quota, as compared to 49% of teams that hadn’t incorporated social media into their sales processes. (Aberdeen)
    • 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions.(Kathleen Schaub)
    • “On average, traffic generated by employees converted at about 2.5x the rate of traffic generated by the brand. In fact, employees each generated more than $100,000 of sales. In essence, we got more traffic that converted better at a lower cost.” (Chris Boudreaux on Social Selling)

    How do I get started?

    Before diving in, make sure you and your team have social media accounts set up, mainly LinkedIn and Twitter.

    Your social accounts should not just read like a resume or contain lackluster information. Instead, provide value to your potential buyers in your social profiles and become a trusted advisor in your industry.

    Once you have your accounts set up to perfection, you need to begin your research. These two guides will ensure you become a social selling expert.

    After your profiles and research have been done, you’ll need to figure out where your buyers are—generally speaking for B2B sales you need to be on LinkedIn & Twitter, and possibly YouTube.

    Start sharing! Dedicate 50% of your content to your buyers. The other 50% should be content related to how you want to be known online. If you have no idea what to share, share what your customers are sharing! (Mario Martinez Jr.)

    Build relationships through conversation. Make it a daily routine to initiate five or more new conversations daily to further develop new relationships. (SalesforLife)

    Follow up. Check daily for LinkedIn profile views, likes, shares, comments, and InMail messages; as well as Twitter likes, re-tweets, and direct messages. Make sure to respond to all of the above on a daily basis. (SalesforLife)

    What tools should I use?

    First, you’ll need social media accounts. Preferably LinkedIn, Twitter, & YouTube.

    To schedule your LinkedIn & Twitter posts, you might want something like Buffer or Hootsuite.

    For help with prospecting, you might want something like LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Sales Loft. (SalesforLife)

    To help your sales team curate content, share that content via social, and measure their metrics via reporting, you might want a social selling platform like EveryoneSocial.

    To train your team on social selling, you might want to hire a trainer like The Sales FoundrySalesforLife, or Vengreso.

    How do I measure my results?

    Tracking your sales reps’ activity and results with social selling is actually very easy. Some metrics you should consider: online network growth, content engagement, new opportunities, and, of course, revenue. (Jill Rowley)

    The most important key performance indicator (or KPI) to look at is how many conversations you are having offline, that came from conversations you started online. (Mario Martinez Jr.)

    How to Find Time to Build Your Ecommerce Empire While Working a 9 to 5

    How to Find Time to Build Your Ecommerce Empire While Working a 9 to 5

    I know first hand how difficult it is to work a day job and still manage to be a “sidepreneur”. There is a significant lack of time to run an ecommerce business while working a 9 to 5, and you still need to commit yourself first to your employer.

    I’m here to tell you that the good news is that it’s very much possible to grow and create a successful ecommerce business on the side. Many others before you have done it and I’m going to show you how you can, too.

    The Struggle

    If you’re working a 9 to 5 and want to start an ecommerce business on the side, the first struggle most people encounter is what product to sell. Generally, people working a full-time job and looking to start an ecommerce business want something “easy”. Low commitment, easy to source or manufacture, and something that can be sold with little maintenance and work.

    While this is the ideal, don’t let your ideals prevent you from selling something you truly believe in, are passionate about or think would be a huge success. Check out our guide on how to find a product to sell online and go from there.

    The Struggle

    But the real struggle every sidepreneur encounters is simply finding the time and making the time for their side business. It’s not going to be easy. If you want to see your ecommerce business become successful, you can say goodbye to most of your evenings and weekends.

    So, while this all sounds brutal and difficult, the long-term payoff of creating a successful ecommerce business on the side is tremendous. These struggles are just barriers and challenges you must, and will, overcome.

    The best part is that this can be done.

    Why It’s Possible

    The first thing you need to realize is that it will take time. Starting your ecommerce business on the side means that it will grow slower than if you went into it full-time, which means that all the growing will be done in chunks when you make time for it.

    Why It’s Possible

    You have your weekends and evenings, use them. Your weekends and evenings allow for you to work in these small chunks and grow your business in chunks.

    Your income from your 9 to 5 also allows you to invest in your ecommerce business. This gives you a significant advantage over those that are dropping everything to run their ecommerce business and those that are unemployed and trying to start a business.

    The advantage you have as a sidepreneur over full-time entrepreneurs is that what you’re doing is a lot less risky. If your business fails, you still have your job to fall back to, and even use your previous failure as a learning experience to quickly get back on your feet with another venture. This is especially important if you have obligations to your family, have a mortgage or any other critical responsibility.

    People That Have Done It

    People That Have Done It

    Jeff Sheldon started Ugmonk as a side business which he worked on during late nights and weekends. Ugmonk is now a successful lifestyle product business that Jeff works full-time on after two years of working on Ugmonk on the side.

    People That Have Done It

    Peter Keller started FringeSport on the side in 2010 while working a 9 to 5. Peter eventually took his side business from $100,000 to $3,000,000 in three years.

    People That Have Done It

    Valerie and Geoffrey Franklin are a wife and husband team that both worked 9 to 5’s as a project manager and architect, respectively. After founding Walnut Studiolo and selling handcrafted leather products in 2009, they were both full-time into the business by 2011 after seeing their ecommerce business takeoff.

    People That Have Done It

    Stefan Loble started Bluff Works, selling wrinkle-free pants, and grew it for 3 years on the side while working a 9 to 5, even after a successful Kickstarter fundraising. Recently, Stefan left his 9 to 5 software job to work on his ecommerce business full-time.

    How to Build a Successful Side Business


    The first component of building an ecommerce business on the side is that you need to focus. Since your time, resources and energy are limited, it’s a really good idea to focus, especially when it comes to the niche you wish to serve or the product you want to sell.

    Too many people, when they start out, have a bunch of ideas for products they would like to sell. Instead of launching that clothing line right away, why not just launch one product from the line initially? Instead of serving the entire parent demographic, why not just stay-at-home mothers? Where in your ecommerce business can you focus or niche down?

    The other aspect of focusing is finding what works early and sticking to that. There are so many different strategies, tools and social media platforms out there. There isn’t enough time for you to experiment and learn them all. You need to become exceptional at finding what works for you and your business and really honing in on that and mastering that craft.

    Are you crushing it on Twitter? Put more of your resources into Twitter.

    Is your business finding a lot of success using Google Adwords? Focus on that.

    Work Small, Think Big

    It’s going to be all about taking baby steps at first for your ecommerce business. You need to have patience and understand that in most cases, success doesn’t and won’t happen overnight.

    As mentioned earlier, you’ll be working on the business in chunks, and you usually won’t have the opportunity to work on it all day like a full-time entrepreneur. But that’s okay. A slow and steady growth that is consistent is all you need to be successful.

    Work Small, Think Big

    This is why you need to look at those really overwhelming tasks to get your business rolling and start breaking them down into smaller, workable chunks. You will likely only have a few hours everyday to attack a task. So instead of trying build your ecommerce website in one evening, break down the design and construction of your website into a few days so that you’re not pressured or rushed with your limited time.

    Schedule Everything

    Because your time is limited, you need to start scheduling your side business activities so that you not only know what you’re doing every evening and weekend, but also to keep yourself accountable. There are a lot of free tools that can help you do this, such as simply using Google Calendar. If you have a schedule or calendar for your 9 to 5 job, I would personally recommend keeping your 9 to 5 schedule and side business schedule on separate calendars.

    Schedule Everything

    Start using your calendar to find the gaps and time in your life where you can schedule time for your business. Whether that has you bringing a laptop to work so that you can work during your lunch or blocking out an entire weekend to finish your website, do it. It’s okay to get a little selfish with your time initially, especially when you’re trying to get the ball rolling for your ecommerce business. Those that support you (friends, family, spouse) will be understanding.

    For me, my time priority chain looks something like this:

    Me/health > Family/friends > 9 to 5 > Side business

    Sometimes, my side business will take priority over everything when necessary. However, it’s important to not neglect things like your health or your family. This is why scheduling your time and making time for your ecommerce business is so important.

    Be sure to get creative as well. Get up a few hours earlier every morning to work on your business or simply sleep less (yes, I’m serious). If you’re going to bed at 9pm to get up for 6am, you can sacrifice a few hours of sleep and get up at 4am every once in a while. That’s still a healthy 7 hours of sleep.

    Do The Things Now That Create More Time For Tomorrow

    Let’s say you spend 30 minutes doing something every week such as checking and responding to customer emails.

    What if you could cut down from 30 minutes a week to just 15 minutes a week by investing 4 hours today?

    For example, if you spent 4 hours today creating a “frequently asked questions” page on your website to reduce the number of incoming inquiries and it saved you 15 minutes every week, you would do it, right?

    After 16 weeks, this upfront time investment would begin to net a time gain.

    This is just one example of how doing things to save you time later and investing your time now can make it a lot easier for you to run your ecommerce business.

    Another example of this is creating a series of “canned” responses (which you can learn how to set them up in Gmail here) to questions you frequently get in your inbox, to make it easier and quicker to respond to common questions you might get about shipping, your product, pricing, etc.

    Do The Things Now That Create More Time For Tomorrow

    It might take you a few hours to create all the canned responses and figuring out what your common questions are. However, the idea is that you’re putting that time in upfront to save time for yourself later. There are other tools such as text expanders that you can take the time to set up now, to save you time later.

    If there’s something you can do today to save even just a little bit of time later, do it.

    Stop Doing The Things That Don’t Matter

    You have no excuse when you say “I just don’t have time” when you’re binge watching Netflix shows on the weekends. It’s okay to indulge and enjoy yourself but if you’re truly serious about your ecommerce business succeeding, you’ll stop doing the things that don’t matter.

    Stop Doing The Things That Don't Matter

    As Gary Vaynerchuk says in this video “Everybody has time, stop watching Lost” (NSFW language).

    This is also important when it comes to dealing with procrastination when running and creating an ecommerce business. Yes, it’s fun to come up with a name for your business and design a logo. Ultimately, these things are not as important as the amount of time most people pour into these aspects of their business. It’s really disproportionate. I have seen people spend days coming up with a name for their business and only a few hours on the content and copy on their website.

    Focus on the things that matter. Your time is limited, don’t spend it on the things that have little to no pay off.


    How much is your time worth to you? If it’s worth more than the cost to outsource a process, then you should strongly consider doing so. As mentioned earlier, using the money you earn at your 9 to 5 to invest into your business is one of the advantages you have as a sidepreneur.

    For example, instead of processing, fulfilling and shipping each order yourself, look into hiring a company to do this for you. Look at your options for packaging and shipping instead of taking the time to fulfill and ship your orders yourself.

    Another ecommerce business challenge most sidepreneurs struggle with is bookkeeping and accounting. A lot of people try to take the initiative and do this themselves. Outsourcing and automating your accounting is one of the best things for your business. Not only will it save you a lot of time, but also a lot of headaches. Let a pro handle it. There are also a lot of cool apps and integrations for Shopify that make this easy.

    Look at the things you are doing or have to do to get your business up and running. Can you hire someone to get it done faster or even better?

    Automate As Many Processes As Possible

    Thanks to technology and the amount of tools available on the internet, automating aspects of your life or business has never been easier. There’s potential for you to automate some aspects of your ecommerce business to allow you to put your time in the things that need your attention.

    The first thing most people automate is their social media. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule your Tweets and Facebook page posts ahead of time. While it’s still very important to have that human touch to your social media, it’s also a good idea to sit down on a Sunday night and schedule out a few Tweets and Facebook posts for the week.

    The next thing you can automate is your email marketing. Set up an autoresponder sequence of emails that go out automatically after a visitor opts into your email list. For example, instead of manually emailing your list weekly, set up a 12 week newsletter full of great content, ahead of time.

    It might also be worth it for you to explore other things you can automate in your life and business. Sites like IFTTT provide a lot of opportunities for you to save time on things you might be doing everyday by automating them.


    As a sidepreneur myself, I know the struggle. It’s a battle for your time everyday. However, persevering despite the struggle is one of the most satisfying things in the world. I was always told being an entrepreneur was the most difficult job in the world. If a sidepreneur has less freedom and time than an entrepreneur, then naturally it beats out the entrepreneur for this title.

    Work hard, hustle, stay motivated, realize your passion and remind yourself on a daily basis why you are doing what you are doing. If it’s that important to you, you will find the time to work on your side business and hopefully make it become your full-time business if that’s what you eventually want.  

    I encourage you to leave a comment below and put a stake in the ground. Tell me and tell yourself that “yes, I can and will do this!”. If you’re not quite ready yet to commit yourself as a sidepreneur tell me why. Let me know what is holding you back and I will address it. If you have any questions, be sure to let me know below, as well.


    About The Author

    Corey Ferreira is a passionate entrepreneur, coconut water lover and content creator at Shopify.

    The Charles Bukowski Guide to Effective Copywriting: 5 Tips

    Written by Eddie Shleyner

    Copy is writing that compels.

    It connects with a specific audience, inciting emotions that drive action. It reads like a comfortable, personalized email but appeals to the masses.Download our free guide here for tips to become a better writer. 

    Copy enables sales on a grand scale, which begs the question:

    How do you write effective copy?

    Copywriting is a technical craft. Practice, practice, practice makes perfect.

    Writing copy begins with internalizing the principles that differentiate it from other editorial disciplines. And how do you do that?

    Try Reading Bukowski

    Charles Bukowski wasn’t a copywriter, but he was a prolific writer of poetry and short stories. In the first half of his life, he mailed thousands of drafts to potential publishers.

    But most of his submissions were rejected. The work was too progressive, said the editors, too crude: Bukowski wrote about sex and love, about loss and failure, hardship. Most everything was autobiographical. Then, when he was 46, Bukowski met John Martin, a publisher compelled by his work.

    “The first time I read him I said ‘My God, this is today’s Whitman,’” said Martin. “This is a man of the street, writing for the people of the street.”

    And so it began: Bukowski found a platform and an audience found Bukowski. His work connected. In the second half of his life, he sold millions of books.

    Charles Bukowski wasn’t a copywriter, but he did write like one, which roused readers and enabled his success. Want to write effective copy? Read Bukowski to internalize the core principles of copywriting, which are:

    1) Write with emotion.

    Most purchases aren’t logical decisions. People buy things based on how they make them feel.

    So, your copy should evoke emotion.

    To do that, copywriters dance with the human condition, playing on memories that conjure poignant images that resonate with their audience.

    Bukowski was emotional.

    His subject matter was personal, yet typical. Bukowski wrote about things most people could understand, if not relate to. Readers sympathized with him.

    In Women, Bukowski writes:

    I was sentimental about many things: a woman’s shoes under the bed; one hairpin left behind on the dresser; the way they said, “I’m going to pee.” hair ribbons; walking down the boulevard with them at 1:30 in the afternoon, just two people walking together …

    Bukowski saw beauty in the mundane, depth and meaning in the prosaic. So he wrote about it, which made readers think, remember and, most importantly, feel.

    2) Write with brevity. 

    People have short attention spans. If we’re not interested, we tune out, sometimes within seconds.

    So, your copy should make its point quickly.

    Unless an emotional narrative calls for it, copywriters don’t use two or three words when one will do.

    Bukowski was brief.

    He rarely dragged on without purpose.

    In Women, Bukowski writes:

    Being alone never felt right. Sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.

    Bukowski respected the reader’s imagination. He didn’t color everything in. He let people come to their own conclusions. We enjoy that, after all. We like filling in the gaps for ourselves, using our own images and memories. It’s fun.

    3) Write with clarity.

    Confusion kills engagement. Clear writing keeps people reading. Clarity, like brevity, prolongs attention.

    So, your copy should be comprehensible. A focused reader shouldn’t need to reread a sentence.

    To ensure this, copywriters:

    • Use simple words: Write “begin” rather than “commence.” Write “find out” rather than “ascertain.”
    • Use specific words: Write “FaceTime” rather than “video communication tool.”
    • Use the active voice: It’s easier to read than the passive voice.
    • Use transitions: These are words or phrases that connect ideas between sentences (e.g., as a result; although; while; because).

    Clear writing helps readers visualize your sentences, which keeps them reading.

    Bukowski was clear.

    One of the most understandable authors of the twentieth century, Bukowski’s clarity was his forte.

    In Post Office, Bukowski writes:

    In the morning it was morning and I was still alive. Maybe I’ll write a novel, I thought. And then I did.

    Like Hemingway and Vonnegut, Bukowski used small words and crisp sentences.

    “Bukowski had no time for metaphors,” said Bono, a friend. “He just wanted to get down to the bone, to the marrow of the bone!”

    4) Write with honesty. 

    Copy sells when it makes authentic promises and claims. Dishonesty, eventually, exposes itself.

    So, your copy should tell the truth, even if it’s ugly.

    Copywriters do it all the time:

    Honesty helped Avis highlight its strengths. It helped Domino’s regain consumer trust. Ultimately, the strategy inspired public sympathy, driving rapid growth for both companies.

    Bukowski was honest.

    He famously held nothing back. In print, he was fully exposed, sensitive and vulnerable and unsafe. He was naked and people glared.

    In Ham on Rye, Bukowski writes:

    And my own affairs were as bad, as dismal, as the day I had been born. The only difference was now I could drink now and then, though never often enough … I would certainly never be able to be happy, to get married, I could never have children. Hell, I couldn’t even get a job as a dishwasher.

    “Forgive me,” Bukowski once said at a poetry reading. “You have my soul and I have your money.”

    5) Write with style.

    Though effective copy is driven by substance, it shouldn’t sound rigid. It should roll off the tongue.

    So, your copy should use literary devices to help it flow.

    Copywriters use sound repetition to create sentence fluency:

    • Alliteration: Repetitive sounds at the beginning of adjacent words 
      (e.g., “Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary.”)
    • Consonance: Repetitive sounds produced by consonants
      (e.g., “The fair breeze blew, the white / foam flew / The furrow followed free …”)
    • Assonance: Repetitive sounds produced by vowels
      (e.g., “I must confess that in my quest I felt depressed and restless.”)

    They use word repetition to create rhythm:

    • Anaphora: Repetition at the beginning
      (e.g., “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right …”)
    • Epistrophe: Repetition at the end
      (e.g., “Government of the people, by the people, for the people …”)
    • Polyptoton: Repetition of the root
      (e.g., “No end to the withering of withered flowers …”)

    Dive deeper into literary devices here.

    Bukowski had style.

    He leaned on literary devices, using them to add depth to his writing, to make his work more poignant and moving, more emotional.

    In Dinosauria, We, Bukowski writes:

    Born like this
    Into this
    As the chalk faces smile
    As Mrs. Death laughs
    As the elevators break
    As political landscapes dissolve
    As the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
    As the oily fish spit out their oily prey
    As the sun is masked
    We are
    Born like this
    Into this …

    Bukowski’s style made his message more memorable.

    Charles Bukowski wasn’t a copywriter.

    But he wrote like the best of them.

    Study his work and you will, too.

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