Tuesday, June 13, 2017

GOLF SEASON IS HERE! BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GOLFERS?

When it comes to golf, I am a purist. Perhaps it is because I grew up playing “neighborhood golf” (a topic for another post), but given my druthers I’d prefer the game remain unchanged. I was a member of my high-school’s varsity team, and continue to use golf as my main form of summer leisure.

Golf requires formality and nuance, mental toughness, finesse, competitiveness, and a willingness to endure the duration of a round that can (at times) feel like a marathon. Hitting a pure shot every now and then helps too, but in my opinion the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and tackle the challenge of the next unique hole makes up for an entire day of bad shots.

In Minnesota, I am not alone in my admiration of the game. In fact, Minnesota has more golfers per capita than any other state – pretty incredible if you consider that our golf season is only seven months long. . . in a good year.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ernest Shackleton: Explorer and Entrepreneur

One of five (yes, five) new musicals I saw during my recent Memorial Day weekend trip to NYC was an off-Broadway show called Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, and yes, it got me thinking about the qualities of a successful entrepreneur.

For those who don’t know, Ernest Shackleton was a famous British explorer who wanted to be the first person to lead an expedition to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. In August of 1914 he departed with a crew of 28 people. After his ship, the Endurance, became trapped in ice (and later sunk), he and his crew were forced to abandon their quest. Remarkably, the entire crew survived the trip, which took over two years and included 497 days without touching land, mostly stuck on floating ice!

So, what does this have to do with entrepreneurship? Well, many people have written about Shackleton, even about Shackleton as entrepreneur. Most reference how his eternal optimism—even in difficult times—and keen leadership ability were the reason for the successful ending to the story.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Leveraging the Power of Social Media: IP Protection + Enforcement

Facebook has 1.9 billion monthly users. Instagram has 700 million monthly users. Twitter has 328 million monthly users. The number of users on these platforms is astounding and makes social media a powerful source of marketing.

Many entrepreneurs are effectively leveraging the power of social media and online marketing to increase customer engagement and build brand equity at a relatively low cost. Equally important to optimizing your social media campaign is developing and implementing best practices to proactively protect your intellectual property from infringement and take action against others who are infringing your content. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Account Security. As social media users become more and more savvy, the risk of business accounts being hacked continues to increase. It has become increasingly easy for criminals to gain access to accounts that use only standard security procedures such as a username and password. Getting hacked could put you in danger, cost you money, or be damaging to your reputation. Enabling two-factor authenticators, also known as 2FA, is an easy and free measure of additional security that is worth implementing. 2FA requires not only a password and username, but also something that you have on you, i.e. a piece of information only you should know or have immediately on hand (such as a physical token). FacebookInstagram, and Twitter (and most other social media platforms) offer 2FA. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Does your software make you WannaCry?

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack brought back memories of my own experience with ransomware more than four years ago. 

Thankfully, that was the only time I fell prey to this cruel malware that encrypts the user’s files and demands payment for unlocking them.  At the time, I was annoyed. It was an inconvenience to be unable to use my home computer, but it wasn’t a crisis.  I could afford the time to find a way to decrypt the ransomware (or let my husband figure it out while I was at work, although I think he might have preferred that I just pay the ransom…)  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

MNvest and Crowdfunding Tips

A few weeks ago, I attended a luncheon hosted by the Association for Corporate Growth, or ACG, regarding MNvest.  For those who may be unfamiliar (or who haven’t been reading posts like this one from my colleague and fellow entreVIEW author Dan Tenenbaum), MNvest is the shorthand reference to the MNvest Securities Registration Exemption, an amendment to the Minnesota Securities Act. MNvest, which “went live” on June 20, 2016, permits eligible Minnesota businesses to engage in “intra-state” equity crowdfunding campaigns. An equity crowdfunding campaign is an online approach to raising small amounts of capital from a large number of people. Whereas donation-based crowdfunding – think KickstarterIndiegogo, or GoFundMe  – permits individuals to contribute to various causes without necessarily receiving anything in return, through an equity crowdfunding campaign like MNvest, a Minnesota business can solicit investment funds from Minnesota residents in exchange for a financial stake in the business.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mother’s Day Gift? Look no further than Shark Tank!

Shark Tank, the hit business-themed reality show on ABC, is a favorite for many of us who are entreVIEW authors. Back in 2014, Dan wrote about watching Shark Tank with his daughter in this post.  Now in its eighth season, Shark Tank continues to draw more than five million viewers who are drawn to the excitement of watching entrepreneur-contestants pitch ingenious businesses to a panel of “shark” investors. 

Have you ever been inspired to purchase a product as seen on Shark Tank? My husband and I have been fans of the show for years and we’ve been inspired by some great pitches to make a few purchases after learning about products on the show:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Recommended Reading re: Resiliency in the Workplace


I recently had the opportunity to visit my law school as a guest faculty member, along with five other young lawyers, to speak about managing the early years of practice. Over three days of workshops, panels, and breakout sessions, we provided second and third-year law students with the “inside scoop” of what it is really like to practice as a young lawyer. Despite the various types of legal practice we represented (private practice at large and small firms, in-house corporate, government, and higher education), the overarching skill requirement was the same – resilience. 

Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Though often considered in a personal context, resiliency is a critical skill for individuals who work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment.

In Rich Fernandez’s Harvard Business Review article, “5 Ways to Boost Your Resilience at Work,” he explains that “[m]any of us now work in constantly connected, always-on, highly demanding work cultures where stress and the risk of burnout are widespread. Since the pace and intensity of contemporary work culture are not likely to change, it’s more important than ever to build resilience skills to effectively navigate your worklife.”

Fernandez's article is a quick read that offers five tips based on neuroscience, behavioral, and organizational research to help individuals develop and strengthen the resiliency skills necessary to stay motivated in the face of stress, failure, and missteps. Like any skill, resilience can be learned (and lost), making Fernandez’s article a great read for younger and more experienced workers alike.