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I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of summer is getting the time to settle down with a good book. Whether it’s on the beach or wherever, there’s no better time to crack open a book, lose yourself in a story, or learn something to move yourself forward.
I’m excited to present these forgotten books which can not only help you while away the time, but give you that needed boost of mojo at the same time. Read on, because one of these books is totally free! And it might just be the best book in the bunch…
Sometimes you just feel like you’re in a summer slump. No kidding: With a global pandemic raging, you’d be forgiven for feeling down. But there’s a sure way to jolt your mojo while you’ve got a bit of time this summer.
Get your hands on one of these classic books, and I guarantee you’ll feel your mojo returning.
Certain books have stayed favorites through the vagaries of whim and fashion because of something bright and lasting inside them. There are millions of new books published every year—only a few are remembered.
The language, references, and slang may be outdated. But the mojo-feeding wisdom is certainly not. Here are the classic books you should get your hands on this summer to jolt your mojo.
Think and Grow Rich
Andrew Carnegie had a secret. He dropped a subtle hint, in his interview with the young business journalist Napoleon Hill, that he knew a little-known magic power of the human mind, a principle which allowed him to accumulate vast personal wealth, power, and prestige.
That young journalist went on to interview over 500 of the most successful men of his time, over 25 years of research, and distill his findings about Carnegie’s secret power in this book. The result? The best-selling motivational book of all time, the very definition of “oldie but goodie”—guaranteed to help you find your mojo again.
Nobody likes to be criticized. Everyone wants to be liked. This book by Dale Carnegie is your blueprint for using this simple rule of human psychology (and others like it) in your favor. And the best part is, there are opportunities to do this in every situation in life.
The set of principles put forth in this book, which is really a field-guide to dealing with your fellow humans (and doing it well), are as time-tested as anything. There’s no way you can read through this and fail to get some of that precious mojo back.
Find yourself drowning in responsibilities without enough time to do them? Constantly in a state of frustration and bad-temper because of it, or because of the people around you? If that’s you, this classic by M. R. Kopmeyer is the cure you’ve been waiting for.
Reading through this book is like hypnotizing yourself to achieve success in your life. You’ll learn how to say no to unnecessary responsibilities. You’ll understand that a bad temper is far worse than bad luck. And much more.
Books like these can make a real difference in your life. Don’t believe me? Just read some of the comments on Amazon!
The thing you need, then, is time to read. One thing that might help is our current productivity package: It’s a $1,050 package of discounts you get when you sign up for Shoutworks. Get mojo-jolting discounts on essentials for your business like graphic design, virtual assistants, custom swag, and more.
As your business grows, the workload increases and things that need to be done over and over again also increase. The amount of data that your team is managing continues to increase as well. This translates to more work. It is not enough that your company’s growth trajectory is on the up, but now you have a new problem; the work that never seemed like much when you had a handful of customers now takes an incredible amount of time for your team to get done.
Rather than hiring more people, you can use tools like Zapier to automate parts of your business, saving time and money, as well as ensuring mistake-free work.
If you’re evaluating whether it’s time to start automating, here are some things to consider:
1. You have repetitive and (or) scheduled tasks
99% of businesses will have repetitive tasks to do every time a new client signs up, fills in a form, or gets to a particular stage in their customer life cycle. When you realize that there is a repetitive task that keeps happening, it is a sign that you need to consider automating it.
In addition, when you have a task scheduled to happen once every week, month or year, automate it.
2. You would rather do something else
Some tasks can be outrightly boring. You look at them and think:
“Should I hire someone to do this?”
“Can someone save me?”
“I would rather count passing cars by the roadside than keep doing this”
If you are getting anything near the questions above, it is a sign that the task needs to be delegated. However, delegating it does not necessarily mean hiring a new person to do it.
It could also mean finding out if there are software that can perform the tasks automatically.
3. App to app information transfers
We all know that feeling. You are looking at a lengthy Excel sheet with data that needs to be copied into a software the company uses. If you have this scenario at all, before beginning to copy and paste the data cell by cell, ask yourself, “can I do this faster without actually doing it?”
Transferring information from one application to another is time consuming and boring especially when you have to do it more than once. It is a sign that you are in need of automation.
4. Poor team communication
Are there communication breakdowns in your team? It could be that your team is overwhelmed with work and mundane tasks that take away their communication opportunities.
A team that does not communicate is bad for business. They are not exchanging ideas, brainstorming on problems and solutions for the company. It’s a sign that you need to find out what is eating into their time and how you can automate it. This will reduce their workload and create time for communications and follow-ups.
5. Employee working overtime leading to burnouts
Are your employees always tired or working overtime? Their increased workload is causing them to have longer working days.
We know that burned out employees are not any good. Their productivity is low.
It is time for you to interrogate the situation. Find out what tasks from their increased workload can be automated to increase their productivity levels, cut down on overtime and give them more resting hours.
7. Rising costs in running your business
When your company’s running costs are on the rise, there is a high chance that;
People are taking longer times doing repetitive tasks which take their focus away from more important work leading to cost overruns.
You are hiring more people to deal with increasing process tasks due to more work.
More mistakes are being made leading to time and money spent fixing them.
The 3 chances above are signs that you need to automate entire workflows to cut down on mistakes, personnel, and entire departments. Instead of rising costs, you will turn the boat around to rising profits instead.
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A crisis can trigger new changes, or accelerate changes that were already underway. This crisis is doing both.
I don’t have to tell you how much the world has changed and will continue to. What I want to discuss today is exactly what changes have already begun, and what you can do about them. How you can position yourself to succeed in the world right around the corner.
We are about to dive into the deep end on how exactly the world is changing before our very eyes—so you can be ready for it.
We’ll look at how businesses, behavior, whole industries, and the workplace itself are changing. We’ll also include a BONUS section at the end full of great business ideas to start that will help you ride the wave of re-opening back up, so read to the end to find out.
Healthcare: All about telehealth, data, wearables, and VR
Telehealth adoption has gone WAY up since the start of the pandemic.
Once the pandemic hit, traditional ways to access healthcare were over-burdened and risky. It became a no-brainer to seek help via an app or website. Expect strong growth here to continue. The same holds true for remote therapy, by the way!
If health professionals can’t be there with you, expect health wearables to skyrocket as well. How else will they be able to “Track & Trace” data effectively of whole populations?
Don’t forget about virtual fitness. Gyms are terrible places to go when there’s a virus on the loose. When lockdown started, over 350,000 fitness instructors in the US alone were forced to move online.
Connected equipment, workout apps, and new at-home fitness tech has seen a huge boost in the past few months.
Finally, aging and senior care has been forced to enter the digital age as a result of the pandemic.
Companies like Umbrella, a services marketplace aimed at seniors, and VitalCare, a telehealth company, have stepped up to fill the sudden demand for safe and contactless services for this particularly vulnerable group.
Work: Remote work accelerates adoption of digital infrastructure
All companies not deemed “essential” were forced to go remote when the pandemic struck. And now that they’ve tasted that sweet, sweet work-from-home life, many workers will be very reluctant to go back.
Faced with a fully distributed workforce for the first time, many companies leaned heavily on some of the big communication and work management tools. For instance, Microsoft Teams and its competitor, Slack, have exploded in user adoption.
Zoom has been one of the big winners here, with its share price rocketing 72% from December 2019 to April 2020.
Expect enterprise virtual reality to become a reality as well. Already expected to become a $12.6B market by 2025, the current crisis has pulled that timeline forward. Many companies are using VR to facilitate safe medical training, run real estate visits, and more.
Education: The age of the online classroom
All of us with kids have dealt firsthand with the challenges and opportunities of suddenly switching to an all-remote classroom. With K-12 and secondary schools adopting online learning infrastructure simply in order to keep operating, many won’t go back.
And it’s not just education infrastructure for K-12 and secondary. Online learning at all levels is seeing a massive boost.
Manufacturing: Automation and 3D printing
With companies trying to take more measures to keep workers safe and still keep up output, it’s no surprise that automation is in: Machines can get as close together as they want, and they still won’t get sick.
So too, 3D printing has gotten a huge boost as companies still need to pump out products while trying to limit human contact as much as possible.
The upshot from this is that the manufacturing industry as a whole is getting more flexible and agile all at once. It will be much more able, now and in the future, to respond on a dime to changes in demand.
Retail: Shopping is going online and not coming back
One of the biggest changes in retail has been the shift to doing grocery shopping online. It’s created massive growth for companies like Amazon, Instacart and Freshdirect, and created lots of jobs.
Traditional ecommerce has taken off in new directions, too. Fashion companies are doing virtual catwalks; brands are doing livestreams; and home improvement companies have taken to VR with a vengeance in a bid to help people test out products virtually.
Customer Service: The rise of the bots
With call centers shutting down for physical distancing purposes, companies have also seen an increase in customer calls. They’ve responded to this by calling in the conversational AI bots.
Banking, healthcare, retail, and even food service and delivery are all adopting conversational bots at a rapid clip. From simple messenger bots to Amazon Alexa’s advanced AI, companies are turning to these tools to relieve their overburdened teams and infrastructure.
“Cloud call centers” have also become a thing as companies needed an alternative to packing reps into physical call centers. Will companies go back once they realize the cost savings they’ll get from these? I think not.
Finance: Contactless is the name of the game
Contactless payments have seen a surge since the pandemic hit, and you can expect that surge to continue. This has resulted in increased adoption of new digital payment methods that might have taken much longer.
Another casualty of COVID has been the bank retail branch. Estimates show that traditional brick-and-mortar banks could lose up to 40% of revenue to their digital competition. Now more than ever, if your bank’s digital presence sucks, you really feel it. Those new digital neo-banks have never looked more attractive for many consumers.
What may gain from the pandemic is a niche insurance product known as “parametric insurance”, whereby you get an insurance payout if some “parameter”, or condition, happens. For instance, when the Wimbledon tennis tournament had to be canceled earlier this year, they were OK—they had paid for a pandemic insurance policy every year since the SARS outbreak in 2003, so they expect a payout of around $142M as a result.
Cybersecurity: Everyone and everything is online, so let’s secure it
Nothing has illustrated the need for investments in cybersecurity in recent months like the case of the Zoom-bombers, hackers who found their way into private Zoom calls (in some cases, Zoom classrooms) to cause mayhem.
Another thing we may see is invasive surveillance technology becoming more acceptable to people in exchange for heightened security. For instance, Google, Apple, Facebook, and other tech giants have pulled their resources together to track people’s movements in order to track the spread of the virus.
With so many companies and schools doing their work remotely, it’s become paramount to secure files and environments from outside tampering. There have also been increases in cyberattacks. Cybersecurity is set to become a $350B industry when the dust settles.
Entertainment: Everything is virtual
Noticing a trend? Yep, just about every industry is going virtual as a result of the pandemic, and entertainment is no exception.
Online games are getting a huge boost. Can’t go out on the weekends? People are playing online games together instead. People are even going on dates virtually, via their favorite video games.
Expect esports to get a huge boost as well, as popular in-person sports like soccer, NASCAR, and Formula-1 explore ways take their experiences online.
All events and conferences are going virtual, too. Expect that to continue.
Food Service: Take-out and delivery or bust
Restaurants were forced to make a choice, when all this started: Either shut down and lay off your staff, or go all-delivery or all-take-out.
Food delivery apps such as UberEats and Deliveroo have seen huge numbers of new restaurants and patrons, as they try to find the tools to continue business.
“Cloud kitchens” have also gotten a big boost. Think of these like kitchens that serve multiple restaurants, tailored especially for delivery apps. If you go on UberEats, chances are some of the restaurants you see don’t actually have a physical location. They just have a brand and menu on the delivery app, and all their food is prepared for delivery only in a cloud kitchen.
As reopening starts in parts of the world, we expect to see a resurgence of physical restaurants, albeit with some restrictions. This might be the same for in-person events, as people look to get what small bit of human contact they can.
How to thrive in the post-COVID world
Now you know how the world is changing… What do you plan to do about it?
It’s no surprise that smart speaker usage has gone way up as well. If you want to make a big impact in the post-COVID world, you need to be where your people are. And right now, chances are many of them are interacting with a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa. You’re going to want to be there when they ask for your services or products.
Shoutworks makes that easy. One click, and Alexa has instant access to just the right information about your business. It’s almost like she’s your personal sales rep, right in your customer’s living room!
From Noah Kagan: The 26 Most Profitable Business Ideas to Start in 2020 (Backed by Google Data)
It takes a lot of pressure to make a diamond.
If you’re feeling the pinch, there’s no better way to long-term job security than to make your own job. That’s right, go out on your own—start your own business!
There are lots of very profitable opportunities out there, you just need to be smart enough to see them and fast enough to seize them. Our friend Noah Kagan is here to help you find that business idea that can help you start raking in cash.
Noah Kagan is the taco-loving Chief Sumo at AppSumo and was employee #30 at Facebook. Plus, he teaches everything he knows about marketing and business on his blog and YouTube channel, OkDork.
Guest Article Note: We invite writers, bloggers, and other experts to submit articles about working and living smarter. Submitted articles may be featured in our weekly newsletter.
Get more conversions through voice! Click here to try Shoutworks free, and grow your audience, increase leads, and boost sales through the chatbot in everyone’s living room: Amazon Alexa. In one click!
An email newsletter is one of the most crucial pieces of running a successful business. Newsletters are all about engaging people. It’s about staying top-of-mind.
But it’s hard to do that when people’s inboxes are clogged with other newsletters competing with yours. You need to find a way to differentiate.
The best advice I can give is to go omnichannel: repurpose your content so that it works for you on as many channels as possible. You went to all the trouble of producing it in the first place, why not let it work for you? Start with just one new channel, and expand from there.
Read on to find out why there is a unique opportunity right now to make your newsletter into a voice newsletter.
1. Email is crowded, voice isn’t.
93% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content. Sure, 99% of people check their email once a day, but that’s a lot of emails showing up in the inbox. You may get someone to open your email one day, and they may not open another until weeks or months later. There has to be a better way to reach people on a more regular basis.
Voice, on the other hand, is a wide open frontier. It’s new, so it hasn’t had the chance to get completely crowded yet. That means there are more niches that need filling—more openings for you to provide better content than anything else out there.
Heck, even the biggest companies can’t seem to figure out how to do voice well enough! Look at Best Buy’s Alexa Skill, for example: With 100 reviews, it has an average rating of 2 stars (out of 5). Ouch.
Yes, you can build something better in this niche, or in plenty of others. All it takes is a little empathy with the people who use it.
There are plenty of great emails clogging inboxes. There is a dire need for great voice experiences that people can use to get the information they want and need.
2. Repurpose your content to do more with less.
All the best digital marketers embrace this core principle: Repurpose your content.
What does it mean? Well, let’s say you produce a YouTube video. You could just put it up on YouTube and wait.
Or, you could split the video up into bite-size pieces and share them on social media.
Then you could extract the audio file and build a podcast audience as well.
Then you could get a transcription done, write up an intro, and publish it as a blog post. And share it in your newsletter.
Then you could hook up Shoutworks, so that your blog post is available on 200+ million Alexa devices as well. Voila, you have a voice newsletter!
See? There are lots of ways to get more mileage out of the same content. Do this consistently, and you will have truly mastered the art of growing an audience online.
3. It’s now ridiculously easy to create with voice.
It wasn’t this easy just a few months ago. That’s partially why not many people have caught on yet—recent advances in technology take time to spread. But you’ve caught on earlier than most. That means the opportunity is even greater for you.
We started Shoutworks because we looked at how expensive (literally thousands of dollars) and time-consuming it was to create an awesome voice experience, and thought there had to be a better way. There are over 4 billion Alexa-ready devices in homes everywhere, and still even the biggest companies are pumping out bad experiences like that Best Buy skill from #1.
So with Shoutworks, we made it so that you can just plug your content into our best-in-market skill templates to create amazing Flash Briefings, Quote of the Day skills, Deal of the Day skills, and more in the click of a button, for a low monthly price.