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Up To The Minute: Thought Leadership on diversity as strategy, avoiding “the rabbit hole,” and competing in saturated markets

This week’s featured topics include using diversity to drive deals; avoiding time-wasting “rabbit holes”; standing out in saturated markets; and more.

Dan Almasi

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What Is: Up To The Minute? A thought leadership showcase. A wealth of knowledge. Your new weekly go-to source of insight from voices big and small across a wide range of industries.

1. Founder & CEO of Real Life E Time Coaching and author of several time-management books Elizabeth Saunders: “Going down [an] internet rabbit hole is usually due to one of three factors: environment, avoidance, or addiction.”

You do it without even thinking about it. I do it without even thinking about. We all do it—and the scariest part is that we do it, much of the time, without even thinking about it. “It” being grabbing our phones to “reply to one text,” breaking from work to read “one article,” or ordering that “one thing” you need on Amazon—rabbit holes.

Being aware of and mindful about rabbit holes can prevent serious time waste, says Saunders in How to catch yourself before you go down a time-wasting rabbit hole.

two men drawing up a business plan together, sitting at a desk with laptops and papers

2. Entrepreneur, growth hacker and marketer Syed Balkhi: “Your website itself can actually generate leads and sales for you with just a few simple tweaks.”

For many small business owners today, their website operates as a business-front, a lead-generator, and a sales channel all in one. This considered, knowing how to design and optimize your website is a make-or-break must for every small business owner.

A number of great tips on accomplishing this can be found here: How to Make Your Small Business Website Really, Really Effective

3. Senior editor at Tech Republic, Alison DeNisco Rayome: “Data science must become an organizational capability to inform decision-making.”

These digital days, sports strategies are becoming a data-driven science. Can we learn anything about business strategy from the “Moneyball method,” as popularized by the best-selling book and 2011 blockbuster film? Ben Shields, a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management says we sure can.

Read: How to take a Moneyball approach to business data and analytics

4. Co-founder of Meet Anders, a graphic design company, Marilyn Wo on helping your business stand out: “[Give] your ideal customers the superpower they’ve always been yearning for so that they will be the ones to stand out.”

The main idea here is that, if you want to succeed in a competitive market, you should stop worrying so much about the face of your own business and more about the work you do for customers and clients. You can accomplish this, according to Wo, by appealing to customer emotions, giving clients what they want—sometimes without them even asking for it, building trust, and more.

Read: Too Competitive? Here’s the Best Way to Make Your New Business Stand Out

man with laptop, phone, and notepad in meeting using hand gestures as he speaks

5. Author, keynote speaker, researcher, and finance expert Barbara Stewart: “Diversity drives deals; there are many ways to do business, so don’t be afraid to be different.”

In this insightful Q&A, Stewart interviews Vera Futorjanski, the innovation director of 500 Startups, a leading global venture capital firm. Recently named the “Most active global investor by VC deal count” in Pitchbook’s 2018 Annual Global League Tables, 500 Startups is a forward-thinking firm that doesn’t shy away from investing in emerging markets and embraces diversity. Futorjanski also offers three bits of valuable advice to aspiring founders in 500 Startups: How Diversity Drives Deals.

Writer, freelance journo based in Buffalo, NY. Social issues, media, business, interesting observations.

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