Fear paralyzes the strongest. Don't assume that success didn't come from failure or fear. The most successful people in this world at one time, feared to fail and feared themselves. However, they've succeeded because they didn't let fear paralyze them for long. Failure is just a walk in the park to success.
I’ve always had the innate urge to help other people when I can. I’ve spent a good portion of my life in different programs that have allowed me to give to others when in need. My need to help others pushed me into the nonprofit sector where I have a chance to work with a variety of people. Working for people wasn’t enough - I wanted to work with people.
After the honeymoon phase comes the actual work. The real hustle. When days start running together and the to do list seems never ending. When inspiration is just as low as new client numbers. The hustle is hard, however, when worked right -- it is rewarding. In this phase, entrepreneurs learn that a successful launch alone does not equate to a successful business.
When you first start working for yourself it can be easy to forget that you are not only here to help other people, but you also need to protect yourself and your business. As much as your friends, family, potential clients are supportive of you and your new venture, you need to get things in writing and most importantly hold people to those agreements.
With a New Year comes a fresh slate to make the next 365 days your best year yet! Whether you got a new phone (or computer) for the holidays or cleaning out your current one until that upgrade for "new year, new me" vibes, below are the 17 apps (mobile and desktop) I deem essential for success in 2017! Don't agree with my list, comment your must-haves below.
$29/annually or $7 month-to-month
It's ironic that I would start a list of must have apps with an app that in fact blocks other applications, but...
In an effort to consume less and create more, I set out to find an app that blocked me from my kryptonite, social media (read: twitter). I came across Freedom, which in short, "makes technology less distracting."
Did you know: you lose 23 minutes every time you check email, a social feed, or respond to a notification? Your mind requires 23 minutes of re-focus time to get back on task.
Time is money, how much money are we giving up with tech distractions?
Is personal branding one of your New Years Resolutions? Need a quick way to watermark or add your logo to content on the go - there's an app for that: BrandCam
Free, Standard - $8/monthly, Plus - $15/monthly
Since its inception, the TRIBE team has grown exponentially in a little under 6 months! Cheers to that. With plans for continued growth and an almost 20 person team (contributors included) as of Jan 2017, efficient team communication IS CRUCIAL.
Slack is the GroupMe for grown-up business! Integrate apps, share documents, brainstorm and more with your team all in one place!
4. My Scans
Free, Pro - $4.00/ one-time fee
With any business, there is paperwork! Whether I forgot to sign and scan a contract while home or I needed a PDF version of a hand held file, My Scans has come through!
My Scans is a document scanner app for your phone allowing you to sign, stamp, OCR, PDF, Email, and send to Print!
The next 3 applications should be first, because
5. Bible, Our Daily Bread
Honestly, these two (there are only 17 slots and these can go hand in hand) apps need no explanation.
Read, watch, and listen to the Bible any and everywhere.
Our Daily Bread features a daily devotional, encouraging people to spend time with God every day. Each Daily Devotional features an audio version if this is something you’d like to listen to while getting ready in the morning.
Note: I am a Christian and believe that even if you do not believe the Bible to be true from a religious standpoint, it offers great parables for navigating life. However, I have friends of a wide range of faiths and want to offer apps that could be substituted in place of the Bible.
Al-Quran and PocketTorah
6. Start Your Day Right
Best-selling author, Joyce Meyer assists you in Starting Your Day Right with the word of God. Although this app is similar in nature to Our Daily Bread, I have them both because this has more of an explanation/prayer component while Our Daily Bread centers a daily story. The three apps combined are my Morning Trinity and help me to start my day with God at the helm.
Now that you are in alignment with the spirit, in the words of Young M.A.'s bros, "get that money, sis."
7. Respective Banking App
From banking alerts to mobile deposits and bill payments, your respective mobile banking app is essential. You should never not know what’s going on with your coin!
So you know how much coin you have at all times...now let it pile up.
Synched directly to your bank account, Digit is an app that recommends a savings contribution based on your existing spending patterns. Set an automatic savings feature, and let Digit take the thought out of saving!
You ever cringe before you open your mobile banking app because you don’t know what to expect? This one is for you.
Mint makes money mastering a breeze by allowing you track and pay your bills, create and manage a budget, track investments and more.
10. Square Cash
Make running you your check convenient with Square Cash App.
Square is a peer to peer payment app. Linked directly to your checking account, Square allows you to send and receive payment regardless of who you bank with. Babysitting and a family forgot cash? Forgot your card at home? Splitting the tab at a restaurant? Just Square Cash it.
Deposit received money directly into your account for a minimal fee or if you have a day to spare, deposit for no charge at all.
Similar to Square Cash, Paypal allows you to send and receive mobile payments on the go, but it is more business friendly. Whether you’re doing some online shopping or running a small business from your phone, Paypal is there for it all!
12. Honey (Desktop App)
Honey isn’t a mobile app, but I just think it’s that cool that it needed to be added to the list.
Honey is for my online shoppers who never want to miss a coupon (who doesn’t like coupons?) Install this browser extension on your computer and be notified of all the active deals and or coupon codes from some of your favorite online shopping destinations - everything from Sephora to Groupon (yes, they have coupons to buy coupons).
On to travel,
13. Respective Airline App
If you are already an avid traveler and/or are trying to rack up your air miles, your preferred airline app is a MUST.
Take the hassle out of Check-in, purchasing/changing flights and more with airline apps.
You made it to your destination, now it’s time to “do it for the gram.”
No need for a description here. Instagram is still king and now that you can stream live and show a play by play of your day, Snapchat, and other video streaming apps aren’t needed.
VSCO is recognized by creatives, specifically photographers as a “community for expression that empowers people everywhere to create, discover, and connect,” read: edit your pictures and make them look more gram worthy than the average iPhoto snap. Brighten, distort, add cool filters, VSCO is guaranteed to take your photographs to new dimensions.
I will close this list with two things that get me through my day:
16. Music Streaming App: Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Bandcamp….
I have a variety of music streaming apps and even pay for several monthly subscriptions to have uninterrupted listening and offline features. I won’t say any one of these is better than the others as they all offer vast catalouges. Whatever suits your fancy.
Free (so entertaining, I don't know how it's STILL free)
Because honestly, what’s better than black twitter?
Because I have way more than (17) apps here are a few honorable mention apps in no particular order:
Grammarly (desktop app)
Doc Hub (desktop app)
On August 2, 2017 Instagram posted on their blog that they were launching "Instagram Stories".
Today, we’re introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.
With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.
Either we were experiencing deja vu or Instagram Stories was sounding A LOT like, ok, EXACTLY LIKE Snapchat (minus geo-filters and face-mapping).
Initially Instagram received some backlash, and people complained about the lack of filters, but slowly and surely people began embracing Insta Stories and you can hear the Snapchat bell tolling further away in the distance.
This post is more about stealing than Instagram Stories VS. Snapchat, but I will tell you why Instagrams thievery WINS!
1. Numbers. Instagram users outnumber Snapchat users 5:1.
2. It's the best of all worlds! Instagram was already the king of content BUT now your (already generated) following can be with you EVERY SINGLE MOMENT!
3. Aesthetic! Instagram leveled up and has a better, more user-friendly interface.
After the success of InstaStories, Instagram did it AGAIN with their latest update - Instagram Live !
For those who have been hip to this digital game, live video is not new! I remember watching some of my favorite celebs live stream via Ustream and the likes almost a decade ago. Periscope revived the live stream space in 2015, allowing users to stream directly via their mobile device. Rarely mentioned anymore, Periscope became a thing of the past when Facebook (Instagram's parent company) added a live video feature in early 2016! It was truly only a matter of time before they gave their kid, Instagram, a similar feature.
If Instagram is KING of theft, Beyoncé is the QUEEN, no questions asked.
Beyonce has come under scrutiny several times throughout her career for stealing from other artist ( read: shot by shot similarities from Belgium choreographer, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker seen in the Countdown music video amongst others). Despite these accusations she's still the G.O.A.T!
In addition to being the Doris Payne(s) of their fields, Instagram and Beyoncé are both leading their industries from the front. Here's why.
THEY DO IT BETTER
Remember: In the words of Drake, it ain't about who did it "first," it's about who did it BEST!
I'd love to say I don't advocate for theft, but I'd be lying. Whether you like to call it stealing, "being inspired," or collaborative innovation - being the best at that given moment in time is how you win!
While innovation is defined as, "a new idea, device, or method," it is truly the application of BETTER as there are no "NEW" anythings. So, steal away and do like infamous philosopher Pimp C (R.I.P) once said, and "get the most, not the lesser."
Without a doubt, Beyoncé and her team have ingeniously bridged the gap between personality and brand. Beyoncé is both, and not only is she both, she has creatively crafted her own standard. She is comparable only to herself. As if dropping a surprise album on us was not enough, she outdid herself yet again, with what we have now -- Lemonade. Understanding her bossness and adapting it for your business can help you create your own Lemonade Effect.
I've always known I was going to be an entrepreneur in some regard.
My entrepreneurial endeavors started early in my childhood when I decided to offer my exceptional, or so I thought, gift wrapping services to my surrounding neighborhood. Although I've since traded my elf suit for sweats and a laptop, my entrepreneurial spirit still burns bright.
After completing college a semester early, I made the decision to leap into entrepreneurship.
Almost a year later, I am happy to say I made it (knock on wood)!
Entrepreneurship is a form of self punishment that few dare to engage in. I can't blame them! Although I have emerged fairly victorious, I haven't emerged without skinning my knee a few times. Scarred, but successful.
Here is what I learned starting a business right out of college.
1. Systems are essential
If there is one thing I will never doubt, it is my creativity. I am a creative through and through, and somehow expected my creativity to keep my business afloat.
A system of organization is essential. From on-boarding new clients to payment procedures, find or create a system and stick with it.
2. They don't want you to know your value...
As a new entrepreneur, especially one right out of college, I was told several times (by people who were attracted to me and my work) I charge too much for my experience, or lack there of. This led me to undercharge and believe my work wasn't good enough instead of understanding I can't be everything to everybody and catering to the target market that understood and was willing to pay me what I was worth.
Much of my clientele has come from word of mouth, which assures me I am putting out quality work time and time again. After short-selling myself for the sake of new business, I had to understand the value I was bringing to my clients, and began charging accordingly.
It was really helpful for me to look at what my direct competition was charging, and adjust from there.
3. You're going to miss out
I knew entrepreneurship was hard and would come with sacrifice, but I could never have imagined just how much. Over the past year I've had to grow comfortable with sacrificing sleep, friends, free time, and personal wants...JUST TO NAME A FEW.
As a twenty-something, recent grad this is very hard. Your 20s are supposed to be full of living and experiences and splurging here and there because you have no real responsibilities other than work and finally have an income to afford experiences on your own dime.
I am constantly reminding myself that "you do what you NEED to do now, so you can do what you WANT to do later."
To pivot is to "change direction quickly but stay grounded in what you've learned."
Entrepreneurship is a series of unexpected occurrences and price tags, and learning how to CALMLY pivot has been key.
5. Growth Takes Time
When I initially graduated, I was under the impression that my parents would still assist in providing my daily necessities such as rent, gas, utilities, etc. until I was set to walk the upcoming May. I anticipated the next 5 months would give me adequate time to position myself and my business and begin bringing in the kind of income I desired. Unbeknownst to me, the well known as my parents dried up when my final semester grades were entered AND I grossly underestimated the time it would take to solidify my business.
I was under the impression that if I could fully dedicate myself to my venture, the growth curve would shoot up. I was mistaken. Almost a year into this entrepreneurship game, I have definitely witnessed growth, (more towards the latter than the previous three quarters) but it took time and there was nothing I could do to speed up the process.
6. You'll Never Have Enough Money
More than I underestimated how much time it would take to scale my business, I gravely underestimated the amount of money I would need to operate a company AND SURVIVE (you're not quite LIVING off pb&j and ramen noodles).
Even months I believed I had properly budgeted, I was somehow met with unexpected costs that I was just not prepared for.
I now know to over prepare for money to run out.
If you're considering making the jump into entrepreneurship or just getting started, I commend you. Within entrepreneurship, I have found purpose and in many ways PEACE.
Push through it, you will come out victorious. Worst case scenario: YOU FAIL and have to get a job. But, there is knowledge in failure. Best case scenario: You reach whatever you define as success.
If the saying your network determines your net worth holds any weight I look forward to my future deposit slips. I don't say this because I have a large network, which I do, but because I have a QUALITY network.
Call it strategy, right place at the right time, a blessing, or all of the above; I've crossed paths with thousands of amazing and influential people, many of whom have become a part of my network. It's a known fact within my inner circle that if you need something or somebody, Maura either knows them, knows somebody that knows them, or knows somebody that knows somebody. I'd by lying if I didn't say sometimes the power of my network surprises even me.
So, how did I establish this "killer" network? Here are my seven keys to building a network of QUALITY.
1. BE QUALITY.
Believe it or not, people are ALWAYS watching. A large amount of my network has been developed in the midst of being on my sh*t, and doing quality work. Quality attracts quality, and when people notice a like-minded person of quality, they gravitate.
2. FOCUS ON THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
Let me preface this next paragraph by stating I am a proud, card-carrying member of the Beyhive.
I will never forget when I first met one of my now mentors, James Andrews (Google him). After a ton of online stalking, I couldn't quite grasp what he did. He explained it to me in the simplest way possible. He said, I "puppeteer." Perplexed, I asked what he meant by puppeteer. "You like Beyoncé, correct?" Yes, I replied. "Do you know who makes Beyoncé, Beyoncé"?
Say no more.
While I'm sure meeting your favorite celebrity is great for "the gram," it probably won't hold much weight in your network. OFTEN TIMES, the "right people" aren't the face or the flashiest.
3. IF YOU CAN'T BE USED, YOU'RE USELESS.
So you found the right people? Now what? Networking is about creating win/win situations for both involved. Although you may question what kind of value you can offer someone who is where you may want to be, FIND IT. [Don't underestimate the value of your gifts and time.]
Ie. Are they older and not so tech savvy? Teach them ways to increase their reach via social networks.
4. BE THE PLUG.
There is power in connection. Introduce people who can benefit from each other. You build a strong rapport with others and they will often "return the favor."
5. STAY CONNECTED.
Your network won't work for you if you don't work it. Stay in contact with people. This can be something as simple sending a check-in email every couple of months or congratulating them when you see they launched a new project, campaign, etc.
If you're able, connect in person. In their city? Treat them to lunch...or at least a coffee.
6. USE SOCIAL NETWORKS
I think too often we forget that many of these social networks were designed as resources to build/maintain your network and not just for a good laugh from black twitter. There are facebook groups, twitter chats (#TRIBECHATS every last WEDNESDAY 8PM EST), and that great feature that allows you to see who other people are following. All of these tools and resources can be used to build your killer network.
I started reallllly using twitter is 2009. I became interested in who celebrities and influencers felt where important/valuable enough to follow. I can't explain how valuable hours of scrolling people's followers has been in elevating my network.
7. BUILD YOUR OWN TRIBE.
YOUNEEDTRIBE developed almost a year ago ago. I created a group chat with ten of the bossest babes I know. They are all great women who I felt could benefit from being connected to one another. By connecting them, I've since been connected to hundreds more (by being the creator you immediately become more connected and sought out).