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Lessons Learned from the Start-up Trenches
No one said that being an entrepreneur was easy. But some problems can be avoided by taking a few lessons from those who have been there—like the women behind local social media marketing firm Oak St. Social, Johanna Grange and Carolyn Jarrett.
Lesson #1: You cannot expect your employees to have the same drive and passion for your brand as you do. You can only hope to infuse it into their brains through osmosis and hope that your enthusiasm is contagious. And if it doesn’t work out...it doesn’t work out. Everything happens for a reason.
Lesson #2: Learn to walk away from some clients—even if your bank account is begging for it. Like any relationship in life, you and your clients have to own the same aligned vision. You never want an ex-client telling peers that you performed poorly only because they weren’t on board to begin with.
Lesson #3: It’s okay to say “no.” You’re actually doing a disservice to your clients by continuing to acquiesce to their every whim. Eventually your profit margins shrink and you become resentful. While I occasionally want to over-deliver, at the end of the day, it’s not a guarantee and your time is worth something. Your time is worth money.
Oak St. Social is a boutique social media marketing firm dedicated to elevating unique brands into household names. Learn more at oakstsocial.com.
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Designing the Perfect Resume
Need to revamp your resume and stumped on where to begin? FW: Chicago tapped Chicago-based Lindsay Humes, founder and creative director of White Oak Creative, a graphic and web design studio for small business and bloggers, for three key points on crafting the perfect resume.
- What are the biggest mistakes that people make when designing their resume? The biggest mistake people make with resumes is trying to add too much fluff and not enough concrete and tangible details about their previous experience. When reading resumes, I should get a very concrete visualization of what the job entailed and one’s accomplishments. Using specific examples is also helpful. Instead of writing something like “Project lead on various client projects…,” try “Led three client projects from development to implementation in the third quarter.”
- Is there a “checklist” of elements that come together to create a well-designed resume? In terms of a well-designed resume, it is important that you have a clear hierarchy of information. What do you think is most important to the reader and less important? What do you want to stand out? Resumes also should be consistent in language and formatting. At the most basic level, resumes should include contact information, employment experience, and education. If looking for tech or design jobs, it is important to list the software you are familiar with and to what level.
- When should someone consider hiring a professional to design a resume? C-suite professionals should consider hiring a designer for their resumes. For everyone else, there are plenty of free templates available where you can lay out the design. If you really are struggling for time and also awful at formatting documents, then maybe you should consider having a pro design your resume. Resumes always change and need to be clear, and you can accomplish those two things using Microsoft Word and making sure that you lay everything out clearly and consistently.
Learn more about Lindsay and White Oak Creative at whiteoakcreative.com.
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Knowing Your Options
Dipping a toe into the investing pool can be daunting. Dough is a new options trading platform that takes new investors, as well as veterans, step by step through the trading process. Watch video tutorials or learn options trading strategies in real time.
Learn more at dough.com.
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Must Read: Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Oprah favorite Brene Brown is back with a new book exploring what we gain when we get back up after an emotional fall. In Rising Strong, Brown shares the stories of Fortune 500 leaders, teachers, parents, and artists of being brave, falling, and rising again.
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Few things can be more nerve-wracking than settling on a professional-looking photo for your LinkedIn profile. Photo Feeler is a service that gives you honest, unbiased feedback on your photos for your social media accounts. They will tell you the truth about whether you really do look capable and trustworthy in that picture.
Learn more at photofeeler.com.
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Running a new start-up and being a new mom keeps Jeannine Adams, founder of ReadyPretty.com, on her toes 24/7. Here are a few of the sites and apps that help Adams take a break and stay in touch with the world.
CNN: I like to start the day with the headlines, so I typically scroll through my CNN.com app first thing in the morning to see what’s going on in the world that day. It’s important to me to stay connected to the news.
ScaryMommy.com: As a new mom, I’m constantly looking at what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. ScaryMommy is a hilarious and honest look at parenthood from a mom of seven. While raising a kid is serious business, it’s a great reminder that there’s a whole lot of funny business involved, too.
Crain’s Chicago Business: I’ve always loved Crain’s because it gives you a great local view on what’s going on around the city—a look at all the business headlines, new openings and updates, Chicago leaders and influencers—and most of all, I love that they continually support the emerging business and start-up community here in the city.
The Calm App: After everyone telling me about the benefits of meditation, I downloaded the Calm app and have been practicing daily. With varying levels and time durations, I can do a two-minute meditation in the midst of a particularly stressful period, or a 20-minute session to relax before bed. I’m seriously obsessed!
Polyvore: I use this for Ready Pretty every single day. It’s a great source of fashion inspiration and how we organize and showcase all of the “looks” we create for our customers.
Stylecaster: This is a great lifestyle site where I can peek around at some awesome street-style photography, read an article on how to throw a stylish summer BBQ, and get beauty and makeup advice from the pros. It’s a nice, quick read when (if!) I have a bit of down time.