(L.I.F.E) The Real BYOB That Matters – Building Your Own Brand

By Adam Wexler, Founder/CEO at SidePrize 

1uZoVtRdIn the 21st Century, you’re building your brand before you even step foot into the ‘real world.’ Social media is an incredibly valuable resource to aspiring entrepreneurs, but it’s crucial to be conscious of the responsibilities that come with a powerful utility — just look at what recently happened to a couple of recent NBA draftees, Bobby Portis, Frank Kaminsky and Larry Nance Jr. The seemingly harmless statements they made a couple years ago were resurfaced, and now they face an uphill battle to counteract the negative consequences of their naive remarks. I, for one, would not want to face the wrath of Kobe Bryant like Larry Nance Jr. will be this coming season.

Speaking of Twitter, it may be one of the most powerful developments for entrepreneurs of the entire internet revolution. The platform allows you to access almost anyone & everyone. You’re 140 characters and one click away from getting in front of those you admire most. Put this in perspective: Two generations ago, you would be forced to hunt down the physical address of those you looked up to and write a hand-written note. From there, you’d hope & pray it arrived safely in their mailbox and then you’d hope they would have the time to read your letter. In the most recent generation, email inbox afforded people luxuries of quickly distributing information, but acquiring the desired email was all-too-elusive. Nowadays, a two-way medium like Twitter has more than 300M active users and the majority of the progressive business leaders in the 21st Century have adopted.

While Twitter gives you instant access, LinkedIn offers your online resume. While most mistakenly consider it a social network, LinkedIn is a professional network at it’s core. If you’re in the business world, it is almost a requirement to possess a LinkedIn page at this juncture. Fortunately, you’re in control of the image you’re trying to convey. Do not be shy about highlighting your top accomplishments. Don’t hesitate to grow your network with people of interest, but always be thinking of how you can add value to them before considering how they can add value to you. For example, taking the time to recognize the ‘Top Skills’ of others and writing customized connection notes will reap benefits over time.

Other networks like Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest give you plenty of opportunities to build your brand, especially if you’re an aspiring photographer, musical artist or fashion guru, respectively. Each of these networks allow you to express yourself in a different fashion.

Whether you realized it or not, you’ve been building your own brand since you set up your original online footprint. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur in this day & age, you must manage & grow your online brand every month. Between the social media and internet revolutions, there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. The world is literally at your fingertips, and you have every opportunity to take advantage.

This article is a part of the Learn It From Experience series, where Atlanta entrepreneurs provide business advice learned from their journey in business.

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The 3 Rules of Business (Part 1)

Everyone knows that marketing your ideas to another person can be a difficult task. Most of the time, they are not interested at all, don’t feel being bothered or just not willing to spend their money on something that may not like.

The good news is that there is always ways to get past that hump. CEO can teach many of the inspiring entrepreneurs how to market their ideas in way that motivate the consumer invest in them.

Here are the rules of business:

Meet Three Entreprenuers From the ATL

Did you miss the Fireside Chat that happened on September 10 with Cory Levy and Jermaine Dupri? Are still interested in meeting entrepreneurs from the Atlanta area and see what they have to say? Don’t worry Here id your chance to meet three ATLiens that are very successful The event will take place this Wednesday, September 16 at 12pm. Bring questions because they will have answers.

Nick J-peg

3 reasons Atlanta is Awesome for young entrepreneurs

3 reasons Atlanta is Awesome for young entrepreneurs

By TJ Muehleman, Co-founder and CEO at We&Co

Picture this. You’ve been in college for four years (or 5….or 6?) and now you’re graduating. Society, your parents, your friends all tell you it’s time to get a job.

But doesn’t getting a job sound terrible? Working for someone, working on a crappy or lame product, not knowing what direction you’ll be asked to go in today, tomorrow, or next week doesn’t sound all that appealing, does it?. What’s the alternative though?

How about you make your own job.

That’s what those of us in the startup community do. We make our jobs. We build our own pathways. And there’s no better place to do it than Atlanta.

Everyone will tell you The Valley is the place to go to start companies. Or New York. Or Austin. Atlanta is the unheralded underdog in this fight.  There’s a handful of reasons ATL is the ideal place to kickstart your startup ambitions:

Cost

You’re saying to yourself right now “TJ, a beer costs $6 here. THAT AIN’T CHEAP”. While you’re right, we may not be that inexpensive, Atlanta is still far more cost conscious than the West Coast. Housing is still relatively affordable here. Entry-level engineers aren’t making six figure salaries. And with plenty of land, you can venture as inner city or OTP as you need to find cheap office space.

Talent

The ability to access smart, hard working people is one of the hardest parts to scaling a startup company (that and access to cash). Atlanta is well poised to address this better than most places. We’re one of the fastest growing cities in the country and we have a university network unlike almost anywhere else in the country. Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Morehouse, Emory, and Spellman are all miles away from each other and graduating some of the best and brightest around. These are the kind of folks you need to access to build your company.

Atmosphere

I think this is the most important part of what ATL has to offer. We’re in the south. We take everything a bit more slowly — which is what a new business needs. The west coast seeks to accelerate and grow everything at a rapid fire pace. When you’re moving that fast, it’s not always easy to see how your product is doing or how your new hires are acclimating. Often you need the time to really understand your customer and their wants and needs. This is something that Atlanta affords you the ability to do far more easily than anywhere else.

So give it some thought: would you rather work for someone else or forge your own path here in Atlanta?

About TJ

TJ is an estranged byproduct of Texas and Georgia Tech. An unemployable startup junkie his entire career, TJ is currently co-founder of We&Co, a hiring solution for the hospitality industry, and Standard Code, a software development factory. In his free time TJ enjoys pretending to work in the yard w/ his wife Megan and teaching his dogs Herb and Marv how to do tricks that they will soon forget.

This article is a part of the Learn It From Experience series, where Atlanta entrepreneurs provide business advice learned from their journey in business.