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Startup for Teaching Success Skills

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In 2009, the tech scene in New York City was just emerging. People were looking for alternatives to a traditional career, for work they found meaningful and many were landing in entrepreneurship — but the growing community lacked a physical space.

Having launched some ventures of his own in high school and college, Matt Brimer fit right in. He started General Assembly as a community for entrepreneurs, and with a grant from the City of New York in 2011, began offering educational classes related to entrepreneurship. General Assembly now has campuses in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, London, Berlin, Hong Kong, Sydney and just launched in Washington, D.C.

Success at General Assembly means something different for each person — it could be to start a company, build a product, get a promotion or change careers, Brimer says. GA has placed its students in jobs at the Wall Street JournalThe New Yorker, Hulu, Google and Bloomberg, to name a few.

For Brimer, growing GA is still his dream gig. He enjoys exploring new cities and going to festivals such as Burning Man, so spearheading GA’s global community makes perfect sense. Next up, GA wants to offer more educational content online, in addition to its physical locations around the world.

“I love bringing people together and creating experiences,”

“I love bringing people together and creating experiences,”Brimer says. Outside of work, he enjoys throwing late-night dance parties, or hosting social events where you’re not allowed to talk about your job, he says.

Both of Brimer’s parents are entrepreneurs, which gave him a creative and hands-on childhood. An early venture was freelance video production, which came out of a hobby of film-making and editing. Now at GA, Brimer enables others to turn their passion into skills as well.

Have you taken classes at General Assembly? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

We asked Matt to curate a Spotify playlist, which is embedded below. About the playlist, he says:

These are some tracks I put together for subterranean travel in NYC. Mostly a mix of deep house and tech house, with cool vocals and instrumentals that I enjoy listening to on the subway and walking around town. Good music can add so much to the texture and life of experiencing New York — or any city, for that matter. Especially check out “Restless Dreams” by Samu.l (sampling Simon & Garfunkel), Klangkarussell’s saxophone-laden “Sonnentanz”, the gorgeous minimal techno of Gui Boratto and Oliver Schories, Nora En Pure’s piano-rich “Come With Me”, and literally everything by Monkey Safari.

Most Successful Entrepreneurs Have in Common Things

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Starting a business is always risky, and success is never guaranteed. Yet, entrepreneurs thrive every day. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, successful entrepreneurs seem to share several traits that the rest of the pack lacks.

VISIT ALSO: 4 Things Most Successful Entrepreneurs Have in Common

SCORE, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping small businesses, recently released theirinfographic on what makes today’s entrepreneurs successful. To thrive, entrepreneurs need professional experience, a business plan, the right personality and mentors, SCORE found.

Professional Experience

Professional experience gives entrepreneurs the edge they need to make wise business decisions. Entrepreneurs with a track record of success are two-and-a-half times more likely to raise more money, 3.6 times more likely to see better user growth, and 52% less likely to scale prematurely, the infographic revealed.

A Business Plan

Taking the time to write a business plan not only gives your business direction, it also improves your odds. Companies with a business plan see nearly twice the success as those without one, SCORE found. Those companies that create business plans also see higher business growth and are more likely to secure capital and loans.

VISIT ALSO: Startup that are Related With Establishing

Positive Personality

Think you can succeed as an entrepreneur just by being you? If you’re overly aggressive and unapproachable, think again. The most successful entrepreneurs are beaming with positive traits, such as openness and agreeableness. The least desirable traits include narcissism, making excuses and emotional instability. Also, while being aggressive can often work to your advantage, entrepreneurs need to kick the bad habit of predatory aggressiveness if they want to be successful, SCORE found.

A Mentor

New businesses shouldn’t have to go at it alone. The most successful business owners have relied on some form of mentorship to provide guidance and keep them on the right track. Entrepreneurs who work with mentors are three times more likely to start a business, seven times more likely to raise investment money, and three and a half times more likely to grow demand for their product, the infographic shows. They are also more likely to thrive; although many businesses fail within their first year, 84% of ventures that work with mentors are still in business after one to two years.

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Most of the Americans Use Facebook at Work Every Day

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How focused are you during the workday? Be honest.

Almost one-third of Americans — 29%, to be exact — visit Facebook each day while they’re at work. Gmail, Yahoo Mail and YouTube are also popular destinations during the workday.

Statista‘s chart, below, is based on its own workplace survey that shows the percentage of American workers who visit different websites on a daily basis while on the job.

However, the chart does not convey how many workers use these sites for work-related purposes.

Are you on Facebook during work every day? Let us know in the comments below.

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Startups that are Related Without Establishing

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Upworthy,

Heartstring-tugger Upworthy, which describes itself as “social media with a mission,” has roots in MoveOn.org, a non-profit, political action committee and public policy advocacy group, through one of it’s founders, Eli Pariser. That’s not too surprising.

However, you might be surprised to find out that the other founder is Peter Koechley, the former managing editor of a little news satire organization called The Onion.

 Path,

From confusing settings to NSA scandals, Facebook doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to user privacy. Maybe that’s the reason one early member of the Facebook team, David Morin, left in 2010 to found Path, the social networking site that emphasizes small, intimate networks.

 Quora,

Another pair of former Facebookers, Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, left the company in 2010 to create yet another startup, Q&A service Quora.

 Skype

Skype was once owned by eBay and then by Microsoft. It was built by the same team as the now defunct file sharing site Kazaa, which got into legal hot water over copyright-related issues for the last several years.

Vimeo

The video-sharing site Vimeo was launched in 2004 by founders Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein. Another entry on Klein’s resume? Assisting in the development of CollegeHumor, the comedy website that launched in 1999.

 Yelp

Jeremy Stoppelman was V.P. of Engineering at PayPal (and was even one of the early PayPal employees known as the PayPal Mafia), but left the company when it was acquired by eBay in 2003. A year later, he and another former PayPal colleague pitched an idea to businessman Max Levchin for a Yellow Pages-style Internet product called Yelp.

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat has one goal: to create the most chicken-like non-animal food product on the market. The company is backed by the University of Missouri, which has spent 10 years working on the technology that turns plant protein into a high quality meat substitute. Its other backers? Evan Williams and Biz Stone, founders of Twitter.

Uber

The on-demand car service Uber is the brainchild of Garret Camp, an entrepreneur based in San Francisco. Camp has his fingers in several startup pies, including the on-demand private jet ridesharing service BlackJet and his latest venture, Expa, a system for building new companies. His best known project, however, is the discovery engine StumbleUpon.

‘LinkedIn’ Can Help You in Avoiding Job Search Mistakes

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While it’s crucial to do the right things in a job search, it’s also important to avoid making common mistakes. Here are the top five missteps to avoid — and how LinkedIn can help you overcome them:

Mistake 1!: Being uninformed

Companies today want employees who can hit the ground running, and that means knowing as much as possible about what that company does, who its competitors are and what’s happening in its overall industry.

The Remedy:

Beyond thoroughly researching the employer’s own website, you should follow that organization’s Company Page on LinkedIn. Pay special attention to current news the company is posting (which can provide ideas for specific questions to ask during networking conversations and formal job interviews) and the “Products & Services” page, which provides a cheat sheet to the company’s overall structure and offerings.

For general insight into an employer’s industry, subscribe to that industry’s LinkedIn Channel and join a few LinkedIn Groups in that field to get a sense of what industry insiders are talking about. Not sure which groups will be most valuable? Look at the LinkedIn profiles of people who work for your dream employer and join the groups they belong to.

Mistake 2!: Losing touch

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of jobs are found through networking. This means that every member of your network should be cherished; any lost connection is potentially a lost opportunity.

The Remedy:

You can use LinkedIn Contacts to manage all of your existing connections and integrate them with your daily calendar. This means you’ll never miss an opportunity to congratulate someone on a new job or follow up on a recent meeting. Scan through your LinkedIn feed on a daily basis, too, to look for opportunities to comment on people’s status updates and the news they share. Even a simple “like” on an article someone has posted can lead to a chat, which can lead to an opportunity.

To reengage with people you’ve lost touch with, check out the alumni groups of any corporations you’ve worked for and the LinkedIn Alumni tool to search for former university classmates, then send InMails or customized LinkedIn connection requests. The best way to avoid any potential awkwardness with a long lost contact is to read that person’s LinkedIn profile thoroughly before reaching out, and then mention something specific in your outreach to show you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in knowing that person again. For example:

Hi Susan,

I came across your LinkedIn profile in the Intel alumni group and wanted to get back in touch. It’s terrific to see that you’ve launched your own consulting business! I remember that was a goal of yours. As for me, I’m still working in software sales and am looking to make a transition back to the East Coast. I’d love to reconnect, catch up and perhaps see if we might assist each other. Would you like to chat by phone sometime in the next few weeks?

Thanks and all the best,

Lindsey

Mistake 3!: Using uncommon words

Here’s an example of a mistake I see frequently: wanting to be unique and creative, an aspiring writer will create the LinkedIn headline, “Passionate and clever wordsmith.” That’s great, but when someone is looking to hire a writer, he or she is most likely to search with the word “writer.” Don’t get too fancy!

The Remedy:

Recruiters, in particular, use keywords to find talent, so it’s important to research the keywords that a recruiter might be using to find someone with your particular skills. If you’re not sure what keywords to include in your headline and throughout your profile, scan through the job listings that appeal to you. Recruiters have likely provided you with the exact words they want. To test whether or not you are attracting the right people (including recruiters) to your profile, check out your Who’s Viewed Your Profile stats. In particular, check out the listing of keywords that people used to arrive at your profile. If you don’t like what you see, it’s time to adjust the words you are using to describe yourself.

Mistake 4!: Telling not showing

In today’s multimedia world, it’s no longer enough to have a list of bullet points on a resume explaining your fabulousness. More and more, employers want to see actual examples of the work you’ve accomplished, such as PowerPoint slides of presentations you’ve created, videos of speeches you’ve given, photographs of products you’ve designed, examples of code you’ve written and other visuals depending on your industry and job function.

The Remedy:

On LinkedIn, you can add this “rich media” content to your profile to create what is essentially an online professional portfolio. Just be careful not to post any work that is confidential!

Mistake 5!: Hesitating

It’s no secret that jobs can get filled quickly in today’s competitive economy, so don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to submit your application. In my opinion, you should apply for a position within 12 to 24 hours of discovering it. (This means, of course, that you have already invested the time in creating an All-Star-level LinkedIn profile and have drafted template cover letters that you can quickly customize for each position).

The Remedy:

If you are out and about and your LinkedIn profile is ready and waiting, you can now evenapply for positions on LinkedIn directly from your mobile phone. When it comes to landing a job, the early applicant definitely catches the offer!

To summarize, a successful job search requires research, relationships, attention to detail and action. There are never any guarantees in a tough job market, but if you avoid the common mistakes listed above, you’re sure to be way ahead of the competition.

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