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Monday, December 23, 2013

Why Hating the Competition Will Get You Nowhere

I recently participated in a panel discussion on entrepreneurism and was asked by someone in the audience how to handle competition when you're building a startup. My short answer? Embrace it.
Using real or perceived competition to help drive your business can be incredibly empowering. It is a potent fuel in your fight for customers, mindshare and industry leadership. It's the fight that keeps ideas fresh and business interesting.
It also tends to make you focus on your own endeavor. Learning of a new market entrant, or even more difficult, hearing about a big player that is testing the waters in your space, instantly forces you to act. Differentiation and execution become focus areas.
If you're going to keep others from nipping at your heels or are truly planning to run against the big dogs, you need to be able to clearly articulate and deliver your differentiation. Why are you unique and better than the others and why should your audience care? If you can't convince yourself and your employees of your real differentiation, you're going to lose. 
Once you know what sets you apart, take action. If you're competing against the big dogs being able to execute quickly will be to your advantage. While they're getting approvals from all levels and composing PowerPoint presentations for all their internal stakeholders, you need to be leaving them in your dust. Odds are, as a startup, you are in much better contact with your customers and learning a lot more about what they need than the larger companies -- use that to your advantage.
While competition can help focus on setting your company apart from the pack, it can also provide other benefits. 
Brings validity to the space. When another player enters the market, it's a clear indication that the pain point you are solving is big enough that others care as well. Having one or two other players in the space is actually a good thing because people start to take notice.
Allows you to learn from their mistakes. Making bets on which features to focus on with limited resources is difficult. Learning from where your competition has failed saves you time and effort. 
Makes you a more nimble entrepreneur. No event is fun to watch if only one team is competing. Competition keeps you sharp, determined and driven. Being an entrepreneur is no easy job, but it's the battle that keeps you coming back day after day.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

47 Inspirational Songs for Young Entrepreneurs

Let’s face it, building up our brands is a daily grind.  Throughout the grind, there are going to be moments where inspiration is needed.  Where is a good place to turn?  Music!
To help you stay inspired, here is a list of the most inspirational songs on the market.  I’m 23 and on the lower half of the Under30CEO demographic, but I tried to provide songs to suit all genres. These songs combine meaningful lyrics with an upbeat sound.  You’re probably wondering, “Why 47? “.  Well, the majority of lists on the Internet are top 5, 10, 25, or 50.  So naturally, I went with 47!

Top 10

“But you know what, at the end of the road through all the adversity, if you can get where you wanted to be, you remember whatever don’t kill you make you stronger, and all of the adversity was worth it.”
“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment.  Would you capture it or just let it slip?”
“Live your life with arms wide open.  Today is where your book begins.  The rest is still unwritten.”
“New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of.  There’s nothin’ you can’t do.  Now you’re in New York.  These streets will make you feel brand new.  Big lights will inspire you.  Let’s hear it for New York”
“You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine.  Just own the night like the 4th of July.  ’Cause baby you’re a firework.  Come on, show ‘em what you’re worth.  Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh”.  As you shoot across the sky-y-y”
“What would you wish you would’ve done.  Yeah, we gotta start. Looking at the hands of the time we’ve been given.  If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking.  If every second counts on a clock that’s ticking, gotta live like we’re dying”
“Oh every time I close my eyes.  I see my name in shining lights yeah.  A different city every night alright.  I swear the world better prepare.  For when I’m a billionaire”
“And there’s just no turning back.  When your heart’s under attack  .Gonna give everything I have.  It’s my destiny.  I will never say never! “
“This is the story of your life.  You decide, how the rest is gonna read.  This is your chance between the lines, to redefine what kind of legacy you leave”
“You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet.  Wonder when and where and how you’re gonna make it. You know you can if you get the chance.”

Honorable Mention (In no particular order)

“All I Do is win win win no matter what.  Got money on mind can never get it off.  And everytime I step up in the building, everybody hands go up.”
“Really what do you see, when you looking at me? See me come up from nothing, to me living my dreams.”
“You can chase a dream, that seems so out of reach.  And you know it might not ever come your way.  Dream it anyway.”
“I know that I’m on my way.  Well, I can tell every time I play. An’ I know it’s worth all the dues I pay, when I can write to you and say: Dear Mom and Dad, I’ll send money. I’m so rich that it ain’t funny.”
“Teach me to number my days, and count every moment before it slips away.  Taking all the colors before they fade to gray.  I don’t want to miss even just a second more of this”
“I was born to be somebody.  A’int nothing that’s ever gonna stop me.  I light up the sky like lighting.  I gonna rise above.  Show em what I’m made of.”
“Pain hurts, but only for a minute.  Yeah life is short so go on and live it, ’cause the chicks dig it.”
“Take over the world when I’m on my Donald Trump $***.  Look at all this money, ain’t that some $***.”
“Have a little faith when the walls cave in.  Pray for strength to fly against the wind. Will you walk away when the fire gets hot?.  Or fight another…another day, yeah.”
“Made me learn a little bit faster.  Made my skin a little bit thicker.  Makes me that much smarter.  So thanks for making me a fighter.”
“It may not mean nothing to y’all, but understand, nothing was done for me.  So I don’t plan on stopping at all.  I want this shit forever mine.” 
“Oh, this has gotta be the good life.  This has gotta be the good life.  This could really be a good life, good life.”
“Cause they hate to see you be successful .  I want to show all of my haters love.  So I wave to you like “good morning” 
“I’ma get what I can and more, even if my blood, my sweat, and my tears don’t mean nothin.  It’s the heart of a champion.”
“I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night.  That tonight’s gonna be a good night.”
“I can feel it, comin’ in the air tonight, oh Lord.  I’ve been waitin’ for this moment, all my life, oh Lord.”
“It’s my life. It’s now or never.  I ain’t gonna live forever.  I just wanna live while I’m alive.”
“It’s your life watcha gonna do?  The World is watching you.  Every day the choices you make, say what you are and who your heart beats for.”
“Well, life’s like a road that you travel on.  There’s one day here and the next day gone.  Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand.  Sometimes you turn your back to the wind.”
“Well, you can take me down with just one single blow.  But you don’t know what you don’t know.  Someday I’ll be living in a big old city and all you’re ever gonna be is mean.”
“We done did everything they can think of.  Greatness is what we wanna brink up.  I wish that I could have this moment for life, for life, for life.”
“I’m gonna make it a good show, you dig that.  This goin’ make a hell of a movie huh!  My life, your entertainment.  You watch it while I live it.”
“Yeah, it’s been a ride.  I guess I had to, go to that place, to get to this one.  Now some of you, might still be in that place.  If you’re trying to get out, just follow me.  I’ll get you there.”
“You can look into my eyes, see that I’m dead tired.   6:00 in the morning, money still on my mind.”
“It’s not about the money, money, money.  We don’t need your money, money, money.  We just wanna make the world dance. “
“This is 10% luck,  20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will.  5% pleasure, 50% pain, and 100% reason to remember the name.”
“That don’t kill me, can only make me stronger.  I need you to hurry up now, ’cause I can’t wait much longer.”
“What doesn’t kill makes you stronger, stand a little taller.  Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.  What doesn’t kill makes you fighter.  Footsteps even lighter.”
“Go on and try to tear me down.  I will be rising from the ground, like a skyscraper.”
“There’s always gonna be another mountain.  I’m always gonna wanna make it move.  Always gonna be an uphill battle.”
 ”Just pull that $*** out of you and get that motivation to not give up, and not be a quitter. No matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.”
“You find your faith has been lost and shaken.  You take back what’s been taken.  Get on your knees and dig down deep.  You can do what you think is impossible.”
“Can’t spend my whole life wastin’ everything I know I’ve been given.  ’Cause you’ve made for so much more than sittin’ on the side lines.  I don’t wanna look back and wonder, if good enough could’ve been better.”
“Tonight, we’re going hard, hard, h-h-hard, just like the world is ours, ours.”
“There can be miracles, when you believe.  Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.  Who knows what miracles you can achieve, when you believe.  Somehow you will, you will when you believe.”
“Told me I wasn’t good enough, but who are you to judge when you’re a diamond in the rough.  I’m sure you got some things, you’d like to change about yourself.  But when it comes to me, I wouldn’t want to be anybody else.”
“Seasons come and go, but I will never change.  And I’m on my way.”


10 Kickstarter Projects That Were A Major Success  is a funding platform for new & innovative projects. Everything from technology, video games, art and music to movies.
Below are 10 of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories to date.

10 Highly Successful Kickstarter Projects


Pebble Kickstarter ProjectNo list of successful Kickstarter campaigns would be complete without mentioning the Pebble watch. This sleek smartwatch connects easily with your iPhone or Android phone and supports the latest Bluetooth. It can tell you when you get an email, let you know who’s calling you, and you can even download watch faces.
They originally wanted to raise $100,000, but ended up with $10,266,845.

MaKey MaKey

MaKey MaKey Kickstarter ProjectThis cool computer interface allows you to use almost any non-computer related material and turn it into a controller. In the promo video on Kickstarter a man plays a dance video game using buckets of water, which has hilarious results. The product comes with alligator clips, a USB cable, and a circuit board.
At first they were looking for $25,000 but ended up with $568,106.


FORM 1 KickstarterTwo researchers from the MIT Media Lab decided that since there were no affordable 3D printers available they would come up with a solution on their own. They set out to design an “affordable, professional 3D printer” and they were successful.
Their goal was $100,000, but they were pledged $2,945,885 to help with the development of their idea.

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift Kickstarter ProjectThis product is the ultimate toy for serious fans of video games. In the past virtual reality (VR) headsets have lacked the technology to create a believable 3D world, plus they are very expensive. Oculus Rift created one that “deliver a truly immersive gaming experience” that anyone can afford.
Their goal was $250,000 so that they could get their product into the hands of game developers quickly, but they ended up raising $2,437,429 instead.


Ouya KickstarterPlaystation 3 and XBox 360 are both quite expensive and developing games for them also costs a lot of money. The makers of Ouya made their Android-based gaming console with this in mind. It is inexpensive, and their idea is to lure mobile android game developers to their product, because they already know how Android works.
Originally looking for a fairly hefty $950,000, people pledged a huge $8,596,474 to their project.

Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer KickstarterRecording artist Amanda Palmer broke from her major label deal four years ago and was looking for money to fund her new album, art book and tour. She put together a new band called the Grand Theft Orchestra and spent the years since writing songs for her upcoming CD.
The original number Amanda Palmer was looking for was $100,000, but she ended up getting $1,192,793.

Elevation Dock

Elevation Dock KickstarterYou wouldn’t think that owners of the iPhone want a dock to charge their phone this badly, but the makers of the Elevation Dock were counting on it. Other docks are hard to attach your phone to and move when trying to remove your device. The Elevation Dock works with phone cases and your iPhone easily comes out when done charging.
They raised $1,464,706 after only asking for $75,000.

TikTok+LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch Kits

TikTok+LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch KitsWhile many people have had the idea of making the iPod Nano into a watch, only Scott Wilson and MINIMAL have done it with materials and design that actually rival the sleek and stylish look that Apple is famous for. Now you can switch songs while jogging without stopping or leaning down in style.
Scott Wilson originally wanted $15,000 for this project, but got $942,578.


FlipbooKit KickstarterRemember the flip-book? Artists Mark Rosen and Wendy Marvel decided to bring back this old form of motion art in 2011, and it was so popular and successful that they decided to create a kit so that people could make their own. They hooked up with Disney imagineer and inventor Steven Goldstein to bring the product to you.
They originally asked for $5,000, but ended up receiving $137,567.


Brydge KickstarterThere are tons of keyboards available for the iPad, but none match the look and feel of the device like Brad Leong’s. When attached to the iPad it looks like on device, seamlessly integrating with the tablet. Many popular newspapers and magazines say the keyboard, which also has built-in speakers, makes the iPad look a lot like the MacBookAir.
Originally needing $90,000, Brad eventually got $797,979 from his Kickstarter campaign.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of projects and ideas that do well on Kickstarter. There is no way to know whether you’ll get the funding you want without giving it a try.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Need to Outsource Voice Overs?

Voice-overs at

Do you have a voice over that you need recorded but can't do yourself?

When your clients make voice over requests that you can't personally fulfill, there's always the option to hire someone else to record the voice over for you, and you'll find that someone at
Want to know more about outsourcing VO?

Outsourcing Voice Overs

Ever had a client ask you to hire someone else (another voice actor) to work with you on a job?
You may encounter voice acting jobs that will require that you enlist the services of a talent of the opposite gender, a talent with contrasting texture in their voice, a different language, vocal style or voice age.

There's a Job for Every Voice and a Voice for Every Job

Sometimes you'll be offered a job that your voice is not at all suited to, or perhaps, you're simply too busy to take the project on.
Whatever your reasons, you can always find the voice that you are looking for at, the voice over marketplace.

Getting the Job Done Right

You need the right voice that meets your budget and you need it fast!
There are 3 ways that you can find a voice over talent to record your project:

Posting a Voice Over Job at

I personally recommend posting a voice over job (I've posted about 5 jobs to hire talent) because you'll receive a more than adequate number of proposals from a variety of voice actors who meet your hiring criteria with the ability to easily compare proposals, demos and price quotes.
Also, something unique to this experience is that you guaranteed to find the best voice for your project and can ensure that you are satisfied with the voice over before making payment by using the SurePay Escrow service. SurePay is convenient and protects both the buyer (customer hiring talent) and the seller (voice actor who records the voice over), making for worry-free outsourcing and a smooth hiring experience.

Browsing the Featured Talent Directory

If you're ready to rock and need to find a voice for a specific to a particular kind of voice over, let's say telephone voicesradio commercial voices, or narrators for audiobooksbusiness presentationsvoices for podcastscharacter voice actors and so on, you'll find everything you're looking for in the Featured Talent Directory linked off of the home page and search engine.

Search the Talent Search Engine

You know how you can use search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo! to find what you are looking for? has a voice search engine that helps you to sort talent listings and makes it easier to find the kind of voice or voices you need to complete your project.
You can search by simply by keyword and gender or take advantage of the advanced search options that include factors such as language, location, skills, age, and union status.

The Next Time You Need a Voice...

The team at looks forward to serving you!
Be sure to let your colleagues and business associates know about this fast, easy to use (and best of all... free!) web service for outsourcing voice overs. is home to a diverse talent pool spanning the globe and we're proud to say that clients who have hired at relate that talent who are listed here are the best in the business. With a 94% client satisfaction rate and the added comfort of SurePay Escrow for purchasing, you know you're in good hands and at the right place.
Best wishes,
Stephanie and The Team
Related Topics: cartoonsGooglehiredoutsourcing voicesradiounionvoice actorsvoice oversvoice
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