My 3 Best Travel Tools of 2017

I've been flying about 20,000 miles a year recently. This year, I made a few discoveries that have made a big difference in my travel experience. 1. Global Entry If you're not familiar, this is the US Customs program that gets you automatic TSA PreCheck so you don't have to take off your shoes and remove your laptop at security. You also get a separate screening line at most airports. 2. AMEX Platinum Card I'm late to the game on this one but I got the $450/yr business…

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How to Email Like a Boss

Here's the secret to getting the highest ROI from email: Write less. That's it. This is easier said than done. It takes hard work as demonstrated in this clip from the great movie, A River Runs Through It: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXZxZxgouPo You'll see the most influential people respond to tons of email with just a handful of words in each. One method I've learned recently to hone this skill: Take an idea and describe it in 25 words. Then, do it again in 12 words. Finally,…

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On Personal Planning

I'm in the midst of a weekend away to complete my plan for 2018. I did the same thing last year and it was a great habit to begin. Why Plan This may be obvious: when you have a plan with a vision, goals and a mission, it's certainly easier to achieve important things. For decades I didn't actually plan much professionally or personally. I just did. I wish I'd started formally planning sooner. What I've really fallen in love with a couple of planning tools given to me by…

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What Business Are You Really In?

I go to a CrossFit gym and have been for about 7 years now. During a stretching session, I asked him: "What business are you really in?" His response, "I'm in the business of fun." He continued that exercise doesn't have to suck. It can be hard work, rewarding and fun. Many entrepreneurs don't realize the business they are actually in. Restaurant owners think they're in the food business. They're actually in the dining experience business. Codeup, a coding bootcamp I helped start, isn't in the education business. We're in…

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Experienced Teams and Market Research

A founder posted a question in a startup chat group recently: My cofounders and I are all intimately familiar with our industry. Do we need to do market research? I firmly believe you should. In particular, the best research to do is direct research. Since customers are going to buy your product or service, don't you want to talk to them before building anything? Wouldn't you rather spend a few weeks asking questions of potential customers before you devote five years of your life to a new business? I certainly…

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