Startup offers trend-based investment choices | 10 steps that CEOs can take to create leaders | How to perfect your elevator pitch
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March 1, 2013
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Startup offers trend-based investment choices
A company called Motif, which opened in June, is allowing investors to buy "motifs" -- groups of stocks that fit a certain theme. For example, there's a "Tablet Takeover" motif that favors stocks related to the popularity of tablet computers. Motif is one of a few startups that are trying to disrupt traditional investment models. "There's room for these niche players if they can get some traction," said Gartner analyst David Schehr. The Miami Herald (free registration)/The Associated Press (2/28)
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10 steps that CEOs can take to create leaders
Top leaders should constantly try to improve themselves and should set similar standards for their organization's other senior managers, Dan McCarthy writes. "A CEO's behaviors are powerful -- they set the expectations for the rest of the management team, creating a trickle-down effect of leadership development," McCarthy writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/28)
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Finance & Growth
How to perfect your elevator pitch
A strong elevator pitch starts with an attention-grabbing opening, according to Bert Martinez of Bert Martinez Communications. Afterward, you should highlight the value that your company provides and adjust your pitch based on your audience, experts say. "Lead with the information that the recipient will care most about, and the rest will follow," advises Andrew Cross of Walker Sands Communications. BusinessNewsDaily.com (2/28)
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What factors are most important to investors?
Investors tend to look for companies that address an important need, have passionate founders and a committed team, and have the potential to grow, writes Bryan Janeczko, founder of Wicked Start. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (2/27)
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Want to Be a Better Salesperson? Build Relationships
Today's knowledge-hungry consumers often know as much about a product as the people trying to sell it. So what's your sales edge? Learning to build stronger relationships with your clients. Read the featured article.

The Whole Entrepreneur
Why boomers are taking the lead in entrepreneurship
Baby boomers are more likely to consider themselves to be entrepreneurial than younger generations, according to a study by Monster.com and Millennial Branding. In addition, people age 50 to 69 reported being more willing to embrace risk than those age 18 to 29. Older entrepreneurs have a few advantages: They tend to have more wealth and more experience than younger people do. Fast Company online (2/27), MonsterThinking.com (2/27)
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Why work-life balance is unattainable
It's not possible to truly balance your personal and professional lives as you struggle to build a high-growth startup, writes Cliff Oxford, founder of the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. You should instead set boundaries and fully dedicate yourself to whatever you're doing at the moment, he advises. "In short, when you are at home, you are at home," he writes. "Don't tempt the brain by leaving your cellphone on or looking at e-mail while you are eating dinner." The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/You're the Boss blog (2/27)
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Ideas for Innovators
You can't innovate through meetings
Brainstorming sessions are a lousy way to try to solve complicated problems, writes Debra Kaye. "Fresh ideas come when your brain is relaxed and engaged in something other than the particular problem you're embroiled in. ... This is the polar opposite of what happens in brainstorming sessions," she explains. Fast Company online (2/28)
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Fortune from Failure
How an entrepreneur's failure led to the success of Fab.com
Jobster, the first company that Jason Goldberg launched, raised millions of dollars but eventually proved to be a failure. The knowledge he gained during that experience served him well when a subsequent venture, conceived as a social network for the gay community, failed to gain traction. Goldberg pivoted the company to create the flash-sale site Fab.com, which generated more than $100 million in sales last year. Inc. magazine (3/2013)
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SmartQuote
Fast growth is a 24/7 proposition. It is not just the hours you put in at work; it's that it owns your head."
-- Cliff Oxford, founder of the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs, writing at The New York Times' You're the Boss blog.
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