Wow, can you believe we are now in 2016? I spent a great deal of 2015 writing and talking about best entrepreneurship, business financing options, marketing, and new venture creation. We discussed ways nonprofits can benefit from entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, global marketing strategies, thought leadership branding, and emerging trends in business education. We also continued our discussion on digital marketing, best practices for crowed sourcing and lectured on smart marketing strategies for small businesses. On radio and podcast, we explored branding strategies, business education and emerging trends in social media. I completed my postdoctoral studies at Harvard University and was invited to be a TEDx Speaker in Albany NY and was interviewed on Startup Grind this year. I ended 2015 by giving keynotes at Syracuse University and SUNY Empire State College, and received a Fulbright Fellowship and VFP project with the State Department. On that note, I think we need to start the New Year with a bang by highlighting some of these key takeaways to help you jumpstart your business or bring that startup idea to fruition. #1. 5 New Competitive Advantages To Help Nonprofits Think Like Entrepreneurs In December 2014 I wrote an article for Forbes Magazine titled 5 Competitive Advantages To Help Nonprofits Think Like Entrepreneurs, which discussed how Nonprofit leaders should adopt perspectives like those of entrepreneurs. After additional research, I’ve come up with five “NEW” key elements that can help nonprofit leaders operate their organization more like a hungry startup, whether they lead a religious organization, government agency, charity or research lab. #2. Forget International Fame: Think Global Marketing Many experts say that branding is a local process, first and foremost. The process goes this way: You establish your business, then work diligently to identify your target niche, study their habits and understand their priorities, and finally set a brand that fits well with your target audience. We think you can – and should – go global, devising a marketing strategy and an operational blueprint that adapt well to international conditions. To help you in your enterprise, read our top 10 global marketing tips for establishing your brand on a global level. #3. TEDx Talk – Tell Me Your Story: Empathy to Combat Social Violence Our stories are powerful tools that can be used to combat social violence. When a personal story is being shared we unconsciously create an emotional connection with the storyteller and empathize on their experience. While we cannot empathize with everyone’s situation, we gravitate towards certain elements and information from the story like dates, events, images, names and places which resonate in our own lives. We introduce ourselves to strangers with our job titles and credentials versus sharing our interest, hobbies, ideas and passion. It is the nuance of our personal experiences that makes us unique and interesting, not our titles and credentials. In order to create positive change in our society and confront community violence, we must be willing to share our story and embrace the personal experiences of others. I invite you to INVEST IN LISTENING, INVEST in the commodity of caring about not just how someone has arrived at a destination but the journey that led to your lives intersecting. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6uo9t8m15Q[/youtube] #4. EPN Enterprise Radio Podcast – Getting noticed as a consultant with Dr. Emad Rahim I discussed strategies and provided examples to make your professional brand stick out. We highlighted ways to use social media, publications, podcast, blogs and other outlets to help get your ideas, opinions, best-practices and expertise out to your target population. #5. IntelligentHQ.com: Emerging Trends in Project Management Education / Project Eye Magazine Feature: Why Consider A Project Management Education We discussed emerging trends in business education with a focus on project management. The profession of project management has been growing steady in the last ten years according to a career report conducted by the Project Management Institute (www.PMI.org). The field of project management is now global, which extends to many different industries. Project management is no longer a job or title (Project Manager) found exclusively in construction, defense and technology sector, but instead has reached into new industries and becoming more global. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcDnpI4bl4c&list=PLzsCAK-R4AUQIIa6vkd3whxZIOro5xJe6[/youtube] #6. OMCP Podcast: Social Media Marketing Certification Welcome to Take Ten, OMCP’s podcast where we spend 10 minutes, more or less, talking to online marketing thought leaders, educators and career professionals about training and certification, with host Jane Flint and David Temple. Dr. Emad Rahim shares his insight on social media, digital marketing, career education and professional certifications for career advancement. #7. Characteristics Of A Social Entrepreneur A social entrepreneur is someone who has decided to undertake a venture that is aimed at tackling societies most pressing problems, like famine and climate change. A social enterprise could be a nonprofit or profit business model. Two people often associated with social entrepreneurship are Blake Mycoskie, CEO of Tom’s shoes who provide a pair of shoes for a child in need for every shoe purchased and Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, providing microfinance to the impoverished. #8. Proactive Entrepreneur Negotiating Startup Success Now that you have finally set up your company and are ready to operate, don’t make the mistakes that tens, if not hundreds, of eager entrepreneurs have made before you. Whether it is a lawsuit for copyright infringement, enmity with investors or disagreements with co-founders, many things can derail a startup – even before…it starts. At the end of the day, you, as an entrepreneur or startup founder, have to negotiate with many business partners. These people are your partners, not your enemies, so try your best to negotiate operational terms that are fair to all parties. #9. Social Capital Management for Aspiring PMs Project managers are nothing without a fine-tune team and a rolodex of social capital that is committed to your project success. Who are you going to call when you need project resources, solutions for complex problems, expert advice, and additional workforce or when you are dealing with a crisis that no one of your team knows how to handle it? “Social capital” means fame, goodwill, reputation or recognition you have amassed because of your work, achievements, professional network or social activism. #10. Free eBook – The Entrepreneurship Toolkit I developed a short eBook for entrepreneurs, small business owners and new startup founders. This free eBook is a reference guide to useful resources and recommendations to help start, operate, fund, marketing, sustain and grow your business. Images: Author’s Own ___________________________________________________________________________ This contributor’s Tweak Your Biz articles have reached more than 100,000 people. Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. 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