Category Archives: Blog

Overcoming “Lonely at the Top” Syndrome

lonely at the topMost small business owners are ready and willing to take on the many tasks involved in running a successful enterprise—from devising a budget to hiring staff and planning both short-term and long-range strategy. It’s what they’ve aspired to do since setting out on their own.

But the role of entrepreneur/owner/CEO is a double-edged sword. No one’s telling you how to run your business, but on the other hand, no one else can take responsibility if and when things go wrong. More importantly, as the person in charge, you should steer clear of expressing your doubts about the business with your employees, since they look to you for round-the-clock leadership and inspiration.

As a result, some business leaders may succumb to “lonely at the top” syndrome. Left unchecked, these feelings of high-level loneliness can seriously impact the growth of one’s business, and the overall mental health of the business owner.

So what can a small business owner do to overcome this syndrome? Try the following:

Find a coach or mentor. Take a look at your professional network. Who among the people you know run their own business or have done so in the past? Reach out to these individuals for advice and guidance. See if someone you know and trust is willing to act as a mentor, even on a short-term basis.

Also ask people in your network if they can recommend a skilled executive or CEO coach. Generally speaking, these people come from a business leadership background and now consult professionally with business owners, CEOs and others. An experienced, qualified coach might be just the person to provide the objective opinion you need to get out of a rut.

Join a peer leadership group. Numerous CEO and other executive-level/small business owner peer groups have sprung up around the country, specifically addressing the issue of feeling lonely at the top. These groups—usually consisting of 10-12 business leaders from different (and non-competing) industries—can be an ideal sounding board for exploring growth opportunities and answers to pressing business problems.

The best of these groups operate on a “been-there-done-that” basis, meaning peer group members are happy to address an issue you have, since they’ve already been through the experience of overcoming challenges themselves. At the same time, you’re expected to offer insights based on your own experience—a process that can foster a confidence-building sense that you’re helping others overcome loneliness, too.

Reach out on social media. Twitter and Facebook are potentially useful allies in the fight against executive-level loneliness—as long as you stay focused on the type of activity that keeps you moving forward. Of social media sites, LinkedIn is probably among the most effective in terms of addressing high-level isolation. LinkedIn features special interest groups for virtually every industry; by becoming a member of such a group, you’ll connect with business leaders like yourself thirsting for more contact with others who know what they’re going through.

Focus on improved communications with your employees. Some of the isolation business leaders feel comes from a lack of contact with front-line employees who interact with customers every day. If you take time to talk with these people on a fairly regular basis, you’ll feel much more “tuned in” to what’s happening within the business.

At the same time, don’t do all the talking in such situations. You’ll get much more from the experience by asking questions, particularly centered around what types of issues your employees face and what resources you might provide to make their jobs easier. It’s also helpful to see if they have a clear understanding of the business and your vision for the future. Asking the right questions will help make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Running your own business can bring with it a sense of isolation. Fortunately, there are ways to stay connected with others and maintain a clear focus on your business.

Grow Your Business

Grow Your BusinessBeing an entrepreneur takes guts. It doesn’t matter if you’re setting out on your own for the first time or have been maintaining your business for many years – successfully managing a business is a scary but exhilarating undertaking. Everyone’s experience is unique, but it’s rarely easy. It’s even more difficult to begin on the high-risk journey of growing your business.

Here are some tips on how to make sailing a little smoother.

Data Security Procedures to Implement Immediately

cyber-data-securityIt’s not just the big boys like Target that are at risk of a data breach. For every high-profile case, there are hundred of data breaches experienced by small businesses across the country.

Fortunately, there a many simple things small business owners can do to protect their sensitive customer data and their own business information.

Doing the following quick fixes will go a long way to reduce the likelihood of your organization falling victim to a data breach:

Best Time Tracking Apps

clocksEver feel like you don’t have a good handle on time? Most of us have only a vague idea of how much time we spend (waste) on personal and professional tasks each day. Luckily for people like us, there are plenty of internet-based services devoted to helping us stay on task. After all, there’s no shame in seeking a little digital assistance.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Chrometa – This smart time tracker captures your activities without you having to click start or stop. It automatically records your software usage, like time spent on Facebook, or the length of time spent working on a spreadsheet. (Desktop, Android, Apple)

The Facebook Color Change Scam Is Back

don't like FBNO – you cannot change the color of Facebook. Well… you can (at your own risk), but that app you just downloaded, it’s a scam.

Cheetah Mobile, security software researcher and provider, was the first to confirm the reemergence of the hack. The scam appears as a Facebook app that can be shared or posted on the News Feed. So far, more than 10,000 people have been tricked into downloading the malware, according to the Cheetah Mobile Security blog post.

Google to Boost Encrypted Websites in Search Rankings

google encryptionGoogle is using its massive reach and power for good as the search engine pressures websites to better protect the people using their services. The move involves a change in Google’s formula for determining search result rankings. Websites that automatically encrypt their services will now be ranked higher in Google’s recommendation system. The goal is to pressure web developers to adopt technology that defends against hackers breaking into websites and stealing users’ sensitive information.

Edward Snowden’s revelations shined a light on the gaping security holes in unencrypted websites. Encryption makes it more difficult for hackers and the NSA alike to grab unsuspecting user’s personal data transmitted over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. You can spot an encrypted website by the telling “https” in the URL.

Billions of Passwords Stolen by Russian Cybercrime Ring CyberVor

hackerBy now you’ve likely heard about Tuesday’s New York Times report of the largest stockpile of stolen online credentials in known history. The mammoth hack job was brought to light by the cybersecurity firm Holden Security LLC, which revealed that a Russian hacking group has stolen 1.2 billion sets of unique login credentials, and more than 500 million email addresses.

The New York Times reports that the data comes from more than 420,000 websites ranging from well known companies to smaller operations. Holden Security says it isn’t revealing the names of the sites right now because doing so could pose additional risks to users. The so-called “CyberVor” gang collected more than 4.5 billion records in all, 1.2 billion appearing to be unique. There are about 2.9 billion Internet users worldwide… so it’s very likely that you’ve been affected.

How Do I Explain Getting Fired?

firedTRUMPYou got fired from your last job.

Perhaps it wasn’t a question of personal abilities, you didn’t do anything wrong, heck – maybe you didn’t even deserve it. But, you got fired from your last job.

You’re over it now, time to move on. But as you’re suiting up for the big interview, your mind begins to consider that inevitable question. Eventually, your prospective employer will look up, staring into your eyes:

“So, why did you leave your last job?”


Five Bookkeeping Tips For Entrepreneurs

accountingIf the mere thought of managing the company’s books fills you with dread, you’re not alone.

Most small business owners hate bookkeeping. Some see it as a time consuming task that takes away from running their business; for others, it brings an avalanche of nerves (I regularly have nightmares about the IRS). As a small business owner, it’s your job to make sure your company’s money gets managed correctly.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t view bookkeeping as an inherently negative thing. Rather, an obligation that needs to be handled with care. Even if you hate this aspect of running a business, you can apply basic procedures to stay on top of the paperwork. By doing so, you will save time, money, and a lot of stress.

4 Essentials For A Winning Resume


Great-Resume-Tips-300x297It’s time for that transition you’ve been waiting for! A new position opened up that you’ve been eyeing for months now. You’ve worked up the ranks, gained experience, and you’re ready to make the next move. So you click to apply…

“Please submit resume and cover letter”

Uh-oh. Resume? Cover letter? When was the last time you looked at those? 2005?

Well then, lets start fresh! You’ll find that there are various different ways to produce a solid resume, but no matter which you choose, there are 4 characteristics every resume should have.