Trending March 2024 # 5 Signs You Have A Shame Culture At Your Startup # Suggested April 2024 # Top 8 Popular

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In researcher Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly, she takes a chapter to explain how shame is holding us back. She tells the story of a woman whose boss made two lists on the wall: “Winners” and “Losers.” After years on the winners’ list, she lost a big client and found herself with a big L on her forehead.

You’re probably thinking: our company isn’t that bad! Probably not. But according to Brown, a shame culture isn’t always obvious. 

“Shame works like termites in a house. It’s hidden in the dark behind the walls and constantly eating away at our infrastructure, until one day the stairs suddenly crumble,” she writes. “Only then do we realize that it’s only a matter of time before the walls come tumbling down.”

Shame is the fear of being unworthy and disconnected from others. It’s the feeling that we are bad, and not [fill in the blank] enough. And if your team feels shame, that will trickle down to customers and partners and anyone else they interact with. 

“Shame can only rise so far in any system before people disengage to protect themselves. When we’re disengaged, we don’t show up, we don’t contribute, and we stop caring,” Brown writes.

Here are 5 of Brown’s signs that you have a shame culture at your startup. 

Fear of speaking up 

By now, most startups know that embracing failure is the route to success. But even if you say you’re pro-failure, are you really putting that into practice? That means encouraging people to speak up, share their crazy ideas, and not get laughed at, ignored, or put down. 

CEO Kevin Surace told Brown that the biggest barrier to innovation was “the fear of introducing an idea and being ridiculed, laughed at, and belittled. If you’re willing to subject yourself to that experience, and if you survive it, then it becomes the fear of failure and the fear of being wrong. People believe they’re only as good as their ideas and that their ideas can’t seem too ‘out there’ and they can’t ‘not know’ everything.” 

Fear of asking for help

Do your teammates regularly come to you and each other with questions? People who feel shame are afraid to admit that they don’t know something or don’t have a certain skill. People who feel worthy can own their ignorance and reach out for support, which ends up helping them grow.

No feedback 

In addition to asking for help, a healthy culture includes giving and receiving feedback openly and positively. If you feel shame, all your self-worth is on the line when you hear a piece of constructive criticism from a colleague or boss, and your instinct is to defend and explain yourself. If you don’t feel shame, you’re able to iterate and improve and not take it personally. 

Also, the simple lack of feedback can start to foster a shame culture. Think about it from the team’s perspective: if they get no feedback, they start to worry about their performance. Am I doing badly? They may start to think you don’t care as much about them, and begin the process of disconnecting. 

Blame

One of Brown’s pointed insights is that people who blame others feel shame. If you feel the need to point the finger at someone else, you’re probably feeling bad and defensive about yourself. This is particularly true when the blame takes a public form. I know a woman whose boss blatantly called out everyone’s weaknesses in a meeting, saying, “You hate technology” and “You don’t work fast enough.”

People should be held accountable, but the right attitude is: we’re on the same time, we all contributed to this, how can we fix it together? 

Gossip, name-calling, and favoritism

Lots of gossip is a shame-based activity, putting someone down for something they did or said. And if a team member realizes they’re being talked about – and they will – they start being afraid of speaking out. Name-calling and favoritism separate people into categories of good and bad, and it’s not even a healthy experience for the favorites – they’ll stake their worth on being a favorite, and start to be afraid someone else could take their place. 

Shame culture can be insidious, and Brown has a few strategies for combating it. One is to identify the ways that shame is already present in your company and own up to them. Then, we need to teach people how to give and receive feedback, and set the expectation that it’s not always easy – nor is putting your ideas out there. In the end, it will depend on supportive leaders who are willing to have tough and honest conversations about shame.

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5 Reasons Why Your Startup Needs Tiktok Right Now

We have devastating news for you: your business needs TikTok. And the loopiest thing is that it may need it right now. Every second a regular company spends in the grey world without a fast-paced feed, sales go to waste, and new customers too.

Before we start, remember that promotion on any social media takes resources. Content must be of good quality, and you need to have your unique selling point that decides the results. For sure, it’s easy to get free TikTok likes but for sales, prepare your content team to work for it.

Let’s explore five reasons your startup (may) need TikTok right now!

Almost Guaranteed Way to Grow Sales

The hottest secret TikTok keeps is that people actually buy things there. Likely, they need time to get used to a business before making a sale. But you actually can grow sales by investing only in your content campaign.

And it’s not the beauty products only. Depending on the audience you will find, you can sell design tools, homemade jewelry, and even cleaning services. We can’t imagine a product you won’t sell on TikTok.

Increased ROI of All Your Campaigns

We don’t know a business owner that has never counted ROI from their Facebook Ads campaigns and struggled. Keeping up good ROI is extremely hard because investments in content creation and Facebook are high.

With TikTok, investments are made for content only. The platform doesn’t charge anything which is bliss!

Get in Touch With Your Audience

In the US, Gen Zed is the biggest consumer of TikTok content. To explain, this generation is not babies anymore. They are successful people, influencers, and potential customers of almost any business that matters on the platform.

If you use TikTok, you may have noticed how many companies create content to publish it on TT exclusively. The reason is not only the sales discussed above. The reason is branding.

New Generation Choose TikTok Over Other Social Media

Each day, more people start using TikTok. Many abandon Instagram and other platforms because they can’t provide such engagement that people get used to on TikTok.

SMM promotion costs money. To be on top, an average business needs to invest a large sum to get discovered. Yes, it will bring sales in the long run, but what if, in the end, TikTok conquers the social media world. All trends show that it can happen very soon.

Before getting risky with other platforms, take a look at TikTok. It shines, and it can help any startup right now.

Have You Optimized Your Crawl Equity?

Sites with hundreds of thousands of pages, or even millions, may not ever get all their pages indexed. This is because of a concept sometimes referred to as “crawl equity”. Crawl equity refers to the fact that since crawling a site with millions of pages takes a significant amount of bandwidth for search engines, only a portion of those pages are likely to be indexed.

Nowadays search engine optimization is not just about slapping some keywords on a page and getting a bunch of inbound links. It’s developed in complexity as the web expands, more information is stored online and algorithms get more sophisticated. With this understanding, it is critical to pay just as much (if not more) attention to the back end as with the front end – at least with large sites. Richard Baxter, of SEOgadget just put out a great post surrounding the role of structured markup as it relates to the future of SEO. Just like Baxter believes (and I agree) that standards and consistency in a uniform markup will play a larger role in a search engine’s ability to rank and display relevant content, I believe that optimizing crawl equity is a critical factor in the SEO process.

Burning Crawl Equity – Common Causes

Common causes that result in engines having to unnecessarily crawl URLs mainly come down to URL structure and infinite spaces. This is because they create duplicate content and URLs that were not intended to do be indexed in the first place, ultimately leading to engines exhausting bandwidth trying to crawl them all.

Examples:

Session IDs

Sorting parameters

Login pages

Contact forms

Pagination

Calendars with a “next month” or “previous month” link

Filtering search results

Broken relative links

Suggested Solutions

By addressing the common sources where crawl equity is often wasted, you will increase the likelihood that the valuable content intended for indexing in fact gets indexed.

Remove user-specific details from URLs by putting this information in a cookie and 301 redirecting to the source URL.

Nofollow calendar links

Reduce duplicate content; utilize the rel=canonical tag

Improve latency issues by reducing page load time

Diagnostics

Now this is great information for all to know and address. But how do you know there is an issue in the first place? For starters, Webmaster Tools may give you a warning report as follows:

Furthermore, an inurl search command coupled with a site search command will also do the trick to help assess the gravity of the situation. In other words, how many pages are contributing to engine bloat as a result of filters?

 

Finally, how to track and trend the success of your efforts? Consider tracking the % of indexed pages out of the total (intended to be indexed) pages on the site over time. You may also track this at a more granular level by calculating the % of problematic pages and trending over time as issues are addressed.

Rachel Andersen works for the Portland based SEM agency Anvil Media, Inc. She has expertise in all aspects of search engine marketing and specializes in SEO for large sites. Andersen has been responsible for the development and execution of dozens of search and social marketing campaigns over her time spent with Anvil.

5 Things You Should Do To Improve Risk Management At Work

There are risks in everything we do, whether when we cross the road, how much we invest or make dietary choices. We can’t avoid risks, but we can mitigate its impact. The same thing goes for businesses. Companies face risk all the time.

When talking about risks in the corporate world, this refers to one or more unforeseen events that may affect the organization’s ability to achieve its objectives.

This could range from disruptions in the market, natural calamities, pandemics, changes in the company’s senior leadership, etc.

Risks differ in terms of severity and how much it can impact a company, which is why risk management should be an integral part of an organization’s strategy.

With efficient risk management, an organization can define and execute strategies that aim to prevent or reduce the company’s risks so that the business can continue to run smoothly.

Here are five things that you should do to improve risk management at work.

Identify Risks Early

Many risks can impact your organization, which is why it is critical to include risk management at the start of every project or task.

Since you can’t predict what might happen in the future, strategic risk management helps you detect threats early on so that you can respond accordingly. Your risk management plan should be unique and tailored for your organization’s particular needs and challenges.

“The best way to manage risk is to attempt to spot it and plan accordingly before it happens”, according to David Rowland, head of marketing at Engage EHS.

This is why risk assessment software is now so important to a business. Using this software, you can make plans, spot potential risks, and then do everything you can to minimize their impact.

Part of your risk management plan should include identifying various risks that can affect your business, whether it’s a legal risk, environmental, regulatory, etc. Make sure to track Early Warning Indicators (EWIs) of the different risks that you might face.

Also read: Top 6 Tips to Stay Focused on Your Financial Goals

Analyze and Describe Risks

Once you have identified a risk, proceed to analyze and determine the scope of the risk. Your risk assessment process should also include distinguishing between the cause and effect of the risk. You must understand the link between the risk and the organization.

Utilize a risk matrix to assess and prioritize all known risks. You should prioritize your risks based on the probability or how likely they are to occur and how much they can impact your business operations. Some risks can be just minor inconveniences, while there are risks that can threaten business continuity.

While many risks can affect organizations. Do not think that risks are the same for all. Organizations have different situations and capabilities in terms of managing risks, so you need to understand how risks specifically affect your business.

Use Appropriate Strategies to Manage Risk

Use the 4Ts model to decide on how you should manage risks.

Transferring risk –

Assign an individual, group, or third party to be responsible for managing the impact of the risk.

Tolerating risk –

No action is taken to mitigate or reduce risk; however, the risk should still be monitored. This may be because the probability and impact of the risk are low.

Treating risk –

Control risk through actions that reduce the likelihood of the risk occurring or minimize its impact before it happens.

Terminating risk –

Also read: The 15 Best E-Commerce Marketing Tools

Document All Risks in a Risk Register

Make sure to capture all risks that your company faces so that you can see a complete picture of your entire organization’s risk exposure. It is critical that you document all the risks that your organization may be facing.

If you have efficient documentation of risks, you will improve the sharing of information and enforce a sense of accountability among members of your organization.  Remember to document who is responsible for what and appoint a risk owner too.

Documenting your risks is a good corporate practice and will be beneficial should you need historical data for future reference. You can analyze past mistakes and develop more effective solutions should there be a similar risk in the future.

Monitor and Review

The level of risks that your company is facing is constantly changing. New risks can emerge, while others become less critical.

Make sure to regularly monitor your risk exposure so that you will be ready to take action should the need arise. If you regularly monitor your risks, you can prevent these risks from becoming a crisis for your organization.

Having a risk management process in place is a smart move for any organization that values the importance of being prepared. Not only senior management and members of the risk management team must be conscious of the company’s risk exposure.

You should also train your staff to be aware of potential risks so that they know what to look out for and how they can contribute towards risk management.

Mia Clarke

Mia Clarke is part of the content team at The Long Reach. Mia has worked in the Tech industry since graduating from university. When not researching and writing about the newest technologies, Mia can be found researching new travel locations.

Startup Seo – Lonely, Frustrating, And Sometimes Embarrassing…But It Doesn’t Have To Be

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a number of startups during my career, and I have helped several with digital marketing strategy. If you’ve worked with startups before, you know how inherently fast-paced, exciting, and challenging they can be. The fact of the matter is that startups are facing an uphill battle that most will never win. As a brand new company with a new product or service, with no brand recognition and no customers, startups are in an incredibly challenging position, to say the least.

From a marketing perspective, many startups have a hard time with SEO and inbound marketing in general. It makes sense when you break down everything involved in building SEO strength from scratch. SEO requires resources, time, and patience, and, as you can guess, those three items aren’t found in many startups. You often have visionary founders who have identified gaps in the market and who have ponied up their own money and moved at light speed to develop solutions. They need to get to market quickly, and they want things done yesterday. They don’t want to hear that it can take months, or longer, to begin to rank for target keywords.

Like many innovative startups, they had developed a service to overcome a common, nagging problem that many people face. They had been working on the solution for almost two years already, and they were getting close to launching. When they first contacted me, the founders’ enthusiasm was contagious. I could tell they were extremely business-savvy and knew their vertical inside and out, and they believed they had a successful service on their hands. But you could also tell they weren’t marketers, and they definitely weren’t digital marketers. This was a huge risk for them, as they were ready to launch in just a few months.

I met with them several times and educated them as best I could about inbound marketing, SEO, the impact of a strong social strategy, how blogging could impact targeted traffic, etc. The education was necessary since they had explained to me that they wanted to rank for [enter ridiculously broad keyword here] and [enter even more ridiculously broad keyword here] and possibly even [enter fall-out-of-your-chair broad keyword here]. And this from a website that wasn’t even up and running yet. Remember, they were really smart founders, but they were not marketers, and they definitely were not familiar with SEO.

To make a long story short, they had a limited amount of budget remaining and not much time, and they needed to make hard decisions about where to focus that budget. Unfortunately, they ended up not focusing on inbound marketing or SEO. They both felt strongly that the service would go viral and that customers sharing word of mouth experiences would spark a viral fire that would drive new customers, revenue, and profits.

Their social efforts are non-existent. Literally, the accounts are claimed, but they are not being used. The site ranks for almost no target keywords, and traffic is very low (based on third-party, competitive intelligence tools I use). PR-wise, the startup has not been covered by the publications they thought would cover them. That obviously didn’t pan out for some reason.

Lack of Coverage Led to Lack of Exposure, Shares, and Traffic

But that’s not the worst part of this story. When you search for their brand name (yes, their brand name), their top competitor ranks number one in Google. Yes, #1. That’s due to the general nature of the brand name, lack of SEO, lack of exposure, lack of domain authority, etc. Talk about a slap in the face. If people hear about the product and search for it, they find the startup’s top competitor ranking number one in Google. And no, they aren’t running paid search either, which was also part of my initial strategy for them. They are four months in, and it’s like they don’t exist (at least digitally).

Based on my experience helping startups and witnessing examples like the one I listed above, I’d like to focus on some of the core mistakes that startups make when dealing with SEO. Note that this also applies to inbound marketing in general. I’ll explain each problem and then explain the benefits of addressing each issue in a different way. Let’s begin.

“…it can take a bit of time for search engines to catch up with your content, and to learn to treat it appropriately. It’s one thing to have a fantastic website, but search engines generally need a bit more to be able to confirm that, and to rank your site – your content – appropriately.”

Translation: No, you aren’t going to rank highly if you just launched your site, no matter how good it is.

I always recommend getting a domain and a site up and running as soon as possible. You don’t need to explain your new product or service, but you can absolutely be building content and links. You can also set up and utilize your social accounts to build a targeted following, and then use that following to drive visits to your blog posts, research studies, white papers, etc. If you do this, then you might be able to launch with some SEO power. And that would be a very good thing.  🙂

I know it’s easy as an outsider to say this, but you cannot think this way. In a world where personal branding can yield incredible exposure and amazing results, you cannot keep thought leaders in a locked room. Start a blog focused on your niche. Write top-notch, thought leadership pieces. Use social media to build a following and to get the word out. This can give your launch a nice jumpstart by immediately getting your new product or service in front of a strong following. I’m not saying to reveal what you are doing before you launch, but you can absolutely write about your industry, key stories, emerging trends, provide deep analysis, etc.

In my opinion, I believe it’s better to build up relationships over time, earn their respect, impress them with thought leadership pieces and research, and then reach out to them. Believe me, getting coverage will be much easier at that point. I don’t believe startups should put all their eggs in the PR basket. It’s also worth noting that seeding product with celebrities is smart, but it doesn’t replace a solid marketing strategy for your startup. Again, this could be part of your mix, but it should not be what you rely on for long-term success.

After speaking with a number of founders, I’ve learned that several falsely believe that as customers start using their products or services, those customers will immediately share their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Google+, etc. That’s wishful thinking, especially if you aren’t there to help foster social communication. I often explain that startups should be continually driving great content, engaging users, finding influencers, etc. versus sitting back and waiting for the social wave of traffic to come.  Unfortunately, that wave is often a ripple, and it cannot sustain your business.

“If you build it, they will come,” is more like: “If you build it, blog it, connect with it, and answer it, they will come.”

A Social Ghost Town: The Anemic Twitter Account of a Startup

People are searching for solutions, and if you’re not there when they search, you can’t solve their problems. And that’s unfortunate when so much work goes into the first 95% of the business. But it’s that 5% that can boost your success. Startup SEO doesn’t have to be lonely, frustrating, and embarrassing. You’re in control. You just need to pull the trigger.

Lammeyer / iStockphoto

6 Unusual Signs Of Dehydration You Should Know About

It is essential to keep an eye on signs of dehydration as soon as possible to provide efficient treatment and avoid a scenario that might be life-threatening. Dehydration is characterized by several common symptoms, some of which are more obvious than others. Because they require immediate treatment, the signs of mental and physical impairment caused by dehydration are extremely important to be aware of. In severe situations of dehydration, seeking medical assistance can be necessary.

1. Not Urinating or Very Dark Urine

The color of a person’s urine is a simple way to decide whether he is dehydrated. Urine from a healthy person should have the color of healthy pale-yellow that resembles apple juice but is much darker than normal.

If you are not passing any urine at all, you are certainly dangerously dehydrated. You really ought to go to the doctor as soon as possible.

If you discover that your pee is a dark yellow color, you should increase your water intake. Drink no more water than your body can process in a single gulp. This will help you avoid dehydration.

If you are concerned that you are not getting enough fluids daily, you should attempt to keep a daily track; you should always try, regardless of where you are.

2. Dry Skin

Examining the color of your urine is only one of several methods to determine whether or not you are dehydrated. There are other additional methods also. Another trait that can be used to tell a lot about a person is how soft his skin is.

Try your hand at this little test: to see what happens, squeeze the skin on the top of your hand. The reluctance to return indicates that it is somewhat moderately dehydrated. Extreme dehydration can be diagnosed by looking for signs of the skin “tenting” or sticking together.

You should drink extra water if you are mild to moderately dehydrated. It is the same thing you should do if your urine is darker. If you’ve just finished a particularly strenuous workout, a fluidand electrolyte-rich beverage like a sports drink or coconut water could be the ideal choice to rehydrate. Water is, of course, always a good option to go with.

If your skin begins to show indications of tenting due to dehydration, it is recommended that you consult a medical professional as soon as possible.

3. Rapid Heartbeat and Breathing

Your heart rate and respiratory rate will increase directly from your physical activity. However, if you continue to experience these symptoms even after you have lowered your body temperature or halted your physical activity, it may be a sign that you are severely dehydrated. When electrolyte levels fall below normal, the heart’s ability to pump blood is negatively impacted.

How to stop it − Without the proper amount of fluid in the body, your organs, most notably your heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs, cannot perform their functions properly. Because of this, if you notice any of these symptoms, you must make an appointment with a medical professional to rule out the possibility of dehydration.

Suppose a medical professional or nurse determines, after doing a comprehensive assessment on you, that you are dehydrated, you will most likely be given an intravenous line and a potent rehydration solution to administer through the line. This water contains a variety of salts and sugars, some of which include sodium chloride and potassium. These components work together to facilitate the rapid delivery of vital fluids to the parts of the body that require them the most.

4. Dizziness

Did you know that water accounts for around 75% of the mass of your brain? Consequently, enhancing cognitive function can be as easy as increasing one’s water consumption and eating naturally high-water-content foods.

On the other hand, not getting enough water might affect one’s mental function. Feeling faint, lightheaded, or dizzy are all symptoms of acute dehydration, but they are not the only symptoms that can occur.

It would be a mistake to disregard these indicators as being trivial. Rest and replenish your body’s fluids by drinking water in small sips and eating meals high in water, such as fruits and vegetables.

Cucumbers, watermelons, tomatoes, strawberries, apples, and grapes are some featured fruits and vegetables. They help restore your body’s electrolyte and mineral balance, which can deplete the brain and other tissues if they are not routinely restored. One can avoid it by drinking enough water and eating healthy foods.

On the other hand, if you feel lightheaded or dizzy to the point that you need medical attention, you should go to the emergency room of the hospital closest to your location as soon as possible.

5. Fever and Chills

Fever and chills are two symptoms frequently experienced by people afflicted with viral infections such as the flu. Nevertheless, it would be best if you did not disregard this warning sign.Additionally, it should serve as a warning sign for severe dehydration. When the body is deprived of fluids and tries to maintain a normal temperature, hyperthermia, and symptoms similar to fever can occur. Some of these symptoms include chills.

If something like this happens while you’re working out or participating in a sport, you should immediately stop what you’re doing and sit down. The stress you’re placing on the many systems in your body makes your symptoms even more severe.

It is possible to cure the symptoms of dehydration at home by increasing the amount of fluid consumed and applying a cold compress to the face or immersing in an ice bath. You should seek emergency medical assistance if your fever lasts more than 103 degrees Fahrenheit or rises over that temperature.

If something like this happens to an adult, it might indicate severe dehydration, which requires prompt medical attention.

6. Unconsciousness

Dehydration can bring on unconsciousness by lowering blood pressure or making a person feel faint. Your condition will remain under observation by the medical staff until it is certain that it has stabilized and your fluid levels have returned to normal.

Conclusion

Several factors influence how much water you need to drink daily, including your age, gender, whether you are pregnant or nursing, and whether or not you have any preexisting medical concerns.

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