6 Ways To Keep Your Cool and Handle Workplace Conflict

We’re not always going to get along with everyone we work with. Everyone has different opinions, ways of doing work, handling strategies, and even common annoyances that make conflict with a coworker inevitable.

Have a coworker that chews loudly at their desk during lunch or while they’re taking a snack break? What about one is a fundamentally different person than you personality wise, which causes you to butt heads constantly during meetings?

We all know someone who gets on our last nerves at work, and who we try to avoid at all costs during the typical 8-hour workday.

But what if I told you that by avoiding conflict with that particular coworker you’re doing more harm than good?

If you have a workplace conflict, and you sincerely want to see it resolved so you can move on with your job and your life, here are a few tips.

Have A Conversation

Conflict almost always start with miscommunication. When you’re in the heat of the moment, and you feel really passionately about your ideas, you might not always be communicating your ideas efficiently. If you feel like a conflict was caused by an inadequate conversation, then it’s always best to schedule a time to talk with that person again. Let them know through an email or quick phone call that you didn’t feel like you explained yourself well enough during the last meeting, and that you’d like to set up a new meeting to resolve any wrong information. Chances are, they were thinking the same thing, and would like to talk with you again as well.

Listen

Conversation arguably involves two skills: talking and listening, with listening being the most important of the two for avoiding conflict. Let’s say you’re having a heated discussion with a coworker about the best way to use your extra marketing funds for an advertising campaign. You say you should go the more progressive way and advertise online only, but your coworker argues that traditional ads, such as billboards, magazines, and newspaper ads, are the more efficient way. Neither one of you is necessarily wrong, but it doesn’t matter because at this point you’re both talking over each other and failing to listen to what the other person has to say. You don’t even know if their ideas make sense because you haven’t heard them yet! Listening solves many of the most common workplace conflicts.

Admit When You’re Wrong

Have a pride issue? We all do when it comes to an idea that we’re proud of. But one of the more virtuous stances to take is the one of humbleness. Have you ever realized you were wrong about a stance you were taking halfway through an argument with someone? Yeah, it’s embarrassing. But if you simply admit to someone that you were wrong, then they’re more likely to respect you because, at that point, they’ll realize you’re a level-headed and logical thinking person. Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes when you’ve made a bad decision.

Forgive

What if someone makes a choice that negatively affects you, or causes you distress? At that point, the ball is in your court to handle the situation. Sure, you could blow up on them and call them out on everything they’ve done to wrong you, but that only makes the conflict worse. The best approach is to take a forgiving stance. If they were courageous and humble enough to admit that they were wrong, then they deserve your forgiveness.

Pick Your Battles

Ever heard the saying “won the battle but lost the war”? How about the other way around, “lost the battle but won the war”? It’s important to learn the difference between the two. If you win the current conflict, but lose the overall workplace war, then what have you accomplished? Answer: a lifetime of recurring battles. What about losing the battle and winning the war? You don’t always have to come out of an argument on the winning side of the skirmish. No war was ever won without losing some battles along the way (just look at the Unites States’ own Revolutionary War if you don’t believe me). It’s much more important to peacefully resolve an ongoing war, rather than ensure that you win every argument.

Look At It From Their Perspective

If you really want to understand the “why” and “how” of a conflict, learn to put yourself in their shoes. Can you understand where they’re coming from on their side of the argument? Is that a side that you could inevitably find yourself on one day? It’s easy to say in the moment, “No, you’re wrong because you don’t understand what I’m saying!” But do we really even understand what the other person is saying? If you learn to look at things from their perspective, you’ll learn to resolve conflicts quicker, and might even learn about the other person on a deeper level through the process.

When people learn to put their pride aside and listen, workplace conflicts will quickly resolve themselves. All it takes is a little compassion, humbleness, and good communication skills.

Don’t Be Stale: Why Thinking Outside Of The Box Is A Good Business Strategy

Do you often feel you’re trapped in the same old boring routine? Like you’re always going in circles when it comes to making big decisions on projects, such as how implement your newest social marketing strategy, or how to attract more customers to your business?

This is usually a result of being trapped inside of the metaphorically famous “Box.” This is a space where you can’t seem to venture outside of the six imaginary sides that surround you, and where you always get trapped in the same thought pattern.

We all know that “thinking outside of the box,” as the saying goes, is an effective strategy in our day-to-day lives. So, it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch to believe that thinking outside of the box on a business level is crucial as well, would it?

When you’re constantly thinking with the same mindset, your creativity suffers. You don’t progress, you don’t grow, and you don’t attract new business. These are just simple facts of life.

Need a firsthand account of why thinking outside of the box is an excellent strategy to practice? Matthew Swyers, founder of The Trademark Company, recalls a story from his past where he was hit with a trademark lawsuit, but thanks to some creative thinking, overcame having to pay a hefty fine. 

But why is thinking outside of the box intrinsically important to your business? Consider these points:

Things Change

Oftentimes, those who don’t think outside of the box are people who are stuck in their ways. They’ve gotten so used to doing something one way for years and years, that they completely block out any new ideas from others. This is a bad way of doing business not only because it hurts your relationship with your coworkers and employees, but it also gets you stuck in a pattern while the rest of the world moves on without you.

Our world is constantly changing, at a more rapid pace than it ever has before. New tech is been invented every day, marketing strategies are evolving, and even the ways people think and interact with businesses are changing in a huge way. If you stick with what you’ve always known, rather than what you have yet to discover, you’ll find yourself losing customers, and being left in the dust while newer, younger startups take over your industry and steal away your customers.

The Box Gets Stale

Like a 6-month-expired bag of tortilla chips that you find in the back of your pantry, the Box will eventually get stale. And no one likes a stale Box. A stale box is unappealing. It’s boring. And it’s not worth your time.

Fresh, new ideas will inspire others to pay attention to you. Your employees will feel re-energized, and new customers will want to come over to check out what you have to offer. Getting rid of your stale image can manifest in a number of different ways, such as coming up with a new product, or rebranding yourself. Whatever your fresh idea is, explore it, and use it to attract new business!

Creative Juices Are Good Juices

Have you ever heard the phrase, “get your creative juices flowing”? It’s a weird — and personally, kind of physically upsetting — way to describe thinking outside of the box. You need to be creative in order to survive in the business world.

Take, for example, Super Bowl commercials. These are widely regarded as some of the funniest, most creative commercials of the year and brands know that people expect great things out of them when the Super Bowl rolls around each every February. That’s why they go all-in on their commercials, employing sometimes outrageous stunts in order to get their message across.

Remember the weird Mt. Dew Kickstart commercial from Super Bowl 50? You know, #puppymonkeybaby? This was one of the weirdest commercials of the Super Bowl, and it makes almost no sense at all. But…it got your attention, didn’t it? Countless articles popped up soon after the commercials appeared, both criticizing it and praising it. Either way, Mt. Dew accomplished what they set out to do in the first place; make a very creative, albeit absolutely bonkers, commercial and get people talking about Mt. Dew Kickstart. It was effective because it was creative.

If you want to be successful in this ever-changing business world, you have to learn to think outside of the box. If not, you’ll be left behind in the shadow of companies who have embraced creativity, and tried out new ways of running their business. Don’t be afraid to think differently.

Strengthen Your Network In 4 Easy Steps

Do you ever feel like you don’t know enough people? That’s a weird question (especially me) because I tend to think that the fewer people I know and have to interact with, the better. Not because I’m antisocial or rude, but because I find that having a small group of friends and acquaintances makes it easier to balance my social life, rather than juggle interactions between a large group of people.

But that’s not always the best practice in the business world. You kind of need to be social, meet new people and grow your network. It’s called networking, and even though I hate that word with the fury of a thousand suns (along with many, many other marketing terms) it’s a necessary part of having a successful business.

So how do you strengthen your network, making new connections along the way that will get your more business, more profit, and more opportunities in the future? It all starts with the amount of effort you want to put into it.

Start Local

If you want to build your network, start at the very basic level: the people around you. If you don’t have a good connection with the businesses around you, it’s going to be a long and difficult climb to branch out into other areas of the world in building your network. There are almost 30 million small businesses around America, accounting for 54% of all U.S. sales. That’s a huge market that’s waiting to be tapped into! Join your local community outreach programs, get involved in the Chamber of Commerce and local government meetings, and grow your network locally!

Branch Out

Once you’ve got your local level covered, start branching out and searching for networking opportunities outside of your area. It’s easy to build relationships on the local level because those businesses are ones that you see every day. Heck, you might even be distant cousins with another shop owner in your town! The best way to branch out is to use the Internet, because, duh, the Internet is a part of everything we do now. Get active in some online communities, such as chat rooms, Facebook groups, and things like that for entrepreneurs and new business owners. When you start to build your network outside of your local community, you’ll notice more and more opportunities open up for you. You’ll build up partnerships, get more sales, and maybe even learn a few things from someone else along the way.

Have A Strong Social Media Presence

Along with the Internet, social media is a big part of connecting with people in a way that was never possible before the invention of Facebook, or its precursor, MySpace. Social media is a great way to connect with other business owners who are probably in the same boat as you are a.k.a. those who are looking to build up their network as well. Have a connection on Facebook who’s an expert in SEO strategy and content marketing? Send them a Facebook message and see if they can help out! It never hurts to reach out to your new business friends on Facebook and see what their input is.

Attend Conferences/Conventions When Possible

But you can’t do everything online only, right? (well, you can, but that’s not a very happy life to live). The best way to meet new people and strengthen your network is to attend conferences where you’ll be seeing new people everywhere you turn. At many of these marketing and small business conventions, businesses will set up booths to show off what they have to offer. This is a prime time to get contact information and make strong connections. Sometimes, they’ll even have networking parties where you attend a gathering with many other business owners in a casual environment. Attending one of these parties helps make connections by easing the tension. I always feel like forced interactions are always awkward, and never truly succeed in making good impressions and lasting relationships.

Networking can be hard, but with all the new ways to connect out there these days, it doesn’t have to be impossible. Make good connections, earn more business, and help your business succeed with your sweet new networking skills!

What Is The Buying Cycle? A Quick Overview

The buying cycle is a step-by-step journey your customer will make before they finally buy your product. Your job as a company is to deliver the right information, at the right place, and at the right time, to make the process easier for customers. One excellent and effective way to do so is through your website.

The buying cycle is made of 5 steps:

Awareness – In the first step, possible customers become aware of an unfulfilled need.

Research – Your audience’s attention is captured. They conduct research about available options to fulfill their need.

Alleviation of Risks – Be aware that prospects perceive a certain level of risk when considering to buy a new product. Thus, within the third step prospects are looking for risk alleviating factors. They gather evidence on why it is “safer” to buy the product from you and not from your competitor.

Decision – In stage four, the actual decision to make a purchase happens. Now you have a new customer – congratulations! But, the work isn’t finished yet.

Achievement of Results – The goal of the fifth stage is to make the new client a happy client! This ensures that they will repeat their purchase, and in the best case they will promote your products to others! Customer satisfaction is crucial!

And the best news? Your website helps already with all of those steps. You are not the only seller in the market. To set your company apart from your competition, use your website to talk about why you are different.

For more on the buying cycle, visit Kissmetrics blog, and their article on the buying cycle.

When To Speak Up and When To Stay Silent

Striking a balance between speaking your mind and staying quiet can be tricky. Speak up too much and too loudly and you can be viewed as arrogant and too sure of yourself. Don’t speak up enough and people will assume that you don’t have any good ideas to contribute to a discussion, and don’t know enough.

But you should never be afraid to speak up, and let people know your thoughts. And don’t be afraid to keep your thoughts to yourself when the situation doesn’t require your input. If you’re having trouble trying to decide what you should try to do in your everyday work situation, check out the pros of both!

Speaking Up

When you stay silent in a meeting or during important parts of a conversation, people tend to think that means you approve of whatever they’re presenting. Of course, about 50% of the time that’s not the case. In a situation where someone is saying ideas that you don’t agree with, it’s best to speak up and voice your reservations or disapproval.

What keeps most of us from speaking up when we should is a fear that what we say will sound dumb, or won’t add to the conversation in any viable way. But that kind of thinking prevents new ideas from being brought to the table. You could be holding back an idea that no one has thought about yet. And chances are, there’s going to be someone else that agrees with what you’re saying, and will back you up so you aren’t alone in your idea.

People that are in supervising positions over you also tend to view speaking up as a positive skill to have. I know on some of my past reviews at jobs I’ve been told that speaking up at meetings is something that I should try to do more often, because managers like to hear what their employees have to say (or at least a GOOD manager likes that). Speaking up more often could lead to more opportunities being opened up for you in the future.

Staying Silent

I’m an introvert by nature, which doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me when I don’t speak up. I just prefer to think about an idea and digest it more before I speak, in most cases. So, that makes it really hard for me to speak up sometimes, but I’ve really nailed the whole “keeping silent” thing in meetings. But, keeping silent shouldn’t be viewed as a negative trait.

Sometimes, it really does benefit you to not speak up during a meeting, and to instead, listen and digest the info more cohesively.

In no job is it more important to keep quiet and listen then in a customer service position, where listening to a customer’s complaints and helping them is literally in the job description. You don’t want to talk over the customer, and you definitely don’t want them to view you as arrogant or off-putting for not listening to their complaints, and working to fix the problem. Less is more, as the saying goes.

But what if you’re in the middle of a big meeting, where you’re expected to throw ideas around with your other coworkers? In these situations, I usually take notes and write down some thoughts that I could possibly bring up later if someone calls on me to tell me what they think. Don’t ever say “I don’t know,” because, in reality, you do know, you just don’t feel comfortable expressing it in front of big groups of people. Always be prepared to have an answer when someone asks you to speak, and if you still don’t feel comfortable bringing something up in front of a larger group, you can always ask to have a discussion with someone one-on-one. I always find one-on-one conversations easier than bigger ones.

There’s no right or wrong way to handle conversations; both speaking up and keeping silent both have their merits. You just have to work to find the right balance between them, and when you finally do, you’ll have no problem effectively communicating with colleagues, customers, and your manager!

Is My Website Outdated? 4 Ways To Spruce Up Your Site

Technology changes very rapidly these days. That brand new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy you own right now? Just wait for a year or two and a better, faster, more advanced version will have already come out, and you’ll be looking at your already amazing piece of smartphone tech like it’s a sack of dirty gym socks.

So, shouldn’t it stand to reason that with new technology being developed at alarming rates, one of the oldest and most useful tech developments– the website — should keep up with these developments as well?

Our vote is a resounding YES.

So what are the tell-tale signs that you should consider redesigning your website?

Mobile Responsiveness

Remember those smartphones I mentioned earlier? According to eMarketer, mobile traffic made up about 30% of all Internet activity in 2015, and according to Mediative, mobile data usage went up by 1,525% between 2010 and 2015. That’s a massive increase in only a few short years. Mobile responsive websites are so important these days that Google now ranks mobile-friendly sites higher than those that aren’t mobile-friendly. According to Google Research, 72% of consumers want mobile-friendly sites.

What does that mean? It means if you want your website to succeed in the modern Internet age, it needs to be optimized for mobile devices.

If you have questions about your current website, and whether it meets Google’s standards for mobile-friendliness, check out this easy-to-use test from Google. 

Outdated Design

How’s your website looking these days? Does it look like it jumped straight out of the late ’90s Dot-com bubble? In other words, does it look like any of these cringe-inducing, eye-raking websites? If so, then it might be time for a massive website redesign (no, scratch that, it’s DEFINITELY time for a redesign).

When you design a website, you need to make it as easy to understand to the consumer as possible. That means when a visitor comes to your website, can they tell what your website or brand is about just from the design? If they can’t, then your website is failing at accomplishing even its most basic function. Make sure you’re using strong visuals and organizing the info in a way that’s easy to navigate.

Results Are Below Expectations

A beautifully designed, mobile responsive website is a great start to updating it, but what if it’s still not getting you the results that you want? You may have all the bells and whistles necessary to attract people, but if the data shows people aren’t interested in it, then it might be time to rethink things like content, navigation, call-to-action buttons and links, how text-heavy your site is, your branding, and more. Your conversion rates will give you a good understanding of whether your website is working.

Functionality

Nothing is worse than navigating to a website, and then being bombarded with ugly pop-up ads, broken links, videos that autoplay without a clear way to stop them, pages that scroll down forever, etc. Not only should your website look good, respond well, and give you the results you need, but it also needs to function easily.

If people become frustrated with your website trying to do simple tasks like finding your Contact page or how to add a product to their shopping cart, then you’re going to see a steep drop-off in your conversion rates and your profit. Make sure you’re designing a website that functions as intended, for everyone that comes to your site!

Designing, redesigning, and updating websites is no easy task, but if you want to grow your business in this ever-evolving tech-driven business world, you need to have a beautiful website. Don’t be afraid to start the process of updating your website; you’ll be glad you did!

Bad Boss: 4 Ways To Deal With An Awful Manager

On average, we spend about 1/3 of our lives working (based on a 5-day a week, 40 hour work week). How depressing is that? (not very, if you love your job and the people you work with.) 

But what happens when you’re trapped at a job you hate, with co-workers that are less than pleasant? Even worse, what happens when you’re forced to spend that much time at work, and you really, REALLY don’t like your boss?

Having to work with someone who belittles you, doesn’t listen to your grievances, has no respect for your work, and doesn’t bring a positive vibe to the office can really do some emotional, and possibly mental, damage to a person.

Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. The science speaks for itself. Research from a 2009 study found that out of 3,122 men, those who had a positive view of their boss had a 20 percent lower risk of developing heart disease over a 10-year period than those who view their managers in a negative way. 

It sucks to have to work with a boss who doesn’t let you be you, but all hope isn’t lost! There are actually quite a few things that you can do to make your interactions with your horrible boss better than you thought possible.

The first step in combatting the negative energy that a bad boss dishes at you during your 8-hour workday is to identify the signs of a bad boss.

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Are they micromanagers?
  • Do they fail to give you positive reinforcement when you complete an assignment?
  • Do they ignore your concerns?
  • Do they have a condescending attitude?
  • Are their constant – I REALLY THINK YOU NEED TO BE WORKING ON THIS BECAUSE – interruptions a problem?
  • Do you feel like they don’t care about your wellbeing as an employee?
  • Are they stingy with giving out raises and bonuses?
  • If you were stranded on the side of the road, would they be the first person to give you a ride in their car, or “accidentally” run you over?

There are many ways a boss can be bad, and the reasons vary from person to person, but there’s one major factor that all bad bosses have in common: they don’t care about you as a person, they only care about themselves.

So, here are a few things that you can do to turn a bad boss situation, into a better boss situation.

Communicate

Whenever you fail at communicating with another person, you’ll pretty much fail at everything else. Communication is a key component in understanding each other. Even if your boss hasn’t put forth the effort to communicate, the blame partly falls on you as well. Make sure that you try to communicate with your boss to remove any confusion that might exist between you. It’ll also potentially keep them from micromanaging you as much. You can communicate more through email, phone, messaging software, and even in person (although, if the sight of their face produces a gag reflex in you, then it’s probably safer to seek out other means of communication).

Prove To Everyone Else You’re Worth It

If your boss doesn’t show you that he or she thinks your worth listening to, then show everyone else at work that you are. That means doing the best job you can do every day, listening to your co-workers and bouncing ideas back and forth to each other, being a nice person to everyone, and just being an all-around good employee. If you’re crappy to everyone else, then no one will be upset when your boss treats you unfairly. But if you’re an astounding coworker, then you’ll have people to back you up when you get treated like a second-rate employee.

Stand Up For What You Think Is Right

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” Audre Lorde penned these words in her poem A Litany For Survival, and it’s something to consider whenever you feel like your voice isn’t being heard. Not only will you be directly letting your boss know you are upset, but studies show that employees who stand up for themselves feel better about their jobs!

Set Your Own Goals

If your boss is setting goals up for you that are destined to make you feel like you’re not working to your full potential, then set your own goals! Maybe that goal is to be the top salesperson in a certain month, or to improve your writing skills. Or maybe it’s just to be a nicer person to your coworkers. Any goal is better than no goal, and you need to set your own personal goal if your manager isn’t pushing you to be a better worker.

Remember, a bad boss doesn’t have to ruin your work experience. Make the best of the situation, and follow our tips to create a better work environment for everyone!

How To Stay Motivated Throughout The Work Day

Finding motivation during your work day can sometimes be a struggle. You can work and work and work on a project all morning, and then feel like you don’t need to finish any other assignments, or simply have run out of energy to do anything else by the afternoon. Or, you can come into work completely exhausted from staying up late the night before, and not even the strongest cup of dark roast coffee can awaken your sense of motivation to do anything that day; a quick desk nap sounds like a great idea, right?

Unfortunately, in the fast-paced, money making society that we live in, there’s no time to be lazy or to put off important assignments.

And rightfully so. There are countless instances of famous entrepreneurs, world leaders, and influential celebrities who got where they are today by putting in the required work and effort.

If you find yourself dozing off at work (especially after a full lunch belly) then we’ve got a few tips today that can possibly help you get out of that unproductive slump!

Play Some Upbeat Tunes

If you’re like me, then working in a noisy and distracting office really tests your patience. Whether it’s a coworker who likes to talk for hours, office construction, people popping into your office for random things, or any number of other distractions, it’s hard to block it all out and focus on the task at hand. That’s why I bring headphones to work and crank up some uplifting tunes to help me stay motivated and keep out all the unwanted diversions. This is even more important during your after-lunch workflow, as this is typically the time when people feel tired, due to getting full from a large lunch or just running out of energy around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Make yourself a work playlist full of your favorite pump-up tunes and see if this helps stir your creative juices!

Drink Coffee, If That’s Your Thing

Look, coffee isn’t for everyone. I get that. But it’s definitely good for one thing: energy. A good, strong cup of coffee usually has enough caffeine to push me through prime naptime (a.k.a. around 2 in the afternoon). If you can’t stand the taste of coffee, then there are tons of other options out there to give you a great boost, including teas, energy drinks, sodas, and vitamins, like B12! Experiment with a lot of different options, and see which one works best for you.

Get Up Every Hour For A Quick Stretch

Sitting down all day really doesn’t help your energy levels. It keeps your body sedentary and makes it that much harder to find any motivation to do your work in the afternoon. One of my coworkers has a really interesting solution to this problem. He sets a timer on his computer to alter him every 45 minutes to stand up, walk around, and stretch for about 10-15 minutes. I’ve been trying this as well, and it seems to help me stay awake after lunch (not to mention, it’s great for digesting that big lunch meal). Even a little bit of moment to break up the hours of sitting down that your body endures every day is a great practice to keep.

Invest In Standing Desks

Another solution the breaking up the long periods of sitting that you might do each day is to invest in a standing desk. A standing desk is just what the name says; a desk that you stand and work at, instead of sitting in an office chair. Studies have shown that sitting down all day is detrimental to the health of an employee and has even been called Sitting Disease. Gina Trapan of Lifehacker lists two main reasons that she switched to a standing desk instead of a sitting desk: better posture and higher calorie burn. For more on the benefits of standing desks, check out Gina’s Lifehacker article. 

Have Something To Look Forward To After Work

What do you like to do in your free time? Exercise? Cook? Play with your children? Go on walks with your dog? Watch TV? Play video games? No matter what that thing is, it’s important, and healthy, to look forward to doing something you love after you get off work. If you have nothing to look forward to after work, you run the risk of becoming even more unmotivated, de-energized, and even depressed in your day-to-day workflow. Use what you’re looking forward to doing after work as a motivator for you to get busy with your tasks! When you have a solid work motivation, even if that motivation is looking forward to NOT working, you’ll find it easier to get through the afternoon.

Give Yourself Rewards

Have you ever gotten a reward for accomplishing a goal? This could be a raise at work, a bonus, or just a friendly handshake or pat-on-the-back from your manager or supervisor. But what about giving yourself rewards? Sounds kinda weird, right? It’s totally not! Think of it like this: if you set a goal for yourself to finish a certain task during the day, and you achieve that goal, wouldn’t it be nice to treat yourself to a delicious, decadent cup of coffee, or a sweet scoop of ice cream? Maybe these aren’t the healthiest reward options, but you can always substitute these unhealthy treats for healthier ones! It’s great to give yourself rewards for accomplishing goals because you’re not always going to get that recognition from somebody else. Use your rewards to motivate your work ethic!

Getting motivated isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but with these easy to do and fun tips, you’ll find yourself crushing your tasks, and getting more accomplished than you ever have before!

Twitter Lists: What They Are And How To Use Them

If you have a Twitter account, then you know how impossible it is to see every tweet from every person you follow, even more so if you’re a larger business who “follows back” thousands of customers.

Although Twitter recently rolled out a new stream algorithm intended to make those tweets you might have missed show up first when you open the app, it’s still not a perfect solution. Thankfully, there’s a better way.

Twitter Lists were created to curate groups of Twitter accounts together, so instead of having to scroll through a massive stream to view all the tweets from the accounts you follow, they can be grouped into nice little bite-sized streams for easy viewing.

To get started with creating Lists, you first need to decide which type of device you want to create them on. There are different ways to create a list, depending on if you have an IOS device, an Android device, or if you’re using a web browser.

iOS

On iOS, first, open up the Twitter app, and then click on the Me tab. Then, click the gear icon. Select View Lists, next, and then tap the Plus icon to create a new list. You can give your list a name and short description, and then decide whether you want your list to be public or private. I’d recommend using the Private setting if you’re using it to keep up with what your competitors are posting because the person you add to a Public list will get a notification whenever they are added to a list. After you’ve finished this, click Save.

Android

The Android app works in much the same way that the iOS app does, except for a few small changes. Open your Twitter app, and then click the overflow icon (the 3 vertical dots). Then select View Lists. Next, tap the Plus icon to create a new list. Follow the same steps as the iOS version, and then click Save.

Web

In order to create a list from your web browser, you’ll first need to login to your Twitter account. Then, click on your profile icon. A drop down menu will appear, and you’ll need to click Lists. Next, click Create New List. Give your list a name and descriptions, and set the privacy settings to either Public or Private. Click Save List and you’re done!

Adding/Removing Accounts From Lists

After you’ve created your list, the obvious next step is to add people to that list. To add someone to your list, you’ll need to go to their profile page and click on the gear icon next to their Follow button. This works on all three versions mentioned above: iOS, Android, and Web Browser. After you click on the gear icon, you’ll need to click Add or Remove Lists, and then select the list you’d like to place the account in. If you placed someone in a list that you’d like to remove them from, uncheck the box beside the list you’d like to remove them from.

Viewing Lists

Once you’ve gotten your lists set and organized, the next step is to view those lists. To view a list you’ve created on a mobile app, you’ll first need to go to your profile page (the Me option) and click the gear icon. You’ll see View Lists, and once you click on that, you’ll see all of the Lists you’ve created. Click on the one you’d like to view, and your Tweet stream will turn into a perfectly curated list of the accounts you want to see. Pretty simple!

Twitter Lists are a great way to organize all of the accounts you follow into easy-to-view streams that guarantee you’ll never miss important tweets by customers, competitors, influencers, and more!

For more on Twitter Lists, check out Twitter’s official Support page! 

6 Entrepreneurs Who Started Out With Nothing

Successful entrepreneurs usually don’t start with riches and fame (well, that is, unless you’re Donald Trump). Most had to work hard to get where they ended up, overcoming obstacles as daunting as poverty, education, resources, and more.

If you ever feel like quitting, and don’t think your dreams could ever become a reality, just remember these 7 famous entrepreneurs and the steps they had to take to achieve their dreams!

Henry Ford

Ford grew up as a farmer’s son, a profession that is generally considered blue collar and low wage. But Ford set out to achieve his dream of giving every person in America the opportunity to afford an automobile. He installed a mechanized assembly line in his factory for the Model T, to make production cheaper and faster. He also gave workers a $5 a day pay rate, which was, at the time, very good. His company would, of course, go on to be world renowned, and the Ford Motor Company has a current market value worth $63 billion.

Steve Jobs

Although he was most well known for being one of the co-founders of Apple, and the inventor of many of the devices we use today, Steve Jobs started Apple in a very humble setting: his parents’ garage. Along with co-founder, Steve Wozniak, the Apple company grew from a simple idea to make home computers smarter and better for everyone, to a company worth $741 billion. That’s success.

Sam Walton

Walton opened up his first retail store in 1962, in Rogers, Arkansas. The store sold simple household items and was opened with only $25,000 — $20,000 of which were borrowed from Walton’s father-in-law. Walmart is now one of the largest and most successful retail chains in the world, and has a market value of $261.3 billion, as of 2015. Walton even had the title of richest man in the U.S. at one point, before Bill Gates took that title over years later.

Hewlett & Packard

Bill Hewlett & Dave Packard, founders of computing company HP, started their business in 1939 with just $538 worth of assets. They developed the technology for an audio oscillator in a very small garage, but, as we all know, that one small bit of technology completely changed the way the tech industry would develop over the next 70+ years. One of their first customers was Walt Disney Productions, which bought eight of their Model 200B audio oscillators, which were used to test the surround sound audio systems in theaters for their 1940 movie Fantasia. HP’s current market value is $57.9 billion

Jan Koum

Jan Koum might not be a name that’s as easily recognizable as Steve Jobs or Henry Ford, but his rags-to-riches story is probably one of the most compelling. As the CEO and co-founder of popular messaging app WhatsApp, grew up dirt poor, after his family moved to the U.S. from Ukraine when he was 16 years old. His family was forced to live off of food stamps for a majority of their time in the U.S. But after the launch of his app in 2009, he found success. Facebook recently bought the messaging app for $19 billion, and Koum’s net worth is now more than $6.8 billion. Talk about coming from nothing!

Howard Schultz

The founder of popular coffee chain Starbucks probably wouldn’t have been able to afford a cup of coffee that so many of us enjoy today when he was growing up. That’s because Howard Schultz grew up in a poor Jewish family in the Canarsie Bayview Houses of the New York City Housing Authority. He found success in sports, gaining a scholarship to Northern Michigan University in 1971, becoming the first person in his family to attend college. He took over Starbucks as CEO in 1987, which, at the time, was comprised of only 60 shops. He grew the company to the more than 16,000 outlets that it is today. Starbucks has a current market value of $70.9 billion, and Schultz’s personal net worth is $2 billion.

We hope that you find inspiration from these awesome stories of trial, tribulation, and success! Even when you think you can’t achieve your dreams, remember, there’s nothing to difficult to overcome!