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As an entrepreneur who is always interested in learning from experts and leaders in other industries, I am familiar with the vast amount of material available from well-known coaches and mentors. There is an overwhelming load of information and advice on a daily basis. So much, in fact, anyone seeking to hone their skills and need tips or advice on a particular subject, can easily obtain this information online.

Here are 5 ways you can take advantage of your Internet connection to learn from leading professionals across multiple industries. Whether you’re just starting out or been working in your line of business for several years, there lies a significant advantage in listening to other people’s perspectives on an assortment of topics, especially when it comes from someone who has the background and knowledge on the subject at hand.

Check out the tips below on how you can glean advice that will contribute to your overall worldview, increase your knowledge, or just learn something that you might not have known before.

Blogs & YouTube 

Many of the prominent and well-known speakers, personal development coaches and influencers have personal websites or Youtube channels where they regularly upload content. This material may consist of helpful blog posts or articles which will give you an idea about their perspective. If it’s a Youtube video, most of the time it’s a clip of them speaking at a conference, talk or seminar where they often provide their audiences with valuable information. Either way, take the time to scour over your favorite speaker’s online content. If you’re unable to attend their events, checking out what they have available online for free is an excellent way to learn something new or to get their take on certain topics.

Newsletters

While some speakers and mentors post new content on their websites on a regular basis, others use newsletters which are mostly exclusive to those individuals who have signed up to receive their content. From experience, I’ve found the information provided in newsletters very helpful, and within my weekly newsletter, even though most of the content is not exclusive to my subscribers, I always include a recap of the recent articles on my blog. One suggestion is to subscribe to a handful of newsletters of insiders or influencers within the industry you would like to learn more. Subscribing to a variety of newsletters will not only give you a different perspective but also allow you to sift and sort through helpful tips and the information you need to get you further along. 

Teleseminars

Teleseminar is another great way to learn something. If you’ve subscribed to a newsletter, you might have already received an invite to join or participate. Similar to the newsletters, sometimes you have to be a subscriber to the speaker’s or mentor’s newsletter to receive the invite. Professionals on Facebook and Instagram also promote their teleseminars for free and use these as a vehicle to offer their paid services. While some teleseminars cost a fee to join, there are plenty available each month with minimal to no sign-up fee. Whatever your industry, check to see if your speaker of choice is hosting a teleseminar anytime soon.

Blinkist

It’s been some time since I’ve read a book on Blinkist but as I write this, it instantly reminds me of how useful their service truly is. Services similar link Blinkist thrives because they allow us to consume the main gist and most valuable information in a minimal amount of time. Maybe you’re interested in a 300-page book but don’t have a chance to read it. Blinkist pulls the book’s main content and cuts it down to the minutes for reading or audio consumption. With my present schedule, I’m unable to read as much as I’d like but I find having the option to scan for relevant info or to learn more about a topic without having to dedicate hours to thoroughly reading a book handy. When the time doesn’t permit you to soak up as much knowledge as you’d like to check out Blinkist’s library to see if they have books written by your favorite speaker or coach – you’d be surprised as to what you’ll find.

Films are designed to entertain us, but also to inform us. When it comes to documentaries, these qualifiers are usually reversed — information comes first with entertainment being inserted via cinematography, editing and storytelling techniques.

To be informed is to be at the top of your game…at least, that’s the case for entrepreneurs. These four documentaries are guaranteed to teach entrepreneurs some valuable lessons about business and success, as well as providing some much needed entertainment along the way.

  1. Something Ventured

If you want to get a company going, you likely won’t only be funneling money you make into the endeavor. Investors are an important part of the process, though they’re often overlooked when we talk about businesses. Giants like Apple and Intel may be self-sufficient today, but they wouldn’t be here without investors believing in the business from an early age.

This is the basis of Something Ventured. The documentary covers Apple, Intel and Atari and the investors who believed in them enough to funnel money into the business. Obviously, their initial faith paid off.

  1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

While this documentary isn’t directly related to business topics, it does contain a lesson that all entrepreneurs need to learn. This film covers the life of Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old man who is considered to be the greatest sushi chef in the world. His restaurant in Tokyo is acclaimed, mostly due to Jiro’s dedication to his craft. Jiro goes out of his way to make sure his sushi will be the best, going as far to massage an octopus for an hour to enhance the quality of its texture.

So what’s the takeaway? Anything worth doing is worth doing right. If you’re passionate about your dream, you’ll do anything for it AND be as dedicated as necessary to make it come true.

  1. She++

This is definitely one to look into if you’re a female entrepreneur. If you thought being a professional woman was hard as it is, imagine being a woman interested in a field like tech or gaming. These industries are notorious for being boy’s clubs, and women are just now beginning to find their footing within them.

This Vimeo documentary focuses on women in tech who are taking the industry by storm. When any industry stagnates based on discrimination, creativity is lost and innovation is abandoned.

  1. Freakonomics – The Movie

Freakonomics is a book that’s on many an entrepreneur’s shelf, but just as many haven’t seen the documentary based on this best seller. Knowing what motivates people is essential when you’re an entrepreneur. This is how you sell a product or service, market it to the public and develop the bones for your initial idea. Freakonomics takes this idea and makes it fascinating and entertaining with intelligent and amusing studies that go into the mind of the consumer.

Why limit yourself to only four documentaries about entrepreneurship? Pop open your Netflix or open up your Amazon bookmark and see what other suggestions you can find. Never stop learning and never stop watching.

This week’s episode is a brief short on CONSISTENCY. We all struggle with staying consistent at some point in our life. While breaks and timeouts are called for and very much needed, consistency in anything you do will always prevail.

Some of us are born gregarious and capable of working well in teams. Others have issues when it comes to interacting with others one one one — don’t sweat it if you’re this type of person. It takes all sorts!

However, this advice isn’t exactly a load off when it comes to actually interacting in a team setting. Your personality and social misgivings are valid, but these are things that have to be set aside when it comes to getting work done.

This issue also goes both ways — if you’re a person who IS good with working in teams or pairs, it’s important that you recognize the working styles and insecurities of those you’re teamed up with.

Communication is essential when working in a group, no matter who you are. In order to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working comfortably, consider asking these four questions when working with another person (or with team members).

1. How do you want to communicate outside of face-to-face meetings?

Some people like to text. Others like methods like group phone calls or Google Hangouts. Establishing the best line of communication for everyone can lead to a better overall vibe while dealing with the project at hand.

Some people will have to compromise when it comes to group work, and this also applies to one-on-one communication. For instance, if you like to talk on the phone while your partner prefers texting, someone will have to bend so the other’s needs are met.

2. What’s the most important thing we want to accomplish?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when working in a group, usually because group tasks are assigned to teams due to the large amount of work to do. Even when splintering off into smaller groups, like partner work, it can be hard to split up assignments or decide on what to do first.

This should be one of your first questions. Establishing the most important aspect of the task can clear up a lot of unnecessary chatter and communication about other, less important goals. Set your priorities first, then worry about how to accomplish them.

3. Do you have any communication challenges?

Being blunt is sometimes the best way to get to the heart of an issue. We all have communication weaknesses, and addressing them can allow others to adjust for these weaknesses. For example, if someone is bad about reading texts but not responding to them, this issue should be acknowledged and the person in question will then be held accountable.

This also clears up miscommunication out of the gate. Like in this example, team members or the person’s partner won’t be left wondering why the text messages aren’t being answered.

4. Will you speak up if difficulties arise?

Communication breakdowns happen to the best of us, but we’re defined by how we handle them — not that they exist at all. Everyone within a team must understand that if they can’t do something or have an emergency, they need to tell everyone so the entire group can adjust accordingly. In partner work, this information is even more critical.

These questions are vague — meaning they apply to most general group scenarios. Assess your own team situation and ask yourself if any specific questions should be asked that have to do with your own unique team and assignment.

CFO of Gant Companies & Smart Money Management Derick Gant visits with SOB to talk about how we can accomplish tasks and achieve goals by being the best that we can be. He also shares his insight on money management. You can connect with Derick on Twitter and Instagram.

There’s no point in doing something if it doesn’t benefit you, right? This is something many people consider when they contemplate starting up meditation. They consider it to just be sitting down and being quiet…not much else is involved with meditation, right?

Wrong. Meditation has never been a holistic hoax, and that still stands. While some things benefits of meditation are very superficial, there are actually a variety of important mental and physical benefits that practitioners of yoga experience when they meditate.

What are those benefits? There are honestly too many to mention in just one blog post. However, there are three big benefits that any meditation skeptic should know about.

  1. Meditation is great for anxiety and soothing the physical soul.

Your nervous system is the gateway to all of your bodily functions. From how you think to how you move, your nervous system is an amazing thing…and meditation can greatly affect how it functions.

Being specific, meditation activates your parasympathetic nervous system. This directly relates to your rest response — or how calm and relaxed you are physically and mentally. While many people associate rest with a mental state, it can also affect how your body functions overall. This relates to your heart rate, blood pressure, immunity, digestion and blood pressure. Meditation also helps to lower your stress hormones through this system as well.

Similarly, meditation can also help you sleep at night. While it obviously relates to your body physically shutting down, meditation also calms your racing mind, making it easier to turn in at the end of the night.

  1. Meditation improves your creativity and productivity.

A clear mind is a mind that comes up with great ideas. When you have a bunch of thoughts racing around your brain, it can be hard to settle on one idea and fully realize it. Meditation helps to clear away these thoughts, making room for your creativity to shine through.

Think about your mind like a cluttered desk. What can you do with a cluttered desk other than clean it or walk away? Meditation is the process of cleaning it, allowing work to actually be done at the desk. This is the perfect illustration for how meditation makes a person more productive. A clear mind is a mind that gets things done.

  1. Meditation makes people happier.

Meditation on principle is something that is calming, and being calm leads to being happier. When someone meditates, they let the weight of the world fall away from them and they experience a small taste of enlightenment. Meditation helps a person to process thoughts, get rid of negativity and clears their mind.

The fact that meditation relieves stress is one of the biggest benefits of meditation, but not just because of this obvious relaxation benefit. A relaxed person with little stress in their life will obviously be happier than someone who has a life filled with stress and little relaxation.

One final benefit of meditation — it’s a great way to take some time out to focus on yourself, no the clutter of everyday stressors and irritants. Take some time out of your day to meditate. You’ll be glad you did.

Women’s fitness is a booming industry right now, and that’s certainly a good thing. It means women and girls are thinking about their health — not just their looks and their bodies, but their lifespan and wellness. This is certainly important. Through fitness, we women can help lower our risk for heart disease, various cancers, diabetes and other physical ailments like obesity.

Fitness is a complicated issue because everyone’s body and journey is different. Are you looking for more information on fitness that takes into consideration the needs of women? Here are four blogs you need to add to your bookmarks bar.

Lift Like a Girl

Twenty, even ten years ago, “like a girl” was an insult popular among men and boys. “You throw like a girl,” “you hit like a girl,” and so on — it usually referred to how men were supposed to be stronger than their female counterparts. Fast-forward to our modern era — we’ve had rampant discussions about how harmful “like a girl” can be, and we’ve also showcased how strong women truly are. Lift Like a Girl is run by Nia Shanks, a strength trainer who aims to empower women through fitness motivation.

Black Girls Run!

In 2009, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks looked at the growing obesity epidemic within the black community and asked themselves an important question: how can we help to solve it? Their answer was Black Girls Run!, a foundation and blog built on encouraging fitness and exercise among young black women in America. Black Girls Run! is now host to almost 200,000 members and discusses fitness, beauty, lifestyle and valuable nutrition information.

Fit Bottomed Girls

As women with full schedules and busy lives, we don’t always have time to workout. When we do find the time, sometimes it can feel like a punishment at the end of a long day. Fit Bottomed Girls is run by two women, Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead, who fit that description to a T. Instead of making exercising a chore, they come up with practical, fun approaches to fitness that are rewarding. They don’t just discuss fitness, either; Walters and Whitehead discuss their lives, motivation and other related topics.

Girls Gone Strong

Finally, Molly Galbraith recently became well-known on the Internet thanks to a body-positivity that went viral on Facebook. What you may not know is that her dedication to women’s fitness goes beyond that video alone. Her blog, Girls Gone Strong understands that fitness should be an issue of health, not an issue of attractiveness or thinness. She offers workout tips for women who want to shape their body and their life in a myriad of ways, from gaining muscle to eating better.

We all come from different places, have different body types, schedules, styles and genetics. These blogs look not just at women as a collective, but as individuals. Look for other blogs that speak to your specific interests. What fitness blogs do you recommend?

Founder and CEO of Smart Girls Smart Moms Yoshi Holland talks to us about the focus and the mission for her abstinence education program by giving us the brief on what led her to action to pursue her interest in mentoring, speaking and coaching.

We don’t just watch films for entertainment. We watch movies because we want to see ourselves and people we relate to on the big screen. If you’re an entrepreneur, you definitely like to indulge in stories of success.

Whether these main characters are successful or not, they’re all featured in movies related to business that can teach us valuable lessons about our craft.

“Norma Rae”

One of my favorite female-focused movies, Norma Rae tells the story of a single mother who works at a textile mill to make ends meet. The conditions within the mill are abhorrent, the pay is measly and the hours are long. What does Norma Rae do about this? She doesn’t take it lying down — she rallies her fellow workers and fights for unionism. She always fought for what she believed in and wanted to be treated fairly, and that’s definitely a great takeaway.

“The Founder”

“The Founder” is perhaps the most relatable “rags to riches” story simply because we all know the success of the end product. It focuses on Ray Kroc, the salesman that founded the global fast food chain, McDonald’s. While he didn’t start the first McDonald’s, he helped the McDonald brothers Mac and Dick franchise their business, turning it into the empire it is today. This illustrates the lesson clearly: always look for new potential, and jump at the chance to get in on the ground floor of something.

“Tucker: A Man and His Dream”

This 80’s film might not be one that you’ve seen before, but it’s certainly worth watching. After long-time inventor Preston Tucker sells a design for a World War II turret gun, he decides to achieves his childhood dreams: inventing the car of the future. While he has the clout to get started on his dream now, he certainly learns a valuable lesson: the path to success is filled with obstacles and sacrifice. From manufacturers to the legal system, Tucker is challenged multiple times along the way to his dream reaching fruition…but does it ever come true?

“Citizen Kane”

While this movie is iconic for its cinematic innovation and famous “Rosebud” spoiler, Citizen Kane is a business story at the heart of it all. Charles Foster Kane was a successful business magnate, and the story is told through his narration of his life on his deathbed. Starting out as nothing, Kane becomes a tycoon, and learns his own valuable lesson: being in business means your ethics will be questioned. Will you lose your moral fiber, or double down on what you believe in?

“The Godfather”

Finally, I would normally never advocate following the examples given to us by the mafia, but The Godfather is actually a business-esque movie that we can learn a lot from. First, building and fostering relationships is paramount to success. Typically it isn’t as do or die in the world of business, but it’s still important to network and foster these connections you make. Another lesson? Always know what your competition is up to. Being one step ahead is how you beat out your business peers.

Summer is here, which also means we all need to make an effort to start checking books off of our summer reading list…that is, if you have a summer reading list.

Having more free time in the summer means it’s the perfect time to get to reading again. However, you may not know what to read if you aren’t up to date on the latest and greatest books on the market. While 2017 isn’t over yet, 2016 is — and here are five of the best books released that you still have time to jump on the bandwagon for.

“Here I Am” — Jonathan Safran Foer

Perhaps the most attractive thing about “Here I Am” is its inventive narrative structure. Instead of being told through a typical novel format, this work of fiction is told both in a “kaleidoscopic fiction” format and through multiple narrative media forms. Foer tells the story of a Jewish family, spanning several generations, and how they adjust to the changing cultural structures in modern America.

“In the Darkroom” — Susan Faludi

A nonfiction addition to the list, “In the Darkroom” is a very personal journey for Faludi that she’s put into book format. “In the Darkroom” explores the journey of her transgender father, who left her family to move to Hungary and transition to a woman. Not learning this until her father was 76, Faludi goes through her past to discover the true story of Stefanie.

“Homegoing” — Yaa Gyasi

In “Homegoing,” Yaa Gyasi writes about the 18th century black experience from the perspective of two half-sisters living in West Africa. One goes on to marry an Englishman while the other is shipped to America to become a slave. Born in Ghana, Gyasi explores the racial history of America and Africa while painting a portrait of characters who are individuals as well as examples.

“Known and Strange Things” — Teju Cole

“Known and Strange Things” is a collection of over 50 essays that cover a wide variety of subjects. Within the pages of this book, Teju Cole discusses politics that affects us all. Each essay is written with passion and precision, and readers can enjoy the engagement that this book brings. It’s definitely something to add to your summer list if you’re one for thinking, not just reading.

“Swing Time” — Zadie Smith

Finally, we again revisit West Africa with Zadie Smith. “Swing Time” first discusses the friendship and path of the unnamed narrator and her friend Tracey. Both are biracial and both wish to be dancers, though only Tracey has the talent for the skill. Their friendship eventually crumbles, though the two never forget each other — especially when Tracey travels to West Africa and discovers her roots.

These are only five books of the millions you could pick up this summer. Don’t forget to pad out your reading list and broaden your horizons with books covering a wide range of topics and including many genres. What books are you going to crack open this summer?