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99 important facts about the future of business

The future of business is already here, and studying these 99 facts could give your brand a better overview of what is coming next based on trends and statistics.

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The future of business

The digital environment is shaping every industry across the globe, shaping how consumers connect with brands, comparison shop, communicate, save money, make purchases, and so on. Production and delivery methods have changed along with consumer behavior and our global resources are shifting as well.

You’ve read several of these studies here on AG, but for those you missed or those you have bookmarked to read later, this SAP presentation gives a quality bird’s eye view of the future of business:

99 facts from the presentation:

  1. Over 40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there in 2010.
  2. By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile-connected devices than there are people on earth.
  3. Facebook has more than 1 Billion network users.
  4. By 2030, 5 billion people – nearly two thirds of global population – could be middle class.
  5. Typical mobile users check their phone 150 times per day.
  6. Only 7% of Gen Y works for a Fortune 500 company as startups dominate the workforce for this demographic.
  7. Millennials are 3 times as likely to follow brands over a family member on social networks.
  8. 90% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.
  9. The amount of data stored is doubling every 18 months.
  10. 1.2 billion people were still living on less than $1.25 a day in 2010, a decrease of 100 million since 2008.
  11. 12. 73% of people surveyed wouldn’t care if the brands they use disappeared from their life.
  12. The half-life of a piece of content shared on top social networks Twitter and Facebook is 3 hours. (Half-life is the amount of time it takes content to reach 50% of the clicks it will ever receive).
  13. The global rate of extreme poverty fell to 20.6 percent, less than half the 1990 rate of 43.1 percent.
  14. Globally, more people trust regular employees to tell the truth than CEOs (50% vs. 43%).
  15. Newspapers have lost $40 Billion in advertising revenue since 2000.
  16. The average number of sources of content consumed by a shopper in a purchase doubled from 2010 to 2011 going from 5 to 10 pieces of content consumed.
  17. Worldwide, more than 3 billion people are working, but nearly half work in farming, small household enterprises, or in casual or seasonal day labor.
  18. More than 70% of customers surveyed believe small businesses understand their customer better than large companies, know their business/product better than large companies, provide a more personal customer service experience than large companies and are more concerned about my needs than larger companies.”
  19. Gen Y will form 75% of the workforce by 2025 and are actively shaping corporate culture and expectations. Only 11% define having a lot of money as a definition of success.
  20. 29% of Millennials find love through Facebook while 33% are dumped via wall posts or text messages.
  21. It is 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep a current one.
  22. Content on the internet tripled between 2010 and 2013.
  23. Wearable devices have grown by 2x month over month since October 2012.
  24. Social media sharing has doubled between 2011 and 2013, with Snapchat taking a large share after only 1 year.
  25. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
  26. The world population has more than doubled over the past 50 years and it will exceed 9 billion people by the 2040s.
  27. The number of pieces of mail delivered by the US postal service dropped from 250 Million in 2006 to 50 Million in 2012.
  28. The percentage of companies new to the Fortune 1000 has grown from 35% (1973- 1983) to 45% (1984-1993) to 60% (1994-2003) to over 70% (2004-2013) in each of the last 4 decades.
  29. The amount of time parents spend with their children continues to go up in the US. Fathers have nearly tripled their time with children since 1965. Mothers’ time with children has also increased, and today’s mothers spend more time with their children than mothers did in the 1960s.
  30. Top 5 risks with the highest likelihood are: Income disparity, fiscal imbalances, greenhouse gas, water supply, and aging population.
  31. 884 Million people lack access to fresh water. By 2040, at least 3.5 billion people will run short of water.
  32. The population living in urban areas is projected to increase from 3.6 billion in 2011 to 6.3 billion 2050.
  33. On average, the world has become a little happier in the last 30 years. Health care, education and income have the biggest impact on life satisfaction.
  34. In 2010, Hans Vestberg, CEO of Ericsson, predicted that by 2020, 50 billion devices would be connected to the internet.
  35. 80% of the top Global Internet sites are US-based while 81% of the Global Internet population is non-US.
  36. US-based mobile phone operating systems maintain 88% share of all global mobile phone sales (up from 5% 6 years ago).
  37. Mobile traffic as a percent of internet traffic is growing 1.5x per year (now still only 15%).
  38. There are 1.5 Billion smartphone users vs. 5 Billion mobile users worldwide.
  39. Tablet growth is more rapid than smartphones. (3x iPhone growth)
  40. The next wave of computing is “wearables” (or “drivables”, “flyables”, “scannables”).
  41. The average subscription rate of mobile Internet access in developed countries as a whole rose to 56.6% in June 2012, up from just 23.1% in 2009.
  42. 80% of data used on mobile devices is received via WiFi connections to fixed networks.
  43. 60% of US consumers agree, “Technology has made us feel more connected” while 40% agree, “Technology has made us feel more isolated from each other.”
  44. The average US adult spends 141 minutes a day using mobile devices.
  45. The projected share of world population with smartphones in 2014 is 24%.
  46. January to June 2013, global demand for smartphones rose by 66% compared with the same period in the previous year, while the market for conventional mobile phones shrank by 25%.
  47. 85 percent – share of smartphones as a proportion of all mobile devices is also the highest in China.
  48. Smartphone adoption worldwide is creating more and more demand for mobile bandwidth, but it won’t be a mobile broadband-majority world until 2016.
  49. There will be a 50-fold aggregate growth in smartphone gigabyte traffic between 2011 and 2016, with China emerging with a 10% share of this market.
  50. A study by the UN found that nearly 200,000 text messages were sent every second in 2010, totaling up to 6.1 trillion texts.
  51. GPS provider TomTom adds five billion measurement points every day.
  52. In 2012, TomTom navigation hardware and software had more than 5,000 trillion data points in its databases, describing time, location, direction and speed of travel of individual anonymized users.
  53. The connected home segment will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50 percent between 2012 and 2017 to reach 10.7-million shipments in five years.
  54. In the next 5 years, revenues from the sales of connected home systems will increase from $1.9 billion to $3.8 billion.
  55. By 2017, there will be close to $11 Billion in revenue from 35-million homes using home automation platforms across the globe.
  56. By 2050 more than 40% of the world’s population will live under severe water stress and nearly 20% could be exposed to floods.
  57. The economic value of assets at risk from floods is expected to be about $45 trillion by 2050.
  58. Last year’s drought in the United States nearly halved the contribution of the agricultural sector to US GDP over the 3rd quarter.
  59. The 2011 floods in Thailand slashed their 4th quarter GDP growth by 12%.
  60. Services, such as business services, transport and logistics, account for over half of value creation in Global Value Chains (GVCs) in many developed countries and over 30% in China.
  61. Today, most goods and a growing share of services are “made in the world”, not just produced in just one country.
  62. Asian students account for 53% of all students studying abroad worldwide – the largest numbers of international students are from China, India and Korea.
  63. In 1990, girls’ primary school enrollment rate in developing countries was only 86 percent of boys’. By 2011 it was 97 percent.
  64. The developing world’s cities are expected to see massive growth, drawing 96 percent of the additional 1.4 billion people by 2030.
  65. In 2011, 3.6 billion people (50% of the global population) lived in urban areas, compared with 1.5 billion in 1990.
  66. Over 80 percent of global goods and services are produced in cities.
  67. 76% of the world’s 1.2 billion poor live in rural areas.
  68. Behavioral patterns (smoking, inactivity, drinking, etc) still the largest contributor to pre-mature death in the US.
  69. While the US has the highest internet penetration (78%) it ranks 10th in new internet users from 2008-2012 behind China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Nigeria, The Philippines, Brazil and Mexico.
  70. Firms are much less likely to do e-sales than e-purchases – the percentage of businesses making sales online is lower than 20% in most countries.
  71. E-commerce is dominated by business-to-business (B2B) sales – roughly 90% of the value of e-commerce transactions is from B2B and this has been nearly constant over the last ten years.
  72. Asia-Pacific is expected to become the largest B2C e-commerce marketplace by 2013 (representing a 34% of total sales share against 31.1% in 2012).
  73. 13% of the economic value added by the business sector in 2010 could be attributed to Internet-related and e-commerce activities.
  74. Small and Midsize Businesses account for over 99% of all businesses in developed economies and 40-70% of value added in the economy (*but are the least likely to sell online).
  75. Millennials watch TV with 2 or more electrical devices.
  76. Millennials trust strangers over family and friends. They lean on User-Generated Experiences for purchase decisions.
  77. 66% of Millennials will look up a store if they see a friend check-in.
  78. Millennials believe that other consumers care more about their shopping experiences than companies do – that’s why they share their opinions online.
  79. 87% of global consumers believe business should place at least equal emphasis on social interests as business interests, and ‘purpose’ has increased as a purchase trigger by 26% since 2008.
  80. While 50% of Americans trust businesses to do what is right, only 15% trust business leaders to tell the truth.
  81. Only 34% of workers say, “Employees [in their company] have a high level of trust in management and the organization.
  82. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels he or she is being treated.
  83. $83 billion is estimated to be lost by U.S. businesses every year due to poor customer service.
  84. Businesses lose $289 each year for every customer who leaves due to poor service.
  85. 42% of global marketers say acquiring new customers is one of the top three marketing challenges facing their organization.
  86. On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
  87. In 2012, only 37% of US companies earned a customer experience index rating of “excellent” or “good.”
  88. 67% of US organizations say that improving customer experiences is one of their top three priorities.
  89. 80% of big companies described themselves as delivering “superior” service, but only 8% of customers say they’ve experienced “superior” service from these companies.
  90. In the past year, two in five consumers or more in most markets indicate that they have not completed a transaction or made an intended purchase because of poor customer service.
  91. Peer recommendations drive sales. 70% of consumer said they were influenced by a friend or family member’s online recommendation, beating out in-person recommendation (61%), online articles (59%), ads (49%), or someone they follow online but don’t know (32%).
  92. YouTube uploads are growing exponentially from 40 hours per 60 seconds in 2011, to 100 hours in 2013.
  93. Netflix and YouTube are responsible for 45% of all internet traffic in the US.
  94. In Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms, India became the third largest economy in the world in 2011, behind the United States and China, and pushing Japan to the fourth spot.
  95. In 2011 Mongolia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at the second highest rate in the world, measured at 15.7 percent.
  96. The economy with the highest recorded growth rate in 2011 was the Macao Special Administrative Region of China, which grew at 18.1 percent.
  97. More than 620 million young people are neither working nor studying.
  98. Just to keep employment rates constant, the worldwide number of jobs will have to increase by around 600 million over a 15-year period.
  99. India will add a million new workers every month for the next two decades. This is equivalent to the entire population of Sweden joining the labor force in India every year for the next two decades.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Business Articles

So you want a raise? Let’s discuss negotiations

(BUSINESS) Insight on the when, the why and the how much when asking a boss for a raise.

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We’ve all been there, sitting across the table from a boss, posed with the questions how much?

And if you haven’t been there, maybe it’s time for you to ask for your first raise ever.

Money is still one of the most taboo subjects to discuss.

Because of that, employees often have no idea how much their coworkers are making or if they’re being paid an equitable rate compared with others in the same position across the industry.

So how should you ask for a raise, when should you ask for a raise, and when you do — how much more should you ask for?

Paysa, a business blog, conducted a survey that may help employees understand what their managers expect when the two of you sit down for that conversation.

2,000 American managers and non-managers answered a smattering of salary based questions and provide a broad look at what employers expect when having dollar sign sit downs.

The best reasons to ask for a raise according to over half of those surveyed is if you’re doing excellent work, or if you’re taking on more difficult tasks at work.

That means if either of these things happen, you really should ask for a raise.

Understand your value, and try to monetize it. It can only help. The worst reasons to ask for a salary increase are if you don’t like your job (okay, duh) or if you think you’re employer can afford it. These both seem like skeezeball reasons, so even if they are the reason, try to avoid telling your boss that.

So you’re doing excellent work, you like your job and you’re confident in your place in the company.

How much should you ask for?

Of those surveyed some were in managerial positions with the ability to grant raises, and some were in non managerial, non raise-granting positions. Surprisingly their answers varied greatly.

When asked how much of a raise is too much to ask for, almost half of managers answered that over a five percent increase is too much.

Non managers overwhelmingly recommend that you should ask for the amount you feel you deserve, no matter the percentage (about 46%).

For more info check out Paysa’s infographic below. They split up the answers based on participants managerial level, so depending on who you’re talking to – whether she’s a middle manager or an owner – you can know what they’ll expect.

Other info from Paysa’s survey include how often to ask for a raise (no more than once a year) raise requests and grants based on gender and industry, and reasons why most people don’t ask for a raise (employers indicate that requests will not be granted).

You can check out their full blog here and study up before you send a “can we talk?” email to your manager. Which you should totally do, guys.

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Business Articles

117 inspirational quotes for a prosperous new year

Ring in the new year with these 117 inspirational quotes to get you motivated to take next year by the horns.

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Inspirational quotes for your new year

Whether looking for motivation in your personal or professional life, one can find inspiration in the volumes of words spoken and written by those that have come before us, no matter your goals for the coming year. As we wrap up this year and anticipate success and prosperity in the next, and we set our goals for the coming year, may we all commit to turning the corner, not only economically, but through our attitudes.

To see inspirational quotes by subject, click any of the links below, or continue to scroll to view the entire collection:

  1. 12 quotes to inspire success in your business
  2. 21 quotes to inspire achievement of your goals
  3. 10 inspirational quotes for leaders of any industry
  4. 9 inspirational quotes depicted typographically
  5. Succeed by following your passion: 10 inspirational quotes
  6. 19 inspirational quotes on the art of negotiation
  7. 11 inspirational quotes: getting past professional adversity
  8. 25 motivational quotes to kick off another year

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” – Zig Ziglar

“All lasting business is built on friendship.” – Alfred A. Montapert

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford

“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it.” – Scott Allen

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

“In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.” – Lee Iacocca

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael Leboeuf

“Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it’s business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. If you don’t love what you’re doing and you can’t give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short. You’ll be an old man before you know it.” – Al Lopez

“It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch

“I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it by day and dream of it by night.” – Henry Ford

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein

“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reach, don’t adjust the goals; adjust the action steps.” – Confucius

“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” – Earl Nightingale

“Not every end is the goal. The end of a melody is not its goal, and yet if the melody has not reached its end, it has not reached its goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” – Zig Ziglar

“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” – Mark Victor Hansen

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Anthony Robbins

“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” – Walt Disney

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Stephen A. Brennan

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” – Earl Nightingale

“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” – Orison Swett Marden

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Larry Elder

“A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee

“Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy.” – Denis Waitley

“You must take action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

“Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers, or your clients and customers.” – Les Brown

“We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” – Maxwell Maltz

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.” – George Orwell

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” – Lao Tzu

“No man can stand on top because he is put there.” – H. H. Vreeland

“Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.”- Mark A. Clement

“What chance gathers, she easily scatters. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“One of the things that may get in the way of people … is that they’re not in touch with their passion. If you’re passionate about what it is you do, then you’re going to be looking for everything you can to get better at it.” – Jack Canfield

“If you want to be successful in a particular field or endeavor, I think perseverance is one of the key qualities. It’s very important that you find something that you care about, that you have a deep passion for, because you’re going to have to devote a lot of your life to it.” – George Lucas

“Chase your passion, not your pension.” – Denis Waitley

“Never follow your dreams. Follow your effort. It’s not about what you can dream of. That’s easy. It’s about whether or not it’s important enough to you to do the work to be ready to be successful in that business.” – Mark Cuban

“There is no greatness without passion to be great, whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessperson.” – Anthony Robbins

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Follow your passions, believe in karma, and you won’t have to chase your dreams, they will come to you.” – Randy Pausch

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” – Mark Victor

“A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.” – William Hazlitt

“During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.” – Brian Koslow

“Negotiation in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree.” – Dean Acheson

“The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts.” – Howard Baker

“This is a classic negotiation technique. It’s a gentle, soft indication of your disapproval and a great way to keep negotiating. Count to 10. By then, the other person usually will start talking and may very well make a higher offer.” – Bill Coleman

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy

“Don’t bargain yourself down before you get to the table.” – Carol Frohlinger

“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of a diplomat.” – Robert Estabrook

“You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.” – J. Paul Getty

“The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people half way.” – Henry Boyle

“The worst thing you can say is ‘I want $X for this job,’ leaving no opening for negotiation by the other side. Better language is ‘I hope to earn between $X and $X.’ That gives the other party more flexibility.” – Bill Coleman

“If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing.” – Harri Holkeri

“If you are planning on doing business with someone again, don’t be too tough in the negotiations. If you’re going to skin a cat, don’t keep it as a house cat.” – Marvin Levin

“Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously.” – Lance Morrow

“The single and most dangerous word to be spoken in business is no. The second most dangerous word is yes. It is possible to avoid saying either.” – Lois Wyse

“A negotiator should observe everything. You must be part Sherlock Holmes, part Sigmund Freud.” – Victor Kiam

“Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.” – Sir David Frost

“Anger can be an effective negotiating tool, but only as a calculated act, never as a reaction.” – Mark McCormack

“It’s a well-known proposition that you know who’s going to win a negotiation; it’s he who pauses the longest.” – Robert Court

“Place a higher priority on discovering what a win looks like for the other person.” – Harvey Robbins

“The truth is, unless you let go…unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli

“Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.” – Og Mandino

“There is no failure except no longer trying.” – Elbert Hubbard

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” – Joel Osteen

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” – Karen Ravn

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“Reach high, for the stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” – Diana Scharf Hunt

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” – Paul J. Meyer

“Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest of most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.” – Anthony Robbins

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” – George Sheehan

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Eliot

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Today’s patience can transform yesterday’s discouragements into tomorrow’s discoveries. Today’s purposes can turn yesterday’s defeats into tomorrow’s determination.” – William Arthur Ward

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

“To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.” – Bernard Edmonds

“Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie

“Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is love, enjoy it!” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

new year's inspirational quotes

new year's inspirational quotes

new year's inspirational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

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Your brand is vulnerable just like Cracker Barrel’s recent troll spotlight #BradsWifeMatters

(BUSINESS) Brad’s wife got fired from Cracker Barrel which has sparked internet outrage and has presented us all with a few lessons.

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Crack in the barrel

It’s been an eventful week for Cracker Barrel so far. The Tennessee-based chain of family/country-style restaurants has found itself in the midst of not one, but two, trending hashtags on Twitter, #Justiceforbradswife and #Bradswifematters, and have seen their Wikipedia page altered multiple times over the past three days as well.

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So, what’s behind all of the free—if unwanted—publicity?

They fired Brad’s wife.

Wait, what?

The TL;DR of it is this: Bradley Byrd of Milltown, Indiana, thrust the company into the trolling spotlight on March 4th by posting a simple question to the Cracker Barrel corporate Facebook page:

“Why did you fire my wife?”

Brad’s wife, Nanette, had apparently worked for the local Cracker Barrel for the past 11 years as a server, and was, to the best of Brad’s knowledge, terminated for lack of cause.

Rubbing salt into the wound

That she was fired on Brad’s birthday, and fired two weeks before earning vacation pay for this year.

What was posed as a question from an upset spouse has since taken a life of its own.

It gained a much wider audience when shared by comedian Amri King on Facebook this week.

Note from the Editor: if you want to spend a few hours digging into the many hilarious forms the topic took, click around here (warning: most of it is totally unsafe for work or around children).

People want answers

Not only do more people know about Brad’s wife being fired, but they’ve taken to trolling the Cracker Barrel Facebook page and Twitter feed, with thousands of comments being linked back to Brad’s wife, no matter the tenuousness of the thread connecting their comment to the original post.

There’s also been a petition started at Change.org to get Nanette justice, with nearly 9,000 signatures to date.

The range of feedback that Cracker Barrel is receiving spans the gamut from nearly nonsensical to rather witty and droll. But driving the continuation of the onslaught is their reticence; as of the time of writing, Cracker Barrel hadn’t yet responded to either the flood of negative public opinion or to Brad’s original question.

And that’s the smartest move that they’ll make.

The Sound of Silence

It’s so very tempting when your company, brand, or person is being dragged through the public arena, (for right or wrong) to comment back and defend yourself with the same vigor that you’re being attacked by.

That temptation, however, has real consequences if given in to.

In a termination case, you may find yourself in a similar situation.

Pay attention

A beloved employee has done a “VBBT”: a very big, bad thing, and has to be let go. Or, perhaps, it was an employee popular with both internal and external customers, but, while they were nice and good for morale, their job performance had been lacking over time, and you’d worked with them to try to correct it, unbeknownst to the public.

Either way, you should steel yourself for impact.

In the world of digital presence, it’s going to be relentless. And personal. And, usually, mostly wrong on all of the details. It may certainly hurt, and your bottom line may take a brief hit, but remember: you don’t get to comment back on things like this.

Your role is to stay above the fray and remain professional

You made the decision to terminate, and before you did, you did your research as to why it was the right time to terminate the employee (Shame on you if you didn’t—in that case, your problems with an Internet backlash are both deserved and the least of things you ought to be worrying about).

Now it’s time to keep the course and focus on moving forward.

By responding to these comments, you don’t appear to be in control. Making no statement is more useful at times that making a statement that compromises you, be that legally in an employment context, or in the marketplace by mis-stepping and giving the trolls something real to write about.

Issue a statement

If a response to media inquiry or public opinion does become unavoidable, a well-scripted response that is vetted by counsel in advance of releasing it to ensure that you haven’t inadvertently given rise to a defamation or unlawful termination suit, is your best friend.

Make it once in outlets that are responsive, and then let it stay.

No further comment is necessary, nor useful.

An Audience of One

The only person that Cracker Barrel owes an answer to about why Nanette was fired is Nanette. The world at large certainly doesn’t need to know, and, neither does Brad, frankly.

If the employee doesn’t know why they’re being terminated, and provided something in writing to that effect, then that’s an area to address.

Everyone deserves to have clarity in the workplace, especially about something so critical as employee performance feedback leading to termination. Having the cause of termination in writing will also help you to defend against any “re-telling” of the termination story by the employee after the fact.

Also, remember that you have an audience of just one when it comes to discussing the details about those who have been fired: the terminated employee.

Just because it’s a spouse asking the question of why their partner was terminated, that doesn’t give them any additional standing to have that information shared with them by the company.

You Signed Up For This

You’re looking to the long view for your company and brand.

Making a hard decision that is the right thing to do and is evidence-supported isn’t always easy and it certainly isn’t always popular. But it’s the job that you’ve got to do.

You likely have crisis plans in place about what will happen if you have a challenge to critical infrastructure, supply chain, or safety issues.Click To Tweet

In a hyper-present media environment, in which the next meme is lurking around the corner, it’s a good idea to extend that planning to include a media crisis so that when the spotlight is turned onto you, you’ve prepared for it and made certain that you’re putting your best foot forward, by not getting it stuck in your mouth.

#BradsWife

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