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10 Start-Up Companies Worth Investing In

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10 Start-Up Companies Worth Investing In

It seems like everyone from high school kids to retirees is starting a company in their spare time. Finding the hottest startup is akin to finding a needle in a haystack, so we’ve assembled a list of 10 start-up companies that you may not have heard about.

Combining innovation and a genuine interest in making the world a better place, these 10 brands are on the verge of making a major breakthrough, and will soon become household names.

1. UpDog: Video Review App

UpDog is the first app where you don’t just see the food in the review, but you see the venue, people and atmosphere too. It’s rumored that this reinvention of the review app is going to take a huge chunk out of the market share that Yelp currently occupies, and is predicted to be positioned for an early acquisition.

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2. Hopper: Saves You Money on Travel

Hopper is a way to consolidate those travel blogs and travel-themed Pinterest boards. There’s no need to sift through travel sites to find the best deal with Hopper in your browser, as this site provides data-driven research to help travelers make better decisions about where to go, when to fly and when to buy.

Founded in 2007 and backed by BrightsparkAtlas Venture and OMERS Ventures, Hopper is sure to gain the market share of the other travel websites.

3. GenoVive: Healthy Eating Designed for You

GenoVive works as both a personal nutritionist and a fitness trainer. Using a person’s DNA, health specialists create a personalized meal plan and exercise regimen to help customers begin a healthier lifestyle and reach their goal weight.

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4. ThinkUp: Social Media Information App

ThinkUp gathers your social media activity and relays important information to you in a fun and conversational way. It allows for a greater knowledge of your web presence, making it an asset for online personalities and businesses utilizing social media.

5. Plated: Food Delivery Program

Plated delivers everything you need to make a healthy gourmet meal right to your front door, including the recipe and pre-portioned fresh ingredients. The company advocates good eating with the convenience of not having to go to the grocery store.

Plated currently delivers to 80% of the continental United States and continues to expand.

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6. Packback Books: eBooks for Rent

Packback Books gives college students the opportunity to rent eBooks on an as-needed basis, for no more than $5 a day. This eliminates the issue of purchasing textbooks that cost hundreds of dollars and then rarely using them in class, as well as the need for rental services such as Chegg.

Packback Books is currently in its beta stage.

7. Samba: Video Reaction App

Samba is an app that records the recipient’s reaction to a sent video, and then returns the reaction to the sender. This combines the appeal of communication via digital outlets and face-to-face communication, and is a faster alternative to FaceTime or Skype.

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It is set to go live in the Apple Store soon.

8. Groundwork: Workshop Interview Program

Groundwork is reinventing the job interview process by providing workshop environments for job seekers and companies seeking employees. This grants all parties involved the opportunity to work together and showcase their strengths in a working environment.

9. Pillpack: Medication Simplified

PillPack has streamlined and simplified the modern pharmacy experience. PillPack boasts the variety of a full-service pharmacy and the convenience of a doorstep delivery service. Furthermore, handles refills and daily dosages, as medication is pre-sorted into daily packs. This is a business that will revolutionize the drug industry and change the lives of those who are always on-the-go and those who just can’t remember to take their afternoon pill.

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10. Jazinga: Simplifying Small Business Communications

Jazinga is the startup designed for startups. This technology-based startup is focused on simplifying and slimming down small business communications. Jazinga has the power to transform how businesses operate and communicate.

Featured photo credit: PicJumbo via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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