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These Cartoons Show Exactly How To Be Good Leaders

These Cartoons Show Exactly How To Be Good Leaders

Indescribable magic happens when milk meets cereal, booty meets couch cushions, and a child’s eyes meet cartoons. No doubt the pinnacle of every kid’s week, cartoons offer an animated escape into a limitless world. Cartoons free our imaginations, bending the realms of possibility in the exact ways that are forbidden and restricted in our mortal world. But beyond the entrancing animation styles, squeaky voices, and reoccurring characters are underlying themes that greatly benefit our lives.

We see our favorite characters struggle, and share in their triumph when they overcome. We relate to them as children, and remember them fondly when we reminisce as adults. Yet, no matter how long it’s been, or how vehemently you tried to convince your friends that you “only watched it once,” your favorite cartoons will always be very special to you. Some of them teach us about love, others teach us about acceptance, but the most memorable, remarkable, and beneficial ones teach us how to be fearless leaders.

Here are the 15 best animated advocates of awareness, in no particular order.


Tommy

    Tommy Pickles

    Though I’ll admit I’m not the biggest Rugrats fan, Thomas Malcolm Pickles can’t be left off this list. Though he and his diaper dandies are regularly stuck in a “pickle” as a result of Angelica’s evil schemes, Tommy always puts the safety of his people over the need of his nap. In the many ways Tommy teaches us to lead, none is more strong than his adventure-seeking, positive, proactive attitude towards his associates and younger brother, Dil Pickles. [Best leader trait: Empathy]

    Arnold

      Arnold

      The only character with an purposefully unknown last name to make the list, Arnold is perhaps the strongest leader to emerge from Nickelodeon in the ’90s. Revered by nearly everyone, Arnold is always looked to for advice, moral help, and to pinch hit against the fifth graders in the vacant lot. His odd head shape is more than a funny reference and catchy tag line. It also serves as a efficient command center to house his idealist perspectives, his many dreams, and everyone else’s best interest. An interesting factoid is that Arnold didn’t start his acting career in animation, but in clay. [Best leader trait: Optimism]

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      Porkchop

        Porkchop

        Before Brian in Family Guy, Goddard in Jimmy Neutron, or Santa’s Little Helper in The Simpsons, there was Porkchop, Doug Funny’s nearly-human canine sidekick. Although he does not talk, Porkchop displays his leadership abilities through an elaborate system of gestures, cute facial expressions, and words if he can find the appropriate writing tools. With sincerity and near telekinesis, Porkchop alleviates most of Doug’s frustrations quickly, effectively, and mindfully. This dog certainly raises the bar for any other animated faithful four-legged companion. [Best leader trait: Accountability]

        Eliza

          Eliza Thornberry

          To rival Mr. Pickles above, Eliza’s yearning for constant adventure often places her and her loved ones in danger, but she always seems to manage. Gifted with the ability to talk to animals thanks to a African mountain shaman at age 10 (great parenting there, Nigel), her knowledge and ability to predict what animals can do often plays to her advantage. Her intrigue frequently gets her into trouble with predatory animals, but she’s no doubt one of the most fearless 12-year-old characters to grace the tube. [Best leader trait: Awareness]

          Reggie

            Regina “Reggie” Rocket

            Big sister to the legendary Oswald (Otto) Rocket, this purple-haired speed machine grinded and kickflipped her way past almost every extreme sports gender gap.  She often acted as the voice of reason for her friends, and refused to be silenced in the media by teaming up with Squid to make “The Zine.”  Reggie’s can-do attitude often saves the gang from losing in a last second game against Larz and his cronies. [Best leader trait: Ambition]

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            Wanda

              Wanda

              Wanda Venus Fairywinkle-Cosma, whose name is too fun not to note, is by actual age and practical wisdom the most mature on this list. Even though she’s constantly bombarded by the idiotic wish granting of Cosmo and Timmy’s nimrod antics, she remains level-headed and always manages to save her fairy godson from danger, her husband from himself, and the day all at the same time. Her deep intelligence is often mistaken for senseless nagging. [Best leader trait: Patience]

              Sandy

                Sandra “Sandy” Cheeks

                Sandy is the only character in Spongebob Squarepants that humans can relate to on the basis of oxygen-reliant. This karate kickin’, science lovin’, ultra friendly Texas native exemplifies perhaps the most important characteristic of leadership: fortitude. Whenever Spongebob, Patrick, or any of the other semi-relevant aquatic residents of Bikini Bottom are in trouble or feeling down, Sandy always seems to be the first on the scene with encouraging, progressive, high-ya! plans of action. [Best leader trait: Strength]

                Eddy

                  Eddy

                  In this instance, the negative sounding adjectives that describe this money grabber outweigh most of the more pleasant ones. Eddy is thought of as selfish, overambitious, power hungry, greedy, a loud mouth, and jealous, but do these not perfectly describe some of the best leaders of our time? No matter how you feel about Eddy personally, he’s one of the first toons on this list that I would call if I were starting a company. No matter how often he’s shut down, deterred, or falls short of getting a quarter (and, in turn, a jawbreaker), he’s always back in the next 15 minute segment with another harebrained scheme. [Best leader trait: Tenacity]

                  Velma

                    Velma Dinkley

                    No doubt a genius in every sense of the word, Velma is the unspoken and unrecognized hero resulting in much of the “gang’s” success. If you’ll take notice, she often has a pre-instilled sense of pride and certainty before they pull the mask off the bad guy at the very end. She’s also extremely well-versed in Morse Code and martial arts, two impractical daily skills that seem to come in handy at the right moments. [Best leader trait: Intuition]

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                    TJ2

                      Theodore Jasper “T.J.” Detweiler

                      Nothing “whomps” about this kid as a bold and brave ring leader. With a sweetness and sincerity that only a mother could love, T.J is often the voice of the voiceless when his friends are in danger, and treats each child of the playground with unfiltered equality. Far from an ‘A’ student, his intelligence and know-how is unquestionable. One is left to wonder if he’d be more like Gretchen if he gave an honest effort in his academics. Either way, this red-hat-flipped-backwards playground deviant is fit to lead, so move aside King Bob. [Best leader trait: Brevity]

                      Jimmy

                        Jimmy Neutron

                        It’s pretty common that Jimmy’s big brain gets him, and the rest of Retroville, in serious trouble. This normally requires Jimmy to invent something else to fix the trouble he caused in the first place. He’s not very well-liked by anyone, really, with the exception of his parents, and his socially outcast buddies, Sheen and Carl. But no matter his adversities, Jimmy always finds the brain and willpower necessary to keep inventing, producing, and testing his limits. [Best leader trait: Courage]

                        Brain

                          Brain

                          Say this with me: “megalomaniac mouse.” Isn’t that fun? Brain’s character can be compared to a coconut. Behind his hard, tough exterior of rudeness, short temperament, anger, and sarcasm beats a sensitive heart that truly cares about the world he so desperately tries to take over. Based of the legendary Orson Welles, Brain exhibits leadership qualities bountifully, but none are stronger than his ability to tolerate Pinky and all of his redundant questions. {Best leader trait: Tolerance]

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                          Courage

                            Courage

                            At first glance, this snaggletoothed dog’s name may seem ill-fitting, but as each episode plays out viewers can tell he fits his title. Abandoned as a puppy, Courage is easily frightened and quick to hide when monsters and ghouls show up to greet him, Muriel, and Eustace on the farm. His instinctual fortitude kicks into overdrive upon the realization that his masters (friends) truly are in trouble, particularly Muriel. Though he’s usually at odds, this pup does not allow his shortcomings to stop him from doing whatever is necessary to keep his friends safe. [Best leader trait: Selflessness]

                            Max Good

                              Max Goof

                              Anyone who personally knows me and my love for cartoons is not surprised by this pick. Playing majorly off The Goofy Movie, Max’s story of love and constant disparity is relatable to everyone. He goes to drastic measures to please his friends and impress Roxanne at the assembly, and his display of tireless refusal to back down in the face of adversity is inspiring. Though he stretches the truth by telling Roxanne he’s going to the Powerline concert instead of on an around the country road trip with Goofy, it ends up playing to his favor in his never-ending struggle to do the right thing. [Best leader trait: Poise]

                              Dexter

                                Dexter

                                Known for his intelligence, Dexter fears no risk. Despite his projects often backfiring because he’s either overanxious or overconfident, Dexter is highly skilled at using quick reflexes and problem solving to get the job done. Even though his clueless parents are obviously American, he speaks with a distinct Russian accent which makes me believe that there’s more of an “off screen” life of his that the viewers know nothing about (my wager is on spy). Regardless, Dexter always has his hands in projects and is determined to invent the next useful thing. [Best leader trait: Focus]

                                Tito

                                  Tito Makani

                                  As the ancient Hawaiians say, “The most important races are won in the ocean of the soul.” An endless source of baffling, meaningful quotes like these, Tito is the fry flingin’ burger bandit who runs the Shore Shack with Ray(mundo). He’s always quick to offer the kids “useful” advice and is very eager to listen and help everyone he comes across. His teddy bear-like stature makes him easily approachable, and rumor has it that his burgers are worth missing the incoming swells. [Best leader trait: Compassion]

                                  It was tough to narrow it down to 15, as there were a lot of solid characters that lead me through my childhood. I’m curious to hear what you think. Who did I miss?

                                  Featured photo credit: Cartoon Collage/@WeAre90sKids via twitter.com

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                                  Published on December 13, 2018

                                  How to Start a Company from Scratch (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                                  How to Start a Company from Scratch (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                                  If you’ve ever thought about starting and running your own business, you’re not alone. Being your own boss, having flexibility with your schedule and keeping more of the financial rewards that come with business ownership are all good reasons to own your own company.

                                  But as you might expect, it’s not all vacations and fat bank accounts. According to the SBA, 2/3 of businesses survive at least 2 years and approximately 50% survive 5 years.[1] So why is the failure rate so high? At least for the businesses that fail early on, lack of, or poor planning can be a major factor.

                                  So how to start a company?

                                  Starting a business from scratch doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, but it does take planning and work. Here are the first and most important 9 steps to take when your are starting a company from scratch.

                                  1. Do an Honest Evaluation of Yourself

                                  Do you work better in a structured or unstructured environment? Does a daily routine reduce your anxiety? What kinds of things are you good at? Does public speaking or making presentations make you nervous? Are you good at accounting and numbers? Can you handle the rejections you’re bound to get when selling or cold calling?

                                  These are all important questions to ask yourself, in fact it’s a good idea to get other peoples opinion about their perception of you in each of these situations.

                                  Whatever the answers you come up with for your evaluation, remember that’s all it is, an evaluation of where you are now. Think of it as a way to identify both your areas of strength and weaknesses.

                                  You maybe good at public speaking which can help when raising money, but bad at accounting which just means that you’ll need to find some kind of help with that area of the business.

                                  2. Evaluate Your Idea

                                  If your business idea involves a new product or service (or even an enhancement to an existing product or service), it needs to be evaluated. This is technically called market research.

                                  There are firms that specialize in doing market research for new products, but if you are on a tight budget, you can do this yourself.

                                  First, if you can build a prototype for people to use, touch and look at that’s the best option. If a prototype is not possible or it’s a service business, then offer a highly descriptive presentation of the business plan complete with it’s unique benefits and how it’s different from the competition.

                                  Then listen! Remember that this is not about others liking your product, this is not your baby that they are talking about. You want honest market research that gives you the best chance for a successful business. Take notes, when someone tells you that they didn’t like a feature or some aspect of your idea tell them ‘Thank you”.

                                  After several rounds of market research with different groups of people, you should see patterns emerging about things that they both liked and didn’t like. Use this information to tweak your product or service and do another round of market research.

                                  Keep in mind that you’ll never come up with a universally loved product, your job is to produce a product or service that appeals to the broadest range of your target market.

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                                  3. Make a Business Plan

                                  I know, I know this isn’t the “fun” part of starting your own business, but it is an very important step in creating a successful business!

                                  Basically, you can think of a business plan as an outline or blueprint of your business. A good business plan should have the following elements:

                                  • Executive Summary – This should lay out the businesses product or service and the problem that it solves for the consumer.
                                  • Market Evaluation – This should talk about the market you are serving. Is it an expanding market, and how does your product better fulfill the consumers in that market.
                                  • Market Strategies – How are you going to penetrate the market and sell your product.
                                  • Operational Plan – How will the company run from day to day? Who are the key employees and what are their specific rolls. Do your key players have specific goals set for them in advance?

                                  A final word on making a business plan: while lying is never acceptable especially when you are using the business plan to raise money, it is acceptable to “put your best foot forward”.

                                  Playing up the positives while minimizing the negatives is almost expected in a business plan.

                                  Besides, banks as well as professional investors will both do a more in-depth analysis before investing any money into your idea.

                                  4. Decide on a Business Structure

                                  You have many options here, and discussing them with your accountant or financial adviser is really the only way to know what’s right for you. But just to give you a quick rundown of the types of business entities and their pros and cons we will briefly go through them:

                                  Sole Proprietorship

                                  This is a common way for small businesses to get started.

                                  The pros being:

                                  Relatively low costs to set up (usually a business license and sales tax license).Owners normally do not have to set up a special bank account, they are allowed to use their personal one. Any income earned can be offset by other losses (check with your state!). You as the sole proprietor have complete control over all decision making. 

                                  Finally, sole proprietorship’s are relative easy to dissolve.

                                  The cons of using a sole proprietorship include:

                                  You as the sole proprietor can be held personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the company. Some benefits, such as health insurance premiums, are not directly deductible from business income.

                                  If you need to raise money, you are not allowed to sell an equity stake in the company. In that same vein, hiring key people maybe more difficult because you cannot offer them an equity stake in the company.

                                  Partnership

                                  A partnership is formed when two or more people decide to start a business. Although there is no legal requirement for any documentation to form a partnership, it is my advice that you never enter into a partnership without having a partnership agreement. (Remember, spending $1500 now can save you $150,000 in legal fees later!).

                                  The pros of a partnership include:

                                  Being relatively easy and inexpensive to start. Hiring key employees can be easier as you are allowed to give equity ownership to as many partners as you want.

                                  For tax purposes, partnerships are relative simple as any income is treated as “pass through” meaning that each partner pays tax on their individual portion of the partnerships income (As of this writing, always check with your tax adviser).

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                                  As far as the cons go:

                                  It can be difficult for some general partnerships to raise capitol. Because it is a partnership, the actions of one of the partners can obligate the entire organisation. All profits must be shared according to the partnership agreement regardless of the amount of work done by any single partner.

                                  Some employee benefits may not be able to be deducted on income tax returns.

                                  Limited Liability Company (LLC)

                                  This is a very popular business entity for small to medium sized businesses. The reason for this is the cost of set up is not prohibitive and there is a separation between the owners and the company.

                                  The pros of an LLC include:

                                  Limited liability for the partners, unlike sole proprietorship’s and partnerships where the owners are held responsible for all of the companies debts and liabilities, an LLC provides some protection against certain debts and liabilities that are solely the companies.

                                  Simple taxation, just like the sole proprietorship and partnerships, income is considered “pass through” and is only taxed once on an individual level.

                                  There is no limit on the number of shareholders in an LLC. An LLC requires fewer fillings and administrative requirements than a corporation.

                                  Corporation

                                  A corporation is much more complex and expensive to set up. And a corporation is legally considered an independent entity that is separate from its owners.

                                  The pros of a corporation include:

                                  Complete separation between the owners and the company. Because the corporation is considered its own legal entity, owners can not be held personally responsible for any debts or liabilities of the company.

                                  A corporation can raise capital much easier just by selling more shares in the company.

                                  Cons of corporations include:

                                  Much higher administrative costs than any other business entity. Corporations generally have a higher tax rate. Dividends are not tax deductible for corporations. Income paid in dividends is taxed twice, once by the corporation and again by the shareholder.

                                  Again, this is just a short summary of the pros and cons, always check with your tax adviser about what will work best in your situation.

                                  5. Address Finances

                                  Again, not one of the “Sexier” parts of starting your business from scratch, but very important nonetheless.

                                  So, you’ve done your business plan and an estimate of your start up funding should be included. It should include the amount of funding you’ll need to get you through your first full year of operations.

                                  Now, how do you get that money?

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                                  Self Funding

                                  If possible, self funding is the easiest. You won’t have to go to banks and investors with hat in hand, or give up ownership or control of your company. But as we know, this is not a reality for most people. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of options available.

                                  Friends and Family

                                  They can be a good source of funding your business if they can see and understand your vision.

                                  Remember that business plan? Pass them out to everyone you know. Then follow up, be prepared to tell them the total amount of money you expect to raise, the minimum investment you are looking for and what you will give in return for the investment.

                                  For example, you give a friend your business plan and follow up with him/her a few days later. You can explain that you have secured funding for $80,000 of the $100,000 you need. You are selling a 2% share in the company for every $2,000 investment. How many shares would he like?

                                  And when he/she tells you no, thank him/her and ask if he/she can think of anyone off the top of his head who might be interested? Tell him/her you really appreciate his/her time and if he/she does come across someone who might be interested to let you know.

                                  Banks

                                  These guys are happy to lend you money when you don’t need it, but all of the sudden they get stingy when you actually need a loan! This is where preparation comes in.

                                  It’s a good idea to go over your business plan with an expert and maybe even have it rewritten by an expert before you approach either a bank or professional investor. Both will want to go over your business plan with a fine tooth comb, verifying all the numbers and data you provide.

                                  You should also brush up on everything in the plan so that you can answer any questions they have with authority.

                                  Crowdfunding

                                  Finally, there is crowdfunding through sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Crowdfunding helps to build interest, community spirit, and a customer base. It’s also an efficient way to raise funds. You can take a look at these tips to find out more:

                                  6 Crowdfunding Tips To Get Your Project 100 Percent Funded

                                  6. Register with the Government

                                  As stated earlier, different types of business entities have different filling and administrative requirements. At the very least, you’ll probably need a business license as well as a state sales tax license.

                                  Unless you are forming a corporation, there are many good resources on the web that will do everything for you at a minimal cost.

                                  7. Assemble Your Team

                                  Remember when we evaluated your strengths and weaknesses? Here is where we fill in the gaps!

                                  Do you hate sales and cold calling? Great! There are people who love selling and wouldn’t want to do anything else.

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                                  Bored to death with accounting? There are a ton of small accounting firms out there that will take care of that for you.

                                  What about marketing? You can hire someone in-house or out-source that too.

                                  Your job is to keep on top of all the different aspects of the business to make sure they are all running smoothly and getting the results you need. If not, it’s your job to figure out the problem and implement a solution.

                                  Check out this guide and learn how to delegate effectively:

                                  How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

                                  8. Buy Insurance

                                  No matter what kind of business you start, you need insurance! Yes, I know, no one likes to buy insurance, but it can literally be the difference between having a minor inconvenience and declaring bankruptcy.

                                  We live in a very litigious time, even a minor slip and fall at your place of business could bankrupt you without insurance. If you need help finding a good agent, check with your local trade organizations or fellow business owners.

                                  9. Start Branding Yourself

                                  Has anyone ever ask you for a Kleenex or a QTip? We all know what they are because of branding, Kleenex is just a brand of tissue and QTip is just a brand of cotton swab. It doesn’t have to be as widely known as Kleenex or QTip, but you can make your brand a common name within your niche.

                                  I once owned a manufacturing company that developed a product that was so popular that my competitors started co-opting my brand name for their products.

                                  If you aren’t sure how to kickstart branding yourself, check out these ways:

                                  5 Ways to Build your Personal Brand & Make More Money

                                  The Bottom Line

                                  Starting a business from scratch can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have.

                                  But do you know what’s even more rewarding? Having a business that succeeds, is profitable and provides a good source of income for you, your employees and their family’s.

                                  More Resources About Entrepreneurship

                                  Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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