Entrepreneurship, Inspiration

7 Entrepreneurship Lessons inspired by Ibrahim Hamadtou

Egypt’s Ibrahim Hamadtou, who lost both arms as a child, competes in table tennis at the Rio Paralympics by holding…

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Egypt’s Ibrahim Hamadtou, who lost both arms as a child, competes in table tennis at the Rio Paralympics by holding the racket in his teeth. Egypt’s Paralympic pride and joy, Ibrahim Hamadtou, An Egyptian Legend and true meaning of persistence, determination and passionate superhuman!

For Ibrahim, it all started by his relentless passion for table tennis back when he was just a young boy, then even after the train accident which resulted in amputating both his arms when he was only 10 years old, he went back to playing table tennis, as a challenge, 3 years after the accident.

He found his own way to play by putting the racket in his mouth and serves with his foot, after many trials and errors. Hamadtou did not just practice sports as a hobby, guess what? He was qualified to participate in the Rio de Janeiro Para-Table tennis to prove that he did not just overcome his circumstances but made his dream come true.

Entrepreneurs can learn 7 inspiring lessons from his approach of overcoming his circumstances and living his dream and achieving his goals:

1-Find what you love and what is good for you:

He found his passion at young age and it stayed with him even after the accident. Get zealous for something and devote your time and energy, aim it to achieve your goal.

Find your passion and what gets you up in the morning every day to do what it takes to attain it. When you love what you do, it is not a job anymore, it is your everything, and you will give it more than 200%

2-Do it Your Way:

There is no typical way to implement your idea, be an original in a world full of copies and differentiate your brand to start and complete your entrepreneurial journey.

Do whatever it takes, from testing, adapting, tweaking or modifying to find the best way to run a business.

In Ibrahim’s case, he tried many options to hold the racket under his arm, however, it did not suit him, after many trials and errors he tried holding it in his mouth and there he found his way.

Add to that the unique way he serves, he does it by grasping the ball with his toes, tossing it and delivering a solid swing.

3-Protect Your Dream:

Have a tenacious hold on your dream and don’t let anything deter you from reaching your end-goal.

Hamadtou said in an interview when he was invited to be the guest of honor at the World Team Table Tennis Championships held in Tokyo back in 2014; “There is nothing called impossible”. And he was completely correct!

What is more outstanding, Hamadtou is 43 years old, so he is a sterling example that it is never too late to reach a world class level to compete against the world’s giants. Hamadtou practiced for 30 years to be qualified for the Paralympics in Rio 2016 and nothing stopped him to achieve his dream.

He did not quit when the journey became too challenging, or chose a shortcut, he knew and believed that his hardship would be rewarded when he competed against World Champions, when his hard work and never-ending developing skills would be the pillars to support him in living his dream.

4-Turn Pessimism into Optimism:

When you want to start a business, you begin by writing a business plan. There is a line between what you can gain and what you can lose and if you’re a pessimist, you can vault yourself into a worst-case scenario in a nanosecond.

Be optimistic and transfer this mindset to your team, your customers and your investors. Even if you don’t have the full tools, work on it and never allow it to hinder your success.

Look at Hamadtou photo and just imagine how a man without arms could play a game mainly depends on arms? He did not just play the game, he excel on world class level to prove that Superhumans do exist.

5-Thrive ON:

The key to a successful business is that you never stop learning, in this ever-changing, connected world we live in nowadays, you can never gain enough information.

At any given moment there is something happening somewhere that could impact your business one way or the other. So if you want to keep up, you have to be one step ahead.

Know your weaknesses and strengths and keep working on your weaknesses and nurturing your strengths.

Ibrahim said that “If someone makes it to the Paralympics, they should still keep working hard to make the next Paralympics and to be a champion, not to go backwards”
As should you. When you start your own business, you should only go forward from there, never backwards. Keep innovating and evolving.

Moreover, Ibrahim had to deal with skeptics throughout his life. Here is his explanation;

”Their criticism gave me the chance to practice more and more. I gave more time for practice and this made me feel confident to feel like this,” he said

However, He did not just overcome it, he transcended. He utilized people’s speculations to make him work harder to prove them wrong, that “The disability is not in arms or legs, the disability is to not persevere in whatever you would like to do.” as he said.

6-Appreciate Small Wins and Failures:

How you deal with your failures (If it is even appropriate to call it that) determines where you steer your new business. He did not just practice he competed and won silver medals in the 2013 and 2015 African Championships.

Truly inspiring. #Paralympics @rio2016

A post shared by The Olympic Games (@olympics) on

Ibrahim lost against Great Britain’s David Wetherill Who has participated in the Paralympics 3 times, Ibrahim said; “It is my first Paralympic Games, I lost to a very good player; David is amongst the best in the world.” in addition, he expressed utter joy at being in the Paralympic by adding “My dream has come true of playing in the Paralympic Games”

Hamadtou added after his game against David Wetherill “Not all defeats are defeats; sometimes you lose but you actually win because you have added to your experience, you have added to your knowledge; today I added to my knowledge”

Learn from your mistakes, whenever life throws you a curveball, come back up swinging. Keep your eyes on the bigger picture, this is what will keep you moving.

7-Believe in Yourself

On the morning of Thursday 8th September in the group stage of the Men’s Singles Class 6 Group D at the Rio.

Accept that leaving your comfort zone can be painful. Remember that with change comes risk and the very real possibility of pain and some deprivation. Stop making excuses and believe in yourself.

Ibrahim Hamadtou is an extraordinaire. He is a true Paralympian.

Superhumans do exist, and they are Egyptians.

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When and how to start outsourcing your business?

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough…

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough local and international economy, companies have to do what it takes to maintain a steady profit, and find ways to reduce costs.

Outsourcing is becoming a big trend in many industries, due to its many advantages and low costs.

For small and big businesses alike, there comes a time when a decision must be made. Do you build a new team or primary service, buy certain tools or do you outsource for a short time?

That is another way that outsourcing can help.

 

So, when should you start considering to outsource?

Do you procrastinate when faced with a particular task?

Is it a one-time task? Is it a primary service that your business offers, or something for a specific client or project?

Is it a once a month task? Such as Legal duties, or financial accounting?

Are you still saving up for an expansion? Could you afford an expansion for this task?

Is it a non-essential function of your business?

If you’ve answered all by one of those as yes, then that is when you should be outsourcing.

A definition for outsourcing is “the strategic use of outside resources to perform activities traditionally handled by internal staff and resources.”

The reason is simple, because it can be advantageous most of the time.

Your business is saving money, effort, time and energy, making it more efficient on that tasks that truly matter.

 

Why should a business outsource?

So, you know when you should be looking into it, or maybe you’re interested.

The thought still lingers in your mind, it might be a good idea but why should I?

There are many things that you can consider that could make outsourcing a great opportunity for your business.

 

1. Employee costs and non-productive hours

Office space, cafeteria benefits, hospital visits, insurance, and lunch breaks are things that cost the company profit per full-time employee.

These are also things you can save on when outsourcing.

These make a full-time employee more than twice as expensive as a short offer for a freelancer.

 

2. Efficiency

Freelancers and outsourcing give you a special opportunity, an opportunity to capture and use talented people that you may not have been able to afford otherwise.

Talented graphic designers, high-end lawyers, highly-organized accountants, and smart assistants can be found as freelancers, and at a lower-price than full-timers.

They tend to be more efficient as they have stricter deadlines than full-timers, and may be able to do the job better than you or any other current employee.

 

3. Frees up internal resources

Getting freelancers doesn’t only work as a way to do unrelated or menial tasks, they also function as a way to lift weight off of your shoulders.

Using a content marketing freelancer to prepare content calendars, or receiving content from freelance content creators, can help free up internal resources.

Freeing you and your employees up for other important tasks, tasks that they can handle more efficiently with less of a work load.

 

What are you waiting for?

As you can see, outsourcing could be a very beneficial strategy for you and your business.

It does come with its own issues, such as communication and delivery of work, but if you plan it right, it will help you and your business thrive.

So, what are you waiting for?

Have another reason why outsourcing won’t be a part of your business strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

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Inspiration

Samsung A8 social experiment proves that everyone is beautiful

What would you do if you were called beautiful? What would you do if someone stopped you in the street,…

What would you do if you were called beautiful? What would you do if someone stopped you in the street, with no indecency and just clear honesty, and told you that you were beautiful? How would you react?

Quite a few people have come out to test the question, and now smartphone manufacturer Samsung is joining their ranks.

With their new ad for their Samsung A8 and A8+, Samsung discoveries how everyday people react to a simple truth.

Everyone is beautiful.

The reactions were both sad and uplifting. When told the person behind the camera, filmmaker Shea Glover, was taking photos of what she saw as beautiful, these were some of the reactions.

“Okay, why did you invite me?”

“I don’t know how to take a picture like that.”

“I don’t know, I don’t get called that that often.”

“Usually I get called ugly or something, so that’s a first.”

The brand’s video mixes together both a loving and emotional ride of emotions, all in perfect clarity with their A8 phone.

Targeting Generation Z

Samsung is tapping into Generation Z’s craving for authenticity in a new, international ad campaign for Samsung Galaxy A8, created by the Cheil Worldwide Network.

At the heart of the campaign is the young director and social anthropologist Shea Glover, who appears on screen as well as sharing a co-director credit. In it, she takes her previous social experiment exploring self image to a global audience, making an emotional film showing what happens when a wide range of Gen Z strangers are told that they’re beautiful just as they appear.

Using the power of viral vidoes

The TV Commercial Ad titled Lets You Be You was done by Academy Films advertising agency for product: Samsung Galaxy A8 (brand: Samsung) in United Kingdom. It was released in the Jan 2018.

Viral videos, while not the most popular buzzword anymore, still have a power to gather people together under a single feeling or banner. Glover, whose shot to fame was a world famous viral video that sparked and inspired countless other touching videos, knows this very well.

Her original video, in which she went around her high school filming as she told people they were beautiful, has been watched over 17 million times on YouTube. Not to mention how much it was shared and talked about on other social media sites.

 

This sparked other projects such as Rotasiz Seyyah’s “You are so beautiful,” and Johanna Siring’s “Kiss of a stranger.”

Samsung understood the power of before and after shots, and of how emotional marketing can settle a brand into people’s hearts for a long time.

Using not only the idea but also the original videographer, Samsung was able to create an easily sharable, and possibly viral ad.

The Samsung ad was designed to serve as a demo of the phone’s ability to take “beautiful” photos in various lighting and weather conditions. It also allows the brand to embody itself as a caring and loving brand.

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Step into 2018 with a plan; 10 easy ways to improve your content marketing strategy

The year is coming to an end, the cold is starting to seep in and the streets are getting closed…

The year is coming to an end, the cold is starting to seep in and the streets are getting closed from the winter weather. As we prepare to move forward to a new year, we’d like to help you out with a few ideas.

We’re all looking for to reach out KPIs and goals through out the year. We try this and that to improve our content, to improve our rates and etc.

So, to help you out, here are some content marketing tips and ways to improve your content for the brand-new year!

 

1- Have the Looks and the Feels

2017 was the year in which marketers scrambled to push visual content.

It was a year where we saw many companies move from text or simply images to well-polished designs and posts.

If 2017 was the year of the visual, 2018 moves it into another level.

A new tactic that is bringing its way to the social market are Tactile photos.

Create and distribute images that not only touches the visual senses, but the other senses as well. Create images and content that make us hear, remember the touch and sensation of an object, or let us feel the wind in our hair.

 

2- Lend a helping hand

For those new into Content Marketing, or may need a small reminder, Content Marketing is all about providing your audience with information and content they are searching for.

Sometimes, without them even knowing they wanted it in the first place.

Millennials and Gen Z (Millennials’ children) are skeptical about marketers. The main ways to get around their expectations?

Give them content they are searching for, or better yet, align yourself with a cause they can get behind.

 

3- Talk about the pain, and let them know you’re here for them

Content themes save you a lot of trouble.

They save time, effort, and brainstorming whenever you have a content plan to fill, or new content to create.

Many of us have our themes on backwards apparently. Raise your finger, so no one else sees, if you’re themes are centered about marketing your product/service and its many benefits.

Let us say, we saw you, and we’re here to let you know you’re not alone.

For 2018, let’s take a step back and truly look at our consumers.

What are their issues? Their problems? What can we do to help? Sure, we ask these questions when creating the product or service, but now we have to think about it during our content process.

Directly talk to your consumer next year. Tell them you understand and you’re here to help.

 

4- Augment and change the world

Augmented Reality (AR) has definitely made an impact this year, even stronger than its top contender Virtual Reality.

Both Facebook and Google released AR services or products this year at their respective annual developer conference. Not to mention that Snapchat’s success came from their innovative use of AR.

Take a look at IKEA’s successful IKEA Place app, which uses AR technology to help users see how the brand’s furniture will look at home.

From either simple AR photo-frames to crazy face-changing AR filters on FB or Snapchat, Augmented Reality is popular and here to stay. Not only that, it’s cheaper than making stickers to hang out the city, and cheaper than an extensive paid campaign on social.

 

5- Get Personal. Really. Please do.

Although we marketers may say that brands need to become more grounded, more in-touch with consumers, many actions may not be heading in that direction.

This year, a lot of platforms are coming to our aid.

With Facebook Live really starting to show off its power, to Instagram’s stories, getting personal with consumers are getting easier and easier.

Creating dynamic content, content that makes the brand “alive,” gets easier with these new tools. Tools also include the new Live Photo feature by Facebook, and FB stories.

While recorded and pre-prepared videos are still a great way to promote your brand, personal live-videos are an even better way to connect with people.

Behind the scene videos, behind the curtain, or even the people behind the brand, are all dynamic video content-types that you could use to get in-touch with your audience.

People want to purchase from brands they care about, so let them know you so they can.

 

6- Or don’t get personal, get others to influence them instead

While influencer marketing in Egypt is still a growing field, there are many other ways to spread content around the web.

Creating content strategies that include using 3rd party websites and influencers is still going strong.

In 2018, we are going to see an even larger growth rate, especially as more and more content websites and social pages pop up and grow in credibility.

Don’t be afraid to have other people review, video, test, and write about your products/services. If you’re confident in its quality, then this should be a no-brainer.

 

7- Updating Communication

Communication channels keep growing with each new step and technology we create. A new channel that not many leveraged this year is through online messengers.

Facebook’s Messenger’s chatbots, as well as AI website messaging, are making a strong case this year, and they’re here to stay.

Content marketing with Messenger’s chatbots is easy to do. Simple tap on the Discovery tab for inspiration, from restaurants to online stores, there is a wide variety of uses.

Website AI messaging can help aim customers through your website as they go through their buyer journey. A cleverly written script and direct questions can lead your customer from browsing to buying, answering all (or as many as possible) of their questions on the way.

 

8- Break it Down

One of the main ways to fill out a content calendar?

Update, reuse, break down.

Update, reuse, and break down large and deep content into separate content pieces.

If you want to go into 2018, you have got to have a plan. If you don’t have enough content, then plan ahead by breaking down already existing content.

A Press release or informatic video can be broken down into multiple pieces of content. Videos can be broken down into articles or multiple image posts, and etc.

Why spend more when you can do more with less?

 

9- Stop closing the box and be open to the long-term

Although Content Marketing has become one of the top buzz words in our community, as well as quickly becoming one of the industry’s top strategies, we are still treating it as if it is advertising.

It’s not.

Most companies still push content in the same way as an advertising campaign, locking themselves in a box without more opportunities. Create short term content, such as a 6-episode video series, market it through the usual channels, and then when it finishes we stop.

What should be happening is a complete switch. Content marketing may be cheap, almost to the point of free, but it is something that takes long-term planning to truly appreciate it.

Plan at least 6 months ahead to truly capture your target audience. Get your content rolling, and keep it rolling! Show 2018 that you have your content down, with only a little bit of planning, and a lot of faith and data.

 

10- Let’s get on it!

There you have it, easy ways to improve your content without a lot of work.

The new year is right around the corner. What are you doing to prepare?

 

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Featured Stories, Inspiration

Before it’s too late; 7 tips to ensure that you meet deadlines

We’ve all been there; it’s a weekday and tasks are piling up. There are things to do, people to see…

We’ve all been there; it’s a weekday and tasks are piling up. There are things to do, people to see and talk to, but oh hey! There is this super cool video online, I have got to watch this! And so, there goes your day, merging together with the other days that, simply, other things became more interesting than your task list.

No matter where we are in our lives, procrastination follows. It’s not something you should worry too much about though, everyone goes through those moments, but that doesn’t mean you need to continue doing it.

To defeat avoiding work, here are 7 easy things you could do.

 

1- Smaller Bites = Better Payoffs

Things can often seem daunting and intimidating, some tasks just seem to always look difficult to accomplish.

Don’t let that stop you though.

Look at your big task or project.

Separate it into tiny goals. From simply emailing or talking to someone to choosing a color scheme, start every project with small to-do items.  These tasks will seem so small, it would be silly to not do it as soon as possible.

This makes it easier to take on and complete the project, as well as making you feel more accomplished whenever you look at your to-do list.

 

2- It’s Okay to be Uncomfortable

We all get uncomfortable doing certain things, whether you feel anxious talking to your boss or jumping into new projects, and it is completely okay.

Accept that you are uncomfortable, know that you feel uneasy, and then think about why you are doing this.

Many people decide to put aside certain things, in the hopes of doing it later when they stop feeling uncomfortable. Most of the time, we never change our feelings towards things we feel uneasy about.

Accept that you’re uncomfortable, take a deep breathe, and push forward. You’ll find it gets easier over time.

 

3- Listen, your body is signaling

When you get anxious, or in the mindset to avoid something, your body shows it faster than you can think about it.

When you feel your heart race and your body tensing, breathe and take a step back.

Noticing the signs can help you stop avoiding and procrastination. So, when you notice you’re about to go in search of other things to do, take a step back and think about changing your attitude towards the task.

 

4- What am I doing right now?

Right now, you’re reading this article, but don’t you have something else to do?

Sometimes, things just get away from us. Time gets away from us.

And for those times, a small jolt can really help us out of the loop.

Put up small notes in your most used and seen places, asking the simple question, “what am I doing right now?” It’ll snap you out of your Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat scrolling, and remind you that there are things to be done.

From a sticky note on your desktop (outside or inside on your desktop) to small notes in drawers and random phone-set reminders, this can really help keep you on track when you need it.

 

5- Why, why, why, the purpose behind it all

When your task is in front of you, crying to be done while your brain tries to escape responsibility, think about “Why.”

“Why do I have to do this again?”

Remember that each small step leads to a bigger goal and accomplishment. That short call may need to a job interview, choosing a color scheme leads to further progress on that big project you are working on, and etc.

So, when you catch yourself looking for a way out and avoid work, just think about the purpose behind your task.

Also, avoid thinking it’s so you get your salary, money doesn’t work as the best incentive, which is why many are still avoiding their work.

 

6- Act Now!

After you’ve done those other tips to try and keep you on track, act!

Putting anything off for later usually guarantees a difficult time getting into the mood of action. Think of this as your own personal call to action, Act now!

 

7- Love yourself and be proud, it’s done

We always whine about our procrastinating ways, so don’t forget to give just as much attention to your actual achievements.

With every small task, you have completed something that is close to your goal.

So, whenever you can, take a moment to bask in the glory of a task done!

Reward yourself, and remind yourself that it was a good effort and you can now cross it off your to-do list.

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