I read. A lot. I have an hour blocked out every day (including weekends) to read about trends, business, marketing and what’s happening in many different segments of business. I find that by learning about what’s going on in different industries gives me new ideas of things I can implement at my company or things I should lookout for. Reading also gives me lots of great content to post on social. Having a social presence now is a must no matter what your role or industry. It helps you to build a personal brand and add value to potential customers without having to sell. It helps you to establish yourself a thought leader – someone that is an expert and setting trends.
Given that time is so valuable, I’ve spent a considerable amount of effort doing my do diligence to vet news sources and find the resources that have the most valuable content. Here are my 4 go to sites and why you read them:
1) Fred Wilson’s AVC Blog
Fred Wilson is my favorite venture capitalist. Sure, he’s super wealthy and successful but he’s also a normal guy that I can relate to and he really cares about the well being of people and our country. He invests in companies with a civic mission and companies that build excellent work environments for their employees. He writes every day about everything that matters in life. His writing has a technology focus and gives me good insight into new tech advances, trends, emerging companies and things to watch out for.
Find his articles here: http://avc.com/archive/
2) The Hustle
In 2015 I attended a one-day event in San Francisco called Hustlecon. Hustlecon was created to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to hear non technical founders talk about their how they got started, teach practical tactics they used to start and grow their company and share insights they learned from their wins and losses.
I loved it. My favorite speaker was Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora. He spoke about how he was able to inspire a team of people to work for him for over 2 years without getting paid.
I attended Hustlecon because I was so impressed by Sam Parr’s marketing and writing. He’s the creator of Hustlecon. He’s also the producer of The Hustle. It’s weekday email about tech and business written is a super fun, witty and easy to digest manner. It discusses major business news, unknown companies and things you would likely never come across. It provides a really interesting viewpoint on trends, business topics, unique revenue models, leadership and why businesses success and fail.
The Hustle sign up: https://thehustle.co
3) Pocket Hits
I have a pretty diverse pallet when it comes to business interests. Outside the world of print, I co-founded a supplement company called Zen Balance. I launched my first product Relax + Focus last year so I’ve been immersed in the world of ecommerce, Amazon and retail sales. I have a passion for vegetarian cooking, swimming, running and writing. I like Pocket Hits because it provides diverse content from so many different industries. It provides summary emails each week listing the most viewed articles on the topics I care about. It’s run by the team at Pocket, a service that lets you save articles, links, videos for later viewing. Pocket Hits delivers the most popular stories from articles saved to Pocket in the form of email and Twitter.
More than 1.5 million items are saved to Pocket every day. The Pocket team analyzes all this content by looking at which items have the highest volume and rate of saves, opens, shares, and favorites – it’s an algorithm they call Impact Rank. This gives them a good idea of which pieces are the most engaging. I like that it’s unbiased as to where the information comes from – a New York Times article doesn’t get anymore leverage than a personal blog post. This creates an equal playing fields for all publishers.
Sign up for Pocket here: https://getpocket.com
Quora was created as a way for people to share their knowledge. Sometimes the best way to learn is from our peers – people that have already experienced something or have extensive education or training in a certain field. The founders of Quora wanted to unleash the power of knowledge by connecting people who need information with the people that have it. Their site brings together different perspectives so people can appreciate and understand different backgrounds and rational for doing things.
Quora is setup via a question and answer format. Someone posts a question on any topic and the community posts responses. There are a wide variety of responses. I find this extremely helpful in getting several different worldly viewpoints on all subject matters. The answer with the most “upticks” is placed at the top so readers can easily find the most popular or supported answer.
I love that I can post a question on anything I need help with and get responses from industry experts. People such as Hillary Clinton, Glenn Beck, Sheryl Sandberg have been know to respond to questions. I find many of the responses to the more business focused questions to be very insightful and give me lots to think about. I find the different viewpoints to be most helpful – you may receive a response from a PhD, a housewife and an entrepreneur.
Sign up for Quora and then customize your feed: https://www.quora.com
Enjoy reading and learning in an entirely new format. I think you will find the personal touch, wit, humor and style in which these 4 outlets make information available to be very helpful in your business and personal life.
This article first appeared in the Print Solutions Magazine produced by the Print Services & Distribution Association (PSDA).