Debunking the Football myth – All players are the same

first_imgMessi and Ronaldo have won a combined 10 Balon D’ors (Photo by Agency)A highly flawed opinion gaining currency within football’s cognoscenti is that with the exception of a dozen or so truly world class players, all footballers operate at a similar level.They must therefore deliver about the same output. This very school of thought subscribes to the theory that if players are in one salary bracket, performance demands on them must be identical.Purveyors of such obscurantism are wont to say Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the game’s only exceptional talent.They have a point, if you view the game only through the lenses of their five Ballon D’Ors apiece and staggering statistics.Dare I say, if soccer was a purely numbers game, the pair would rank above all else, bar Edson Arantes Dos Nascimento aka Pele.If the question of who the other ten players constituent of the truly world class dozen was put to me, my list would include Paris Saint Germain pair Neymar Junior and Kylian Mbappe, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane. Others are Mohammed Salah (Liverpool), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) and Sergio Aguero (Manchester City).But to implicitly suggest that this small band of ‘truly world class’ stars are the only difference between perennial strugglers and routine success, is to completely miss the point.We all know tremendous organisation, hard nosed determination, relentless hard word and indefatigable spirit can nullify exceptional talent at any given time.Manchester United’s immediate former manager Jose Mourinho twice fell on his own sword by subscribing to this theory. For years, the triple English Premier League champion attributed rival Pep Guardiola’s runaway success with Barcelona to one man – Lionel Messi.The Portuguese gaffer simply refused to recognise that Messi’s talent can flounder under the wrong tutelage. (Just like it has done with Argentina).And yet in his final months as Red Devils boss, the principal allegation levelled against Mourinho is that he couldn’t manage big talent like Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez.The multiple Premier League winner also suffered the agony of not being able to sign the players he wanted in order to build United in his own image because Ed Woodward and the board told him the players at Carrington were as good as those he was targeting. He was instead asked to get the best out of them.This is why the practice of putting someone other than the club coach in charge of transfers is a fundamentally flawed strategy.An identical pitfall to Jose’s befell former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. Nemanja Matic was sold without his knowledge because then technical director Michael Emenalo believed Tiemoue Bakayoko possessed similar attributes. Of course the Frenchman not only turned out to be a very different player from Matic, he wasn’t complimentary to Ngolo Kante in the team’s preferred 3-4-3 formation.Unsurprisingly, the departures of Matic and Diego Costa eventually proved to be Conte’s Stamford Bridge undoing.To round up, to avoid taking flight from reality, implausible theorization and dogmatic punditry, we must recognise that there is no such thing as footballers being the same.A club president who, for example, tells his manager to sell Ngolo Kante and replace him with Idriss Gana Gueye because they are of similar stature, cover identical distance, or possess similar stats, is way off the mark.No player is a clone for another. Nicky Butt was hailed as a Roy Keane clone, but he failed to fill the Irishman’s big shoes.The theory that all players are the same is ludicrous foolery.Comments Tags: Allan Ssekamatetoplast_img read more

Shamwari bags two top accolades

first_img“The Shamwari Game Reserve team has set out to continuously elevate the guest experience at the game reserve, creating new benchmarks in delivering complete wildlife and hospitality offerings to our guest and travel industry colleagues.” The World Travel Awards, hailed as the “travel industry’s equivalent to the Oscars” by the Wall Street Journal, are described as “the most comprehensive and the most prestigious awards program in the global travel industry” by numerous media reports. “The challenges of green tourism are the responsibility of every company, organization and individual working in travel and tourism today,” said World Travel Awards chairman Graham Cooke. “Unless we play our part now, there is no denying that we will all be held accountable by future generations.” Setting benchmarks In addition, the first World Travel Green Awards were also held in the Caribbean, with Shamwari being voted as the World’s Leading Conservation Company for 2008. Wilson added that Shamwari would continue to maintain the highest regard for the environment, whilst remaining at the forefront of conservation and hospitality in Africa. SAinfo reporter “The survey is truly global in scale, independent and accountable,” said Cooke. “To be awarded the ‘World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve’ for an eleventh consecutive year and the Green Award acknowledgement is an outstanding achievement,” James Wilson, CEO of Dubai World Africa, a major shareholder of Shamwari, said in a statement this week. South Africa’s Shamwari Game Reserve is in the spotlight again following this year’s World Travel Awards, held in the Turks and Caicos Islands earlier this month, after it was chosen as the World’s Leading Safari & Game Reserve. “Our goal is to continuously set ecological standards and benchmarks in the green tourism industry of South Africa.” Thousands of travel agents and industry members from around the globe vote for winners of the World Travel Awards, which was launched in 1993 to celebrate excellence in the World’s travel and tourism industry. ‘Travel industry Oscars’ 22 December 2008 The nominations of the first World Travel Green Awards were announced at a ceremony held in Popard, Slovakia in October, when 90 organizations were nominated for the global categories of the first World Travel Green Awards. “We are proud of the achievements and commitment made by all and will continue to promote ecologically sensitive tourism and support the local environments through community development projects and conservation of natural and human resources,” said Adrian Gardiner, CEO of the Mantis Group, which owns Shamwari. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

South Africa looks to ramp up growth

first_img25 October 2011 Amid concerns over a sluggish global economic recovery and an unresolved European debt crisis, South Africa is to focus more on investing in infrastructure and boosting industrial capacity while setting up a special nest-egg fund to support growth. Delivering his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament on Tuesday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said that following the 2008-09 global financial crisis, the Eurozone crisis had brought new challenges and threats to global growth. “Once again we face the prospect of declines in global trade, falling industrial demand, delays in investment, liquidation of businesses and stressed financial institutions, this time with the added risk that fiscal austerity in some parts of the world will extend the slowdown and deepen the crisis,” Gordhan said. This year’s Medium-Term Budget sets out the fiscal and budgetary dimensions of the government’s response to the crisis, key to which is to focus spending on creating long-term public assets by investing more in infrastructure and job-creating assets.Keeping govt wage bill in check At the same time, Gordhan plans to reduce the growth in the government’s wage bill by keeping annual increases for public servants at five percent over the next three years. He said public-sector wage settlements had to be balanced against the crucial considerations of the share of spending allocated to social and economic priorities such as infrastructure and social security.Policy reserve, stimulus package Gordhan also mooted the creation of a policy reserve, which would allow for portions of some revenue allocated to departments to be put aside in a separate account, to be drawn on in difficult times. Added to this, he proposed R25-billion in funding over six years to boost industrial development zones and build up world-class businesses, incentivise firms to improve competitiveness, and help support job creation and training projects.Global risks, vulnerability of exports While global economic recovery has slowed, although moderate growth is expected over the next three years, Gordhan singled out the risk of the unresolved European debt crisis to bank recapitalisation and slow growth of the US. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its global growth forecast for 2011 and 2012 from 4.5% to 4%. Gordhan said after their strong recovery last year, international trade volumes had flattened this year and added that South Africa remained heavily reliant on its traditional developed country partners of the US, EU and Japan, making exports vulnerable to a slowdown in advanced economies. He called on exporters to improve their productivity and keep their input costs down to get more lasting benefits from a more competitive currency – which he said had fluctuated between January and October from R6.58 to the dollar to R8.25 to the dollar. In a media briefing earlier today, the National Treasury’s Director-General, Lungisa Fuzile, said South Africa’s foreign exchange reserves were at about the right level now – at about six months worth of imports.GDP forecast revised down to 3.1% Meanwhile in his speech, Gordhan said growth in the domestic economy had slowed from 4.5% in the first quarter to 1.3% in the second quarter. He attributed this to the strikes that hit the country in the middle of this year and to slower household consumption, as well as the fallout in global trade resulting from the tsunami in Japan in March. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to increase by 3.1% this year (down from the 3.4% forecast in the Budget in February) and move up to 3.4% next year, before lifting to 4.3% in 2014, as the current global uncertainty subsides.The jobs challenge While revealing that the National Treasury had received 2 651 applications under the Jobs Fund, launched in June, Gordhan also pointed to the country’s worsening unemployment rate. Only 210 000 jobs were added in the 15 months of the recovery to June this year, while unemployment had risen from 21.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 25.7% in the second quarter of this year, he said. The unemployment rate did not include the estimated 2.2-million workers who had stopped looking for work, he said, adding that much of the new jobs in the formal sector outside of the agricultural sector, were created in the public sector. Gordhan warned that South Africa’s current projected GDP growth remained too weak to meet the employment targets of the country’s New Growth Path – to create five-million jobs by 2020. He said measures were needed to improve capital budgets, change the way network industries operated and promote competition, while strengthening skills and education.Inflation forecast Meanwhile, South Africa’s inflation rate is expected to breach the 3% to 6% target band temporarily in the first quarter of next year and to average over 5.5% over the next three years. Gordhan said rising food and petrol prices had seen inflation move from 3.2% in September last year to 5.7% in September. Increases in prices set by government agencies was a major factor in fuelling inflation, as 14 of the 18 administered price components were above 6% – with double-digit increases in electricity, water supply, refuse collection and sewerage prices. The ratio of household debt to disposable income, though still high, had declined from a peak of 82% in the first half of 2008 to 75.9% in the second quarter of this year. Gordhan said low levels of credit demand, a sluggish housing market and high levels of non-performing loans, had contributed to muted growth in credit extension to households. The Reserve Bank had, however, kept the repo rate unchanged at a 30-year low of 5.5% since November last year, he said.Capital investment forecast After falling 3.7% last year, gross fixed capital formation was expected to increase 2.9% this year and 4.5% next year, before moving to a 6.3% increase in 2014. Private fixed capital investment grew at 4% in the second quarter, mainly on the back of purchases of machinery and transport equipment. Investment in mining and communications registered the fastest growth in the first half of 2011, with overall investment growing at two percent in this period compared to the same period in the year before. However, despite this, real investment in the second quarter of this year was still eight percent below its pre-crisis peak. BuaNewslast_img read more

Alejandro Escovedo On New York Lou Reed David Bowie More

first_img Email On the brink of his May residency in NYC’s East Village, Escovedo talks songwriting, future plans, and how “Velvet Underground stole my whole consciousness”Nate HertweckGRAMMYs May 2, 2018 – 6:09 pm Tonight in New York’s East Village, acclaimed songwriter Alejandro Escovedo begins his May residency with the first of five shows in the neighborhood. The gritty, vibrant streets exploding with character and nuance suit his music perfectly. I tracked him down during rehearsal at the Bowery Electric, just a few doors down from where CBGB once stood, to ask him about his New York heroes, the making of his latest masterpiece Burn Something Beautiful, and what surprises he’s got in store for his May residency.”I lived right around the corner,” says Escovedo, reflecting on the East Village vibe. “I used to watch the Cramps cross the street every day to go to breakfast, which was at two in the afternoon, and they were amazing, it was just like this movie that opened up in front of you that was incredible. I just have so many memories here, and every time I come back I gravitate to the Lower East Side.”On this particular return to NYC, Escovedo has mapped out an ambitious month-long residency exploring a variety of formats and incorporating a fascinating list of guests such as singer/songwriter and musical historian Richard Barone, Nuggets collection compiler and Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye, and New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain. The residency kicks off with a show at Coney Island Baby on May 2 and closes with a special all-star band at Bowery Electric on May 30.”Back in Austin at the Continental Club, I would do residencies. I would always do something different, whether it was acoustic or feedback with strings,” says Escovedo. “The idea came to do one here when Jesse [Malin] and I were playing a lot of gigs together … I love the intimacy of these places, and I thought this would be a great place to do something like that. … I thought, ‘Well, let’s make every week a little different.'””We’re going to pick the songs together,” says Barone, who works and performs with Escovedo often. “We’ll be using our own songs with songs by artists we admire to tell our stories. It’s a biographical show … I’m going to do one of Alejandro’s songs that I always loved because I think it talks about both of us … it really tells our story.” Alejandro Escovedo and Richard BaronePhoto: Nancy Rankin Escovedo”Richard and I have always had that connection,” Escovedo says, talking about his mutual admiration for Barone, his long history with each special guest and teasing the residency’s finale with a knowing smile. His ambition harkens back to how the city of New York originally grabbed his heart.”When I was a kid in high school and that first Velvet Underground album came out, in our little town, Huntington Beach, California, you could go to any party amongst our group of friends and that record was playing, and we’d listen to it from the very beginning to the very end,” says Escovedo. “Growing up, my friends all wanted to travel to Europe … [but] I wanted to go to New York because the Velvet Underground was from New York.”Lou Reed’s influence on Escovedo’s work is clear, yet never feels imitative. As Barone puts it, “There’s a Lou Reed song for every emotion.” He and Escovedo produced a remarkable tribute to Reed during SXSW 2014 following his death.”There’s something about the way Lou Reed wrote about New York and what I was feeling at the time that made me want to experience that more than I wanted to experience the hippie thing that was happening in California,” says Escovedo. “That’s not to say I didn’t have interest in Buffalo Springfield and Love and all those bands. I did, but the Velvet Underground totally stole my whole consciousness.”Escovedo finally made it to New York in 1978 with his band the Nuns after they opened for the Sex Pistols’ historic last show at Winterland in San Francisco. His arrival in New York was, well, epic.”We had the consummate New York experience. We lived in the Chelsea hotel,” he says. “One of the first nights we were here I sat at a table with Deborah Harry, all of Blondie, the Nuns, Andy Warhol, [photographer] Francesco Scavullo, and George Clinton. We watched the Heartbreakers play at Max’s Kansas City. And that was kind of the beginning. Our first gig was at CBGBs — there’s David Byrne, there’s David Johansen. Everybody was there.”This punk-rock sentiment manifests itself in Escovedo’s songs even today — however, in a way that feels fresh as opposed to nostalgic. Case in point, his song “Johnny Volume” has a foot firmly planted in East Village legacy, but the other kicks forward with lyrics like, “I’m going down to Max’s, Fender Twin on 10/ I’m going back to St. Mark’s Place, start all over again.””I wrote it in Portland,” says Escovedo. “It was actually Scott’s initial song idea, and then we completed it. It’s about Johnny Thunders coming back and wanting to get it right this time — not that he got it wrong, but he wanted another shot at it. ‘I’m feeling so better/ It’s time to make amends,’ and ‘if you see me on the corner, I’m waiting on a friend’ was a reference to the Stones video we all saw [that was filmed] in the East Village.””Johnny Volume” is a live-wired cut from Escovedo’s latest album, 2016’s Burn Something Beautiful, which offers an exhibition in rock songwriting, production and arrangement. The album was produced by former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and his Pacific Northwest-based partner in crime, bassist Scott McCaughey.”When I made Burn Something Beautiful,” says Escovedo, “I think I got back to where my heart really was with rock and roll, and I think I needed Scott and Peter to do that, and all the musicians who played on that record. … It was liberating.”Escovedo also talks with reverence and candor about his experience working with legendary producer Tony Visconti on his three albums prior to Burn Something Beautiful. Visconti is best known for his work with the incomparable David Bowie, one of Escovedo’s heroes.”[Bowie] passed away on my birthday,” he says. “David had been a major, major influence on me. Not only did he teach me about music, he taught me about art, and books, and theatre, and cinema, and mime, and Buddhism, and [he] taught us how to dress, [and] also how to be a man in a different way. He suddenly opened a door to a world that made it okay to be flamboyant, to be an actor in a way.”With equal parts imagination from Bowie and storytelling from Reed, Escovedo says his songwriting process is all about honesty and imagery.”This last record that I just finished, which is a concept record, it’s telling a story and so people say, ‘Well, the verses don’t rhyme,’ and then I go back and I listen to Lou — he’s telling a story,” says Escovedo. “The images are more important than whether the meter is correct in a poetic sense or lyrical sense. It’s more about the impact of the words and the story and the images that he creates.”I really don’t worry about the craft as much as I worry about making sure that I’m honest about what I’m trying to say and true to what I’m trying to say and not being pretentious in any way.””What sets [Escovedo] apart is how he continues to grow as an artist without losing track of his core musical identity,” says Barone. “He experiments … but it never loses that ethos of the punk era.”Looking forward, Escovedo says he’s writing a book with San Antonio-based author John Phillip Santos, telling his story in what he calls a “mythical memoir.” But he isn’t done making music yet.”I’m going to make another record with Peter and Scott, then I’m making a record of duets, and then I want to make one final record really encompassing the grandness of strings with distortion, almost like orchestrated metal machine music,” Escovedo says. “Then I think it’s time to put my feet up for a little bit. I travel hard and I’ve battled illnesses and whatnot, so it’s time to enjoy the fresh air.”As he runs through a career-spanning set during rehearsal the day before the first show of his May residency in the East Village, Escovedo couldn’t be more relaxed. He stops a song here and there to point out a string line for the guitar player to cover or to lock in a harmony part with his background vocalists, but you get the sense Escovedo is very comfortable yielding to the energy of rock and roll and putting faith in the musicians around him. He asks the band what song is next, they all casually call him “Al,” and his wife Nancy hangs out close by with their pup, Suki. From California to New York, Austin, Texas, and back again — for all of Escovedo’s travels — rock and roll is his true home.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more Facebook Alejandro Escovedo On New York, Lou Reed, David Bowie & More center_img Twitter Alejandro Escovedo’s Rock & Roll Return To NYC alejandro-escovedo-new-york-lou-reed-david-bowie-more News last_img read more

Cesar Herada designs oil sucking drones to help clean the seas after

first_img As it turns out someone with some serious skills also wanted that. Cesar Herada, a researcher who has formerly been associated with Ushahidi and MIT’s Senseable City Lab, has created the Protei oil-spill cleaning drone. The Protei oil-spill cleaning drone is designed to be a semi-autonomously device that can sail into the sea and scoop up the oil in a spill, leaving the oil in the container and the water in the ocean. How is this accomplished? With the help of powerful oil-sucking booms that are built into the device. The oil-sucking boom is detachable, and each one is able to hold up to two tons of crude oil per trip. The advantage to using one of these devices is that no humans have to be exposed to toxic substances in order to clean up the mess. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Oil spills represent a significant danger to the oceans of the world. Many of us watched the DeepWater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico and wished that there was a simple way to clean it up. Citation: Cesar Herada designs oil sucking drones to help clean the seas after a spill (2011, April 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-cesar-herada-oil-drones-seas.html Explore further More information: sites.google.com/a/opensailing.net/protei/ The Protei drones are also able to be modified for other types of disasters. In the future modified versions of the Protei drones may possibly be sent in to detect the levels of radiation in water supplies, or to collect samples of other potentially polluted waters. The designers have also mentioned that there may be some commercial uses for the Protei drones as well, but they did not give any specifics on this point. Clean-up tools may help protect wetlands from Gulf of Mexico oil spill The best part is that Protei is an Open Source Hardware project. This means that its design will be available to the public, so it can be built by anyone. The remote controlled Protei is relatively inexpensive to produce and inflatable. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Why Everyone Can Use Randi Zuckerbergs Number One Focus Tip

first_imgApril 13, 2017 Editor’s Note: Entrepreneur’s “20 Questions” series features both established and up-and-coming entrepreneurs and asks them a number of questions about what makes them tick, their everyday success strategies and advice for aspiring founders.In the intense world of Silicon Valley, your stock rise and falls by the state of your startup. And for those founders who don’t make it their number one focus, they are often judged harshly.That is something Randi Zuckerberg learned first hand, first as the head of marketing at Facebook during the social media giant’s early years, and then as the CEO and founder of her own marketing firm, Zuckerberg Media.“What is life without being a three dimensional person? It’s so boring,” she says of the people who believe a startup should be the only thing on your plate. “How can you tell someone to put away the things they are passionate about?”In addition to running Zuckerberg Media, she is a speaker, radio host on SiriusXM and the author of bestselling business and children’s books — Dot Complicated and Missy President.She is also a lifelong student of technology and explores how it has impacted our lives through her 5-year-old online community, which is also called Dot Complicated. And in 2014, she achieved her childhood dream of making her Broadway debut.We caught up with Zuckerberg and asked her 20 Questions to see what makes her tick.1. How do you start your day?I start my day with a little bit of a cheesy mantra that I’ve been using for about 10 years. It says, “work, sleep, fitness, family, friends — pick three.” There is a lot of pressure, especially on women, to do everything well, every single day. I like to give myself permission to do three things really well each day, and it can be a different three tomorrow, as long as it all balances out in the long run.2. How do you end your day?In my ideal mind, I want to do something relaxing, like meditation or yoga. In reality, I’m in bed on social media, on my laptop and on my phone all at the same time. That’s an area of my life that I’m actively trying to work towards. I know that sleep and relaxation is so important, but I would consider myself a work in progress when it comes to the end of the day habits.3. What’s a book that changed your mind and why?Me, Myself and Us by Dr. Brian Little. I struggled for a long time because I’m really an introvert, but I have to act extrovertedly, because I’m giving speeches or meeting with entrepreneurs. I felt very alone in the world and then Dr. Little came out with this book about being pseudo extrovert, and it was all about introverts that have to pretend to be extroverts for their business lives.It totally changed my life and opened up a whole world of thinking for me. The book said if you go out there and have to act extraverted, don’t forget you’re an introvert at the core, which means you’re going to need to build in downtime to your schedule, otherwise you’re going to burn out. We don’t run on the same kind of social energy that extroverts do. So I know that if I have a day where I am on camera or giving a talk, I’ll actually build “do not schedule” blocks of time into my calendar. That’s not something I would have done before his book, but it’s something that’s really effective in my business and personal life4. What’s a book you always recommend and why?Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. It’s an awesome book. She’s an incredible woman and I think that we can all get out of our comfort zone a little more.5. What’s a strategy to keep focused?I like to carve out blocks of time that I’m going to be unplugged, which is sometimes frustrating to the rest of my team. But I find that it’s hard to do creative, thoughtful tasks when you are interrupted by emails and text messages. I like to carve out two to three hours, where I do a deep dive into writing a piece or working on a speech. That is the most effective hours of my entire day.Related: This Founder Shares the Mindset That Helps Her Stay On Track6. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?For a while, I wanted to be a mermaid, but apparently that was not a tangible goal. I really wanted to sing on Broadway. That was my big goal my entire life. I eventually gave it up to go into something reasonable, like technology and entrepreneurship.7. What did you learn from the worst boss you ever had?I learned about how to treat people, but I also learned that is is better to give people feedback in the moment. Early in my career, I had these bosses that would check in with me every six months — and tell me for last six months that I’ve been doing x, y and z and that’s not good. I’d sit there thinking, “Why didn’t you tell me six months ago, so that I wasn’t just making the same mistakes?” That impacted my own management style, because I always want to give feedback in the moment.8. Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?I’m so lucky to have a great mentor in Kathleen Kennedy, who is the president of LucasFilm. She’s given me great advice on what happens when you’re the only woman in the room, and how to find mentorship and peer guidance around you even if you have to look in other industries.We’ve definitely spoken about the fact that sometimes your best mentors are right around you, and you don’t even know. A lot of times we look for someone high above us to be a mentor, but often peer-mentor groups are actually going to be the most effective and helpful.9. What’s a trip that changed you?About a year ago, I traveled to Kuwait. I spoke at one of the first women in business conferences they had in the entire country. It really opened my eyes and challenged my viewpoint. I met some wonderful entrepreneurs that I’m still in touch with on social media. I feel really grateful for that opportunity, and it made me realize that I need to take more trips like that to get out of my own bubble and to expand my view of entrepreneurship in different regions in the world.10. What inspires you?Definitely art, theater, culture. Anytime that I want to feel inspired I go to the theater. I spent so much time in my life building platforms, and it’s easy for techies to forget that platforms are nothing without art to go on them.Related: The Co-Founder of Gilt on What Her First Job at Ebay Taught Her About Running a Company11. What was your first business idea and what did you do with it?A snow-shoveling subscription service when I was in middle school. I grew up in New York, and I was making a little bit of pocket money shoveling our own walkway. I then thought, what if I went door to door and say, here’s my price for today, or you could pre-order for the entire season. If it snows a lot you’ll get a good deal, but it if it doesn’t, that’s the risk you take. I had a few houses our block that took me up on it, mostly because the cute neighborhood kid had an idea, but now I see all the subscription services out there, and I think I was a little ahead of my time.12. What was an early job that taught you something important or useful?My dad is a semi-professional bridge player, and from a very young age, I used to be an assistant at the bridge club. It was fun, except it gets really stressful during certain times of the match when everyone needs to say their scores at the same time and pretty much every person raises their hand and calls for the caddy, and you have to run like a frantic animal collecting scores. Very early on it taught me about time management, how to deal with difficult and impatient people and how to pace myself and enjoy the downtime between the craziness..13. What’s the best advice you ever took?Someone once told me, when we were talking about how easy it is to Google yourself and go on social media and see what they are saying about you, they said to me, “you know what Randi, you’re never as good as they say you are, and you’re never as bad as they say you are. You can’t let it get to your head or your heart.”14. What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?Someone once told me to be less interesting. I think they meant it in a constructive way, because in Silicon Valley there is a culture that you have to be 24/7 invested in your startup, otherwise you’re not taken seriously. It’s a very “all in” culture, especially if you’re a woman. People already expect you to be distracted by your family, so you need to go even more down that road to show you’re all in.I always loved theater and art, so I got some advice to be less interesting, because they felt like people might think I was distracted if they knew I also had an interest in theater. It took me a few years to realize that was probably the worst piece of advice I had ever been given. 15. What’s a productivity tip you swear by?I swear by Evernote and note-taking apps. I’m constantly writing notes to myself and sharing them with my team and my husband. With email I respond either instantly or never. If I’m sitting there I can respond right away, but if I walk away, I get buried by a hundred more emails that come in. I wouldn’t be able to function without it.Related: This Founder Shares the Secret to How to Make Your Business Last16. Is there an app or tool you use in a surprising way to get things done or stay on track?It’s old school, but I set a lot of alarms during the day, like for when when I want to be done with something. Sometimes I follow them, sometimes I don’t, but it does bring mindfulness into my day.17. What does work-life balance mean to you?To me, it’s a long-term goal. A lot of people put pressure on themselves to make it a short-term, everyday goal. I like to give myself permission to be lopsided on a given day.18. How do you prevent burnout?I have two toddlers, and I’m on the road over 100 days a year for work. It’s really easy to put yourself last. I found that I was always thinking about work and then rushing to be home for my family. So self care was at the bottom of my priority list. If you don’t carve out time for yourself, you’re not going to be good to anyone else in your life.Now I block out those do not schedule chunks. I’m the only one that is going to create those boundaries for myself and my time, not anyone else. I would definitely encourage more entrepreneurs to not feel bad or guilty about doing things like that.19. When you’re faced with a creativity block, what’s your strategy to get innovating?I just try to force myself to sit and write — even if what I write is nonsense, and I end up throwing it out. Creativity and writing is a muscle, and you need to discipline yourself to actually sit and write ideally at the same time every day to get used to it. Before you know it, if you keep going, you’re going to write something. I was able to write my whole business book in less than a month, because I decided that I was going to write four to six hours every day.20. What are you learning now? For me, I even see social media and technology as constant education. The tech is changing so quickly for someone like me. If I didn’t constantly work to keep educating myself, I wouldn’t even be hired as a junior social-media manager today.  I’m constantly in a state learning, researching what’s going on, what the innovations are, what the social media platforms are doing. There is not day that goes by that I don’t try to educate myself in tech. 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