5 Things to Look For in Your Next Incredible Mentor

Ask the most successful people you know how they got where they are and they’ll likely mention at least one mentor who helped them along the way. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of an investment of time, energy and advice, it’s important to see mentoring for what it is: A priceless gift. That’s according to Steve Pogorzelski, CEO of Avention, a Concord, Massachusetts-based sales enablement and business information solutions provider. Whether you want to be a good mentor or find one who will help you get to the next level, here’s what he says you need to know about the best mentoring relationships.

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50 Quotes on Leadership Every Entrepreneur Should Follow

Every entrepreneur knows that the success of their business ultimately rests on their shoulders. Yes, the product you build and the team you hire are important, but your ability to lead is what carries your company.

With that kind of pressure, it’s easy to feel stressed, lonely and overwhelmed at times. Every great leader has faced a challenge that defined their greatness, which is why we often turn to their advice when needed.

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The 5 Most Profitable Industries in the U.S.

Gaudy revenue figures may get a business a lot of attention, but profits are where companies live and die.

As a part of Inc.‘s annual look at the best industries for starting a business, we decided to highlight the niche sectors that may not make as many headlines based on revenue, but that have higher-than-usual profit margins.

The selections come from IBISWorld’s exhaustive list of U.S. sectors, which looks at everything from projected revenue growth to labor requirements. Here are the five best industries for starting a business in the U.S. based on profit margin.

Note: Because of high barriers to entry, the following industries were excluded from the below list: high frequency trading, private equity and hedge funds, trusts and estates, and oil pipeline transportation. 

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Learn Why Lazy People Are the Best Hire for Your Company

At first glance lazy employees seem to be the worst ones to look to if you want to get a job done, but that may not be the truth.

After all, it’s the lazy employees who know the shortcuts, the efficiencies, how to eliminate problems, keep things running smoothly, and save time.

Here’s how to get the most from them.

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7 Habits of Remarkably Successful Startup Entrepreneurs

On the surface, successful entrepreneurs seem to be the same as everyone else.

But look closely and you’ll see that in a few ways they are very, very different–and so is how they start and run their businesses.

1. They always prefer action to thinking.

A detailed plan is great, but stuff happens, and most entrepreneurs don’t make it past the first three action items before adapting to reality. (I started a company assuming I’d provide book-design services to publishers; I ended up ghostwriting those books instead.)

Spend some time planning and a lot more time doing. If you’re unsure, do something, and then react appropriately. It’s easy to ponder and evaluate and analyze yourself out of business.

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Are You a New Age CEO?

Change happens at whiplash speed. A quick response is no longer adequate. Instead, companies must anticipate massive external disruptions and become disrupters themselves. In his new book, The Attacker’s Advantage: Turning Uncertainty Into Breakthrough Opportunities, Ram Charan–an adviser to everyone from entrepreneurs to CEOs of the world’s largest corporations–explains the new leadership imperatives: a “born-digital” understanding of technology’s power and the ability to see around corners. Charan spoke with Inc. about how to build “perceptual acuity” and the rise of the “New Age CEO.”

Why is uncertainty more of a problem than it used to be?

Of course companies have always faced uncertainty. But today, we are more than ever before dealing with structural uncertainty, which can completely destroy your market or industry and send you over the cliff. Consumer preferences can change more rapidly and broadly, and more change creators are coming out of nowhere, empowered by communication technologies. So it is no longer enough to be able to adapt to change. You must create the change yourself.

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11 Inspiring People Who Lost It All and Came Back Stronger

I was talking with an old friend recently. She’s been going through some rough times: just got laid off, broke up with her boyfriend, had a few other things fall through.

I was sympathetic. We’ve all been there. Still, I gave her my usual, Pollyanna-ish spiel: Bad endings portend good beginnings; failure is fun when it’s done right; it’s always darkest before the dawn. I’m sure I annoyed the heck out of her. Nobody who’s down really wants to hear that stuff–and yet, it’s true.

There’s a long list of people who have lost everything and come back far stronger. So in honor of my friend (and everyone else who’s facing tough times), here are a few amazing and inspiring examples:

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