9 Video Marketing Mistakes Killing Your ROI

What is your return on investment for your video marketing campaign?


Over half (51%) of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the form of content with the best ROI.


100% of marketing professionals could have this same high ROI, but not everyone knows how to best utilize video marketing to their advantage.


You can find immense reward from video marketing… but only if you know how to use it appropriately.


What are the mistakes common marketers make that destroy the potential return on video investment?


1. Not promoting on multiple platforms


You created a stunning video and shared it on YouTube. Or you shared it on your website. Or you shared it on your Facebook channel.


The problem comes in the “or.” You shouldn’t be choosing one platform on which to post your video. You should post that video on all of your social platforms.


You’ve invested money in the production of that video; you want the world to see it. The more places you post it, the more people will get the chance to view it.


The more you share it, the more viewership and impressions you’ll get. The more impressions, the greater your chance of conversion, and thus the higher your return on investment.


Moreover, you want your video available on multiple platforms so it can go viral. If someone sees it on YouTube, they might want to share it on Facebook. If someone sees the video on Facebook, they might want to Tweet it. Your video should be easily accessible on social media so it can spread like wildfire.


Of course, you don’t want to simply throw your video out there and hope it sticks. You should still have some sort of strategy for how you’ll approach the social aspect of your video. The video should be relevant to the platform and audience. A six-minute video wouldn’t do well on Instagram, for example.


Did you know that social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image combined?

Social Media

2. Not continuously promoting


You’ve posted on all of your social platforms when the video was published. Now what?


You should be continuously posting and promoting your video. Often, customers may not come in contact with the video or they may not click “play” when the video is first posted.


If you keep promoting the video, more people will have the opportunity to see your post even if they missed in the first time. It will also create more “touches” and can encourage non-viewers to click play. Plus, the more they see the video, the more your brand will stick out in their brain.


Nevertheless, there is a bliss point for the number of times you post. If you publish the video too often, it can seem spammy or annoying. Thus, we recommend a posting cadence as follows:


• At initial publication of video

• 48 hours later

• 1 week later

• 3 weeks later

• 1 month later

• Every other month for 6 months


3. Not having a strategy


You don’t want to just create a video and start posting it on every social platform every other day. If you don’t have a video strategy, you’re wasting time and money. You need a strategy that clearly outlines the purpose of the video, the call to action, the desired response, and the sharing plan.


Having a clear message and engagement in your video comes from having a clear strategy.


This helps you then build a set of metrics that show the actual return of the video. The strategy helps you build a goal to work towards.


Another fatal mistake? Not tracking your metrics. If you don’t analyze your video metrics, you can’t measure success or make appropriate changes for the future.

Strategy ROI

4. Not developing a story


Just like you need a strategy for the purpose of the video, you need a purpose of the story of the video. Why are you telling this particular story? How is this relevant to your audience and your brand?


Videos that don’t build some sort of story don’t see engagement, don’t get shared, and don’t have high returns.


For example, if you’re creating a product how-to video, use a story to show the product being used in its ideal lifestyle. If you’re creating a client testimonial, you can request that the client tell a story about a moment of the partnership between your companies.


Remember that boring videos get a boring response.


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5. Choosing the wrong length


The length of the video should reflect the purpose. The story of the video will dictate how long it will be.


For example, an explainer video should take no more than two minutes. People want to quickly learn how to use their product—and then go use it.


But if you’re telling a story about the lifestyle of your brand, it can be up to 6 or even 12 minutes. This kind of video becomes a short film that focuses on storytelling with a hint of branding.


6. Being too sales-oriented


Ultimately, you want the videos to sell in some way—whether through impressions that encourage conversion or long-term engagement to build repeat customers.


Just because you want to sell doesn’t mean the video should be about selling. People don’t like feeling “sold.” If they get a sense that the video is a “pitch,” they’ll immediately exit the screen.


The goal of video content should be to provide value. You’re showing your customers and prospects why your brand is so great. Sell them on the brand, the ideal lifestyle, and the relationship between organization and customer. This will soft sell your product in a way that converts—without losing customers.


Focus on the story and the value.


7. Not having a call to action


The call to action tells the viewer what the purpose of your video is. It pushes the customer to the next action or point in the sales funnel.


This is how you can soft sell your customers without being overtly sales.


Remember that a call to action is not a sales pitch. It simply encourages them to engage deeper with your brand.


If you don’t have a call to action, your video will just be a film. Your customer will watch it, be entertained, and click away. It will be enjoyable and they may remember your brand, but they won’t know how to build a stronger relationship with your company.

call to action

8. Not considering external content


People will only click on your video if the surrounding content intrigues them. You could have the most stunning, captivating, and entertaining video ever created, but no one will ever see it if the surrounding copy is bad.


What does the headline of your video say? Does it intrigue the viewer to watch more?


What is the thumbnail picture? Is it clear and descriptive? Is it relevant to the video?


Is there an attached blog for further information? What do you write in the caption when posting the video on Facebook? What does the description copy look like?


Furthermore, if you get them to click play, do the first few seconds of your video hook the viewer? Are they going to continue watching?


Remember that video marketing is driven by marketing tactics first and video content second.


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9. Not working with a production partner


Quality videos are not easy to create. They’re an investment of money, time, energy, and equipment. Building the best videos requires expertise and a strong team.


You could do it all yourself… but you won’t see the return that you want for your investment.


Why would you invest capital without ensuring results?


Outsourcing to a production partner is the key to growing high-level results.


If you’re ready to finally see the mammoth ROI that video marketing promises, contact our team at True Film Production right now.

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14 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Tips for Increasing Productivity

Maintaining productivity at work can be a challenge for most business professionals. It can be very difficult to stay at the top of your game each and every day. That’s why we asked 14 successful entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:

Q. What is your top tip for everyday productivity at work?


1. Start with your most impactful task


Before each workday, I make a list of the top three things that I need to accomplish that will make the biggest impact on moving my business forward. I stay focused on completing each task one at a time, and don’t allow other distractions such as emails or small tasks take over my day. – Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile

2. Manage deadlines


Keep two sets of deadlines. Have a master list of when things must be completed and a wish list of when you would prefer things get finished. Setting the bar higher for yourself reduces your chances of dropping the ball and making a mistake, or overlooking an important detail. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker


3. Do the thing you dread first


Whatever you’re dreading the most, get it over with first. That way, you won’t spend your day worrying about it and procrastinating, and it won’t affect your energy levels because you’ll have already accomplished it. The key to staying productive is having a high level of energy throughout the day. It makes accomplishing tasks so much easier. – Rachel Beider, Massage Greenpoint, Massage Williamsburg


4. Block off your mental prime time


Identify when you are the most productive and focus on the tasks that are the highest priority to complete during that time. To do so, eliminate distractions such as calls and emails, and instead use the time you are at your mental best to accomplish your most important tasks. – Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

5. Avoid multitasking


There is no such thing as multitasking—it’s actually rapidly changing tasks, reducing focus, and significantly increasing switching costs. To avoid the temptation to multitask, turn off all notifications so you control your communication flow. Batch tasks, including email, as much as possible. Create office hours, so you can have undisturbed time to execute. – Jonathan Gass, Nomad Financial

6. Establish a morning ritual


Setting a morning ritual has been instrumental in my daily productivity. Having a nourishing breakfast, getting in a workout, and setting aside time for meditation each morning helps prepare me for my day ahead by helping me stay focused and energized. – Mark Krassner, Expectful

7. Make handwritten to-do lists


I’ve learned that keeping handwritten to-do lists on my desk helps me stay on track. If I am traveling, then I have a planner that has my handwritten to-do lists. I find it easier to get everything done on my list if I write it down. Keeping an electronic version on my phone or laptop just isn’t enough. – Kristin Marquet, Creative Development Agency, LLC

8. Ignore emails


I receive hundreds of emails per day and most of them are not important. I’ve found that closing out my email app so that I have to open and load emails manually a few times per day has helped me avoid distractions and focus more on tasks or projects. The same applies to turning off email notifications on my phone.– Stephen Hetzel, BidPrime

9. Get comfortable with delegation


You’ve got to learn how to let go of the small things and trust the people you’ve hired. Get comfortable delegating the things you can so you can focus on the big picture and give your full attention to tasks you can’t delegate. Being involved in every decision will hurt your productivity as a founder or manager. – Francois de Lame, Policygenius Inc.

10. Create a daily schedule


Map out your day and sort your tasks into piles that you want to get done before lunch and after lunch. This will help you to stay focused and be more productive. Start the day with little tasks, then build up to your most important tasks. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

11. Take many breaks


At some point, my focus begins to wane. That’s because none of us were meant to sit for hours on end and maintain the same productivity. However, taking a 15 to 20 minute break will get the blood flowing and reenergize you to keep going. If you take these breaks every hour or so, you will actually get more work done than if you were just sitting there for hours. – Angela Ruth, Calendar

12. Make a priority list


Instead of a traditional to-do list, create a daily priority checklist. This way, each item is given a priority level that shows which tasks hold the most urgency and which tasks can be put off for the time being. When there is a daunting amount of tasks on my list, I like to set a time limit for each action to keep myself from spending too much time on any one item. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

13. Have a snack and stand up often


Eating something mid-morning and mid-afternoon will help you eliminate any hunger thoughts that you might have and allow you to remain productive. Also stretching those legs and going for a short walk (even if it’s around your cubicle) will promote blood flow and help you think better. – Alejandro Rioja, Flux Chargers

14. Invest in a smartwatch


Every time I get a notification on my phone, I’m immediately tempted tocheck Facebook or the news. I solved this distraction by investing in a smartwatch that has email notifications. What used to turn into a three-minute distraction is now a three-second flick of my wrist and swipe of my finger. – Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide

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How to Adapt Your Video Content to Fit Facebook’s New Guidelines

On January 18, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook was tweaking its algorithm for populating videos in your feed:


“At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections. By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends, or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.”


You can read Mark Zuckerberg’s entire post here. But we’ll save you the time and sum up what Zuck said, and what it means for your video content strategy.




Facebook generates a lot of video traffic, as in 8 billion daily views a lot. Most of that video content is mindless garbage. Videos created by companies, or as Zuck calls them “public posts,” that target you because of what they think you’ll watch. Let’s say you like cars. Then you’re probably seeing a lot of videos of people totaling Ferraris on your feed. While that’s something you’re going to watch, it’s not what Facebook wants to be associated with. They want to leave that market to YouTube (we presume).


Facebook knows they can keep you on their site for hours, but they want those hours to be meaningful. They want you to spend time connecting with your friends. Not watching public posts created by someone you don’t know. They want to fuel discussions amongst friends, and they want content that’s going encourage that. They no longer want to show you people crashing Ferraris, they want to show videos of how Ferrari is working on an engine that will revolutionize the world. They want you and your friends to debate whether Tesla or Ferrari is the future of the car industry.


At the end of the day, Facebook still needs to make a profit. Video advertising is still a huge source of revenue for Facebook. So it’s not as if they’re cutting out public content completely. In their own words the public content you’ll see “should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Mark Zuckerberg

How to adapt:


If you’ve heavily relied on Facebook to drive business, you’re going to have to rethink your video content strategy. If you’re a new Chicago Deep Dish pizza spot you’re not going to get on people’s feeds by putting up videos of people eating an entire pie in 15 seconds. Facebook is now suppressing these types of videos, even for hardcore foodies. But a video of the pizzeria giving back to the community of Chicago might be organically pushed. This style of video will get people tagging their friends and saying “hey, let’s go eat there.” This video will drive action and give Facebook exactly what they want: “bringing people together.” It’ll generate positive experiences through a connection made on Facebook. Positive and connection are the keywords, they’re what this change is aiming to accomplish.


So what does that mean for us professionals? Well, depends on what kind of content you’ve been creating. There are a ton of great, authentic videos created by professionals and companies. We’re one of those companies! We’re a team of professionals who provide video production services. We also create videos on our own dime through our inspiration channel. Videos that we’ve made through our inspirational channel definitely make the cut. They’re all about making a connection between our viewers and our subjects. But, some of our branded content is no longer suitable for the new Facebook.


Like any great business, we’re going to have to adjust. We’re already begun pushing our corporate clients to create inspirational video channels of their own. Now, to even have a chance of going “viral” on Facebook corporate content will need to be, well, non-corporate. Our suggestion is instead of focusing on the brand, focus on the people that make the brand. People make a company great, people give a brand life and character. Celebrate those people. Create videos about their personal stories and their journeys. Not only will these types of videos be better suited for Facebook, but you can also repurpose them as recruitment videos!


There will always be a place for mindless videos for you to spend hours watching. If that’s your cup of tea, great! Who are we to judge? We at True Film Production love a good prank video or fail video. However, Facebook doesn’t want to be the place we watch fail videos. If your livelihood depends on creating or curating such videos, it’s time to wean off Facebook and move to a different platform.

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How To Create A Powerful Video Storyboard

A video storyboard turns an idea into a production. It concretizes a vision in a way that connects the brand with its viewers. The storyboard is a blueprint for your video, demonstrating how each part of the picture will blend together shot-by-shot. This ensures that filming runs smoothly by predetermining the narrative, resources, and cadence.


At True Film Production, we use storyboards to connect with our clients to turn their visions a reality.


Why do you need a storyboard, and how can you create a powerful video storyboard for your brand?

storyboard template

The Purpose Of The Storyboard


There are two key reasons to create a video storyboard: planning and communication.


If you want to see long-term success, you can’t just pick up a camera and start recording. You need a strategic plan that will tell you the resources you’ll need for every aspect of filming. A storyboard brings you through all of the elements necessary to create the video.


It can tell you everything from the props and costumes to the backdrops and settings, and from the necessary equipment to the editing tools. The storyboard shows how the visuals and script will align to build a cohesive narrative that aligns with your brand voice.


The storyboard tells you the tools, time, and budget you’ll need to effectively generate this video.


It also helps concretize ideas in an actionable way. It shows the crew exactly what each shot should look, sound, and feel like. This is a great opportunity for you to open the lines of communication with your video production company. You can work together to evolve the project on paper before filming to ensure each shot looks exactly as you imagine it (or better).


Ultimately, the storyboard builds a video vision so you can start filming with a clear strategy.


How can you create a video storyboard for your brand’s marketing campaigns?


storyboard 2

1. Build a timeline of key moments.


What are the major events or moments of your video? Starting with the main points of action can help you organize your thoughts and build the adjacent shots accordingly. Focus on the climax as well as key turning points of the story. Brainstorm a list of ideas, including as many details as possible.


Think about the story you want to tell. What is the purpose of the video? How will this video and story promote your business objectives? How will each key moment build this story further?


From here, create a rough narrative timeline. This will help you set up the series of events. Break up the timeline into sections. You can later switch up the order of these sections to add intrigue and variety, like flashbacks or shifting perspectives.


2. Start with a template.


Use a template to start building each shot. Most storyboards end up looking similar to outlined comic strips.


The template should include:


• Rectangles for sketching the visuals

• Action description

• Dialogue description

• Special effects, camera angles, graphics, and audio notes

• Shot number for reference


Keep the visual rectangles in a 16:9 ratio. This is the same as most video ratios, so it can help you sketch the scene exactly as it should look.


We recommend using a whiteboard if you want to create a video storyboard. This is a great way to easily color-code and change your ideas as you go.


At True Film, we have a specific template we use to build visually scripted storyboards.


3. Break up the shots.


A “shot” is any duration of time that handles a specific scene of your video. The shots come together to help create your story. Each box on your storyboard should be a different “shot” with a rough sketch of the composition of people and things within the background.


Building the story shot by shot keeps the video as concise as possible. What is the purpose of each shot? Can you get rid of some shots that don’t add to the story? Do you need to add more shots to fill out the narrative?


4. Sketch the scenes.


Create thumbnail drawings in the boxes. These will show what that shot will look like. The sketches don’t have to be artistic or beautiful. Stick figures and symbols get the job done. You can even use photographs or images if you have a specific scene in mind. These pictures are just a way to get your idea on paper to better communicate to others what you envision for the scene.


When sketching, think in 3D. Use perspective and angling. Draw some objects smaller to indicate they are further away or larger to show they are closer to the camera. Using this perspective is a great way to direct the crew of the appropriate camera angle.


5. Write action, dialogue, and notes.


Most storyboards focus heavily on the visuals to get an idea of what the frame will look like. However, you want to also include a written portion that will give the specifics of the shot. Answer the questions:


• What’s going on in the scene?

• Who’s speaking? What are they saying?

• What props are they using?

• Are there special effects or graphics?

• What will the audio sound like? Is there a voiceover? What kind of music is playing?


6. Understand your cuts.


The “cut” is the end of a shot, where one scene ends and the next starts. These are the transitional periods that move the story along. You want cohesive cuts between shots to keep the audience engaged while progressing the narrative.


On your storyboard, write the cut between each rectangle of shots. Write what the “cut” looks like and why. What is the motivation? Why are you cutting at this point in the scene? How is it building tension? How is it driving the story forward? How does this cut hook the viewer and encourage them to continue watching?


7. Be creative.


Don’t worry about what the storyboard looks like. It’s okay to throw caution to the wind and build the storyboard alongside your imagination. Think of your board as an experiment. You can keep experimenting until you’ve built the final product you want to generate. Each new draft will bring with it new ideas and a deeper sense of the story.


We recommend using color when possible. This can help your ideas pop off the page and feel more realistic.


8. Make an equipment list.


As you create the storyboard, write a separate list for the needs of the production team. What does each shot require in terms of props, costumes, characters, and setting? An itemized list is crucial for smooth filming and production.


This can help build a schedule and budget. It will tell the crew exactly what’s necessary to bring the idea to life—and just how much that will cost overall.


9. Finalize the storyboard.


In its final drafts, everyone on the crew should review the storyboard together. Walk through each shot with regards to visuals, script, and notes. This ensures everyone is on the same page for narrative and flow. This is an opportunity for final feedback, edits, and pivots.


Finalizing the storyboard creates a clear and actionable plan for filming. Shooting and editing the video becomes significantly easier when the crew knows exactly what each shot will look, feel, and sound like.


The Bottom Line


If you want to create a video that will build your brand voice and appeal to your viewers, you need to start with a storyboard strategy. A storyboard ensures your project is more than just a video—it’s a marketing campaign that will engage your audience and develop your brand.


We believe in the power of the storyboard at True Film Production. Our content strategy and creative services focus on visually and stylistically building video concepts that will delight your customers with each view.


Start building your video’s next storyboard today! Contact us now to get started.

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10 Successful Ways to Include Everyone in Goal-Setting

Question: What is your advice for including all employees in the process of setting companywide goals?


Give Employees a Hands-On Role


“At Ceros, we follow The Rhino Principle, which is largely based on Agile, a software development method used extensively by the development community. Within each department, employees help determine the goals of each seven-week sprint and the tactical steps needed to achieve them, giving them a hands-on role in determining what their specific goals will be and how to attain them.” – SIMON BERG, Ceros

Treat Employees Like Athletes


“Athletes are driven by lofty, usually year-end, goals. In order to have a successful team, great coaches are always instilling daily reminders about these all-encompassing team goals. Championships cannot be won early in a season but they sure can be lost. This goes for businesses and employees alike. Strive to train your staff on the end goals by driving home points of winning every single day.” – ADAM MCDANIEL, Logi Trans Express


Hold Weekly Meetings


“Weekly meetings are a great way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is working towards meeting the companywide goals. In addition to the weekly meetings, we also send out a monthly user activity report to all team members. The monthly report lets everyone see how their work and achieving our goals is contributing to the company’s success. ” – BRIAN DAVID CRANE, Caller Smart Inc.


Ask for Feedback


“We look at all of our employees as members of our team who have valuable input to help improve and grow our business. Being a team player means we want to know from any of our employees if they see room for improvement, even if it involves a part of the business that they are not directly involved in. It is often easier to see a solution from the outside looking in.” – JESSICA ROSEN, Raw Generation, Inc.

Ask Specific Questions


“Ask three simple questions of your employees: What is the first thing you would start doing to make our company more successful? One thing you would stop doing to prevent us from achieving success? One thing you would keep doing that is extremely effective for us? You will have great ideas and you have to help your team feel smart, important, and valued contributors to the success of the business.” – NICK FRIEDMAN, College Hunks Hauling Junk

Divide and Conquer


“At Cyberclick, our company works together as one big team to give our input on companywide goals. We take votes and discuss which goals need to be given top priority and once this is settled we divide and conquer, creating smaller teams that include anyone interested in accomplishing a particular goal. These smaller teams delegate tasks and deadlines to ensure we are moving forward with our goals.” – DAVID TOMAS, Cyberclick

Agree on Metrics


“It’s important to have your employees buy into their individual and department goals. A great way to do this is by having your employees think about and create three goals for themselves. Then, meet with them, review and steer them toward achievable, measurable goals that benefit the company. Finally, come to agreements on what the metrics are going to be and how they are going to be tracked.” – AFIF KHOURY, SOCi, Inc

Encourage a Collective Atmosphere


“When involving employees in the process of setting goals, it is important to remind them that they are all on the same team. Regardless of what the goals end up being, what department came up with them, or who is championing them, a win for the company is a win for everyone. Keeping a collective atmosphere helps to refrain managers, departments or teams from pushing their own agendas.” – KIM KAUPE, ZinePak

Engage Everybody On Your Company’s Mission


“Everybody in the organization should feel that they are part of a bigger picture — staying true to the company’s mission. It is important to define a clear company mission and use it as the reference point when assigning KPIs at all levels by following a cascading process in the organization. Everybody should be able to see how their daily tasks are linked to the overall company goals.” – BRIAN PALLAS, Opportunity Network

Spend Time With Every Employee


“Spend time with every employee, even those who are at the lowest tier. This way you will have the chance to see what everyone is up to on a daily basis. This will help you analyze what needs to be improved. Conclude your time by asking what area they believe needs more attention. This will help improve employee relationships by showing you value their opinion. ” – STANLEY MEYTIN, True Film Production

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How Do You Define Success as an Entrepreneur?

Do your research to make sure your brand is propelling in the right direction.


After a very busy few months running my corporate video production company, I thought a lot about my business, my employees, and my traits as a leader. For the first time in five years as CEO, I asked myself, “Am I successful?” I thought about where my company is now compared to where it was when I started. Our employee count has tripled, sales have increased every year, our quality of work has improved significantly, and our brand presence has become notable in our industry. But this only brought me to the question, “What now?”


Success is loosely defined. There is always work you can do to become more successful. Here are a few steps you could be taking to bring your company to greatness.


Explore New Markets


While you may be successful in your target market, you should be thinking bigger. Think outside traditional markets and see if it makes sense for you and your team to be reaching those.


For example, we saw a potential business opportunity in producing videos for finance companies. To complement and highlight our expertise in the financial industry (and our already established portfolio of finance-related video content) we created a subsidiary company focusing solely on finance-related video production. Let prospects and clients know they are working with experts in their field.


Update Your Website


Your website may be your most important marketing asset. Having a poor website could mean a lot of missed business opportunities since it’s the first place people go to learn about what you do. Update your website at least once every six months. Stay up-to-date on keywords and SEO trends, while making weekly adjustments where you see fit.


We researched the best ways we could improve our site, which included using Google Analytics, A/B testing, focus groups, and analyzing all our traffic. We looked at how people were engaging with our site, and how we could keep them on our site longer and convert them to clients. We believe our new design will decrease our bounce rate and get more people to send inquiries, resulting in better conversion rates.


Improve Workflow


Even if nothing is broken, you should never shy away from looking for new ways to improve your workflow. Try software like Asana or Slack to get organized, and see what works best for you and your team.


We invested in organizational software for the whole company to stay on top of every project, and saw an increase in productivity almost immediately.


Invest in People


With all the growth your company may start to see, it’s important to invest in your staff. The key is not hiring people just because you need to fill roles quickly. Take your time in finding someone who fits into the long-term plan of your company.


When it comes to finding new team members, we really do our research and utilize online resources find the right person for the job. As we continue to grow our brand and reach new heights, we’ve invested in people who can help tackle all the big changes.


It wasn’t until I asked myself if I was successful that I was able to realize all the great things our company could still accomplish. My business has broken free from the status quo, and we now see potential in areas we hadn’t yet journeyed to before. As an entrepreneur and a leader, I believe this mindset is essential to bringing continued success to your company.

The post How Do You Define Success as an Entrepreneur? appeared first on True Film Production - NYC Corporate Video Production Company.

15 Tips to Make a Positive Lasting Impression Right Now

As a business owner, you are aware of the importance of making a good impression when meeting a potential customer or business partner, or when you’re at a networking event. And although many of us would hate to admit it, first impressions generally make lasting impressions.

The more you consistently make a positive and memorable impact on the people you meet, the better your chances will be to develop fruitful business relationships. This will have tremendous effects on your career.

So how can you make sure to leave a positive and lasting impression? Here are some tips and strategies shared by 15 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council.

Remember Their Name


People value being remembered. If at the end of your first conversation with a person, you repeat their name to them while complimenting the conversation and asking for a chance to speak to them again, they will feel valued and appreciated. When you remember someone’s name, it shows your respect for them as well as your interest in the things they had to say. –Jason Applebaum, Eager Media

Be Present


We underestimate how important being present is when we meet someone. Make eye contact, have your body fully facing them and even lean in a bit. Smile when they say something interesting. Ask them thoughtful questions that show you care and are curious and that you were listening to what they said—not that you had a packaged question ready as a follow-up. Offer to help them. – Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40

Make Them Laugh


I love meeting new people and oftentimes I speak to them as if I’ve known them for a long time. I think the best way to break down any awkward or unnecessary walls is to just be open and find a way to make people laugh so that they let their guard down a bit. It’s the best way to let people know that you are an easy person to talk to, and it will definitely leave a lasting impression. – John Hall, Influence & Co.

Make Eye Contact and Offer a Firm Handshake


I try to make eye contact and approach to meet with a firm handshake right away, without hesitation. I also ask questions and listen very carefully to the answer. I always try to provide value based on the discussion and do not expect anything back in return. People appreciate a genuine approach and like to feel that somebody new is really invested in what they have to say. – Duran Inci, Optimum7

Ask How You Can Help Them


The best way to leave a positive, lasting impression when meeting people for the first time is to ask them, “How can I help you?” Instead of focusing on what you want, try asking how you can help them. You’ll be amazed by how much you help yourself by first asking how you can help others. – Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

Be Real


Everyone has been lied to and taken advantage of at some point in their lives. We are so aware these days that almost everyone can spot a liar or someone who wants to take advantage of them. We may not see it consciously, so it’s that intuition or little voice in our heads that says, “Run the other way.” Leaving a good first impression is as easy as treating people with honesty and respect. – Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

Smile Without Expectations


People can sense when others are genuine. They can also sense when someone is trying to sell them something. Do your best to find a happy medium with new people you encounter. Show interest in them, ask them questions, and be open and vulnerable about yourself. This will create a bridge to being friendly and relatable. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

Make Compliments


I learned that when meeting people for the first time, always look for an opportunity to find a compliment. Maybe you love the tie they are wearing. Giving the other person a compliment definitely leaves a lasting, positive impression. I bet you can remember someone who complimented you. – Raymond Kishk, Interstate Air Conditioning & Heating

Add Value


People don’t often think about how they can add value to the person they are meeting. To stand out, when you receive someone’s business card, don’t just throw it into your pocket—hold onto it during the conversation and write on the back of it one way that you intend to follow up. This shows you are engaged and interested in helping them out, leaving them with a great first impression. – David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

Listen and Ask Questions


When was the last time you felt that someone was listening to you? Feeling heard is not common these days, yet it’s such a simple and effective way of leaving a lasting impression. People you meet will appreciate if you simply listen and ask questions. Don’t start off new conversations by talking about yourself, but give the other person the opportunity to do all the talking. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

Make an Introduction


One of the most effective ways to build a relationship with someone is to help them connect with someone that can help them in their business or personal life. Spend some time finding out what challenges they’re facing, whether that’s recruiting, fundraising or sales. See if you can introduce them to someone in your network. Most of the time, this not only helps them, but also the person you introduce them to. – Ross Beyeler, Growth Spark

Be Charming and Funny


Being humorous and approachable is the biggest piece of advice that I give people for leaving a lasting impression. People rarely remember what you do but always remember how you make them feel. Being approachable isn’t about being overtly kind, it’s about participating in a dialogue with equal parts listening and genuine interest. Be interested, be fun, and above all else be sincere. – Michael Spinosa, Unleashed Technologies

Speak With Meaning


Show them that you believe in what you’re talking about and tell them why it’s important to you. This can apply to your business or your hobby—everything you say should have meaning. If there is no meaning then the person on the other end of the conversation will recognize the disingenuous nature of the conversation and quickly forget who they were even talking to. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

Find Common Ground


When meeting someone for the first time, I like to ask questions until we find a mutual topic or interest we have in common. Figuring out what you have in common makes for a pleasant and memorable first meeting, and gives you something to start the conversation the next time you meet. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

Show Appreciation and Say ‘Thank You’


The best impressions are those that show that you value other people’s time, knowledge and skills. You can tell them specifically what you valued about what they did, such as a, “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.” “Thank you” can never be said often enough, since it’s often forgotten. – Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

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3 Things You Need To Know About 360-Degree Video

3 Things You Need To Know About 360-Degree Video

360-degree videos are an exciting way to grab the attention of your audience. The experiential quality allows businesses and influencers to provide additional value to viewers. Although 360-degree video has been around for a number years, it’s been hard for viewers to consume until recently. Now, though, new technologies and media are making viewing 360-degree content as simple as viewing traditional video.

360-degree video virtually transports people firsthand into a new place and experience. This basic form of virtual reality builds an immersive “teleporter” that allows viewers to follow filmmakers wherever they go.

But despite the glamor of 360-degree video, these films need to be created and shared strategically. The process of creation can be a huge undertaking, so you want to ensure that you build it in a way that will ensure a strong ROI.

There are three key components to creating a successful 360-degree video campaign.

1. Know your purpose for using 360.

Why are you creating and sharing a 360-degree video? The content of the video should support the medium. 360-degree video builds a fully immersive experience. In this way, most 360-degree videos show travel or unique experiences that are best lived rather than seen. If you are going to use 360-degree video, the storyboard should call for that “lived immersion.”

Lifestyle Video

For businesses, this usually means creating an experience around the product or service. You can show the lifestyle of your brand firsthand. A real estate agent can show the interior of the apartment and the surrounding area in 360-degree views. A motorcycle company can demonstrate what it feels like to look around as you’re driving down route 1 on your new bike.

The purpose is to provide a unique experience that will show your product or service in use in its best form.

Take, for example, this 360-degree experience of a Six Flags roller coaster. The ability to look around gives you a deeper sense of the “rush” of a roller coaster, making you instantly want to buy a ticket to Six Flags:

Event Video

Another common purpose for 360-degree viewing is showcasing events. If you are hosting some sort of event, you can use 360 video to capture the exact feeling and experience of the function. For people who couldn’t get tickets or who live across the world, they can later watch that 360-degree video and feel like they were there. This helps to build a global community behind your brand while increasing the visibility and reach of your events.

For example, it’s common now for red carpet events to have livestreaming 360-degree so viewers can feel they are attending the prestigious event firsthand. Check out this SNL scene in 360-degrees, where you feel just like you’re part of the audience, no matter where you live:

When you’re building your storyboard and determining the best tools to tell that story, consider how 360-degree video will enhance the experience for your viewers.

Ultimately, 360-degree video puts the viewer in the scene. It’s more than just a video they watch. It becomes an immersive experience with your brand that remains in the memory portion of their mind.

They’re more likely to recall your marketing and branding if you offer a unique, firsthand experience.

2. Create a focal point.

The purpose and storyboard will tell you what your 360-degree video will focus on. You don’t want to use 360-degree technology just to show off a conference room. You want to exhibit a unique setting that has a singular focal point that will grab the attention of the viewer.

You should still provide some single point of focus while you tell a story and grab the viewer’s attention. The rest of the setting should then add to the effect of that one focal point and story.

The goal of 360-video is to put the experience in the viewer’s control, while still directing them gently to a specific point of value you want to provide.

This is especially important due to the novelty of 360-degree videos. People still get distracted by the fact that they can look around in the videos, controlling where they look as the camera rolls. Oftentimes, they’ll be playing with the angles of the camera rather than focusing on your content. In this way, you need to make the setting highly interesting with a defined story to provide a unique and valuable experience.

Take this cooking competition for example. You can see all of the mayhem of the kitchen at once, but you’re drawn to one specific speaker or event at a time. This puts you right in the action, while still ensuring you get the value that the team wants to share with you:

Another example would be GoPro VR’s Land, Air, and Sea video. You can see the entire world and setting, but the focal point is the adventurer:

3. Understand your sharing strategy.

Not all platforms can accommodate 360-degree viewing yet. YouTube, Facebook, and Google Cardboard are the main media for 360 content. These platforms have made it easy to upload and watch this sort of virtual reality.

When choosing how to share your 360-degree video, you want to consider where your target audience spends the majority of their time online. Are they on Facebook or YouTube? Are they seeing your videos on your website, on their friend’s posts, or embedded in your blogs?

You should also consider on what device they might be viewing your video. Generally, 360-degree videos are more fun to watch on a phone or tablet, as these create a more interactive experience.

Ultimately, you want to share on a strategic platform in a way that will optimize the viewing experience for your consumers.

The Bottom Line

360-degree spherical video is becoming more commonplace and easier to create. Nevertheless, the editing process can be complicated, and quality 360-degree equipment can still be on the pricier side. Moreover, it can be challenging to balance the technicalities of shooting 360-degree video while aligning with backdropstoryboards, focal points, and marketing techniques.

Still, one of the best parts of 360-degree video is its novelty. There are no “rules” yet. Creation is wide open and new genres will emerge with this new consumption of content.

The future is exciting for experiential video.

Even if you don’t know how to utilize 360-degree video, you can still offer a stunning, attention-grabbing experience to your customers.

Contact True Film Production to learn about our live action and animated films that will create a unique, immersive experience for your target audience.

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23 Trends That Will Shake The Business World In 2018

After a new year comes and goes, every business owner has the future on their mind. Sales projections, marketing campaigns, tax documents and other business activities for Q1 are among the top priorities as they launch into 2018. But on a broader scale, business owners are also thinking about major industry shifts and new technologies that will significantly impact the way they operate in the year ahead. We asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to each share one trend they believe will influence their work next year.

1. “Away” Status Functions On Instant Messaging Platforms


Before Slack, my morning routine was typically to get into the office, plan my day, scan through emails for anything that needed immediate attention, and then get working on my backlog of priority tasks. After Slack, I’ve found when I get into the office I open Slack and, for each account, I go through all the channels with notifications and read through each channel. Throughout the day I find myself responding to “fires” and answering questions that I probably don’t need to dedicate my time to. In 2018, a trend that will help is using Slack more like email messaging by turning it on only during certain times and for a certain length and then closing it. Turning on away messages and focusing on what matters is a trend I need back. – Michael Averto, ChannelApe

2. Greater Reliance On A Freelance Workforce


I already work with many freelancers, but as I grow, I expect that all my workforce is going to essentially be a freelance workforce rather than any traditional employees. This is a good thing, as it allows me to scale up and down with different businesses I am working on, and implement projects on an on-demand basis. In turn, I can continue to maintain a lean budget without having to contend with so many overheads. Even if business should slow at all, I can adjust accordingly without having to worry about letting employees go. – John Rampton, Calendar

3. Blockchain’s Interruption Of New Industries


Blockchain has already made a big impact on the banking industry, and this year, it will make its way into new industries. Everything from procurement to legal management will be looking to blockchain to increase security throughout the entire customer experience. For business leaders like me, we’ll need to keep our eyes on the horizon for opportunities to integrate new technology like this into our business processes. – Stan Garber, Scout RFP

4. Social Shopping


Social shopping seems to be on the rise. This holiday season will be a telling sign of the growth in this trend in 2018 and beyond. It will change how we think about selling products and services because it is a relatively newchannel that requires a different approach. There are challenges and opportunities to research, track and respond to. – Peter Daisyme, Calendar

5. Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning


We have been building applications for eight years. Recently, we’ve started to see demands from our clients to build apps that involve artificial intelligence and machine learning. This had pushed us to enhance our skills in AI and ML tools, so we can implement them in the products we build. I anticipate that in 2018, we will have more demands from our clients to build apps with AI so that products are smarter and more intelligent. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

6. Live Video


With live streaming videos already gaining popularity and interest from brands this past year, it will continue to progress in 2018. With the digital era being so instant and saturated nowadays with content and apps, people will want to see events and performances at their fingertips immediately. From fireside chats and discussion panels to company events, live video is here to stay – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

7. Wellness At Work


The wellbeing trend is gaining a lot of momentum, and I anticipate it being more and more important as people seek balance and simplicity. It’s becoming more normal to consider working smarter not harder, and with more employees in flexible or remote roles, there is an opportunity for great improvements here. At the same time, it’s also important for businesses to know what’s going on and be able to hold employees accountable. This is the downside of remote work. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

8. Customer Contact By Text


Increasingly we are finding that our customers are reaching out to our customer service team by text. Whether on the Facebook app, by iMessage or on Whatsapp, we are finding that our customers want immediate answers and a more informal means of communication. Ever since we installed the Facebook chat feature on our checkout, we immediately identified the shift in tone and immediacy of what our customers are expecting. When you have set hours for phone calls or you communicate by email, the customer is not expecting a 24/7 experience. As soon as the customer can reach you by text, the urgency in response and time windows increase. 2018 will be the year we will need to figure out how to tend to an always-on customer who is comfortable with a quick, informal response. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

9. Chatbots


In the SAAS business, chatbots are becoming more and more prevalent. Customers want to work with companies that deliver 24/7 customer service through chat. They don’t want to be on hold for 30 minutes to talk to someone; they would rather open up another browser window if they have to hold. Chatbots may even help with Google rankings as visitors will stay on the site longer, decreasing your bounce rate. For businesses that are accustomed to having customer service calls or help tickets, chatbots will require a change in process and new training. It’s something we’re in the initial stages of implementing, but we look forward to the changes. – Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

10. Commoditization Of Tech


Commoditization is coming for tech, especially for development. I’ve seen it creeping in over the years and I think we’re close to the point where commoditization is going to reshape the agency industry. But I think if you’re smart, you can get ahead of it. The name of the game now is creating a powerful brand and differentiating your service offering – if you can provide a white glove service and a level of value that other people can’t copy, no $8-an-hour dev team halfway across the world can ever touch you. –Ben Lee, Neon Roots

11. Voice Search-Based Ad Personalization


The ways in which people are interacting with voice search are only going to keep growing, and that is creating new opportunities and avenues for potential ad strategy. Once the platforms are available, I suspect this will have a major impact on how brands interact with people. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

12. A Boom In Coworking


I think that coworking will become the norm for a lot of corporations. Obviously it’s a great idea for startups, but more established companies are also exploring this type of environment. Coworking isn’t just about saving money and pooling resources. It is also an amazing networking tool. Corporations that want to get closer to their future B2B customers and trend-spot will start establishing satellite offices in various coworking spaces. It also allows companies to be more flexible with their hiring and increase their ability to enter newer markets. – Artem Maskov, DEVTRIBE INC

13. Continued Shift To Standing Desks


A significant trend in the office furniture industry has been the continued shift from traditional desks to sit-to-stand desks. Americans are more cognizant of the importance of staying healthy, and ergonomics has transformed from an obscure, inconspicuous subject to a topic of great interest to many. As more and more employees have come to learn that “sitting is the new smoking,” they are increasingly requesting sit-to-stand desks from their employers. In turn, companies have been buying standing desks for their workers and will do so at an even greater rate in 2018. We will need to continue to offer highly-desirable sit-to-stand options and at price points that are accessible to the mass market. – Adam Mendler, Beverly Hills Chairs

14. Hospital Consolidations


Explosive population growth has kept hospitals busy and somewhat insulated from competitive pressures felt sooner in other markets. Now, hospitals have moved from their traditional territories to consolidate the market. In 2015, WellStar Health System of Marietta, Ga., bought five hospitals from Tenet Healthcare Corp. in a deal worth $661 million. The not-for-profit system, which ended last year with $1.8 billion in revenue, doubled the number of its hospitals with the acquisition. Atlanta seems to be a microcosm of what’s happening nationwide: Hospitals are hustling to improve economies of scale in purchasing, and to spread best clinical and business practices across locations. This has been undeniably good for businesses, and great for ours. – Ashish Advani, InPharmD

15. Alternative Learning Credentials


We’re going to start seeing a spike in employers that begin accepting alternative learning credentials. Right now, many employers will list a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement, but I think a wave of employers will start accepting Coursera, Khan Academy, Udacity and other online courses in lieu of traditional education. As more employers start taking these alternative learning credentials seriously, it will motivate people to start learning again and hopefully, we’ll start seeing an even stronger list of applicants. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

16. More Intelligent Applications


When I started using computers, applications were, for the most part, a thin layer on top of a database that presented lists of items for people to choose from (think of an old-fashioned music player like WinAMP). Today, there’s so much information coming at us from all angles that we can’t design applications like that anymore. We need to have the most useful information presented to us at the right time. It’s the job of the application to figure out what counts as useful at any moment. With the introduction of sophisticated machine learning, low-latency mobile connections, low-power sensors and augmented reality, we’re going to see applications get much better at filtering and prioritizing information. Ultimately, that’ll free us to focus on generating value. – Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

17. Growth Of Automation


We’re seeing the growth of automation right before our eyes, and I think we’ll see this coming into more workplaces as we move into 2018 and beyond. While we may not see the game-changing moves happen right away (e.g. an entire role replaced), I do think we’re going to see tools being built in the SaaS space that continue to make our work lives a little easier. Where some people may develop stress around this idea, it will allow us to automate time-consuming tasks and focus on the big picture. Some of my favorite instances of this are social media automation, chatbots and the quick replies that Gmail is beginning to provide that leverage machine learning and AI. – Erin Blaskie, L-SPARK

18. Fractured Social Media


As many different social media platforms begin to resemble each other more closely, they also start to reach different demographics. An example of this is the schism between Snapchat and Instagram users: The recent addition of Stories and face filters from Instagram has drawn some users away from Snapchat. As users begin to draw lines in the sand, our focus will turn towards picking a side as well. To make the most out of our time and resources, we plan on committing to two or three key social media sites by creating content and interacting with followers. It is true that by adopting one network we will be turning our backs on an entire demographic of people. However, the scatter-shot approach just doesn’t offer the kind of return that justifies the extra effort. – Bryce Welker, Beat The CPA

19. Augmented Reality


I’ve been impressed with some of the augmented reality applications that were created following Apple’s release of ARKit earlier in 2017. But I think 2018 will be the year AR goes huge. By bringing the digital and physical worlds together, AR will touch many business processes. I’m particularly excited about the training and educational potential. As a server and cloud hosting provider, we manage several large data centers. AR will be great for training new staff members on our equipment and letting them run through repair and support procedures. I’m also looking forward to integrating AR into our monitoring systems so server administrators can locate problematic servers and access a live overlay of server performance and issues. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting

20. The Human Touch


A lot of people are focused on innovative technologies like AI and blockchain, and these have a lot of potential. But the biggest trend that matters in 2018 and beyond is how we treat our customers and ensure we continue to meet their preferences. While innovations are exciting, it can be tempting to roll out new tech before it’s ready, potentially alienating customers and even team members in the process. This is why we plan to continue to invest in a world-class customer service team staffed with humans (not chatbots), and remain responsive and open to what our customers need from us. – Ross Cohen, BeenVerified

21. Mobile Everything


There is absolutely no question that the market is exponentially moving to mobile-everything. Mobile usage is up immensely and everyone is scrambling to catch up, especially retailers. Although it may be obvious to some, there are still many brick and mortar business that refuse to believe that the internet is quickly becoming the primary means of business. The data is there to prove it. In 2012 approximately 11% of retail sales occurred on mobile devices. Fast forward to 2016 and 48% of consumers are reporting that its easier to shop on their mobile phones. This is the modern equivalent of companies like Sears not foreseeing internet retail in the early 2000s. If you’re not offering customer-centric, fluid, cross-platform experiences for your customers, you are sure to lose. – Ali Mahvan, Sharebert

22. The Membership Experience


Working in the grooming and retail industry, my team anticipates the rise and importance of customizing guest experiences even further in 2018. As competition continues to grow in the grooming segment, we intend to focus on our membership incentives. It is important to find ways to simultaneously secure annual participation from your customer-base while also providing them with the service and pricing incentives that only exclusive memberships offer. – Ben Davis, The Gents Place/b>

23. A Growing Focus On Diversity


My work with Gaingels is all about diversity, specifically the importance of driving social change through business and capital investment. Our belief is that you drive real change by investing capital, effort, relationships and talent into projects that reflect your values. The change we are looking for is more LGBT leaders, and more representation for all diverse groups at the senior levels of startups and other companies. Given the issues that have arisen over the past year, improving diversity should be a critical issue for 2018, and we intend to be at the forefront of that global effort. – Paul Grossinger, Gaingels


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10 Not-So Secrets of an Entrepreneur

One thing I have found is that becoming a successful entrepreneur is not a matter of having a great idea. That great idea is just the beginning. It takes the right combination of certain factors to take that great idea and make it into something successful.

I have found 10, not-so secret, secrets of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Here they are.

Strong leadership abilities

An entrepreneur cannot build an empire without strong leadership skills. An entrepreneurial endeavor comes with a certain about of uncertainty and unpredictability. A strong leader can reassure his team and motivate them to keep moving forward.

Strong self-motivation

Motivation for an entrepreneur must come from within. An external motivation, like a job loss or pressure from a loved one, is not going to get a budding entrepreneur very far. A strong, internal drive to succeed and take an idea as far as possible will push that person forward even on the worst days.

Willingness to fail

Failure is a part of business, especially for entrepreneurs. It helps them learn what is not working, so they can change directions toward what is working. It builds a certain mental resiliency that makes the entrepreneur stronger and more motivated than ever.

Willingness to do the hard work necessary

Let’s be honest. Starting up a business is not a simple task. There are tons of things to do and, in most cases, very few people to do it all. The entrepreneur must be willing and able to put in the hours and hard work necessary to keep the business running and moving forward.

Dedication to see the venture through

An entrepreneur must have a stubborn sense of dedication. Getting people to buy into a new idea can be an uphill battle. Getting lenders to buy into a vision can be a long journey littered with rejection. Getting customers to make that first order can seem like an effort in futility. That is why dedication is critical for entrepreneurs.

Desire to build strong relationships

Almost all successful businesses are built on strong relationships. The entrepreneur must have the desire and ability to build those kinds of relationships with peers, employees, vendors, lenders, investors, customers, and just about everyone else.

Willingness to treat staff the right way

Treat your staff with trust, dignity and respect, and you will see results. If you treat your staff members right, they will treat your customers right. If they feel discontent and no motivation, that will reflect in how they treat your customers.

Constant sense of competitiveness

One thing that motivates most successful entrepreneurs is the desire to win any challenge presented to them. They see opening up a company as one of the biggest challenges out there. This sparks their competitive side to win at all costs.

Ability to recognize and address knowledge gaps

The inability or unwillingness to ask questions is a weakness that can cause a business to fail before it gets off the ground. Asking questions and seeking advice from subject matter experts is a cornerstone of successful entrepreneurs.

Comfortable with taking risks

Opening a business is a risk. Putting yourself out there to sell your idea to a potential investor is a risk. Signing that first customer contract is a risk. Cold calling 20 people a day is a risk. An entrepreneur who is risk-adverse is not going to get very far.

I have seen many great ideas go nowhere because the people behind them just did not have what it takes for an entrepreneur to succeed. Do you have what it takes?