10 Quick Brain Hacks to Improve Efficiency via InfiniteLeaders #startup #lifehack #entrepreneur

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Our brains are being re-wired thanks to the ever-changing tech evolution.  Here is a quick article outlining 10 ways to change the way you do things so you can operate more efficiently. 

Our favorite part:

Do all your learning activities within 2 hours of going to sleep. In 2009 a study at Berkley University conclusively established the relationship between learning and sleep. Motor skills and cognitive skills are processed separately in different stages of sleep, but in any case, having a decent sleep after studying or practicing a physical skill will help you get better at it faster.

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Wish more people would choose having meetings in #batterypark. #bartersugar #nyc #love

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Your Middle of the Week Quote #bartersugar #inspiration #love

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Walking Outdoors Improves Brain Function via @officevibe #startup #lifehack #entrepreneur

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You may have heard stories of long walks taken by geniuses like Beethoven and Darwin, but it turns out there's more to it than just some fresh air and a need to escape the confines of four walls.  

A Stanford study shows that walking outdoors not only improves brain function and makes you more creative, but also can decrease your risk of mental illnesses.  Catch the full story here

Three of our favorite non-Walking-Dead walkers:
Charles Dickens
Immanuel Kant
Charles Darwin

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Making A Collaborative Team Environment via @inc #startup #bartersugar #trade #barter #smallbiz #tip

There are two schools of thought on what boost a team's output: is the competitive environment or the collaborative environment?

Here's an article supporting the collaborative approach, which is what we use as well.

Our favorite part:

85% of North American users across organizational levels connect with peers via video - the most of any region. 

Join bartersugar.com, and start collaborating with another business that is ready to jump in today.


Saturday workspace in #NYC. #startup #startuplife #bartersugar

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6 Tools For Creating Social Media Images via @smexaminer #startup #lifehack #entrepreneur

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With visuals being one of the proven additions for boosting post reach and social sharing, making sure images are appealing and compelling is more important in this crowded ecosystem now more than ever before.   

Design is important (as we learned from not focusing on design in our first iteration of BarterSugar). Design will get you to where you want to go.  We found this quick article that shows 6 tools you can use for sprucing up your social media visuals. 

We don't have a favorite in this article, so instead we included that inspirational quote above. 

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7 Things Star Wars Teaches About Productivity via @behance #startup #lifehack #entrepreneur

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It can be difficult maintaining composure all the time when you are one of the most pivotal components of your business.  You make the trains run on time (as the saying goes), but that doesn't mean you have to be operating all the time.  Check out this article about what this author learned from Star Wars. 

Our favorite part:

Be open-minded.
This is a difference between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in the original Star Wars. Luke is willing to believe. There’s a lot of issues people get “stapled to” almost as if they were sicknesses. When you find yourself thinking, “This side is DEFINITELY right,” be willing to open your mind and look at why the other side thinks the way they do. It’s never for the reasons you think. Issues are just ways for the mind to practice being open-minded. 

Join bartersugar.com, and join other jedis ready to trade. May the force...


Why Focusing On Growing Your Facebook Fan Page Is Not The Best Idea via @ReviewTrackers #startup #lifehack #entrepreneur

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Whether you're just starting out and reserved the name on Facebook for your business, or have hundreds of thousands of fans, you have probably spent oodles of time conjuring the best Facebook takeover strategy for your business fan page.  We have - and lucky and unlucky for us, there is an ocean of articles citing the benefits of growing our follower count for our business fan page or garnering more likes on our posts, but is these boosts honestly the best use of our time and money? 

We think not.  But don't take our word for it, read this article

Our favorite part:

On a good day, businesses are likely to reach from 1 percent to 10 percent of their total fans, even when posting something that is relevant to their followers. According to Facebook, this was done in an effort to improve user experience by removing clutter from already highly competitive feeds.

Join bartersugar.com, and reserving your cash for other expenses, and trading for what you need. 


How Your Feet Can Affect Your Sleep via @thescienceofus #startup #lifehack #entrepreneur

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Many people don't instinctively fall asleep with the covers over their entire body except their feet - namely because some of us don't like the feeling, and others are paranoid monsters will snatch at them (the latter being the reason you deny in public).

In this short video, you'll see why sleep scientists are recommending exposing your feet for a good night's rest.  

Our favorite part:

Researchers have found a link between high body temperature and alertness, including improved memory, attention, and reaction times. 

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10 Hacks for Business Travelers #travel #startup #smallbiz #bartersugar #trade #save #tip #lifehack

If you've traveled in the last year or two, then you know what airlines are really investing in making your flight an enjoyable experience and which ones make you feel like you've failed by having to fly with them. 

Our favorite tips from this list of 10 hacks for the business traveler are:

1) Credit cards with airline perks - we are excited for mobile apps, but let's be honest, none of them can compare to the perks you can get with a good airline card. 
2) Dining Rewards programs - your tenth cousin twice removed is visiting you for a few days, and you're taking her to your favorite restaurant? Why not get some perks and points for using your card while dining out.

Join bartersugar.com today, and trade for points, gift cards, and credits to other businesses.


Fascinating Article On Learned Helplessness via @boingboing #startup #lifehack #entrepreneur

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As entrepreneurs we can become trapped by what psychologists call "learned helplessness," which is essentially when you convince yourself there is nothing you can do to change your circumstance because you tried before in the past and failed.  This can manifest to us business owners and employees in many ways, whether it's email marketing to thousands of people only to get a small handful to respond to a feedback survey, or  going on dozens of investor meetings only to be rejected by 99% of them. 

Every now and then we find an article that rocks our sugar cube world, and this article about learned helplessness is it for this month.  Enjoy.

Our favorite part:

When Seligman put those three groups in the room with the electric floors and wall, groups one and two quickly learned to jump over the wall when the tone alerted them to incoming shocks. The third group did not. Instead, they curled up on the floor and whimpered. The previous experiment had taught them there was no point in trying to figure out a pattern. It was as if they thought bad things just happen sometimes, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Even though they could have escaped the pain, they didn’t even try.

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The One Advantage You and Corporate Conglomerates Share - Original Post by BarterSugar

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Launching a Startup is Hard...Really Hard

Are we at a race to the top, or to the bottom? Trading products, services, surplus, and space is now a $110 billion dollar market that increases in value every day.  Accounting giant, PWC, predicts that the potential value of the five main sharing economy sectors will be roughly $335 billion by 2025. Entrepreneurs are racing to the ticket booths at full speed for the chance to snag a seat aboard this profitable train, launching marketplaces like BlaBlaCar, with more forming every day (see Crunchbase daily insights).

Paul Graham said “A good growth rate during YC is 5-7% a week. If you can hit 10% a week you're doing exceptionally well. If you can only manage 1%, it's a sign you haven't yet figured out what you're doing.”  With expectations like these, the pressure surrounding each startup is unmistakable. You can see it in the withered, reddened eyes working tirelessly through the night in microscopic apartments. The anthem sounds like manic tapping feet in co-working spaces.  

The pressure to hit relevant milestones quickly is tremendous, and is affecting the community profoundly. The current rate of depression in America for adults is 6.7% as reported by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Among entrepreneurs surveyed by Dr. Michael Freeman, a clinical professor at UCSF, 30% reported depression. To illustrate, this means that if one hundred startup hopefuls occupy three offices, almost an entire office may suffer from depression.

The Good News Is...

Fortunately, there are cost-efficient, tech resources available to help startups flourish without carving out a large portion of their bank account. A powerful solution relaunched from a traditional method is bartering. When was the last time you went to your neighbor for sugar, as in, something your business needed to thrive? If you’ve swapped professional space, services or products before, then you’ve done what Fortune 500 companies have been doing for years. Bartering for what you need has never been easier.  Sites like bartersugar.com, a marketplace where businesses barter online and offline to get the things they need the most, already have hundreds of businesses trading for what they need.

Everything from photography to legal consultations are being slid across the table in exchange for something needed instead of cash. Richard Brandt, CEO of sleekwork.com, reports having bartered web design for an alternative power source worth over $2,000. In a recent conversation, he said “Barter relieves a lot of stress from startups. It cuts down the step of getting money before things get done, and it's faster. Instead of making sales for 2 months before buying a service, we can now get the service from other startups immediately [when] we offer our own services to them; it's faster and solves the problem.”  

Competition is at its highest yet businesses are exchanging inside skill, space and hardware rather than traditional currency. “Collaboration for my business is highly important as an entrepreneur.” Brandt went on to say, and he’s not alone in recognizing the power of network technologies. On her website, Rachel Botsman expresses, “collaborative consumption is transforming business, consumerism and the way we live for a more fulfilling and sustainable quality of life.”

So now that you know the facts, are you ready to barter?

About the Author:

Megan Lee is the Community Manager at BarterSugar, a marketplace where startups trade, online and offline, for what they need instead of spending money.  Register for free at bartersugar.com.


Late #breakfast, but has the antioxidants and probiotics we need. Blueberries with banana granola in Greek yogurt. #saturday #instamood #loveit

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Fish Smell Makes You Think Critically via @popsci #learn #psychology #tip

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After reading this article, we seriously wondered about what would be the effect of spraying fish oil on our desks when we have those extremely late night meetings for strategy and steam is escaping through our ears from our burned out brains - but on second thought, it seemed too far a measure for the results. 

Think smelling fish is a fishy proposition? Think again.  The odor of fish may make you think more critically. 

Our favorite part:

The researchers found that the fishy smell helped the participants catch the error more often; 13 of the 31 in the stinky booth detected something amiss with the Moses question, while only 5 of the 30 questioned in the non-stinky booth questioned it.

Join bartersugar.com, and barter and trade with other startups and small businesses to get what you need without spending money. 


Chocolate: The History and How to Make It via @LuckyPeach #food #learn #chocolate #history

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Chocolate, oh, chocolate, what can we write that hasn't been written in lovingly prose before?  Our team really can't wait until someone invents a supplement that allows one to devour chocolate all day without going into sugar shock or breaking out into pimples...

But we digress.  Here is the full article for the history of chocolate and how to make it. 

Our favorite part:

The cacao tree (officially, Theobroma cacao; theobroma translates as “food of the gods”), was classified in 1753 by Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus. The most recent genetic research points to the upper Amazon rainforests of South America—near present-day Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru—as its origin. It grows only within a narrow latitudinal band, between 20˚N and 20˚S of the equator. From its origins in South and Central America, cacao cultivation now spans the circumference of the globe within its tropical range. West African countries, namely Ghana and the Ivory Coast, currently provide about 70 percent of the world’s cocoa supply.

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At the edge of our work table. #love the #rustic detail. #bartersugar #cowork #startup #nyc

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Method of Breathing to Fall Asleep Faster via @medicaldaily #sleep #lifehack #bartersugar #startup #smallbiz

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It's no secret that we've got a sleep deprivation problem in the U.S.  So naturally, we'll try any natural, not-expensive way to help ourselves fall asleep faster and enter a deeper state of sleep.

Read this article to learn more about the 4-7-8 breathing exercise that might have you skipping the counting-sheep routine.

Our favorite part:

In the U.S., 40 million people suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders each year, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while an additional 20 million people experience occasional sleep problems.

Join bartersugar.com, and barter with other companies that have what you need so work that you need is getting done even as you sleep.


How to Optimize Welcome Emails via @sejournal #startups #marketing #tip

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Marketing has really become all about the details.  That being stated, why not start with the first email you get upon registration - the welcome email.

Check out the full neat infograph here.

Our favorite facts:

Welcome emails have 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails. 
Spam Trigger Words: "Prize," "Free," "Bonus," "Buy," "Purchase," "Order."  

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5 #hacks to save you money. #trade #bartersugar #swap #startup #smallbiz #tips

Good advice can be timeless.  Here are 5 ways to cut your costs this year (even though it was written for last year).

As the article shows, here are the top items consumers spend on by percentages:

  • Internet connection: 55 percent
  • Driving: 40 percent
  • Pet: 36 percent
  • Smart phone: 29 percent
  • Cable: 24 percent
  • Travel: 10 percent
  • Going out to eat: 9 percent
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