The founder of $5 billion healthy snack company Kind on how to build a culture of empathy without losing your competitive edge

Daniel Lubetzky Headshot 1
Daniel Lubetzky.

  • Daniel Lubetzky is founder and executive chairman of Kind snacks and a “Shark Tank” guest judge.
  • He recommended leaders incorporate kindness into their cultures as it helped him find success.
  • To build an empathetic culture, define and implement your “how” and encourage honest feedback.
  • This article is part of a series called “Secrets of Success,” which examines specific leadership tips from prominent business leaders.

Daniel Lubetzky, founder and executive chairman of snack company Kind, guest judge on “Shark Tank,” and founder of multiple foundations and nonprofits, grew up with empathy in his blood.

The child of a Holocaust survivor and Jewish immigrant to Mexico, his parents taught him the importance of deeply caring about other people and finding common ground in order to avoid hatred and division.

While these types of childhood lessons don’t always translate into great business advice, Lubetzky has always been adamant about instilling empathy into the companies he builds.

His team culture emphasizes kindness over competition, and he believes this approach actually helps his companies outperform – and based on Kind’s recent $5 billion acquisition, this softer approach hasn’t stopped them from succeeding.

Here are a few of the ways Lubetzky recommends other leaders start to bring more kindness into their cultures – without needing to completely overhaul their approach or lose their competitive edge.

Focus on the ‘how’ as much as the ‘what’

Setting aggressive goals is a part of any competitive business strategy.

But Lubetzky thinks too many business leaders overlook an important aspect of this kind of planning – how you want to go about achieving those goals. “Where you’re heading is very important, but how you get there, how you’re approaching every day, is as important as anything,” Lubetzky told Insider.

In an end-of-year letter to employees, Lubetzky shared some examples of what this looks like day-to-day on his team: “The way we work – the way we welcome hearty debate and disagreement, because we know it makes our ideas better and stronger; the way we respectfully listen to one another, try to see one another’s points of view, and assume positive intent; the way we practice integrity across all of our decisions and refuse to cut corners or accept false compromises; the way we push ourselves to achieve excellence but not at the expense of practicing kindness in every small action; the way we take initiative and responsibility for what we do – is what fills me with pride.”

Defining and implementing the “how” of your business can take many approaches, but Lubetzky swears by a simple set of core values that can guide team behaviors and decision-making. Perhaps more importantly, this can also help ensure you’re hiring the right people to keep this empathetic culture strong.

For instance, two of Kind’s values are “kind yet hungry,” which helps them look for teammates who will balance a drive to achieve with integrity and respect.

They can also guide what behaviors you choose to incentivize and celebrate. “We have an annual tradition called ‘Kindos of the Year,’ when we recognize those team members who have gone above and beyond to live out the kind values and champion them within the organization,” Lubetzky said. “Kindos is just as high an honor, if not more so, than meeting an important sales goal or other business objective.”

Be kind, not just nice, and encourage honest feedback

Lubetzky said there’s an important distinction to keep in mind when building a more empathetic team culture: that true kindness is different than just being nice, and while one will create a more competitive team, the other may weaken it.

“You can be nice and not criticize and be polite,” he said. “I’ve seen it so many times with companies I admire where nobody will tell the CEO or founder something they need to hear because they don’t want to be the one to disagree. That’s the moment when mediocrity is going to start seeping into the consciousness of that company.”

Instead of just being passively nice, you should be aiming for an active empathy, where your teammates have plenty of opportunity to get to know each other and connect – which ultimately leads to an organization where people are comfortable giving hard but important feedback.

“Kindness requires honest feedback and honest feedback requires strength, and that strength is much better achieved when you have a culture where people trust each other and know that they mean well toward one another,” Lubetzky said.

This deep trust built off connection and empathy is why he and former Kind president John Leahy worked so well together, despite rarely seeing eye to eye. “Because we knew we shared a goal to strengthen Kind, we never tried to one-up one another or put the other person down,” he said. “We were able to have constructive back-and-forths knowing there never was a different agenda or underlying issue masked as something else.”

Start small and build empathy into the everyday

Lubetzky said an intent to improve is the best way to start integrating empathy into your workplace. “If you’re asking how to create a more empathetic workplace, you’re already way ahead of everybody else,” he said.

Then, think of small ways you can model the behaviors you want to see, such as taking a moment to ask a colleague how they’re doing, giving a more junior person the floor, or celebrating a small win a teammate had. “We all are a product of all those little interactions with every person, and that’s what counts the most,” he said.

Also look for ways to build more opportunities for empathetic connection. This doesn’t have to be anything revolutionary: Lubetzky suggests things like team events that give everyone a chance to meet or slightly less efficient meetings that allow time for casual connection. “All of our leadership team is encouraged to do 15-minute connects every month or so where they check in with everyone on the team on a personal level,” Lubetzky said.

Finally, as you’re going through this process, be empathetic and forgiving with yourself, understanding that it’s not easy to build this kind of culture and you’re sure to make mistakes along the way. “I don’t have all the answers and I don’t always behave the way I’d like to,” Lubetzky said. “But it’s the commitment to try to improve that really matters.”

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3 women leaders share their experiences in the male-dominated cryptocurrency industry and what its future looks like for women

Full length of young woman looking back over shoulder while walking on pink currency symbols GettyImages 1253985676
  • 2020 saw a 43% increase in women working in crypto, an industry heavily dominated by men.
  • Three women leaders discuss their crypto careers and how to bring more women into the field.
  • They also discuss where crypto is headed and what it means for women.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Just like the startup boom in Silicon Valley during the early 2000’s, jumping into a career in crypto is not for everyone. It requires a lot of commitment and time. The best reason to pivot your career to crypto full-time is because you are passionate about what can be achieved.

The three of us come from various finance and tech backgrounds, from big institutions to startups, but we all found our way into crypto.

And while it was hard nudging our way into a boy’s club, crypto doesn’t have to stay a boy’s club. It’s a thriving industry with over $2 trillion in market capitalization (and growing).

Having women at the forefront of the early stages of development of the industry is a positive indicator for a future where priority goes to the right education and access for everyone to join this new crypto club. Last year we saw an increase in women working in the industry by 43%, according to a study by CoinMarketCap.

Here are some of our experiences and perspectives on the future of crypto for women leaders.

Leah Jonas, head of partnerships, Celsius Network

 Leah Jonas, Head of Partnerships, Celsius Network
Leah Jonas.

When I caught the crypto bug four years ago, the most effective way to learn about and start a crypto career was by attending niche networking events. While this is true in any industry, unfortunately, the gender imbalance at crypto events in particular has created and perpetuated a barrier to entry that often prevents women from becoming involved in the digital asset space.

I went to my first Meetup in a bar in New York City, and I was the only female in a room of forty.

Unsurprisingly, the experience was not only intimidating but also off-putting as my fellow attendees were much less interested in conversations about growing in this industry, but were more focused on the trending news of the day.

While I did continue to attend events despite that first bad impression (and ultimately started my career on Celsius Network’s founding team), it’s easy to understand why many women give up on breaking into the industry.

What’s the right direction forward? Mentorship programs can be a path to inviting women and building more inclusion. Learning how to navigate a predominantly male industry is difficult, but it’s made much easier with advocates on your side who have faced similar challenges.

Having a female-focused crypto mentorship program for women looking to get into the space or just beginning their careers in the industry would create a more welcoming gateway to entry and foster upward mobility and growth of the women who are passionate about building the next wave of fintech products.

While industry entry points have widened since that first event I attended, we still have a long way to go.

Where is crypto going? While many are looking to traditional financial institutions for the next evolution in finance, I believe big tech will be the catalyst for growth over the next 2-5 years. While traditional institutions like MicroStrategy and BlackRock have started dipping their toes into crypto, their ability to stay agile and innovative in a quick-moving, ever-changing market is minimal.

On the other hand, big tech like Apple, Square, Twitch, and Facebook have adaptability and innovation in their blood.

The recent trend for big tech has been bringing their financial stack in house, like Uber building financial products for payments and driver payroll internally. I believe that big tech companies have the means to inject crypto and blockchain payments in a multitude of different ways into their already existing, foundational structure and growing financial products of their own. Most importantly, they can move as fast as the crypto industry.

Catherine Coley, CEO, Binance.US

 Catherine Coley, CEO, Binance.US
Catherine Coley.

Headlines have roiled hedge funds, and the bros of Reddit have seized capital markets, sending crypto bros into a chant of “I told you so.”

The act of conquering has historically been a masculine activity, but let’s really unpack this revolution, which included the Internet, a fervent community, and a justice-seeking thesis to protect the people as voiced through visual art, better known as memes. It’s time to wake up and plug into our generation’s greatest opportunity for women.

The muscle required was no more than clicking a mouse and the ability to connect the dots, take risks, and go. If these are the requirements to play a very active role in our economy’s future, then ladies, it has never been a fairer playing field. We have a unique opportunity to define a new era of financial markets and make these changes faster than our predecessors.

I share this not as an observer but as an active builder in this industry who has grown a team over the last 18 months, building an app, website, and API for Americans to access and trade over 50 different digital assets, growing the assets under custody more than 25 times in 12 months.

Women have a real opportunity to lead, create, and define how the world will operate and how the money will move. This freedom contrasts the start of my career on Wall Street, which took about 200+ years since the first American bank opened to place a woman at the highest leadership level. There is so much potential for growth and diversity of leadership and thought.

I’ve made it my mission to hire some of the best and brightest from diverse backgrounds at my company. Our head of business development, Rena Shah, started as a petroleum engineer on oil rigs and found her way into the crypto industry as a crypto miner (crypto mining is the process in which transactions between users are verified and added to the blockchain public ledger) with her knowledge of commodities and obsession with mining using clean energy.

In crypto, we recognize that we all had a life before Bitcoin, and the creativity to apply what we know from prior industries helps us build for a more resilient and inclusive future. We are all so much more than our jobs. Still, I feel confident that digital asset management roles will help more people underrepresented in past industries have the chance to define the digital future on their way to financial independence and freedom.

What would you say to those who say this is bitcoin’s peak and are selling now? The recent parable played out over Game Stop illuminates some of our current markets’ ugly underpinnings today, reiterating the importance of building towards decentralization. But even before that, we’ve seen macro investors all summer of 2020 coming out and validating Bitcoin, with Ray Dalio most recently in January 2021 recognizing the invention’s brilliance.

Beyond the market cycles, I would urge every woman to stay current and learn about this unfolding technology in our generation. Doing our digital homework and research before diving into crypto is critical to owning your future. If it consumes your thoughts every day, then you should apply that passion to the industry itself. Crypto and blockchain companies don’t just need analysts and engineers. Companies like ours are continually looking for the sharpest minds in all professions.

Georgia Quinn, general counsel, Anchorage

 Georgia Quinn, General Counsel, Anchorage
Georgia Quinn.

I have worked in finance my entire career and have frequently been the only woman in the room, meeting, or panel. One of the things I love about the blockchain space is the diversity I have found.

Anchorage has worked hard to create a diverse environment with an all-female legal team, three female department heads, and a growing number of women on our engineering team. Our former general counsel, Katie Biber, is now on the advisory board, utilizing women at all organizational levels.

What would you say to those who say this is bitcoin’s peak and are selling now? Crypto is about so much more than the price of bitcoin. Do you want to be a part of the next generation of global finance? Do you like shaping the future instead of catching up? Do you want to make things better for everyone by providing financial inclusion and lower transaction costs? Then yes, now is the perfect time to jump in.

I would urge everyone to do his or her research before diving into crypto. Learn about the up-and-coming projects in DeFi or the markets, and then decide where your skills can be used. Crypto and blockchain companies don’t just need analysts and engineers. Companies like mine are continually looking for the sharpest minds in all professions.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Inside Unilever’s program that allows employees to try out new jobs and gig working opportunities at the company

alan jope unilever
Unilever CEO Alan Jope mentioned their approach to the future of work in a recent earnings call.

  • Unilever is investing in full-time jobs for project-based work and flexible part-time opportunities.
  • Using an internal platform, employees can help out on different projects across the organization.
  • The company is rethinking roles, structures, and departments as a result.
  • This article is part of a series called “Future of Work,” which examines how business leaders are rethinking the workplace.

Vanessa Otake started working at Unilever in 2003. She is an engineer by training, and worked in technically-focused research and development (R&D) roles before making a sharp turn into HR, as a diversity and inclusion lead overseeing gender equity.

While that kind of move may seem uncommon for an engineer, Otake was well-prepared for this mid-career shift. She knew the D&I team well and felt she had a good understanding of their day-to-day responsibilities. The team already understood what she brought to the table and was eager to have her on board, and it wasn’t because they were happy hour buddies.

This happened because Otake took advantage of Unilever’s flex-work program to pursue a D&I project while still in her full-time R&D role. Otake told Insider the flex experience opened doors and gave her the confidence to pursue this new job, which she said has reinvigorated her.

Offering opportunities such as this benefits companies in many ways, as leaders at places like Spotify, Deloitte, and Unilever are learning. People can explore new parts of the business, contribute in different ways, and develop new skills and passions.

“Now that I’m in this role, I feel like a kid in a sweet shop,” she said. “I’m back into learning again, growing again, and being able to grow with something that I’m really passionate about.”

Vanessa Otake_Unilever (2)
Vanessa Otake, the equity, diversity and inclusion manager for gender.

The benefits of a well-developed talent mobility strategy

Using an internal system, managers at Unilever can solicit help for projects from anyone in the company. After writing it up and posting the project on the platform, they field applications from colleagues who are empowered to dedicate approximately 15-20% of their time to support this kind of work.

“Not only do they find a resource who’s keen and excited to do it but then often they also find that they get someone who’s bringing a wonderful different perspective that they wouldn’t have had from their normal team,” Patrick Hull, vice president, future of work, at Unilever, told Insider.

Hull added that the company has been doing this for about 10 years, and recently invested in a platform provided by software company Gloat to bring more speed and efficiency to this internal talent marketplace. Since they launched their pilot in early-2018, they’ve had over 4,000 projects completed.

Unilever benefits from this strategy on many fronts: productivity, engagement, career path-enablement, and skill development. This initiative is part of a few major efforts Hull is undertaking to develop new employment models for the global, 155,000-person company. Flex-work is a centerpiece of the company’s talent mobility strategy, and it’s also helping Unilever better understand the capabilities of its employees.

“There’s a huge benefit that we can unlock capacity in the organization by having people from different functions and departments, even different countries, working on critical projects in the organization,” Hull said. Flex-work can also be helpful for retraining those whose jobs may be eliminated due to automation. During the pandemic, flex opportunities helped the company redeploy people to help meet the rising demand for hygienic goods.

Hull himself recently took on a flex role coaching managers in China.

“I previously worked in China, a few years ago, and when that opportunity came up I just thought, for me it was a wonderful way I could give back,” he said, adding that the Chinese team was happy to have a senior leader from company headquarters on their manager training initiative. “They were getting more than what they bargained for.”

Institutionally, promoting flex opportunities and talent mobility aligns with Unilever’s commitment to helping employees find their passion and purpose. Otake said the company’s purpose workshop helped her identify her passion for gender equity, which led her to pursue the D&I flex job. Hull said around 60,000 employees have taken that workshop since 2018.

Unilever has also introduced U-work, which Hull calls a “responsible alternative to the gig economy.” It’s a full-time employment contract where the workers’ entire job consists of project work across the company and is expected to be available in 10 countries by the end of this year after being launched in the UK in 2019.

Hull said that while he initially thought working parents and others with caregiving responsibilities would be the ones most interested in this flexible model, other takers have emerged such as part-time students, people with side-businesses, and those easing into retirement.

Woman with Desktop View
An employee using the platform to find people for a project.

Focusing on skills helps break down silos

Flex opportunities and U-work allow employees to find new career interests or enjoy newfound flexibility. It’s a model that acknowledges many trending changes in the employment climate including peoples’ demands for more flexibility.

Ben Rueveni, founder of Gloat, the platform used by Unilever, Deloitte, and ADP to support employers’ internal mobility efforts, started his company because he received a flex opportunity the old-fashioned way. He asked for the opportunity and had to get multiple managers to carve out time from his primary job.

“All of these hierarchies, that corporations are used to, create silos,” Rueveni told Insider. “It creates people that are not aligning with business goals, with the top line. That’s I think what is broken right now, that’s what we are trying to fix.”

Rueveni was later working at IBM, and found it unusual that it was easier for him to pursue jobs at other companies rather than internal opportunities if he wanted to take his career in a slightly different direction. This time, he found a way to get his own flex opportunity. But ultimately he set out to fix the problem.

“When everyone is really focused and has this structure of doing what they should do and only that, that that creates less utilization, a less productive environment that is not very agile,” he explained.

By looking at people with the skills they carry rather than the job titles they’ve held, it starts to make job titles and departments almost seem obsolete. Companies can be much more interconnected and also get more productivity out of their people by encouraging skill sharing and development.

“We just see that there’s all this opportunity that we can unlock for people that maybe we wouldn’t have been considering because, as with many organizations, we would have been more in our functional silos,” Hull explained. “Now we’re doing much more research into skill adjacencies,” and he said departmental work is increasingly “being divided up into projects and tasks and deliverables.”

Hull said he sees siloed departments breaking down in the future and a more granular method of viewing employees’ contributions to the company, focused on outputs and skills rather than years with a job title to understand what an employee brings. His job is to make sure the workforce inspires employees and benefits the company bottom line, and he sees the underlying strategy of cataloging employee skills and finding smarter ways to use them as key to the company’s future.

“When you can get to that level of detail, you can get much more targeted in your recruitment, in your internal mobility of talent, and applying the right talent to the right tasks and projects, and thereby also accelerate business performance,” he said.

Unilever CEO Alan Jope mentioned the success of these efforts in the company’s latest earnings call.

“Agile ways of working are allowing us to redeploy both temporary and permanent resource to support our strategic priorities,” he said. “By leveraging automation and by driving digital transformation, we can release capacity in areas of the business that focus on repeatable transactions.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

28-year-old Tyra Myricks makes 7 figures and has 5 side hustles. Here’s how she typically spends a day.

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks

  • Tyra Myricks, 28, makes seven figures a year working a day job and five side hustles.
  • She works for Drake, has a fashion line, a branding company, a website for entrepreneurial resources, a pizza shop, and co-owns a gym.
  • To Insider, she breaks down what a typical day looks like.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

If the Land of Side Hustles had a queen, it would surely be 28-year-old Tyra Myricks, daughter of hip hop legend Jam Master Jay. It all began in 2009 when she launched a fashion label while still in high school that eventually helped pay her way through college. She initially went to university to study pre-med but dropped out after the label saw her earning over double her tuition.

She took the streetwear world by storm with celebrity partnerships, and advertising on Instagram’s TMZ the Shade Room. In 2012, she rebranded the company now known as Wealth as high fashion streetwear.

“It’s not the business you do, it’s what you do differently,” she told Insider.

Aside from owning a fashion label, and branding and merchandising company, she’s also the co-owner of The Method, Los Angeles’ first Black-owned gym. Myricks is also about to launch a pizza shop with T’yanna Wallace, daughter of rapper Biggie Smalls, and she’s co-creating a platform to provide young entrepreneurs with resources to start their own businesses.

“It’s not an easy game,” she said of being an entrepreneur. “Everybody on the internet shows the glorious side, but nobody shows the treacherous side where it’s hard to get up in the morning.”

Her day job, of course, is working as director of design, merchandising, and development for Drake’s OVO lifestyle brand, which earns her six figures a year. In total, she makes about seven figures a year and says a secret to her success is knowing how to constantly be agile with the opportunities life brings.

To Insider, she breaks down how she puts that process to use on a typical day.

She wakes up at 5:45 in the morning

Waking up before the break of dawn, Myricks prays, takes a shower, gets dressed, and downs six espresso shots. Her first stop this morning is to The Method to prepare the gym for opening.

Around 6:30 a.m. she leaves the house and puts on gospel music as she drives downtown, trying to beat the morning traffic rush.

At 7 a.m. she opens the gym and gets breakfast

She arrives at the gym and inspects everything to make sure space was cleaned properly before closing the night before. She also folds extra towels and gets the system ready for patrons.

Myricks became co-owner in the gym after investing a substantial amount last year, though she declined to share how much she gave. There are no employees at the gym, though it has 17 independent contractors. It opened in a new location last summer in the middle of the pandemic. Myricks remembers that day clearly because a few days later, the city of Los Angeles shut down again due to COVID-19.

“It was a grand opening, grand closing,” she said.

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks

During the shutdown, they moved classes outdoors, which helped cover overhead costs (rent is $6,500 a month). Currently, the club has nearly 300 members, giving it a feel of exclusivity, which is something Myricks prizes in all of her entrepreneurial endeavors.

Membership is $99 a month, another reason to ensure service is top-notch. “What’s stopping someone from going to planet fitness for $30 a month?” Myricks said.

After opening the gym she gets breakfast. This day: a green smoothie.

Then, she preps for her day job

Myricks is also the director of design, merchandising, and development for rapper Drake’s OVO lifestyle brand. At 9:30 a.m., still at the gym, she prepares for a Zoom call with the OVO team to discuss upcoming projects. That lasts until about 11 a.m.

Cofounded by Drake in 2011, OVO is known for selling high-end streetwear and has done collaborations with Canada Goose, and the Major League Baseball, as well as having hosted pop-ups at Nordstrom and the once-popular retail store Colette in Paris. “I look at the recipe and formula a lot of successful people use and get little pieces of that to create my own recipe and formula to be successful,” she said.

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks

Afterward, another business partner meets her at the gym to discuss upcoming projects for the branding agency they own together. Drake offered Myricks a job after seeing some of the branding and merchandising work her agency did for an artist signed to his label. She moved from New York to Los Angeles in 2017 to take the job.

Without giving exact numbers, Myricks said she makes six figures a year from working at OVO, where she leads the design team, approves and denies designs, and deals with manufacturers overseas. “It’s a constant 24-hour job because China and other manufacturers are 12 hours ahead of us,” she said. “When you ask what is a day like – it’s literally a day. It’s a constant revolving door that never stops.”

At 11:28 a.m. she starts working on her fashion side hustle

Next, she heads to the factory she co-owns with a business partner and begins ordering fabric for her Wealth fashion line which she primarily sells online and in one store in downtown LA.

“This isn’t because other stores aren’t interested,” she said. “We like to keep exclusivity.”

She also discusses plans with her business partner on renovating the space next door to expand the factory, makes sure production is on track and approves new patterns for sweaters. There are 16 people currently working for her company, and the brand produces about 2,500 units each week. Each item sells for between $13 and $1,300.

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks

Finally, it’s lunch time

An assistant brings her lunch around noon, which today is a grilled chicken salad. Before eating it, however, she heads to the screen printer to drop off samples for Wealth’s upcoming fall/winter collection.

When she gets to Wealth headquarters around 2 p.m., she finally eats lunch as she packs all of the orders that arrived the day before, preparing to ship them to customers.

Next, she orders a double shot of espresso from Blue Bottle Cafe. Then, she keeps it moving.

Around 4 p.m. she finally ships off the Wealth packages, then heads to the Inflamed store downtown, the only brick-and-mortar location that sells Wealth. There, she restocks and checks inventory.

On to another side hustle

Next, she heads to a meeting at the pizza shop she’s opening called Juicy Pizza to discuss patio design and merchandise. Myricks said she came up with the idea of Juicy Pizza because, as a New Yorker living in Los Angeles, she felt there was “no good pizza in Los Angeles.”

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks (L)

“The more I thought about how to bring that New York theme to Los Angeles, I felt, who represents New York more than Biggie Smalls?” she continued. So she called her friend T’yanna Wallace, daughter of the late rapper, and presented her with the idea. “She loved it,” Myricks said.

Myricks also knew the importance of reaching out to Wallace because, being the daughter of the late Jam Master Jay, she knows first hand what it’s like to have people profit from her father’s name and career. “I was like I don’t want you to invest anything,” she recalled telling Wallace. “Let’s just make money together. Let’s make moves.”

The shop is set to open later this year.

Last stop: a dinner reservation downtown

At 7 p.m. she meets two friends at a Latin restaurant called Dama downtown, where she orders a celery salad with pineapple juice, Mexican corn, and an Oxtail Tostada.

She picks up shipping bags from the storage unit before heading home.

Around 9 p.m. she finally arrives home and begins to unwind, if only for a moment. She answers emails before starting her next project, a website for celebrity client merchandise, which is part of the branding agency she co-founded.

Around midnight, she falls asleep. In five hours, she will get up and do it all over again.

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Gray divorce’ – getting divorced later in life – is on the rise. Here’s how an attorney says you should handle separation when you’re older.

Couple talking on couch older man woman divorce unhappy at home
“Gray divorce,” also known as “silver splitter” or “diamond divorce,” refers to the increasing trend of late-in-life divorces.

  • Nicole Sodoma is the founder of a family and separation law firm in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • She says ‘gray divorce’ may be caused by factors like longer life expectancy and financial independence.
  • Older couples should consider division of retirement benefits and marital estates in the separation process.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

“Gray divorce,” also known as “silver splitter” or “diamond divorce,” is a term used to refer to the increasing trend of late-in-life divorces. This term first became mainstream in 2004, when AARP published a study on divorce at “midlife and beyond,” and is generally used to describe adults aged 50 or older who are going through a separation.

In 2015, every 10 out of 1,000 couples aged 50 and over got divorced, which was double what their divorce rate had been in 1990. And for those over 65, the increase was even higher – it had roughly tripled in 25 years. In fact, while the overall rate of divorce has continually declined since then, the divorce rate of people over 50 is increasing.

Statistically, gray divorce is and continues to be on the rise, and not just in the United States. Canada, Japan, Australia, India, and the United Kingdom have reported increases in the last decade as well. While in recent years the discussion has become more prevalent online, this is a conversation that many divorce attorneys have grown familiar with for well over two decades.

The rise of gray divorce can potentially be attributed to a variety of things: people are living longer, both spouses are working and are therefore becoming more financially independent, and the stigma associated with divorce has shifted significantly. If you’re going through a separation later in life, here’s what you need to know.

The differences between going through a gray divorce and getting divorced when you’re younger

There may be some unique issues that you’ll need to address in addition to the standard concerns of a divorce at any age, such as equitable distribution and alimony. Some problems associated with “gray divorce” include division of retirement benefits, confusion over beneficiaries, more complicated marital estates to divide up, health insurance and Medicare benefits, healthcare expenses overall, and potentially more than one support obligation. Additionally, a financially dependent spouse may feel they need more support given the reduced likelihood of starting a career late in life, and a financially supporting spouse may be worried about their ability to keep up support payments as they slow down or retire.

The need for retirement benefits becomes more critical when you divorce later in life because people have less time to “make up” any losses they may face pursuant to a divorce. Understanding what benefits are available, and how they can be distributed, is paramount as you plan for a separate future.

For example, a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, is one mechanism by which certain retirement plans can be divided. QDROs are often, but not always, necessary depending on the type of retirement plan being split. While you could expect QDROs to be seen in any divorce, it’s much more likely in gray divorces, where retirement accounts tend to be more significant.

For many gray divorces, custody is often not relevant to the discussion because the parties’ children are over the age of 18. However, there may still be issues to address to avoid involving adult children and grandchildren.

Adult children can get dragged into late-in-life divorces and be asked to side with one parent or the other, and that can hurt the family unit (which is often exactly the reason why unhappy couples wait to split until after their children have grown up). There are various ways individuals can address these concerns, including estate planning and postnuptial agreements, which can all help lay out future expectations not just for the individual, but for their family.

Postnuptial agreements are signed after the date of marriage instead of before, and can address issues such as debt, inheritances, and any other property the couple owns – such as a house – in the event of a separation. Often, couples who feel their marriage is on shaky ground utilize postnuptial agreements because they can help remove some of the difficult conversations about finances so that the couple can refocus their energy on their relationship.

Your estate plan generally includes a will, medical and financial powers of attorney, and an advanced care directive, which all work together to legally protect your wishes for your estate and your family after your passing.

Looking forward, you’ll also need to consider new partnerships, should you decide to get married again. Couples will need to address the impact of divorce on their children from prior relationships as well as future relationships. For example, you may need to consider how the marital estate could be impacted or challenged if you remarry – any effects on retirement, social security and pensions, and estate planning documents will need to be updated and maintained. Maybe rather than a postnuptial agreement, a prenuptial or premarital agreement could best serve a family’s future interests.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document signed by both individuals before they are married. Much like postnuptial agreements, prenups can address a variety of topics including, but not limited to, who gets what in the event of a split and any stipulations in regards to receiving payment of alimony.

How to move forward

For those going through a divorce later in life, be sure to create a strong foundation and clear expectations about what you want your next chapter to look like. Identify a trustworthy and knowledgeable divorce attorney, estate planning attorney, and financial advisor. Use litigation as a last resort, and consider an alternative dispute resolution method, such as mediation, which can usually keep costs lower, take less time, and be less stressful for all parties involved.

Nicole H. Sodoma is the founder and managing principal of Sodoma Law, based in Charlotte, NC with additional locations in Union County, NC and York County, SC.

This story was originally published on Insider February 10, 2020.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Coast Guard is taking a frontline role against US foes on the other side of the world

Coast Guard Hamilton Bosphorus Turkey Black Sea
US Coast Guard cutter Hamilton in the Bosphorus on its way to the Black Sea, April 27, 2021.

  • In April, Coast Guard cutters had close encounters in the Persian Gulf and sailed into the Black Sea.
  • Those missions are indicative of the Coast Guard’s growing role overseas, but that increase further strains limited resources.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Encounters far from home in April underscored the US Coast Guard’s growing overseas role, which is set to expand as more attention and resources are dedicated to countering China.

On April 2, an Iranian ship repeatedly sailed in front of Coast Guard patrol boats Wrangell and Monomoy at “an unnecessarily close range” as they operated in the Persian Gulf, which the US deemed “unsafe and unprofessional” actions.

Three weeks later, Iranian vessels again approached US ships – Navy patrol boat Firebolt and Coast Guard patrol boat Baranof – in the Gulf. After verbal warnings to the Iranian ships went unheeded, Firebolt fired warning shots.

Wrangell, Monomoy, and Baranof are all based in Bahrain as part of Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside the US, which was set up in 2002 to support operations in the Middle East.

Hours after Baranof’s encounter, the Coast Guard cutter Hamilton sailed into the Black Sea, where longstanding tensions increased this spring, amid a Russian military buildup on the border with Ukraine.

Coast Guard Monomoy Persian Gulf Iran
Iranian ship Harth 55, left, crosses the bow of US Coast Guard patrol boat Monomoy, right, in the Persian Gulf, April 2, 2021.

Hamilton had escorted two cutters sailing from the US to join Patrol Forces Southwest Asia but remained in Europe, sailing into the Black Sea on April 27. Russia’s Defense Ministry said that day that its Black Sea Fleet was monitoring Hamilton’s “actions.”

Hamilton is the first Coast Guard vessel to enter the Black Sea since 2008 and is “emblematic of our presence in the Black Sea,” Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, said in response to a question from Insider at an Atlantic Council event on April 29.

The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security, not the Defense Department, but it often works with other branches of the military and with foreign militaries.

“We particularly appreciate the Coast Guard’s ability to cooperate with other equivalent services … around the world, but in this case in the Black Sea,” Cooper said.

Cooper echoed Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz, who said in March that while the service hadn’t operated in Europe “in a good number of years,” the deployment suited its ability to cooperate and compete.

“I think the Coast Guard brings access. The Coast Guard brings a different look. The Coast Guard brings some unique, complimentary capabilities,” Schultz told reporters after his annual address to the service.

Coast Guard Hamilton Turkey Mediterranean Sea
A Turkish coast guard boat escorts the Hamilton in the Mediterranean Sea, April 27, 2021.

‘We’re going to push them out’

The Coast Guard often ventures long distances to enforce US laws and help other countries assert their own.

Coast Guard ships patrol the eastern Pacific Ocean to intercept drug smugglers. Cutters were deployed to Africa’s Atlantic coast to assist countries there in 2019 and 2020 for the first time in nearly a decade. In late 2020, a cutter was deployed on a South Atlantic patrol for the first time “in recent memory.”

The Coast Guard’s presence in the western Pacific Ocean is also increasing amid broader competition with China.

Since mid-2020, the service has stationed three new fast-response cutters in Guam, a US territory. Those ships have “about a 10,000-mile reach,” Schultz said in March.

“We’re going to push them out to some of the outer reaches of Oceania. We’re going to team them up with national security cutters on occasion,” Schultz added, referring to the service’s largest cutters, which include Hamilton.

Many recent Coast Guard operations have focused on countering illegal fishing, a growing source of friction with China. In December, a Coast Guard cutter helped Palau apprehend a Chinese vessel suspected of illegal fishing.

Japan Coast Guard
US Coast Guard Cutter Kimball and Japanese Coast Guard ship Akitsushima during an exercise near Japan’s Ogasawara Islands, February 21, 2021.

Coast Guard ships also work with the US Navy in the region. In May 2019, a Coast Guard cutter transited the Taiwan Strait for the first time, sailing alongside a Navy destroyer.

“I just think those lines are going to thicken,” Schultz said of Navy-Coast Guard cooperation.

The Navy’s operational tempo “has been very high for a considerable period … so it’s not surprising that they’d reach out and try to supplement” the Coast Guard, said Michael Desch, a professor and international-security expert at Notre Dame.

But the Coast Guard’s more overt role comes as military branches balance resources between current missions and modernization.

The Coast Guard has a number of domestic responsibilities and a growing role in the increasingly accessible Arctic but didn’t see the same budget increases as other branches did during the Trump administration.

While the Coast Guard is very capable and often better suited than the Navy to work with foreign forces, the growing workload should raise questions about the scope of US commitments, Desch said.

The recent encounters “seem to be indicative of the fact that we’re being stretched by all the things that we’re doing,” Desch told Insider. “Rather than throwing everything we’ve got but the kitchen sink at some of these missions, we ought to ask ourselves, are these missions really essential?”

Read the original article on Business Insider

1 in 3 women of color are planning on leaving their jobs by next year, according to a new survey. Here’s what employers should do to help.

Black women influencers
Many women of color are often the ‘first’ or one of a ‘few’ in their corporate environments and the challenging dynamics that come with that are exhausting.

  • Women of color often feel unheard, unseen, and mentally and physically burned out at work.
  • A new survey found that nearly “two-thirds of women of color are not satisfied with their company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
  • Women of color don’t feel safe talking about their challenges or saying they need a break without it affecting their career.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Women of color are exhausted. That is why so many of them are planning on leaving their job by sometime next year. Are you one of them?

A recent survey by Fairygodboss, the largest career company for women, and nFormation, a community for and by professional women of color, found that one in 3 of all women of color are planning on leaving their jobs by next year. More than anything else, the women surveyed cited feelings of burnout as their reason for leaving.

As the saying goes, a woman’s work is never done, and in 2020 our workloads became back-breaking. Many women faced additional family duties such as homeschooling kids, or taking care of aging parents in addition to having to shoulder most household responsibilities and increased demands at work.

“When you add all of these factors on top of the racial, gender, and class-based trauma caused by the events of the past year and the ways that those events directly impact the hearts, minds, and psyches of women of color, it can be easy to understand why all of us just need a break,” said Rha Goddess, cofounder of nFormation. “We have to remember that women of color are navigating the challenges of often being a ‘first’ or a ‘few’ in their corporate environments and many of the challenging dynamics that come with that, even in the best companies, are already exhausting.”

With women of color facing both the COVID-19 pandemic and the plague of racism, Goddess said, of course, stress levels increased in 2020. The survey found that despite lofty statements about a commitment to diversity, nearly two-thirds of women of color are not satisfied with their company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. And 60% of women of color feel that their companies are not prepared to handle racist incidents in the workplace – both contributing factors when it comes to leaving their jobs.

“Many of the women we speak with at nFormation are tired of having the same conversations over and over again with leaders who just don’t seem to consider the full scope of their realities and the ways in which they differ greatly from their white colleagues,” Goddess said. “They want to be in the company of people who get it without the need for a PowerPoint.”

Furthermore, many women of color want more than a career; they desire a calling, which also causes women of color to consider leaving their jobs.

“COVID has caused many women of color to reconsider their career paths and they want to find a career with greater purpose,” said Georgene Huang, CEO and cofounder of Fairygodboss.

Reclaiming my time after leaving my job

Dionne Nicole of Houston, Texas, recently left her job at a full-service boutique marketing agency. She was hired to be a copywriter but as the company’s number of clients grew and the staff didn’t, she found her role expanding. Soon, she was handling strategy, business coaching, and project management for clients.

Then 2020 happened.

“It was a challenging year for all of us with the COVID-19 pandemic, but especially for me, as a single Black woman,” she said. “George Floyd’s murder was such a stark reminder that I’m not safe in this country, that the work isn’t over, and I have to continue to advocate for myself.”

Nicole says she felt that in order to do so, leaving her job was a must. She needed to no longer be in an environment that didn’t support her well-being.

“I also need to have more control over who benefits from my intelligence and gifts because I want the world to be different and I feel called to do my part,” she said. “That’s why I decided to start my own business.”

Today Dionne Nicole is a holistic business coach for women who want to do business differently. Her goal is to show women that the 9-to-5 or 40-hour workweek model isn’t the only path to productivity – something she realized during her time at her previous job.

“I need to have space for deep work, and I need to be able to stop and go for a walk and let my ideas marinate instead of being behind a desk just for the sake of being seen as working,” she said. “There is absolutely not just one way to accomplish something.”

Most of all, Dionne Nicole wants to help the women she works with to prioritize self-care. During the pandemic, she recorded more than 100 episodes for her podcast Unconventional Self-Care Diary to offer ways women can reexamine their relationship to self-care.

“A bath only goes so far,” she said.

Dionne Nicole wants to help women learn how to give themselves a break.

“More than anything, I’m on a mission to help women value rest because in a world that is ‘go, go, go,’ I want to reclaim my time,” she said. “My ancestors didn’t have the luxury of rest, so I actually consider it a form of my reparations.”

What can companies do to better serve women of color?

If companies want to retain the women of color they employ, they must get serious about diversity and inclusion initiatives – which means moving beyond lip service.

“Corporate pledges and statements are a great place to start, but they need to be backed up with actions,” Huang said.

These actions should include investing time and resources into defining a diversity and inclusion strategy that spans recruitment, hiring, and workplace practices and that sets specific goals.

“From thousands of anonymous company reviews left on Fairygodboss, we know that seeing women and women of color, in positions of leadership is critical in attracting women to your organization and is a clear example of showcasing your commitment to gender diversity,” Huang said.

Company leaders must be willing to have difficult conversations.

“There has to be honest dialogue about where the gaps are in knowledge, mindset and behavior so that they can be addressed,” Goddess said. “Company leaders need to be willing to be educated about realities that are distinct from their own.”

Women of color need to feel safe to talk about the challenges they face and safe to say they need a break without it being detrimental to their career. Women of color also need to feel supported in their goals and aspirations.

“High quality leaders understand the importance of investing in their people,” Goddess said. “According to our women, there are cases where individual leaders within companies are doing it and it makes a world of difference when a woman of color can say that she feels seen and heard by the people who are supposed to serve and support her leadership.”

Women of color want credit where it’s due. When they don’t get it, they consider leaving their jobs.

“They want their intelligence, brilliance and infinite potential to be recognized instead of taken for granted,” Goddess said. “They want to be honored for their contribution.”

But company leaders must care about their employees’ overall well-being, too.

“At nFormation, our women are seeking a kind of asylum from all of these never-ending demands to put everyone else’s needs and agendas before their own health,” Goddess said. “Yes, women of color are strong, but we are also human.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Wall Street legend Jim O’Shaughnessy talks Bitcoin, the psychology of stocks, and what young people should know about investing

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Jim O’Shaughnessy.

  • Jim O’Shaughnessy is a Wall Street legend and the founder and CIO of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management.
  • In March, O’Shaughnessy participated in an hour-long live Q&A with readers of The Profile.
  • In the Q&A, O’Shaughnessy talks investing, timing the stock market, and avoiding blind spots.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jim O’Shaughnessy is a Wall Street legend and the founder, chairman, and chief investment officer of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, which has $6.2 billion in assets under management.

O’Shaughnessy is also my friend. We’ve gotten to know each other since he subscribed to my newsletter, The Profile, and I had a wide-ranging conversation with him on his podcast, Infinite Loops.

In March, O’Shaughnessy participated in an hour-long, live “Ask Me Anything” with readers who are part of The Profile’s members-only Telegram chat. (To join, consider becoming a premium member here.)

We discussed the stimulus package, digital assets, intellectual curiosity, and why O’Shaughnessy believes we’re living through “the golden age of the individual investor.”

Read more: Women founders and investors share what it takes to raise your first round of funding

Below are the highlights of O’Shaughnessy’s Q&A with the readers:

Q: Loved your interview with [your son] Patrick O’Shaughnessy. Can you describe the process of premeditated success?

Thank you! I’m glad you like the interview with Patrick. So, premeditated success was something I learned from my grandfather. He told me that when you really think things through, you need it to premeditate all of the possible outcomes of what you were trying to achieve and the way you were trying to achieve it. When you go through this process, you sometimes find holes in your knowledge that the process uncovers. You may also find that maybe you really don’t want to do this activity at all. I recommend doing this as a writing with a pen and paper exercise.

Q: You mean it should be a conscious stream of writings on a specific project I have in mind (more like the Morning Pages of The Artist’s Way) or using my intellect to brainstorm all possible scenarios and outcomes?

Ideally, both. It’s a bit like a pen and paper Monte Carlo simulation. It’s worked very well for me and I have used it since I was in my early 20s. Writing about something often shows you how well you understand it or don’t understand it! It’s a great exercise end it unlocks a creative stream.

Q: How do you take notes and remember them?

As far as note-taking goes, I use a variety of methods, so for example, I read everything on Kindle for iPad where I make many, many notes and then export them to Word. I then review them and jot down with pen and paper the ones that I want to explore more, or combine with others to come up with a new way of looking at things. Paper notes can definitely be a hassle, but I also then transfer the most important stuff to a searchable database on the computer.

Q: What’s your view on bond yields and the stock market?

I think the future for bonds is quite negative given where rates are. Bonds are pretty much pure math, as interest rates go down, bond prices go up and as interest rates rise, bond prices decline. I think it depends on what your time frame is as far as the stock market is concerned. Trying to time the market has been something I’ve never been able to do. But for long-term investors, I think world stock markets are a great buy and hold.

Q: What are your thoughts on the recent stimulus bill passed, and what impact will this have on assets? Also, do you have an opinion on Bitcoin and other digital assets being held on the balance sheets of companies?

As to the stimulus bill, as usual, when Congress passes one of these massive packages, there is a tremendous amount of waste and patronage being doled out to their favorite constituencies. But people on Main Street need this money, and I guess that’s the price we must pay. When COVID began, I was unusually vocal about the need for a $5 trillion package to be passed to keep people solvent.

As to Bitcoin on balance sheets, that’s a more difficult question. Typically, corporate treasuries keep cash in stable instruments. Whether you love or loathe Bitcoin, it has been anything but a stable instrument. My problem is, the company is on the hook for this type of behavior, and it could end in tears particularly if Bitcoin goes into a bear market.

Q: What have you seen are the best ways for investors to control their psychology and emotions during bull and bear markets?

I’ve long said that the Four Horsemen of the Investment Apocalypse are fear, greed, hope, and ignorance. Only ignorance is not an emotion.

We unfortunately are optimized for an environment that no longer exists. When our fight or flight instinct kicks in, it literally takes over the decision-making in your brain. That’s why I often say there’s a big difference between understanding something intellectually and emotionally. My solution was to become a quantitative investor whereby all of our models and algorithms that we have built buy and sell securities based on our research. This has allowed me to in essence gate my very human emotional responses using the models.

If quant isn’t your thing, there are several ways to deal with these emotional take-overs. One would be to have a friend or significant other that you can discuss the emotional reaction with, kind of like a co-pilot. I have a friend in Vienna who is not a quant at all, but notices when his emotions are rising, and then he immediately gets up from his computer, puts on some running gear and takes a run, which allows him to break the emotional cycle that he was spinning into.

Q: How do you generally avoid blind spots/bias – do you run these by outsiders or members of your team?

Good question. We all have blind spots and simply acknowledging that they exist helps us to understand and look for them. I think we’re making a mistake when we think that we have a complete solution to almost anything.

Try following as best you can a “scientific method” where you are continually asking questions, putting them to the group, and always have an error-correction methodology as part of your process.

People sometimes confuse bad outcomes with bad decisions. I tend to look at outcomes in aggregate and not individually. I also try to use mistakes as learning opportunities and get excited when I find something that can make me a little less dumb than I was yesterday.

Q: If you could wave a magic wand and help young people truly understand one thing about investing, what would it be?

I guess if I had a magic wand and could help young people understand one thing it would be that successful investing is much less about financial acumen and much more about emotional control.

Q: What’s an effective way to communicate and make an investor understand what risk is?

I like Jason Zweig’s example of how to teach people about risk. He jokes that what we do currently is show people a picture of a snake and ask them how frightened that makes them. His suggestion, which of course is in jest, is that we would get a much better reading by throwing a live snake in their lap and seeing how that affects them. Now I know this is a joke, but it underlines a profound truth: the real time experience of both gains and losses is very, very different than looking at such things on paper.

I think it’s very helpful for the asset manager to point out all of the flaws in him or herself, what I call human operating system, and then try to make the client understand that we all have the same human OS.

Q: It sounds like a lot of your thinking is based upon a strong understanding of our evolution. How would you recommend studying this further to gain a deep understanding of what you called “human OS”?

I often recommend that people read broadly outside of finance, specifically evolutionary psychology and biology. After all, human beings price securities. And yes, even for high-frequency traders, a human being programmed that and can decide if he or she chooses to override it. I think the best advice I can give is to understand that temperament and not intellect is what turns you into a successful long-term investor.

Q: Why did you decide to start a podcast?

I started the podcast because I love featuring people doing cool or unusual things, and I thought that there was room for a podcast that was really more of a conversation than a question and answer. So far, I’ve been absolutely delighted and really enjoyed learning so much from all of my guests.

Q: How is your weekly schedule divided between work, Twitter, podcast, and family?

I am very lucky in that my normal disposition is to be lazy bordering on sloth, but seriously, after I elevated Patrick to CEO of OSAM, I set up my daily calendar to be as open as possible. I basically do a ton of reading every day, have some fun on Twitter, and talk to a lot of people – many of whom I actually met on social media.

I think that for Twitter and other social media to become what they can be, which is a global intelligence network, you need to take the next step and meet people and speak with them in real life. I’ve done that and it’s quite amazing the quality of people you meet, and especially those that come from outside your normal network, which allows for ideas and other thoughts to come in to your domain. I think it’s a tremendous use of Twitter and things like Polina’s Profile Telegram chat that we’re doing right now.

Q: You seem to have passed on your curiosity and thirst for learning to your kids. They’re successful and seemingly fulfilled in their own ways. Any parenting tips?

Thanks very much for the kind words about my kids. I really appreciate it. And yes, I do have some advice that worked well for me. When my wife and I were young, we discussed what we wanted to achieve as parents.

Patrick was born when we were both 24 years old, but we already had a very strong idea of how we wanted to raise him and our other kids. In a phrase, our goal was to raise great adults. If you think about that for a minute, you see that it precludes all sorts of behavior that many parents naturally fall into.

You can’t say, ‘Because I’m the boss,’ you can’t say ‘Because you’re living in my house, it’s my rules.’ If you want to raise a great adult, you want somebody who can explain and think about why they want something. The same goes for curiosity. I love books and have a large collection, and any time either Patrick or one of my girls came and tried to use me as Google, I would point at the bookshelf and say, ‘Look it up in there.’

My kids found that increased their interest in other things they found along the way of looking up the answer they were seeking. I’m very proud of all three of my kids!

Q: What have you found to be the key to a long, happy marriage?

For me, it was the understanding even at age 22 when I got married to my wife that successful marriages don’t just happen – you have to work at them constantly. The best advice I can give on that score is to be as communicative and open with your spouse as you can be, and don’t assume that even though you might have been with them for years that they can intuit what your thoughts or feelings are. We’re not mind readers, and being constantly aware of this keeps you conversing with your spouse and “checking in” to make sure everything is OK.

There are lots of times when things aren’t OK, and you need to deal with them. If you let them fester, they can become deadly. Another thing that both of us agreed to before we got married was that we were truly in this for the long-haul. And so the hills and valleys of our relationship were just that and not anything that would make us want to end our relationship.

Q: What fields or assets are you most excited about over the next five t0 10 years?

I think that we are in a golden age for individual investors. The amount of tools, platforms, and access to new ideas both through social media and other areas on the Internet have profoundly changed the field.

It’s become far more level for diligent people who want to search out the latest and most interesting investment ideas. Personally, I think that the basics of investing in public markets remain pretty much unchanged, but one thing that I’m incredibly excited about is the future of customization for people’s portfolios.

My company has a platform called Canvas that allows clients to tax manage their portfolios in a way that generates possibly 50 to 100 basis points of additional return outside of market return. We can also immunize large positions that they may have because of where they work so for example, if we have a client who is a bigwig at Google, we can exclude the technology sector from his or her portfolio.

We also have the ability to fine-tune ESG, or social investing, right down to the client’s very specific needs. An example, one of our clients wants part of her portfolio to be devoted to companies that have 20% or greater women in C-suites or on the board. We can do that.

For people who aren’t using an asset manager, the quality of insights available just on Twitter really amaze me. I did a podcast with a young researcher named Lily Francus who is famous for her ‘NOPE’ indicator. It’s really quite a fascinating approach to investing, and now everyone is available to follow her because of social media. These types of things would’ve been impossible when I began my investment career.

Q: What’s your favorite story of perseverance that has helped you through your career perhaps and/or other difficult life moments?

I love the books about [Ernest] Shackleton and the perseverance it took to get his team out alive. I also love the book “Unbroken,” which is about the ability to survive a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II. If you’re looking for more current examples that I find inspiring, the book “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins is quite good. (Read David Goggins’s Profile Dossier here.)

Q: How do you decide who you will mentor? What generally goes under mentoring?

That’s an interesting question. I have many requests from people who would like to work with me on mentoring issues. One of the things that I look for are traits where I know I may be able to help that person. So once such trait is perseverance. I’m sure you can see where this is going, right? I love to see individuals continue to engage me either publicly on Twitter or privately through DMs or texts.

One thing that I passionately believe is that I can’t change another human being. Only that person can change and only if they want to – I can assist them in that change and I’m happy when I’m able to do that, but I also think that external motivation is very fleeting. You need internal motivation to make any real change. Finally, several of the people I work with I actually invited because I found what they were working on so exciting and different, so this is a two-way street. I am learning a lot too!

Q: What pushes you to stay curious and humble?

I have been voraciously curious since I was a kid. My parents got so tired of me saying, ‘But why?’ They channeled my energy into things like reading encyclopedias, and in fact, reading virtually anything. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house that had a ton of books, and I find that curiosity is something – as Dorothy Parker remarked – that there is no cure for.

I also like the Steven Wright joke that goes, ‘Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.’ So I really don’t have to try to be curious, it’s a natural affliction, but one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

As to being humble, as you go through life, you learn a lot and one of the first things you learn, is for the most part, you’re not nearly as smart as you think you are. Coming to this realization is a godsend, because it keeps you in what I call ‘beginner’s mind.’

Q: What are you most interested in learning about these days?

These days, I have been fascinated by and continually studying what I’m calling ‘The Great Re-shuffle.’

We are living through one of the most fascinating periods in human history, where all of the old models and institutions are crumbling, and their successors have not yet been determined. Social media has within it the seeds of a global intelligence network, but only if you use it correctly.

Curate your timeline and who you follow with diligence, try and pay as little attention to the noise and the shouting, and spend more of your time concentrating on the great ideas and then getting to know the people who are offering them.

I think a side effect of the great re-shuffling is a sort of emotional mind virus that unfortunately I have seen infect far too many people. It seems to be a result of the increasing velocity of information and knowledge that are rapidly changing what I call base rate or consensus reality. In such environments, many often simply say this is too much and end up reverting to simpler and or more emotionally appealing models. I think generally, that’s a mistake.

So I spend much of my time reading about and trying to synthesize ideas about the world of tomorrow and what it will look like. I personally am very bullish on it and I think if people spend more time looking at sites like progress.org or humanprogress.org, they would see that there is a tremendous amount of great strides being made in the world in general.

Things like the number of people dying from dysentery or bad water are rapidly declining and sometimes we focus too much on our ‘first world problems’ and lose sight of just how much the rest of the world has advanced.

Q: Since The Profile is all about improving our content diet, what are your go-to sources for quality information or education?

So you begin with an excellent resource, Polina’s Profile. There are lots of great blogs like Alex Danco, Tim Urban, and really almost too many to mention. The good news is that most of them are also active on Twitter, so you can curate a kick-ass information resource that was impossible prior to social media.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to start 12 small businesses from scratch – whether you’re into copywriting, urban farming, or food trucks

Examples of how to start your business, including dog walking, a food truck, urban farming, hair care, and dyed yarn.
A record number of people started new businesses last year, including dog walking, urban farming, and food trucks.

  • The pandemic upended many lives, but it didn’t overturn the entrepreneurial dream.
  • Applications for an employer ID reached 1.1 million through September in 2020, a 12% increase from the prior year.
  • Here are 12 guides on how to start any business, from a modest urban farm to a food truck.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The pandemic upended many lives, but it didn’t overturn the entrepreneurial dream.

A record number of people started new businesses last year. New applications for an employer ID in the US reached 1.1 million through September 2020, a 12% increase from the same time period in 2019, according to an analysis of US Census data by The Wall Street Journal.

For those who want to chase their entrepreneurial passions, here are 12 guides on how to start a business, from a dog-walking empire, to a modest urban farm, and even a food truck.

1. Copywriting business

sarah turner
Sarah Turner Agency offers freelance copywriting for clients in the medical and health sectors, content marketing strategy, and training programs for future copywriters.

Sarah Turner launched her eponymous copywriting agency in 2013, after leaving her job as a research assistant.

Sarah Turner Agency offers freelance copywriting for clients in the medical and health sectors, content marketing strategy, and training programs for future copywriters. Last year, Turner booked $2.6 million in revenue, according to documents verified by Insider. 

Read more about how Turner launched her copywriting business. 

2. Website flipping

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Chelsea Clarke is the founder of Blogs for Sale.

Chelsea Clarke is the founder of Blogs For Sale, a company that flips little-known websites into desirable online businesses that can generate $16,800 in a year.

Clarke said her startup took off last year as more people sought online revenue streams during the pandemic. In 2020, she earned $127,000 from flipping 13 websites and brokering sales for 50 more sites, documents reviewed by Insider verified. 

Read more about how Clarke built her website-flipping business. 

 

3. Instagram side hustle

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Today, Plant Kween has 311,000 followers and collaborates with brands like Spotify on curated content.

Christopher Griffin’s Instagram account, which is under the moniker Plant Kween, is devoted to pictures of the 200 plants living in their Brooklyn apartment, tips on caring for the greenery, and useful botanical knowledge. 

They started the account in winter 2016 — as a means of learning about something new after graduate school — grew it steadily to 311,000 followers and collaborates with brands like Spotify on curated content.

Griffin couldn’t disclose what they earn with the music-streaming service but a partnership with the fashion line Tonle, that sold $42,000 of non-binary clothing last year, netted them around $8,400, according to Tonle. 

Read more about how Griffin built their Instagram side-hustle. 

4. Urban farm

Joanna Bassi
Here’s how Joanna Bassi built an urban farm from scratch and her advice for fellow farming entrepreneurs, including how to pivot during a pandemic.

Joanna Bassi turned her unused backyard — measuring 150 feet by 75 feet — into an urban farm that could grow fresh produce for local establishments.

Bassi started from the ground up in January 2018, and by the following year, she netted nearly $6,000 in revenue from selling at farmers markets and local restaurants, according to documents viewed by Insider. 

In 2020, the pandemic temporarily closed Bassi’s restaurant clients and hurt business. She still managed to book nearly $7,000 by creating new revenue streams. 

Read more about how Bassi built her urban farming business. 

5. Pet care and dog-walking business

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You can teach your dog to shake your hand with a simple command.

Jill Nelson took over her friend’s 15-year-old dog walking and pet sitting startup Hot Diggity in 2015. Since then, she’s scaled the Seattle office, opened a Vancouver location, and purchased Hot Diggity’s Portland, Oregon, outpost. 

Revenue for Hot Diggity’s three locations sank between 2019 to 2020 — Portland had the most drastic decline, falling from $2.1 million to $986,000, according to documents verified by Insider — but Nelson said the company weathered the storm and is already seeing an increase in bookings. 

Read more about how Nelson built her dog-walking and pet care business. 

6. Hand-dyed yarn business

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Kenyon shared his advice for launching a business around your passion, building community support, and how he stands out in a crowded market.

In January, Jake Kenyon left his full-time job as a speech pathologist to pursue his side hustle: A hand-dyed yarn business called Kenyarn. The pandemic drove many consumers to crafts, like knitting and crocheting, which helped boost Kenyon’s business.

Kenyarn’s gross sales jumped from $33,000 in 2019 to $125,000 last year, and he’s on track to surpass that figure this year, according to documents viewed by Insider. 

Read more about how Kenyon built his hand-dyed yarn business. 

7. Food truck

food truck
Alessio Lacco and Sofia Arango opened a pizza-focused food truck, tapping Lacco’s 15-year background making Neapolitan pies and the truck he already owned.

Alessio Lacco and Sofia Arango launched Atlanta Pizza Truck last August as way to make money during the pandemic.

In its first five months of business, the couple booked $82,000 in sales, according to documents reviewed by Insider. In the first three months of 2021, they netted $53,000 in sales and believe they are on track to at least double sales from 2020.

Read more about how Lacco and Arango built their food truck business. 

8. Hair care business

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Stormi Steele

Stormi Steele used to make hair care products in her kitchen while working in salon in 2012. She’d mix over-the-counter ingredients, such as flaxseed oil and vitamin E, in an effort to create a solution that would help her hair grow. 

Today, Steele is the founder of Canvas Beauty Brand, which booked nearly $20 million in revenue last year.

Read more about how Steele built her hair-care business. 

 

9. Pop-up bakery

abby love
On January 21, Abby Love opened her first bakery, Abby Jane Bakeshop, in Dripping Springs, Texas.

When the opening of Abby Love’s bakery was delayed due to the pandemic, she launched 10 pop-up bakeries around Dripping Springs, Texas to keep her brand alive, attract new customers, and boost revenue.

Love partnered with local businesses for her pop-ups, choosing establishments that didn’t sell baked goods and attracted the kind of customers who would appreciate her locally-sourced ingredients.

Read more about how Love built her pop-up bakery business.

10. Craft brewery business

Chris and Avery_HTB_LittlePondDigital
Christophe Gagne and Avery Schwenk are the cofounders of Hermit Thrush, a Brattleboro, Vermont-based brewery that exclusively makes sour beers.

Christophe Gagne and Avery Schwenk are the cofounders of Hermit Thrush, a 7-year-old Brattleboro, Vermont-based brewery that exclusively makes sour beers. 

Today the brewery has 21 taps and its canned varieties are sold in 9 states, plus DC. The brewery’s most popular concoction, Party Jam, is a collection of fruit-forward sours that typically sells for $19.99 on the company’s website. What’s more, Hermit Thrush booked $1.5 million in revenue last year, according to documents viewed by Insider. 

Read more about how Gagne and Schwenk built their craft brew business. 

11. Furniture maker

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Matthew Nafranowicz, a master craftsman, started doing upholstery work more than two decades ago.

In 2002, Matthew Nafranowicz opened his furniture upholstery storefront, The Straight Thread, in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Furniture upholstery represents an estimated $1 billion market in the US, and government data shows it employs roughly 30,000 people.

Read more about how Nafranowicz built his furniture upholstery business. 

12. Self-published author

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Sally Miller is a self-published author who’s written and co-authored 15 books on Amazon. She made $9,000 in royalties in January, her highest amount to date, according to documents viewed by Insider. 

“It meets my two criteria, which is that I’m making money and doing something I really enjoy,” said Miller, who built a following through her subject matter, which focuses on how people can make money through various entrepreneurial ventures, like Airbnb and ghostwriting.

Read more about how Miller built her self-publishing business. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Why declaring racism a public health crisis is an important step to closing racial gaps in healthcare

Racism is a virus AAPI stop the hate protest
Racism is as much a public health issue as it is a social justice issue.

  • On April 8, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky declared racism a public health threat.
  • This declaration will create a sharper focus on healthcare inequality, says Dr. Paul Halverson.
  • Treating racism as a disease will also boost public health funding and lead to healthier communities.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has joined hundreds of cities and counties across the country in declaring racism a public health threat. On April 8, 2021, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky called racism an epidemic that affects “the entire health of our nation.”

Declaring racism a public health threat will create a sharper strategic and operational focus on understanding and combating racism. Walensky said the CDC will invest more in communities of color and will work to create more diversity within the CDC.

The agency will create a portal on the CDC site called “Racism and Health” to help provide resources and to educate people.

As a professor and founding dean of the Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University, I agree drawing attention to the racial gaps in healthcare is an important step in addressing them.

Read more: As Black Harvard Law School students, we’ve encountered racism at Harvard and elsewhere. But anti-Blackness goes far beyond our privileged Ivy League experiences – it’s deeply rooted in American law and policy.

Bringing up the rear

Acknowledging racism as a public health threat allows for the creation of workforce training programs in public health, medicine, nursing, and other fields. It also may require all health-related professional training programs to include structural racism identification and implied bias and anti-racism strategies within the curriculum. This will put a sharper focus on the measurement of the factors that influence racism. Designating racism as a public health emergency can create institutional focus on actions taken to address this long-overlooked issue.

The US pays more per capita for healthcare than any other industrialized nation in the world, but look at the health statistics and you’ll see the US brings up the rear. Canada, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland do better. Among the industrialized countries, the US’s health system is currently ranked 37th in the world.

The reality is that health is a result of many factors. The most striking one has nothing to do with intelligence, diet, or job status. Instead, it’s a person’s ZIP code. Where someone lives is the greatest predictor of health and life expectancy. A person’s ZIP code is also a good predictor of their race and ethnicity. Those things too have a major impact on how long someone lives and, maybe even more importantly, how well.

I live in Indiana. Here, a baby born today in a southern urban neighborhood will live 14 years less than another baby born in the northern suburbs, less than 20 miles away. How a nation protects the health of its children tells you an enormous amount about that society. In the US, our infant mortality – babies who die before their first birthday – is among the highest in the world, with the highest rates in the Midwestern and Southern states. And across the board, infant mortality affects Black communities at a rate higher than other races.

Higher risks across the board

If you are an African American mother in Indiana, your baby is three times more likely to die before its first birthday. Being born Black also means you’re twice as likely to suffer from high blood pressure and have a stroke. Black Americans are also more than five times as likely to serve prison time and will earn substantially less money than their white neighbors. And people of color are up to 10 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19.

Where you live, how much you earn, your access to transportation, and your ability to shop at a supermarket in your neighborhood are all part of the social determinants of health, the most powerful predictor of how long and how well people live.

In the past century, US life expectancy went up 30 years. New medicines or gadgets had little to do with it. Most of those extra years came because of the protection afforded by the public health system. That includes clean water, a food supply that’s safe, and an improved environment.

Decades of discriminatory housing practices have burdened Black communities with poverty, substandard housing, and environmental hazards. Unfortunately, most federally assisted housing is located in segregated areas at a greater risk of lead poisoning, exposure to air pollution, or lack of access to healthy food.

Nearly 18% of the US economy goes toward healthcare spending. That is many times the investment of many other countries that enjoy substantially better health – such countries as France, Italy, Singapore, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, and Denmark.

Of the $3.8 trillion spent on healthcare, public health and prevention is allocated less than 3% of this gigantic budget. However, a 2018 report showed a 3-1 return on investment on public health funding.

Treating racism like the disease that the CDC says it is suggests boosting our investment in public health funding would be money well spent.

Paul K. Halverson, dean, Fairbanks School of Public Health, IUPUI

The Conversation
Read the original article on Business Insider