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Musings from the coach

The proverb “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is true in the case of the third founder of Apple Inc. Yes, we are talking about the American multinational technology company Apple that presently holds a market capitalization of $2.43 trillion. When talking about the founders of Apple, only two names usually pop up: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. However, the company has a third founder as well. His name is Ronald Wayne, and he co-founded Apple Computer Company, presently Apple Inc., along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976. 

Ronald Wayne was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1934, marking a huge age difference between the other two founders of Apple, who at that time were 21 and 25. Wayne was a trained technical draftsman from New York. At age 22, he tried to venture into business by starting a company that sold slot machines. The business did not work out and was shut down after a brief period. His unsuccessful business venture left Wayne with a huge debt that took him another year to repay. The traumatic experience of this failed entrepreneurial venture made Wayne more skeptical about his future moves. 

Wayne felt he was better off with his job as a product engineering than running a business. It was in 1976 when Wayne met two of his partners in Apple while he was working on internal corporate documentation for the Atari brand. The three got along really well, sharing similar thoughts and ideas. It was during this time that Jobs and Wozniak were already planning to launch Apple. Wayne got involved in settling an intense discussion on launching the brand; he invited Jobs and Wozniak to his home one day. 

After hours of discussion on the foundation of Apple, Jobs proposed Wayne be a co-founder of the company,  holding a 10% stake in the company. Jobs and Wozniak would hold a 45% stake each, so Wayne could be a tie-breaker. Wayne initially thought this to be a risk-averse venture because he would only be providing administrative oversight and documentation for the new venture, while the other two partners would take care of product design.    

On April 1, 1976, Apple Computer Company was founded, and Wayne made the logo and even the manual. Problems started cropping up when Wayne learned that Jobs had secured $15,000 in credit as the initial capital investment for the company. His prior experience in business and debt settlement made him less and less confident about his decision to be a co-founder. Wayne knew that Jobs and Wozniak had nothing that potential creditors could seize, but he did and could possibly fall into debt yet again. 

As Wayne began to assess the journey of Apple in the coming years, he deduced that the company would face a few bumps, which could lead to heavy losses. He even found himself to be a misfit as a product engineer in his 40s compared to two talented product designers in their 20s. Fearing he might lose his wealth and savings to another debt, Wayne visited the registrar’s office a few months later, renounced his role in the Apple Computer Company, and sold his 10% stake to the other co-founders. The exchange value as of April 12, 1976, was $800. A year later, he again received an amount of $1,500 to forfeit any future claims to the company. The total amount of his 10% stake back then stood at US$2,300, while at present, it would be worth around $230 billion, which would have made him the richest man on the planet.Ronald Wayne felt his decision was the right one considering the time and situation he was in, and he believes he made a well-thought-out decision and has had to live with it but doesn’t regret it.

Digital media has revolutionized the way businesses operate today. Smartphones have brought the world to our fingertips, allowing us to connect to anyone from any corner of the world almost instantly. This has facilitated business transactions and helped brands connect to their customers on a level like never before. With the growing popularity of mobile internet users, businesses have now started launching their own apps. These apps are offering a gamut of possibilities to the users. In this article, we will be discussing one tip, one tool, and one quote that can help budding businesses escalate their growth without shelling out a fortune on marketing. 

The Tip

My tip is to keep exploring new business apps that may make a difference in your day-to-day business operations. Many of these apps are free and can be the key to solving any complex problems related to your business. Each of these business-oriented apps is created with a concept in mind that either conveniently solves a specific problem or enhances business growth. No matter what industry you work in, there’s most likely an app that can make a huge difference.

The app Nirvana is one such example that helps growing businesses boost their effectiveness and day-to-day operations. They describe themselves as “ a to-do app, meticulously designed to help you capture, clarify, organize, reflect and engage with intent, everywhere life happens.” The app allows users to unload ideas, categorize tasks, and distinguish between different areas of focus. In addition to helping your business, Nirvana can also help in your personal life. 

What business couldn’t use an all-in-one app like Nirvana?

The Tool

A fantastic, free tool that almost any business can benefit from using is Canva. This website has been designed to empower novices to easily make professional marketing banners and covers. It’s so easy to use that even a person with no design knowledge can create outstanding business cards, banners, and flyers in just a few clicks. The tool has a huge gallery of professionally designed templates to choose from. The user can also customize a design from a large collection of images, videos, and graphics. 

Canva was designed while keeping in mind the marketing needs of budding businesses. With the advent of social media, brands have now entered a highly competitive space for marketing their products and services. Every brand is fighting for customer attention here with eye-grabbing content. Big brands who have already established their presence on this platform are monetizing it every minute, while small brands and new businesses often struggle to find their footing. With budding businesses, the budget is often limited where hiring a professional graphic designer to create stunning banners and flyers becomes a concern. This is where Canva can help. 

The Quote

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke 

This inspiring quote by the British author, inventor, and futurist sums up the utility of technology in the most pragmatic way. It is a boon to mankind and is now on us to explore more possibilities from it.

It’s nothing new for companies to rebrand their business and choose a new name. There’s a lot to consider when naming a business, and sometimes the meaning and direction of a company can change. Oftentimes, the names of brands are decided based on the reason behind the company. A name has to resonate with the purpose of the brand, something that will instantly convey the right message to the customers and end-users. Reflecting upon the last few decades, we see that many renowned brands have changed their names, whether to make them simpler, easier to understand, or easier to pronounce. This was the case with the one and only, world-famous Google.

Google was founded by Larry Page and Serge Brin as a search engine in 1996 and was initially called “BackRub”. The idea behind the name BackRub was to help people understand how the search engine ranked websites. BackRub was programmed to check the backlinks of each website as a means to rank it. The search engine also analyzed other sites it linked to, just to understand how important the website was. They figured that the more places that linked to the website, the more important and reliable of a source it must be. The name “BackRub” came from this concept of backlink analysis. The founders held onto the name until 1997. 

Back then, BackRub was operating on Stanford University’s server. It was soon taken down because it was using up too much bandwidth and slowing down the server for other users. Founders Page and Brin worked on this problem, and the solution led to a massive boost in traffic on the search engine. It was then the founders gave a second thought to the name. They realized “BackRub” was too distant a concept behind naming their search engine. Everyday computer users may not necessarily understand the backlink process, making the name somewhat confusing. Page and Brin wanted the name to be something catchy that instantly conveyed meaning to the users.

This eventually led to a brainstorming session at Stanford, and many suggestions came flooding in. One thing Page and Brin knew for sure was that the name had to resonate with the central idea of BackRub: it’s a search engine that will show millions of results for every word the user searches. This helped them narrow down the multitude of possibilities they now had.

Sean Anderson, a graduate student at Stanford, suggested the name “googolplex” during the brainstorming session. It was instantly liked by Page who shortened it to “googol”. Googol is the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes which would symbolize the search engine’s potential to show numerous results on a single search. 

To make the final move, Anderson searched the name Googol to see if any other websites already had the domain. He made a typo and wrote “Google” instead of Googol. Page loved that name even more and wasted no time registering it. The search engine Google was registered on September 15, 1997, and the rest is history.

A staycation is a break from day-to-day demands. It’s a time purposefully spent on leisure while remaining at home or around your town. Staycations are meant to be a mini-holiday during which you can escape from your everyday routine. They also help you save money from bigger trips, while still providing that vacation feel.

A Tip.

Take a daily vacation! Have you gone on a vacation recently? Well, the answer lies in how much you treasure the good times. Perhaps you understand the importance of a holiday but rarely go on one. The truth is that you aren’t the only one. Many of us tend to focus more on our jobs and livelihood at the expense of unique trips. The outcome is depriving yourself of some important things in life, such as experiencing a vacation.

Surprisingly, some of those who acknowledge a vacation’s importance don’t take them often. They’re probably engrossed in the old-school mentality that vacations should only be taken once or twice a year. But this doesn’t have to be the case when staycations are an option.

You can take numerous vacations in a year and enjoy some of them right at home. Vacation doesn’t necessarily have to be a big trip or a well-planned outing. It’s all about a break from your regular routine to relax the mind, body, and soul.

A staycation can be as simple as turning your phone off for a few hours and enjoying some time unplugged. This will give you a personal space to focus on yourself and the things that matter to you. Self-evaluation is one of the greatest forms of self-rejuvenation and can help you embrace life from the positive side.

Leaving from work early for movie nights, date nights, or evening walks can also be a form of a staycation. You’re simply changing up your day to spice up your tomorrow. If possible, consider taking a whole day off and treat yourself and your family to a spur-of-the-moment day out. You and your loved ones will be energized and always remember that fun day. Benefits galore!

 A Tool.  

Create a separate bank account purely dedicated to staycations. Start making small deposits here and there that won’t eat into your budget. Even if it’s as low as $20 to $50, make your deposits consistent.

Soon enough, without even realizing it, you’ll have sufficient money to spend on a staycation. Additionally, it won’t feel like an expense because the money is separate from normal costs. The key is to stay committed. Don’t fail to save, and also don’t be tempted to use the money for other reasons besides your staycation.

If you don’t have staycation ideas, don’t worry! Here are a few: cooking classes, couple massages, museum days, a fancy restaurant, a spa day, check-in to the local pool, or a picnic in the park. The list is endless; just think of the stuff you don’t usually do at home that you’ve always wanted to!

A Quote

Sometimes a break from your routine is the thing you need.” – Unknown

All rags to riches stories are inspiring in many ways. They highlight struggles, unyielding spirit, and handwork that finally paid off.  We often read them in fiction pieces, but to see them unfold in real life can be a blessing. The story of billionaire entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria is one such example. He lived on the streets twice in his life but never lost hope to pursue his dreams. His success is the result of his unstoppable will to achieve and his compassionate heart. 

Born and brought up in a compassionate household, John Paul DeJoria learned to acknowledge others’ pain. At the age of six, he was inspired to donate to the Salvation Army because his mother told him that even a little help can go a long way. With such an empathetic heart, John Paul DeJoria was destined for great things. 

Unfortunately, he became homeless at the young age of 22. He lived on the streets with his two-year-old son to take care of. DeJoria has worked as a salesman selling encyclopedias and shampoo on the street. He had to sacrifice a lot to survive on minimal earnings. These challenges not only came as hurdles to his life but as lessons that made him understand the pain of homelessness. He struggled for years to put his entrepreneurial skills to use and finally had the chance in 1980. He partnered with Paul Mitchell in 1980 to start a haircare brand with a capital of just $700. 

Within a short period, the Paul Mitchell brand became a household name in hair care products. Soon after the company started scaling up, Paul Mitchell passed away. DeJoria took over the company and brought it to new heights, generating an annual revenue of over a billion dollars. 

The success of DeJoria’s first business venture encouraged him to try his luck in a new venture: distilleries. He started the brand Patrón Tequila as his second business. The brand took off, becoming a common name in tequila products. It is the product of Patrón Spirits Company based in Mexico. To ensure the distillery follows a sustainable distilling process, the company uses recycled bottles for the product and uses leftover distilled water as fertilizer. This eco-friendly initiative shot up the sales to more than 2 million cases in a year. 

DeJoria believes in giving back. He never sets wealth as a benchmark to measure his success. He loves to help people in need and actively donates to numerous social causes, especially to eradicate homelessness. DeJoria feels that since he is financially blessed, he can help others in their struggle. Having faced severe challenges in his life, it’s a way for him to give back to life for all that he has achieved so far. 

Being a true philanthropist at heart, DeJoria signed Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s “The Giving Pledge” campaign in 2011 wherein he donated half of his earnings to help underprivileged people. He is also the founder of JP’s Peace Love & Happiness Foundation, an organization that conducts fundraisers to help those in poverty and protect the rights of animals. DeJoria wants to continue his journey for the rest of his life because nothing contents him more than helping those in need.

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