Avoid Boredom, Live Longer

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Business lessons from the Bundesliga. The New York Times has a fun report from the Bundesliga, the German soccer league, which, without marquee players or international exposure, has managed to turn itself into a stable, well-managed business. The German league has the highest average attendance in the world, reasonable player salaries, and revenues of $2.7 billion. How did the Bundesliga do it? By focusing on developing talent from within rather than buying pricey international stars. The league invests more than $100 million a year on academies that are designed to create home-grown stars, which saves money in the long run and ensures that more teams are competitive. "For producing players, these academies are $20 million euros cheaper than buying a Ronaldo," the league's CEO tells the Times. "What's better? One superstar or building up academies to produce the superstars of the future?" It works in soccer--and in a lot of businesses.

Why entrepreneurship is good for your health. Sure it may be stressful, but running your own business is hardly ever boring. In light of a recent study released by University College London that claims that boredom may lead to early death, the hectic lifestyle entrepreneurs lead may actually be good for them. As Gawker reports, researchers surveyed 7,500 London civil servants between 1985 and 1988 and asked them if they had felt bored at work during the previous month. The researchers then tracked down the civil servants in April 2009 to see how many of the participants had died. Those who reported they had been "very bored" were two and a half times more likely to die of a heart-related issue than those who didn't report being bored. As one physician explains, "Someone who is bored may not be motivated to eat well, excercise, and have a heart-healthy lifestyle." So the next time you are dealing with one of your company's daily emergencies, be thankful that at least you're not bored.

Beware of building your business on someone else's platform. Launching a start-up on Facebook or Twitter might help your business get to scale quickly, but the risk of hitching a ride on someone else's wagon is that there's always a chance that they'll push you off. Which is what start-up TweepML learned after it launched a service to manage lists of Twitter users. It was such a successful idea, GigaOM reports, that Twitter released a nearly indentical service about a month later--highlighting the risks of starting a business on a pre-existing platform.

Stop selling scarcity and start selling value. "If you are selling a scarcity--an inventory--of any nonphysical goods today, stop, turn around, and start selling value--outcomes--instead," otherwise, as Buzzmachine blogger Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do? puts it, "You're screwed." Jarvis breaks down his theory in terms of industries like advertising, information, and content. But the real story is one of deflation of once-controlled commodities like news, information, and advertising as the Internet fostered both competition and efficiency, which brought about the need to specialize and collaborate. Those economic changes affected both sides of the ledger as results-oriented companies become more profitable, but smaller. "This is why the old controllers of scarcity have such trouble rethinking and remaking themselves for the economy of abundance. Their reflex is to control more, when that only decreases value."

Making your blogs more relevant. Want to make your blog more content-rich? Surphace, a company owned by AOL, is here to help, says TechCrunch. The company has just released into private beta S4, a self-service product that allows even the smallest Web publishers to pull related content links into their sites. Sign up for the private beta here.

When there's a will there's a way... for legal trouble. Melvin Simon, founder of Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the country, was one of the notable entrepreneurs who died in 2009 and his name remains in the papers after his death thanks to the legal tussle between his heirs over his $1 billion legacy. The Wall Street Journal details the scene at the center of the contention, namely when Simon, who died at age 82, needed a financial adviser to guide his hand as he signed some alterations to his will mere months before his death. To avoid any similar legal entanglements check out our guide to estate planning.

Tips for small business start-up success. For any small business owner, there are plenty of points to focus on to make your business successful and keep it that way. For a start-up, it's even more important to choose areas to focus on, in order to establish yourself in your field. Small Biz Trends offers up 8 general tips for a successful start-up, which include finding ways to stand out in your market, being comfortable with delegating responsibility to employees, learning everything you can about your industry and what it takes to run a business.

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Last updated: Feb 10, 2010




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