4 Ways Corporate Refugees Can Become Their Own Bosses

Posted by Guest Contributor

12:00 PM

Interested in a progressive career change? Create success on your own terms with these methods.

By Anna Wilds 


The U.S. Labor Department revealed that the unemployment rate fell in every state in 2015 for the first time in 30 years. The improving economy is making life for the job seeker a bit easier, but returning to the daily grind of a corporate 9 to 5 isn’t necessarily the right career move for every professional.

For many highly-qualified individuals who have been downsized from their previous place of employment, the recovering economy may be the perfect opportunity to begin again as a small business owner.

If you are a corporate refugee and want to explore the option of being your own boss, here are four viable ways to start your career as a small business owner.

Topics: Entrepreneur, Changing Careers, Professional Development

Work-from-home Tips That Will Actually Make You More Productive

Posted by Guest Contributor

08:39 AM

Get more done at home and watch your work prosper with this advice.

By Peter Schiller


Working from home is becoming increasingly common—the number of those who worked at least one day a week from home increased from 7 percent in 1997 to 9.5 percent in 2010 (latest data available). Whether you are a full-time staffer who works from the comfort of your couch occasionally, or a freelancer with a home office that’s always open, these five tips will help you make those offsite days the most productive they can be. Read on for some helpful hints that may surprise you, even if you’ve been doing this “homework” thing for ages.

Topics: Entrepreneur, Workplace

5 stupid things to stop doing before it’s too late

Posted by Guest Contributor

09:55 AM

Scott Ginsberg shares five items from his list of 61 stupid things to stop doing before it's too late.


In my most recent article about interviewing, “10 good ways to 'Tell me about yourself,” I offered a free list at the end about stupid things to stop doing before it’s too late.

Since that article premiered, I’ve received hundreds of emails from people requesting the list. And so, I wanted to share five of my favorite tips from that list, along with a link so readers can access the full compilation at their convenience.

Topics: Entrepreneur, Workplace, Management

C-Suite Talk With Gurjot Sidhu

Posted by Amanda Augustine

12:36 PM

Gurjot New York's CEO and Creative Director talks to TheLadders about her line of luxury women’s business wear and her passion to see women excel in the workplace.


What prompted you to start Gurjot New York?

Our mission is to advance women in the workplace by dressing them impeccably.  Back in 2009 when I was thinking about starting a business, the idea of creating the power suit for women really stuck with me.  I’d had a great career in management consulting and always struggled with finding the right suit fit and look.  Also, I had sewn my whole life, so I felt it would be amazing to raise my personal interest in sewing to a professional level and really have an impact on the lives of women professionals. I went to FIT for a year to learn the industry and make contacts, and in July of 2010 I launched my Custom Collection, followed by a ready-to-wear collection.

One of your goals is to help professional women succeed and excel in the workplace. How does clothing play a role in this success?

Clothing plays two roles in the corporate world: It affects how people think of you, and it impacts how you feel about yourself.  We try to have maximum impact on both fronts for our clients.  In terms of impressions, we want others to look at our clients and think, "wow, she has it together."  For our client, we know when her clothes are made from luxurious materials and fit her perfectly, she is going to feel like a million bucks.  And when you feel that way, you can accomplish anything.

Topics: Entrepreneur

Attention all new small business owners: It’s time to rip off the band-aid

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

10:00 AM

Five steps to ensure the financial stability you need to start your own business. 

Ripping_Off_BandaidIt’s 6 A.M. Your alarm goes off; you’re about to begin your 9-to-5 day. But, unlike most of your co-workers, you also have a 5-to-9 day on top of that. You are an entrepreneur. You decided to start your own business, but are leery of quitting your day job. You have bills to pay. You’re unsure how successful you will be on your own. Too many worries to take the plunge. But plunge you must in order to give it your all and make a success of your own business.

Have no fear, there are a few precautionary measures you can take to ensure financial stability. This will give you the push you need to just rip off that protective covering and quit your job. If you write out a plan and follow it to the letter, you should be fine.

Topics: Entrepreneur

C-Suite Talk With M.M. LAFLEUR's Sarah LaFleur

Posted by Amanda Augustine

12:15 PM

Sarah LaFleur, Founder and CEO of M.M. LAFLEUR, talks to TheLadders about dressing for success and her mission to rid the world of the pantsuit and replace it with beautiful attire for purposeful women.

SarahLaFleur_M.M._LAFLEURSarah, what is M.M. LAFLEUR’s mission? Why did you decide to start your own business?

The mission of our company is simple: to create beautiful clothing for the purposeful woman.

Originally we had said “professional woman” instead of “purposeful woman,” but I quickly realized that the former felt too narrow in scope for the women we are dressing.  Let me explain: growing up I watched my mother, who was a PR executive at a luxury fashion brand, get ready for work every morning.  Her sense of style is and has been the inspiration behind this company.  She always managed to look sexy and professional, stylish and effortless.  She wasn’t just a “professional woman,” she was that and much more: a professional and a mother, a friend and a wife.  You get the idea. 

I think that’s the way most women live these days.  I’m so inspired by our customers, who we call our “Ampersand Women,” because they embrace the “and” lifestyle and lead very fulfilling, even passionate, lives.  Our aim is to create clothes that fit the Ampersand lifestyle.

I think the fashion industry today doesn’t cater to the Ampersand Woman.  Mass-market brands are redundant and uninspiring, and so many luxury brands don’t even pretend to care about or understand this customer.  That’s why I wanted to create a brand that did.

Topics: Entrepreneur

C-Suite talk with MeeGenius' Wandy Hoh

Posted by Amanda Augustine

03:56 PM

Wandy Hoh, talks to TheLadders about becoming a "mompreneur” with a mission, the culture she's built at MeeGenius, and how the company is growing by leaps and bounds!

Wandy_Ho_MeeGeniusAfter more than 10 years working in the investment world, you left to start MeeGenius! What led you to create this organization? What is its mission? 

As a busy, working mom, I found that I was constantly encouraging my three children to read yet didn’t have enough hours every day to do it with them. It was because of this personal challenge that I founded MeeGenius! to help other parents embrace the technology they already have with the reading their children love to do. Technology is the best avenue for us to fulfill our mission: to inspire a love of reading within each child. 

MeeGenius! has certainly disrupted the children’s book market! Why is your app so attractive to parents and kids alike?

MeeGenius! users tell us they love our content and convenience. There is a little bit of magic the first time a child first sees an e-book come to life with illustrations, narration, and our unique word highlighting. Parents appreciate our curated library filled with the themes, categories, and titles their children enjoy. Additionally, the convenience of having the MeeGenius! library across any device and platform makes reading available anytime. As a mom of three, convenience is key for my family!  

Topics: Entrepreneur

C-Suite talk with LearnVest's Alexa von Tobel

Posted by Amanda Augustine

01:42 PM

Alexa von Tobel, CFP and Founder/CEO of LearnVest.com, talks to TheLadders about job security, financial planning and career advice.


You took a leave of absence from Harvard Business School in 2008 to launch LearnVest. What led you to create this organization? What is their mission?

When I was graduating from college and headed to a job on Wall Street, I realized I didn't have a solid grasp on my own personal finances. I had never learned exactly how to build my credit score or what the difference was between a Roth and Traditional IRA. I couldn't find a resource that spoke directly to me, so I decided to build one. When the financial crisis hit in the fall of 2008, I knew that smart financial advice was more important than ever before—so, I took a leave of absence from business school and dedicated myself full-time to LearnVest.

Our mission is to empower people everywhere to take control of their personal finances and make real progress on their money. At LearnVest.com, we are making access to unbiased financial advice as easy as getting a gym membership.  


Topics: Entrepreneur

C-Suite talk with The Muse’s Kathryn Minshew

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:30 PM

The Muse’s Founder and CEO talks to TheLadders about career transitions and becoming an entrepreneur. 

TheLadders talks to The Muse's Founder

Prior to founding PYP Media and The Muse, you worked in both private and public sectors. Did you find any of these transitions particularly challenging?

Compared to the public sector, the private sector tends to be a lot more bottom-line-driven – and, in my experience, that translated to a lot more rigorous analysis of costs, expected profits, and the like. Not to say this is absent from the public sector, but in the private sector, it takes on a different importance. There's plenty the two have in common--understanding costs, navigating complex relationships between various partners, working out deals--but the goal of a government isn't to build a great product or service and sell it in the same way that it is for a company.

Topics: Entrepreneur

Optimize for Innovation

Posted by Guest Contributor

05:42 PM

Recognize these 8 conditions to reach your full potential.

By Dan Coughlin

Recently I read the books Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King. Turns out they were the same story. They both told the story of innovation.

Without the ability to innovate, an organization will eventually be left behind and will degenerate. This is true in every industry, every country, every for-profit organization, and every not-for-profit organization.

I like to define words before digging into the details. To me, innovation means creating greater value for other people, delivering it through a better experience for them, and basing decisions on a deep understanding of what they really need. The purpose of innovating is to help your organization achieve better sustainable success. You do that by consistently creating greater value for other people and improving the way in which you deliver that value.

Topics: Entrepreneur, Management