The AotS Platform

Oftentimes, when creating new software it is a founder’s prerogative to try to stand out from competition by loading the software with every feature they can think of …

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Amy Gehling
The Startup Race

Remember that story where the tortoise outruns the hare because the hare sprints off and burns itself out and the tortoise sets a steady pace and wins the race? Seriously, in the story of the tortoise and the hare, how can the hare not be the #hustle?

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The Trend Chaser

Are you solving problems or chasing trends? Obviously, as founders we want to use the newest, latest, and greatest technologies for our businesses, however, we still need to have an understanding of what problem we are solving. Knowing what problem you are in the business of solving allows you to choose tools that are the most effective and efficient at solving that particular problem.

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Amy Gehling
The Joy of Business

Owning your own business has underwent a glorification process with the rise of Silicon Valley, founders too, can rise to having celebrity fame that use to be reserved for Hollywood and athletes. With this there has been more interest in starting a company than before. People want the glory. Unfortunately, running a business isn’t really about the glory during your daily activities and you may find that some tasks do not bring you the famed “joy” of being a founder.

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Amy Gehling
The Company T-Shirt

We’ve all heard the bit about “the first thing we did, was make our company t-shirts” and how that reflects misaligned priorities. If it is such a long running joke, why does it still happen so much? I believe it is because it as an easy thing to do and figure out in the world of uneasy choices. Building a company requires a lot of learning as you go and sometimes making decisions with imperfect information. One thing that you can check off the list? Make a company t-shirt. Founders make the decision, send it off to the printer, get something quickly in return, and feel a sense of accomplishment when they put their company t-shirt on. It brings a sense of concrete in a sometimes abstract world.  The question is, is this a good use of time and resources?

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Amy Gehling
The Gender Tax

“How is everything going?” This is a common question we ask each other every day. In the world of entrepreneurship, this usually means: “How is your business going?” We like to answer these questions with something positive held close to the surface. Rarely does an entrepreneur disclose their challenges, because “everything is great!” This is usually a facade we present outwards to people. It is also a trap.

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Amy Gehling
The Great Facade

“How is everything going?” This is a common question we ask each other every day. In the world of entrepreneurship, this usually means: “How is your business going?” We like to answer these questions with something positive held close to the surface. Rarely does an entrepreneur disclose their challenges, because “everything is great!” This is usually a facade we present outwards to people. It is also a trap.

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Amy Gehling
The Unsung Ghost Writer

Let’s talk authority. Building brand authority in the age of the internet can be overwhelming. Chances are, as your business becomes more demanding you will begin to have less and less time to create content. A common practice, and natural step, is to hire someone to help you create that content. Ghostwriters are exactly what they sound like. They are in the background, unseen like ghosts, but are often the ones creating the bulk of content you might know someone for. This is fine as long as they aren’t doing the heavy lifting when it comes to understanding what the “hero” is building authority on. All too often…

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The Target Customer

You should have a target customer. In fact, I fully believe you should pretend your target customer is an actual person. This is called a customer avatar, which is basically an imaginary friend for your business. Like an imaginary friend, you should understand what your avatar likes, dislikes, what motivates them, and what they need. Every time you draft a marketing message you should be able to pretend you’re talking directly to your avatar. This will allow your dialogue with your actual customers to feel authentic and human.You are doing it wrong if you draft a piece of communication that makes your customer feel like you are performing target practice on them...

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The Hustle Fallout

It’s true, coffee can be a miracle. However, there is only so much caffeine can do to cover up poor rest patterns and behavior. I do not and will never campaign for inaction or laziness and when I denounce the “hustle” I am not saying that dedication to your work isn’t important to creating something successful…

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Amy Gehlinghustle, coffee
The Everything Elixir

Let’s face it. Most of us do not fit into one category of talents and skillsets. In the age of information where it is easier than ever to learn something new it is tempting to say we can take on everything and do everything. But here’s the catch, if you say you can do everything for a potential customer they won’t know what to hire you for and you will likely lose that sale. Your pitch falls flat if you don’t offer them a clear definition of how you can help them. So while it feels like a trap to narrow your abilities down make sure you don’t go too general and lose your direction. You can always add, “and then…” later in the relationship.⁣

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Amy Gehling