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The Biggest Influencers of Bitcoin Price in 2016

Can the surge continue? A review of bitcoin’s 2016 performance indicates the cryptocurrency’s fundamentals are such that the party is far from over.

With incoming U.S. President Donald Trump promising a fiscal spending binge that could push the $20 trillion U.S. debt even higher, the fundamentals that have served to more than double bitcoin’s price this year could deliver even greater gains in 2017.

A combination of events, beginning with bitcoin’s popularity as a hedge against increasingly volatile markets, set the stage for a repeat performance in 2017, if not better.

The cryptocurrency began 2016 trading at $428 and hit $928 by the end of December, a 114% gain. Growth was not uniform, but momentum accelerated in the fourth quarter. Bitcoin gained 25% in value since the beginning of December alone.

It was also the best-performing currency this year, outpacing the U.S. dollar and the Israeli shekel.

A Weak Beginning

The year did not begin on a positive note when Mike Hearn, a bitcoin developer, announced he was leaving bitcoin, claiming its fundamentals were broken and the long-term price outlook was negative. He claimed the system was controlled by a handful of people and the network was on the brink of collapse.

The market did not react favorably to Hearn’s pronouncements, which yielded the most damning media coverage the cryptocurrency had ever experienced. The price tumbled around 15% after his departure.

But recovery was evident by February. Some observers postulated that Hearn’s real motivation for exiting bitcoin was the lack of support for his solution to bitcoin’s scalability challenge, BitcoinXT.

Financial adviser Martin Tillier observed that the very issue that drove Hearn’s departure – the need for a more scalable bitcoin network – was the result of a very positive underlying fundamental – its growth as a currency.

Signs of bitcoin’s ability to hedge against other markets were already evident in late 2015. The price rose to just below $500 after the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank raised its fund rate by 25 basis points in late 2015. Bitcoin’s price tracked the U.S. dollar rally against other fiat currencies.

It didn’t take long for Tillier’s predictions to materialize.

Pricing Surge Began Early

The weak start of the 2016 stock market demonstrated bitcoin’s use as a hedge against more volatile investment options. Bitcoin was one of the few winning investments in the worst first week of the year for U.S. stocks in early January. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 had their worst first weeks in history. Bitcoin, gold, the yen and natural gas were in growth modes.

The price in January surged over $20 in a 10-hour period to scale beyond $450.

The climb did not occur in a straight line, however.

After hitting a low of $360 in January, the price rebounded past $400 in February.

In another article, Tillier observed that bitcoin’s price hikes in previous years were mysterious, but the current one can be traced to the devaluation of China’s currency.

Because there is a logical reason for the price surge, the market is acting as a forward discounting mechanism and some degree of appreciation is now built into the price, Tillier noted. In addition, the interest from traders combined with the ability to short the currency allows the market to check upward spikes naturally, simply by attracting sellers.

The Scalability Factor

The network scalability issue remained a background theme.

In February, Bitcoin Classic released code that could double the bitcoin block size, offering a solution to the scalability issue. Bitcoin Classic, however, drew controversy within the developer community, which investors naturally noticed.

Those seeking to increase the maximum block size from 1 MB to 2 MB claimed that it is necessary to keep transaction costs down and continue the growth of the system.

Those against the increase said questions surrounding a hard fork, which can occur when non-upgraded nodes cannot validate blocks created by updated nodes that follow updated consensus rules, had not properly been addressed.

The Classic camp, consisting of entrepreneurs, wanted a more immediate fix to expanding the network by increasing the block size. The Core camp, consisting of miners, didn’t want to increase the block size since some miners would be less likely to earn mining rewards.

Mining pools representing at least 70% of the total hashing power of the bitcoin network and some of the largest bitcoin exchanges said they would not support Bitcoin Classic or any “contentious hard-fork.”

The release of the code for Segregated Witness in April, an upgrade to the bitcoin protocol designed to enable more transactions within a single block of the blockchain, pushed bitcoin’s price past $460. Segregated Witness fundamentally removes signatures from the transaction, thereby compressing transactions within blocks to leave more space for transactional data. This would serve as a less drastic, soft fork.

Market Forces Converge

The scalability debate did not undermine investor confidence and had less bearing on bitcoin’s price than its growing reputation as a safe asset in a tumultuous global market. Pricing activity was stable during February, March and April.

The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank’s 2016 rate increase announcement in March had little impact on bitcoin. Half the market passively accumulated via limit orders placed just below price while the other half actively sold at market.

The U.S. dollar, by contrast, weakened while but gold jumped nearly $30.

The Fed cited a weak global economy as the reason for its decision and forecasted two more hikes, fueling a desire for safe assets.

Global political events, meanwhile, worked in bitcoin’s favor, beginning with the June U.K. Brexit referendum. The surprise referendum sent markets reeling. After the U.K. pound (GBP/USD) dropped to $1.32, the U.S. dollar and gold rallied while bitcoin achieved a $140 one-day gain.

Around this same time, rumors indicated Steam, the global online gaming store and distributor, was preparing a bitcoin implementation as a payment method to its base of some 125 million active users.

In June, the price soared beyond $570, reaching a near two-year high.

A Setback Strikes

The climb was not over, but it was not uniform.

The price crashed in August after the Bitfinex exchange suffered a security breach that led to the theft of an unconfirmed number of bitcoins. The exchange announced it was shutting down its website in ominous signs reminiscent of Mt. Gox. The attack led some to believe the industry had not come up with a way to ensure security.

But the naysayers would again be proven wrong.

Bitfinex got back online after advising users that they would lose 36 percent of their assets. The exchange levied a 36% price on all of its users, whether or not they were victimized individually by the hackers.

The Bitfinex theft quickly sent bitcoin price tumbling.

Bitfinex delivered a blow, but the market began a gradual recovery that gained momentum as fall approached. Some viewed the Bitfinex episode as proof that the bitcoin network is capable of withstanding negative events.

The price struck a new yearly high of $794.39 in mid-December as the currency’s fundamental strength became evident.

Bitcoin gained more value than all other currencies in 2016, driven by China’s crackdown on the yuan, isolationist rumblings in the U.S. and the U.K, and increasing acceptance by consumers and businesses.

By the time the price surged 79 percent since the start of 2016 to $778, it reached its highest level since early 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg. At that point, bitcoin quadrupled the gains posted by Russia’s ruble and Brazil’s real, the world’s top two hard currencies.

Mining Reward Halving: No Impact

When the halving of the bitcoin mining reward occurred in July, there were no price drops. Bitcoiners celebrated worldwide.

There was concern about miner profitability since miner rewards were cut in half from 25 to 12.5 bitcoins.

But the price resumed its upward trend. One factor noted at the time was the devaluation of the Chinese yuan, driving Chinese investors to bitcoin.

China’s role in bitcoin trading has emerged as a key factor in is price performance. The country accounts for more than 90% of the cryptocurrency’s trades, and has become a natural hedge against the devaluation of the yuan.

In January 2017, the foreign currency cap imposed by the Chinese government for the amount of foreign currency that a Chinese citizen can convert ($50,000) will be reset for the new year. Inevitably, the surge in capital outflows could weaken the yuan further, setting off a market reaction that could lead to further demand for safe value assets, which bitcoin is fulfilling a role as.

What’s Ahead?

Central banks may give up on qualitative easing and negative interest rates, but they are far from being finished with intervention and distorting the allocation of capital and the price of money, according to Steen Jakobsen, CIO at Denmark-based Saxo Bank. Hence, bitcoin’s role as a hedge against volatile currencies remains intact.

Meanwhile, the Trump-promised fiscal spending binge is expected to add to the approximate $20 trillion of U.S. national debt, tripling the current U.S. budget deficit from about $600 billion to $1.2 trillion to $1.8 trillion.

Could the Donald Trump presidency push bitcoin price higher?

The spending could cause U.S. growth and inflation to skyrocket, forcing the Fed to accelerate its hikes and the U.S. dollar to soar to new heights.

This could create a domino effect in emerging markets and China in particular, leading people globally to seek alternative currencies and payment systems that are not tied to central banks.

If the banking system, as well other nations such as Russia and China, moves to accept bitcoin as a partial alternative to the U.S. currency and the traditional banking and payment system, bitcoin’s price could hit $2,100 and beyond as the blockchain’s decentralized system, an inability to dilute the finite supply of bitcoins, and low to no transaction costs gains more traction and acceptance globally.

Images from Shutterstock.Chart from BitcoinChart.

Chris Corey 

CMO Markethive Inc


Lester Coleman on 29/12/2016​

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Seven Reasons Salespeople Have The Best Job On The Planet

Chris Corey

Seven Reasons Salespeople Have The Best Job On The Planet

I took my first sales job at the ripe age of thirteen. I had been working at the same car wash company since I was eight years old. I started mowing their yard, and then at age 12 they let me vacuum cars. Mowing yards and vacuuming cars is no joke in the 100-degree Texas heat. While working the vacuums, I noticed the guy who sold the washes to the customers got to stay in the shade all day. This was very appealing to me.

After paying closer attention, I also realized the salesman didn’t vacuum or wash cars. He literally had the easiest job on the lot. It was in that moment I knew I was going to be a salesman. A year later, I made it a reality. Funny thing is, I had to really sell myself as a 13-year old capable of communicating to adults. When I closed the boss on it, I proved I was worthy.

Since that moment, I’ve been 100 percent convinced salespeople have the best job on the planet. Nowhere else can you make your own rules, your own money and do your own thing. In sales, it happens every day. I’ve made a list of the top seven reasons working in sales is where it’s at.





#1: We Make Our Own Rules

Name another job where you can come and go as you please. I’m pretty sure there’s no other position where the employee is above management’s rules either. If you’re a good salesman, you can tell the manager to kiss your ass and they just might have to do it. 

When I worked at Texas Lending, casual Friday was the only day you could wear jeans. I wore jeans every day and even the CEO never said anything. Why? Because I made them $50-100 grand every month. Therefore, they let me make my own rules. It’s a pleasure only top dogs can experience. 

#2: We Have No Income Ceiling

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone telling me what I’m worth. I don’t allow another single person to place value on my worth. Instead, I’ll go out and prove my value to multiple people. I’m the type of person, who, if you put a limit on my income, I’ll put a limit on the production I give you.

Earning what you are worth is way more fun than settling for a salary. Let the salaries go to the people who are afraid to take risks and live by a budget. We salespeople can blow all our money on Friday and make it all back on Monday. Take that HR!

#3: Our Clients Love Us

One thing I love about sales is there are other departments that deal with complaints. The only time we hear from our clients is when they thank us and tell us how much they love what we sold them. We don’t have to do anything but solve problems and close.

When you’re a Grade A problem solver, your clients love you. Who doesn’t love someone who helped them fix an issue? If there’s a problem, they still don’t complain to us. They take it out on the operations and support staff.

#4: Our Employers Love Us

When you make the person or company you work for a lot of money, they love you. It’s simple math. You + Sales = Happy Employer. Yeah, the boss may have taken Dorothy from accounting to lunch that one time she uncovered a huge error that saved the company, but he’ll take someone in sales out often.

I’ve never seen a manager or CEO walk into a company and high five the operations department. I have seen them take shots at 10am with the sales team, though!

#5: We Travel Often

When you’ve got the killer instinct and the company knows it, they want you to be the face of the enterprise any chance you get. This means when they have meetings, events, conventions and the like, you’re the go-to person. If they know you can sell, they will send you to tell.

They can’t send Dorothy and Harold off to some convention as the face. They need a salesperson to do that. Nobody buys from the accounting department. So, Harold and Dorothy can just stay behind at the office, while we salesmen handle the big boy business.

#6: We Meet New People Constantly

If you’re in sales and you’re not a people person, you’re not really in sales. You have to know and like people in order to sell to them. By liking people, I mean the idea of bonding and solving another human’s problem. Every day, we are looking for new people to meet. From cold calls to networking events to inbound leads, we are constantly meeting and helping new, cool people.

A good salesman knows that when you meet people, you ask those new people to introduce you to more people…AND repeat. New people are key to growing a sales pipeline. Getting to learn more people’s stories is exciting to most of us. It’s a blast to help someone with a problem and then convert them from stranger to client.

#7: We Have Connections Everywhere

No one calls Harold in HR when they need a hook-up somewhere. They call the guys down in the sales department for that. All those new people I mentioned previously come with connections—who are eager to help a salesman.

Plus, everyone wants to know a salesman they can trust. They know trustworthy salespeople also have other trustworthy salespeople in their network. When I was a LO, people asked me to connect them with car people, clubs and pretty much anything. They knew I knew people, that the people I knew were good.

CMO Markethive Inc

Chris Corey

RYAN STEWMAN | 1.10.2016

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Friendships Online And What They Can Mean

Frienships online can lead down many great roads and adventures. Today I am going to concentrate on a few people that I have met online. I met Thomas Prendergast back in 2009 as a result of me being a customer of his former company Veretekk. I had called in to his customer support line with a concern that I wasn’t doing something right. It was a weekend and I thought I would be leaving a message and wait for someone to contact me. To my surprise, Tom answered my call and I later found out that he was the CEO.

After explaining my frustration to Tom, and a long very friendly conversation Tom and I had a connection.  Tom and I having similar back grounds and a lots in common. Tom offered to mentor me personally in SEO and internet marketing. Tom must have seen something in me that I myself had not yet seen.

He had offered to me a Platinum Control Panel free of charge to use as long as I was learning. ($500 per month) It was then that I knew Tom wasn’t offering to help me for the money, he really cares about other and their success.

So Tom and I have been friends ever since. It’s odd the relationships that you can create online. I have people that I have met through the internet and though we have never met face to face, I would consider them to be great friends of mine.

Case in point, Thomas Prendergast and I have never met in person however we are now business partners in Markethive. Kathy Keen and I met through a business venture 6 years ago, we again have never met in person and I feel that I know her very well. Kathy and I have worked on several projects since.

Michael Ralph whom I have just met the month of September, 2016 and I know already, that he and I are going to be great internet friends. Michael has many qualities that I admire about him and I see so much potential in his future regarding Internet marketing. I think he will build a very successful business. I see drive, passion, and a great attitude. Yeah I think it’s safe to say, I liked Michael right away.

I have many examples of some really great people that I have met online, so if I have not mentioned you in this post. I still love you.

Markethive allows me to connect on a much deeper level because our social network allows me to connect to all of their other social networks as well.


Chris Corey CMO Markethive Inc.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

The Importance of Mentors, And Where To Find Them

The importance of a mentor and where to find them can be one of the most important tasks a business professional can search for in their journey towards success. 

I write about growth strategy, execution & financing  

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Why Mentors Matter?

Mentors or business coaches are one of the most valuable resources an entrepreneur should tap into. The idea of launching a business should no longer be a scary or daunting experience, riddled with unknowns. It should be a collaborative experience accumulating the learnings of the hundreds of local entrepreneurs who have already built successful businesses, and can help you move faster and avoid known pitfalls based on their years of experience, as entrepreneurs themselves.

And, what is great about mentors or business coaches is that they come in all shapes and sizes that can handle the myriad of topics that you may be having a problem. So, search for the mentors who are expert on your specific business size, your specific industry, or your specific business problem (e.g., marketing issue vs. technology issue), on a case-by-case basis. Unlike finding a long term person for your formal board of directors or advisory board, as I have previously written about, mentors are more like “hired guns” on one-off topics that present themselves over time.

My Experience as a Mentor

Over my career, I have had the distinct pleasure of mentoring many startup entrepreneurs. Some of that has been via formal mentorship programs at startup accelerators like Techstars, Founder Institute or Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.  And, some of it has been informal conversations along the way, while guest lecturing  university students or at entrepreneurial networking events.  To me, there is nothing more invigorating than being surrounded by a bunch of excited and motivated entrepreneurs, and trying to help them achieve their goals of building successful businesses. And, I am happy to contribute learnings from my career to help them get up the learning curve faster and for me to give back to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, of which I am a part.

A Mentorship Case Study

As an example, one of the startups I met needed help in structuring a strategic partnership with the leading media company in their industry to assist them with promotion and building up an audience. And, modestly, who better to help them than me, who structured a very similar media-related strategic partnership with National Geographic, while I was building explore in the travel space. Having the benefit of hindsight of cutting a strategic deal with a big media company, I have first-hand experience of what the pluses and minuses of that relationship were after the ink was signed, and it was too late to change anything in the agreement. So, hopefully, this startup can benefit from my experience, and can write a better agreement in their deal, than I did in mine.

CMO Chris Corey

Markethive Inc.


George Deeb ,  


Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

This Is How You Quit Your 9 To 5 And Become An Internet Sensation

I’m not going to sugar coat it, sell you rainbows and unicorns or tell you that becoming an entrepreneur will make you instantly rich. And I’m definitely not going to tell you that it’s easy. Starting your own business is HARD. The biggest component to success is a high-risk tolerance.

I have repeatedly struggled to find my footing, pay bills and get everything set up before finally finding a workable formula.

The business itself is easy to create. I’ve written about how to quickly set up an online money-maker for yourself. I’ve even put together some ideas and specific examples for you to help you come up with an idea.

It’s the cultivation of the business that takes time and energy. No matter how great your idea is, it will not flower by itself. You have to nurture it.

And that’s the problem. Nurturing takes TIME. Lot’s and lot’s of time, attention, care and energy.

My goal is to help you harness the digital power to make yourself money with as little effort as possible. We all know the major themes: create products, share value with people, make income. But it’s not exactly a linear process, is it?

So how do you make a relatively smooth transition from corporate employee to automated/digitized entrepreneur without going destitute?

You have to start with the middle road: freelancing.

The bottom line is this – you need time to set up your business. Most corporate jobs have schedules that don’t really allow for the type of time you need to build content, products, relationships and skills.

What I did: In the transition period between quitting my job at Longhorn Steakhouse in Atlanta, making $2 an hour, to creating my digital empire out of my office in gorgeous Santa Monica, I worked as a contracted online freelancer. I got to create my own schedule, meet a bunch of interesting people, and do something that I loved (or at least liked a lot).

And the biggest perk of all? I could charge a LOT more money.

Most corporate jobs are salaried – so they’re going to max you out and overwork you for the same pay.

Hourly jobs can be low-paying by their very nature. The more money you make per hour, the less the company wants you to work. It’s a catch-22. But as a freelancer, none of this applies to you. You set your own schedule and you set your own rates.

Inevitably, this is where the objections start to crop up:

“I have no idea what I would do. I’m not good at coming up with ideas.”

“I don’t have any valuable skills. I just have my job-specific skills.”

“My market is already saturated. There are better people doing what I do.”

“Nobody will pay for what I know when they can just teach themselves.”

(These are exact copy and pastes from fans and readers who follow my work.)

What are your skills?

There are literally HUNDREDS of things you can do that are enjoyable and that other people will PAY you for. Start thinking about where you could mine your talent for freelance skill:

  • What do people consistently ask you for help or advice in?
  • Do you have any unique skills, talents, hobbies or abilities?
  • What areas of life have you excelled to an “advanced” or even “intermediate” level?
  • What skills ideas interest you enough to learn, and then teach to others?
  • Could you work independently doing what you do now at your current job?
  • Do you have any friends with talents that compliment yours? Maybe you could team up.

My Story

Best to learn by example, I think. Here’s how I did it.

When I first started freelancing, I was working at Longhorn Steakhouse (I’m basically a steak aficionado now). I was also working for Kaplan Test Prep.

My steak skills weren’t worth much. But my Kaplan skills were. I realized that people were paying $100+ per hour for me to tutor their student one-on-one. You won’t believe how much I was making…$18/hour!

And the worst part was…I THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD WAGE!!

Our perceptions are skewed because minimum wage is $7.25. So we think that anything significantly higher than that is good money. The reality is, $7.25 isn’t even livable. You probably need a minimum of $20/hour to make it out here.

But when I really sat down to think about it…I just got INFURIATED.

Here I was, doing all the teaching, grading, talking, communicating with parents, driving from school to school while Kaplan just sat back remotely and took 82% of my money.

Since I as the one with the skill, I needed to be the one making the money. I knew I could make this work on my own and cut out the middle man.

So I bided my time. I looked around, I made some calls.

I found a partner who was also interested in getting a freelance education business going. He was the consulting side, I was the teaching side. Together we knocked down doors, created classes and started making money. A lot more of it.

First, I quit Kaplan. Didn’t want any conflict of interest. Then, as soon as the restaurant started to get in the way of my new endeavor, I quit that as well.

When I quit both jobs, I wasn’t making quite as much with the new business…but the projections were giving me a solid indication that things would pick up quickly. So I just took the leap.

Chris Corey

CMO Markethive Inc


By:Daniel DiPiazza

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Want to Be More Influential? Improve Your Social Skills

Want to Be More Influential? Improve Your Social Skills.

 Improving your Social skills is no longer a choice! It is a must if you want to be in marketing. Dale Carnegie got it right when he said that to win more friends and influence more people you need to improve your interpersonal skills.  Twenty years of research on power and influence shows that people with superior social skills are substantially more influential than people with average social skills.  These findings make sense when you realize that influence is not something you have; it’s something other people give you.  In other words, you can’t be influential with people unless they allow you to be influential with them.  So influence is in large part a function of your relationship with other people, and the rule of thumb on influence is that you are likely to be more successful if the people you want to influence know you, like you, respect you, and trust you. 

Being Known

It is significantly easier to influence people you know than people you don’t.  So go out of your way to make yourself known.  If you’re in an organization, this means increasing your visibility throughout the organization.  Introduce yourself to people.  As you get to know them, let them know who you are.  My research shows that people are who highly skilled at being friendly and sociable with strangers and building close relationships are more than twice as influential as people who are less skilled at sociability and relationship building.  People around the world instinctively understand this, which is why socializing is one of the most frequently used influence techniques globally.  If you aren’t naturally good at socializing, then this is a key skill to build.  Extraverts are often naturally good at socializing, but being an introvert is not necessarily a liability.  You may just have to try harder to do something that does not come naturally to you.

Being Liked

Sometimes, you know the person you want to influence but aren’t as influential as you’d like with him or her because of bad chemistry. Many years ago when I was younger and single a friend introduced me to a young woman, and she and I dated for a while.  She was a nice, attractive person, and we tried to be a couple but it just didn’t work.  Somehow, we got on each other’s nerves and whatever either of us said or did was somehow wrong.  There was no chemistry between us, and it wasn’t her fault or mine.  We just weren’t a good match for each other.  So it goes.  In my three decades in business I’ve had similar situations with some colleagues and clients.  Despite everyone’s good intentions, the plain fact is that there’s something about the other person each of you just doesn’t like.

I wrote in The Elements of Power(Amacom Books, 2011) that attraction can be a significant source of power, and it’s based partly on the psychological principle of liking.  We are more inclined to say yes to people we like than to people we don’t, which is why friends are more likely to do favors for each other than they are for people they don’t know.  So to be more influential, do what you can to be more likeable to the people you want to influence.  Of course, we each have whatever physical gifts (or challenges) we were born with, but you should do the best you can with what you have.  Good grooming, posture, dress, and manners go a long way toward making you more attractive to others.  In business, as well as many other walks of life, these things matter.  The same is true with interpersonal behaviors that people like:friendliness, generosity, warmth, caring, and acceptance.  When we act with these qualities, people are more inclined to like us.  Conversely, if we are pushy, arrogant, boastful, self-centered, rude, disrespectful, or otherwise annoying, people will be inclined to dislike us.  Personality is a key component of likeability.

Being Respected and Trusted

Trust and respect are largely about character, credibility, and confidence.  You build character through courage, integrity, reliability, and similar character traits; you build credibility through your knowledge, access to information, role, and reputation (of which work ethic, results, and contributions are a significant factor); and you build confidence by behaving self-confidently, achieving consistently superior results, making good decisions, and exercising sound judgment.  If you are a member of a business or professional organization, people will also trust and respect you more if you are actively involved, engaged, and comitted to the enterprise.  To become highly influential, it helps to be well-liked, well-regarded, and indispensable.

Fortunately, none of us is born with a fixed amount of power and influence.  No matter who you are, you can become more powerful and more influential, and one of the keys is improving your interpersonal and social skills.  For more tips on how to do this, see Elements of Influence:  The Art of Getting Others to Follow Your Lead(Amacom Books, 2011) or my earlier book, What People Want (Davies-Black, 2006).  Also see Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People, which he first published in 1936 but is still relevant today.

Chris Corey CMO Markethive


Parts of this article are excerpted from Terry R. Bacon, Elements of Influence:  The Art of Getting Others to Follow Your Lead (NY:  AMACOM Books, 2011).

Photo credits:  Friends in a bar: Sean Locke/istockphoto.com. Young businesswoman:  Maridav/istockphoto.com.  Business people looking at a chart:  Jacob Wackerhausen/istockphoto.com. 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

The Worst 10 Mistakes When Starting a Business

 What are fatal mistakes that first time business owners make and can easily avoid? If you want to start a business, read through the following list of business mistakes and take them to heart. Any one of them could sabotage your new business venture and turn it into a failure rather than a success.

These are the big mistakes to avoid when you're starting out:

1) Not doing a business plan.

If I had even just fifty cents for every time someone asked me “Is this a good business idea?” over the years, I’d be a wealthy woman.


The problem is, unless I write a business plan, I have no idea – and you won’t, either. That’s the main purpose of a business plan. There are other good reasons, too; see 5 Reasons for Writing a Business Plan to learn more.

Yes, it’s time-consuming and demands a lot of research, but investing time now will save you so much time and money later.

2) Doing what you love.

In my opinion, the person who first said “Do what you love” should be shot. Or at least forced to eat seven bad restaurant meals in a row.

It sounds fine in theory, but the reality is there are a whole lot of people out there who love things they’re not good at. My official advice? Don’t do what you love; do what you’re good at and what people will pay you (well) for. It’s not as catchy, but it’s a whole lot more profitable – and isn't making a profit the reason you're opening a business?

3) Not doing any market research.

I see increasing numbers of people starting businesses without bothering to do any of this – and then being heartbroken when their new business, which they’ve invested so much time and money in, collapses.

Test your products and service first before you start a business. If you don’t, you have no idea if people are even going to want to buy them. You may think you make the tastiest pierogi in all the world. But will anyone else? Learn who to Do Your Own Market Research.

4) Ignoring the competition.

Ignoring the competition is another potentially fatal business mistake.


Simple question #1: If you’re selling your thingamabobs for $10 apiece and Vera down the street is selling her thingamabobs for $6 apiece, how many thingamabobs are you going to sell?

And what if Vera’s thingamabobs look/smell/feel/taste better than yours? 6 Ways to Find Out What the Competition is Up To will show you how to keep tabs on the competition that matters.

Another aspect of competition you need to understand is market saturation. The pie is only so big, so to speak, for every product or service. So, for instance, if you want to open a dog grooming business, there may not be any “room” left in your local area to do so because of the number of dog grooming businesses that already exist.

5) Not taking into account your own strengths and weaknesses.

We all have them. Unfortunately, sometimes our strengths or weaknesses don’t fit well with the business model we want to use, leading to disastrous results. For example, if you’re not a friendly, outgoing type of person with good people skills, retail is not for you.


It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve dreamed of opening that ice cream parlour or book store, it’s not for you.

That doesn’t mean you can’t buy such a business or start one yourself, but for it to succeed, you need to be aware that working behind the counter is not something you should be doing; you’ll need to hire staff right away. (Here’s what you need to know about Hiring Employees in Canada.)

6) Not understanding what you’re actually selling.

Helena Rubinstein, the first self-made female millionaire, didn’t become rich selling face cream; she became rich selling beauty. ("There are no ugly women,” she used to say, “only lazy ones”.) If your new business is going to be successful, you need to know what you’re actually selling and craft your Unique Selling Propositionaccordingly.

7) Not making sure you have enough money.

Ninety-five percent of businesses will not make money when they first open and a large proportion of new businesses will not make significant money for years. (The exception, the five percent that make money when they first open, is for businesses that are actually just “carry-overs”, employees who become contractors, a fairly common practice in industries such as IT.)

Which means you (and your family) have to have enough money to live on while your new business is getting established, as well as enough money for the business to survive and grow. Not getting the money to do this lined up before you start your small business is a serious mistake.

Small business financing of some kind is the most obvious way to do this, eitherthrough a traditional lender or through a non-traditional alternative. (See 5 Creative Ways to Fund Your New Business.) Perhaps you can qualify for a start up grant.

How to Get Your New Small Business to Make Money includes some other ways you can bring in bucks while starting up.

8) Not investing in marketing.

Following the common advice “Build it and they will come” is another serious business mistake. Come where? Why? Or even when? No one will know without some effective marketing. (How to Create an Effective Sales and Marketing Strategyexplains the basics.

Far too many small businesses are reluctant to spend any money on marketing, let alone a significant amount. Free marketing can be excellent – but most free marketing strategies take a significant amount of time before they become effective. (Referrals and social media marketing are examples.)

Create a marketing planset up some marketing campaigns, and keep doing it if you want your business to be successful.

My best tip? Market your business before you open it. There’s no rule that says you have to wait until your physical or virtual doors are actually open.

9) Not bothering with any online marketing.

One way or another, your small business has to be online. You may or may notneed a website (many individuals who provide services use other “homes” on the web, such as Facebook or LinkedIn pages) but your business needs to be able to be found by and promoted to the ever increasing number of people who use the web to find the products and services they want.

If you’re not going to do anything else, establish some sort of home base for your business online and be sure that your small business is listed in various online directories. Actively marketing your small business online is even better and will give it a far better chance of reaching your customers.

One possibility is to engage customers through social mediaLearn How to Create a Social Media Plan.

10) Trying to do everything yourself.

You can’t. It’s that simple and that aggravating. Running a small business, even if it’s a one person business, involves so many different tasks that no one person can do them all well. Even if each of us was perfect and had all the skills to do an outstanding job at whatever we set our hands to, each of us is still constrained by time. Most days, I predict, you’ll be lucky if you even get done what you planned to get done when your day started.

So sidestep the mistake of trying to do it all and increase the chance of your new business succeeding by getting the help you need from the get-go. Learn How to Delegatehire and outsource to make the most of your skills and benefit from outside expertise. For example, do you really need to do your own accounting?Accountants have a lot more financial and tax knowledge than you have, more than likely, and can save you a bundle of time (and even money!) at tax-time.

(Speaking of outside expertise, have you thought about Creating an Advisory Board for your small business? It can give you a real management advantage.)

Who Doesn’t Want to Succeed?

I’ve yet to meet a person who wants to start a business that’s quickly going to go under.

If starting a business is in your future, understand that starting a business is a process, not an event. If you take the time to do the thinking and the research and avoid the business mistakes discussed above, you’ll hugely increase the likelihood of your new business succeeding.

Chris Corey

CMO Markethive Inc

By Susan Ward

Updated August 16, 2016

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Virtual World Part 10: Harnessing collective knowledge

Harnessing collective knowledge

Markethive's social collaboration can bring collective knowledge to bear on a problem the company is trying to solve, or to satisfy customer needs. A multinational petrochemical company needed to be able to accurately answer very technical questions about how to set up production lines for a wide range of complex intermediary products that are crucial in the production of a particular end-user product.

The ability to answer those questions, therefore, is critical to the sale of thousands of tons of the product for one of Ferrazzi Greenlight’s clients. Multiply that need over literally thousands of products, and your enterprise faces a serious complexity challenge.

Our client chose one of the best ways to handle such complexity: By establishing internal wikis (purpose-built websites containing content that can be collaboratively edited and updated) that could be constantly updated by a small army of expert volunteers within the company who document everything required to support internal and customer questions about production.

While it takes time to establish a comprehensive set of wikis – and a culture of contributing to them – companies that succeed in doing so often see internal subject matter experts vying with each other to provide the best/most complete expert information.

This is competition focused on excellence in results – a win/ win if ever there was one.

Other companies use social collaboration very effectively to tap outside experts to deliver high-quality, just-in-time services. A great example is Specialists On Call (SOC), an agency with facilities in Virginia and California that contracts with 270 hospitals nationwide.

For example, when one of the participating hospitals has a patient arrive in emergency and the doctors determine he needs to see a cardiologist, the hospital contacts Specialists On Call, and an experienced cardiologist not only speaks with the patient through video-conferencing almost immediately, she’s able to do a “virtual examination” by directing the attending clinical staff or physician to perform a number of diagnostic procedures while the cardiologist observes.

SOC claims it can cost 40 percent less than the cost of locally based on-call specialists, increase caseload capacity, empower local specialists by relieving on-call burdens, and even result in lower malpractice premiums due to its round the-clock availability and adherence to best practice protocols.

Too often, social-media collaboration is implemented in its own silo without strong business process connections.

Here’s how to maximize the impact of social-media tools on business results:

•Identify the processes that will most benefit, and pilot social media integration with those teams. Lead with these process improvement examples when you release your social media tool more broadly; that’s the main driver for the investment.

• Resist implementing social media as a stand-alone tool. Integrating it with your tools for communication, collaboration, and/or process flow ensures discussions are relevant to and can positively impact process and/or project participants.

• Explore tools that make exchanges in social media, email and other collaboration tools searchable, and filter automatically based on context. Separating social chit-chat from exchanges relevant to the project at each meeting or milestone creates a cohesive collaboration record and brings participants up to speed quickly.


Chris Corey

CMO Markethive Inc

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Add Video Easily to your WordPress Blog




A lot of people ask us how they can add or upload videos to their WordPress site. It’s simpler than you think.

While WordPress does allow for the option to upload videos and other media, this can get messy and tricky as you deal with different browsers, operating systems and devices. Instead, we recommend that you embed videos from a different source — something like YouTube or Vimeo.

YouTube will allow you to reach a larger audience, while Vimeo will allow for more customization, and “white-labeling” if you upgrade to its Pro subscription.

Each service will allow you to Share or Embed, and will give you a URL or iFrame code to put directly into your editing window in WordPress. If you’re using an iFrame code, make sure you are on the Text/HTML tab of the editing window, not the Visual editor.

If you have Jetpack installed as a plugin, the process is even easier. You can simply add a shortcode in the Visual editor with the video URL. For example:


view rawShortcode Youtube Embed hosted with  by GitHub


view rawWith Width and Height hosted with  by GitHub


You can also customize the width and height using this method, by adding the query parameter for “w” ( width ) and “h” (height) &w= and &h= to the shortcode.

You can do the same with Vimeo and several other services. Want to see what’s supported?Click here to view the Jetpack Shortcode Embeds page.

Chris Corey

CMO Markethive Inc.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Leadership – How Can Leadership Programs Be Measured?


Leadership – How Can Leadership Programs Be Measured?

Perk up your discussion with these facts of leadership.

This short article on leadership aims at offering you with all the essential matter you will need to understand more about leadership. Read it well.

The nature and intent of that effect identifies the influence, instructions and outcome of leadership. Organizations depend on leadership for instructions, momentum and a plan for sustainable success. How can leadership be determined?

Usually, leadership is specified by attributes and results. Formal leadership development nearly always focuses specifically on qualities, relying on hope that results will take place.

Never hesitate to admit that you don't know. There is no one who knows everything. So if you have no idea much about leadership, all that needs to be done is to read up on it!

For instance, an individual in a leadership function is considered "successful." We want to replicate the leader's success, so we try to reproduce the qualities, skills, values, competencies, actions and habits of the leader. We try and edify to emulate these qualities in others, but we hardly ever get the same results. Business America is full of "competency-based" leadership development programs, what one might call the "injection-mold" technique. Competency-based leadership development has a result on organizational culture, no doubt, but not always the wanted result. Leaders who somehow "determine up" to the wanted proficiencies do not always produce wanted outcomes.

Ultimately, producing outcomes is the reason we study leadership, the factor we seek to establish leaders, the very factor we need leaders. So it stands to reason that leadership likewise has been determined based on the results produced, despite how those results were achieved. We require look no further than Richard Nixon or Kenneth Lay to recognize the downside of such one-dimensional steps.

Getting info on specific topics can be rather annoying for some. This is the factor this short article was composed with as much matter referring to leadership as possible. This is the method we intend to assist others in finding out about leadership.

The leader's function is to establish the conditions (the culture, the environment) under which others can take right action to achieve preferred results. "Desired results" are well specified by the vision, objective, values and objectives of the team or organization. Leadership is finest determined by the how well fans perform the vision, objective and goals while "living out" the desired values. This leads us to a brand-new property: that leadership must be measured by the results produced and how they are produced, as so often stated. There is a critical 3rd component, that is, by whom are the outcomes produced. This should rightfully be associated to individual action without any contributing impact from the habits of others if it is the leader that produces the desired results.

There is an apparent link between interaction and leadership– the fundamental reason for communication and for leadership is to prompt some kind of behavioral reaction or action. Fan habits, not leader habits, defines leadership. This might lead one to argue, mistakenly, that there is little difference between leadership and browbeating.

Utilizing the intuition I had on leadership, I thought that writing this article would undoubtedly be worth the difficulty. The majority of the pertinent details on leadership has been included here.

Ultimately, the brand of leadership we seek in contemporary life is best defined, developed and measured based on whether intended results are accomplished, how they are achieved, the value of these results to others, and whether fans take discretionary action to attain the leader's vision, objective and objectives. Leadership development need to be tied to planned results of those who are lead more than proficiency sets of those who lead.

All this matter was written with passion, which caused the speedy completion of this composing on leadership. Let this passion burn for a long time.

Ultimately, producing results is the reason we study leadership, the reason we seek to develop leaders, the very factor we require leaders. It stands to reason that leadership likewise has been measured based on the results produced, regardless of how those results were accomplished. There is an obvious link between communication and leadership– the standard factor for interaction and for leadership is to trigger some type of behavioral response or action. Eventually, the brand of leadership we seek in modern life is best defined, established and determined based on whether planned outcomes are attained, how they are achieved, the value of these outcomes to others, and whether fans take discretionary action to achieve the leader's vision, mission and objectives. Leadership development should be tied to planned outcomes of those who are lead more than proficiency sets of those who lead.

Charles R Juarez Jr

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member