Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Madness on Necker Island

March Madness. The Big Dance. Today is the first day of March, and with that begins the “buzz” about the 2015 NCAA Tournament. And of course, “Bracketology”.

Bracketology is the process of predicting the field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, named as such because it is commonly used to fill in tournament brackets for the postseason. It incorporates predicting what the NCAA Selection Committee will use to determine at-large (non-conference winning) teams to complete the field of 68 teams, and, to seed the field by ranking all teams from first through sixty-eighth. ESPN's Joe Lunardi is the inventor of the term "bracketology", and is the resident bracketologist on ESPN. He also teaches an online course at Saint Joseph's University titled "Fundamentals of Bracketology".  

In recent years the concept of bracketology has been applied to areas outside of basketball.

Enter: The Build A Business competition.

Shopify, the industry leading eCommerce platform that allows anyone to sell online, in-store and everywhere in between is once again holding their Build A Business competition, the world’s biggest entrepreneurial contest encouraging anyone with a great business idea to start selling. The company has partnered with the industry’s most successful entrepreneurs to help new and emerging stores launch and grow their businesses. Over the past four years, the Build A Business competition has helped create over 36,000 new businesses that have sold over $180 million in products. Past winners including: DODOcase, GoldieBlox, Coffee Joulies, Bolder Band, among many others, have gone on to create multi-million dollar companies.

To participate, entrepreneurs must open a store and start selling products using Shopify. At the end of the competition, the top five stores that sell the most over a two-month period will be flying on a private jet to Richard Branson’s Necker Island for a five-day adventure full of mentorship, exploration, and professional growth.

This year’s mentors include names that every entrepreneur will recognize:

  • Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group)
  • Daymond John (FUBU, Shark Tank)
  • Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek)
  • Marie Forleo (MarieTV)
  • Seth Godin (Best selling author)

“Over the years, I have witnessed thousands of people start and grow successful businesses using Shopify,” said Tobias L├╝tke, CEO, Shopify. “Becoming an entrepreneur is a dream for many people and Build A Business provides the platform needed to kickstart business ideas into a reality. Providing mentorship along the way has proven to be an invaluable tool and this year, we’ve brought together an all-star team to provide the guidance needed for these businesses to succeed.”

The Build A Business competition runs until May 31, 2015, with each of the mentors providing exclusive advice and guidance along the way. Inspired by the Build A Business competition - and the thrill of “The Big Dance” we have decided to throw our hat into the ring.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 50% of the workforce is expected to be self employed in the next five to ten years. 

The Work At Home Coaches nationwide network of business mentors and coaches are focused on providing the advice, training and skills to entrepreneurs and to create new jobs.  

We connect teams of qualified participants with successful CEOs and Schools of Business across the country to learn the steps needed to transform an invention or discovery into a product for the marketplace. The program gives both startups and experienced professionals the training and skills to become entrepreneurs or bring their new entrepreneurial skills to an existing company.

Over my 30+ year career in business, I have always operated under a Knowledge, Technology and Talent model. I feel that you need all three legs of that stool to truly thrive in business. By combining eCommerce technology like Shopify with the experience and mentorship of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, we are strengthening communities by creating new pathways for citizens’ employment — giving participants the tools and training they need to create new businesses and stimulate job creation.

Back to March Madness: VOTED BIGGEST UNDERDOG MOMENT IN NCAA® HISTORY. 15-seeds had upset 2nd-seeded teams before, but when Lehigh knocked off Duke in 2012 it was the first time that the losing team featured a coach wearing a championship ring.

Are your ready to make your own underdog dreams a reality? 

Our business coaches and mentors are ready to help you every step of the way. Maybe all the way to Richard Branson’s Necker Island. 

Now THAT is what I call getting invited to “The Big Dance”.

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