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The Art of Leading and Connecting People and Ideas

“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there.People will follow.” quote from Tribes

Top 10 tips to take the best out of Startup Istanbul

The article is written by Mohammad Abu Musa, Etohum Ambassador at UAE.

Startup Istanbul is a must-attend event, without the right strategy you will end up spending hours and dollars without real added value to get out of the conference.

I am sharing some tips I found useful to get the best out of Startup Istanbul, where you can tap into important opportunities, useful connections, and have fun.

1. Start networking now

Many interesting speakers are joining the conference, start connecting now. Send quick email or tweet a few weeks ahead of time sharing how excited you are to hear his or her talk in the conference. On the conference day arrive 15 to 20 minutes before   the session start in hopes of catching the speaker before the session starts.

If it is a fellow attendee you are looking to meet, take the advantage of the speed networking where you have 90 seconds to connect with each person. So do not forget to bring lots of business cards.

 2. Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

Before you arrive to the conference, make sure you understand your goals, sort them out, and share them with your team (if so). Make sure you are chasing your most important goals first by asking the basic question of why I am here?

 3. Take the advantage of the first day

Make sure you are there the first day prepared and ready, some speakers or attendees may not be able to attend the whole conference, or want to catch an early flight. So make sure you connect with them before they leave.

4. It is Istanbul: eat, drink, and enjoy

Take care of yourself, enjoy your time there. Have some Kabab, keep hydrated, get good night sleep and refresh with group activities. You do not want to consume yourself first day.

 5. It is about you, not them

Figure out what is the most important for you not anyone else, some most interesting deals, connections, or even friends are made during side chats or small sessions rather than big keynotes or major sessions. It is about your goals not what is trending on Twitter.

6. Do not run the office and the conference at the same time

Dedicate a couple of hours for the office if there are issues you have to handle during conference days. Keep your focus on your goals during the conference and leave distractions behind.

7. Make sure you are connected to your team

If you are attending the conference with a team, make sure you are connected to your team. You do not want to look up the number of your sales person when it is the time to make that sale. Before you leave make sure everyone is onboard on Slack channel, WhatsApp group, or Facebook messenger

8. Make the best out of the sessions you are attending

Prepare yourself for sessions you are going to attend, familiarize yourself with the session topic ahead of time, and review the sparks’ blog posts, or other writing and videos.  During these sessions you can contribute, share, and connect with others not only learn and watch.

9. Speared the good

Do not hesitate to share your experience with others; also on the other way do not hesitate to learn from others. If this is the first time attending Startup Istanbul, ask others about their experience and pitfalls to avoid also do not forget to ask about the best places to visit in Istanbul.

10. Accept your experience

It’s important to be prepared before you arrive, however sometimes opportunities come from unexpected places and unplanned activities. Remember to be spontaneous, have fun, and make the best out of Startup Istanbul.

3 Useful Tips On How To Communicate With Confidence

Being confident – believing realistically in yourself and in your business venture – are essential factors, which can help you to achieve more than what you have wished for. The way you feel about yourself and the work you do are the key ingredients, which shape the way other people see you.

You should be confident, but also you should be realistic. Never forget that the line between confidence and arrogance is very thin and sometimes you can cross it without even realizing it. Something that small yet that important can cost you much more than one bad meeting or one lost chance of winning an investment – it may cost you your reputation.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minuted to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.” Warren Buffett

Boosting your confidence is not an easy task. This can be very challenging, especially for first-time entrepreneurs, who have no experience in building business relationships. They have to be careful not to look to conceited and must concentrate on how to be more professional.

Here you can find three great tips (which work as magic!), that will help you to look and feel more confident in every conversation even when you are doubting your business or your abilities to run it.

Stay focused on what matters

Many entrepreneurs lose their confidence when they attend full of skilled, talented and successful entrepreneurs networking events, when they need to give presentation or when they are about to pitch in front of investors. Now is the time to lose your spirits! Now is time to stay focused, to keep your concentration on your key values, on the mission of your company and to forget about all possible distractions.

When you feel insecure, you should remind yourself why you have started your business in the first place and focus on the things that really matter. There will always be people who are better than you, who have more experience, more money or more customers and clients. Do not concentrate on the rest, and remember that you should compete with yourself. Try to be the best version of yourself every single day, try to be better today that you had been tomorrow and you will once again believe in your strengths and abilities.

Just be yourself

Many entrepreneurs are afraid to share their different ideas with the investors or to embrace different business model, just because they are not sure how their business approaches will be accepted. On the other hand, many entrepreneurs want to believe that their businesses are very  different from the rest, which can lead to the false underestimating of the competition. Both ways are not highly appreciated from the investors or other fellow entrepreneurs, even from the customers. Be realistic, be confident, but don’t forget be yourself and to do what you believe is the right thing.

Mind the body language and try to develop friendly tone of voice

We all know that first impressions really matter! Don’t forget that a conversation does not start and finish just with the spoken words – the way you behave also affects the way people accept you. If you want to feel confident, you should look confident and you should radiate confidence. Dress the way you wish people to remember you, mind your body language and posture, develop friendly  voice tone.

Tip: Expand your horizon

It is important for many entrepreneurs to expand their startups to the international business scene. This is why, if you are one of these ambitious entrepreneurs, you should network with people from all over the world. Educate yourself on the culture and customs of the people you are about to meet. Remember that some things and certain topics or subjects are not the most suitable thing to discuss in a business conversation. If you want to be successful entrepreneur and leader of an international company, you should expand your horizon and be broad-minded.

The Value of Mentoring in Entrepreneurship

All good mentors are experienced and trusted people who can guide and advise a person through the challenges of the business world. Especially first time entrepreneurs can benefit from having a mentor. If you haven’t found your mentor yet, you should consider looking for the right person, who can help you become the inspiring leader who you are supposed to be.

Here you can find 10 quotes that prove the importance  and value of mentoring in entrepreneurship. 

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton

“If I hadn’t had mentors, I wouldn’t be here today. I’m a product of great mentoring, great coaching… Coaches or mentors are very important. They could be anyone – your husband, other family members, or your boss.” Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo

“Get away from these two types of people: the ones who think you can only go as far as the situation you were born into; and the ones who think you can only go as far as the current situation you are in.”Dee Dee M. Scott

“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” J Loren Norris

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” Bob Proctor

“What the tech industry often forgets is that with age comes wisdom. Older workers are usually better at following direction, mentoring, and leading.” Vivek Wadhwa

“Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.”Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“What I need is someone who will make me do what I can.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Most people can do absolutely awe-inspiring things. Sometimes they just need a little nudge.” Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek

“For every one of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out.”Oprah Winfrey

How to Make The Most of Networking

Networking is not only about getting in touch with as many people as you can; it is about creating the right connections and establishing valuable and enduring relationships with the others, relationship that will grow stronger over time. Here you can find five very simple yet effective tips on how to make the most of the networking opportunities you have. Continue reading

Five Habits That Will Make You Smarter

Many entrepreneurs admit that entrepreneurship, more or less, is a creative process, in which original business ideas, that inspire action and innovation, are being turned into reality. Every startup owner takes important business decisions in a short period of time, solves complicated and unexpected problems and always needs to be in the best shape when negotiating. All of this requires good concentration and strong brain power. This is why it is important to train your brain regularly, which will help you to have clearer mind, to take decisions faster and to boost your creativity.

In order to overcome the troubles of working under constant stress, which can lead to burnout, all busy entrepreneurs can do these very simple five things – and try to turn them into daily habits – that will help them to increase their knowledge and improve their logical thinking process.

Break the routine

Spend 5-10 minutes each day to do something that you don’t normally do. Read a book, which is not related to your work or field of regular interest. Listen to a podcast on an unknown for you subject. Find an interesting YouTube Channel, which introduces you to an enthralling topic. Break the routine and try to think out of the box in order to stay inspired and to continue your day with sharper mind.

Learn a new language

Learning a new language is not just interesting and inspiring activity, it is also very good method to boost your brain power. If you are not already learning a foreign language, here you can find very helpful list of online language course platforms, which are very easy to use and extremely useful.


Keep a journal and write down new ideas, thoughts, quotes, basically anything that you think deserves attention. Often go over the written notes and you will probably find inspiration and interesting ideas and topics from your journal. Create a milestone for yourself: for example, write down every day at least five new ideas that have crossed your mind and soon you will have a rich list of things and ideas that can actually be very beneficial to your startup.

Start an online course

There is good amount of online courses, which every entrepreneur can sign up for and participate in their own pace. For just half an hour per day you will be able to gain quality information and knowledge from top universities from around the world. Check this useful list of online course sources and choose the courses that suit your interests the most.

Network with the right people

Try to establish close relationships with people who are interesting and who know how to inspire others. Nothing is better than an engaging conversation with a person, who has valuable knowledge, interesting experiences and is also willing to share them. 

Five Essential Networking Tips to Follow

We have talked about the importance of business networking in entrepreneurship and how successful business connections can help your startup’s growth. The attending of networking events and meeting with other entrepreneurs, mentors, speakers, investors and venture capitalists are essential elements for the creation of strong support system for your startup.

There are many ways to improve your networking skills and here will we emphasize on the five ultimate tips to follow, which will help you become better networker. Learn how to be memorable at every speed networking event here.

Always look for somebody new

It is normal to see familiar crowd on most of the events, especially at the local ones. In order to expand your social network you need to try to connect with the people you haven’t met before. Even though it is important to keep the connection alive with the people you already know, you need to focus on meeting new people. Always look for somebody new among the attendees and never miss the chance to introduce yourself.

Make a list

Create a list of people whom you would like to meet. This list will carry your ultimate networking goal set and we all know how important goals are. It is business and the connections are important. Having a list with the top people you would like to meet is a great way to follow your networking connections and expand your network by including the right people.

Always follow up

Every time after a networking event spend some time to follow up with an e-mail or a phone call to remind the people you’ve met of your meeting. It is very successful approach to become memorable for the others. Always, always follow up!

Be prepared

Networking events are great way to meet different people. Entrepreneurs should be prepared to present their businesses in the right matter in front of different audience and in different amount of time. You should be prepared with the right speech for any occasion – when you have just two minutes to grab someone’s attention or when you have been unexpectedly invited for a coffee with potential investor –you must be ready and prepared to present your startup.


Listening is among the most essential skills for entrepreneurs and it wouldn’t make it to the top of the list if it was not really important. Listen what the others have to say in order to improve your communicational skills and really to understand and connect with the person in front of you. By listening to the others, you will have the chance to spot many opportunities. Every person enjoys having a conversation with a good listener and it is a golden opportunity to establish solid connection with the people you are networking with by proving them that you really do care and appreciate what they have to say.

How to Increase Your Interpersonal Influence

Many people believe that the most important thing in business is “who you know”. This might to some extend be right, but there is definitely something more important and it is “who knows you”. When it comes to meeting new people, successful entrepreneurs rely entirely on networking, but the truly successful people know that getting connected is not the only thing that matters. They believe that the people with true interpersonal influence know how to make good impression and how to stay memorable in every occasion.

Your interpersonal influence can be the key indicator to the success of your startup. There are many things you can do in order to become more memorable in any meeting and event (even online!) and here you can find some useful tips on how to achieve that.

Be interested in the person in front of you

Often we go to events where every person in the room believes that they are there just to talk.  You can hear constant blabber all over the halls of the venue, filled with ambitious entrepreneurs, who believe they are the next big thing. Ambition is great, but when we talk about establishing strong connections, too self-centred people can be really annoying.

Many entrepreneurs are so eager to present their companies, to talk about their venture, idea or whatever they think is the most important topic in every event. Wrong! In order to stay memorable and people to remember who you are, you should be interested in your interlocutors. Ask questions, figure out what are the main needs of the people you are talking to, find out what they want and try to help them find solutions to their problems. People will remember the attention and will always try to find time for you one day when you need them.

Ask questions and stay focused

When you connect with a lot of people, you should be ready not only to ask questions, but to give answers as well. Good connections are founded not on small talk, but on real conversations. Don’t waste your time and the time of the others with pointless chatter – we all know that the venue is great, the food is delicious and that the crowd is awesome! I am not saying to be boring and uninterested in everything that is going on, just try to keep the conversation alive by focusing on the important questions that need answers.

You are to meet with many great people on every event that you attend. In order to stay focused and remember the names, startups and topics that you’ve discussed, you better rely on taking notes. Taking notes is a life-saver for all interpersonal influencers. There are many great apps and tools, which can help you to take notes very fast and very easy, and you can take advantage of this great opportunity.

Follow up

Great interpersonal influencers always follow up and get in touch again with their new connections. Find the time to send an email, to make a phone call or to even connect on social media with the people you’ve met. Be ready to get connected, but also expect people to connect with you as well. Find the time to answer to everyone, who gets in touch with you, and respond to their messages.

Being an interpersonal influencer is very time-consuming and demanding calling, but it is very valuable skill for people who are serious in making business and want to become great leaders.

The Importance of Business Networking for Entrepreneurs

Networking is one of the most essential personal skills for business people, but it is extremely important for entrepreneurs. Communication and strong presence in the entrepreneurial ecosystem are productive approaches which will help you along your way to building strong relationships with other entrepreneurs from different age groups, nationality and fields of interest.

Business networking events organized around the world bring together extraordinary groups of highly-skilled and talented entrepreneurs who are united around the idea of communication, sharing, creating and developing ideas and last but not least meeting with potential investors. These events attract people from different experience levels and backgrounds. All these people are looking for connection, inspiration, advice, opportunities and mentors.

Networking is powerful in many different ways. Not only entrepreneurs will feel inspired and motivated after attending specific events or meet ups, but also many exceptional opportunities can occur if they impress potential investors or business partners. Do not forget to be yourself and present your company the way you want other people to see it in order to create honest fundamentals for one potential business relationship.

Approach the networking as any other part of your business. Create a plan with specific goals that you need to follow. Know when, where and why you are going to an event, what your goals are and what do you want to achieve with your attendance to this particular meet up. As an entrepreneur your time is very important and you must have clear vision of what you are going to spend it on. Cautiously select your options and choose the one that will bring the most advantages to your business. It is widely known that connections come as a result of other connections and as usual the hardest part of the whole network-building process is the start.

In order to impersonate your business and yourself it is not enough just to be present, you need to be active, memorable, to provide value to the others with your presence and to make them want to stay in touch with you. Be ready to impress, to be remembered and desirable for future business relations.

Once you meet the people you wanted to establish relationship with keep this connection going after the event. Stay in touch and manage to continue the actual communication which will be foundation for your strong relationship and network.

Do not underestimate the power of local networking and attend networking events and meet ups around you. Knowing the local community has great advantage and you never know where the next big chance or inspiration will come from.

In the era of communication, it is unnatural to limit yourself by staying solely local, even if your business is devoted to the local community. Attending international meetings and reaching out to people from around the world will expand your vision and improve your business approach. Meeting other entrepreneurs, angel investors, bloggers and all other business enthusiasts will inspire you to reach for your personal improvement.

It doesn’t matter which part of the world you come from, if you share the spirit of entrepreneurship you are most likely to be very welcome to attend different network events. Knowing your business and goals you have various opportunities to attend different events, by choosing from casual groups to highly professional associations. Never forget that successful, strong connections are built when your tools meet your right interlocutor. Pick your approaches according to the type of event you are attending. Choosing a casual behavior can be just fine for local network events, but joining and being part of specific association is difficult task and you need to put more effort to it.

Online networking for business is a great way to use the power of the internet. While you need to list your attendance to different events far ahead in the upcoming schedules, you have the opportunity to stay connected and build strong network online. Your business is unique, so be sure that you are able to present your uniqueness online as good as offline.

How to be Memorable at Every Speed Networking Event

Startup Istanbul event is made of networking. All attendees will be ready for hours of networking with the best founders, executives, entrepreneurs and investors from all around the region.

Speed networking is one of the traditional networking approaches, which gives the opportunity to the attendants of specific event to meet other attendants in a short amount of time in order to make new contact and expand their professional network. The participants have limited time between 60-90 seconds, in some events up to five minutes, to introduce themselves, to present briefly their businesses, business goals and visions and to exchange contact information. Once they hear bell ringing, which marks the end of the meeting session, the participants have to move on to the next person and repeat the same activity.

As you can see, the way speed networking works and the limited time that all participants have allows us to think about the need to get prepared for such an experience in order to turn the odds of making valuable contacts in our favor. Here you can find three tips that will help you turn every speed networking event to a great experience.

As usual: be prepared. The limited time requires high preparation.

Prepare in advance your speech and make sure that you keep your introduction short but rich in right information, including key elements of your business vision. Don’t plan your speech to be as long as the whole given time. Speed networking is two-sided process which means that you should be ready not only to present yourself and your business, but to listen to your interlocutor as well. Prepare and a list of questions which are important for you and which you are willing to ask the people that you are networking with.

Don’t forget to bring many business cards!

It is always a good idea to bring a lot of business cards. You are to meet many different people and you should be ready to hand your contact information to every one of them. Don’t underestimate some of your interlocutors just because they are from different industries or just because they seem uninterested – they may know someone who is. Leave your business cards and be sure that you didn’t miss any potential opportunities.

Very important for every type of networking event: Follow up!

It is important to follow up with the people whom you have interacted with. It is always a good idea to send an e-mail or to make a phone call to those who you’ve talked with just to make sure that they will definitely remember you with the follow up.