Day: July 23, 2018

Pesto White Bean Burgers

As a vegetarian during my late teens and twenties, I ate my fair share of veggie burgers. After college I started making my own, improving on the store-bought burgers I’d come to rely on by making my own zesty bean burger packed with herbs and subtle spices.

The recipe has come a long way since those days, and the latest version is this tender white bean number with double pesto—some goes in the burgers and some goes into a creamy sauce over top.

These veggie burgers cook up like a dream. They’re sure to be a winner for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

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How to Begin Celebrating Small Wins to Start A New Life

Starting a new life is not easy. You have to get rid of any bad, old habits. However, letting go of any habit or behavior is not easy, either. That’s why you have to set the goal you want to accomplish.

On this journey, you need to identify the small wins that indicate that you are accomplishing something. These accomplishments motivate you to keep moving in the right direction.

If we focused only on the big wins, we would never feel like we will ever get any achievements. A new behavior is not formed overnight. You have to work for it.

Here’s how you can start celebrating small wins every day.

Start small

start small habits

Many people make the mistake of doing too much at once while trying to achieve a given goal.

Maybe you want to start an exercise program or any other new habit. If that’s the case, you have to start small and progress gradually.

For instance, if you are used to waking up at 10 a.m and want to change to waking up at 6 a.m, then you need to make the transition slowly since this is a huge change. You could start by waking up at 9 a.m for a while, then 8 a.m, until you become comfortable waking up at 6 a.m.

Also, try to create a ritual by doing the same things at the same time each day. Doing this helps your body adjust and adapt to the new routine.

Change one habit at a time

You made a grand plan to start leading a healthy lifestyle when the year started and want to start working on it. You are filled with enthusiasm to get started. You want to start a new diet, exercise daily or any other new habit right away.

With such a huge goal, you feel tempted to do all of them at once. However, this is similar to multitasking and you will end up failing.

To avoid this, focus on working on one habit at a time and only move on to the next when you have gotten used to the previous one.

See Also: 4 Bad Online Habits That Are Killing Your Work Productivity

Group your big habits into chunks

As you continue gradually adjusting to your new habits, you will find yourself swamped with things you need to do at some point. For instance, if you decide to start exercising and gradually increase its level of difficulty, a time will come when you can’t increase it any higher.

You should divide big habits into smaller sections and do them continuously throughout the day. For instance, if you need to do 60 squats a day, you can divide them into 3 sessions and do 20 squats in each.

Remove your barriers

When starting new habits, it is easy for you to change directions when the initial plan doesn’t go as expected. However, if you really want to achieve your goal, you need to keep them close for ease of access. You have no excuse for not doing it.

For instance, if you want to start reading a few pages of a book before going to sleep every day, you could keep your Kindle or hardcover book on your nightstand. Change is uncomfortable but it has to happen.

change habit

See Also: 5 Barriers That You Need To Cross To Achieve Success This Year

Get back on the horse

It is not easy to go through a change in behavior. There are times you will slip and go back to those practices that were not good for you. The problem is if and how you bounce back from it.

If you are set on changing, you should get back on track quickly whenever you trip to avoid dropping off altogether. You should never make the same mistake twice.

For instance, if you miss a workout once, don’t miss it the next day. The aim is not for you to be perfect but to be consistent.

Stack habits on existing ones

It is easy to stick to a habit if it is added onto one that already exists. Thus, doing one habit leads to you doing the other. For example, if you always brush your teeth after eating, it is easy for you to start a flossing routine. Whenever you are brushing your teeth, you will always remember to floss.

Conclusion

Developing a new habit is not easy. Start by making small changes and gradually progress to bigger ones. You can’t change your habits in one day. The time it takes to form a long-lasting one varies.

Accomplishing it and getting it to stick is a big win for you. Remember that just because you were able to form the habit does not mean it can’t fall apart. You need to be patient and consistent to achieve your goal. Keep in mind that new habits result in a new life.

So, start celebrating small wins and you’ll be starting on the right track.

The post How to Begin Celebrating Small Wins to Start A New Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

SessionM customer loyalty data aggregator snags $23.8 M investment

SessionM announced a $23.8 million Series E investment led by Salesforce Ventures. A bushel of existing investors including Causeway Media Partners, CRV, General Atlantic, Highland Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also contributed to the round. The company has now raised over $97 million.

At its core, SessionM aggregates loyalty data for brands to help them understand their customer better, says company co-founder and CEO Lars Albright. “We are a customer data and engagement platform that helps companies build more loyal and profitable relationships with their consumers,” he explained.

Essentially that means, they are pulling data from a variety of sources and helping brands offer customers more targeted incentives, offers and product recommendations “We give [our users] a holistic view of that customer and what motivates them,” he said.

Screenshot: SessionM (cropped)

To achieve this, SessionM takes advantage of machine learning to analyze the data stream and integrates with partner platforms like Salesforce, Adobe and others. This certainly fits in with Adobe’s goal to build a customer service experience system of record and Salesforce’s acquisition of Mulesoft in March to integrate data from across an organization, all in the interest of better understanding the customer.

When it comes to using data like this, especially with the advent of GDPR in the EU in May, Albright recognizes that companies need to be more careful with data, and that it has really enhanced the sensitivity around stewardship for all data-driven businesses like his.

“We’ve been at the forefront of adopting the right product requirements and features that allow our clients and businesses to give their consumers the necessary control to be sure we’re complying with all the GDPR regulations,” he explained.

The company was not discussing valuation or revenue. Their most recent round prior to today’s announcement, was a Series D in 2016 for $35 million also led by Salesforce Ventures.

SessionM, which was founded in 2011, has around 200 employees with headquarters in downtown Boston. Customers include Coca-Cola, L’Oreal and Barney’s.

Cogito scores $37M as AI-driven sentiment analysis biz grows

Cogito announced a $37 million Series C investment today led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity. Previous investors Salesforce Ventures and OpenView also chipped in. Mark Midle of Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, has joined Cogito’s Board of Directors

The company has raised over $64 million since it emerged from the MIT Human Dynamics Lab back in 2007 trying to use the artificial intelligence technology available at the time to understand sentiment and apply it in a business context.

While it took some time for the technology to catch up with the vision, and find the right use case, company CEO and founder Joshua Feast says today they are helping customer service representatives understand the sentiment and emotional context of the person on the line and give them behavioral cues on how to proceed.

“We sell software to very large software, premium brands with many thousands of people in contact centers. The purpose of our solution is to help provide a really wonderful service experience in moments of truth,” he explained. Anyone who deals with a large company’s customer service has likely felt there is sometimes a disconnect between the person on the phone and their ability to understand your predicament and solve your problem.

Cogito in action giving customer service reps real-time feedback.

He says using his company’s solution, which analyzes the contents of the call in real time, and provides relevant feedback, the goal is to not just complete the service call, but to leave the customer feeling good about the brand and the experience. Certainly a bad experience can have the opposite effect.

He wants to use technology to make the experience a more human interaction and he recognizes that as an organization grows, layers of business process make it harder for the customer service representative to convey that humanity. Feast believes that technology has helped create this problem and it can help solve it too.

While the company is not talking about valuation or specific revenue at this point, Feast reports that revenue has grown 3X over the last year. Among their customers are Humana and Metlife, two large insurance companies, each with thousands of customer service agents.

Cogito is based in downtown Boston with 117 employees at last count, and of course they hope to use the money to add on to that number and help scale this vision further.

“This is about scaling our organization to meet client’s needs. It’s also about deepening what we do. In a lot of ways, we are only scratching the surface [of the underlying technology] in terms of how we can use AI to support emotional connections and help organizations be more human,” Feast said.

This lightweight design software is an affordable alternative to Adobe Creative Cloud

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On the spectrum of graphic design software, pro-level software suites like Adobe Creative Cloud sit at one end, while bare-bones, free-with-purchase apps like Microsoft Paint reside on the other. But if your budget and ambition lies somewhere in between the two, your options are kind of limited. Yet there is a large demand for design software that’s both powerful and accessiblePixTeller Pro is here to answer that call.

This robust, web-based design tool is just what you need to create custom content for the web, social media, print, and more. Pick up a lifetime subscription today for just $34.99. Read more…

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5 Habits Of Successful People You Should Be Following Today

Ever wonder how successful people are so successful?

Habits play a crucial role in shaping our lives. According to a psychology study at Duke University, 45% of everything we do on a daily basis factors in daily habits.

We all know that bad habits can be detrimental to your mental and physical well-being. They can hinder your road to achievement and success. Good habits, on the other hand, can help you rise above others and be at your best.

The concept of success differs with each person. To some, it may mean earning more money. To others, it can mean happy relationships or a simple sense of achievement.

So, what are the common habits of successful persons that set them apart from the rest of us?

Let’s try to dig deeper to find the answers.

Reading as a habit
reading habit

Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett reportedly once said that reading is the most important habit he’s picked up.

Tom Corley works as a financial planner and accountant. He conducted a survey that involved 233 participants with most of them being self-made millionaires. The results of the survey depicted interesting patterns.

Among the participants, 88% claimed to spend half an hour or more each day to reading. Most of them prefer reading non-fiction pieces that include history, self-help books, and biographies.

P.J. Worsfold, head of product for FTSY (“footsy”), an artificial intelligence platform for matching people to shoes, claims to read one hour mostly about his industry and other events related to his niche. Plus, whenever possible, he shares useful articles and a small piece of his opinion.

That helps him remember the significant sections of a piece and gives him the opportunity to explore and use them to view other things.

See Also: Best Business Books: The First-Time Entrepreneur’s Reading List

Be an early bird

About 50% of the participants Corly interviewed stated that they get up around 3 hours before their actual workday starts. It gives them ample time to get additional things done, which may include finishing side projects, working out, or just planning ahead.

Other examples of early risers include Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who is known for getting into the office at 7 a.m. Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor-in-Chief heads out to playing an hour-long tennis match on a daily basis as early as 5:45 a.m.

This shows that although getting enough sleep is very important, you might want to schedule your sleep cycle so you don’t have to keep hitting snooze until the last minute.

After all, the early bird catches the worm.

Work out and stay fit

We have all grown up knowing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, especially working out and staying physically fit.

James Parrelly is the managing partner of Paw Pods that provide eco-friendly pet caskets and urns made from 100% biodegradable materials. According to Parrelly, successful entrepreneurs require mental and physical fitness. He further adds that clearing your mind and challenging yourself physically with a tough workout daily helps you stay ready for the daily challenges of a business.

To sum it up, a strong body carries a strong mind.

Work on communication skills

communication skills

Communication plays a key role in building constructive interpersonal relationships on a personal as well as on a professional level. Working with data, facts, and figures is important. However, if you are unable to convey the right information and message in a timely manner, you are less likely to achieve your objectives.

As Richard Branson, one of the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders states: “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.

As with other skills, it is important to continuously work on improving communication to help you stay more efficient while interacting with anyone on any level. Emphasizing the value of proper communication further, Branson once shared a quote from the popular author Brian Tracy who said this:

“If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.”

Use technology

Whether you are a professional just starting a career or a CEO, it is important to keep yourself organized especially when it comes to daily tasks. Especially for people who have a lot on their plate, be it running multiple businesses or trying to balance work-life routine, a to-do list is highly mandatory.

Kris Snyder is the CEO of Vox Mobile, a Cleveland-based organization that provides enterprise mobility solutions. The company has an annual growth that trends above 30% and enjoys consistent inclusion in Gartner’s MMS Magic Quadrant. Snyder also happens to be the founder of the Global Enterprise Mobility Alliance (GEMA).

Snyder advocates for using technology to attain strategic objectives and initiatives. For instance, scheduling a weekly agenda with important clients through a PRM tool. This allows for real-time prioritization of relationships and interactions on a daily basis.

See Also: 5 Top Technology Trends That Will Shape 2018

What’s your take on success and how do you manage to achieve it? Share your ideas in the comments below.

The post 5 Habits Of Successful People You Should Be Following Today appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

PayU acquires Zooz to take on international payment services

A week after PayPal led a $50 million round in the cross-border payment specialist PPRO, one of its big competitors in the developing world has announced an acquisition of its own in the same space. PayU — the payments division of Naspers that is sometimes described as the PayPal of the developing world — has acquired Zooz, a startup based out of Israel that provides an API to merchants that lets them accept a variety of payments depending on the market.

The two had already been working together — specifically to provide PayU payment options to merchants in markets where PayU is active — and the plan will be to integrate the services further to enable PayU to step deeper into the cross-border payment services space, potentially even by enabling the integration of the payment methods of competitors as part of the mix of payment options.

“In the choice between building a closed walled garden and open platform, we decided to go with the second model,” PayU’s CEO Laurent le Moal said in an interview. “The reality is that you need to be neutral and work with everyone.”

PayU will also invest in adding further features to the Zooz platform, such as fraud management (which you could argue is table stakes these days in payments), real-time reporting and smart routing.

Zooz’s whole team of 70 will be joining, including co-founders Oren Levy (CEO) and Ronen Morecki (CTO), who will respectively take senior roles at PayU as business development with larger merchants, and CTO of innovation.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but that PayU has said that this deal brings its total spend on acquisitions and investments to about $350 million to date. That includes acquiring CitrusPay for $130 million, investing €100 million (between $120 million and $130 million) in Kreditech and several other investments. Doing the math, this potentially puts this deal at a range of between $50 million and $100 million.

Zooz was founded in 2010 and had raised around $33 million, from investors that include Target Global Ventures, Fang Fund, iAngels, Kreos Capital and existing investors Blumberg Capital, lool ventures, Rhodium, Claltech (Access Industries’ Israeli tech vehicle), XSeed Capital, CampOne Ventures and angel investor Eilon Tirosh.

Similar to PPRO, the company in which PayPal invested earlier this month, Zooz’s service addresses the widespread fragmentation that exists in payments globally. While credit cards are very much the norm in the US, globally they account for just under 20 percent of all e-commerce transactions, with consumers and businesses in different geographies developing their own localised payment methods and preferences. For example, cash on delivery or deposited with convenience stores, or bank transfers also play big roles.

This can be a problem for a merchant that is based in one country but interested in selling to people in another — an opportunity estimated to be worth $994 billion globally — if it doesn’t accept whatever the local payment method happens to be. Zooz addresses this by providing an API to merchants that gives them the option of a number of payment providing companies and methods so that they can enable the most popular variety of payment options to buyers depending on the market.

It will be worth watching whether payment companies will continue to be happy integrating with Zooz after its sale to PayU is complete. The fact that Zooz already integrates with different payment options, and itself is not a payment services provider, was one reason why PayU was interested in it.

At a time when there are multiple options for payment methods, including PayU itself, there is potentially an opportunity to be able to make revenues by trying to play in as many of those transactions as possible. Notably, PayU already lets people integrate some 250 methods into its own wallet, and it says it’s the leading online payment service provider in 16 markets out of the 17 in which it is active..

Zooz potentially will be boosting that footprint with more than just a platform that enables multiple payment options, but the transaction data and analytics that come with those transactions, which can become useful for other services in other parts of the business.

“The unique contribution we bring to PayU is an advanced technological layer which not only helps merchants worldwide to upscale their operations and provide a better customer experience, but also offers analytics and optimization capabilities that equip them with unprecedented insights,” noted Levy, Zooz’s CEO.

Snapchat shuts down peer-to-peer payment service Snapcash

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The days of Snapchat‘s peer-to-peer payment service Snapcash are numbered.

Snapchat will officially end its mobile payment service on Aug. 30, according to buried code within the Android app uncovered by TechCrunch

It’s been four years since Snapchat launched Snapcash. In November 2014, Snapchat announced a partnership with mobile payments service Square to introduce the feature that lets you transfer money between accounts on the content sharing platform.

The feature has been available to Snapchat users using both Android and iOS in the United States who have a debit card and are 18 or older. Read more…

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