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Give Millennials Flexibility and Other Must-Read Business Tips

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A roundup of the best tips of the week from


Millennials aren't always the easiest people to manage. Since the economy tanked, or maybe even earlier, they have gained a reputation for being lazy and entitled. But millennials aren't so different from other generations. Like Gen Xers, Boomers and others before them, millennials value flexibility in the workplace right after cash and benefits as an important incentive. "The future of work is not a one-size-fits-all model," says Dan Schawbel, author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success (St. Martin's Press, 2013). One way to make all your employees, not only the younger set, happier might be to explore work models that focus on results rather than hours spent in the office. More: 6 Tips for Managing Millennials (Whether You Find Them to be Entitled or Not)

Savor some solitude once in a while.
You may not love the outdoors, but you can certainly learn a thing or two from a change of scenery. "The world can sometimes be so noisy that we can't think," says Sarah Calhoun, founder of Red Ants Pants, a White Sulphur Springs, Mont.-based company that makes work clothes for women. "When that happens to you, find solitude, even if that just means shutting off your phone for an hour. You need alone time to get the juices flowing." For Calhoun, that meant living in a ranching town of fewer than 1,000 people. Find an oasis that works for you, and take a load off. More: 6 Leadership Lessons From The Great Outdoors

Become an addictive brand.
One way to get people hooked on your brand is to influence their behavior. Nike, one of the world's most successful companies in any category of consumer products, changes people's behavior with its Nike Fuel Band, says Chris Kocek, the founder and chief executive of Gallant, an Austin, Texas-based strategy and design studio. The device tracks your mileage while wearing it and allows you to interact with friends on a social dashboard, challenging them to keep up with you. "Of course, it goes without saying that people who run more have a tendency to go through more pairs of shoes" Kocek says. More: How to Turn Customers Into Data Junkies Who Can't Get Enough of Your Brand

Learn to accept 80 percent.
Whether because of perfectionism or mere attention deficit, the inability to finish what you've started is a major problem, says inventor and author Stephen Key. Entrepreneurs usually aren't lacking in focus; more often, they want to keep tweaking their product endlessly, for fear that it won't satisfy customers or that it will receive bad press. But eventually you have to ship the product, no matter what. "If you miss deadlines and are always late, in the end, you'll have little to show for yourself," Key says. "I always say, if it's 80 percent there, it's good enough. Because: you must ship." More: 5 Signs You're Standing In Your Own Way to Success

Build 'deep referral relationships.'
Everyone knows how valuable the right referral can be. But referrals don't mean much if the person recommending you hardly knows you from Adam. The key is to build deep relationships with your business associates, so that when they refer you to someone else, they can really talk you up, says Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of BNI, an Upland, Calif.-based professional business networking organization. He recommends building your "social capital" with someone by finding ways to help them out before asking for something. "You have to have money in the bank before you can make a withdrawal," Misner says. More: How to Get More Out of the Time You Already Spend Networking

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