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In the early days of LearnVest, von Tobel put everything involving her business before her own health and needs. A lifestyle that’s based on little sleep, long workdays of drinking nothing but coffee, and forgetting to squeeze in doctors visits obviously isn’t sustainable for the long term. Now that von Tobel has been running a business for four years, she says she goes to the gym almost everyday and stays healthy.

“Advice for startups from LearnVest founder Alex Tobel” via Business Insider.

Maintaining a healthy and somewhat-balanced lifestyle while working at an early-stage company is hard. I use my calendar to make sure I block off time for crossfit, date nights, and spending time with my family. It never feels like enough time, but by regularly blocking off time and only cancelling if it’s absolutely necessary, I find I can maintain the energy needed to put in the time at the office.

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8+ years without a chair in my office and loving it. The first six months are the hardest (read = tiring), but after that it’s such a welcomed break to sitting in meetings.

Stints of standing while working may reduce back pain

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I still remember many of the lessons my first manager at Microsoft, Aaron, taught me during our first tour of duty together in Office. The one I remember the most? Having him stop by on a casual “drive by” during the day to say thanks for something small, like a successful meeting, a solid email, or kudos for helping out a co-worker.  

Never underestimate the power of simply saying “Thanks, nice work.”

10 Signs You Have (Or Are) A Great Boss

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After a year of this, one day, one of my partners came in and told us some really disturbing news about her life situation, and suddenly, things kind of clicked. It was apparent that we might be her only positive daily interaction, and that the extra attention, especially that when she had a complaint, really might have meant a lot to her personally, giving her some modicum of control in her life and also a feeling of importance. We’d never let our service waver, and we were very glad.

Great article on Business Insider, “What Baristas Think of Your Coffee Orders.

I am always impressed by the consistently high bar of the baristas’ professionalism and amicability at the SoHo Starbucks I go to every morning. I also give them a ton of credit when they don’t jump the counter and shake the person in front of me they decide to pay for their $5 latte in pennies when the line is out the door at 8:50am. 

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One of the scariest stats I learned working in Microsoft Office early on was how little of the actual features in apps like Word or Outlook that people actually used – it’s less than 10% for the average (non-power) user! Features like the Office Ribbon have helped tremendously with that. I’m curious to give Wizeline a shot and see if it helps us here at Klink. 

Wizeline, with a fresh $6.7M, wants to create a ‘corporate brain’ to boost product dev

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The SMB market is becoming increasingly fragmented, with businesses realizing the power of the cloud and breaking out of using siloed, one-size-fits-all solutions that are mostly tied to desktop-based software. In doing so, businesses are increasingly mixing and matching a bunch of different vendor platforms to find the right combination of tools.

“ZenPayroll Partners With A Dozen Other SMB Back-Office Tools” via TechCrunch

Another great company opening up their API’s and making the experience for SMB’s more seamless.