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How popular content creators are building inclusive community with Facebook Gaming

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What does it take to build an online gaming community — and why is a commitment to diversity and representation so important? It’s the right thing to do, but it also makes business sense. Diversity and representation increasingly matter to gaming audiences, and those audiences have proven to be engaged, loyal fans.

Two Facebook Gaming creators, Mikel Owens, or Thrive Gaming, and Bre Eazzy, shared the popular content creator perspective during a panel at the 2nd Annual GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming Summit. They joined Luis Renato Olivalves, director of global gaming creator partnerships at Facebook, to talk about how they started and where they are now, what resonates with followers, what it takes to reach them, and how to build more diversity in online communities online.

Both Mikel and Bre came into streaming with no expectations, and at first never considered the possibility that video games could be a full-time gig. Now both pride themselves on creating fun, positive, and welcoming environments for everyone, choosing Facebook Gaming as their platform. Creating that environment is the most important way to turn viewers into fans and friends who keep coming back to hang out.

“For me, it’s about engaging with every person that comes in there,” Mikel says. “People come to streams as a way to get away and have something they enjoy, have a place where they can be entertained. I try to come with a lot of energy, have fun with the streams and engage with them, ask questions, just try to have them all involved.”

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The 2nd Annual GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming Summit and GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2


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Bre agreed, saying, “The more meaningful interactions you have with new viewers, not only does it make them want to return and watch your streams more, but it starts to build that community, family aspect that I love most about Facebook.”

Keeping the community inclusive and welcoming is a top priority for both of them.

“For me, I have this motto, not only for my personal life but in my community and my stream,” Bre said. “It’s very easy to be kind. It takes ten times as much energy to be hateful or mean. For me, anybody that comes into the stream, I don’t think about anything besides what they can bring to the community as a whole.”

For Mikel, it’s also about about transparency.

“I’m very open with my community about myself and who I am as a person,” he said. “I’m not perfect, and I know that. I tell them all the time. No matter what you look like and where you come from, I know you’re going through your own things. It might not be the same things, but you’re going through your own things. I like to have everybody feel accepted.”

How the game industry can do better

Progress has been made in promoting the importance of diversity and inclusion in the game industry, and light shone on the darker, more dangerous areas of the gaming world. Platforms are stepping up, such as Facebook’s Black Creator program, which is launching a new initiative to support the next generation of Black creators on Facebook and Instagram. But there’s still so much further to go, both agreed. Conversations like these are a start, Mikel says, but we need more. And it will take pushing folks out of their complacency and comfort zones.

“A lot of these conversations are very uncomfortable for some people, but I think being uncomfortable is good,” Mikel said. “Being uncomfortable opens eyes, and the more eyes that are open, the more change can be made. Having more events, more things like this, can help lead us toward a better future when it comes to these types of things, when it comes to representation in the game industry.”

Bre agreed. “Whatever aspect we’re looking for improvement, having these one-to-one conversations and dialogue with these companies and platforms is massive for truly understanding what it’s like to be in the shoes of, say, me or Thrive or the other thousands of creators that are on the platform,” she said. “But I think that at the end of the day, there’s nothing better we can do but take a step forward. There’s nothing we can do but improve at this point.”

But simply put, there just needs to be more representation in the game industry. More Black gaming professionals, more POC, more women, more LGBTQ folks in the game industry, in positions to make authentic change based on lived experiences.

“Hire people that represent me in those positions, whether it’s writers, creative directors,” Mikel said. “When they’re making these games and I play it, I can understand what they’re making, that they’re passionate about it. That’s a big thing that could help the industry move forward in that aspect.”

As a women and a competitive Call of Duty player, Bre encounters a tremendous amount of negativity and harassment in the community, and too much of it comes from the fact that women players are very much outnumbered by men.

“A lot of the top earning streamers and performers are men,” she said. “That doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with skill level. It just means that men are more represented than women… for me it’s important to break down that barrier, not necessarily to prove anything to other people, but to make it known that women can play just as well and perform just as well.”

“If we’re going to have a good time and you’re going to help me create good content, it doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, man, woman, it doesn’t matter,” she added. “We’re going to have a good time.”

Choosing the right community building platform

That’s one of the primary reasons Mikel was inspired to stream on Facebook as a platform: the community, the engagement, how personal you can be with your audience. On Facebook you can actually see the community members you’re chatting with, which helps create more of a personal relationship a stronger bond.

Compared to the other platforms Bre has streamed on, Facebook is more focused on helping partners succeed, she said.

“Personally, I feel a platform should put creators first,” Bre said. “I know that’s sometimes difficult to do, because a lot of things come into play in a successful streaming platform. My experience on Facebook, for the two years I’ve been on the platform, it’s been nothing but improvements on all aspects. Creators first, and making sure that you’re able to be found. Discoverability is also a huge thing on the platform.”

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Get a Discount on Training Courses to Help You Finally Master Excel

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Just about everybody in the business world claims to know Microsoft Excel. A fraction of them actually know just how much Excel can do. Therefore, if you’re looking for a practical gift for yourself or someone else this year that is actually useful, look no further than The 2022 Complete Microsoft Excel Expert Bundle.



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The bundle includes 12 courses from StreamSkill (4.4/5-star instructor rating), part of the Simon Sez IT family that has taught more than one million students over the past 15 years.

Here, you’ll start out with the basics of Excel 2021, learning what’s new and how to navigate the Excel 2021 interface. You’ll start learning useful keyboard shortcuts, understand how to format cells and use conditional formatting, analyze data using charts, and more. As you progress through the courses, you’ll explore advanced formulas in Excel, touch on macros, and much more.

There are several courses on some of Excel’s more unique tools, too. You’ll learn how to use the VBA editor, VBA syntax, keywords, and more. You’ll discover how to define and manage variables, set up subroutines, and create functions to automate your most repetitive and frustrating tasks. Additionally, you’ll get started with Power Query, learning how to connect Excel to multiple workbooks to crunch numbers across sheets. You’ll learn how to set up and manage data relationships in a data model, create PivotTables to display your data, and use functions like CALCULATE, DIVIDE, and DATESYTD in DAX. Before you know it, you’ll have a business analyst education that will help you in all of your business ventures.

It’s about time you finally learned Excel. Right now, you can get this Microsoft Excel Expert Bundle on sale for just $24.99 (reg. $4,788).

Prices subject to change.

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Ocho wants to rethink (and rebrand) personal finance for business owners • TechCrunch

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When Ankur Nagpal sold Teachable for a quarter of a billion dollars, he felt lucky. Then, he quickly felt lost when trying to navigate the financial systems of a country he wasn’t born in and learn the institutional language often only spoken fluently by the historically wealthy.

It would be a few years of self-employment, and building a venture firm later, before Nagpal returned to the moment as one of the early catalysts for his newest startup, Ocho. The company, launching publicly today, wants to make it easier for business owners to set up and manage their own 401(k) retirement accounts.

Personal finance is hard – and that’s a tale as old, and difficult to disrupt, as time. And while Nagpal agrees that there’s no “north star” company that has shown how to tackle finance literacy at scale, he’s hoping that Ocho’s 10-person team may just have a not-so-boring wedge that changes that.

Ocho is joining the several fintech companies out there that aim to modernize, and really rebrand, the retirement account away from traditional providers like Charles Schwab or Fidelity, or expensive solutions like lawyers and consultants.

“I’ve started exploring the space, and we realize everyone – like Robinhood to Coinbase – is just spending unsustainable amounts of money to acquire customers, but are making no money themselves and continually sort of need these large funding rounds just to exist,” Nagpal said. “I’m actually expecting there to be a very rough 6, 12 or 18 months for fintech companies specifically.”

Ocho’s twist from competition, he thinks, is in its market focus. “There’s so many companies targeting startup founders and their wealth – there’s literally a new one launching every month or two all backed by big name VCs, but no one is focused on the business owner that is otherwise doing well but is not a startup founder or a startup employee,” he said.

Instead, Ocho is leaning into Nagpal’s background of working with creators when he was building Teachable. Teachable helped creators build revenue streams, Ocho wants to help those same creators take their earnings and invest, harvest and scale them in a smart way.

“At Teachable, we helped these people make money online and now there’s lots of places for creators, freelancers and entrepreneurs to make money online – but how do we help them think about building wealth?” Nagpal said. The long-term vision for Ocho is to offer products, beyond solo 401(k)s, that help business owners build wealth.

Human Interest is one of Ocho’s closest competitors; raising $200 million at a $1 billion valuation last year. Nagpal says that Ocho differentiates itself because its focused more on individuals, freelancers and creators, instead of Human Interest’s target of small and medium-sized businesses.

For now, Ocho is charging a flat $199 annual fee to help individuals start their retirement account. It takes about 10 minutes to set up, and 48 hours to get final confirmation.

The big challenge for the startup is getting the right solopreneurs to care about their retirement accounts. Its look for people who have income-generating businesses, but don’t have any full-time employees. If you have a side gig alongside your full-time job, you can create a 401(k) just for the side hustle, but can’t put full-time income into the retirement account.

ocho-interface-fintech

Image Credits: Ocho

Nagpal thinks he can nail early adoption through smart education material and outreach, referring to personal finance trends on TikTok as an example of consumer demand for more information. He says that 40% of the Ocho staff is working on marketing or education, and that the balance will be retained even as the company scales.

If education is so important to getting Ocho to work, one may wonder why it’s launching with a fintech product. The answer is simple: deadlines. Users need to make a retirement account by December 31, 2022, if they want one for 2023 – which puts the fintech in a relevant, but time pressed, position.

Nagpal isn’t worried about the seasonality of the 401(k) product because of the upcoming product roadmap, which includes the education product, investment flows into the retirement product like being able to invest in startups and ETFs, and even HSAs, often described as a 401(k) for healthcare.

To power that ambitious product spree, Ocho has raised $2.5 million from Nagpal’s own venture firm, Vibe Capital. The entrepreneur says that he raised the $60 million debut fund for Vibe Capital with the idea that he would incubate a startup or two out of the firm, which materialized today now that it owns 20% of Ocho.

Nagpal admitted that the idea of a founder using his own venture firm to seed his own startup may appear to be the “mother of all conflicts of interest” but reasoned that it was everything but. He emailed all LPs in his fund about the investment, got a unanimous yes, and ended up raising at a much lower price for the startup than if they had gone out into the fair market. It’s still uncommon to see founders sell a company, start a venture firm and then use that same venture firm to seed their next company.

Perhaps the unique connection between Nagpal’s first company, to his firm, to his newest startup, could hint at what his approach to personal finance may be: diversify across multiple vehicles, redefine what a supercharged investment could look like, and keep on learning.

Ocho-team

Ocho’s starting team.



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A Simple Brain Trick To Guarantee Success

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As entrepreneurs, most of us are goal-driven, and we’ve learned how to set clear, juicy goals and then break them down into game plans of smaller projects and tasks. The challenge comes when it’s time for you and your team actually to follow those game plans.

After the thrill of setting that awesome goal comes the day-to-day work that is often not so exciting. So how do you keep yourself and your team moving forward? How can you stay on track and consistently hit your daily, weekly and quarterly goals? One of the answers is in the simple brain hack that psychologists call “implementation intention.”

Related: Brain Hacks to Boost Motivation and Beat the Work From Home Blues

What the research shows

A psychology professor at NY University, Peter Gollwitzer, first coined the term in the 1990s. He realized that many people set goals, but not many achieved them because they didn’t take the action they needed to take. Dr. Gollwitzer showed that the difference was not just motivation, as some people were highly motivated and still didn’t do what they needed to do. But people were much more likely to reach their goals by figuring out “pre-determined goal-directed behaviors” and turning them into habits.

Rather than just coming up with a strategy to achieve a goal and then breaking it down into tasks, Dr. Gollwitzer found that people were more likely to succeed if they trained their brains to choose to do the things that they needed to do by using “if-then” statements (you can also use “when-then” statements).

He and his colleagues ran over 400 studies using every type of goal — quitting smoking, voting, healthy eating, exercising and even using condoms! All the studies showed that implementation intentions made a massive difference in the results people got.

Related: Setting Measurable Goals Is Critical to Your Strategic Plan (and Your Success). Here’s Why.

Get to your goal using “when-then”

How does it work? For example, let’s say that you want to grow your business and that getting lots of 5-star testimonials will help. So, you decide to get 100 testimonials this quarter (about eight per week), and you’ll get them by calling 20 past clients per week, just four every day.

Sounds simple, right? But this kind of project easily gets lost in the shuffle. You mean to do it; you know it’s important, but other things that seem more urgent pop up. Eventually, you might even forget about
getting those testimonials completely.

With implementation intention, you start with the statement, “When _________, then I will ______.” You not only say what you will do but also give it a specific time and place. In this case, you might say, “When I get to the office, and before I even look at my emails, I’ll call four past clients for testimonials.” This tells your brain exactly when to be ready to make the calls. It sets up your energy and focus. By doing it over and over, your brain is automatically triggered to sit down and make calls as soon as you walk into your office.

James Clear talks about this in his book Atomic Habits. He points out that setting up implementation intention keeps you from deciding whether to do something every single time. You don’t need to be super motivated that day, and you don’t need to use your willpower to get yourself to do it. You just do it because, after a while, it would feel weird not to do it, just like not brushing your teeth before bed would feel strange.

Related: Your Problem Isn’t Laziness

Overcome obstacles using “if-then”

Implementation intention also helps you pre-plan for obstacles you might encounter and helps get you through them. Say you know that your morning calls will often get interrupted by team members who need your input. You know something like this is bound to happen, so before it does, you figure out, “If ___________, then I will ___________.”

“If I get interrupted, I will ask the person (unless they are bleeding to death) to give me 15-20 minutes.” Or maybe you decide, “If I get interrupted in the morning, I will close the door and eat lunch at my desk to make my calls.” The strategy you use to handle the obstacle is up to you. The point is that you already have it figured out and know exactly how to stay on track despite anything that tries to get in the way.

Athletes have used this for years. Marathon runners know they’ll run into “the wall” at about 18 to 20 miles. Rather than getting blindsided, they figure out ways to handle it before the race. They’ll slow their pace and take some sports gel. They’ll pay attention to the cheering crowd or focus on a certain mantra. They don’t try to figure out how to deal with the wall when it’s happening. They have a plan, so it doesn’t throw them off their goal.

Related: 5 Things About Overcoming Adversity That Athletes Can Teach Entrepreneurs

When I started coaching, I realized that many of my students hit a wall about three months in. They were learning and implementing different marketing strategies. But these strategies take some time, so they didn’t see any results yet. We learned to warn them ahead of time. “Hey, you might not see results for 4-5 months. That doesn’t mean you aren’t on track. If you’re doing the work, results will come soon.”

Then we help them with “if-then” strategies. “If you feel stuck or discouraged, then call in
during office hours.” An implementation intention is a brain-hack tool that helps you take the steps you need to take whether you’re feeling motivated or not. You set up the implementation intention by saying what you’ll do and precisely when you’ll do it, and you pre-plan how you’ll deal with obstacles to stay on track.

James Clear wrote: “Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated. It’s the ability to keep going when work isn’t exciting that makes the difference.”

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