TIME Retail

Amazon Is Suing Sites That Sell Fake Reviews

Amazon Unveils Its First Smartphone
David Ryder—Getty Images Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presents the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, on June 18, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.

Sites offer to fill seller's product pages with 4 and 5-star reviews

Amazon is cracking down on sites that it says sell fake reviews to bolster products sold on the retailer’s website.

The online retail giant filed suit Wednesday against buyamazonreviews.con and buyazonreviews.com, according to The Seattle Times. The suit accuses the websites of false advertising, trademark infringement and violating consumer protection laws.

Buyamazonreviews.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the website’s owner, Mark Collins, told the Times that Amazon’s claims were without merit, saying his site offers “unbiased and honest” reviews, not fake ones.

On its home page, buyamazonreviews.com offers “unlimited” four and five star reviews to its customers. “Our skilled writers look at your product, look at your competitor’s products and then write state of the art reviews that will be sure to generate sales for you,” the website states.

The case marks the first time Amazon has brought a lawsuit against a company said to be shilling fake reviews. Amazon is seeking triple damages and attorney’s fees, as well as a court order to stop the other sites from using the retailer’s name.

TIME Careers & Workplace

12 Simple Ways to Improve Your Website

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Try redesigning your home page

startupcollective

Question: What is one simple way I can improve my business website this year without totally overhauling it?

Try LiveChat

“We’ve been using LiveChat on many client projects and absolutely love it. It conquers a few key areas with one app — instant sales insights to know what a prospect is most interested in, real-time feedback on what’s confusing with your current site and an easy-to-use messaging system to contact you for support requests if you’re offline.” — Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes

Experiment With Video

“We found that integrating well-produced videos into a page can dramatically increase conversions. Integrating video is generally simple and can be done without redoing the basic design or navigational structure of your site. Of course, the hard part is generating great video content!” — John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation

Create Clear Calls to Action

“Many businesses lose customers because they do not provide a clear path for customers to navigate through their websites. Having clear calls to action that explicitly state what you would like the customer to do is an easy way to raise revenue with little work involved. Think about the most important business objectives you have, and then place logical CTA buttons throughout to support the goals.” — Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers

Include Testimonials

“Putting up customer testimonials greatly improves your conversion rates and social proof. If you can add a few killer testimonials — in the form of tweets, videos or quotes — it will really increase your business website’s impact.” — Vanessa van Edwards, Science of People

Rewrite Web Copy From Your Customers’ Perspective

“So many business websites are written in a language that’s not relevant to their customers. Take a step back and look at your website copy through your customers’ eyes. You should first slash the word count by half, and then rewrite it with an eye for using plain speak versus jargon, put it into their words and facilitate skimming versus reading.” — Leah Neaderthal, FamilyBridge

A/B Test Potential Changes

“Test out changes before making them with tools such as Visual Website Optimizer or Optimizely. They’re affordable and simple to use. Sometimes, little changes can yield big gains.” — Josh Weiss, Bluegala

Upgrade Your Fonts

“You’d be surprised how different the same content looks with a few simple font changes. Make an update. Go modern. Websites are trending more toward a brochure style. Up the font size, and use a Google Web font to expand your options. It’s a simple change that yields a big effect. The same content will stand out in the crowd.” — Trevor Sumner, LocalVox

Add a Phone Number

“Great customer service is critical to creating happy customers. While most startups try to streamline their service with robust FAQs and a “24-hour reply” promise on emails, the most effective way to grow sales is to add a phone number on your site. Make it front and center — talk to people when they are on your site and ready to buy!” — Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

Refresh Your Home Page

“Redesign your home page with an eye for user experience. What type of information do new visitors need most? Figure out what resources help users make the best use of your site, and then relocate the links for your most important tools and information to the highest-visibility areas of your main Web page.” — Heather Schwarz-Lopes, EarlyShares

Create More White Space

“Find ways to create more white space around the most important areas of your website. Chances are, you’ve cluttered areas of your website as new ideas and content have emerged over the years. Take some time to review what is critical to your business and what is not. Remove what isn’t, and find new, cleaner ways to present the refined content.” — Janis Krums, OPPRTUNITY

Focus on Conversions

“What can you do to improve website conversion? It could mean making a phone number more prevalent on your home page if you’re a service business or making small tweaks to the wording and action items.” — Andrew Fayad, eLearning Mind

Pay Attention to Your Analytics

“Google Analytics is free and incredibly powerful if you use it correctly. Add the tracking codes to your site, and analyze the data at least twice a month. Pay attention to the customer flow and drop-off rates for each page. Make the pages that have the highest average time easier to find. Analyze the lowest-performing pages and look for ways to make those stickier to keep visitors engaged longer.” — Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

This article was originally published on StartupCollective.

TIME Careers & Workplace

10 Habits You Should Abandon Now to Improve Productivity

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Not all tasks are equally important

They say that you have the same number of hours in the day as Beyonce — so why does it feel like you’re never able to get caught up on your business to-do list?

Apart from not having your own team of personal assistants, stylists and other hangers-on, it could be your habits that are keeping you from achieving your business goals. Fortunately, habits can be broken.

Here are 10 habits you should ditch right away to improve your productivity:

1. Checking email constantly

Let’s face it: We’re all guilty of wasting precious time and mental focus by over-checking email. The impact of this habit is serious, though, as checking email too frequently has been linked to lower memory function, anxiety, depression and lower performance.

The best way to overcome this bad habit is to only check email at certain times. If necessary, you can create an auto-reply email saying “I check my emails at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. I’ll respond to you as soon as possible.”

Related: 5 Habits That Are Destroying Your Ability to Lead

2. Scheduling weekly status meetings

Most of us have the sneaking suspicion that meetings are a huge time-waster, yet we keep scheduling them anyway. One of the biggest culprits is the weekly status meeting. Even if nothing has changed, everyone has to stop what they’re doing and attend a face-to-face meeting. Instead, try using a shared project management system,internal chat tool or Google Docs to track milestones and note what has been accomplished so far.

3. Working long hours

Studies have shown that those who work more than eight hours a day have lower productivity and higher burnout rates than those who don’t. Clocking these hours might look good, but you aren’t getting anything extra accomplished. Instead, work on being more focused during your work hours by using techniques such as time blocking. Your results will speak for themselves.

4. Waiting on the big project

When you look at your to-do list in the morning, what do you tackle first? If you tend to do the easier things first and wait on the big projects, you’ve got a bad habit. By the time you get to the important work — if you ever do — you’ll be tired, cranky and far less productive. By starting on the big project right away, you give it your best energy while saving the easy work for later in the day when you naturally have less focus and motivation.

5. Having coffee for breakfast

Almost everyone uses caffeine to wake up, but is that all you’re using? If you’re not eating breakfast, you’re missing out on important fuel for your day. After sleeping, your body is dehydrated and hungry. If you have coffee for breakfast, you’re not giving yourself the nutrients and liquids you need, which will undoubtedly have a big impact on your productivity and mood throughout the day.

6. Not getting eight hours of sleep

Speaking of sleep, do you get your full eight hours? Most American business owners don’t, and it’s killing their productivity. Research has shown that getting five hours or less of sleep several nights in a row affects you in the same way that having a 0.10 blood alcohol level does. In addition, you’ll be more prone to mistakes, have more headaches and be more easily distracted if you don’t get enough sleep.

Related: 3 Dirty Little Habits That Will Kill Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

7. Eating lunch at your desk

You may think that you’re being more productive by skipping your lunch hour, but what happens if you spill food or a drink on a key report — or your keyboard? You could ruin your productivity for the afternoon with a simple slip-up. In addition, you’re more likely to make poor food choices and overeat if you’re eating at your desk. Do your productivity a favor and get lunch away from your desk.

8. Not taking breaks

You may think you’re more productive if you keep plugging away, but studies show that people need breaks to maintain maximum productivity. Think of a break as a way to rest, allow your brain to make new creative connections, and refocus on what’s most important. Breaks also help prevent mistakes and keep us engaged with our work.

9. Giving every task equal importance

According to the 80/20 rule, 20 percent of our tasks will produce 80 percent of our results. So why are you treating all tasks as if they’re equally important? By focusing on the most important 20 percent — which may not be your most urgent work — you’ll be significantly more productive. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending a day “fighting fires” only to realize that you didn’t accomplish your most important work.

10. Multi-tasking

You may think you’re being more productive when you try to do two things at once, but you’re fooling yourself. Your brain may be good at switching quickly between tasks, but it still causes a loss of focus, creativity and productivity. By focusing on one task at a time, you’ll get more done overall.

Having bad habits is common, but they can be overcome. By focusing on breaking these 10 productivity-killing habits, you’ll dramatically improve your effectiveness, making it possible to accomplish whatever business goals you’ve set for yourself.

Related: Multitasking Can Damage Your Brain and Career, Studies Say

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

How This Entrepreneur Launched 52 Businesses in 1 Year

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“Take action, but without leaping”

Calling it the most transformative experience of his entrepreneurial life, 29-year-old Colin Grussing has officially made good on a dizzying vow: to build a new business every week for one year.

Entitled 52businesses, the project was derived by New Orleans-based Grussing last March to help destigmatize the early-stage startup paradigm. In addition to conceiving proprietary ventures, 52businesses pivoted partway through its mission to serve as a kind of collaborative consultant for existing startups and nonprofits. They welcomed ventures of every stripe, Grussing says, from scalable concepts to local mom-and-pops.

Looking back at the year, some favorites include Apocalypse Camp, a survival course for adults that recently blew past its Kickstarter goal; the task delivery app Meusu; and Operation Spark, a non-profit that teaches at-risk youth to build prototypes for local startups.

“Over time, we simultaneously became more open-minded and more concise in our approach,” says Grussing’s partner, Jason Seidman, who serves as 52businesses’ CEO.

Related: Inspired or Insane: This 28-Year-Old Vows to Launch a New Business Every Week for One Year

Given the project’s audacity, however, Grussing discusses success in relative terms. Today, 87 percent of the businesses continue to thrive, he says — by which he means they haven’t closed their doors yet. While 27 percent have made new hires, another 22 percent say they intend to do so within the next three months.

All told, the project has cost Grussing — who previously made money in real estate — roughly $100,000, he says.

While many of the businesses may have legs, its biggest money-maker to date has fins, Seidman jokes. During week five, not long after the Super Bowl, the team decided to vend a shark costume — even as Katy Perry’s legal team was blasting out cease and desist letters to other entrepreneurs attempting to profit off her campy halftime show.

“Sharks are so hot right now,” reads the costume’s carefully-worded ecommerce site, “everywhere from Katy, Texas, to Perryville, Mo.” At $165 a pop, Grussing says he’s raking in $1,000 to $2,000 per week.

Related: Young ‘Trep on Launching 25 Businesses in 25 Weeks: ‘I’m Loving Every Second’

If 52businesses has been invigorating on a professional level, it has wreaked havoc on Grussing’s personal life. Though Seidman found love during week 17 — a collaboration with a social entrepreneurship program at Tulane University — Grussing’s fiancé ultimately broke off their engagement due to the endeavor’s crushing weight.

“I treated her more like an intern than I should have,” Grussing concedes. However, the two have since reconciled and are planning a beach trip away from any work distractions — though Grussing says he wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to product-test a forthcoming floating beer koozie.

Indeed, the concept of a vacation doesn’t seem to exist in Grussing’s frenetic mind. Case in point: just one month after closing a chapter on 52business’ first year, the team is — yep — getting ready to start back up all over again.

But this time, they’re not going at it alone. While Grussing initially intended to subsidize 52businesses via corporate sponsorships, the team is now seeking investors to turn 52businesses into a permanent seed incubator program. “We’ve been talking to several different funds in the city, and a few outside, that just want to have those feet in the ground in New Orleans,” Seidman says.

Related: In New Orleans, ‘Tis the Season for Startups

The team also plans to harness lessons learned in order to improve their approach. One of the biggest stumbling blocks last year, Seidman says, was encountering participants who were “interested in the allure of entrepreneurship but who weren’t necessarily willing to put in the time it takes to be an entrepreneur.”

“Which was a big part of the mission,” Grussing adds, “to show people before they quit their jobs, whether or not they should quit their jobs.”

And at the end of the day, Grussing says, there are several actionable takeaways to be gleaned from the experiment. “Focus on being effective rather than efficient,” he says, and accept that surprises — both good and bad — are inevitably lurking around every turn.

“Take action, but without leaping,” Seidman suggests. “Utilize your network and your friends and your family to get a prototype — without quitting your job first, without dropping out of school. And then if the idea proves to continue growing, then it’s time to reevaluate those things.”

Related: Stress, Anxiety, Loneliness: How This Entrepreneur Lost Himself and Bounced Back Stronger

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

TIME Companies

This Company’s Stock Goes Up With Demand for Police Transparency

The share price of body camera maker TASER International has ticked up since last summer

The series of controversial incidents of police brutality that have rocked the U.S. in recent months has ignited a movement for increased transparency among law enforcement officers — and the evidence can be seen in the market performance of one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of police body cameras.

The public, activists and some lawmakers have clamored for greater police accountability in the wake of a string of deaths linked to law enforcement brutality, including the death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner in July while being held in an illegal ‘chokehold’ by an NYPD officer, the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson in August, and Saturday’s shooting of Walter Scott in South Carolina by a white cop during a traffic stop.

In response, many local police authorities have begun testing or using police body cameras which record their interactions with the public. And while detailed statistics on the adoption of such equipment are thin on the ground, activity on Wall Street suggests increased demand.

Though best known for its stun guns, TASER International has become the market leader among police body camera makers. Its stock price has ticked upward as it sealed agreements with high-profile police departments in Los Angeles and New York City, and analysts took note. Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz stated in a December research report that he believes TASER has an “opportunity for long-term growth.” Uerkwitz summarized his analysis of the Arizona-based company by stating it has a “shockingly strong story.” The chart below shows the company’s performance over the past year:

The company’s stock leapt again on Thursday on the back of a deal to provide body cameras and digital storage for the City of London police department, and it is now nearing a 52-week high. A smaller rival, Digital Ally, has also seen its share price soar over the past few days.

TASER CEO and co-founder Rick Smith says incidents like the one in South Carolina have shown the need for better availability of equipment and more transparency. “The [shooting of Walter Scott] to me feels even more impactful because we know more about it. And frankly, it’s hard to watch that video and not feel sick,” he tells TIME. “A year ago a number of agencies were questioning whether officer-worn cameras were a good idea. That is completely flipped.”

Though TASER’s overall performance may reflect a growing appetite for police body cameras, the market hasn’t yet reached anything like its full potential. President Barack Obama requested last December $263 million for a three-year investment package to increase body cameras nationwide. Meanwhile, other police departments, like the NYPD, have recently launched body camera pilot programs as they begin introducing the technology.

“Current surveys suggest a quarter of police departments are using to some extent body cameras,” ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley tells TIME. “There are 17,000 police departments roughly in the U.S. I’d expect that over the next three to five years, we’ll see the number of departments using them really skyrocket, up to 70 or 80 percent.”

TIME Careers & Workplace

How to Job Search Like a Recruiting Pro

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Study the job description first

startupcollective

One of life’s greatest pains is when you apply for a job while simultaneously realizing that your odds of getting that job are equal to winning the lottery by picking up rubbed-off tickets from the sidewalk. Prayer feels a lot more practical.

After you hit apply, here’s what happens: you become a number in an often vast and opaque database. The applicant databases of large companies might even contain millions of candidates. The chances of your resume ever seeing the light of day and getting noticed by a corporate recruiter are slim. So that feels like where your story ends.

If you’re lucky, someone is monitoring that database in between their coffee breaks. They might look at the new resumes that came in or use “smart” software to find resumes that match the assortment of keywords in the job description. Your experience, tenure and achievements are often not seen, much less considered. When it comes to job search, it’s like the old saying goes: “It’s better to be lucky than good.”

But if you have a few extra minutes, you can act like a recruiting pro and be smarter and more proactive about your job search. As the founder and CEO of Recruiter.com, I can help offer some insider insight. Here are four things to do AFTER applying:

  1. Study the job description. Most of these jobs are posted by busy people using stock templates given to them by HR organizations, or as parts of bundles that their companies pay for. So look for words that stick out — words that would never be part of a template. These are the parts added by the job poster to make the stock description look a little prettier.
  2. Grab unique phrases. Search for out-of-place words. Look for company-specific projects, technology terms unique to the company, descriptions of individual teams, mentions of particular products, etc. Forget “software engineer” and “design and development.” Hunt for phrases like “part of our e-platform component group,” “FIDO method” and “works with our Wind II series engineers.” Find anything that pinpoints the actual team inside the company to which you are applying.
  3. Find the team on LinkedIn. Unique phrases in hand, head on over to LinkedIn and do an advanced people search. Enter the company you’re looking for in the company field. Then in the keywords field, enter those unique phrases with quotations around them, like “e-platform component group” from our example above. In the title field, experiment with queries — like Manager OR Director OR VP OR Vice — to find key managers. This helps you pinpoint the exact team of people that are hiring for the position. Think about the org chart: who’s hiring? It’s your job to find them.
  4. Contact the managers. You might find 10 people who seem to be working on that project team — this is where you can pick how aggressive to be. You can contact the management of that team (or reach out to a peer in the group), describe your background and make your pitch. If you’re reaching out to a non-management employee, you might reference the exact job that you’re interested in and ask if they know who manages the hiring for the position. Include any descriptive internal tracking numbers that they used in the job description.

These are the kind of common sense techniques professional recruiters use to land new clients and find candidates for jobs. They work for job seekers too — good luck out there!

Miles Jennings is the founder and CEO of Recruiter.com, the next generation of recruiting.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

This article was originally published on StartupCollective.

TIME Technology & Media

An Ad-Free Paid Version of YouTube Is Definitely Coming

An employee at the Google Inc.'s YouTube Space studio in Tokyo, Japan.
Bloomberg via Getty Images An employee holding recording equipment walks past Google Inc.'s YouTube logo displayed at the company's YouTube Space studio in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday, March 30, 2013. In Japan, YouTube's biggest regional success story in Asia, the company is recruiting online stars to bolster its local-language channels with more-targeted original programming and higher production values. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The service is expected to launch by the end of the year

YouTube said Wednesday it will soon launch a new subscription-based service that will let users watch videos on the website without annoying ads interrupting the clips.

The streaming video website, which is owned by Google, reportedly disclosed the planned paid service in an e-mail sent to producers of top video content and obtained by various media outlets. The e-mail did not say how much the subscription would cost or when it would become available. However, Bloomberg cited an anonymous source who said the paid service would be available before the end of this year.

YouTube also reportedly plans to update its terms of service for video partners, effective in June, to give them a 55% cut of subscription revenues, according to TechCrunch. Current YouTube content creators — including social media stars like Michelle Phan — already get a similar share of ad revenues.

Last fall, reports surfaced claiming YouTube was considering an ad-free, paid service as part of its effort to boost revenue (and, eventually, turn a profit), but the company had offered no confirmation until now.

The subscription will be Google and YouTube’s latest attempt to diversify beyond the ad-based business model for the more than a billion users who visit the streaming video site monthly. In November, YouTube introduced a test version of Music Key, the website’s ad-free, subscription music service that will cost $9.99 a month. YouTube already offers top-flight videos on certain paid channels and users can also rent or buy moves through the site.

Wednesday’s disclosure comes at a time when Google and YouTube are facing stiffer competition than ever from rival online streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu. Netflix, in particular, has been adding original content including television series and movie deals with big names like Adam Sandler to better compete with more traditional media outlets. Amazon has followed suit, adding critically acclaimed original content to its own Prime Instant Video service.

Meanwhile, traditional media outlets like HBO and CBS are also building their own subscription-based services, while startups such as Vessel — a paid video site created by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar — are taking aim directly at YouTube’s users.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

 

TIME Careers & Workplace

3 Ways to Get What You Need From Terrible Communicators

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Start by asking for clarification

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Do you have a manager who sends cryptic, one-sentence emails that send you into a panic?

Or a co-worker whose long, rambling missives leave you wondering what, exactly, you should do next?

It can be difficult to do your best work when your colleagues are not particularly “gifted” in the communication department.

But until all bosses are required to go through mandatory training or we can find some way to enforce that people think before they speak, here are a few tips to help get the lines of communication flowing more smoothly.

Tip #1. Ask for Clarification

Often, at work, people feel uneasy about requesting clarification. No one wants to feel dense, or like they need everything explained twice!

But think of it this way: Taking 10 seconds to get clarity on a particular request could potentially save you 10 hours of confusion and unnecessary work. It’s always worth it!


Say:

Thank you for _.

To clarify, would you like me to _ or _?

For example:

Thank you for sending me your rough notes on the spring marketing campaign.

To clarify, would you like me to provide general feedback or to whip these notes into a formal plan, with to-do dates for each item, and then send the plan to the entire team?


Tip #2. Use the 3 Magic Words: “Is That Accurate?”

Sometimes, even after requesting clarification, your colleague might still respond in a way that makes zero sense. (Argh!)

If that’s the case, these three magic words can help clear up the confusion.


Say:

It sounds like you are asking me to _. Is that accurate?

For example:

It sounds like you are asking me to book your flight to the conference in NYC, book your flight to the other conference in Boston, and then book your hotel for NYC but not for Boston. Is that accurate?


Hopefully, by asking this question, your colleague will realize that his or her messages aren’t quite clear. Or perhaps even be grateful for your precision! It’s always comforting to hear your own instructions echoed back (especially when your brain is foggy and you’re not quite sure what you’re even saying—which could be the case for your colleague!)

Tip #3. Give Constructive Feedback

If confusing communication is a persistent problem, don’t be afraid to have a direct conversation about it. Say that you have a few ideas on how to work better together, then outline your communication preferences clearly, simply, and in detail.


Say:

Hey! I’ve got a few ideas on how to make our communication even better—and get projects done even more effectively. May I share my thoughts?

Then:

We seem to have fewer misunderstandings when we pick up the phone and talk or meet face-to-face. Could we communicate in that format, rather than via email—unless it’s something really quick?

Or:

When you give me an instruction, I’d like to repeat back to you what I’m understanding, so that you can clarify any confusion right then—and we’ll be all set!


Frame your ideas as a “great new plan!” for both of you to try, rather than a criticism of your colleague.

Once you’ve done this, don’t be afraid to revisit the conversation from time to time if you find that the lines of communication are still twisted and tangled into knots. You deserve to work in an environment where clear communication is the norm, not the exception to the rule. And if it’s always framed in a way of how to help the both of you work better? It’ll likely be well-received.

As a final note, remember that you can lead by example, communicating as clearly as you possibly can, every day.

Maybe your colleagues will follow your lead, or maybe they won’t, but either way, you can take pride in knowing that you’re delivering your absolute best.

This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article above was originally published on The Muse.

More from The Muse:

Read next: Want to Keep Your Employees and Coworkers Happy? Say ‘Thank You’ Today

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TIME Apple

Apple Exec: Apple Watch Demand ‘Will Exceed Our Supply’

You'll only be able to buy an Apple Watch online

Apple expects consumer demand for the upcoming Apple Watch to “exceed our supply at launch,” Apple Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts said in a press release Thursday, one day before pre-orders for the new device begin.

Ahrendts went on to say that shoppers interested in the Apple Watch will at first only be able to place orders for the device online. Still, shoppers can schedule Apple Store appointments to get hands-on time with the Apple Watch before deciding to buy the device, which marks Apple’s first wholly new product under the tenure of CEO Tim Cook.

Via Apple:

Customers interested in learning more about Apple Watch can visit their local Apple Store for a personalized session with a Specialist to try on, fit and size their band, and explore the amazing features of Apple Watch. Customers who want to try on an Apple Watch are encouraged to make an appointment by going to www.apple.com.

Apple Watch preorders will begin at exactly 12:01 a.m. Pacific time Friday, the company says. Shoppers who pre-order an Apple Watch can expect to have their device shipped April 24.

TIME Careers & Workplace

3 Actions to Take to Get the Life You Deserve

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Andy Ryan—Getty Images

Create a community that you can be inspired by

Part of the appeal of being an entrepreneur is that you’re working every day toward a vision you feel passionate about. Sure, there are long days and plenty of tasks that may not be your favorite, but you’re doing work you love, or at least working toward a vision you love and believe in.

As you achieve more and more success, you’ll also have the flexibility to craft a business routine that meets your lifestyle needs. You’re not usually bound to a nine-to-five schedule or a cubicle — you’re free to arrange your day and your life as you see fit.

Related: Lewis Howes on the ‘Warrior’s Path’ to Greatness

If you want to transition from where you are, here are three powerful actions that will help take you to epic.

1. Know you deserve it

If you want to transition into an epic life, you have to have more than just a desire to get there, you need to know that you deserve it. There’s a big difference between wanting something and having an inner sense that you wholly, truly deserve the vision you’re working toward. Knowing your value runs deep into the core of all your activities and will motivate all your actions as an entrepreneur.

Marianne Williamson may have said it best when she declared, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Embrace your powerful, individual value and know you deserve this!

2. Take action

Thought without action is only an idea. Like Bruce Lee said, “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

Related: How to Develop a Laser-Like Focus on Building Your New Business

If you know you deserve an epic life, you have to take the action necessary to create it. What’s your big idea that you’re struggling to take action on right now? Maybe it’s something small. Start now and do something. A phone call, an email, a question put out to your community online or in person — there are plenty of small actions you can take to get unstuck, or to get the momentum to get started.

One great thing about being a part of an entrepreneurial community is your proximity to others who are taking big action and are there to support you. Try to tap into your community however you can to get momentum. When your actions fall in line with your value, you’re unstoppable.

3. Craft your community

Speaking of your community, what is the quality of the people you’re surrounding yourself with right now? Jim Rohn nailed this point perfectly when he explained, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That doesn’t mean the people you’d like to hang out around the most, it means you actually need to take stock of the people you’re hanging out with the most.

List or map those five people you spent the most time with during the past five days to really get an accurate view of who you’re around. There’s another important aspect of this that goes, you’re usually the average of your network, and your net worth is often directly associated with your network.

You need a community that you can be inspired by when you’re feeling discouraged. You don’t necessarily need to be in a community of rich people, but are you surrounding yourself with a community of those with rich ideas and characteristics? Really assess your network to leap frog yourself into epic faster.

Related: The Greatest Competitive Advantage Is How Hard You Work Before the Game Begins

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

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