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Samuel Duckett, Author at The Sampler - Page 6 of 7The Sampler
Lupe drops free Pharaoh Height Mixtape

It’s not all the time that we get some new Lupe Fiasco. Recently though, he decided to surprise us with a free mixtape via twitter.

While this may seem completely random, he had actually hinted back in June that we had a mixtape coming called Pharaoh Height 2/30, sounding a lot like a sequel to his killer mixtape trilogy Fahrenheiht 1/15. Check out the tracklist and stream below, let us know how you like it!

Lupe Fiasco – Pharaoh Height

Branson Interview: (5) Top Takeaways

It goes without saying that an interview with a high-profile figure can lend massive amounts of credibility to a website or publication, even if they gave up just 5 minutes of their time to answer a few questions.  You would never imagine that the interviews we read on a daily basis aren’t too far-fetched of a dream, even for a brand new blog.  When we heard the podcast “What I learnt From Interviewing Richard Branson” on Foundr, all we could say was wow…. seriously inspired.  Not only do we get to hear what valuable information Nathan Chan from Foundr got out of Branson, but Chan also divulges how to get one of these high-profile interviews and how game changing they actually are. To hear it, you can click on this link OR save yourself the time and read our five top takeaways below:


1. How impactful a big interview is:

-When establishing a publication, nailing a big interview like Richard Branson is undoubtedly, as Nathan puts it, a “game-changer”.  The likes of Branson’s face gracing your webpage with exclusive quotes in the article beneath is enough to further strengthen even the most established publication like Rolling Stone.  But Nathan proves that an up-and-coming blog still stands a chance at sinking a huge opportunity with a big name and ‘changing the game’ in the process.

-Not only will it have an immediate effect of increased publicity with your viewership, but nailing one of these big interviews will have a snowball effect for attracting other big interviews in the future.  The bigger the interview, the more credit your blog or website now has, and it will be that much easier to go to Elon Musk and say “yo, Richard Branson just spoke with us, what’s good?”.

2. How to get in touch with hard to reach people:

-Nathan gives a pretty fool-proof way to make it all the way to an interview with a high-profile person and it only requires persistence.  He suggests reaching out to the publisher or PR person of the man/woman you’re trying to interview.  Public figures often have an event or release or special occasion coming up that they could always use more press for.  By appealing to that desire it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship, and if you call up and state that you offer more press which will generate them more sales, you stand a good chance of sinking the interview. And if they do turn you down remember, “every no gets you closer to a yes”.

3. How important leadership is:

-The trouble with being a leader is that you need to balance having a connection with your staff and also having to make the tough decisions of firing them if/when it comes time to do so.  Richard Branson, with an estimated net worth of $5B` and owning over 400 companies (Forbes), can be safely trusted with some knowledge about leadership.  In Nathan’s interview, Richard lays down truly solid wisdom proclaiming that “a good leader brings out the best in people by listening to them, trusting them, believing in them, respecting them, and letting them have a go.”  When you give an employee responsibility, they take on the confidence to do more things, ultimately serving to expand and grow the company and allow you, as the leader, to focus on work that you actually care about.

4. Your first hires in a startup are extremely crucial:

-Another of Richard’s answers in the interview that Nathan refers to speaks on the important topic of first hires in a startup, namely how important it is that they are the right people for the job.  As Richard states it, bad hires could be a financially devastating decision to a startup company, but good hires can prove to tackle the jobs that you need taken care of so that you can focus on more speciality skills that allow you to grow the company, rather than have it stay running at the same pace.

5. Necessities before starting a business:

-Finally, Nathan divulges information that’s good to know even before you start establishing your business to make sure you start off on the right foot.  First and foremost, establish a strong brand.  The Virgin brand consists of high quality products/services, staying innovative in the market, and keeping an aspect of fun present at all times.  The second piece of advice is that when starting a business, your knowledge of the market you’re entering must be thorough.  You need to practically become an expert on the demographic you’re serving.  And lastly, create a high standard for the product or service you’re providing the people.  A company is destined to fail if their product or service isn’t high quality because the market expects the best and will decide with their wallets whether you get to stay in business or not.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t refine and improve your product or service after it hits the market, but it does mean to put your all into what you’re putting out.

5 Ways to Stop Embarrassing Yourself on LinkedIn

In 2015, it’s more important than ever to be conscious of your representation online.  When a job interview comes along, the potential employer is going to want to get a good sense of your experience, and the thought you put into your online presence.  It has gotten to the point where even having nothing posted is seen as suspicious.  So shout out to Entrepreneur.com for putting together the “5 Ways to Stop Embarrassing yourself on LinkedIn”!  There’s no doubt that we can all benefit at least a little bit from these suggestions. Check them out below:

1. Stop using unprofessional photos.

LinkedIn is not Facebook, Instagram or any typical social network. It’s a place to show your professional side, and that starts with your photo. A picture of you slamming beers won’t do; neither will a family reunion. You want a clean, professional headshot with a white or neutral background. If you don’t already have one, hire a professional photographer.

2. Stop forgetting to update your profile.

If a potential client looks you up on LinkedIn to find that your profile still says you work for your previous company, you’ve just made a poor first impression. Your profile is a living, real-time résumé that should be updated on a regular basis to reflect the current reality. It should also be consistent with your other public bios — especially the one on your company’s website. Always make sure to note every time you switch companies, earn a new job title or win major recognition.

3. Stop posting inappropriate updates.

Your passionate opinion about this week’s episode of The Bachelor may be appropriate for Facebook or Twitter, but it has absolutely no place on LinkedIn (unless you happen to be an entertainment journalist). Avoid posting personal or political opinions that could turn off potential employers, clients and vendors. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be yourself on LinkedIn; just be your professional self. If you wouldn’t say it in an office meeting, it definitely doesn’t belong on LinkedIn.

4. Stop being a narcissist.

Have you ever been at a dinner party with a person who can’t stop talking about himself? Don’t be that person. Too many people on LinkedIn are self-promotional peacocks. They post constant streams of updates and group comments that promote their company, their products, an upcoming event or an article they just wrote. No one wants to connect with someone who blatantly self-promotes all the time. And employers don’t want to hire people who seem to always put themselves before the team.

Instead, be genuine and constructive. Always think about how you can add value to your connections and your industry. Try linking to quotes and articles that represent your values and your brand. You can even repurpose content from other leaders who inspire you.

5. Stop neglecting LinkedIn.

LinkedIn isn’t just for job seekers; it’s a nearly limitless network of successfully employed individuals, and it’s a venue where you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.

Try to post one quote or image every week that reflects your personal and professional values. Also, check out LinkedIn Pulse, a great resource that’s helped me establish my expertise in performance marketing, affiliate marketing and online customer acquisition. In the past six months, more than 20 high-quality job candidates specifically mentioned that my LinkedIn posts inspired them to apply for a job with my company.

It’s time to start treating LinkedIn like the incredibly powerful platform it is. Your profile should make you look like a polished, professional, well-rounded and well-connected expert.

Need examples? Visit the profiles of Dharmesh Shah and Brigette Hyacinth to see how true networking masters built their identities. Take the time to fully understand every benefit this social network can provide, and hone your own profile to capitalize on those opportunities.

This is one of the most inspiring videos we’ve come across in a while, and it fits in perfectly with what we’re trying to do at The Sampler.  Is there something you want? Need? Dream about? Have you heard that the only limits in life are the ones you set for yourself? Think about it, if there were no limits, what you would reach for.  Waraire Boswell talks in this video from Crave Online’s INSPIRED Series about how he came to a point where he said enough was enough with the limitations he perceived in life. Out of necessity, he dreamt a better life and turned his inherent style into a business.  He started thinking logically and found a niche: tall people who need to look fresh. He decided he wanted to do it so he did it.  Tireless efforts of assembling the different cutters for the clothes he needed turned into a well-rounded business and because his market was underserved, his business grew. Now his life consists of living out a passion and reaping the rewards he earned.  Leave a comment of some type of passion you’d like to make a career out of in the comments and remember that once you type it out, you may not be able to get the thought out of your head.  I can tell you with certainty, whatever you’re dreaming is 100% possible.  Stay tuned to The Sampler for more from Waraire Boswell’s journey of success, as well as inspiring stories in general.  We certainly hope to connect with Mr. Boswell sometime soon.

Travi$ Scott reveals cover art and release date for Rodeo

Travi$ Scott is getting us closer and closer to being able to hear his new album in full.  In addition to the three songs he’s leaked off the album (3500Antidote, and Drunk), we now have the cover art (the action figure image above is expected to be for the standard version and the monster truck image will be for the deluxe version).  And word is the release date is just around the corner on September 4th.  Be sure to check back for the drop!

The POTUS drops two playlists. (Fire)
Big news from the White House this week. In a historic decision that will surely go down in history, on August 14, 2015 they joined Spotify. In the continued effort to adjust their reputation as the “last ones to the relevancy party”, The White House makes another move to appeal to American culture. We’re not mad at it though, especially because it appears that these playlists (Two of them! One for daytime and one for nighttime!) come from the Commander-In-Swag himself, President Barack Obama.  What a great day to be an American. Head over to the White House website to listen for yourself.
12 Influential People Share Their Morning Routine

Rising and shining. Can you think of two more attractive activities to an entrepreneur? We couldn’t. So we found this sick article on Business Insider that chronicles the morning routines of 12 highly influential people. Check out what they do at the start of their days so you can possibly adopt a new routine for yourself. They range from the absolutely normal daily dog-walks to the neurotic planning down to the minute but they all serve to inspire, energize and most importantly center their creators for the demanding day ahead. The common threads between the various routines include an emphasis on good health, sticking to it and making it thoroughly personal but you’ve got to head over to Business Insider for the details and find what speaks to you in the article.

Travi$ Scott – On My Vibe ft. MPA Duke

Travi$ Scott is still releasing tracks leading up to his LP premier, Rodeo. This heater will definitely keep you vibin’ while you wait for the full album.  Let us know how you’re feeling On My Vibe in the comments section below!

The Emergence of Expression in Singapore (VIDEO)

A couple quick facts about Singapore. One, graffiti will send you to jail, its pretty damn hard to find any anywhere. Two, the country itself has only known independence from England for a little over a generation. And three, it’s practically a dictatorship, meaning there is no freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, or freedom of press.  What you probably already knew about Singapore, which is why you were most likely going to watch this video in the first place, is that it also has one of the dopest skylines of any city in the world.  But dope skyline aside, the heart of this video lies in the fact that although the country goes to great lengths to control the minds of its citizens (I’m serious), these young Singaporean artists are choosing to speak out and be heard, specifically at an event called Art Stage Singapore. With Singapore’s next generation growing up, it will be an interesting time to watch the country’s people express themselves, whether it is welcomed by the government or not. Check this video out, which comes to us from a website called The Creators Project (in collaboration with Vice) and enjoy the inspiring narrative of why the human spirit can’t be silenced.

Travi$ Scott – Drunk ft Young Thug
Third up from Travi$ Scott’s pre-Rodeo Rodeo releases is a track simply titled Drunk.  It hits on a lot of levels, coming strong with some classic melancholy vibes.  I’d call it the best of the three tracks we’ve gotten from Rodeo so far, accompanied this time by none other than Young Thug.  Its strengths lie in the production, which is excellent, tweaked and boozed to perfection. A stumbling beat induces a swath of inebriated vibes, almost relaying a contact high off one play. Young Thug also laces us with a smooth cadence-heavy flow over the “Funeral by Band of Horses” reminiscent piano loop.  Turn it up and it enjoy the vibes while they last, because on sonic vibes alone, this song is a winner.