How Richard P. Blankenship Created Substantial Net Worth for Himself Using His Network
Richard P Blankenship is the Cofounder and CRO of the fledgling Consumer Tech company Prizeout, a New York-based fin-tech company that raised 4.5 million in series A funding this summer. Many people may be hesitant to see a 29-year-old at such a high position in this arena, given that he started his entrepreneurial career in many different sectors- ranging from real estate, menswear, as well as sales for poker gaming. The successful partnership Blankenship has formed with Prizeout is symbolic of his prioritization of relationship building that has led to his success. Blankenship believes that every fruitful endeavor in his career was shared with his closest peers.
Blankenship has a robust portfolio that included some of the fastest-growing startups in the world, all of which were created through Blankenship’s extensive network. A prime example is Steve Borelli, a close friend and member of the same fraternity during Blankenship’s college days at San Diego State University. Borelli was the founder of a menswear brand called CUTS clothing, the company was expanding quickly and needed capital for inventory in order to cover a large number of orders. Borelli phoned Blankenship for help, and the two immediately struck up a deal, Blankenship wired him funds and became the first and only investor of the company. CUTS became an instant hit, with substantial growth after Blankenship jumped on board, as the company was able to prosper given the increasing demand for direct to consumer men’s fashion.
Blankenship was working as Chief Revenue Officer for Poker Central, the world’s largest poker media company when he met fellow serial entrepreneur, David Metz. The two met for dinner and Metz told Blankenship about Prize out. At the time, Metz was also CEO of a trivia app called Fleetwit, Blankenship and Metz spent about three months trying to get a deal done between Poker Central and Fleetwit. During their negotiation over the advertising and sponsorship deal, Metz brought up an idea for a fin-tech startup company which turned out to be Prize out. Blankenship immediately jumped on this opportunity, as he had consistent back and forth discussions with gaming executives who were looking to find more efficient payment solutions. Metz and Blankenship had formed a friendship over the course of their business relationship, so there was complete trust on Blankenship’s end. The deal was done on a handshake and Blankenship sent Metz the seed capital for Prizeout the following week.
Blankenship had strikingly similar success with Prizeout, as he did with his previous ventures in collaboration with his fellow entrepreneur friends, which later became partners. He joined the company in a full-time capacity after he had provided seed money, and was able to sign the biggest gaming companies as partners for Prizeout before the company closed its 4.5 million series A this summer. Blankenship attributes his path to success to his network of fellow friends and entrepreneurs, as he knows what they are capable of. He is always grateful to be reached out to for help as his friends believe in him, just like he believes in them- which has to lead to numerous prosperous ventures, like Prize out.
The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business
Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).
Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.
According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.
There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include:
Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.
Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.
Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.
Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.
Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.
A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.
Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.
And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.
Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.
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