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7 Incredibly Powerful Motivational Tips For New Entrepreneurs

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7 Incredibly Powerful Motivation Tips For New Entrepreneurs

So you have a brilliant business idea and are all set to put in your papers at your day job so you can finally call yourself an entrepreneur. Excited?  I’m sure you are!

But what happens when the business building begins? When you clock hours longer than you did at your “job”? When you hear the word “no” so many times, it reminds you of when you were 4-years old and in grade school, and when the money that was to come pouring in remains a distant dream?

That feeling of excitement, the passion and energy begin to fade and the motivation to “make it” starts to slip away. I get it. As an entrepreneur for the last 7 years, I’ve seen it all. And if you’re starting out, you need to dose up on staying motivated and inspired, especially in those early days when it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed and disheartened.

Here are 7 insanely effective and powerful ways to keep your motivation levels high and keep your passion pumping all the time:

1. Surround yourself with people who get you

Who do you hang out with after you’re done with working on your business? Do they understand your work? Do they feel your passion? Can they be a sounding board? A supportive shoulder?

Surround yourself with people who understand what being an entrepreneur is all about. That is the power of a mastermind group. It can be just a few of you touching base every other day or a larger group for accountability and growth.

Whatever you’re trying to get from your mastermind groups, make sure that you have one and that they’re positive, supportive, inspiring.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey 

2. Read, watch or listen to something positive every day

We live in the information age and it’s easy to get bombarded with all sorts of messages. Newspapers, books, magazines, social media, blogs, TV shows, podcasts, the list goes on and on.

To stay motivated on a daily basis, make sure you take your “positive pills” or small doses of content that keep you inspired. Feed your mind positivity and you’ll feel positive and in control. Feed your mind negativity and you know how you’ll feel.

Whether it’s an article, a podcast, a blog post, a phone call with a friend, make sure that you have daily doses of positivity factored into your schedule.

 

3Keep your why front and center

It’s easy to feel disheartened when it seems no one, other than you, is interested in your business ideas. When such thoughts threaten to take over, remind yourself of your “why”.

Answer this question: What is the core reason behind your desire and passion to be an entrepreneur?

Dig deep and reconnect with what really made you want to put in those papers or pursue this passion. Keep that “why” front and center.

 

4. Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful and proven technique to keep motivation levels up. Looking for the good and being grateful for what we may take for granted helps entrepreneurs see what’s really working for them. Even when it seems nothing is.

Starting today, keep a simple notebook or journal and at the end of the day, write down 3 to 5 things that you’re grateful for. Review your journal whenever you feel the motivation levels dip. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll feel fired up and inspired.

 

5. Keep moving forward

There will be days when taking action will seem tough. When all you’ll want to do is curl up in the fetal position and bawl your head off. But I encourage you to step up and step forward. Baby steps are all that it takes.

Break down big goals into tiny actions and take one step at a time. Keep moving forward and you’ll never feel stuck in a rut again.

“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” – Napoleon Hill

6. Step away from the laptop

It’s tempting to hole up in your office and keep working away on your dream idea. One word of advice: Don’t. As someone who’s been there, I have to tell you, shutting down the laptop and heading outdoors is key to your mental and physical health.

Go outside. Take up a hobby. Power walk, run or do yoga. Meet people in real life. Travel. Read. You get the point, right? Do anything that doesn’t have you sitting in front of the laptop, all day long. Your brain and your body will thank you for it.

 

7. Dare yourself

Finally, motivation feeds on motivation. In other words, every now and then get the adrenalin pumping and dare yourself to take insanely scary actions. Want to reach out to that influencer or investor? Go ahead, introduce yourself.

Don’t let the little voice in your head hold you back. You’ll be amazed at how fired up you feel when you dare yourself to do something you’ve been dragging your feet on.

Are you an entrepreneur who’s just starting out? Which one of these 7 motivation tips will you be using right away? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Malik is the gourmet copywriter and community manager for time-starved entrepreneurs at Content Bistro. She loves crafting great content, reading good books and drinking gallons of coffee.  Find out what she’s writing or reading currently by following her on Facebook.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Shrika

    Jun 15, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    All the points are very motivating, to me points three and seven are the most important aspects. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nino Fisher

    May 18, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I’m just starting out. I constantly have emotional waves going through my gut. I get scared to
    touch a paper with my pan. I know that I just have to do it but my mind is constantly telling me, go ask more questions, go find more info to make sure you are doing the right thing.
    It’s easy to get distracted from doing your project with all this thoughts and emotions going on inside you.
    I try hard to focus on the end result, on where I want to see myself after realizing my dream, that helps me to make baby steps forward. I am new to all this, I’ve never owned a business. It takes guts, courage to take a risk building a business.
    I decided to be courageous and take risks until I will see the end result I so desire to see.
    I’ll keep my focus on what’s important and try hard to ignore distractive thoughts and emotions.

  3. Diane Hays

    Apr 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Wow this is empowering!!! Thank you so much! I wanted to comment and connect with you and tell you I’m thinking of reinventing my brand and starting a blog and this was just the little push I needed to stay on my path and start moving forward and stop being scared and holding myself back! Im kind of an introvert sometimes about my work because being an artist its venerable sharing what you make with the world and its opinions. This is my year to push though and take my business to the next level! Thank you so much! If you have any advice for my blog please feel free to connect with me on social media and email me your thoughts I would love to hear from you!
    Diane Hays

  4. Nihar Pradhan

    Jan 18, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Beautifully written Prerna, very crisp and indeed insightful thoughts. One thing that really changed me as an entrepreneur is being with people who have done it and seen it, people who are successful and people who are good at heart. It rubs on you. It changes your thinking. Yes, ultimately it is the gratitude in attitude that makes all the difference, success is incidental but gratitude and grace should be integral to our nature…

  5. Maxine Harris

    Jan 16, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Thank you so much for the tips! I am a full time mom and freelance web designer. To make it through, it is important to remember why I chose this route: to be more involved in life and family, and to make use of the flexibility for the greater good.

  6. Jim LaValley

    Jan 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    All great suggestions! I think that keeping your “WHY” right in front of you is spot on and that staying positive is a must. Thanks for the article.

  7. Jess | Make and Do Crew

    Jan 12, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Staying focused on your WHY is so important! I am trying to do more things that scare me this year. It’s sort of my little experiment. Like, if I tackle anything I’m scared of, what will happen? Only 2016 knows… 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiring read!

  8. Shruti

    Jan 12, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Love your tips Prerna! as a newbie entrepreneur, I am going through this phase and your tips are bang on! esp #1. I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t have my band of fellow entrepreneurs cheering me on. & #4 is what is really helping me stay motivated.

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 6:36 am

      Thanks so much Shruti! SO glad these tips resonated with you and awesome to see you putting them in action too!! Go YOU!

  9. Darci

    Jan 12, 2016 at 2:50 am

    I so needed to read this today. Being a new entrepreneur can be a lonely road,and I needed to be reminded of these tips. Thank you so much Prerna!

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 6:35 am

      You’re most welcome Darci! SO glad this came at the perfect time for you!! Much love!

  10. Prerna Malik

    Jan 12, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Thanks Charlene! You’re absolutely right. Motivation is fueled by motivation.. Excited about your week and your year!! All the best!!

  11. Stephen osoko

    Jan 12, 2016 at 12:30 am

    I’m starting to surround myself with people who get it to take our dreams to the next level!

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 1:52 am

      Hi Stephen! THAT is awesome! It is amazing to be inspired and encouraged as well as kept focused by those around us! All the very best for the road ahead!

  12. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jan 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Great tips! As an entrepreneur, you have to surround yourself around like-minded individuals in order to keep your dream alive when you are faced with insurmountable obstacles. I also like your reminder about connecting with the outside world. It’s so easy to get caught up in work that we forget about everything else. Last but not least, I thank you for sharing your bold call to action in tip #7. Motivation FEEDS on Motivation. Sometimes you have to get the adrenaline pumping and DARE yourself to take insanely BOLD actions that will catapult your success. This is exactly what I plan to do this week! Thanks Prerna!

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Entrepreneurs

4 Traits Successful Entrepreneurs Have in Common That Sets Them Apart From Everyone Else

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Entrepreneurs are currently in high demand in the world today. As the world progresses in population, there are basic necessities that are needed to curtail this growing population such as the creation of jobs and providing a means of livelihood to accommodate this growth.

An entrepreneur is mandated with the task of not just looking out for himself only, but also procuring ways (either by developing products or services) to ameliorate the standard of living of others. Anyone can be an entrepreneur, but being a successful one requires acquiring traits that are not otherwise common to the vast population of individuals in the world.

Some of the prevalent traits you can spot amongst successful entrepreneurs are listed below:

1. They are early risers

Scientists devised a concept which infer 8-hours of uninterrupted sleep as an optimal duration to attain a good night’s rest. Interestingly, the scientists who came up with this concept don’t follow such rule! You can’t sleep for a long stretch of hours and expect to attain a considerable high degree of success in your field.

A good sleep isn’t measured by quantity but by quality. You can sleep for 10 hours and still wake up feeling dizzy and miserable. It all depends on your state of mind at which the sleep was initiated. Successful entrepreneurs understand that attaining a high level of productivity is greatly influenced by how much you’re able to get done with the time you have at hand.

To get more time to themselves, successful entrepreneurs wake up early enough to use those hours in resolving tasks or planning their day. This gives them an edge in reducing their daily work load and accomplish their set goals on time.

2. They are not busy, they are productive

Most people conflict being busy as synonymous to being productive. This isn’t correct to a large extent as it’s possible to be busy and still not be productive. Being busy could portray not having enough time for yourself, but successful entrepreneurs know the more productive you are, the more spare time you’ll have.

Productivity is highly centred on your ability to distinguish between what’s important and needs more adequate attention from what’s not. Successful people are skilled in streamlining their schedule and placing more priorities to tasks and issues that are most paramount.

They don’t try to do everything on their own (this will make them too busy), so instead of multitasking, they hire people to perform jobs for them. This in turn increases efficient delivery and salvage more time for themselves to deal with other pressing issues.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

3. They don’t shy away from risks

Successful entrepreneurs are driven by passion filled with purpose. Following this direction often requires you to take certain actions that may not be comfortable to accommodate reasoning and approval from people. This is one trait that is prevalent amongst the vast number of entrepreneurs- the tendency to trust your guts and instincts even if it violates logic.

Nothing great can be achieved from the position of comfort. Successful entrepreneurs understand this and are willing to stretch their boundaries and embrace chances to do what’s necessary rather than what is convenient.

4. They accommodate their mistakes and failures

Every successful entrepreneur has been through a series of mistakes, failures, pain and disappointments. But their unrelenting persistence in not choosing to bail out sets them apart from a generation that have been indoctrinated to prefer security rather than freedom.

As Mark Zuckerberg said, “the greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.” Learning from failures and mistakes is an invaluable skill that successful entrepreneurs have harnessed over the years which has contributed to their vast level of experience and expertise in their various field.

“Entrepreneurs know that you are not going to learn anything unless you make a mistake.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Becoming successful in business or any chosen career doesn’t come cheap. The world will certainly test your passion, dedication, persistence and patience and still won’t hand success over to you. You have to make a demand and take it for yourself by not giving up because you can’t see the end of the tunnel, and not taking failure or disappointment personally. All of these obstacles are only part of the journey.

How do you fight every day for your dreams to become a reality? Please let us know by commenting below!
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5 Powerful Confessions From Entrepreneurs Who Never Went to College

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How important is college education for most of us? Can an entrepreneur become successful without a college diploma? Let’s see what secrets remarkable entrepreneurs may reveal to us about the way they survived without college.

Looking back at the experience we gather from the most powerful and famous business people, there’s more often a plus rather than a minus in becoming successful without a college degree.

1. Abraham Lincoln

“All I have learned,I learned from books.” – Abraham Lincoln

One of the 8 U.S. presidents who started as entrepreneurs and the only one who received a patent, Abraham Lincoln never went to college. In fact, he was not the only U.S. president who didn’t do it. 7 more presidents didn’t attend college as well.

One of the most striking confessions is that he valued books more than anything else that can educate. Proving that books were his teachers, Abraham Lincoln also acknowledged that his best friend would be a person who could give him a book he hadn’t read before.

No wonder, every entrepreneur with self-respect should read books. Abraham Lincoln proved that self-education is, actually, what makes us more powerful than we are. The 16th president of the United States invented a tool to lift riverboats over sandbars without a diploma as an evidence of his smartness.

2. Walt Disney

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” –  Walt Disney

The father of Mickey Mouse, the first animated feature film in the world, and Disneyland founder, Walt Disney considered books as a treasure as well. However, because of his inattentiveness and constant drawing, Disney dropped out of high school.

Thus, his stronger motivator was failure. Working on Snow White, one of his most successful projects, Walt lost nearly everything, ran out of money, and almost went down the drain. But that was one of the lessons that helped him become the king of cartoons.

3. Richard Branson

“The best way of learning about anything is by doing.” – Richard Branson

A risk-taker with over a $4 billion fortune and the founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson left school at the age of 16 to start his first business – Student magazine. Despite the fact, that he faced dyslexia during his school years, he managed to take a chance in his hands and do what he wanted.

Although, Richard says he has no secrets to hide, he still confesses that he works hard, smart and does it with fun. The power of doing is a secret ingredient to success, according to Branson.

4. Milton Hershey

“My experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know, but because of their insatiable need to know more.” – Milton S. Hershey

The founder of the Hershey Chocolate Corporation and a philanthropist, Milton Hershey changed 6 schools, because his family moved very often and, eventually, he left school after the 4th grade to become an apprentice to a printer. Later, he found his passion in candy making.

His idea about business success is not in knowledge, but in the desire to know. Motivation and curiosity can lead you to the unknown realms and open them with ease, if you are ready to experience changes. The only question is to what extend your need is insatiable.

5. Coco Chanel

“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel

Being taught sewing by nuns, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the only fashion designer to have been put on the 100 most influential people of the 20th century Time magazine’s list, never went to college. Her daring ambitions gave her strength to become one of the most successful designers in the world.

According to her words, the secret of success isn’t in knowing. Quite the opposite – it’s in unawareness. Virtually, it’s unknowing of the fact that failure is a must-be in business. And here’s when fear comes next after you think of a possible fiasco. Without knowing, there’s no fear. Consequently, you’re not afraid to stumble and fall, because you do not know it’s initially programmed.

What unites all these outstanding entrepreneurs? Except for the absence of a college degree? It’s the ability to acknowledge what actually ruled their success. And that’s not college education. Educators, professors and teachers who strive to make college education more proactive and productive can never substitute the inner power of a budding entrepreneur.

Have you met any entrepreneurs who never needed a college degree to become what they are now? Share your experience in the comments.
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How to Lead a Virtual Team: 6 Essential Tips You Need to Know

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The rules have changed. You don’t need an office. You don’t need investors. You DO NOT need permission!

Today, anyone with a good idea (and an addiction for success) can start their own business. Within a matter of months you can build a six-figure business. It takes dedication and commitment, as you already know, but another vital ingredient many forget about in the beginning (I know I did) is to involve others.

You cannot do ‘this’ on your own. You need a team, but once again the rules have changed. You don’t need an office. You don’t need local people you ‘see’ each day.  There’s a new kid in town.

Introducing Your Virtual Team:

Virtual assistants… freelancers… location independent workers… there’s an entire generation who don’t wish to play by yesterday’s rules. The likes of Buffer and Infinitus have built seven-figure companies with no headquaters. Big name entrepreneurs like Michael Hyatt are building teams with no boundaries. The opportunities for a go-getting success seeker like you are vast.

But, building your virtual team is dangerous. There are many pitfalls to building a virtual team. Lucky for you and me there are MANY people to learn from. People who have been there and done it, and who offer advice so you don’t have to make the same mistakes they have. I’ve asked a selection of experts who know all about the right and wrong way to build a successful virtual team. This is what they say:

1. Chris Ducker: Create your 3 lists to freedom

“To save yourself time and money, create a list of: things you hate doing everyday, things you can’t do yourself, and things you shouldn’t be doing. This creates a blueprint of what your virtual team should work on, and allows you to effectively manage it.”

As founder of ‘Virtual Staff Finder’, Chris Ducker has helped entrepreneurs lead a balanced lifestyle for many years. What his ‘3 lists to freedom’ offers is your starting point, because it forces you to consider all the tasks you do (and could do), and hone in on what you should do. From there you can ensure your virtual team grows in a way that will save you time and make you money.

2. Erlend Bakke: Insist on a daily update

“My best tip is the daily update. This is what I ask them to send me: enter date and hours worked in total. What they did today. Two challenges encountered. Three questions they have for me. I have my three CEOs send me this update on a daily basis. It has saved me many hours over the past six years.”

This tip from the founder Mr Outsource, Erlend Bakke, is gold. You build a team to save yourself time, so the last thing you want is to chase updates, or have your team inundate you with questions. Instead, insist they update you each day with these key details. This allows you to stay in the loop, make necessary changes, and to do so without wasting your precious time.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan

3. Erin Blaskie: Create a solid backup plan

Create solid back up plans for if the worst case scenario were to happen. I had grown my own company to over 70 clients, and leaned on a few sub-contractors to help fill in the gaps. While this was great for clients to have that one-stop shop, it left me in a precarious situation when my lead web designer disappeared suddenly.”

As one of the early pioneers of virtual assistants, Erin Blaskie has seen the highs and lows of building a virtual team. A key component is to think how you can scale your operations at all times, and not rely on one (or a few) single person.

4. Kimanzi Constable: You shouldn’t let anyone have complete access to every part of your business

“Make sure you understand what you’ll give your virtual assistant access to and what you should give them access to. You shouldn’t let anyone have complete access to every part of your business.”

As a lifestyle entrepreneur and globetrotting consultant, Kimanzi Constable has built an ever-growing virtual team over the last few years. But he raises a good point, because you need to consider who has access to what in your business; and why. Failure here can have grand consequence, as Kimanzi found when one of his VA’s did the dirty.

5. Natalie Sisson: Share your business vision with your VA

Share your business vision with your VA, as it gets them on board with the bigger picture of why they do what they do. It also gives them ownership over their role, as they know what we’re trying to achieve as a team.”

After over a decade of travelling the world, Natalie Sisson built her Suitcase Entrepreneur community with the help of a virtual team. As she says, it’s important to help your team appreciate WHY they do what they do. Your aim isn’t to build a team, it’s to create a culture.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie

6. Ari Meisel: Make the experience as rich as possible

Embrace asynchronous communication such as slack, and video messaging with Fika. Make the experience as rich as possible for people who are not in the same room as you.”

As an outsourcing advocate for many years, Ari Meisel built Get Leverage to provide his clients the virtual assistance they need. He appreciates the importance of communication, especially when you’re communicating with people in different rooms, countries, and continents.

There are an array of tools to communicate face-to-face these days, so don’t only speak to your virtual team over email. Involve them. Speak with them. Create an experience that leaves them feeling valued and part of a “real” team (not a virtual one).

The possibilities are endless for today’s success-seeking entrepreneur. A virtual team provides you the freedom you desire and the opportunity to grow. But there’s a right and wrong way to build one. After reading this post, I hope you understand how the best-of-the-best build theirs.

What are some of the ways you have built a great team for your business? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make During Their First Year

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Would you consider selling 500+ million books a success? Of course you would, and it takes a rather creative and smart individual to achieve it.

JK Rowling is one of the most successful and celebrated authors of all time, but before her Harry Potter series grew into a global phenomenon, 12 publishers rejected her. Even the world’s most successful people fail. They make mistakes and suffer setbacks.

Such adversity never ends, not even when you reach the top. But it’s during your early stages when you suffer the most, because you only know what you know.  However, what if I told you there was a way to avoid many of the mistakes most people make. What if there was a way to avoid all that heartache, so you can fast-track yourself to the front of the line.  There is, and it isn’t as hard as you might imagine.

The smartest thing any new entrepreneur can do is to learn from other people. Why make your own mistakes when you can learn from other peoples’? Why suffer, when they have already created a solution to turn such failure into success?

This is what I did when I interviewed 160+ successful people for my latest book, ‘The Successful Mistake’. I dove into their biggest mistakes so you don’t have to make them.

Stop trying to do everything on your own. Nobody built an empire on their own. You need to involve others, and you need to build a team. Erin Blaskie tried to do it all by herself when she first created her virtual assistant business.

She found success. She had happy clients who loved her work. Yet it soon became too much, and the once high-standard that set her apart began to slip. Those clients jumped ship, and it left Erin exhausted. You cannot do this on your own. You need help. Don’t fight this, embrace it.

How To Fix This:

Think about all the tasks you do during an average week, and choose ONE to outsource. Over the next few days, find a VA who can do this work for you. Hire them next week. Start the process and never look back.

It’s easy to say yes. Saying yes feels good. On the outside, yes is a good word, because yes means more work and money. But the truth is, yes brings nothing but danger.

When Greg Hickman first started his business, him and his co-founder said yes to everyone. After all, their mobile marketing agency could potentially help any business, so they said yes to a restaurant… a bar… a barber… a golf course… and anyone else they could get a meeting with. Yes felt good, but ‘yes’ built zero traction. They tried to help too many people, and in the end helped nobody.

How To Fix This:

If you don’t have a customer avatar, you need to create one. This ‘single’ person is who you serve. Say yes to them, but no to everyone else (no matter how tempting it is).

Mistakes happen. Sometimes they are your fault. Sometimes they are not. No matter, there’s little point in playing the blame game. Brian Foley did when he first created BuddyTruk, and it remains one of his biggest ever regrets.

Despite a lot of investment, time, and effort, the first iteration of their innovative app fell short in every area. Brian and his cofounders were angry at the developers. They expected better, and they blamed them for this failure. But as they dove a little deeper, they realised there was more to the story. This failure arose, not down to incompetence, but due to poor communication.  Blame didn’t come up with a solution, but facing the issue head-on did.

How To Fix This:

The next time something bad happens, don’t blame anyone (especially yourself). Accept the mistake. Seek lessons from it. Communicate with your team. And then move on.

Fear is a part of life. Everyone has it, and no amount of money or fame removes it. But those at the top never let fear do their talking. Whereas those at the beginning of their journey often do. Debbie Millman did when she graduated college. She had dreams and ambitions, but she feared she wasn’t good enough; that the sensible option would be to get a job, climb the ladder, and do what ‘most’ people do.

She built a great CV and career, but Debbie continues to look back and wonder what she could have created if she pushed her fear to one side.

How To Fix This:

Do something that scares you today. Like Noah Kagan does, go to a coffee shop and ask for a 20% discount. The more you face your fear, the easier it is to overcome it.

 

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15 Myths About Personal Development & How to Leverage Them

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Self-development is a cool trend, and modern culture has even created a cult around personal development. It is so powerful that we accept its doctrines without any analysis because we get soaked into its promises of becoming “better people” that we unconsciously decide to spend our money on those promises. However, many of these tips and suggestions are somehow thrown to us without additional information on how to actually leverage them. (more…)

Zoe Carter, ESL teacher, skillful blogger and essay tutor at SuperiorPapers.com. I am always in search for new ideas in online advertising, search engine optimization and business writing.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Shrika

    Jun 15, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    All the points are very motivating, to me points three and seven are the most important aspects. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nino Fisher

    May 18, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I’m just starting out. I constantly have emotional waves going through my gut. I get scared to
    touch a paper with my pan. I know that I just have to do it but my mind is constantly telling me, go ask more questions, go find more info to make sure you are doing the right thing.
    It’s easy to get distracted from doing your project with all this thoughts and emotions going on inside you.
    I try hard to focus on the end result, on where I want to see myself after realizing my dream, that helps me to make baby steps forward. I am new to all this, I’ve never owned a business. It takes guts, courage to take a risk building a business.
    I decided to be courageous and take risks until I will see the end result I so desire to see.
    I’ll keep my focus on what’s important and try hard to ignore distractive thoughts and emotions.

  3. Diane Hays

    Apr 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Wow this is empowering!!! Thank you so much! I wanted to comment and connect with you and tell you I’m thinking of reinventing my brand and starting a blog and this was just the little push I needed to stay on my path and start moving forward and stop being scared and holding myself back! Im kind of an introvert sometimes about my work because being an artist its venerable sharing what you make with the world and its opinions. This is my year to push though and take my business to the next level! Thank you so much! If you have any advice for my blog please feel free to connect with me on social media and email me your thoughts I would love to hear from you!
    Diane Hays

  4. Nihar Pradhan

    Jan 18, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Beautifully written Prerna, very crisp and indeed insightful thoughts. One thing that really changed me as an entrepreneur is being with people who have done it and seen it, people who are successful and people who are good at heart. It rubs on you. It changes your thinking. Yes, ultimately it is the gratitude in attitude that makes all the difference, success is incidental but gratitude and grace should be integral to our nature…

  5. Maxine Harris

    Jan 16, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Thank you so much for the tips! I am a full time mom and freelance web designer. To make it through, it is important to remember why I chose this route: to be more involved in life and family, and to make use of the flexibility for the greater good.

  6. Jim LaValley

    Jan 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    All great suggestions! I think that keeping your “WHY” right in front of you is spot on and that staying positive is a must. Thanks for the article.

  7. Jess | Make and Do Crew

    Jan 12, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Staying focused on your WHY is so important! I am trying to do more things that scare me this year. It’s sort of my little experiment. Like, if I tackle anything I’m scared of, what will happen? Only 2016 knows… 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiring read!

  8. Shruti

    Jan 12, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Love your tips Prerna! as a newbie entrepreneur, I am going through this phase and your tips are bang on! esp #1. I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t have my band of fellow entrepreneurs cheering me on. & #4 is what is really helping me stay motivated.

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 6:36 am

      Thanks so much Shruti! SO glad these tips resonated with you and awesome to see you putting them in action too!! Go YOU!

  9. Darci

    Jan 12, 2016 at 2:50 am

    I so needed to read this today. Being a new entrepreneur can be a lonely road,and I needed to be reminded of these tips. Thank you so much Prerna!

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 6:35 am

      You’re most welcome Darci! SO glad this came at the perfect time for you!! Much love!

  10. Prerna Malik

    Jan 12, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Thanks Charlene! You’re absolutely right. Motivation is fueled by motivation.. Excited about your week and your year!! All the best!!

  11. Stephen osoko

    Jan 12, 2016 at 12:30 am

    I’m starting to surround myself with people who get it to take our dreams to the next level!

    • Prerna Malik

      Jan 12, 2016 at 1:52 am

      Hi Stephen! THAT is awesome! It is amazing to be inspired and encouraged as well as kept focused by those around us! All the very best for the road ahead!

  12. Charlene Rhinehart

    Jan 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Great tips! As an entrepreneur, you have to surround yourself around like-minded individuals in order to keep your dream alive when you are faced with insurmountable obstacles. I also like your reminder about connecting with the outside world. It’s so easy to get caught up in work that we forget about everything else. Last but not least, I thank you for sharing your bold call to action in tip #7. Motivation FEEDS on Motivation. Sometimes you have to get the adrenaline pumping and DARE yourself to take insanely BOLD actions that will catapult your success. This is exactly what I plan to do this week! Thanks Prerna!

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Entrepreneurs

4 Traits Successful Entrepreneurs Have in Common That Sets Them Apart From Everyone Else

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Entrepreneurs are currently in high demand in the world today. As the world progresses in population, there are basic necessities that are needed to curtail this growing population such as the creation of jobs and providing a means of livelihood to accommodate this growth.

An entrepreneur is mandated with the task of not just looking out for himself only, but also procuring ways (either by developing products or services) to ameliorate the standard of living of others. Anyone can be an entrepreneur, but being a successful one requires acquiring traits that are not otherwise common to the vast population of individuals in the world.

Some of the prevalent traits you can spot amongst successful entrepreneurs are listed below:

1. They are early risers

Scientists devised a concept which infer 8-hours of uninterrupted sleep as an optimal duration to attain a good night’s rest. Interestingly, the scientists who came up with this concept don’t follow such rule! You can’t sleep for a long stretch of hours and expect to attain a considerable high degree of success in your field.

A good sleep isn’t measured by quantity but by quality. You can sleep for 10 hours and still wake up feeling dizzy and miserable. It all depends on your state of mind at which the sleep was initiated. Successful entrepreneurs understand that attaining a high level of productivity is greatly influenced by how much you’re able to get done with the time you have at hand.

To get more time to themselves, successful entrepreneurs wake up early enough to use those hours in resolving tasks or planning their day. This gives them an edge in reducing their daily work load and accomplish their set goals on time.

2. They are not busy, they are productive

Most people conflict being busy as synonymous to being productive. This isn’t correct to a large extent as it’s possible to be busy and still not be productive. Being busy could portray not having enough time for yourself, but successful entrepreneurs know the more productive you are, the more spare time you’ll have.

Productivity is highly centred on your ability to distinguish between what’s important and needs more adequate attention from what’s not. Successful people are skilled in streamlining their schedule and placing more priorities to tasks and issues that are most paramount.

They don’t try to do everything on their own (this will make them too busy), so instead of multitasking, they hire people to perform jobs for them. This in turn increases efficient delivery and salvage more time for themselves to deal with other pressing issues.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

3. They don’t shy away from risks

Successful entrepreneurs are driven by passion filled with purpose. Following this direction often requires you to take certain actions that may not be comfortable to accommodate reasoning and approval from people. This is one trait that is prevalent amongst the vast number of entrepreneurs- the tendency to trust your guts and instincts even if it violates logic.

Nothing great can be achieved from the position of comfort. Successful entrepreneurs understand this and are willing to stretch their boundaries and embrace chances to do what’s necessary rather than what is convenient.

4. They accommodate their mistakes and failures

Every successful entrepreneur has been through a series of mistakes, failures, pain and disappointments. But their unrelenting persistence in not choosing to bail out sets them apart from a generation that have been indoctrinated to prefer security rather than freedom.

As Mark Zuckerberg said, “the greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.” Learning from failures and mistakes is an invaluable skill that successful entrepreneurs have harnessed over the years which has contributed to their vast level of experience and expertise in their various field.

“Entrepreneurs know that you are not going to learn anything unless you make a mistake.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Becoming successful in business or any chosen career doesn’t come cheap. The world will certainly test your passion, dedication, persistence and patience and still won’t hand success over to you. You have to make a demand and take it for yourself by not giving up because you can’t see the end of the tunnel, and not taking failure or disappointment personally. All of these obstacles are only part of the journey.

How do you fight every day for your dreams to become a reality? Please let us know by commenting below!
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Entrepreneurs

5 Powerful Confessions From Entrepreneurs Who Never Went to College

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How important is college education for most of us? Can an entrepreneur become successful without a college diploma? Let’s see what secrets remarkable entrepreneurs may reveal to us about the way they survived without college.

Looking back at the experience we gather from the most powerful and famous business people, there’s more often a plus rather than a minus in becoming successful without a college degree.

1. Abraham Lincoln

“All I have learned,I learned from books.” – Abraham Lincoln

One of the 8 U.S. presidents who started as entrepreneurs and the only one who received a patent, Abraham Lincoln never went to college. In fact, he was not the only U.S. president who didn’t do it. 7 more presidents didn’t attend college as well.

One of the most striking confessions is that he valued books more than anything else that can educate. Proving that books were his teachers, Abraham Lincoln also acknowledged that his best friend would be a person who could give him a book he hadn’t read before.

No wonder, every entrepreneur with self-respect should read books. Abraham Lincoln proved that self-education is, actually, what makes us more powerful than we are. The 16th president of the United States invented a tool to lift riverboats over sandbars without a diploma as an evidence of his smartness.

2. Walt Disney

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” –  Walt Disney

The father of Mickey Mouse, the first animated feature film in the world, and Disneyland founder, Walt Disney considered books as a treasure as well. However, because of his inattentiveness and constant drawing, Disney dropped out of high school.

Thus, his stronger motivator was failure. Working on Snow White, one of his most successful projects, Walt lost nearly everything, ran out of money, and almost went down the drain. But that was one of the lessons that helped him become the king of cartoons.

3. Richard Branson

“The best way of learning about anything is by doing.” – Richard Branson

A risk-taker with over a $4 billion fortune and the founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson left school at the age of 16 to start his first business – Student magazine. Despite the fact, that he faced dyslexia during his school years, he managed to take a chance in his hands and do what he wanted.

Although, Richard says he has no secrets to hide, he still confesses that he works hard, smart and does it with fun. The power of doing is a secret ingredient to success, according to Branson.

4. Milton Hershey

“My experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know, but because of their insatiable need to know more.” – Milton S. Hershey

The founder of the Hershey Chocolate Corporation and a philanthropist, Milton Hershey changed 6 schools, because his family moved very often and, eventually, he left school after the 4th grade to become an apprentice to a printer. Later, he found his passion in candy making.

His idea about business success is not in knowledge, but in the desire to know. Motivation and curiosity can lead you to the unknown realms and open them with ease, if you are ready to experience changes. The only question is to what extend your need is insatiable.

5. Coco Chanel

“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel

Being taught sewing by nuns, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the only fashion designer to have been put on the 100 most influential people of the 20th century Time magazine’s list, never went to college. Her daring ambitions gave her strength to become one of the most successful designers in the world.

According to her words, the secret of success isn’t in knowing. Quite the opposite – it’s in unawareness. Virtually, it’s unknowing of the fact that failure is a must-be in business. And here’s when fear comes next after you think of a possible fiasco. Without knowing, there’s no fear. Consequently, you’re not afraid to stumble and fall, because you do not know it’s initially programmed.

What unites all these outstanding entrepreneurs? Except for the absence of a college degree? It’s the ability to acknowledge what actually ruled their success. And that’s not college education. Educators, professors and teachers who strive to make college education more proactive and productive can never substitute the inner power of a budding entrepreneur.

Have you met any entrepreneurs who never needed a college degree to become what they are now? Share your experience in the comments.
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How to Lead a Virtual Team: 6 Essential Tips You Need to Know

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The rules have changed. You don’t need an office. You don’t need investors. You DO NOT need permission!

Today, anyone with a good idea (and an addiction for success) can start their own business. Within a matter of months you can build a six-figure business. It takes dedication and commitment, as you already know, but another vital ingredient many forget about in the beginning (I know I did) is to involve others.

You cannot do ‘this’ on your own. You need a team, but once again the rules have changed. You don’t need an office. You don’t need local people you ‘see’ each day.  There’s a new kid in town.

Introducing Your Virtual Team:

Virtual assistants… freelancers… location independent workers… there’s an entire generation who don’t wish to play by yesterday’s rules. The likes of Buffer and Infinitus have built seven-figure companies with no headquaters. Big name entrepreneurs like Michael Hyatt are building teams with no boundaries. The opportunities for a go-getting success seeker like you are vast.

But, building your virtual team is dangerous. There are many pitfalls to building a virtual team. Lucky for you and me there are MANY people to learn from. People who have been there and done it, and who offer advice so you don’t have to make the same mistakes they have. I’ve asked a selection of experts who know all about the right and wrong way to build a successful virtual team. This is what they say:

1. Chris Ducker: Create your 3 lists to freedom

“To save yourself time and money, create a list of: things you hate doing everyday, things you can’t do yourself, and things you shouldn’t be doing. This creates a blueprint of what your virtual team should work on, and allows you to effectively manage it.”

As founder of ‘Virtual Staff Finder’, Chris Ducker has helped entrepreneurs lead a balanced lifestyle for many years. What his ‘3 lists to freedom’ offers is your starting point, because it forces you to consider all the tasks you do (and could do), and hone in on what you should do. From there you can ensure your virtual team grows in a way that will save you time and make you money.

2. Erlend Bakke: Insist on a daily update

“My best tip is the daily update. This is what I ask them to send me: enter date and hours worked in total. What they did today. Two challenges encountered. Three questions they have for me. I have my three CEOs send me this update on a daily basis. It has saved me many hours over the past six years.”

This tip from the founder Mr Outsource, Erlend Bakke, is gold. You build a team to save yourself time, so the last thing you want is to chase updates, or have your team inundate you with questions. Instead, insist they update you each day with these key details. This allows you to stay in the loop, make necessary changes, and to do so without wasting your precious time.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan

3. Erin Blaskie: Create a solid backup plan

Create solid back up plans for if the worst case scenario were to happen. I had grown my own company to over 70 clients, and leaned on a few sub-contractors to help fill in the gaps. While this was great for clients to have that one-stop shop, it left me in a precarious situation when my lead web designer disappeared suddenly.”

As one of the early pioneers of virtual assistants, Erin Blaskie has seen the highs and lows of building a virtual team. A key component is to think how you can scale your operations at all times, and not rely on one (or a few) single person.

4. Kimanzi Constable: You shouldn’t let anyone have complete access to every part of your business

“Make sure you understand what you’ll give your virtual assistant access to and what you should give them access to. You shouldn’t let anyone have complete access to every part of your business.”

As a lifestyle entrepreneur and globetrotting consultant, Kimanzi Constable has built an ever-growing virtual team over the last few years. But he raises a good point, because you need to consider who has access to what in your business; and why. Failure here can have grand consequence, as Kimanzi found when one of his VA’s did the dirty.

5. Natalie Sisson: Share your business vision with your VA

Share your business vision with your VA, as it gets them on board with the bigger picture of why they do what they do. It also gives them ownership over their role, as they know what we’re trying to achieve as a team.”

After over a decade of travelling the world, Natalie Sisson built her Suitcase Entrepreneur community with the help of a virtual team. As she says, it’s important to help your team appreciate WHY they do what they do. Your aim isn’t to build a team, it’s to create a culture.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie

6. Ari Meisel: Make the experience as rich as possible

Embrace asynchronous communication such as slack, and video messaging with Fika. Make the experience as rich as possible for people who are not in the same room as you.”

As an outsourcing advocate for many years, Ari Meisel built Get Leverage to provide his clients the virtual assistance they need. He appreciates the importance of communication, especially when you’re communicating with people in different rooms, countries, and continents.

There are an array of tools to communicate face-to-face these days, so don’t only speak to your virtual team over email. Involve them. Speak with them. Create an experience that leaves them feeling valued and part of a “real” team (not a virtual one).

The possibilities are endless for today’s success-seeking entrepreneur. A virtual team provides you the freedom you desire and the opportunity to grow. But there’s a right and wrong way to build one. After reading this post, I hope you understand how the best-of-the-best build theirs.

What are some of the ways you have built a great team for your business? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Entrepreneurs

5 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make During Their First Year

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Would you consider selling 500+ million books a success? Of course you would, and it takes a rather creative and smart individual to achieve it.

JK Rowling is one of the most successful and celebrated authors of all time, but before her Harry Potter series grew into a global phenomenon, 12 publishers rejected her. Even the world’s most successful people fail. They make mistakes and suffer setbacks.

Such adversity never ends, not even when you reach the top. But it’s during your early stages when you suffer the most, because you only know what you know.  However, what if I told you there was a way to avoid many of the mistakes most people make. What if there was a way to avoid all that heartache, so you can fast-track yourself to the front of the line.  There is, and it isn’t as hard as you might imagine.

The smartest thing any new entrepreneur can do is to learn from other people. Why make your own mistakes when you can learn from other peoples’? Why suffer, when they have already created a solution to turn such failure into success?

This is what I did when I interviewed 160+ successful people for my latest book, ‘The Successful Mistake’. I dove into their biggest mistakes so you don’t have to make them.

Stop trying to do everything on your own. Nobody built an empire on their own. You need to involve others, and you need to build a team. Erin Blaskie tried to do it all by herself when she first created her virtual assistant business.

She found success. She had happy clients who loved her work. Yet it soon became too much, and the once high-standard that set her apart began to slip. Those clients jumped ship, and it left Erin exhausted. You cannot do this on your own. You need help. Don’t fight this, embrace it.

How To Fix This:

Think about all the tasks you do during an average week, and choose ONE to outsource. Over the next few days, find a VA who can do this work for you. Hire them next week. Start the process and never look back.

It’s easy to say yes. Saying yes feels good. On the outside, yes is a good word, because yes means more work and money. But the truth is, yes brings nothing but danger.

When Greg Hickman first started his business, him and his co-founder said yes to everyone. After all, their mobile marketing agency could potentially help any business, so they said yes to a restaurant… a bar… a barber… a golf course… and anyone else they could get a meeting with. Yes felt good, but ‘yes’ built zero traction. They tried to help too many people, and in the end helped nobody.

How To Fix This:

If you don’t have a customer avatar, you need to create one. This ‘single’ person is who you serve. Say yes to them, but no to everyone else (no matter how tempting it is).

Mistakes happen. Sometimes they are your fault. Sometimes they are not. No matter, there’s little point in playing the blame game. Brian Foley did when he first created BuddyTruk, and it remains one of his biggest ever regrets.

Despite a lot of investment, time, and effort, the first iteration of their innovative app fell short in every area. Brian and his cofounders were angry at the developers. They expected better, and they blamed them for this failure. But as they dove a little deeper, they realised there was more to the story. This failure arose, not down to incompetence, but due to poor communication.  Blame didn’t come up with a solution, but facing the issue head-on did.

How To Fix This:

The next time something bad happens, don’t blame anyone (especially yourself). Accept the mistake. Seek lessons from it. Communicate with your team. And then move on.

Fear is a part of life. Everyone has it, and no amount of money or fame removes it. But those at the top never let fear do their talking. Whereas those at the beginning of their journey often do. Debbie Millman did when she graduated college. She had dreams and ambitions, but she feared she wasn’t good enough; that the sensible option would be to get a job, climb the ladder, and do what ‘most’ people do.

She built a great CV and career, but Debbie continues to look back and wonder what she could have created if she pushed her fear to one side.

How To Fix This:

Do something that scares you today. Like Noah Kagan does, go to a coffee shop and ask for a 20% discount. The more you face your fear, the easier it is to overcome it.

 

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