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Here’s Why Taking Time Off Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur

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how to become a better entrepreneur

You’ve heard the saying, “make hay while the sun shines”, right?  It means that you should work as hard as you can, for as long as you can while the money is still on offer.  It makes some sense but workaholics and entrepreneurs who feel they have to keep pedalling hard to keep their business afloat, comfort themselves with this saying when, for the longest time they’ve not been able to spend any kind of time at home with the family, invest some serious recuperation time in themselves or even take a vacation.

Let’s take a closer look at that last one. A 2015 survey conducted by financial software provider Xero found almost a quarter of small business owners haven’t taken a vacation in two years.

So if you’re an entrepreneur who has been wanting to take a well deserved break or vacation (possibly the first in a long time) I’ve got a game changing business strategy for you.

Grab a big 12 month calendar and map out all the vacations you want to take, aim for 8-12 weeks. Schedule all of the below:

  • the overseas trip
  • the local trips
  • the school breaks
  • the summer beach camping trips
  • the long weekends that coincide with a public holiday
  • the long weekends that don’t coincide with a public holiday (come on you are a business owner after all!)
  • the birthday celebrations
  • the weddings
  • personal and professional development courses
  • business planning weekends – working ON your business, not IN
Why vacations and traveling is good for business

This is an inspirational process that will do wonders for you as a business owner. Most people plan out their vacations around their work. They hope there will be some spare time and money leftover for more trips each year.

But the problem is, there never seems to be enough time or money leftover! And sadly another year goes by with no time for play. The successful business people I know plan their work around their vacations, and I too have been doing it for the last 12 years.

Plan the year ahead by scheduling at least 8-12 weeks of holiday time. Work out where you want to go. Work out how much you need to save. And then reverse engineer your business to fund the lifestyle you want to live.

“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.” – Doe Zantamata

Here are 4 reasons why it is important to plan out your holidays:

1. You are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel

The business journey is tough at times, long days, late nights, weekends. You’re almost always ‘ON’. Knowing there is some downtime on the horizon can do wonders for your subconscious and allows you to focus intensely on the task at hand.

2. Creates a good work life balance

Your family and friends will know when they can enjoy some good quality time out with you. If they know there is a good 10 weeks of planned down time, they won’t worry so much if you have to work late or work through a weekend here and there.

3. Gives you time to think

I have my best ideas when on vacation! I’m a big picture type thinker and getting out of the office (and sometimes the country) gives me some precious time to THINK BIG, THINK LONG TERM, THINK RADICAL IMPACT.

4. They ensure you have deadlines

Have you ever noticed how much you get done the week before, you’re about to take 2 weeks off? You somehow move mountains so you can switch off and enjoy the trip. You find a way to make it happen. That’s the power of putting vacations first.

Since my first real overseas trip at the end of year 12, I’ve been able to:

  • Salsa in the streets of Cuba
  • Find spiritual sanctuary with the sharmans of India
  • Volunteer in remote communities in Mexico, Brazil & Africa
  • Follow Carnival street processions in Rio De Janeiro
  • Eat the freshest sushi in the fish markets of Japan
  • Snorkel the Blue Hole in Belize
  • Ride elephants through the jungle in Sri Lanka
  • Endure nude Sauna in Sweden
  • Speak at an International Conference in Maui, Hawaii
  • Sip the finest Madeira Wine in Portugal
  • Get Bali Belly, Delhi Belly & Port Moresby Belly…
  • Follow the ancient INCA trail to Machu Picchu
  • Scoff pizza and beer in New York

I did all of this while building a successful investment portfolio and multiple businesses. In fact, it was those priceless experiences that fueled my own entrepreneur journey, and I’m confident that TRAVEL will do the same for you.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” – Anne Lamott

I truly believe it when they say, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” But how do business owners fund their Big Goals – like 8 to 12 weeks a year holiday? They get Cashed Up.

Here’s the process:

  1. Put Your Profit First – A percentage of every dollar that comes in, goes first into a separate bank account called your ‘profit war chest’.
  2. Every quarter, 50% of your Profit War Chest goes to –
    • 50% to Building a nest egg – I invest in cashflow producing assets like Shares, Property (Residential & Commercial) & Precious metals.
    • 50% Spreading your wings – You CAN drive that new car, enjoy regular holidays, eat out, drink that nice bottle of wine etc.
  3. Enjoy the holiday. Recharge. Open your eyes to the world. Be present with your family.
  4. Build a better business. Going on vacation leaves room for your team to make decisions and helps you see the gaps in your business systems and where the business still depends on YOU. Fix it.
Now I’m curious, where are you planning on going in the next 12 months? Share your travel plans in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Harvee Pene is the co-founder of award winning accounting firm INSPIRE and co-author of the book Get Cashed Up, the 7 step method to pull more money, time and happiness from your business.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jeanette Metz

    Jun 13, 2017 at 4:00 am

    It is difficult for business owners to accept the idea that time away is actually good for your business. You work so hard getting something started and then you feel like if you leave, something might fall apart while you are away. I have seen some of the best ideas come from people who are taking time off away from work because they can get out of the work routine and think differently when they are not dealing with the daily tasks of work.

  2. Andrea Torti

    Jun 11, 2017 at 9:03 am

    It might sound like a paradox, but it isn’t – even holidays and traveling are important to boost your productivity: you can get a completely new perspective on problems and solutions 🙂

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entrepreneurs

Case in Point: Creativity Is a Good Drug for Entrepreneurs

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In today’s era, the production and exportation of varied products to international markets are growing bigger, all thanks to the excessive industrialization and globalization that enfold multiple industries. It makes it easy for people to access products whenever and wherever. As for consumers, they now have access to different kinds of products in different types and quality ranges.

To such a great extent, what should an entrepreneur like you, do in a market bombarded with a myriad of products? How will you supply and manufacture a product in markets filled with so many choices to choose from and with consumers who already have their trusted preferences?

A creative mind can answer all of these questions. Creativity aids you on how to ameliorate your existing business practices. A brand might be popular among the consumers and well-established, but there will always be room for improvements and corporate lessons for them. The power of creativity will help you come up with unique ideas and deliver innovation into existing practices.

So, What’s In it For Entrepreneurs?

There’s a lot of people who correlate creativity with self-expression and a product of inadequate restraint which may have the ability to bring chaos. Leadership, on the other hand, is all about control and order. It’s probably the reason why most people perceive entrepreneurship and creativity as a fickle combination.

If you’re one of those entrepreneurs who think that it only takes number-crunching and practicality skills to run a business successfully, you better think again! Take heed that creative thinking is a significant factor in good business acumen. The absence of creativity may lead or put your business in a stagnant mode.

In fact, the study conducted by Adobe and Forrester Consulting reveals that 82% of companies in the U.S believe that there’s a strong connection between business results and creativity. Furthermore, companies who actively advocate for creativity perform better than their competitor regarding competitive leadership, market share and revenue growth.

Still doubtful? The following 5 reasons explain why creativity is a good drug for entrepreneurs:

1. It Cultivates Innovation

When you conjure something and attach your name to it, you want to assure that it doesn’t only justify the expectations of customers, but also outdo them. You need to be careful and guarantee your product or service will be useful.

While it’s difficult to see this from the beginning, things will get clear once the sequential steps unfold and the idea is starting to materialize. It is the phase where you’ll realize the difference between innovation and invention.

A unique idea is an invention itself, but a unique and serviceable idea is an innovation. If you want to innovate, you need to look at the same thing differently and be creative. All of these will help you combine usefulness into a unique idea.

2. It Leads to High Success Rate

We always carry the belief that we’ll survive different life battles through intelligent thinking. But it’s not until we grow old when we realize although intelligence is a crucial quality, we need to possess creativity also as a necessity.

However, one sad fact remains – most businesses and educational institutes still put more weight on intelligence in comparison to creativity. Perhaps, it could be because intelligence is easier to manage and measure, while the latter is hard to spot.

There’s good news though. The trends are changing, and many companies finally discern that they need creative people to grow their empire.

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

3. It Encourages People to Think

We’re now living in a world where creative problem solving is becoming one of the best ways to alleviate organizational issues. Creative problem solving works best when you have a highly-focused and disciplined ways of thinking.

Humans by nature have two modes of thinking, namely: convergent and divergent. We can either do one or both modes.

Convergent thinking is a highly analytical mode and aims to conjure a precise solution for a particular problem. The best examples of convergent mediums are computer systems, mathematical and accounting software and other data sources that yield accurate results.

On the other hand, divergent thinking is a mode that develops creativity through considering different possible solutions for the same problem. To make sure that your company gets the best resolution, you need to incorporate both modes of thinking by giving attention to divergent pathways.

4. It Harnesses An Employee’s Potential

Organizations can only utilize half of their employees’ potential if they don’t encourage them to be creative. It’s just fortunate that employees now realize there’s a well of creative ideas and information that are untapped and dormant at all levels.

Tapping these resources may involve a complex process such as solving performance-related issues, creating new financial strategies, enhancing processes, making them more profitable and efficient, or innovating to stay on top of the competition.

5. It Can Be Developed

Although most people believe that creativity is innate, many see creativity as a renewable resource that you can learn and tap anytime. All of us are born with a thought process and creative potential which can develop and reinforce as we grow.

For instance, learning new skills or inculcating new hobbies is an excellent way to test and hone your inherent creative skills. It’s also an efficient way to teach your mind to think in such a way that leads to creative thinking.

“There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you’re good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills. Kindle is an example of working backward.” – Jeff Bezos

Gone are the days where entrepreneurs need to analyze and make decisions according to hard facts only. The most progressive leaders don’t just settle down on hiring creative people for their team, they also train to make themselves creative and harness more usefulness and novelty in their ideas. Hopefully, the reasons above are enough factors for you to give more emphasis to this aspect of entrepreneurship and upgrade your prospects and business acumen.

What makes you creative? Share with us some stories below as we want to hear them!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How to Build an Unstoppable Mindset According to These 5 Popular Entrepreneurs

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If you ask any of the top entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur for that matter, they’ll tell you that the one quality you need to become successful is mental toughness. Becoming mentally tough is probably something you’ve already heard about before in your life. It’s something that seems easy, yet most people take it granted. They’d rather think about it than become it.

There’s a difference between thinking that you’re mentally tough and living mentally tough day in and day out.  Mental toughness will only get harder as you advance as an entrepreneur. There’s never an escape and either you’ll become a shield or it’ll knock you down and you won’t ever be able to recover.

When you think about the tough challenges in front of you today, they’ll seem super easy to overcome a year from now. But that only happens if you become mentally tough. You know you need to become mentally tough by now, yet it’s not enough to know without application of the process.

How exactly do you become mentally tough in your life? These 5 entrepreneurs and performance coaches share exactly what it takes to become mentally tough in your life:

1. Tony Robbins

According to Tony Robbins, becoming mentally stronger is like lifting weights. Over time, you will become stronger. No one starts off in the gym with an amazing physique because it happens over time.

However, becoming mentally stronger is more than just becoming stronger. It’s linking your pain and pleasure together. If you feel more pain than pleasure, you won’t perform an action. But if you derive pleasure from a certain action, then you’ll take action. The more action you take, the more mentally tough you’ll become.

Most people try to avoid pain. They’d rather live an average life than take risks which could bring them more pleasure. When you try to avoid pain, you’re not becoming mentally tough.

You need to stop and think about what’s stopping you from taking action? It’s almost always because you believe when you take that action you’ll receive more pain than pleasure. Your goal should be to take action even if there’s pain associated with that action, because that is how you become mentally stronger.

How do you think about procrastination? You’re giving up your mental freedom. You’re giving into pleasure because you only procrastinate when you want to avoid pain.

2. Grant Cardone

According to Grant Cardone, becoming mentally tough starts with having courage. Each and everyone one of us has the courage to live the best life possible but the majority of us don’t want to take advantage of it. Much like Robbins, we’d rather play it safe than absorb more pain in our life.

You already have courage. Because courage comes from the heart. It’s an innate instinct. If something was happening to your loved one, you’d get the courage real quick to rectify that situation. It’s there, you just have to harness the power on your own.

When you become mentally tough, you’re giving yourself the ability to risk it all. What happens if it doesn’t work out? Then you learn from it! It’s that simple, you don’t have to over-complicate it.

Do something today in spite of the fear you feel. Ask out that girl you’ve been thinking about or make the tough call you’ve been putting off. It’s these seemingly small actions you take each day that will allow you to become more mentally tough in your life.

As you continue to take more risks, you will be proud to be alive. You weren’t put here to live an average life. You were put here to take massive risks and live life to the fullest.

“Approach every situation with a whatever-it-takes-mindset.” – Grant Cardone

3. Eric Thomas

According to Eric Thomas, becoming mentally tough starts with not getting comfortable. Once you become comfortable in your life, you’re no longer going to go after your dreams. You’ll feel content with where you are and won’t want to push further. Your goal should be to improve each day, even if it’s only a small amount.

You must believe wholeheartedly in your dreams. Thomas said that he never talks to anyone before 1pm who aren’t 120% all in on their dreams. This allows you to get unnecessary negativity out of your life. There are millions of people who want to become successful but aren’t, why? Because they didn’t give everything to achieve their dreams.

To become more mentally tough in your life, it starts with changing your routine. If you can get up each morning at the same time, including weekends, you will become mentally tougher, it’s a given. I recommend checking out the book, Miracle Morning. This book is a great start to creating a morning routine for yourself.

The last thing Thomas said is where you put your focus, energy flows. If you think you can’t do something, then you’ll never be able to. But if you put your focus on achieving a desired outcome and will stop at nothing to achieve that outcome, then you’ll eventually achieve it.

4. Ben Newman

According to Ben Newman, becoming mentally tough starts with changing how you think. Ben has worked with numerous athletes and can attest on first hand that they can’t rely solely on their talents. Having talent can only take you so far.

To change the way you think starts with re-framing your mindset. If you’re up against a competitor whether in business or in sports, are you going to give up even if they’ve always been better than you? You shouldn’t because that’s what losers do.

Being from New England, it breaks my heart, but do you think the 2007 New York Giants thought that they couldn’t beat the Patriots even though they already lost previously in the season? They didn’t; they were mentally ready and didn’t count themselves out, no matter the opponent.

Start to focus on solutions instead of problems. People complain all the time but aren’t willing to find a solution. Why? Because it’s easier to complain than find a solution. If you want to become mentally tough, you can’t be like most people. You need to become a rare breed. You must be someone who no matter how much adversity they face will continue to take on the fight.

“The best way to reclaim your dignity is to act rationally and treat yourself lovingly. Do not self-destruct.” – Ben Newman

5. Patrick Bet-David

According to Patrick Bet-David, becoming mentally tough starts with taming the voices inside your head. All of us, it doesn’t matter who you are, each have good and bad voices inside of us. To become mentally tough, you need to block out the bad voice. When you can sense it arising inside of you, you need to push through. That’s the only way you will defeat that negative voice.

Bet-David would say that each of us needs a purpose. When you don’t have a purpose, there’s no chance of you becoming mentally tough. You’ll give into every day temptations and call it quits when you could’ve kept pushing. Developing mental toughness means you push yourself further than even what you thought was possible.

The last piece of advice Bet-David had was to think about how you’ll feel if you don’t go after your dreams? Will you be happy twenty years from now knowing you didn’t follow your dreams? It’ll be quite the contrary. You have the option and choices each day to determine how your life will be and mental toughness will help guide you.

Mental toughness is the essential quality in those who are successful and unsuccessful. Due to this, tell us how you develop this unstoppable mindset? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Reasons Your Business Is Failing and How to Relight the Fire Under You

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Are you stuck in a rut with your business or your life? Are you wondering what could be causing this feeling of being stuck? It’s so common for people in this day and age to feel comfortable, and stop pushing themselves, so how do we jumpstart our lives and get moving again?

Here are 5 steps to help light a fire under you, and get you moving towards your goals again:

1. Lack of Vision

Before you started your business, it was just an idea, a thought in your head that seemed impossible. As you put time and effort into this idea, it was within reach, and now you have it. But what happens next? You made it to where you wanted to and now there is nowhere else to go. This is not true though because although you have reached your vision, it doesn’t mean you can’t think even bigger.

A lot of businesses stop growing because the people who run them don’t know what to do after they reach their goals. Instead of being happy you reached your goal, set new ones. Think bigger until your company has reached a level that you are comfortable leaving and letting someone else run it.

2. Lack of Why

Do you remember why you started your company? If not, how do you think you can keep your company moving forward? Start by thinking back to when you first started your business and try to remember why you wanted to start. Now that you have your original reasons for starting the company, check off how many of those you fulfilled and how many you can still work on.

Now think with everything that your business has given you, what do you want your business to stand for moving forward? Do you want your company to make you money, make a difference, or change the world? Whatever you want your company to be doing, as long as you have a reason for keeping your company going.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Byrne

3. No Accountability

Do you have a ton of good ideas but can never follow through? Perhaps, you aren’t being held accountable! You need to follow through with what you say. If you continuously say you are going to expand your business, network, or even something as small as getting employees lunch and don’t do it, no one is going to trust your word. If people can’t trust your word, how can they trust your business to get the job done? Start by getting an accountability buddy, coach, or even setting consequences for yourself.

4. Low Standards

People can have low standards in almost everything; places to live, relationships, and even business. If you can’t hold your product, customer service, and reputation to a certain standard, people won’t want to work with you or buy your products. Why would you want to go somewhere, or work with someone, who doesn’t hold themselves to a standard that reflects their work ethic?  

Having low standards can be a symptom of a lack of vision as well. When you can’t imagine what you want your business to look like, how can you hold yourself to a higher standard? So We can hold ourselves to a higher standard by knowing what our time is worth and realizing how much we are investing into a product or client.

If you are spending an hour on something, will your hour be worth 10 dollars or 100? How much effort you put into that specific project will reflect how much you get out of it thus as you understand the value of your time, your standards will rise.

5. No Passion or Pain

What pushes your business?  Are you driven by your passion, or are you being pushed by the pain or pressure? When we are put under pressure, it is amazing what people can do, and when people are passionate about something, many put as much as they can into what they are working on.

Yet, when we start to get comfortable or start to lose the passion we once had, we start to stand still. We begin to not move forward, so why would our business move forward?

Reigniting your passion can be tricky. Try and remember what gave you the initial push to start your passion, and consider what you are passionate about now. Putting the pressure on is as simple as setting a goal, calling up your accountability buddy and setting real consequences for yourself.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

Will you let your business sit stagnant any longer, or will you reinvent your vision, find a why, hold yourself accountable, raise your standards, and reignite your passions? Getting your business and your life to move forward is something that you have to put effort into every day. If you want to succeed, you will have to keep pushing yourself and move forward every day.

How do you push yourself in tough times? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Commandments You Need to Follow to Build Your Freelance Business

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For all the freelancers reading this article right now, there are some steps to success you can take to create a profitable freelance company for yourself.

Being a freelancer comes with many perks. You get to enjoy the freedom of working from home all while setting your own schedule. You also get to pick your own clients and choose your desired rate of pay. Freelancing is a beautiful thing, especially when you’re the go-to expert in your industry.

While some freelancers can expect a feast or famine type of business model – where you’re making great money one month and not so great the next – there are certain tasks you should take upon yourself to ensure your success each month.

If you want to build your freelance business, these are the 5 commandments you should be focused on:

1. Acquire Testimonials After Every Job

What’s your most important job? It’s the one where your last customer was so happy they told people about you. Knowing this, each job should be equally important in your business. When you perform outstanding work for a client, don’t be shy, ask for a testimonial.

Have a page set up on your website where they can tell the world how great you are. If you don’t have a page specifically set up for this, you can grab these testimonials in different ways.

You already know testimonials are an important aspect of your business. However, what you may not know is how powerful word of mouth is for your company. A study done in 2014 revealed an astounding 75% of freelance jobs comes from word of mouth.

Your client has colleagues and friends they can share your greatness with. Every successful freelancer will glean these testimonials from their clients and make sure to refer their friends and co-workers back to their business.

2. Be Available As Much As Possible

You want to get the jobs you want? Be there when they come available. Aside from word of mouth and grabbing jobs from the people you know, you can also create expertise about yourself in freelance platforms like Upwork, oDesk, Freelancer, and others like this.

There are always places to go to find jobs online. Not only should you be available for more work to fill your time with, you should also remember the clients you still have and make yourself available for their needs as well. It’s important to keep your current clients happy and when they need you for a rush job, make sure you are there for them.

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf

3. Be a Communication Machine

Not only should you make yourself available, you should also make yourself accessible. It’s no fun for your clients to have to track you down in order to get an update or ask for more work to be done.

Nathan Hirsch, co-founder and CEO of the FreeeUp freelancer hiring marketplace, says one of the reasons most freelancers lose jobs is because the freelancer was nowhere to be found. It’s important to remember to share every contact detail you have with your clients so you both can work well together.

Successful freelancers have these tools in their portfolio:

  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Skype
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Slack
  • Asana
  • ClearVoice

With a mix of communication tools at your disposal, even if you’re away from your desk, your client should still be able to get your attention within the span of 30 minutes or less.

4. Extend Your Expertise Through Others

While most freelancers are happy with keeping busy with the clients they have, freelancers who want to build their businesses will take advantage of every talent they come across.

For example, you may be an expert in the social marketing industry, but you keep getting stray clients from the search engine optimization industry. Just because you don’t have the expertise to complete the job doesn’t mean you have to send them away since you can use other freelancers. This is where contracting work comes into play and it can help your overall reach in your business.

Over time, you will come into contact with other freelancers who have multiple talents you do not have yourself. When a job comes your way in which you have no experience in, reach out to someone who does and split the profits.

While this is a whole different ball game for freelancers to pursue, it can become very lucrative if you understand what to do. First, build a community of freelance experts. You can do this easily by setting up a Facebook group. I personally set up a freelance writing group on Facebook and, in the span of 2 months, have added 3,000+ new writers into the space. Here we discuss best strategies, recommend our friends for freelance jobs, and make each other better through discussion.

5. Stay On Track With Taxes

I know this isn’t something you want to think about at the moment, but in April it will come up again. It’s relevant to have something in place to help you regulate the money which you have acquired over the past year with your freelance business.

99designs explains how the government will be taking a percentage of your income out in taxes. In order to prepare for this, they have wisely suggested putting back your governmental portion each month in a savings.

You have to run your freelance operations like a business. While taking care of taxes and fees aren’t something you dream of doing, it is something you need to adjust for because the time will come to pay the piper and you must be prepared.

Take some time and research other tax preparations for freelancers so you won’t be caught with any surprises at the end of the year. In fact, this part plays a huge role in building your freelance company. You want to be able to have a working budget after the government takes their part.

Are You Ready?

In order to create a profitable freelance business you need to be able to stand on the foundational principles of those freelancers who have gone before you and succeeded. This, and your own creativity and imagination can push you towards your goals of success. Don’t fall trap to the “always famine” idea of a freelancer by using these 5 commandments to nurture your business model.

What are some ways you have built your business? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Important Facts You Need to Know About Motivation

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Whether you are trying to lead a team of employees, teach a child, or even get through your own workday, staying motivated is key. Nonetheless, this isn’t always as easy as waking up and deciding to be motivated. (more…)

Kurtis Brase is a professional journalist. Now, she works at EssayPro as a writer and editor.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jeanette Metz

    Jun 13, 2017 at 4:00 am

    It is difficult for business owners to accept the idea that time away is actually good for your business. You work so hard getting something started and then you feel like if you leave, something might fall apart while you are away. I have seen some of the best ideas come from people who are taking time off away from work because they can get out of the work routine and think differently when they are not dealing with the daily tasks of work.

  2. Andrea Torti

    Jun 11, 2017 at 9:03 am

    It might sound like a paradox, but it isn’t – even holidays and traveling are important to boost your productivity: you can get a completely new perspective on problems and solutions 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entrepreneurs

Case in Point: Creativity Is a Good Drug for Entrepreneurs

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on

creativity

In today’s era, the production and exportation of varied products to international markets are growing bigger, all thanks to the excessive industrialization and globalization that enfold multiple industries. It makes it easy for people to access products whenever and wherever. As for consumers, they now have access to different kinds of products in different types and quality ranges.

To such a great extent, what should an entrepreneur like you, do in a market bombarded with a myriad of products? How will you supply and manufacture a product in markets filled with so many choices to choose from and with consumers who already have their trusted preferences?

A creative mind can answer all of these questions. Creativity aids you on how to ameliorate your existing business practices. A brand might be popular among the consumers and well-established, but there will always be room for improvements and corporate lessons for them. The power of creativity will help you come up with unique ideas and deliver innovation into existing practices.

So, What’s In it For Entrepreneurs?

There’s a lot of people who correlate creativity with self-expression and a product of inadequate restraint which may have the ability to bring chaos. Leadership, on the other hand, is all about control and order. It’s probably the reason why most people perceive entrepreneurship and creativity as a fickle combination.

If you’re one of those entrepreneurs who think that it only takes number-crunching and practicality skills to run a business successfully, you better think again! Take heed that creative thinking is a significant factor in good business acumen. The absence of creativity may lead or put your business in a stagnant mode.

In fact, the study conducted by Adobe and Forrester Consulting reveals that 82% of companies in the U.S believe that there’s a strong connection between business results and creativity. Furthermore, companies who actively advocate for creativity perform better than their competitor regarding competitive leadership, market share and revenue growth.

Still doubtful? The following 5 reasons explain why creativity is a good drug for entrepreneurs:

1. It Cultivates Innovation

When you conjure something and attach your name to it, you want to assure that it doesn’t only justify the expectations of customers, but also outdo them. You need to be careful and guarantee your product or service will be useful.

While it’s difficult to see this from the beginning, things will get clear once the sequential steps unfold and the idea is starting to materialize. It is the phase where you’ll realize the difference between innovation and invention.

A unique idea is an invention itself, but a unique and serviceable idea is an innovation. If you want to innovate, you need to look at the same thing differently and be creative. All of these will help you combine usefulness into a unique idea.

2. It Leads to High Success Rate

We always carry the belief that we’ll survive different life battles through intelligent thinking. But it’s not until we grow old when we realize although intelligence is a crucial quality, we need to possess creativity also as a necessity.

However, one sad fact remains – most businesses and educational institutes still put more weight on intelligence in comparison to creativity. Perhaps, it could be because intelligence is easier to manage and measure, while the latter is hard to spot.

There’s good news though. The trends are changing, and many companies finally discern that they need creative people to grow their empire.

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

3. It Encourages People to Think

We’re now living in a world where creative problem solving is becoming one of the best ways to alleviate organizational issues. Creative problem solving works best when you have a highly-focused and disciplined ways of thinking.

Humans by nature have two modes of thinking, namely: convergent and divergent. We can either do one or both modes.

Convergent thinking is a highly analytical mode and aims to conjure a precise solution for a particular problem. The best examples of convergent mediums are computer systems, mathematical and accounting software and other data sources that yield accurate results.

On the other hand, divergent thinking is a mode that develops creativity through considering different possible solutions for the same problem. To make sure that your company gets the best resolution, you need to incorporate both modes of thinking by giving attention to divergent pathways.

4. It Harnesses An Employee’s Potential

Organizations can only utilize half of their employees’ potential if they don’t encourage them to be creative. It’s just fortunate that employees now realize there’s a well of creative ideas and information that are untapped and dormant at all levels.

Tapping these resources may involve a complex process such as solving performance-related issues, creating new financial strategies, enhancing processes, making them more profitable and efficient, or innovating to stay on top of the competition.

5. It Can Be Developed

Although most people believe that creativity is innate, many see creativity as a renewable resource that you can learn and tap anytime. All of us are born with a thought process and creative potential which can develop and reinforce as we grow.

For instance, learning new skills or inculcating new hobbies is an excellent way to test and hone your inherent creative skills. It’s also an efficient way to teach your mind to think in such a way that leads to creative thinking.

“There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you’re good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backward, even if it requires learning new skills. Kindle is an example of working backward.” – Jeff Bezos

Gone are the days where entrepreneurs need to analyze and make decisions according to hard facts only. The most progressive leaders don’t just settle down on hiring creative people for their team, they also train to make themselves creative and harness more usefulness and novelty in their ideas. Hopefully, the reasons above are enough factors for you to give more emphasis to this aspect of entrepreneurship and upgrade your prospects and business acumen.

What makes you creative? Share with us some stories below as we want to hear them!

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How to Build an Unstoppable Mindset According to These 5 Popular Entrepreneurs

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If you ask any of the top entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur for that matter, they’ll tell you that the one quality you need to become successful is mental toughness. Becoming mentally tough is probably something you’ve already heard about before in your life. It’s something that seems easy, yet most people take it granted. They’d rather think about it than become it.

There’s a difference between thinking that you’re mentally tough and living mentally tough day in and day out.  Mental toughness will only get harder as you advance as an entrepreneur. There’s never an escape and either you’ll become a shield or it’ll knock you down and you won’t ever be able to recover.

When you think about the tough challenges in front of you today, they’ll seem super easy to overcome a year from now. But that only happens if you become mentally tough. You know you need to become mentally tough by now, yet it’s not enough to know without application of the process.

How exactly do you become mentally tough in your life? These 5 entrepreneurs and performance coaches share exactly what it takes to become mentally tough in your life:

1. Tony Robbins

According to Tony Robbins, becoming mentally stronger is like lifting weights. Over time, you will become stronger. No one starts off in the gym with an amazing physique because it happens over time.

However, becoming mentally stronger is more than just becoming stronger. It’s linking your pain and pleasure together. If you feel more pain than pleasure, you won’t perform an action. But if you derive pleasure from a certain action, then you’ll take action. The more action you take, the more mentally tough you’ll become.

Most people try to avoid pain. They’d rather live an average life than take risks which could bring them more pleasure. When you try to avoid pain, you’re not becoming mentally tough.

You need to stop and think about what’s stopping you from taking action? It’s almost always because you believe when you take that action you’ll receive more pain than pleasure. Your goal should be to take action even if there’s pain associated with that action, because that is how you become mentally stronger.

How do you think about procrastination? You’re giving up your mental freedom. You’re giving into pleasure because you only procrastinate when you want to avoid pain.

2. Grant Cardone

According to Grant Cardone, becoming mentally tough starts with having courage. Each and everyone one of us has the courage to live the best life possible but the majority of us don’t want to take advantage of it. Much like Robbins, we’d rather play it safe than absorb more pain in our life.

You already have courage. Because courage comes from the heart. It’s an innate instinct. If something was happening to your loved one, you’d get the courage real quick to rectify that situation. It’s there, you just have to harness the power on your own.

When you become mentally tough, you’re giving yourself the ability to risk it all. What happens if it doesn’t work out? Then you learn from it! It’s that simple, you don’t have to over-complicate it.

Do something today in spite of the fear you feel. Ask out that girl you’ve been thinking about or make the tough call you’ve been putting off. It’s these seemingly small actions you take each day that will allow you to become more mentally tough in your life.

As you continue to take more risks, you will be proud to be alive. You weren’t put here to live an average life. You were put here to take massive risks and live life to the fullest.

“Approach every situation with a whatever-it-takes-mindset.” – Grant Cardone

3. Eric Thomas

According to Eric Thomas, becoming mentally tough starts with not getting comfortable. Once you become comfortable in your life, you’re no longer going to go after your dreams. You’ll feel content with where you are and won’t want to push further. Your goal should be to improve each day, even if it’s only a small amount.

You must believe wholeheartedly in your dreams. Thomas said that he never talks to anyone before 1pm who aren’t 120% all in on their dreams. This allows you to get unnecessary negativity out of your life. There are millions of people who want to become successful but aren’t, why? Because they didn’t give everything to achieve their dreams.

To become more mentally tough in your life, it starts with changing your routine. If you can get up each morning at the same time, including weekends, you will become mentally tougher, it’s a given. I recommend checking out the book, Miracle Morning. This book is a great start to creating a morning routine for yourself.

The last thing Thomas said is where you put your focus, energy flows. If you think you can’t do something, then you’ll never be able to. But if you put your focus on achieving a desired outcome and will stop at nothing to achieve that outcome, then you’ll eventually achieve it.

4. Ben Newman

According to Ben Newman, becoming mentally tough starts with changing how you think. Ben has worked with numerous athletes and can attest on first hand that they can’t rely solely on their talents. Having talent can only take you so far.

To change the way you think starts with re-framing your mindset. If you’re up against a competitor whether in business or in sports, are you going to give up even if they’ve always been better than you? You shouldn’t because that’s what losers do.

Being from New England, it breaks my heart, but do you think the 2007 New York Giants thought that they couldn’t beat the Patriots even though they already lost previously in the season? They didn’t; they were mentally ready and didn’t count themselves out, no matter the opponent.

Start to focus on solutions instead of problems. People complain all the time but aren’t willing to find a solution. Why? Because it’s easier to complain than find a solution. If you want to become mentally tough, you can’t be like most people. You need to become a rare breed. You must be someone who no matter how much adversity they face will continue to take on the fight.

“The best way to reclaim your dignity is to act rationally and treat yourself lovingly. Do not self-destruct.” – Ben Newman

5. Patrick Bet-David

According to Patrick Bet-David, becoming mentally tough starts with taming the voices inside your head. All of us, it doesn’t matter who you are, each have good and bad voices inside of us. To become mentally tough, you need to block out the bad voice. When you can sense it arising inside of you, you need to push through. That’s the only way you will defeat that negative voice.

Bet-David would say that each of us needs a purpose. When you don’t have a purpose, there’s no chance of you becoming mentally tough. You’ll give into every day temptations and call it quits when you could’ve kept pushing. Developing mental toughness means you push yourself further than even what you thought was possible.

The last piece of advice Bet-David had was to think about how you’ll feel if you don’t go after your dreams? Will you be happy twenty years from now knowing you didn’t follow your dreams? It’ll be quite the contrary. You have the option and choices each day to determine how your life will be and mental toughness will help guide you.

Mental toughness is the essential quality in those who are successful and unsuccessful. Due to this, tell us how you develop this unstoppable mindset? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Reasons Your Business Is Failing and How to Relight the Fire Under You

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Are you stuck in a rut with your business or your life? Are you wondering what could be causing this feeling of being stuck? It’s so common for people in this day and age to feel comfortable, and stop pushing themselves, so how do we jumpstart our lives and get moving again?

Here are 5 steps to help light a fire under you, and get you moving towards your goals again:

1. Lack of Vision

Before you started your business, it was just an idea, a thought in your head that seemed impossible. As you put time and effort into this idea, it was within reach, and now you have it. But what happens next? You made it to where you wanted to and now there is nowhere else to go. This is not true though because although you have reached your vision, it doesn’t mean you can’t think even bigger.

A lot of businesses stop growing because the people who run them don’t know what to do after they reach their goals. Instead of being happy you reached your goal, set new ones. Think bigger until your company has reached a level that you are comfortable leaving and letting someone else run it.

2. Lack of Why

Do you remember why you started your company? If not, how do you think you can keep your company moving forward? Start by thinking back to when you first started your business and try to remember why you wanted to start. Now that you have your original reasons for starting the company, check off how many of those you fulfilled and how many you can still work on.

Now think with everything that your business has given you, what do you want your business to stand for moving forward? Do you want your company to make you money, make a difference, or change the world? Whatever you want your company to be doing, as long as you have a reason for keeping your company going.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Byrne

3. No Accountability

Do you have a ton of good ideas but can never follow through? Perhaps, you aren’t being held accountable! You need to follow through with what you say. If you continuously say you are going to expand your business, network, or even something as small as getting employees lunch and don’t do it, no one is going to trust your word. If people can’t trust your word, how can they trust your business to get the job done? Start by getting an accountability buddy, coach, or even setting consequences for yourself.

4. Low Standards

People can have low standards in almost everything; places to live, relationships, and even business. If you can’t hold your product, customer service, and reputation to a certain standard, people won’t want to work with you or buy your products. Why would you want to go somewhere, or work with someone, who doesn’t hold themselves to a standard that reflects their work ethic?  

Having low standards can be a symptom of a lack of vision as well. When you can’t imagine what you want your business to look like, how can you hold yourself to a higher standard? So We can hold ourselves to a higher standard by knowing what our time is worth and realizing how much we are investing into a product or client.

If you are spending an hour on something, will your hour be worth 10 dollars or 100? How much effort you put into that specific project will reflect how much you get out of it thus as you understand the value of your time, your standards will rise.

5. No Passion or Pain

What pushes your business?  Are you driven by your passion, or are you being pushed by the pain or pressure? When we are put under pressure, it is amazing what people can do, and when people are passionate about something, many put as much as they can into what they are working on.

Yet, when we start to get comfortable or start to lose the passion we once had, we start to stand still. We begin to not move forward, so why would our business move forward?

Reigniting your passion can be tricky. Try and remember what gave you the initial push to start your passion, and consider what you are passionate about now. Putting the pressure on is as simple as setting a goal, calling up your accountability buddy and setting real consequences for yourself.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

Will you let your business sit stagnant any longer, or will you reinvent your vision, find a why, hold yourself accountable, raise your standards, and reignite your passions? Getting your business and your life to move forward is something that you have to put effort into every day. If you want to succeed, you will have to keep pushing yourself and move forward every day.

How do you push yourself in tough times? Let us know by commenting below!

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5 Commandments You Need to Follow to Build Your Freelance Business

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For all the freelancers reading this article right now, there are some steps to success you can take to create a profitable freelance company for yourself.

Being a freelancer comes with many perks. You get to enjoy the freedom of working from home all while setting your own schedule. You also get to pick your own clients and choose your desired rate of pay. Freelancing is a beautiful thing, especially when you’re the go-to expert in your industry.

While some freelancers can expect a feast or famine type of business model – where you’re making great money one month and not so great the next – there are certain tasks you should take upon yourself to ensure your success each month.

If you want to build your freelance business, these are the 5 commandments you should be focused on:

1. Acquire Testimonials After Every Job

What’s your most important job? It’s the one where your last customer was so happy they told people about you. Knowing this, each job should be equally important in your business. When you perform outstanding work for a client, don’t be shy, ask for a testimonial.

Have a page set up on your website where they can tell the world how great you are. If you don’t have a page specifically set up for this, you can grab these testimonials in different ways.

You already know testimonials are an important aspect of your business. However, what you may not know is how powerful word of mouth is for your company. A study done in 2014 revealed an astounding 75% of freelance jobs comes from word of mouth.

Your client has colleagues and friends they can share your greatness with. Every successful freelancer will glean these testimonials from their clients and make sure to refer their friends and co-workers back to their business.

2. Be Available As Much As Possible

You want to get the jobs you want? Be there when they come available. Aside from word of mouth and grabbing jobs from the people you know, you can also create expertise about yourself in freelance platforms like Upwork, oDesk, Freelancer, and others like this.

There are always places to go to find jobs online. Not only should you be available for more work to fill your time with, you should also remember the clients you still have and make yourself available for their needs as well. It’s important to keep your current clients happy and when they need you for a rush job, make sure you are there for them.

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf

3. Be a Communication Machine

Not only should you make yourself available, you should also make yourself accessible. It’s no fun for your clients to have to track you down in order to get an update or ask for more work to be done.

Nathan Hirsch, co-founder and CEO of the FreeeUp freelancer hiring marketplace, says one of the reasons most freelancers lose jobs is because the freelancer was nowhere to be found. It’s important to remember to share every contact detail you have with your clients so you both can work well together.

Successful freelancers have these tools in their portfolio:

  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Skype
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Slack
  • Asana
  • ClearVoice

With a mix of communication tools at your disposal, even if you’re away from your desk, your client should still be able to get your attention within the span of 30 minutes or less.

4. Extend Your Expertise Through Others

While most freelancers are happy with keeping busy with the clients they have, freelancers who want to build their businesses will take advantage of every talent they come across.

For example, you may be an expert in the social marketing industry, but you keep getting stray clients from the search engine optimization industry. Just because you don’t have the expertise to complete the job doesn’t mean you have to send them away since you can use other freelancers. This is where contracting work comes into play and it can help your overall reach in your business.

Over time, you will come into contact with other freelancers who have multiple talents you do not have yourself. When a job comes your way in which you have no experience in, reach out to someone who does and split the profits.

While this is a whole different ball game for freelancers to pursue, it can become very lucrative if you understand what to do. First, build a community of freelance experts. You can do this easily by setting up a Facebook group. I personally set up a freelance writing group on Facebook and, in the span of 2 months, have added 3,000+ new writers into the space. Here we discuss best strategies, recommend our friends for freelance jobs, and make each other better through discussion.

5. Stay On Track With Taxes

I know this isn’t something you want to think about at the moment, but in April it will come up again. It’s relevant to have something in place to help you regulate the money which you have acquired over the past year with your freelance business.

99designs explains how the government will be taking a percentage of your income out in taxes. In order to prepare for this, they have wisely suggested putting back your governmental portion each month in a savings.

You have to run your freelance operations like a business. While taking care of taxes and fees aren’t something you dream of doing, it is something you need to adjust for because the time will come to pay the piper and you must be prepared.

Take some time and research other tax preparations for freelancers so you won’t be caught with any surprises at the end of the year. In fact, this part plays a huge role in building your freelance company. You want to be able to have a working budget after the government takes their part.

Are You Ready?

In order to create a profitable freelance business you need to be able to stand on the foundational principles of those freelancers who have gone before you and succeeded. This, and your own creativity and imagination can push you towards your goals of success. Don’t fall trap to the “always famine” idea of a freelancer by using these 5 commandments to nurture your business model.

What are some ways you have built your business? Let us know by commenting below!

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