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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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Entrepreneurs

5 Tips for Launching a Successful Blog

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Blogging has become the most preferred side hustle because of its income potential and the fulfillment it brings. No matter what you want to write about, blogging is the best way to pursue your passion and earn money at the same time.

My blogging journey has been an amazing one although there were challenges along the way. What started as a simple desire to share my work at home experience turned out to be the most fulfilling mission I’ve ever had.

In today’s world where the digital landscape is crowded and oversaturated, you need to have a solid plan before launching your blogging business. Your launch can really bump up your blog exposure, so it’s recommended that you take the time to carefully think through the process and pay attention even to small details.

What is a Launch Plan?

In simple terms, it’s how you are going to let others know that you started a business (or a blog in this instance). A launch plan is a pedestal to show your new business to the world and it details what platforms you will utilize to attract your target audience. Having a clear strategy from the start will go a long way, and it will surely help you achieve your goals.

Here are 5 of the most important things you should do before you launch your blog:

1. Do Your Research

Assuming you’re already 100% sure about your chosen niche, and you’ve had a couple of blog posts up before your launch, the next thing you’d have to do is conduct market research. Find out where your ideal blog readers are hanging out, what blogs they are reading, what questions they are asking, what products they are buying and what social media platforms they are on.

List down the answers to the questions above, and from there, you can start setting aside a budget and creating a timeline for your launch. The research may take you a few days up to a few weeks, depending on how thorough you want it to be.

To be honest, the process of picking your niche, acquiring a domain and a hosting plan and even writing a few posts is much easier than planning your blog launch and going through the market research itself.

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark

2. Finalize the Promotion Channels

Writing helpful content is paramount, but knowing where to promote it is also vital. You have to list down the promotion channels you want to utilize and set them up before your launch. Many newbie bloggers often miss this critical step; thus, they fail to build traffic, they get frustrated and they give up too quickly.

In my personal experience, the traffic and the initial readership that my blog had in the first few months after the launch came from word of mouth promotion that I did. Apart from that, I also made sure that I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to my blog’s advantage.

3. Be Ready to Invest

Starting a blog might not cost you much. But it requires time, effort and dedication. You have to be disciplined enough to pay attention to details like your website’s theme and overall design. You should be ready to invest in learning about different concepts of your niche and you need to sign up for the must-haves like ESP (email service provider), automation tools, and design software.

Do not play safe. Sometimes you can only find success if you go all out and spend some ‘dough.’ Trust me, I have done it and have never regretted almost anything I bought for my blog. In fact, all my learning resources contributed to the success of my blog.

It is also advisable to have a stable fund when you launch your blog. Sure, you will be able to generate money from the blog but just like any other businesses, a start-up investment is required so you can sustain your blog and post fresh content pieces weekly.

4. Focus on Your Brand

Online businesses thrive on the uniqueness of their brand. Having a good brand strategy and working on developing a voice of your own can give you the best results going forward. Successful online entrepreneurs like Melyssa Griffin, Nathan Chan, Amy Porterfield have a unique brand voice of their own, and they have vast readership.

Work on building your brand from day one, whether it is through your blog’s theme or social media channels. How do you do this? Just ask yourself the question, ‘How do I want want my readers to see me or what do I want them to think about when they read my blog?’.

Having a clear idea of what your blogging business is about can get you loyal followers and more exposure. Building a brand can be a long and tedious process, but if you start it right, it will surely pay off.

“A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list.”

5. Network

This is the big part of your blog launch. Whether you blog about e-commerce, lifestyle design, entrepreneurship or making money online, you need to be able to find like-minded people to connect with and help you spread the word about your blog.

Networking is a pretty big thing in the business world but the best thing about it is, you can find people to connect with just about everywhere. You can connect with them using social media, forums, groups, and during events.

Networking is also a means to find friends who will uplift and strengthen you as you push towards achieving your goals. I have a lot of online friends who ‘get’ what I do as a blogger and they have been very supportive of my business. These friends helped me form a community where we can share insights and help our readers. Start joining the right groups in your niche now so you can learn more about your target readers and develop a relationship with other influencers and bloggers.

Though it sounds straightforward, starting a blog means you are making your first step towards starting an online business. Doing the groundwork is as important as ‘hustle’ or ‘grind’. Although the overall success of your blogging business will still depend on how consistent you are and how determined you are in making it work, these simple tips can ensure that you will achieve the results you want for your blog launch.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Reasons Why Underdog Entrepreneurs Are More Likely to Succeed

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The world is in a place right now where everything is changing faster than ever. Thanks to the digital era, we are enabled to fulfil our dreams easily. Be it the flexible policies or the availability of easy information, it all allows us to work more effectively towards our goals. It’s the same for entrepreneurs alike.

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur though, that’s mean but true. However, there are many more entrepreneurs today than there was just a decade ago. How is this happening?

People without entrepreneurial backgrounds are trying their luck and succeeding too. It’s a good wave for everyone, the consumer and the seller. The market is working together to reduce the gap between demand and supply. Not only is this keeping entrepreneurs on their toes, but is also encouraging them to think out of the box.

This sudden rise in the number of entrepreneurs could also be attributed to the availability of investors. They most certainly think differently than their predecessors. The desire to bring in the right change in society is the only thing similar between all generations of entrepreneurs.

Who is an underdog entrepreneur?

Underdog, as the term suggests, is someone who is least expected to succeed within a group of talented individuals. It is the same person who has the least power, say or authority in the lot. Underdogs are never usually even considered to be on the winning side. This in return makes it obvious for others to not have any hopes on them or worse, not even consider them. Some could argue that underdogs are usually not visible to others.

“Being underestimated is one of the biggest competitive advantages you can have. Embrace it.”

However, over the years the above definition is seen in a more positive and different light. Underdogs are highly respected and regarded now, because of the uncertainty they carry with them. It reflects on the idea of someone weak or slow, working harder to be in a better position. Underdogs look appealing today because of their efficiency at breaking odds and coming out stronger. Today, underdogs also answer to the injustice or unfairness they are fighting to succeed.

Here are 5 reasons why underdog entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed:

1. They don’t take any aspect of their business for granted

Underdog entrepreneurs are from humbler backgrounds in terms of experience making them sceptical. They take every aspect of their business seriously. Be it something as small as managing their accounts or something as big as meeting an investor, they do it with equal determination. There are times when big businesses face trouble for having taken a small aspect lightly. This is usually never the case with an underdog entrepreneur, who is always on his toes. He is careful and is alert about what’s happening in and outside his business. This keeps him aware and also allows him to plan ahead in time.

2. Their risk tolerance is out of the world

They have faced failures multiple times in the past. They do not have inhibitions and scepticism, unlike most entrepreneurs. Taking calculated risks is a wise choice but can also keep one back in today’s fast marketplace. Underdog entrepreneurs are usually more likely to take risks that others are not willing to take. This certainly puts them in a tricky position but also improves their chances significantly. They understand the risk they are taking and take it with authority. They are the same type of individuals who believe they have nothing to lose in the first place. They risk it with the hope of getting something better. Even if they fail they know how to rise up again. Staying motivated even in the toughest of times is an art they have nailed.

3. They don’t make unnecessary chatter or claims

Underdog Entrepreneurs usually have too much on their plates; given the multiple hats, they wear. They don’t have the time or flexibility to indulge in useless banter. There are two kinds of people; doers and talkers. They are the first kind, who focus on doing things better. Their words speak for them. Having faced rejection and failure, they are usually very cautious before making any claims. They take failure positively but also learn not to talk about outcomes that aren’t out yet. These are the category of people who let their work speak about them. Underdog entrepreneurs are usually never satisfied and try to make up for the lost time and repute.

4. They think out of the box and have unconventional ways

They are the kind of people who experiment and run wild thoughts. Their fearlessness makes them take calculated yet unconventional steps. It could be in their execution or their promotions etc. The world is changing and is craving to see the right change. Unlike earlier times, the ideal consumer today is more willing and open to the right changes.

However, the consumer wants to know the logical reason behind a change. Underdog entrepreneurs are making better decisions every day and coming up with quirky ideas too. This is the time and age for unconventional settings and decisions and underdog entrepreneurs are making the best out of it. Their experience at falling and getting back up each time teaches them how to find better ways to rise up.

“Underdogs adapt, evolve and become winners because of their preparation, heart, execution and the relentless attitude that the game will not end any other way.”

5. They have exceptional people skills

It’s very important for every business to connect with its people, its consumers. The unique bonds that brands are creating today, is what separates them in the crowded marketplace. Coming from humble beginnings, underdog entrepreneurs are humble and open-minded. They talk to people, connect with them, share and take ideas. Underdog entrepreneurs shine at creating relationships that matter to their business.

They understand that there are many others like them in the market and keep their ego in check. They are more respectful of their customers and towards their competitors. This keeps them open to new learning, which should ideally be the motto of every entrepreneur. This is the same ability that makes them better advisors, mentors, leaders and salesperson. They understand human emotions and values better.

When an underdog entrepreneur finds success, he/she makes others believe in the power of hard work and determination. This is the positivity that people look out for in the first place.

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7 Parenting Tips for Encouraging the Young Entrepreneur in Your Child

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The next big idea could be right around the corner. In fact, it could be coming from one of your kids. Children today have an excellent grasp on social media and the world of opportunities the internet provides. Because of these facts, it comes as no surprise that many kids today are starting to pursue their entrepreneurial goals as early as six or seven years old.

One child-entrepreneur survey polled 1,721 students in grades 5 through 12 and found that 77% of students wanted to be their own boss. A whopping 45% said they wanted to start their own business and not far behind were 42% of students who said they wanted to invent something that changes the world.

These big ambitions for such young children need to be cultivated, and as a parent, you can help them make their business goals a reality.

From online learning classes to teaching kids about money, here are 7 parenting tips for empowering kid entrepreneurs:

1. Encourage their curiosity

Kid’s have brilliant minds. It is often said that it is easier for a child under the age of seven years old to learn a second language than it is for adults. Why? Unlike adults, they are still steeped in education on a daily basis. Their brains are ready to create new information more willingly than an adult mind.

The Teachers College Columbia University reports that this has much to do with the prefrontal cortex, which contributes to an inventive and creative outlook on things. This curiosity and ability to learn should be encouraged by parents. Help them take online learning classes or find opportunities to do projects with them that relate to their interests and ideas.

2. Take your children seriously

One of the main ingredients of good parenting is letting your kids know you understand and support them. Children’s minds are always changing and growing. One week they may want to be an astronaut while the following week they want to be a veterinarian. These flip-flopping ideas may make it tempting to smile and nod when your little one expresses their desires, but don’t be so quick to say no.

If your child wants to be a pastry chef and asks you if they can sell cupcakes in the neighborhood, why not say yes? Yes, the mind of a child can change from one minute to the next, but parents help their children grow and explore new ideas when they take their requests seriously.

3. Teach children the value of money

In order to build a thriving business, children need to learn how to manage their money. A child who receives an allowance of $15 will have $60 by the end of the month.

You can help teach your child both responsibility and the value of money by encouraging them to spend money wisely. By using basic math or putting up a pie chart on the refrigerator, you can teach your children the importance of saving money and investing wisely in products to pursue their goals.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

4. Teach that it’s okay to fail

In the same survey cited at the onset, 91% of entrepreneurial students said that they are not afraid to take risks, even if they fail.

Starting a business is a big job that requires your child’s patience, drive, and responsibility. Putting all this effort into a project only to have it fail can be crushing for a young child.

It is important for you to teach your children that it is okay to fail. Highlight that having fun, learning and gaining beneficial experience should be the primary goal of their entrepreneurial career, and not necessarily fame and success.

5. Help your child get started

A great parenting tip for empowering kid entrepreneurs is to help them get started off on the right track. Help them do research about similar products or ideas. Is their pricing, right? Is there a current need for their idea or business?

If your kid wants to become an entrepreneur, it’s your job as a parent to help them make it a reality. This means helping them learn how to market their service or idea. This may also involve learning how to manufacture a product and taking online learning classes about their interests.

6. Look for opportunities

If your child wants to launch a product or service, they’re going to need opportunities to be in the public eye. This can be done through social media, word of mouth, neighborhood canvassing, and even getting a hold of your city’s news station to have a piece done on the local child entrepreneur.

Taking your children to such things as trade shows can also give them the opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs. There are also various online learning classes that can help parents and children discover how best to market a new product and make business connections.

“In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

7. Make it fun

There are many successful child entrepreneurs with thriving companies today. At 12 years old, popcorn giant Orville Redenbacher, began growing his own popping corn in pursuit of the perfect kernel.

While his passion for popcorn did earn him enough to pay for his college tuition, no doubt, Redenbacher wasn’t thinking that he was going to turn his love of popcorn into a billion-dollar market. He was just having fun.

The same should be true for your little one. Childhood is a time for being carefree, not to be weighed down with worries and anxiety. One of the best parenting tips for encouraging little entrepreneurs is to make having fun the primary goal of their pursuit.

Follow these 7 parenting tips to help empower your child to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. Teach your kids the value of money, remind them that building a business should be fun, and get them involved in online learning classes to make the best of their budding entrepreneur spirit.

Which one of these tips do you feel is the most important to teach the next generation of entrepreneurs? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Entrepreneurs

I Quit My Job Today — There’s A Lesson In It For You.

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Today I told my boss “I quit.”

He wasn’t expecting it. He thought I’d be around for much longer. I mean who wouldn’t want to work with brand-name tech companies and eat fancy lunches with clients?

Well, unfortunately, I don’t give a fuck about brand names or lunches or looking good. Vanity metrics and looking good is for chumps.

What happened today was that after a nine-month (wholly shit that’s a long time) career change, I got what I wanted. I liked where I worked for the last seven years and my boss was awesome but it was time for change.What did I want?

Four days working in digital marketing as a leader, and one day consulting to a company I love focused on personal development and entrepreneurship.

For nine months I told everyone I knew this dream and most people laughed at me silently behind my back.

Splitting my work week in two and joining the self-help cult seems ludicrous to most people. Not me though.

I’m obsessed with changing people’s lives and finding out why people do what they do. I eat it for fucking breakfast lunch and dinner. It’s like eating chocolate moose for dessert every damn meal…YUMMY.


Why quit your job?

Quitting your job on social media has become a competition. Everyone’s out there to tell you why you should quit your job and most people giving that advice have never done it.

Quitting your job normally comes down to one thing:

You want to spend more time doing something you love and less time doing crap you hate

In my case, I don’t mind working in finance, but it doesn’t exactly wake me up in the morning and give me morning glory.

Quitting your job is normally associated with the following:

  1. You hate what you’re currently doing
  2. You hate the people you work with
  3. You hate the company, what they stand for and their BS values
  4. You need a change
  5. You need to be challenged

Quitting your job is harder than you think.

Quitting your job can feel like killing your newborn baby.

Often you’ve become comfortable, know where the kitchen is and know most people in the business. The people you work with can feel like family even if your career has nothing to do with anything you enjoy doing.

Much of the advice on the internet suggests you can just quit your job, pitch a tent and ‘you’ll be right mate.’

But we all have bills to pay and commitments.

“It’s not as easy as quitting your job and walking into your dream career after popping a bottle of Yarra Valley Chardonnay and some nicely aged cottage cheese”

The process of quitting your job looks more like this:

  1. Realizing your way too comfortable
  2. Slapping yourself over the head a few times and screaming “WAKE UP!”
  3. Going through months of rejection, “Fuck off,” and “Who are you again?”
  4. Complaining to your significant other that it will never happen
  5. Facing your fears and feeling like your whole world could end
  6. Trying to figure out what the heck you actually love doing

The process of quitting your job is a grueling one. It will take every ounce of energy, enthusiasm and resilience you have. Someone asked me yesterday what it was like to quit my job. My reply was this:

Quitting your job feels like ripping off a band-aid and watching blood piss everywhere because the scab hasn’t quite healed.”


The finding what you love part.

I’ve hinted through my sometimes interesting approach already that quitting your job requires you to know what you love.

This advice sounds rosy and gorgeous like a Santa Monica sunset, but it’s total bullshit unless I explain how to do that.

Here’s how to find what you love:

  1. What does your internet browser history look like?
  2. Where do you spend most of your time in the bookstore?
  3. If I wrote down everything you did outside of work, where would most of that time be invested?
  4. At a BBQ, what do you talk about the most?

In one of these four questions is what you love. That’s what you should eventually quit your job for.


Quitting your job is hard until it’s not.

In the weeks leading up to by big resignation, I was crippled by fear and I almost didn’t go through with it.

I was going to take another job in the same company I worked for, for the last seven years because it would help me lie to myself and think I was brave enough to do what I was afraid of.

The process of quitting your job is hard until you come to terms with the idea that there is no right decision.

Quitting your job could be the best thing you’ll ever do or a freaking disaster that will make you want to fire off an email to me condemning me to hell for the rest of my life.

What I do know is this: if you never make a tough decision like quitting your job then you’ll always live with regret for the rest of your life about what could have happened

Regret will kill your dreams more than quitting your job ever will.


Final thought.

I can’t tell you all to improve if I don’t. This very thought nudged me over the line. It was this idea that woke me up and got me standing straight again.

I can’t be blogging on the internet and telling people to face their fears or quit their job unless I’m prepared to do the same. That would be incongruent and my conscience would eventually reveal this truth to me.

Quitting your job is a tough decision and so is living with regret.

Think about that if you’re on the cusp or quitting and can’t rustle up the courage to do it.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

Stop Replying To Everyone.

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Many of you are running around like mad trying to manage your time. You’re reading productivity hacks, taking cold showers and waking up at 5 am.

You’re doing all of this because you want more time to do what you love.

Let me hit you in the face with one technique that has allowed me to win back time, so I can do what I love.

Stop replying to everyone…

You get emails asking you to do stuff.
You get asked to do an intro.
You get asked to speak at an event for free about your area of expertise.

Here’s the problem:
YOU KEEP RESPONDING TO EVERY REQUEST OF YOUR TIME.


What’s the answer?

The answer is really simple like everything I write. Are you ready?
Stop replying to everyone.

I learned this technique the hard way. When I was looking to interview entrepreneurs in 2014 about their story and share it in the form of a blog post, I didn’t get many replies.

I’d email very successful people who have achieved the impossible and get nothing.

Radio silence.
Donuts.


Why don’t your idols respond to requests for their time?

There’s many reasons.

  1. They have too many requests and could never humanly answer every single one.
  2. They have limited time and can’t fit everybody into their schedule.

The second reason is the most important. Your idols don’t respond because that’s their way of saying no.


No response is the best response.

By responding to every request of your time, you go down the rabbit hole of endless back and forth conversations.

Let me illustrate this point with a short story.

A US startup approached me on LinkedIn and asked me to advise them on their social media strategy. They offered me equity in return for my expertise.

The product was not something that aligned with who I am, and I was heading off to Europe on holidays and had no time to draft a proper reply.

I sent no response to their request.
They messaged me a second time.
I sent no response to their request.

Then, I got sucked into responding. I felt my moral compass telling me to reply and tell them no. On top of that, the startup had a very well known person in the social media industry join them. FOMO kicked in.

I replied and that’s where everything went wrong.

Once I replied to the request I got daily reminders and emails with pitch decks trying to convince me why they were the one startup who could beat Instagram. The claims of how much traction they had got more and more ridiculous.

“Eventually, a simple request of my time turned into a daily debate”

They wouldn’t leave me alone. I began to regret my stupidity for responding in the first place.

If a request of your time doesn’t resonate with you, and you don’t feel like saying “Fuck Yes” when presented with an opportunity, say NO.

Don’t be tempted by a request of your time. 
Say no.


Not replying is what works.

People generally give up after one email or direct message asking for your time. I’ve tested this theory a lot and it has almost always turned out to be true.

As soon as you reply, you become like a lawyer in the High Court trying to defend someone who is accused of murder. Your time is yours. You only get one life.

“You don’t need to justify yourself, your time, or your goals to anybody”

YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY!

The way you win back time and make room for what’s important to you is to fight the temptation to reply to every request that comes your way.

Quit giving away your time like free balloons at a car expo.


You end up making up lies.

The problem with replying to every request of your time is you can end up making up lies to get out of doing something. Or you may end up exaggerating or putting forward excuses that aren’t entirely true.

This causes even more problems for you because if the requester knows people within your network, they may find out you’re not being honest.

Why construct a grand plan that takes more of your time to respond to a request?

It’s easier to say nothing at all.


Silence says it all.

Smart people who ask you for stuff will know that after a week, if you haven’t responded, you’re probably not interested.

Silence is the best response. After all, if someone really wants you to do something they’ll chase you, they’ll follow you up and they may get a mutual connection to intro them to you.

Many pitches and requests are poorly written or incredibly selfish.

Fight back with silence. Don’t reply. Stop replying.


You’re not missing anything.

The temptation to respond can also be caused by the fear that you’re missing out.

Maybe someone is contacting you to fund your idea.
Maybe something you wrote is going to be published in the New York Times.
Maybe the request will lead you to direct a Hollywood Movie.

All of these false ideas are what’s causing you to respond to everybody.You’re worried you could miss the jackpot or your lucky break.

The harsh truth is that these opportunities are earned through hard work.Genuine opportunities that will excite you are clearly articulated and your gut feeling will guide you better than you think.

You’re not going to miss out on winning an Oscar for a movie you made because you didn’t reply to an email”


Not replying isn’t rude.

We feel we must reply to every request of our time. We have a fear that we will be accused of being rude.

This belief is false also. There’s nothing rude about not replying. We all get lots of emails and messages online and we can’t answer them all. People will understand when you don’t reply. If they don’t understand then that’s a problem with them, not you.

Don’t feel you have to reply out of politeness.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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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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Entrepreneurs

5 Tips for Launching a Successful Blog

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Blogging has become the most preferred side hustle because of its income potential and the fulfillment it brings. No matter what you want to write about, blogging is the best way to pursue your passion and earn money at the same time.

My blogging journey has been an amazing one although there were challenges along the way. What started as a simple desire to share my work at home experience turned out to be the most fulfilling mission I’ve ever had.

In today’s world where the digital landscape is crowded and oversaturated, you need to have a solid plan before launching your blogging business. Your launch can really bump up your blog exposure, so it’s recommended that you take the time to carefully think through the process and pay attention even to small details.

What is a Launch Plan?

In simple terms, it’s how you are going to let others know that you started a business (or a blog in this instance). A launch plan is a pedestal to show your new business to the world and it details what platforms you will utilize to attract your target audience. Having a clear strategy from the start will go a long way, and it will surely help you achieve your goals.

Here are 5 of the most important things you should do before you launch your blog:

1. Do Your Research

Assuming you’re already 100% sure about your chosen niche, and you’ve had a couple of blog posts up before your launch, the next thing you’d have to do is conduct market research. Find out where your ideal blog readers are hanging out, what blogs they are reading, what questions they are asking, what products they are buying and what social media platforms they are on.

List down the answers to the questions above, and from there, you can start setting aside a budget and creating a timeline for your launch. The research may take you a few days up to a few weeks, depending on how thorough you want it to be.

To be honest, the process of picking your niche, acquiring a domain and a hosting plan and even writing a few posts is much easier than planning your blog launch and going through the market research itself.

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark

2. Finalize the Promotion Channels

Writing helpful content is paramount, but knowing where to promote it is also vital. You have to list down the promotion channels you want to utilize and set them up before your launch. Many newbie bloggers often miss this critical step; thus, they fail to build traffic, they get frustrated and they give up too quickly.

In my personal experience, the traffic and the initial readership that my blog had in the first few months after the launch came from word of mouth promotion that I did. Apart from that, I also made sure that I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to my blog’s advantage.

3. Be Ready to Invest

Starting a blog might not cost you much. But it requires time, effort and dedication. You have to be disciplined enough to pay attention to details like your website’s theme and overall design. You should be ready to invest in learning about different concepts of your niche and you need to sign up for the must-haves like ESP (email service provider), automation tools, and design software.

Do not play safe. Sometimes you can only find success if you go all out and spend some ‘dough.’ Trust me, I have done it and have never regretted almost anything I bought for my blog. In fact, all my learning resources contributed to the success of my blog.

It is also advisable to have a stable fund when you launch your blog. Sure, you will be able to generate money from the blog but just like any other businesses, a start-up investment is required so you can sustain your blog and post fresh content pieces weekly.

4. Focus on Your Brand

Online businesses thrive on the uniqueness of their brand. Having a good brand strategy and working on developing a voice of your own can give you the best results going forward. Successful online entrepreneurs like Melyssa Griffin, Nathan Chan, Amy Porterfield have a unique brand voice of their own, and they have vast readership.

Work on building your brand from day one, whether it is through your blog’s theme or social media channels. How do you do this? Just ask yourself the question, ‘How do I want want my readers to see me or what do I want them to think about when they read my blog?’.

Having a clear idea of what your blogging business is about can get you loyal followers and more exposure. Building a brand can be a long and tedious process, but if you start it right, it will surely pay off.

“A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list.”

5. Network

This is the big part of your blog launch. Whether you blog about e-commerce, lifestyle design, entrepreneurship or making money online, you need to be able to find like-minded people to connect with and help you spread the word about your blog.

Networking is a pretty big thing in the business world but the best thing about it is, you can find people to connect with just about everywhere. You can connect with them using social media, forums, groups, and during events.

Networking is also a means to find friends who will uplift and strengthen you as you push towards achieving your goals. I have a lot of online friends who ‘get’ what I do as a blogger and they have been very supportive of my business. These friends helped me form a community where we can share insights and help our readers. Start joining the right groups in your niche now so you can learn more about your target readers and develop a relationship with other influencers and bloggers.

Though it sounds straightforward, starting a blog means you are making your first step towards starting an online business. Doing the groundwork is as important as ‘hustle’ or ‘grind’. Although the overall success of your blogging business will still depend on how consistent you are and how determined you are in making it work, these simple tips can ensure that you will achieve the results you want for your blog launch.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Entrepreneurs

5 Reasons Why Underdog Entrepreneurs Are More Likely to Succeed

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The world is in a place right now where everything is changing faster than ever. Thanks to the digital era, we are enabled to fulfil our dreams easily. Be it the flexible policies or the availability of easy information, it all allows us to work more effectively towards our goals. It’s the same for entrepreneurs alike.

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur though, that’s mean but true. However, there are many more entrepreneurs today than there was just a decade ago. How is this happening?

People without entrepreneurial backgrounds are trying their luck and succeeding too. It’s a good wave for everyone, the consumer and the seller. The market is working together to reduce the gap between demand and supply. Not only is this keeping entrepreneurs on their toes, but is also encouraging them to think out of the box.

This sudden rise in the number of entrepreneurs could also be attributed to the availability of investors. They most certainly think differently than their predecessors. The desire to bring in the right change in society is the only thing similar between all generations of entrepreneurs.

Who is an underdog entrepreneur?

Underdog, as the term suggests, is someone who is least expected to succeed within a group of talented individuals. It is the same person who has the least power, say or authority in the lot. Underdogs are never usually even considered to be on the winning side. This in return makes it obvious for others to not have any hopes on them or worse, not even consider them. Some could argue that underdogs are usually not visible to others.

“Being underestimated is one of the biggest competitive advantages you can have. Embrace it.”

However, over the years the above definition is seen in a more positive and different light. Underdogs are highly respected and regarded now, because of the uncertainty they carry with them. It reflects on the idea of someone weak or slow, working harder to be in a better position. Underdogs look appealing today because of their efficiency at breaking odds and coming out stronger. Today, underdogs also answer to the injustice or unfairness they are fighting to succeed.

Here are 5 reasons why underdog entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed:

1. They don’t take any aspect of their business for granted

Underdog entrepreneurs are from humbler backgrounds in terms of experience making them sceptical. They take every aspect of their business seriously. Be it something as small as managing their accounts or something as big as meeting an investor, they do it with equal determination. There are times when big businesses face trouble for having taken a small aspect lightly. This is usually never the case with an underdog entrepreneur, who is always on his toes. He is careful and is alert about what’s happening in and outside his business. This keeps him aware and also allows him to plan ahead in time.

2. Their risk tolerance is out of the world

They have faced failures multiple times in the past. They do not have inhibitions and scepticism, unlike most entrepreneurs. Taking calculated risks is a wise choice but can also keep one back in today’s fast marketplace. Underdog entrepreneurs are usually more likely to take risks that others are not willing to take. This certainly puts them in a tricky position but also improves their chances significantly. They understand the risk they are taking and take it with authority. They are the same type of individuals who believe they have nothing to lose in the first place. They risk it with the hope of getting something better. Even if they fail they know how to rise up again. Staying motivated even in the toughest of times is an art they have nailed.

3. They don’t make unnecessary chatter or claims

Underdog Entrepreneurs usually have too much on their plates; given the multiple hats, they wear. They don’t have the time or flexibility to indulge in useless banter. There are two kinds of people; doers and talkers. They are the first kind, who focus on doing things better. Their words speak for them. Having faced rejection and failure, they are usually very cautious before making any claims. They take failure positively but also learn not to talk about outcomes that aren’t out yet. These are the category of people who let their work speak about them. Underdog entrepreneurs are usually never satisfied and try to make up for the lost time and repute.

4. They think out of the box and have unconventional ways

They are the kind of people who experiment and run wild thoughts. Their fearlessness makes them take calculated yet unconventional steps. It could be in their execution or their promotions etc. The world is changing and is craving to see the right change. Unlike earlier times, the ideal consumer today is more willing and open to the right changes.

However, the consumer wants to know the logical reason behind a change. Underdog entrepreneurs are making better decisions every day and coming up with quirky ideas too. This is the time and age for unconventional settings and decisions and underdog entrepreneurs are making the best out of it. Their experience at falling and getting back up each time teaches them how to find better ways to rise up.

“Underdogs adapt, evolve and become winners because of their preparation, heart, execution and the relentless attitude that the game will not end any other way.”

5. They have exceptional people skills

It’s very important for every business to connect with its people, its consumers. The unique bonds that brands are creating today, is what separates them in the crowded marketplace. Coming from humble beginnings, underdog entrepreneurs are humble and open-minded. They talk to people, connect with them, share and take ideas. Underdog entrepreneurs shine at creating relationships that matter to their business.

They understand that there are many others like them in the market and keep their ego in check. They are more respectful of their customers and towards their competitors. This keeps them open to new learning, which should ideally be the motto of every entrepreneur. This is the same ability that makes them better advisors, mentors, leaders and salesperson. They understand human emotions and values better.

When an underdog entrepreneur finds success, he/she makes others believe in the power of hard work and determination. This is the positivity that people look out for in the first place.

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7 Parenting Tips for Encouraging the Young Entrepreneur in Your Child

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The next big idea could be right around the corner. In fact, it could be coming from one of your kids. Children today have an excellent grasp on social media and the world of opportunities the internet provides. Because of these facts, it comes as no surprise that many kids today are starting to pursue their entrepreneurial goals as early as six or seven years old.

One child-entrepreneur survey polled 1,721 students in grades 5 through 12 and found that 77% of students wanted to be their own boss. A whopping 45% said they wanted to start their own business and not far behind were 42% of students who said they wanted to invent something that changes the world.

These big ambitions for such young children need to be cultivated, and as a parent, you can help them make their business goals a reality.

From online learning classes to teaching kids about money, here are 7 parenting tips for empowering kid entrepreneurs:

1. Encourage their curiosity

Kid’s have brilliant minds. It is often said that it is easier for a child under the age of seven years old to learn a second language than it is for adults. Why? Unlike adults, they are still steeped in education on a daily basis. Their brains are ready to create new information more willingly than an adult mind.

The Teachers College Columbia University reports that this has much to do with the prefrontal cortex, which contributes to an inventive and creative outlook on things. This curiosity and ability to learn should be encouraged by parents. Help them take online learning classes or find opportunities to do projects with them that relate to their interests and ideas.

2. Take your children seriously

One of the main ingredients of good parenting is letting your kids know you understand and support them. Children’s minds are always changing and growing. One week they may want to be an astronaut while the following week they want to be a veterinarian. These flip-flopping ideas may make it tempting to smile and nod when your little one expresses their desires, but don’t be so quick to say no.

If your child wants to be a pastry chef and asks you if they can sell cupcakes in the neighborhood, why not say yes? Yes, the mind of a child can change from one minute to the next, but parents help their children grow and explore new ideas when they take their requests seriously.

3. Teach children the value of money

In order to build a thriving business, children need to learn how to manage their money. A child who receives an allowance of $15 will have $60 by the end of the month.

You can help teach your child both responsibility and the value of money by encouraging them to spend money wisely. By using basic math or putting up a pie chart on the refrigerator, you can teach your children the importance of saving money and investing wisely in products to pursue their goals.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

4. Teach that it’s okay to fail

In the same survey cited at the onset, 91% of entrepreneurial students said that they are not afraid to take risks, even if they fail.

Starting a business is a big job that requires your child’s patience, drive, and responsibility. Putting all this effort into a project only to have it fail can be crushing for a young child.

It is important for you to teach your children that it is okay to fail. Highlight that having fun, learning and gaining beneficial experience should be the primary goal of their entrepreneurial career, and not necessarily fame and success.

5. Help your child get started

A great parenting tip for empowering kid entrepreneurs is to help them get started off on the right track. Help them do research about similar products or ideas. Is their pricing, right? Is there a current need for their idea or business?

If your kid wants to become an entrepreneur, it’s your job as a parent to help them make it a reality. This means helping them learn how to market their service or idea. This may also involve learning how to manufacture a product and taking online learning classes about their interests.

6. Look for opportunities

If your child wants to launch a product or service, they’re going to need opportunities to be in the public eye. This can be done through social media, word of mouth, neighborhood canvassing, and even getting a hold of your city’s news station to have a piece done on the local child entrepreneur.

Taking your children to such things as trade shows can also give them the opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs. There are also various online learning classes that can help parents and children discover how best to market a new product and make business connections.

“In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

7. Make it fun

There are many successful child entrepreneurs with thriving companies today. At 12 years old, popcorn giant Orville Redenbacher, began growing his own popping corn in pursuit of the perfect kernel.

While his passion for popcorn did earn him enough to pay for his college tuition, no doubt, Redenbacher wasn’t thinking that he was going to turn his love of popcorn into a billion-dollar market. He was just having fun.

The same should be true for your little one. Childhood is a time for being carefree, not to be weighed down with worries and anxiety. One of the best parenting tips for encouraging little entrepreneurs is to make having fun the primary goal of their pursuit.

Follow these 7 parenting tips to help empower your child to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. Teach your kids the value of money, remind them that building a business should be fun, and get them involved in online learning classes to make the best of their budding entrepreneur spirit.

Which one of these tips do you feel is the most important to teach the next generation of entrepreneurs? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Entrepreneurs

I Quit My Job Today — There’s A Lesson In It For You.

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Today I told my boss “I quit.”

He wasn’t expecting it. He thought I’d be around for much longer. I mean who wouldn’t want to work with brand-name tech companies and eat fancy lunches with clients?

Well, unfortunately, I don’t give a fuck about brand names or lunches or looking good. Vanity metrics and looking good is for chumps.

What happened today was that after a nine-month (wholly shit that’s a long time) career change, I got what I wanted. I liked where I worked for the last seven years and my boss was awesome but it was time for change.What did I want?

Four days working in digital marketing as a leader, and one day consulting to a company I love focused on personal development and entrepreneurship.

For nine months I told everyone I knew this dream and most people laughed at me silently behind my back.

Splitting my work week in two and joining the self-help cult seems ludicrous to most people. Not me though.

I’m obsessed with changing people’s lives and finding out why people do what they do. I eat it for fucking breakfast lunch and dinner. It’s like eating chocolate moose for dessert every damn meal…YUMMY.


Why quit your job?

Quitting your job on social media has become a competition. Everyone’s out there to tell you why you should quit your job and most people giving that advice have never done it.

Quitting your job normally comes down to one thing:

You want to spend more time doing something you love and less time doing crap you hate

In my case, I don’t mind working in finance, but it doesn’t exactly wake me up in the morning and give me morning glory.

Quitting your job is normally associated with the following:

  1. You hate what you’re currently doing
  2. You hate the people you work with
  3. You hate the company, what they stand for and their BS values
  4. You need a change
  5. You need to be challenged

Quitting your job is harder than you think.

Quitting your job can feel like killing your newborn baby.

Often you’ve become comfortable, know where the kitchen is and know most people in the business. The people you work with can feel like family even if your career has nothing to do with anything you enjoy doing.

Much of the advice on the internet suggests you can just quit your job, pitch a tent and ‘you’ll be right mate.’

But we all have bills to pay and commitments.

“It’s not as easy as quitting your job and walking into your dream career after popping a bottle of Yarra Valley Chardonnay and some nicely aged cottage cheese”

The process of quitting your job looks more like this:

  1. Realizing your way too comfortable
  2. Slapping yourself over the head a few times and screaming “WAKE UP!”
  3. Going through months of rejection, “Fuck off,” and “Who are you again?”
  4. Complaining to your significant other that it will never happen
  5. Facing your fears and feeling like your whole world could end
  6. Trying to figure out what the heck you actually love doing

The process of quitting your job is a grueling one. It will take every ounce of energy, enthusiasm and resilience you have. Someone asked me yesterday what it was like to quit my job. My reply was this:

Quitting your job feels like ripping off a band-aid and watching blood piss everywhere because the scab hasn’t quite healed.”


The finding what you love part.

I’ve hinted through my sometimes interesting approach already that quitting your job requires you to know what you love.

This advice sounds rosy and gorgeous like a Santa Monica sunset, but it’s total bullshit unless I explain how to do that.

Here’s how to find what you love:

  1. What does your internet browser history look like?
  2. Where do you spend most of your time in the bookstore?
  3. If I wrote down everything you did outside of work, where would most of that time be invested?
  4. At a BBQ, what do you talk about the most?

In one of these four questions is what you love. That’s what you should eventually quit your job for.


Quitting your job is hard until it’s not.

In the weeks leading up to by big resignation, I was crippled by fear and I almost didn’t go through with it.

I was going to take another job in the same company I worked for, for the last seven years because it would help me lie to myself and think I was brave enough to do what I was afraid of.

The process of quitting your job is hard until you come to terms with the idea that there is no right decision.

Quitting your job could be the best thing you’ll ever do or a freaking disaster that will make you want to fire off an email to me condemning me to hell for the rest of my life.

What I do know is this: if you never make a tough decision like quitting your job then you’ll always live with regret for the rest of your life about what could have happened

Regret will kill your dreams more than quitting your job ever will.


Final thought.

I can’t tell you all to improve if I don’t. This very thought nudged me over the line. It was this idea that woke me up and got me standing straight again.

I can’t be blogging on the internet and telling people to face their fears or quit their job unless I’m prepared to do the same. That would be incongruent and my conscience would eventually reveal this truth to me.

Quitting your job is a tough decision and so is living with regret.

Think about that if you’re on the cusp or quitting and can’t rustle up the courage to do it.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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