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The Picture Quote That Changed My Life (And I Accidentally Wrote It)

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“Entrepreneurship is a form of art; it’s a form of expression. It lets you be who you want to be, it lets you inspire others to get behind a vision, and it allows you to give back in a way you’ve never given back before.  It will test you; it will take every ounce of your energy and your emotion to succeed at it. Entrepreneurship can change the world. It’s life’s greatest test. It’s your legacy” – Tim Denning

Last night, after pondering for a while and trying to think about what entrepreneurship means to me, it struck me. I raced over to my iPhone, opened the notes app, and started talking into it. It was like a rush of passion just went straight through me.

I wrote this quote accidentally as I put my thoughts into words. When I read it back, I accidentally realised that I had created a quote that would have a profound impact on my own life. If this doesn’t change your perspective on entrepreneurship, then nothing will!

Below are the eight parts of the quote broken down for you into chunks, and I encourage you to study each part.

1. Entrepreneurship is a form of art

The key trait of successful entrepreneurs is creativity. This comes as no surprise because entrepreneurship is about creating something from nothing and so is art. Having studied lots of entrepreneurs I have found that many of them spend their spare time doing some sort of art like drawing, creating music or writing.

To be able to dream up an idea and build a startup around it, you will be required to use the creative side of your brain more than anything else. You will have to be able to see in detail what your idea will look like and then be able to communicate it with lots of people (like the Canva founders did) and this is exactly what art is all about.

2. Entrepreneurship means you get to be you and express yourself

A lot of people work their entire careers and get told what to do and how to think. Entrepreneurship is the exact opposite of this, and you’re rewarded for being you, and for the people you bring along on your journey.

What makes you different? Why are you the chosen one to lead us down a path that we haven’t been down before? Will you show us yourself on the way and use what’s uniquely individual about you to help solve a problem?

If you look at any successful startup, you will see that the business is a direct reflection of the founders. From the office layout, to what people wear, to social functions, to the website; entrepreneurship allows you to express yourself in a way that nothing else in the world can.

3. Entrepreneurship inspires others to get behind a vision

Trying to make a change in the world is very hard. Through entrepreneurship, you get to inspire people with what you do, and guess what? The more you inspire people, the more successful your company is. Stop thinking in dollars and start thinking in terms of the impact you are having on people and whether or not you are inspiring them (inspiring them to do something positive I hope).

On my own entrepreneurial journey, I remember it being a bit like finding yourself. It’s like finding your purpose except instead of it just being about you; it’s about lots of people. What inspires you?

4. Entrepreneurship allows you to give back

The ultimate gift that comes from this amazing thing called entrepreneurship is the ability to have more resources than you require and to be able to use those resources to create change and give back. For me, writing this article right now is one way that I give back to the community that supported me.

We have all heard it before but giving back is the most rewarding thing you can do in your life. If you have already had success as an entrepreneur then what up and coming entrepreneurs can you inspire? What platform can you use to do this?

You can give money to anyone, but if they don’t have the mindset and beliefs to sustain the value you have given them, then in a short space of time they will be right back where the started. Education is the answer to sustained impact, not free money.

5. Entrepreneurship will test you

It’s life’s greatest test, and it is the hardest thing you will ever do in life. You have to be willing to put every bit of passion into what you do and be prepared to fail. You have to love what you do and be a likeable enough person that the masses will rally behind you and buy what you have to sell.

The best thing about the whole test is not the test itself, but the journey you go on and what you discover about yourself. After all, the need to grow is a basic human need, and I know for me, growth is one of the needs I seek more than anything else – I don’t care about the result.

6. Entrepreneurship will take every ounce of your energy and emotion

To give everything that you have and to create value for others will require all your energy (so you better fix your diet). It will also use all of your emotion. You are going to have days when you are exhausted and days when you feel like doing nothing more than crying – can you take it? Are you willing to experience every emotion there is and still make it to the other side?

You have to put all of you into it and not worry about what others think. Some will say your startup is rubbish, and it will never work, but your unwavering belief in yourself is all that matters. Let the passion of what you do shine through in your product and always treat your tribe (customers) like they are the only thing that matters. Do this, and you will be one of the greats.

Fail to give 100% of your emotion and energy, and fail – the choice is yours. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone so don’t be afraid if it consumes you, and you realise that it’s not for you. If after you fail (and you will at some point), and you find that you can’t come back, that’s okay, move on, serve others and be passionate about your interests.

7. Entrepreneurship can change the world

How many tasks in life can you think of that have the opportunity to completely change the course of human life as we know it? I can only think of one; entrepreneurship. If you have thought about your life and purpose in detail then by now, you will probably be thinking that you want to change the world in some way.

The road to change is a difficult one because it means you are going to have to change people’s perceptions around what they currently think is possible. It means you are going to have to let them see the passion in your eyes as you communicate your vision for something different.

You are not an entrepreneur you are a problem, solver. You have made it your mission in life to solve problems and for that you will be greatly compensated with more value you than you can ever expect to give. Your success will be compounded every time you solve another problem so think with an abundant mind at all times.

8. Entrepreneurship can create a legacy

I have said this many times before, but I feel the need to continue to keep spreading the message. We have to all be aware that our time on this planet is limited. All the money that we have and all the material possessions we have will not be with us forever.

Entrepreneurship allows us to create something that will outlive all of us and to leave something behind after we are gone. If your last day was on this earth tomorrow, would anyone remember the impact you had on the world in a decade’s time or would you just be a distant memory?

If the answer is a distant memory, then the good news is it’s never too late to become an entrepreneur. Start now and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks!

I hope all the entrepreneurs out there feel inspired after reading this and can relate to a few of the points I raised in my quote. Tell me what entrepreneurship means to you in the comments section below and follow me on Twitter or Facebook to stay in touch.

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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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Charlene

    Feb 5, 2016 at 5:38 am

    What a powerful quote that sums up the essence of entrepreneurship! This point spoke to me, “After all, the need to grow is a basic human need, and I know for me, growth is one of the needs I seek more than anything else – I don’t care about the result.” Most people are so focused on the results that they rush the journey. The journey is where the magic happens! Your mindset says a lot about you. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Divine

    Dec 21, 2015 at 2:44 am

    It’s just one quote, but it’s astonishing. Why? Because it’s the true essence of Entrepreneurship.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:18 am

      Thank you Divine, glad you liked the quote 🙂

  3. Jade

    Dec 20, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Literally the best thing I have ever read, I could feel the shivers of inspiration as I read this article all the way through. You have doubled my will power to succeed and my entrepreneurship goals and I want to thank you for this special moment

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:19 am

      Wow that’s a big call Jade, thank you for your kind words. All the best with your entrepreneurship goals!

  4. Paras Joshi

    Dec 18, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    One word “Brilliant”.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:18 am

      Cheers Paras!

  5. Lawrence Berry

    Oct 14, 2015 at 3:41 am

    I absolutely love this quote! In a world where so many people conform to make a living by getting a job, entrepreneurship opens the door to truly be yourself. That is exactly why I chose the path of entrepreneurship, to be liberated from what society told be to do, to live life on my own terms. The path of entrepreneurship is not an easy one. It is not for the weak-hearted and that is what pushes me even more, because I know that I am strong and that I can face any challenges that may be presented to me. Thanks for sharing this great quoute!

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 18, 2015 at 4:12 am

      Thanks Lawrence for your always inspiring messages. When someone says to me “normal people do such and such,” I instantly tune off. Who wants to be normal? At the heart of entrepreneurship it is all about being yourself and not being what society deems as normal.

  6. Esther Mellar

    Oct 7, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Tim,

    It is so true what you write: “It’s life’s greatest test, and it is the hardest thing you will ever do in life.” To speak about the difficulties and those who failed is somehow a taboo. We worship those who made it and are silent about the big majority who gave up. Often the difference is in the mindset, hence addicted2success is a great source for entrepreneurs who want to take up the fight.
    I am going to share your article.

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 7, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      Spot on Esther about the mindset factor. Thanks for reading!

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Entrepreneurs

The Secret to Becoming the Most Desirable Person to Do Business With

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Marketplace distinction is a very important factor in business today. You might have discovered that several other businesses offer the same or similar solutions that you do. This creates tough competition to get customers.

Being first to the market often gives an initial edge but that doesn’t last as innovation and marketing strategy changes the expectation and taste of customers. Blockbuster Video was once an industry leader but now it is eclipsed and out of business because of Netflix. There was a time Blackberry phones were at the top of the smartphone world as well. Now they have been outclassed in that market.

You must have noticed also that the companies with the best products and services are not always the ones with the best business. In fact, it is a common notion that smaller companies often offer better services than their larger competitors. This perhaps is because of the fact that they have smaller clients and can offer more tailored solutions and customer service. However, the majority still keep rushing to the largest companies in the industry. The common assumption is that the product or service is better, but in several cases, it’s not.

Becoming the company with the best business in the industry depends on how desirable you are to do business with as an entrepreneur. And if the business is a large corporation, the business depends on how desirable the managers and company representatives are as well.

We live in a day and age where clients and customers are emotionally driven towards making a purchase and then create a logical reason to back up their emotions. Nobody buys if the logic says yes but the emotions say no. This is why several companies today are trying to associate their brand with known social vices. You do remember the Nike ad with Colin Kaepernick and the Gillette ad that sparked a lot of discussion on social media. You don’t have to go that far if you don’t want to as there is another way.

“Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.” – Kevin Stirtz

There is a local community I once had to live with. The community was famous for its spiced roasted meat. It was sold on the street by the locals. When people come around to buy from them and speak English, they sell at their usual prices. But if you approached them and spoke their native language, they will be beaming with smiles and you can walk away with as much as a 50% discount. Why? The most beautiful thing to the ears of any person is their own language, especially when they least expect it.

This can be flipped into the business world too. Instead of triggering an emotional downpour on social media, you can target your audience and make them yours. It is the way to become the most desirable person to do business with. Speak the language of your customers.

Below, are the 2 steps to becoming the most desirable person to do business with whether you have a big company or are a one person operation:

1. Identify where your customers are

It’s difficult to know who your customers are without knowing where they are. A smart way to learn where the customers are is to conduct a survey of the customers you have already and find out how they learned about your company. The survey will seek to understand their reason for doing business with you and it might not be what you think.

The survey should also seek to understand what all your current customers have in common. It might be another product or service offered by another company complementary to yours. It might be a certain location. It might be a specific industry. The purpose of this is to pinpoint a waterfall of potential clients.

2. Identify what your customers want to hear

You have probably heard of trigger words. Yes, they do exist but they vary depending on the type of clients or customers you serve. You learn the words by listening to them. The purpose is not to manipulate the customers but to create an emotional connection with them when you talk about the solution you offer them. There are clients who walk away from the solution they need just because they did not connect with the one offering the solution. So make sure you are listening to them and figuring out a way to create an emotional connection.

The decision of the client to do business with you is not hinged on how awesome your product or services are, rather it is based on how well you understand their problem. They are going to know how well you understand their problem with how fluent you speak their language. And that is the secret to being the most desirable person to do business with.

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3 Ways You Can Get Back to Basics While Accelerating Your Business Growth

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Young kids are a living, breathing, walking and talking reminder of how important the basics are. They usually underestimate simple everyday tasks and create new chaos in the process. This creates a real time reminder for themselves, and everyone around them, of how important getting back to the basics are. If you have ever watched a baby try to walk or eat, something you do every day, this is very clear.

A growing business is much like a growing child. Rapid growth during the first few years, independence and confidence as the idea grows into a profitable business, and eventually adolescent rebellion once the taste of success comes in. As a business grows, change becomes inevitable, and can very often be unmanageable and overwhelming.

A business can also experience growing pains. From adding staff, to something as simple as time management, the growth of a business can sometimes be more stressful than the death of a business. Success hinges on adaptability, but it is equally important to take time to recognize what got you started when the business was just an idea.

Here are some of the stages your business may be going through, and the way to adapt and grow effectively and efficiently:

1. The terrible twos

As your company grows, the expectations of it and you will change. You are no longer the new kid on the block with limitless potential. Sticking to your core values and adapting to change becomes a full-time balancing act. Very often this early onset of success allows you to hire more people and expand your reach. Especially in companies experiencing hockey stick growth, you may have forgot to create a corporate culture when it was just a few of you in a garage.

Even if you are in an early stage of your company it is important to document the work you are doing and create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and expectations of every task you are completing alone. Once you hire someone, it will be much easier to train them if you can hand them a document telling them this is how you do it.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. The tween years

People can get so busy working in their business that they forget to work on it. Be sure to notice the borders of your company and plan how to broaden them. As a company now with profits, employees and resources, you’re keeping busier than ever, but not sure what is next. Much like a child still needs their parents for some of the basics like food and shelter, during this stage of business, coaches and mentors are so important. Be sure to surround yourself with people who are where you want to be and learn from them. This is the make or break point for many businesses so make sure you are working and surrounding yourself with the right people.

3. Entrepreneur adolescents

Many teenagers feel like an adult, because physically and mentally they feel like they are there, but socially and economically they are not even close in most cases. Success can be blinding and create this same false positive for a growing company. Success can create a comfortable bubble that can distract from further growth. The comfort can create slip-ups and mistakes. Be mindful, and don’t let progress slow you down.

During this stage of business, coaches and mentors are still a key factor to success. They may not be the same ones you had in earlier stages, but the great thing about today’s market place is you can find someone out there to get the advice and guidance you may need. In this phase it very well can be a peer or someone on the same level. 

So, what can you do about this day to day? Read below:

1. Back to the Future

Go back to old emails, files, photos, and reminisce. Every venture has a beginning. The photos and emails you have recorded and collected can be just as much an inspiration as your current goals and challenges. Make sure you have the TimeHop app on your phone, this will help jog your memory.

2. Get feedback

Talk to clients and get feedback. We get many chances to talk to new clients, but make sure you go back and question old clients to understand their perspective on your work and business. Ask them about the changes they have noticed and whether the same kind of qualities are still there when they started with you.

“No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn’t.” – James Cash Penney

3. The Social Network

Networking is key as well, both on and offline. Listen to new people and new customers. You will see plenty of new faces along your journey up, make sure you are receptive and accepting of the new kinds of ideas these people bring along with them. Rigidity can kill a business. Make sure you are networking with the right people online via social media. During all stages of growth, it is so important to be networking in person locally, and make sure you get on a plane and go to an event!

Remember, a business is run by people, and as a CEO and Entrepreneur, you are a person. Make sure you keep growing your business, because if you’re not growing your dying.

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3 Strategies for Entrepreneurs to Stand Out Before, During and After Networking

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Oftentimes, entrepreneurs spend a good amount of time networking to create leads and fill knowledge gaps. Networking events and conventions offer a high level of excitement and engagement, but how do you keep the momentum going and stay in front of potential leads without spamming? How do you actually have people follow up with you directly?

Below, I have listed 3 strategies to help you stand out before, during and after networking:

1. Be consistent with your brand on social media, or don’t be on it.

Most people have an online presence, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone without a social media account. Especially those with a product or service to sell. Even if the pictures posted to your social media account are only pictures of you and your dog, those images communicate a brand, and that’s what followers come to expect when they interact with your page.

If you connect with someone at an event, and they visit your social media profile, is your most recent post reflective of who you are? Is it a pillar in your brand? Another aspect to consider is that everyone has their go-to platform, therefore, it is important to be active on multiple social media platforms. That being said, if you are not active on a particular platform, your business and networking prospects can be harmed.

You may want to consider doing away with the social media platform you’re not active on. If you live on Instagram, don’t be on another social media platform that you are not going to put effort into, or consider outsourcing it. The key here is post networking, you want people to see you regularly, and consistently with the same message.

2. Publishing your own book is the modern-day business card.

With today’s technology, many entrepreneurs debate on the need for a business card, and in a networking event, you can apply a variety of techniques both with and without one. That being said, when someone asks the proverbial networking question “What is it that you do?”, handing them an autographed book that tells your story and about your area of expertise is hard to forget.

It gives credibility in your field and positions you as an authority. It’s easier than ever to self-publish your knowledge, and being a published author opens doors. It allows others to know and learn more about you, not unlike the podcast and your online presence, but it also helps take your personal brand and business to the next level. With a book, you also become an expert in your industry, and it paves the way if you have the desire to speak at conferences and/or events adding another level to your networking.

3. Having a course or mastermind will allow you to stand out from the crowd.

With the first two mentioned above in place, people want to connect with you before, after and during a networking event. So how do we keep teaching and networking with them? The book you authored can be turned into an online course. Each chapter offers the chance to go deeper into the material, and therefore go deeper into the brand and business.

It serves as a companion piece for those who read your book, and with the completion of the course or mastermind group, they have the necessary tools to accomplish the goals outlined in your book. Your mastermind can be delivered in several ways. You can do a weekly call with a group and almost run it like a book club.

The other option is through a Facebook group where you do a weekly live explaining the topics in each chapter, and answer questions in the comments. The final option for the busy entrepreneur is to create a prerecorded webinar or online course that can be accessed 24/7 by current and potential clients.

Networking is the key to success for any entrepreneur, but the money is in the follow up. These three simple things give you credibility, allow you to connect with more leads in one session and create a consistent and clear personal branding message for you online. Remember, your network is your net worth.

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Entrepreneurs

5 Ways to Find the Time for Self-Growth While Running a Business

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Taking time out for self-growth is by far one of the best things a business owner can do to secure a winning future. You’ll be surprised to know how investing in personal growth can contribute to business success. Self-growth boosts creativity, confidence, and motivation. It persuades us to create systems in our personal and professional lives that lead us to success.

Business owners and entrepreneurs have to wear multiple hats and may not always be able to find time to invest in their personal growth. However, self-growth cannot be achieved at random. It’s a continuous process that requires dedicated efforts and time.

Below are 5 tips that’ll help you focus on self-growth, transform you into a better business professional, and steer you towards success:

1. Be a Ruthless Prioritizer

The power of ruthless prioritization cannot be trivialized. Life as a business owner can get so busy that personal priorities and self-growth goals tend to take a back seat.

Business-related tasks and responsibilities can never disappear, but we can definitely plan ahead and prioritize tasks to get organized and make time for ourselves. I like to use Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle to classify tasks and prioritize like a pro.

Master the art of delegation. Trust your subordinates with smaller tasks and gradually delegate bigger responsibilities to them, thereby maximizing productivity and making time for yourself. I often play to my team’s strengths or train them on managing critical business tasks. This leaves me time to focus on personal growth. Effective delegation not only keeps us sane amidst tight deadlines but also helps us focus on ourselves.

Remember to allocate time to the person who matters most – You! Prioritizing tasks will leave you enough time to invest in your creativity, self-confidence, knowledge, health, and relationships.

2. Learn to Say No. Period.

There’s a lot we can learn from Warren Buffet. The American business magnate puts it across in simple words – “Really Successful People Say No To Almost Everything.” The primary reason why modern business owners and entrepreneurs have less self-time is because of their inability to say no when required.

Resist the urge of being wired to the perpetual yes mode. Say no to unproductive tasks and requests that continuously consume your time and energy. This will help you find the much-needed me-time to define life’s priorities and reflect on your personal growth.

Make it a policy not to take business calls on weekends. Let your stakeholders know and respect the fact that weekends are personal time. Similarly, you can design a policy to eliminate late nights at work by forbidding meetings after 6 pm.

Being consistent with this policy will help you overcome the guilt and anxiety that come along with saying no. You not only create a positive work culture, but also make time for self-development.

Further, getting rid of unproductive tasks will free up your cognitive space, allowing you to pursue self-improvement strategies like enrolling for an online course or attending a workshop for small business owners.

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Tony Blair

3. Befriend Technology

Technology has been enabling entrepreneurs and business owners to adapt quickly to the changing business needs, allowing them to make better use of time and resources. For instance, the cloud offers immense flexibility allowing business owners to access data from any location and using different devices. Project management and collaboration tools, such as Trello, Harvest, and GSuite can help you focus on multiple tasks without wasting too much time.

Similarly, email marketing automation tools enable business owners to organize their customers’ email addresses and send targeted emails, deal notifications, and product information in a scheduled manner without having to get into the nitty-gritty.

Besides, modern technology is redefining learning experience for entrepreneurs and business owners. Several online learning platforms are offering immersive educational experience through web and mobile apps. These platforms provide business professionals and busy entrepreneurs learning beyond the classroom by helping them upgrade their skills from any part of the world.

Going tech savvy not only makes life easy but also helps you save time. Using high-tech tools can help you stay on top of your tasks and fuel personal growth.

4. Eliminate Distractions

Many business owners unknowingly waste a huge chunk of their day accomplishing tasks that can be easily delegated or avoided. A study by Inc. reveals that business owners waste a staggering 21.8 hours a week. That’s almost one day lost! Imagine what you could achieve in that time.

Eliminating the common time wasters can significantly increase the amount of time available for self-growth.

Here are a few time-wasters you should avoid to make time for yourself.

Spending Excessive Time Online

A Vertical Response survey reveals that 43 percent of business owners spend 6+ hours per week on social media, surfing websites, emailing, and going through apps. The fear of missing out (FOMO) often compels us to keep checking connected devices, thereby wasting too much time online.

To make time for yourself it’s critical to challenge the dominance of social media in our lives. Block the distraction of the online world using various apps. These apps allow you to block your social accounts and the internet, allowing you to focus on self-development.

Similarly, emails are time-sucking black holes that can cause you to lose focus. Set a specific time of the day to check and respond to emails. Better still, avoid checking emails until you have finished important tasks.

Random Networking

Building relationships is critical for every business owner, however, there’s a fine line that separates networking and wasting time in meaningless socializing. It is easy to lose time in such random networking that does nothing for your personal growth. Therefore, it’s best to avoid such chatty situations. For instance, if you have set time aside to upskill yourself by taking an online course, make sure you wear headphones to focus and keep random schmoozers at bay. Alternatively, don’t shy away from asking the person to get back to you at lunch break or after you have finished the task at hand.

Futile Business Meetings

A business owner is required to keep a bird’s eye view on various business operations. Although meetings help us do just that, it’s important to not waste time on unstructured and pointless meetings. Did you know, American businesses alone waste USD 37 billion per year in unnecessary meetings? Avoid drowning yourself in pointless meetings. If you must attend one, make sure it has a clear agenda, allowing you to reclaim your time for self-improvement activities.

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” – Christopher Columbus

5. Use Idle Time Effectively

Downtime doesn’t always have to be unproductive. Those idle moments when you are traveling or waiting for a customer can be spent doing meaningful activities like recording goals in a bullet journal, social listening, reading a self-development book or a business article, listening to Ted Talks, or learning a new language. Make a conscious effort to pursue value-adding activities during your idle time, thereby fostering personal growth.

Running a business isn’t easy. Most business owners spend so much time and resources in scaling their venture that they are unable to find any personal development time. Use the effective tips shared in this post to make time for self-growth in your jam-packed schedule.

With everything you need to do during the day, how do you find time to get it all done? Share your tips and advice below!

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