Connect with us

Entrepreneurs

3 Reasons Why You Should Stop Telling All Your Friends To Become An Entrepreneur

Published

on

Entrepreneur Friends Shouldnt All So Business

Going back as far as high school, I lusted after the idea of doing my own thing. The problem was I had no clue how that would work our, or what I would do. I worked a tonne of odd jobs, and even the casual retail job from the age of 16 until I was 23. I joke about having a long resume of 2-month work stints, but it’s the truth.

Over time I learned that working a 9-to-5 simply wasn’t for me. As a result, I started my entrepreneurial journey.

I remember my last day at the call center job I had, and setting up a plan to succeed in my small university apartment on the first Saturday I had off in months. That was the beginning of what has been a very rewarding and challenging roller coaster ride. I always knew the decisions I made were the right ones, but something else, while not always super obvious, has been evident.

I am cut out for entrepreneurship because of various traits I possess.

I enjoy sales. I don’t mind a somewhat unstable income (at least when getting started). I like solving problems, and dealing with people. I have a deep appreciation for my personal freedom that comes from being able to determine my own schedule, and projects. I’m willing to live with less, and forgo some of the American ideals my peers are experiencing (having kids, buying cars and houses, etc) to make things work for me.

I’ve made these choices due to what makes sense to me as an individual.

I’m often asked how I got started, or what I did to get where I am, but once I begin to explain how, and what’s involved, some people are turned off.

In the past, I tried to talk my friends into starting a business, but I soon learned it’s mostly a waste of breath. But not because my advice wasn’t good, but simply because those people just aren’t cut out for this life.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s perfectly normal.

I’ll be the first to admit it. Many entrepreneurs are crazy and many of us think our way is the ONLY way.

In reality, there are many paths to the same destination, but when you get from point A to point B in a manner that only makes sense to you, it seems like it’s the only way.

As a result, you might find yourself proselytizing to all your friends about how they should do it too, even if they have no interest or are scared stiff.

And that’s why I wrote this article — for all you go-getters who tell everyone to become an entrepreneur, you might ought to stick a sock in it.

 

1. Entrepreneurship Requires A Certain Personality Type

Many of us who enjoy this lifestyle are a bit eclectic. Some may even call us mad. I wouldn’t argue with them, and I’ll be first to admit to my fair share of manic episodes (just go read my Twitter stream). The up’s and down’s of this lifestyle are reserved for those who can handle it.

One month’s earnings can be amazing while the next month’s are next to nothing. If that phases you, I’d highly advise rethinking your decisions around working for yourself.

This life is about being a self-starter. I hate that title, but it’s the truth.

In my many job interviews, that was a key question –

“Would you consider yourself a self-starter?”

Every time I heard that I wanted to rip my eyeballs out and say “What do you think? I’m sitting here in a cheap pair of slacks, and a shirt my mom ironed in order to impress and convince you to give me 9 dollars per hour for making sandwiches and sweeping the floor.

A self-starter is someone who can figure out what they need to do, and begin doing it – at times without a fully developed plan. It’s someone who takes immediate action, and asks questions later.

If you’re not willing to work long hours (at least in the beginning), it’s probably not for you.

If you don’t get excited about the journey of reaching new heights, I wouldn’t sign up for this gig.

 

2. It’s Not As Easy As It Seems

Some of my friends would ask me about what I’m doing. When I’d explain my work day, and what’s involved, a very common remark is “your life is so easy! You’re lucky! I wish I could get paid to sit at home and run a website.

Now I will admit I’m lucky in the sense that I made certain decisions, and had certain people in my life who were instrumental in making those decisions, but none of this is easy.

In fact, I hate telling people what I do because it makes conversations awkward. I can’t relate to most people’s problems they have with coworkers, bosses, and rigours of waking up at 7 a.m. to catch the train.

On the outside, it seems glorious, but for those of us who’ve taken the plunge, it’s far from that life.

The mind of someone making their own way is a chaotic whirlwind at times. Everyone has their high’s and low’s but I imagine those of an entrepreneur are more pronounced.

Tim Ferriss said it best in his article “Productivity” Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me): “Most “superheroes” are nothing of the sort. They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things DESPITE lots of self-defeating habits and self-talk.”

But most everyone only sees is the outwardly productive and seemingly normal side of an entrepreneur.

They don’t see them dreading a project, or putting off client work due to fear of not doing it well enough. Or being burned out. Or dealing with depression and avoiding the therapist.

They don’t see them eating ice cream for breakfast and playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on his PS2 at 6am for 3 hours on the day a major project must be done

Talk about anxiety one can create for themselves through procrastination… but this is a normal part of life for most of us.

It’s a constant push/pull between extremes. One month, everything seems to be going great. You’re making money, sleeping well, and routinely socializing. The next month, you’re skimping on deadlines, moving your to-do list back a day, and wondering if it would be easier to go work at the Buckle… at least you don’t have to worry about setting your calendar, right?

 

3. It Won’t Make Sense To Everyone

We need people to work at the grocery store. We need people to work in factories that manufacture our eye glasses and clothes, and packages our food.

We need school teachers, and mechanics. We need librarians, and video game store clerks.

Not every single person can do their own thing. Plus, not everyone wants to. The demands of someone starting a business are much different from those who are working for the business.

Some people have a talent for management, organization, attaching soles to shoes. Some of them don’t wish to do anything else. So what?

Something I detest is trying to explain to someone who simply wants to work at their job why they should go out on their own.

Maybe they don’t care about doing something on their own… Maybe they actually like their job (newsflash: not everyone hates their jobs like I did). Maybe their profession allows them the money they need and the time to spend with their family.

They’re not us, and that’s okay.

Look on the bright side. While you may be enthusiastic about the decisions you made for yourself, many others might not be as interested. Save your energy and spend it on making yourself and business better.

 

 

Feature Image Photography by Fred Othero

JC Deen is a fitness coach, and published writer out of Nashville, Tennessee. He’s been seen in Forbes, and has contributed to The Huffington Post, Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness. Check out his No-BS Approach to Looking Great Naked and/or harass him on Twitter or Facebook.

Advertisement
17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. albertino

    Jul 9, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Trying to persuade friends to become entrepreneurs is like persuading a loved one who doesn’t know how to swim to jump into the ocean. It will sound very wicked to them. Instead of wasting my precious time in persuading anyone to do their own thing, I rather encourage them to be good at what they do while I concentrate on my own madness’

  2. Sarah Como

    Jul 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I totally relate to this article. I finally tried to stop convincing others to become entrepreneurs. However, I still struggle when it comes to my husband. He’s not comfortable with the uncertainty and does not have an entrepreneurial mindset. He encourages me to go for it but can’t relate.

  3. Nate Ginsburg

    Apr 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Great article man! I’m gearing up for a trip back home and have been thinking about what it will be like to hang out with my old friends/crowd opposed to the SE Asia crew. I’ve also learned that it’s best not to preach.. You’re right, the life isn’t for everyone.

  4. mindsetofmark

    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Thank for you this amazing article. For the past few months of building my business, I ran into this wall and what you wrote describe exactly what I’ve been pondering about for the past few months, I realize I had learn so much from the pursuit of entrepreneurship and I see what it’s like out there for people who wants to settle for a job, I didn’t think it was fair for people to settle for a life of working for someone else, I cared so much about my friends I was trying to convince them that a job is not going to fill the dreams and goals you want to achieve. I had no’s and rejections and I took it personally because I had such strong belief that they would see what I see. After a few more months of growth and struggle, I definitely realize what I chose to do is not for anyone and that the friends I talked to wouldn’t even last a few weeks doing what I do, I became more aware of the things that an entrepreneur must go through that an employee will never experience in their lifetime.That is why only so few people choose this path, what an amazing insight indeed. Thank you so much JC.

  5. dotchamou

    Apr 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    By the time I was in high school I knew that I will never, never work
    as an employee in my life. In my country, Benin (west Africa) the rate of
    unemployement is too high. So the solution of unemployement for me is
    that every student and school boy must be an entrepreneur. So, by the time I leave
    university, I create a little business, the business grow a
    little. That business enable me to pay my rent and to feed myself. By that
    time, most of my friends who didn’t become ‘’entrepreneur’’ like me were
    jobless and were very broke. Even though I did’nt have enough money, they
    admired me and congratulated me of being an “entrepreneur’’. About four
    years later, my little business collapsed and everything fell apart in my life. I lose my
    business and my money.I become very broke. That is a starting point of a
    very, very hard and miserable life for me .I cannot pay my rent, I am in deep debt ,
    I cannot find money to eat. My electricity and water was cut because I cannot pay my bills
    By that time when I fell in misery, most of friends have
    found a job, they started enjoying a ‘’good life’’ (life of security) .They started telling me that:
    “ Yes, we know that, being an entrepreneur is very dangerous and too
    risky, that is why we didn’t follow you in that path. Look, today we have a secure
    job. We are protected by the government. We don’t have much money but we
    have what we need, try to find a job like we do, and forget your idea of being
    your own boss”. I stretch my head and I said to myself,’’I will comeback,
    My coming back will be greater than what I lose”.
    So, most people will never share and accept to be an entrepreneur, most people want security instead of adventure. I‘m still on my journey of being an
    antrepreneur. The journey is hard but it is full of pleasures,tears and lessons.
    I commit to be an antrepreneur. Nothing can stop me on that journey.I make for myself this words of Donald Trump,’’NEVER GIVE up’’,’NEVER QUIT’ Thank you for your attention.

    • alok

      Oct 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      my dearest friend you are amazing more than the definition of amazing . You are the tiny ray of hope amidst the darkest of darkest gloom not only in my life but to the millions of people all are around the world. 1000 MILLION THANKS TO YOU.
      I AM DEEPLY TOUCHED AND TRANSCENDED BT YOUR INSPIRING WORDS.

  6. oscar

    Apr 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Man I totally feel yah, there is only so much we can do for our friends, most people don’t see what we see with this odd lifestyle we acquire to be different in a sense.

  7. George

    Apr 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

    This is perfect. Eventually we all take a different path as our friends create their careers and you create your own, it seems so obvious that different people are gonna want to pursue different jobs.

    This was me at first. I loved the idea of doing it myself, I understood it would be harder than getting a normal job, but to be able to watch something grow from the very beginning sounded a lot more interesting than getting paid to sell sneakers.

    Then I thought, wow this would be so much better if my friends would join me too. Because of what I do, I have different schedules than my friends. When they’re all out late at night drinking, I’m at home sleeping or on my computer.

    It’s not that I want to be out partying, but when a lot of the work I do is at home on my computer, it’s easy for me to miss my friends and wanting to see what they’re up to, working together sounds like an easy solution.

    But the truth is, people want different things. Some people look at me starting a website and think it’s boring, unrealistic and downright dumb. Maybe they’re right. Maybe we’re the weird ones who find working on the internet actually exciting.

    Oh, well. Salute to all you fellow weirdos!

  8. Koko

    Apr 10, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Wow … actually I find myself in the position of reconsidering my friends to start their own thing way too often. I even abandoned some of my friends because they were dragging me down to the level of no-enthusiasm towards work. However, now I think I won’t do the persuading stuff to my friends anymore.

  9. Mike Sutton - BeBuildHave.com

    Apr 10, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I agree with all 3 points, but I also think career employment as option #1 is on it’s way out. Entrepreneurship is a reality of the new economy and will be the only option for more and more people, so we need to find a way to support, train, and develop those skills in people who aren’t “naturals”.

    • JuiCy™ (@JCDFitness)

      Apr 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      I disagree. If everyone were an entrepreneur, who would do the meaningless work? Who would run the errands? Who would make my coffee at the local cafe?

      Who would serve me a steak? Who would make sure my cell phone is working correctly when I have trouble with service?

      • Patrice K. Cokley, MBA

        May 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

        I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m always having this discussion with someone. Although doing meaningless work is not for us, it is something that needs to be done. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. So I’m ok with people settling in their lives. As long as they’re not trying to talk me out of my goals, I’m fine. Thanks for this post! It came right on time.

  10. Dano

    Apr 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Cool story bro. But do you even lift?

  11. Andy

    Apr 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Perfect time for this article. I had an argument with my wife last night about issues I am experiencing and she just didn’t get it. She never will either and it’s not a bad thing.

  12. Naomi@business start ups

    Apr 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Hi JC,

    I feel like you hacked my brain. I couldn’t agree more.

    When I first became self employed and earning well, I thought to myself ‘why would people NOT want to do this’. I have tell all my friends and family!

    But in reality although most people lust after the lifestyle they haven’t really got what it takes. They don’t want to work weekends, in the evenings and need a boss to be accountable too.

    They just can’t commit. I now realize this is OK. It’s their choice, their life and everyone journey towards fulfillment and happiness is completely different and doesn’t have to follow mine.

    Great post and scarily close to my own thoughts!

    Naomi

    • JuiCy™ (@JCDFitness)

      Apr 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks. Glad it resonated – I imagined it would with others paving their own path.

  13. Emily Filloramo

    Apr 8, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    JC, I agree that it does take a certain personality to have the tenacity to work through all the fears and obstacles that naturally come up as an entrepreneur. When something great happens as a result of the hard work, it’s euphoric.

    The path to success is not a straight line, it’s full of zigzags. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Leave a Reply

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

Entrepreneurs

Answer These 4 Questions to Have a Successful Social Impact for Your Business

Published

on

social media strategy
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Answer the right questions before you start your Social Media Strategy and you will achieve the best results for your brand. Businesses are key players on the social media networks today. Social Media is a direct and real-time way of relationship of consumers with brands. Social media users really connect in a personal level with their favourite brands.

Social media platforms are in fact a new storefront for products or services, a way of reaching new clients and it can also be another sales funnel that actually increase sales and revenue. For all those reasons, most businesses, entrepreneurs and brands do not want to miss the huge opportunity of having a presence on Social Media.

But in many cases, if you do not have the right approach to your marketing strategy and if you don’t answer the right questions, you may end up wasting your efforts and time and not reaching any clear positive results.

So if you want to avoid failure and wasting your efforts, answer the following questions before starting your strategy:

1. What is my final goal?

The first thing you need to think about is what is the final goal of your business. What do you want to achieve as a business owner, entrepreneur or a blogger? And how can you achieve that final goal? In most cases, the answers boil down to one: increasing your revenue. To achieve that goal of increasing your revenue, you simply need to increase your conversions, sell more or get more clients.

This sounds pretty obvious but oftentimes we lose perspective and focus on doing things that are not leading us to our final goal. So it is important to make sure that you are clear on the final goal of every (lucrative) business.

“Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” – Alan Lakein

2. Who is my target audience?

The second question you need to ask yourself is who is your target audience. You most likely already have this clear through your experience, but it is a great idea to create a “customer avatar” or “customer persona” to be able to identify that particular potential customer.

A “customer persona” or “avatar” in Marketing is a representation of the traits, features and behavior of a business’ target customer. Having a customer persona can help you to identify and address your target audience, and you can create more than just one avatar, if you have more than one type of customers.

One of the things that the avatar is going to help you with is in terms of taking a decision of what type of message your brand is going to send. The message is important indeed, but how you express that message is vital to reach your customer. You need to speak their language!

Once you know who your “persona” is, you need to find out where can you find your “persona”. There are probably lots of places where you can find out your target audience but in most cases, today you can find your avatar on social media. Once you are clear about what you want to achieve and who is that particular customer that can give you that goal, it’s now time to look at the social media channels and ask the next questions:

3. Where is my target audience?

Where on Social Media can I find my target audience? To properly answer this question, think about your persona or personas, and find out what their favourite social media platforms are. Also, ask yourself within the main social platforms where in particular can they be found.

For example if your target audience is young people, they will most likely be on Snapchat. If they are millennials mums, they will mostly be on Instagram. If your business is about selling services to professionals, you will probably find them on LinkedIn. If your persona is a forty-something guy, you probably will find him on Facebook.

Go deeper once you figure that out. That forty-something year old guy on Facebook probably is also a member of Facebook groups related to sports, or tv shows. The millennial mum is probably interested in fashion accounts on Instagram. The professional on LinkedIn probably follows some experts or “gurus” in a certain professional field.

In other words, here is where you have to take your time to research and find out where your potential customers can be found. Once you know this, you can select the right social channels where your business should be present. When you know where your potential customers are, you will know where to concentrate your social efforts to avoid dispersion and waist of time.

“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.” – Albert Camus

4. How can I connect with my target audience?

In this final question the most accurate answer is: with your message. Your message is WHAT you have to say and most importantly in terms of connection with your target audience, HOW you say it.

“How you say it” equals to your content: your content goes from a range of elements that goes from your images to your texts, and everything in between. The secret of having an engaging message that connects with your target audience, is that it must be aligned with your potential customers’ language, colours, icons, style, images, captions, expressions, etc. All that “look and feel” your brand is projecting, must connect with your target audience, so that your message can penetrate that barrier and they can receive it.

And finally, one of the core values of your message is “What you say”. This means you have to describe or talk about your business, your brand, your services or your products, but the key in social media to make your message powerful is to be CONVERSATIONAL.

Making your message conversational simply means don’t try to sell! Focus on offering solutions to your clients and engage in conversations on the platforms or communities where your target audience is!

Conclusion

Make sense of your social media presence. Answer these questions and let them lead you to the right choices on your social media strategy. This way you will be able to build a targeted community where your business will get lots of opportunities to grow,

Tell me, what do you currently do to make a successful approach to your social media strategy? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

How to Brand Yourself and Your Business at the Same Time

Published

on

branding
Image Credit: Unsplash

In the age of automation, people seek to feel personally connected to companies more than ever. The most successful brands have a well-developed narrative and voice, delivering messages to their followers with an air of approachability and ease. Nobody can deny that they prefer feeling like they are being talked with and not talked at.

For many companies, this process involves telling the story of their CEO/Founder just as much as telling the story of the company. A company’s foundation and values is often based on those of its founder’s, and building a successful brand often begins with a certain level of personal publicity and networking. It’s common knowledge that investors invest in ideas, and ideas are direct products of people. So, as the person behind an idea, how can you ensure you are doing yourself and your company justice in terms of branding?

Below are 3 characteristics of your brand you must think about in order to be a success:

1. What’s Your Story?

Make your company’s story your story. People revere Steve Jobs just as much as they do Apple, because they have followed his and Wozniak’s struggles and successes for just as long. With his trademark black turtleneck, Levi’s 501s, and mega-casual New Balance sneakers, the simplicity of his look directly mirrored the minimalism of Apple’s design. Be it unintentionally, Jobs branded himself just as much as he did Apple.

Whether you’re the owner of a startup or small business, you will want to establish this same connection. On your company’s “About” page, tell about your history and how it has led you to where you are now. Discuss your vision, goals, and aspirations for the future of the company and how events in your personal life inspired you to begin your business.

For example, real-estate guru Barbara Corcoran has frequently discussed how a failed relationship and financially-strained upbringing led her to the establishment of her multi-million dollar firm. Candidness and personal publicity are what people admire most in a founder. So sit down, decide what story you want to tell, determine what kind of voice you are going to use to tell it (be it modest, confident, or humorous), and then decide how you want to tell it.

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling

2. Set Your Brand into Motion

As discussed, branding is all about the story you tell and how you tell it. Social media has become an excellent outlet for that, because it is the one place where a brand can behave as a person. You create your company’s Facebook page and people watch as it interacts with other people. Of course, this is a person acting on behalf of the brand, but that person has a personality, candor, and voice that people begin to associate with the brand itself.

You may be a one-man-band handling your own marketing and day-to-day operations, or you may have hired a marketing rep/team to handle the social media for you. If it’s the latter, establishing a shared belief of what the voice is for your brand is crucial. Nobody will follow a company whose tone is inconsistent. People like reliability, trustworthiness, and relatability.

Whatever voice you choose for your brand should not be too far off from your own. The names of Elon Musk’s business ventures and projects are based directly on his spontaneous wit and spasmodic humor, i.e. the Boring Company, the BFR, and Tesla models S, 3, X, Y (released in that order for an obvious end result).

Much like Musk did, using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is an important element in voicing your and your brand’s opinions. You will want to gain traction on your personal and your business accounts, and interweave the topics and narrative styles of both accounts on a consistent basis.

3. Be Your Brand

Business cards, interviews, your company website, and networking events – these are all ways to solidify and build your brand. Wherever you go, you are embodying a persona that people will forever associate with your business. By having a say in your company’s identity, that persona will even show in aspects like your logo, website design, and mission statement. Knowledge of branding means that you will always be your own publicist, even when you can one day afford to hire one.

Self-branding is the precursor to success, hence the rise of influencers and public figures in the social media era. Developing your personal brand and having an existing following will garner the much-needed support for your business. Suddenly, the people who have followed you personally become potential investors, crowd funders, and advertisers (never underestimate the power of the “share” button) for your business.

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” – Jeff Bezos

Creating continuity, popularity, and solidarity between your personal brand and your company’s brand is as simple as ensuring you pour as much of yourself into your company’s work as possible. This involves being directly involved in establishing its image, pitching it to investors, and writing articles on behalf of your company for publishers and influencers. You are your own spokesperson, and social media makes that feat easier than ever.

How do you make sure you’re branding yourself correctly whether as an individual or a with your business? Let us know your thoughts below!

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

5 Reasons Why Perfectionists Cannot Be Entrepreneurs

Published

on

perfectionists
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Perfectionists have high standards for themselves and for others. In an office environment, as employees, they take their responsibilities seriously and never complete any task or project without double-checking even the minutest detail to ensure that it is perfect. They can be irritating to others, too, because they expect the same perfection from their co-workers.

When a perfectionist who has been amazing on the job decides that they want to strike out as an entrepreneur, there are personality traits that can really work against success. Knowing about these in advance may help a perfectionist avoid some of these pitfalls.

Here are five of those pitfalls:

1. I Have to Do It Myself

Perfectionists believe only they can complete a task or project exactly right. Due to this, they operate in two ways:

  • If they have a team with specific tasks, they will micro-manage every step of the way. Having done this myself, I can confirm that this is exhausting.
  • They don’t employ or outsource anything, because they must control every aspect of their businesses and spend whatever time is necessary to complete every task themselves. They must feel in control or things will go wrong.

The problem of course is that, as business tasks and processes expand, the perfectionist finds himself grappling with an ever-expanding list of tasks to perform. At some point, he “hits a wall,” because there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Ultimately, this means that there will be tasks not completed exactly right, and this is a “killer” for the perfectionist.

The solution is not an easy one. It will require admission that no one can be “perfect” in every facet of a business. For me, it was the accounting function. If a perfectionist can pick just one facet of the business that must be tasked to someone else, this is a major first step. After that major first step, it will gradually become easier to task out other facets. It’s gradual, and it is a process.

2. Inability to Accept Feedback

Because a perfectionist truly believes only they can “do it right,” when positive or negative feedback comes along their defenses are immediately activated.

Perfectionists have difficulty admitting any weakness. While most entrepreneurs seek advice and counsel from others as they develop their business plans and steps toward a launch, perfectionists tend not to seek advice, believing again that only they can make the process work. They must strive to develop the perfect product or service, no matter how long that may take.

One famous perfectionist was Steve Jobs of Apple. He wanted control of every aspect of product development and insisted that every employee come to him for approval of every detail of a new product innovation. He was unrelenting and known for bursts of anger, often firing employees at will, and that led to his removal from the company at one point. However, he did have a transformation of sorts after he was brought back in to revive Apple, and his perfectionism did modify, especially after he became ill.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk

3. Perfectionists Delay Launches

When a perfectionist decides to strike out on his own, he develops a product or a service for which he believes there is a customer base. He develops a business plan and establishes timelines, just as most would-be entrepreneurs do.

The difference between perfectionist and non-perfectionist entrepreneurs is this: the non-perfectionist is willing to develop an MVP, launch it, test the waters, and modify and improve that product or service as they receive feedback and data from marketing and sales efforts.

The perfectionist, on the other hand, cannot launch a less-than-perfect product or service. They fear rejection and failure. There will always be something that can be improved in some way. The result is that a launch is indefinitely delayed and so are marketing plans and the development of a customer base.

4. Perfectionists Suffer from Lack of Balance

Because of their obsession with both doing it all themselves and being perfect in everything, perfectionist entrepreneurs will find themselves increasing their work hours and spending every waking hour on business-related activities. Ultimately, they will sacrifice social activities, time with family, vacations, and even small previous pleasures, like a lunch or dinner out or shopping. They avoid phone calls from friends, forego meals and sleep, and often suffer from insomnia and chronic fatigue.

In short, work becomes the perfectionist’s entire life. These long, unrelenting hours, often combined with stress because of the never-ending list of tasks, lead to burnout. And when burnout is reached, it’s impossible to function effectively. The signs of this include inability to focus and forgetfulness – something that a perfectionist cannot tolerate.

“It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.” – Philip Green

5. Perfectionists Will Lose Their Creativity

One of the key ingredients of successful entrepreneurship is creative thought and problem-solving. This is how new products and services are developed or existing ones improved along with how new and unique marketing strategies are developed.

When perfectionists are so focused on those tasks at hand and dealing with the fear that things will not be perfect, they lose their ability to think “outside of the box.”

Even though Steve Jobs was a perfectionist, he was able to back off at times and to “dream” of what could be. This drove Apple to new heights under his returned leadership and his change in mental approach.

It’s not that perfectionists cannot be successful entrepreneurs, it’s that they have to work to accept that “done” can actually be as good or better than “perfect.” “Done” means that the company is launched; it means that products are out there and that marketing strategies are beginning to bring in customers. Often, the beginnings of this kind of success will modify a perfectionist’s behavior going forward. And the additional bonus is that the entrepreneur may actually find time for social and family time again.

Has the need to be perfect ever stopped you from accomplishing something you truly wanted? If this is true, let us know in the comments below how you overcame your perfectionism and kept moving ahead.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

Leadership and Life on Mars: Elon Musk Offers 3 Important Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Published

on

elon musk
Image Credit: Solar Tribune

Five, four, three, two, one — blast-off. Elon Musk is headed to Mars… eventually. The space-loving billionaire discussed his dreams of going into space and even life on Mars during the 2017 International Astronautical Congress.

“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great, and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars,” he said.

For many business leaders, believing in a future beyond their own hypothetical stars is what drives them forward each day. And with the majority of rapidly growing companies looking to increase their hiring this year, according to a January report by the team at Spark Hire, 2018 Growth Hiring Trends in the United States, leaders need more inspiration than ever to build up their talent and create a brighter tomorrow for their companies.

These 3 lessons from Elon Musk will help you map out long-term goals, learning and development opportunities, and even succession planning:

1. Creating goals for the future

You want your team to look toward the future of your company and believe it isn’t stagnant — nor are their careers. For employees to dedicate 100 percent of themselves to their roles, they need to see plans for the future. Even more important, they should be involved in the planning process. You wouldn’t create a civilization on Mars without consulting the first travellers, would you? Their opinions, expectations, and needs would be key factors.

Give your team the same opportunity to plan for their careers by developing an entrepreneurial spirit in them. Challenge each person to make a business plan for their current or future role at the company. Ask them to lay out where they see the company in five years and how they’ll help it get there.

“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great” – Elon Musk

2. Don’t make work about one miserable problem after the next

A difficult leadership lesson many of us learn early on is admitting our company has problems. The more important lesson is knowing how to efficiently and effectively overcome those problems, then move on.

The inability to do this results in employees hopping from one miserable problem to the next. After a while, employees become overwhelmed, and it’s impossible to believe the future will be better than the past.

Of course, work can’t always be sunshine and rainbows, so the key here is giving your team the tools to rise above problems and work smarter. When a problem occurs, jump into a team meeting or call to quickly resolve the issue. This shows employees you’re always available to help, which keeps morale high.

Afterwards, brainstorm ways to ensure the problem doesn’t arise again. Have employees note what they feel went wrong and how it can be resolved. Immediately implement these changes to show you’re focused on improving their work experiences.

3. Let them know you’re working to improve their lives

The negativity in this world is overflowing. Work should be a place where employees feel safe to be their genuine, creative, dreaming selves. Every leadership lesson should point back to employees knowing they’re important to the company’s success and that they belong. This is crucial for retention and attracting top talent.

According to a 2017 Globoforce report, Bringing More Humanity to Recognition, Performance, and Life at Work, you can do this by focusing on your team as people who have lives outside of work. In fact, 54 percent of respondents said they would like more opportunities to celebrate life events — such as having a baby, getting married, or buying a house. Additionally, 90 percent of workers who celebrated more than five life events said they feel like they belong in their company.

“And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.” – Elon Musk

Let employees know you care about their lives outside of work by celebrating their life events. If possible, give each person a day off for their birthdays and offer benefits to support important life events, like paid parental leave policies.

Which one of these lessons could you use most in your life right now? Let us know in the comments below so we can be of help!

Continue Reading

Trending

Entrepreneurs

Answer These 4 Questions to Have a Successful Social Impact for Your Business

Published

on

social media strategy
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Answer the right questions before you start your Social Media Strategy and you will achieve the best results for your brand. Businesses are key players on the social media networks today. Social Media is a direct and real-time way of relationship of consumers with brands. Social media users really connect in a personal level with their favourite brands. (more…)

Angie Perez B is a certified digital marketing specialist, social media strategist, author and coach for small businesses. She blogs at AngiePerezB.com about digital marketing trends, and at Radianstar.com about how bloggers and businesses can use social media to gain leads and secure clients. Click here to get started.

Advertisement
17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. albertino

    Jul 9, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Trying to persuade friends to become entrepreneurs is like persuading a loved one who doesn’t know how to swim to jump into the ocean. It will sound very wicked to them. Instead of wasting my precious time in persuading anyone to do their own thing, I rather encourage them to be good at what they do while I concentrate on my own madness’

  2. Sarah Como

    Jul 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I totally relate to this article. I finally tried to stop convincing others to become entrepreneurs. However, I still struggle when it comes to my husband. He’s not comfortable with the uncertainty and does not have an entrepreneurial mindset. He encourages me to go for it but can’t relate.

  3. Nate Ginsburg

    Apr 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Great article man! I’m gearing up for a trip back home and have been thinking about what it will be like to hang out with my old friends/crowd opposed to the SE Asia crew. I’ve also learned that it’s best not to preach.. You’re right, the life isn’t for everyone.

  4. mindsetofmark

    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Thank for you this amazing article. For the past few months of building my business, I ran into this wall and what you wrote describe exactly what I’ve been pondering about for the past few months, I realize I had learn so much from the pursuit of entrepreneurship and I see what it’s like out there for people who wants to settle for a job, I didn’t think it was fair for people to settle for a life of working for someone else, I cared so much about my friends I was trying to convince them that a job is not going to fill the dreams and goals you want to achieve. I had no’s and rejections and I took it personally because I had such strong belief that they would see what I see. After a few more months of growth and struggle, I definitely realize what I chose to do is not for anyone and that the friends I talked to wouldn’t even last a few weeks doing what I do, I became more aware of the things that an entrepreneur must go through that an employee will never experience in their lifetime.That is why only so few people choose this path, what an amazing insight indeed. Thank you so much JC.

  5. dotchamou

    Apr 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    By the time I was in high school I knew that I will never, never work
    as an employee in my life. In my country, Benin (west Africa) the rate of
    unemployement is too high. So the solution of unemployement for me is
    that every student and school boy must be an entrepreneur. So, by the time I leave
    university, I create a little business, the business grow a
    little. That business enable me to pay my rent and to feed myself. By that
    time, most of my friends who didn’t become ‘’entrepreneur’’ like me were
    jobless and were very broke. Even though I did’nt have enough money, they
    admired me and congratulated me of being an “entrepreneur’’. About four
    years later, my little business collapsed and everything fell apart in my life. I lose my
    business and my money.I become very broke. That is a starting point of a
    very, very hard and miserable life for me .I cannot pay my rent, I am in deep debt ,
    I cannot find money to eat. My electricity and water was cut because I cannot pay my bills
    By that time when I fell in misery, most of friends have
    found a job, they started enjoying a ‘’good life’’ (life of security) .They started telling me that:
    “ Yes, we know that, being an entrepreneur is very dangerous and too
    risky, that is why we didn’t follow you in that path. Look, today we have a secure
    job. We are protected by the government. We don’t have much money but we
    have what we need, try to find a job like we do, and forget your idea of being
    your own boss”. I stretch my head and I said to myself,’’I will comeback,
    My coming back will be greater than what I lose”.
    So, most people will never share and accept to be an entrepreneur, most people want security instead of adventure. I‘m still on my journey of being an
    antrepreneur. The journey is hard but it is full of pleasures,tears and lessons.
    I commit to be an antrepreneur. Nothing can stop me on that journey.I make for myself this words of Donald Trump,’’NEVER GIVE up’’,’NEVER QUIT’ Thank you for your attention.

    • alok

      Oct 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      my dearest friend you are amazing more than the definition of amazing . You are the tiny ray of hope amidst the darkest of darkest gloom not only in my life but to the millions of people all are around the world. 1000 MILLION THANKS TO YOU.
      I AM DEEPLY TOUCHED AND TRANSCENDED BT YOUR INSPIRING WORDS.

  6. oscar

    Apr 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Man I totally feel yah, there is only so much we can do for our friends, most people don’t see what we see with this odd lifestyle we acquire to be different in a sense.

  7. George

    Apr 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

    This is perfect. Eventually we all take a different path as our friends create their careers and you create your own, it seems so obvious that different people are gonna want to pursue different jobs.

    This was me at first. I loved the idea of doing it myself, I understood it would be harder than getting a normal job, but to be able to watch something grow from the very beginning sounded a lot more interesting than getting paid to sell sneakers.

    Then I thought, wow this would be so much better if my friends would join me too. Because of what I do, I have different schedules than my friends. When they’re all out late at night drinking, I’m at home sleeping or on my computer.

    It’s not that I want to be out partying, but when a lot of the work I do is at home on my computer, it’s easy for me to miss my friends and wanting to see what they’re up to, working together sounds like an easy solution.

    But the truth is, people want different things. Some people look at me starting a website and think it’s boring, unrealistic and downright dumb. Maybe they’re right. Maybe we’re the weird ones who find working on the internet actually exciting.

    Oh, well. Salute to all you fellow weirdos!

  8. Koko

    Apr 10, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Wow … actually I find myself in the position of reconsidering my friends to start their own thing way too often. I even abandoned some of my friends because they were dragging me down to the level of no-enthusiasm towards work. However, now I think I won’t do the persuading stuff to my friends anymore.

  9. Mike Sutton - BeBuildHave.com

    Apr 10, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I agree with all 3 points, but I also think career employment as option #1 is on it’s way out. Entrepreneurship is a reality of the new economy and will be the only option for more and more people, so we need to find a way to support, train, and develop those skills in people who aren’t “naturals”.

    • JuiCy™ (@JCDFitness)

      Apr 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      I disagree. If everyone were an entrepreneur, who would do the meaningless work? Who would run the errands? Who would make my coffee at the local cafe?

      Who would serve me a steak? Who would make sure my cell phone is working correctly when I have trouble with service?

      • Patrice K. Cokley, MBA

        May 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

        I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m always having this discussion with someone. Although doing meaningless work is not for us, it is something that needs to be done. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. So I’m ok with people settling in their lives. As long as they’re not trying to talk me out of my goals, I’m fine. Thanks for this post! It came right on time.

  10. Dano

    Apr 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Cool story bro. But do you even lift?

  11. Andy

    Apr 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Perfect time for this article. I had an argument with my wife last night about issues I am experiencing and she just didn’t get it. She never will either and it’s not a bad thing.

  12. Naomi@business start ups

    Apr 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Hi JC,

    I feel like you hacked my brain. I couldn’t agree more.

    When I first became self employed and earning well, I thought to myself ‘why would people NOT want to do this’. I have tell all my friends and family!

    But in reality although most people lust after the lifestyle they haven’t really got what it takes. They don’t want to work weekends, in the evenings and need a boss to be accountable too.

    They just can’t commit. I now realize this is OK. It’s their choice, their life and everyone journey towards fulfillment and happiness is completely different and doesn’t have to follow mine.

    Great post and scarily close to my own thoughts!

    Naomi

    • JuiCy™ (@JCDFitness)

      Apr 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks. Glad it resonated – I imagined it would with others paving their own path.

  13. Emily Filloramo

    Apr 8, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    JC, I agree that it does take a certain personality to have the tenacity to work through all the fears and obstacles that naturally come up as an entrepreneur. When something great happens as a result of the hard work, it’s euphoric.

    The path to success is not a straight line, it’s full of zigzags. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Leave a Reply

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

Entrepreneurs

Answer These 4 Questions to Have a Successful Social Impact for Your Business

Published

on

social media strategy
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Answer the right questions before you start your Social Media Strategy and you will achieve the best results for your brand. Businesses are key players on the social media networks today. Social Media is a direct and real-time way of relationship of consumers with brands. Social media users really connect in a personal level with their favourite brands.

Social media platforms are in fact a new storefront for products or services, a way of reaching new clients and it can also be another sales funnel that actually increase sales and revenue. For all those reasons, most businesses, entrepreneurs and brands do not want to miss the huge opportunity of having a presence on Social Media.

But in many cases, if you do not have the right approach to your marketing strategy and if you don’t answer the right questions, you may end up wasting your efforts and time and not reaching any clear positive results.

So if you want to avoid failure and wasting your efforts, answer the following questions before starting your strategy:

1. What is my final goal?

The first thing you need to think about is what is the final goal of your business. What do you want to achieve as a business owner, entrepreneur or a blogger? And how can you achieve that final goal? In most cases, the answers boil down to one: increasing your revenue. To achieve that goal of increasing your revenue, you simply need to increase your conversions, sell more or get more clients.

This sounds pretty obvious but oftentimes we lose perspective and focus on doing things that are not leading us to our final goal. So it is important to make sure that you are clear on the final goal of every (lucrative) business.

“Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” – Alan Lakein

2. Who is my target audience?

The second question you need to ask yourself is who is your target audience. You most likely already have this clear through your experience, but it is a great idea to create a “customer avatar” or “customer persona” to be able to identify that particular potential customer.

A “customer persona” or “avatar” in Marketing is a representation of the traits, features and behavior of a business’ target customer. Having a customer persona can help you to identify and address your target audience, and you can create more than just one avatar, if you have more than one type of customers.

One of the things that the avatar is going to help you with is in terms of taking a decision of what type of message your brand is going to send. The message is important indeed, but how you express that message is vital to reach your customer. You need to speak their language!

Once you know who your “persona” is, you need to find out where can you find your “persona”. There are probably lots of places where you can find out your target audience but in most cases, today you can find your avatar on social media. Once you are clear about what you want to achieve and who is that particular customer that can give you that goal, it’s now time to look at the social media channels and ask the next questions:

3. Where is my target audience?

Where on Social Media can I find my target audience? To properly answer this question, think about your persona or personas, and find out what their favourite social media platforms are. Also, ask yourself within the main social platforms where in particular can they be found.

For example if your target audience is young people, they will most likely be on Snapchat. If they are millennials mums, they will mostly be on Instagram. If your business is about selling services to professionals, you will probably find them on LinkedIn. If your persona is a forty-something guy, you probably will find him on Facebook.

Go deeper once you figure that out. That forty-something year old guy on Facebook probably is also a member of Facebook groups related to sports, or tv shows. The millennial mum is probably interested in fashion accounts on Instagram. The professional on LinkedIn probably follows some experts or “gurus” in a certain professional field.

In other words, here is where you have to take your time to research and find out where your potential customers can be found. Once you know this, you can select the right social channels where your business should be present. When you know where your potential customers are, you will know where to concentrate your social efforts to avoid dispersion and waist of time.

“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.” – Albert Camus

4. How can I connect with my target audience?

In this final question the most accurate answer is: with your message. Your message is WHAT you have to say and most importantly in terms of connection with your target audience, HOW you say it.

“How you say it” equals to your content: your content goes from a range of elements that goes from your images to your texts, and everything in between. The secret of having an engaging message that connects with your target audience, is that it must be aligned with your potential customers’ language, colours, icons, style, images, captions, expressions, etc. All that “look and feel” your brand is projecting, must connect with your target audience, so that your message can penetrate that barrier and they can receive it.

And finally, one of the core values of your message is “What you say”. This means you have to describe or talk about your business, your brand, your services or your products, but the key in social media to make your message powerful is to be CONVERSATIONAL.

Making your message conversational simply means don’t try to sell! Focus on offering solutions to your clients and engage in conversations on the platforms or communities where your target audience is!

Conclusion

Make sense of your social media presence. Answer these questions and let them lead you to the right choices on your social media strategy. This way you will be able to build a targeted community where your business will get lots of opportunities to grow,

Tell me, what do you currently do to make a successful approach to your social media strategy? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

How to Brand Yourself and Your Business at the Same Time

Published

on

branding
Image Credit: Unsplash

In the age of automation, people seek to feel personally connected to companies more than ever. The most successful brands have a well-developed narrative and voice, delivering messages to their followers with an air of approachability and ease. Nobody can deny that they prefer feeling like they are being talked with and not talked at.

For many companies, this process involves telling the story of their CEO/Founder just as much as telling the story of the company. A company’s foundation and values is often based on those of its founder’s, and building a successful brand often begins with a certain level of personal publicity and networking. It’s common knowledge that investors invest in ideas, and ideas are direct products of people. So, as the person behind an idea, how can you ensure you are doing yourself and your company justice in terms of branding?

Below are 3 characteristics of your brand you must think about in order to be a success:

1. What’s Your Story?

Make your company’s story your story. People revere Steve Jobs just as much as they do Apple, because they have followed his and Wozniak’s struggles and successes for just as long. With his trademark black turtleneck, Levi’s 501s, and mega-casual New Balance sneakers, the simplicity of his look directly mirrored the minimalism of Apple’s design. Be it unintentionally, Jobs branded himself just as much as he did Apple.

Whether you’re the owner of a startup or small business, you will want to establish this same connection. On your company’s “About” page, tell about your history and how it has led you to where you are now. Discuss your vision, goals, and aspirations for the future of the company and how events in your personal life inspired you to begin your business.

For example, real-estate guru Barbara Corcoran has frequently discussed how a failed relationship and financially-strained upbringing led her to the establishment of her multi-million dollar firm. Candidness and personal publicity are what people admire most in a founder. So sit down, decide what story you want to tell, determine what kind of voice you are going to use to tell it (be it modest, confident, or humorous), and then decide how you want to tell it.

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling

2. Set Your Brand into Motion

As discussed, branding is all about the story you tell and how you tell it. Social media has become an excellent outlet for that, because it is the one place where a brand can behave as a person. You create your company’s Facebook page and people watch as it interacts with other people. Of course, this is a person acting on behalf of the brand, but that person has a personality, candor, and voice that people begin to associate with the brand itself.

You may be a one-man-band handling your own marketing and day-to-day operations, or you may have hired a marketing rep/team to handle the social media for you. If it’s the latter, establishing a shared belief of what the voice is for your brand is crucial. Nobody will follow a company whose tone is inconsistent. People like reliability, trustworthiness, and relatability.

Whatever voice you choose for your brand should not be too far off from your own. The names of Elon Musk’s business ventures and projects are based directly on his spontaneous wit and spasmodic humor, i.e. the Boring Company, the BFR, and Tesla models S, 3, X, Y (released in that order for an obvious end result).

Much like Musk did, using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is an important element in voicing your and your brand’s opinions. You will want to gain traction on your personal and your business accounts, and interweave the topics and narrative styles of both accounts on a consistent basis.

3. Be Your Brand

Business cards, interviews, your company website, and networking events – these are all ways to solidify and build your brand. Wherever you go, you are embodying a persona that people will forever associate with your business. By having a say in your company’s identity, that persona will even show in aspects like your logo, website design, and mission statement. Knowledge of branding means that you will always be your own publicist, even when you can one day afford to hire one.

Self-branding is the precursor to success, hence the rise of influencers and public figures in the social media era. Developing your personal brand and having an existing following will garner the much-needed support for your business. Suddenly, the people who have followed you personally become potential investors, crowd funders, and advertisers (never underestimate the power of the “share” button) for your business.

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” – Jeff Bezos

Creating continuity, popularity, and solidarity between your personal brand and your company’s brand is as simple as ensuring you pour as much of yourself into your company’s work as possible. This involves being directly involved in establishing its image, pitching it to investors, and writing articles on behalf of your company for publishers and influencers. You are your own spokesperson, and social media makes that feat easier than ever.

How do you make sure you’re branding yourself correctly whether as an individual or a with your business? Let us know your thoughts below!

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

5 Reasons Why Perfectionists Cannot Be Entrepreneurs

Published

on

perfectionists
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Perfectionists have high standards for themselves and for others. In an office environment, as employees, they take their responsibilities seriously and never complete any task or project without double-checking even the minutest detail to ensure that it is perfect. They can be irritating to others, too, because they expect the same perfection from their co-workers.

When a perfectionist who has been amazing on the job decides that they want to strike out as an entrepreneur, there are personality traits that can really work against success. Knowing about these in advance may help a perfectionist avoid some of these pitfalls.

Here are five of those pitfalls:

1. I Have to Do It Myself

Perfectionists believe only they can complete a task or project exactly right. Due to this, they operate in two ways:

  • If they have a team with specific tasks, they will micro-manage every step of the way. Having done this myself, I can confirm that this is exhausting.
  • They don’t employ or outsource anything, because they must control every aspect of their businesses and spend whatever time is necessary to complete every task themselves. They must feel in control or things will go wrong.

The problem of course is that, as business tasks and processes expand, the perfectionist finds himself grappling with an ever-expanding list of tasks to perform. At some point, he “hits a wall,” because there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Ultimately, this means that there will be tasks not completed exactly right, and this is a “killer” for the perfectionist.

The solution is not an easy one. It will require admission that no one can be “perfect” in every facet of a business. For me, it was the accounting function. If a perfectionist can pick just one facet of the business that must be tasked to someone else, this is a major first step. After that major first step, it will gradually become easier to task out other facets. It’s gradual, and it is a process.

2. Inability to Accept Feedback

Because a perfectionist truly believes only they can “do it right,” when positive or negative feedback comes along their defenses are immediately activated.

Perfectionists have difficulty admitting any weakness. While most entrepreneurs seek advice and counsel from others as they develop their business plans and steps toward a launch, perfectionists tend not to seek advice, believing again that only they can make the process work. They must strive to develop the perfect product or service, no matter how long that may take.

One famous perfectionist was Steve Jobs of Apple. He wanted control of every aspect of product development and insisted that every employee come to him for approval of every detail of a new product innovation. He was unrelenting and known for bursts of anger, often firing employees at will, and that led to his removal from the company at one point. However, he did have a transformation of sorts after he was brought back in to revive Apple, and his perfectionism did modify, especially after he became ill.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk

3. Perfectionists Delay Launches

When a perfectionist decides to strike out on his own, he develops a product or a service for which he believes there is a customer base. He develops a business plan and establishes timelines, just as most would-be entrepreneurs do.

The difference between perfectionist and non-perfectionist entrepreneurs is this: the non-perfectionist is willing to develop an MVP, launch it, test the waters, and modify and improve that product or service as they receive feedback and data from marketing and sales efforts.

The perfectionist, on the other hand, cannot launch a less-than-perfect product or service. They fear rejection and failure. There will always be something that can be improved in some way. The result is that a launch is indefinitely delayed and so are marketing plans and the development of a customer base.

4. Perfectionists Suffer from Lack of Balance

Because of their obsession with both doing it all themselves and being perfect in everything, perfectionist entrepreneurs will find themselves increasing their work hours and spending every waking hour on business-related activities. Ultimately, they will sacrifice social activities, time with family, vacations, and even small previous pleasures, like a lunch or dinner out or shopping. They avoid phone calls from friends, forego meals and sleep, and often suffer from insomnia and chronic fatigue.

In short, work becomes the perfectionist’s entire life. These long, unrelenting hours, often combined with stress because of the never-ending list of tasks, lead to burnout. And when burnout is reached, it’s impossible to function effectively. The signs of this include inability to focus and forgetfulness – something that a perfectionist cannot tolerate.

“It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.” – Philip Green

5. Perfectionists Will Lose Their Creativity

One of the key ingredients of successful entrepreneurship is creative thought and problem-solving. This is how new products and services are developed or existing ones improved along with how new and unique marketing strategies are developed.

When perfectionists are so focused on those tasks at hand and dealing with the fear that things will not be perfect, they lose their ability to think “outside of the box.”

Even though Steve Jobs was a perfectionist, he was able to back off at times and to “dream” of what could be. This drove Apple to new heights under his returned leadership and his change in mental approach.

It’s not that perfectionists cannot be successful entrepreneurs, it’s that they have to work to accept that “done” can actually be as good or better than “perfect.” “Done” means that the company is launched; it means that products are out there and that marketing strategies are beginning to bring in customers. Often, the beginnings of this kind of success will modify a perfectionist’s behavior going forward. And the additional bonus is that the entrepreneur may actually find time for social and family time again.

Has the need to be perfect ever stopped you from accomplishing something you truly wanted? If this is true, let us know in the comments below how you overcame your perfectionism and kept moving ahead.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

Leadership and Life on Mars: Elon Musk Offers 3 Important Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Published

on

elon musk
Image Credit: Solar Tribune

Five, four, three, two, one — blast-off. Elon Musk is headed to Mars… eventually. The space-loving billionaire discussed his dreams of going into space and even life on Mars during the 2017 International Astronautical Congress.

“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great, and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars,” he said.

For many business leaders, believing in a future beyond their own hypothetical stars is what drives them forward each day. And with the majority of rapidly growing companies looking to increase their hiring this year, according to a January report by the team at Spark Hire, 2018 Growth Hiring Trends in the United States, leaders need more inspiration than ever to build up their talent and create a brighter tomorrow for their companies.

These 3 lessons from Elon Musk will help you map out long-term goals, learning and development opportunities, and even succession planning:

1. Creating goals for the future

You want your team to look toward the future of your company and believe it isn’t stagnant — nor are their careers. For employees to dedicate 100 percent of themselves to their roles, they need to see plans for the future. Even more important, they should be involved in the planning process. You wouldn’t create a civilization on Mars without consulting the first travellers, would you? Their opinions, expectations, and needs would be key factors.

Give your team the same opportunity to plan for their careers by developing an entrepreneurial spirit in them. Challenge each person to make a business plan for their current or future role at the company. Ask them to lay out where they see the company in five years and how they’ll help it get there.

“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great” – Elon Musk

2. Don’t make work about one miserable problem after the next

A difficult leadership lesson many of us learn early on is admitting our company has problems. The more important lesson is knowing how to efficiently and effectively overcome those problems, then move on.

The inability to do this results in employees hopping from one miserable problem to the next. After a while, employees become overwhelmed, and it’s impossible to believe the future will be better than the past.

Of course, work can’t always be sunshine and rainbows, so the key here is giving your team the tools to rise above problems and work smarter. When a problem occurs, jump into a team meeting or call to quickly resolve the issue. This shows employees you’re always available to help, which keeps morale high.

Afterwards, brainstorm ways to ensure the problem doesn’t arise again. Have employees note what they feel went wrong and how it can be resolved. Immediately implement these changes to show you’re focused on improving their work experiences.

3. Let them know you’re working to improve their lives

The negativity in this world is overflowing. Work should be a place where employees feel safe to be their genuine, creative, dreaming selves. Every leadership lesson should point back to employees knowing they’re important to the company’s success and that they belong. This is crucial for retention and attracting top talent.

According to a 2017 Globoforce report, Bringing More Humanity to Recognition, Performance, and Life at Work, you can do this by focusing on your team as people who have lives outside of work. In fact, 54 percent of respondents said they would like more opportunities to celebrate life events — such as having a baby, getting married, or buying a house. Additionally, 90 percent of workers who celebrated more than five life events said they feel like they belong in their company.

“And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.” – Elon Musk

Let employees know you care about their lives outside of work by celebrating their life events. If possible, give each person a day off for their birthdays and offer benefits to support important life events, like paid parental leave policies.

Which one of these lessons could you use most in your life right now? Let us know in the comments below so we can be of help!

Continue Reading

Trending