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3 Things to Keep in Mind When You Find Yourself Starting and Stopping in Your Business

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Do you ever feel like you’re always starting and stopping in your biz? There are days when you wake up with an insane amount of motivation and drive. You sit there coffee in hand and the day is yours to slay. Then there are days where you wake up with ZERO motivation. You are completely turned off, nothing inspires you and you stare at your computer screen waiting for some kind of strategy to pop out at you.

What about the days you are feeling all high vibeish and totally in touch with your creative side. You just want to light candles, focus on your mindset, write down all your ideas and connect with the universe. All you want is consistency in your motivation levels! What gives?

As an entrepreneur I used to struggle with starting and stopping. Highs and lows. Strategic days and WTF days. I could not maintain a steady flow of momentum in my biz for quite some time. Starting and stopping made me feel like I was inconsistent, like I was unable to have constant momentum in my business. I felt super unproductive. It made me question whether or not I was truly capable of being an entrepreneur. I would believe I was failing because I wasn’t like everyone else who seemed to be so inspired, driven and motivated 24-7.

I realized that my difficulty wasn’t that I couldn’t stay in the zone. It wasn’t that I was incapable of being laser focused. That wasn’t the problem.   Accepting that I might just need to develop my own way of doing things was the setback. Once I accepted that I’m not meant to do things the way everyone else does my creativity was in full gear.  It felt uncomfortable to show up in my business doing what some of my mentors would swear against however I found myself developing new ideas, I was more productive and I had more profitable results.

Dissolving the fear of not doing things the conventional way was extremely liberating. I nipped the starting and stopping behavior in the butt once and for all.

If you’re an entrepreneur and you have difficulty with maintaining momentum in your biz then here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when you find yourself starting and stopping in your biz:

1. Creativity Doesn’t Clock In & Out

Creativity is not an employee. It cannot clock in and out. There is no set time for when creativity will show. Embrace the moment that you feel your creative juices flowing and take as many notes as possible when it does arrive. The days that creativity decides not to show up simply make sure that you are keeping yourself healthy and in a positive space.

This way you provide a warm inviting environment for creativity to enjoy when it does decide to join the biz party. If you’re lacking creativity in your business then I urge you to focus on nurturing whatever is blocking creativity from wanting to visit. Are you stressed? Are you working from a space of desperation because of finances? Are you taking time to maintain your health and well-being? These are some of the creativity blocking culprits.

“You can’t just give someone a creativity injection. You have to create an environment for curiosity and a way to encourage people and get the best out of them.” – Ken Robinson

2. Create A Profit Plan

Creating a profit plan in my business has helped me the most in terms of clarity, focus and direction. I created a simple 4 step process for myself that allows me to know exactly where the efforts need to be spent in my business. I stopped focusing on non-income producing activities. I stopped creating customized offers for clients that were confusing and made it hard to do business with me.

I began saying no to opportunities that did not compliment where I wanted my business to go.  If you have no plan in place for how you’ll be making money in your business it’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to start and stop more often. Profit planning helps you clarify what you’re working towards. Get clear on what you’re offering and on who you are serving.

 

3. Show Up Anyway

Even when you feel like you don’t know where the heck to start or what to work on, show up anyway. Refer to past activities that have worked for you in your business. Ask yourself what have activity big or small have you stopped doing that may have brought you here. Take a look at your calendar and what you’ve done over the last couple weeks.  Look over your to do list, browse through your old notes of what you’ve been working on or go through past emails.

Browse your social media platforms and ask: Who have you not responded to? Where is there an opportunity you may have missed? My best ideas have come to me during the moments that I didn’t feel like showing up.  I decided to stop falling into the belief that I could not be productive in that mood. You totally can. It’s just as exciting as when you are in this state and it’s understandable however this should not dictate your behavior.  You will experience clarity and direction while in motion than when stagnant.

Practicing new habits consistently and training your mindset can make all the difference in the way you show up in your biz. Now go out there and build your biz in alignment with what is true to YOU!

“Decisions are made by those who show up.” – Aaron Sorkin

What do you do when you feel you have lost focus and keep starting and stopping in your business? Leave your thoughts below!

Nadia Khalil aka Coach Nadia K is a business coach, certified wellness professional and mompreneur. She works with multi-passionate entrepreneurs and small businesses in the beginning or idea phase of their businesses. Nadia coaches on how to get unstuck and go from idea to implementation using digital marketing strategies that will get you seen, paid and heard.  As an 8 year entrepreneur Nadia has launched several successful digital programs while coaching one on one and has built 4 businesses both brick and mortar and online. Her passion lies in empowering, educating and inspiring multi-passionate people to unravel the crap that keeps them stuck in their life and business. Check out her website and take her free Biz Quiz, to quickly learn if you're ready to build your own biz.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Calvin

    Nov 22, 2016 at 1:26 am

    I would like to learn more of this cause this is where I am

  2. HindIndia

    Oct 21, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Amazing article …… Thanks for sharing this ….. very trustworthy !! 🙂

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Startups

How to Create a Winning Startup Culture

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Some time back, in my infographic on 51 Business Mistakes that most Entrepreneurs Make, I had outlined that one of the biggest mistakes is that you do not give any thought as to what you consider would be a great startup culture. And, without good policies or HR to keep things in check, the startup begins to develop a toxic business culture. (more…)

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51 Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Dream Startup

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So you’ve got an idea. You know it will work. And, it means the world to you.

You are an entrepreneur and you think you can rock the world with this one idea that matters to you the most. And, you set out to form the idea into a startup that you are going to nurture and develop into a blooming business in the upcoming years.

However, I don’t want to throw water over your dreams but, I do need to bring this “optimist” you into the hard and cold reality…….. the reality which says that 90% of all startups fail.

Of course, this can bring a great deal of uncertainty into your life and you got to be prepared to deal with it. You are also going to face a ton of challenges in your life which will force you to grow as an entrepreneur. But, the important thing is that you stick with it.

Of course, as Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s friend) once said, “All I Want to Know is Where I’m Going to Die So I’ll Never Go There”. No entrepreneurs want their startups to fail after putting in days and weeks of effort into it.

So, a lot of research has been put forward into knowing what does actually sabotage a startup?

Fortune reported that the single biggest reason startups fail was because they do not identify what the market wants before setting up their startup.

However, it isn’t as simple as that. An entrepreneur needs to perform a comprehensive business plan before he sets out with his business idea. Also, you have to know whether your business idea actually suits you or not. If it doesn’t then, you either you need to fine-tune yourself with your business idea or you need to change the business plan so that it suits you.

And, it is only after that, should you venture upon your startup.
Now, is that all? Of course not. The problem most entrepreneurs face when they first begin their entrepreneurial journey is that they don’t know what they don’t know.

That’s where they tend to make a series of mistakes that may cause great harm to their startup.

That’s why I scoured for successful entrepreneurs to provide me with information on what they think were the most common mistakes that startups do. Plus, I also got tips on how to avoid these mistakes.

You can check out the original article here: 70 Mistakes Startups Make And Tips On How You Can Avoid Them

Now, it’s your turn to do some work. Let me know what you thought of these mistakes and tips that entrepreneurs commit. Do you know of any other mistakes that entrepreneurs do? Comment below!

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8 Key Factors That Discourage Investors From Putting Money Into Your Startup

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Today’s ideas are tomorrow’s winning businesses. Ideas executed brilliantly and with proper investment bring your business success. That is how the world of business got the likes of Apple, Google, McDonald’s, Amazon and so on.

But why in spite of the brilliant and promising ideas at the core of their business, many startups fail to attract investors? Why do investors hesitate to put their money into some startups? Well, investors have reasons and only by deciphering these reasons we could get hold of some deterrent factors that hold them back.

Let us explain some of the vital factors that prevent investors from putting their money in the startups below:

1. Inefficiency or Absence of Leadership Qualities

Inefficiency is the most significant deterrent factor for pulling the success of most startups. This can also be referred to as the lack of leadership qualities. Investors always want to make sure that they don’t lose their money through a company that has an extraordinary business model but no efficient and skilled business leader to make it successful. When fetching investment from investors, you need to offer a clear prospect and detailed plan of how you are going to achieve the goals.

2. Lack of Trustworthiness

An investor puts his money on a venture purely on the basis of the credibility and trustworthiness of the business. This is why besides having a sound business plan with clear objectives, you need to establish the integrity in terms of the security of the investor’s money and how the fund is going to be invested to give results as per business plan.

If an investor has a feeling that the startup may not have enough customers to fulfil its financial liabilities or if it finds that the business is hiding some information, it may further push the trust of the investors down. Total transparency and establishing the faith of the business brand are crucial for finding investors in favor.

3. Lacking Experience in Business Management

You have a great business idea backed up by a sound business plan and solid trustworthiness based on your background, but you have zero experience in managing a business. This is a serious reason for an investor to deny making any investment in your business. An investor cannot put his money just to allow you trying and learning your management skills the harder and riskier way. Uncertainty is the single biggest turn-off factor for any investor and lack of managerial experience is synonymous to that.

4. Business Model is Not Sound Enough

You have a business idea, some efficient, competent and experienced professionals as leaders, the great stamp of trust and pretty much everything that make a company look promising. But what about your business strategy and business model? Are they sound enough to take on the market competition and challenges for business growth? Well, this is what investors are most interested in.

In most cases, a business model is what makes an investor think twice and even take a backward step from investing in a startup. After all, your business model and strategy will decide how your business and products will be able to withstand competition and become victorious.

5. Taking Investors for Granted

This is a big mistake on the part of many startups. Just by becoming confident in the potential and the soundness of the business model and prospect, a business can consider getting investors on board requires just a little effort and time. But in reality, getting investors on board is the toughest thing a business can think of.

This is why without proper and meticulous preparation, it would be foolish to approach investors for your business. Most investors receive hundreds of such emails and a similar number of approaches through other means and they coldly just let them pass. This is why you need to send them very detailed proposals backed by strong recommendations and referrals.

6. Targeting the Wrong Investor

Every business has a target customer base, right? Not all customers are interested in every product in the market. Similarly, not all investors are interested in your business. Investors based on their prior experience and industry exposure, put their money in businesses that they know like their own palm of their hand.

So, targeting an investor who has no interest in your business will only drain your energy and bring you unnecessary frustration. When you are seeking investors for your software startup, don’t approach someone investing in real estate business.

7. Non-Realistic Proposal for Funds

Investors normally come with huge experience of your industry and so they have a clear idea about the fund requirements for your business startup. Moreover, they already have invested in other ventures or have gone through many proposals. Naturally, they have every bit of estimate already in their mind. So, any proposal claiming a lofty and unrealistic amount will only face rejection.

This is why it would be wise to become meticulous about your estimation of the required fund and calculation of various cost factors. Have meticulous details about every facet of investment backed up by breakup of the costs. Only when you can convince them with correct estimation, investors can take interest in discussing the matter further.

8. Make Sure Your Product Solves a Customer Problem

Will any investor put money in building a simple calendar app now? No, simply because such an app idea has no value for the end users now. Will an investor put money in a product that has already been outdated and has no use? No, no investor has to even go through such a proposal for dismissing them.

Well, to fetch investment, your product must be thoroughly customer-centric. It not only has to solve a problem but has to deliver some competitive value in comparison to similar products in the market.

Obviously, finding an investor for a new business is not an easy task, considering the huge competition that businesses need to deal with. But, if your business idea is unique and you fill all those requirements correctly as mentioned above, finding investors may not be as tough as it sounds.

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5 Must Have Branding Tools for Your Startup

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Your brand is more than just the colors on your website. And for startups, it’s important to create a strong and memorable brand from the beginning if you want to stand out from the competition, scale your company, and find your ideal customers faster.

Here are 5 simple tools that will help your company avoid branding mistakes, take charge of your visual identity, and set a solid foundation for future growth:

1. Graphic Design Software

The word “design” doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Before deciding on your startup’s logo, colors, designs, and overall tone, consider working with a brand strategist who can translate the core ingredients of your startup into a visual identity that speaks to your target market.

Brand strategists have expertise in the psychology of colors, shapes, textures, and words, and they will work with you to make sure that your branding appeals to your target audience. Once you have those basics of your brand established, there are several tools that can help your company refresh and maintain your visual identity.

The absolute best graphic design tool for non-designers is Canva. While the free version has a lot of functionality, the paid plans offer more customization such as the ability to import your exact brand fonts and colors.

But if your company handles all of your design in-house, you will need something more advanced than Canva. In that situation, I would recommend Adobe Creative Cloud to startups who work on their designs in-house, as it includes top-notch design software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, and more.

“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room – Jeff Bezos

2. Visuals & Creative Imagery

Have you ever wondered where your competitors get those beautiful branded photographs that end up on their website? While it’s possible that they worked with a photographer, it’s also likely that much of their imagery comes from stock photos.

Here are my recommendations on the exact places to purchase stock imagery to improve your company’s branding:

  • Creative Market – A treasure trove of quality visual imagery where you can buy anything from stock photos, to branding mockups, to social media templates (Facebook cover photo, anyone?), to custom fonts… the options are nearly endless.
  • Adobe Stock – Beloved by designers, and the platform offers tiered pricing plans based on your image needs and download quantity.
  • Pixels – If you’re on a tight budget and just need to grab an image or two for a blog post, you may be able to find what you need on Pixels – which is great because all of the photos and videos on Pixels are free!

3. Social Media Scheduler

You’re a leader. You’re an entrepreneur. Your staff, board, funders, and admirers depend on you to make big decisions, lead the ship, and plot the vision towards your company’s future. You don’t have time to stare at a blank screen every day wondering what to post on Facebook.

By using a social media scheduling tool, you can sit down for a few hours, schedule batches of content, and schedule the dates and times when it will post to your accounts over the next couple of months. Then, once the content is posted, you only need to worry about responding to comments and engaging with your customers. 21st century efficiency at its finest.

Popular social media schedulers include Buffer and Hootsuite, both of which include free and paid plans. Not sure what exactly to post? Check out these social media ideas from influential businesses. And if the idea of writing and planning months of content still overwhelms you, our next tool will help you stay organized and on-brand.

4. Editorial Calendar

When it comes to your content, it’s time to step it up a notch and start thinking like a media outlet. Every piece of content that you put out as a company, whether it’s an e-mail blast, blog post, social media post, podcast, or video, needs to be aligned with your brand.

Each major magazine maintains an editorial calendar which outlines the overarching theme for each of the upcoming 12+ months. By establishing a monthly content theme in advance, they create a framework to generate and organize their ideas.

Consider creating an internal editorial calendar that will guide your startup’s content over the next 6-12 months. The software tool you use to maintain your editorial calendar isn’t that important — I like to use Trello, but you can also create a simple numbered list in Google Docs or Microsoft Excel. You may be surprised at how quickly the creative juices flow once you have an editorial calendar in place.

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” – Paul Rand

5. In-Person Networking

Offline efforts count towards your branding too! And if you run your entire startup from behind your laptop screen, you miss out on ample opportunities to build your business offline and gain local referral partners.

If you’re new to in-person networking, start by visiting Meetup.com or Eventbrite.com where you can browse for events in your area. Think outside the box when it comes to selecting events to attend. For example: If you’re a chiropractor, it makes sense to attend local holistic health meetups. But you could also attend a travel event and meet digital nomads who don’t yet realize that a chiropractor can help them recover after long plane rides.

Remember that you’re not at the networking event to make instant sales, you’re looking for referral partners and connections. Don’t be the person who tries to shove your sales pitch down everyone’s throat upon meeting them.

As you can see, there are many simple online and offline resources that can help you spruce up your branding, reach new customers, and pique the interest of your target market. If you take branding one step at a time and start with the tools above, you will be well on your way to creating a brand that your customers will cherish and remember.

Have you used any of these branding tools before? Are there any additional tools that have helped your startup’s branding shine? Share your thoughts below!

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