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5 Time Management Tips For Lazy Entrepreneurs

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Admit it, building a business is tough.

You have a million different things to do, and you must prioritize from a list as long as the Nile.

It drives you nutty sometimes, right? You complete one task and 10 more pop up.

You question your decision to take the entrepreneurial route to save you from the nine-to-five grind, especially now that you’re working twelve-hour days with no end in sight.

So you do the only thing you know how to do. You knuckle down and work even longer hours, clinging to the hope that suddenly everything will become easier.

Yet, you know that won’t work either. Fortunately, the solution to your entrepreneurial woes is more simple than you think — become a lazier entrepreneur.

Why the most successful entrepreneurs are the laziest

Society has always frowned upon laziness, but I have always seen it as a talent. The laziest people are normally the most driven and successful.

Think about it for a second, lazy people want to spend the least amount of time on any given job so they can have fun.

Which of the following scenarios represents less time expended?

  1. A client emails you asking for an invoice, but you put it off. You take one minute to read it. You spend five minutes pondering a reply over dinner, and you re-read the email before replying the next day.
  1. You read the email and send a reply instantly.

 

Ironically, which option represents less effort for a lazy entrepreneur? Which option allows you to grab drinks with your friends or watch a movie with your family without worrying about work?

So it’s time you became a lazy entrepreneur.

It’s time you worked less and became more efficient, and, most importantly, its time you gained the freedom that inspired you to begin entrepreneurship in the first place.

“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” – Robert A. Heinlein

5 Ways to work less and do more

Time management is a skill, but you’ll only use it if you have a good reason to. It’s extremely easy to fall back into working long hours, especially when entrepreneurs seem to compete for the most hours worked.

Efficiency and results should be your only aim, not the length of time worked.

So before you jump headfirst into testing these tips, make sure you’re ready to smash your efficiency levels and work less.

It’s pointless if you don’t actually want to work fewer hours. If you get an ego boost by gloating about that 80-hour week, stop reading now.

But if you’re like me and want the freedom, wealth, and happiness you deserve, beat your ego with the following tips.

 

1. Cut work that doesn’t truly matter

This is one of the hardest things to do, but analyze how you spend your time and what results you actually want from that time.

80% of your wealth will come from 20% of your work, so cut wastage. Only focus on work that brings in the money you desire.

To do that, you must understand what your goals are.

As a founder, are you looking to increase gross profit, net profit, or spare time?

When you’ve chosen your goal, you must track and understand where you stand right now.

Which clients are your most profitable and easiest to work with? Once you’ve figured this out, ruthlessly cut the other clients that eat up your time and profit.

“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker 

2. Do everything last minute

Let’s imagine you have to write a press release, and you only have one hour to write it.

I bet you would complete it on time.

I also bet that if you had twenty hours to complete it, you’d end up taking twenty hours.

You would spend your time collecting useless facts that you wouldn’t even use, and you’d write and rewrite until you reached perfection.

This phenomenon is based on the Parkinson’s Law where “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

So force yourself to do work at the last minute, and set a time limit to make sure you get it finished and don’t run over.

 

3. Train yourself like you would train a puppy

Do you know that every time you stop halfway through your work to grab a coffee or similar distraction, you are training your body to have bad habits?

Such actions are analogous to training your dog to sit, yet giving him a treat when he plays dead instead.

So if you want to keep your mind focused, you must train yourself like a puppy.

When you finish your work, you get a treat.

This will teach you to work harder and stay focused longer so you can get a break and grab that coffee.

Sounds a bit weird, but it works.

 

4. Stop wasting energy on pointless tasks

I woke up one morning, grabbed breakfast, and then picked up my phone and read two articles about a new live streaming app.

This led to me downloading the app and playing with it a bit.

Before I knew it, one hour had disappeared.

Has this happened to you?

I bet it has, so to avoid such pitfalls, you must have one aim only.

Seriously, only one aim!

It could be building your email list or designing your logo, but create one thing to focus on.

This gives you a reference point you can refer to when considering and doing other activities throughout the day.

You are an entrepreneur; your job is to succeed. So next time you pick up that new article, app, or social network, ask yourself, “How will this help me reach my dream? How will it help me reach freedom?”

Chinese-Proverb-Picture-Quote
 

5. Skip your meetings

That’s right, I said it.

Meetings are a waste of time and energy. Stop lying to yourself.

Do you truly need to go to the next meeting you’ve got arranged?

Would emailing the information be more effective?

Even better, could you use team collaboration software like Basecamp and just cut out all meetings?

Most meetings are just distractions and excuses not to get the critical work done.

So rethink your meetings.

Will they add to your productivity and efficiency or take away from them?

 

Its your turn

You started your company to build freedom in your life.

You built your website, brought your first client on board, and made that first dollar for one thing.

Freedom!

So stop working long, grueling hours, and start working smarter.

Start being lazy and efficient, and start using your time only on the things that matter to you and your goals.

This is your opportunity to radically transform the way you work.

Start living the type of happy, fulfilling life you truly desire.

 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Pinki

    May 4, 2015 at 2:24 am

    Thanks for suggesting- Do everything at last minute.

  2. Chanelle

    Apr 28, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Love it! I agree with all except for #2. I hate doing things last minute because it causes me stress. Though I work well under pressure I like to prioritize my list and get things done as early and quickly as possible so I have time to revise if needed get consensus etc and strike it off my list. I do strongly agree with number 5. A lot can be accomplished by phone or email. Commuting to a meeting is sometimes pointless. Give me an agenda and if I have nothing to contribute or have no reason to be there, I will not go. I can do 10 times more things with my time than sitting in a meeting.

    • Edward

      Apr 30, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Chanelle,

      Glad you liked it! I agree number 2 can be scary and puts a lot of pressure on you. It was looking at it from an efficiency sense with the aim to stop you from procrastinating. Which is something I am very guilty of… Especially as game of throne has just come back on!

  3. Jiliane

    Apr 27, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I love this! It makes me feel less guilty about the way I do things.

  4. Doensie

    Apr 27, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    The problem with the second tip is that people tend to underestimate the time needed for any work. So, as you said, set a time limit, but perhaps it’s better to set it 19 hours before the deadline.

  5. Abuzar Tariq

    Apr 26, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Very helpful post. Doing things at last minute is so true i experienced this in my daily routine.

  6. Bethany @ Online Therapy and Coaching

    Apr 25, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Thank you for this! Great suggestions! I look forward to the day when I can stop going to meetings and focus on what truly matters. 🙂

    • Edward

      Apr 30, 2015 at 8:09 am

      Glad you liked them Bethany,

      I think we are all looking forward to that day! But hopefully as companies are becoming more savvy with the use of collaborative softwares such as basecamp or Asana soon we can all work from the comforts of our own home!

      Hope they help 🙂

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Startups

5 Ways to Deal With Startup Uncertainty

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how to deal with uncertainty in your startup
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Starting your own company may sound like a dream come true in your mind, on social media, and to all the people looking on in envy from their office jobs. But when the fantasy fades, you realize how much uncertainty you now have in your life. The inherent risk in any startup is that you are trading the certainty of a normal job for real growth and freedom. What people get from office jobs is much more than a steady pay check and free coffee. It’s a sense of certainty that their lives, work, and finances are in order.

You will have to give up certainty to fully take on the risks of this lifestyle. It will be roller-coaster and something you need to prepare for. Logically, it’s easy to know that. But emotionally, there are so many ups and downs in an entrepreneur’s life. Stress, frustration, and decreased motivation are inevitable.

Here are 5 ways you can deal with startup uncertainty:

1. Stick to a morning routine

There’s many ways to start a morning routine. What’s important is to have a stable, predictable routine. This centers your mind and gives you some order to your day. You manage your business and you can do whatever you want. No boss and no one telling you what to do, it can be mix of productive to outright messy days. By giving yourself some stability, you start the day off in a predictable way so that you can jump into work each day.

It’s as easy as taking your dog to the park, having a cup of coffee, and listening to a motivating audiobook for 20 minutes. You may need meditation to get into the state. Whatever it is that you need to get from a sleepy/hungover mindset to that of taking on the day.

“If you win the morning, you win the day.” – Tim Ferriss

2. Make time for high performance books

Speaking of audiobooks, everyone – especially entrepreneurs, need motivation. Get a few motivating books from other business leaders. This will do incredible things for your mindset and the way you think. Most of them help by keeping you excited for bigger goals. Look for classics from Jim Rohn and Tony Robbins. Or the newer motivational personalities like David Goggins and Rachel Hollis. You’ll be surprised at how much hearing someone’s hardships on their journey will help you on your own.

3. Schedule your week

It’s easy to get a packed calendar working an office job. Everyone else in the company seems to be demanding your time for one meeting or another. Pointless meetings are even the reason some people leave their jobs in the first place. The issue with having your own startup is that while the pointless meetings are gone, so too is any semblance of structure from a filled up calendar.

Spend one evening and fill the upcoming week as much as possible. I recommend Sunday afternoons to think about your goals. Plan big tasks every day throughout the week. That way you always know what you should be working on and stay on track.

4. Hit the gym

This one is actually part of my morning routine and it’s benefits can’t be overstated. Exercise helps fight off anxiety and stress. There’s no better way to funnel your business frustrations more than into the weights. By the time you’re done, your body and mind will be much more relaxed. A necessity when it comes to the tension of being an entrepreneur. Whether that’s staring at your laptop or making sales calls.

“Daily exercise is an insurance policy for future illness.” – Robin Sharma

5. Be grateful

Gratitude was one of the feel good things that I always used to skip whenever it was mentioned. I wanted cold, calculated strategy or tools I could use to build a business as fast as possible. Many brilliant minds in not only self help but also in business, speak about the need for gratitude.

Here’s why it helps me when the business is going through growing pains or everything seems like it is going wrong. I get filled with doubt and uncertainty and gratitude is the quickest way to relief.

Yes, starting your own business is a massive effort, but there is always some job out there. You decided to launch something of your own because you don’t want a baseline existence. You want to grow and build with the freedom someone can only give themselves.

That alone is enough to be grateful. But if you need more, how about that most people are too scared to do what you’re doing. Or that you are taking the time to believe in yourself and live a life of taking chances.

That speaks to your character and self-worth. Much more than the life of quiet misery so many people in the world allow to decide their entire lifestyle. Be grateful you have this opportunity and make the most of it.

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Startups

The Best Side Hustle You Can Start Today In Just 15 Minutes

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The best side hustle you can start in 15 minutes is blogging.

It can be writing, making videos or speaking about topics you love through a regular podcast show. All of these acts are a form of blogging.


15 minutes is not long

That’s why blogging is a good choice.

A video that’s less than 15 minutes is easy to make and will work well.

A short piece of writing can be written in under 15 minutes.

A 10-minute audio conversation on one single question will give people heaps of value and detail in one particular area.

Starting is not where the power lies. Doing this side hustle every single day is how you get what you’re really looking for.


Many successful people are doing this

Whether it’s Hollywood actors like Will Smith or writers like Tim Ferriss or musicians like Ariana Grande — everyone is doing it.

Why is everyone doing the side hustle of blogging?

  1. It’s how we connect with each other.
  2. It actually works.
  3. It’s a way to create an audience which can become a business.

I didn’t invent this side hustle

I just tried it for myself and saw how powerful it was.

It got me:

  • New clients for my 9–5
  • A new 4 day a week day job
  • Clients to coach via Skype
  • Features in major publications like CNBC
  • The opportunity to meet amazing human beings like LinkedIn influencer Michael Chapman

The side hustle of blogging gave me meaning for my life

Before this side hustle, I was washed up, uninspired, negative and pissed off with the world.

Spending 15 minutes to start the habit of blogging got me out of my head. It forced me to search all over the internet and find things to talk about. Pretty soon I was spending 2+ hours a night researching personal development and figuring out what I wanted to blog about.

Blogging led me to want to help the homeless, share my very private battle with mental illness, come to grips with my startup failures and share the lessons, and even overcome my fear of public speaking in the process.

Now I have a meaning for my life thanks to the side hustle of blogging. I reckon it can do the same to help you grow and get you to the next level. You can blog about whatever you want and then watch it grow from there.


Why is blogging the best side hustle?

It’s how you be creative.
It’s how you express yourself.
It’s how you grow.
It’s how you attract the right people into your life.

There are many side hustles you could choose. Blogging is one of many. In my opinion and based on my experience, it’s the best. There are so many avenues you can go down.

Attracting what you want in your life has a lot to do with what you’re putting out into the world”

Blogging is a fantastic way to put out more of what’s important to you, into the world. Like a magnet, blogging attracts more of what you put out into your life.


Oh and don’t forget the income

Investing, giving back and making an income are all possible through blogging too. Part of my monthly income comes from blogging.

This allows me to back causes that help those in need, invest in stocks that provide me with a passive income and have money to spend on the occasional treat such as dinner dates and drinks with my co-workers.

That money comes from:

  1. Ghostwriting for other people
  2. Posting on Medium.com
  3. Coaching clients via Skype
  4. Consulting to businesses on how they can create content that aligns with their brand

There aren’t too many side hustles that can do that for you

Seriously, blogging is a game-changer. It’s a habit you can start in 15 minutes and repeat daily without much effort. Choose your poison — writing, video or audio — and then get started.

Do it for around twelve months and then send me an email with what you experience. I already know, having challenged lots of people already to start this side hustle, that it will work. It just requires patience and the habit of doing it daily.

15 minutes to start today.

And then 15 minutes every day for the rest of your life.

Try it.

<<<>>>

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

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Startups

You Are The Problem With Your Business

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A great way to screw up your company is to get into the habit of blaming your suppliers, the market, your staff or your product for your failures.

I recently heard a story of a business that had set up a website. They sold various products and services focusing on helping people with psychological issues. The business owner was smart. The product solved a problem.

Unfortunately, the company was making almost no money. They’d hired someone to help them with their digital marketing and it wasn’t working.

Plenty of traffic was coming to the site, users were having a look around and then not buying a single thing. Who’s fault was this?

Well, according to the business owner it was the person running their digital marketing. As a result, they wasted approximately eight months marketing a website that couldn’t make any sales. The reason the business was failing according to the owner was because of the keywords that were being targeted in the marketing campaign. This is a horrible excuse.

The reason your business fails is because you’re blaming someone other than yourself. It’s the quickest way to bankruptcy. Don’t do that.


Your company is a reflection of you.

It took me a long time to figure out that a company is a reflection of its founder.

One of the businesses I had, had a toxic culture and a bunch of people that were rude to customers, arrogant and not nice people. That was a reflection of exactly who I was at the time.

The company was reflecting the flaws of my own life and what I refused to admit.

In the case of the business owner above, what was obvious is that they were good at telling lies to themselves. It was easy not to change as a business owner and insist that the change needed was nothing to do with their vision.

The issue of their company was not the digital marketing strategy but their lack of understanding around what their customer wanted.

The thought that their products were too complicated, not solving a real problem or priced incorrectly was an admission of guilt they wanted no part in. Hence the eventual demise of their company.


Take responsibility and it will change.

When you own the business, everything is your fault.

You have the power to solve any problem you choose. It starts with you being brave enough to admit that there’s a problem, and then secondly, being bold enough to insist it’s your fault and that you can change it.

The problems in your business can all be solved. That’s what it took me a very long time to understand. When I changed as a person and faced up to my hidden battle with mental illness that I didn’t want to talk about, the odds turned in my favor.

Had I have not taken responsibility for my mental illness, I would have never become a leader in a business or started another side hustle. I would have been crippled by the big, bad world that I thought I could control.

Control came from responsibility, and responsibility solved the major problem in my business: me.


Change is a must.

Not with your digital marketing strategy.
Not with hiring new people.
Not with developing a new product.

Changing yourself is the *must* because YOU attract the problems and the solutions into your business”

You can’t find the solutions or stop the never-ending problems until you stop the cause of it all: you. You’re the problem with your business. The good news is that it’s entirely within your control to fix.

Change you.

Not the business.

<<<>>>

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

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Startups

The Different Ways of Measuring the Success of Your Start-Up

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You’ve probably heard people use the term “unicorn” in a business context. This means a privately held start-up whose value has grown to at least one billion American dollars. Think Airbnb, Uber, and so forth. There is no doubt that some start-ups have been major financial successes. And many smaller-scale start-ups are doing great as well, working hard and turning a steady profit. But that begs the question of whether finances are the only way to measure the success of a start-up. As it turns out, they might not be. At least, not always and not on their own.

How to Evaluate Success

As anyone who’s been involved with start-ups knows, you need a fair amount of flexibility to do well in this environment. Take the division of labour for example – rather than strict roles, you’ll often see everyone do a bit of everything. The same principle extends to measuring success. It can be vague and mean different things to different people, and it can change over time.

But amongst all that vagueness, one thing has become clear. Predicting the success of a start-up is very difficult for external observers. As a matter of fact, it’s often impossible. Therefore, in order to evaluate how successful a start-up has truly been, we need to know the goals of its founder(s).

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” – Marianne Williamson

The Numbers

When people think about business, it’s common to boil matters down to the finances. And it certainly is possible to use numbers to measure and predict the performance of a start-up business. Net worth, gross margin, customer acquisition cost – these can all be indicators of success. But, a start-up can post impressive numbers for a while, perhaps even attract large investors, and still shut down in the end. So does this make it a failure?

The answer to this depends. If the founders wanted to start a lasting business, then yes, they failed to meet their goal. However, that isn’t always the case. If they were looking for a short-term solution and came out with more money than they had coming in, a closed-down start-up needn’t be unsuccessful. It can actually be the opposite of that.

So, looking at the figures isn’t enough, and there are different perspectives to consider. When they start planning their business venture, start-up founders may not have any particular numbers in mind when it comes to profit. Instead, they can judge their success according to some of the following criteria.

1. Happy Customers and Solving Problems

The story of a start-up often begins with a problem. The desire to help people overcome a specific issue can be the spark which ignites the creation of an entire business. And in the end, that may be all that matters to the founders.

This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.

In other words, some start-up founders don’t just use financial reports to measure how much they’ve achieved. To them, the one metric which stands above all others is the quantity of positive feedback they’ve received. The main area of focus is customers who use the start-up’s products or services to solve a problem they were having.

2. Impact

Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).

In both cases, the furthering of mankind is the ultimate goal. Many other start-up founders feel the same, even if they have smaller goals in mind. To these people, there is no greater proof of success than if their company has had a positive impact on society or even a small segment of it. In their view, to make a difference is to succeed.

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins

3. Freedom

For some, starting up their own business is less about getting rich and more about gaining the freedom to conduct their business the way they want to. In this case, financial success is just a means to an end. The endgame is to be your own boss.

The fact is, some people don’t do well when they’re constantly receiving orders. They are simply hardwired to be free thinkers and they require an environment that allows them to do things in their own way.

Being in a position where you hold all the cards can be exhilarating. The knowledge that your decisions are final is very empowering, and many strive for such freedom. If a start-up can allow such people to go from being a regular employee to being in charge of making all the decisions, then it has already achieved all the success that it needs to.

4. Time for Friends and Family

As many people know all too well, a job can easily turn into the focal point of your daily life. Instead of being a way to support your lifestyle, your work dominates your time. And when that happens, the time you have to dedicate to your loved ones becomes scarce. Combating this is precisely what some have in mind when they decide to take the leap and start their own business.

Now, running your own company is no mean feat and it will require a lot of effort. But the beginning is the most time-consuming part of the process. Later on, it can be possible to create a system which leaves you with a lot more time on your hands. You can spend this time with your significant other, your children, or your friends. A start-up which gives you this opportunity is perhaps the greatest success of all.

A start-up is an extension of its founders and so are that company’s goals. Some entrepreneurs are in it for the profit, but not all of them. In the end, there is no single way to measure the success of a start-up. It all comes down to the specific aims of those who established it. But if the founders can end their day on a happy note, then the venture is a success even if it doesn’t fit some standard definition of the term.

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