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4 Ways to Turn Negativity Into Support

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4 Ways to Turn Negativity Into Support

Are you finding it hard to get support for your crazy dreams from those around you? Welcome to the club of entrepreneurs dealing with that every day.

Before we figure out how to turn that negativity into support we must first learn why the disapproval exists.

We often hear entrepreneurs say, “It is just jealousy” or “They are just mad because I am taking chances they are scared to take”. While this may be true for a small amount of acquaintances, for the most part the issue is completely different.

Who are the people you tell your goals and dreams too? I would take a guess and say family and close friends and people you look up to. Well, your family, friends, and mentors are likely not jealous of you but are more concerned about you. People have their own busy lives to deal with and they are certainly not thinking about yours. They may see your ability to take chances they are scared to make but that is only a reason for them to want to see you succeed and celebrate it.

So then why does this negativity exist when we decide to start a business and go after our big goals? Through many years of being an entrepreneur, a couple different businesses, and making an effort to learn why people think the way they do, I have learned why the negativity exists and how to turn it into support.

Who do you think you are?

I mean really, who do you think you are? Do you expect the moment you decide to take a chance and start a business with no prior experience that everyone around you will drop everything to help you? Up until you decided you wanted to become the next Richard Branson or Mark Cuban your friends and family saw you as a student, employee or unemployed. When you tell them you’re starting a business they will initially want to protect you because they are concerned for your well-being.

Getting an education, working a job and moving up the ladder, has been ingrained into our society as the safest route. I would disagree with that because anytime you’re giving your future into someone else’s hands to decide whether they want to keep you or fire you, it is never a safe route. That is a topic for another article, but my point is that is where the negativity comes from. They just want what they think is best for you, so it is up to you to show them that being an entrepreneur is best for business.

Below are 4 tips I have learned and used effectively to turn negativity into support:

 

1. Stay consistent

Staying consistent is the most effective tip. If there is one tip that you decide to implement, definitely choose to stay on track and keep working towards your goals. As I mentioned above when you first start out, nobody see’s you as an entrepreneur because you weren’t one previously. Just like learning to ride a bike you need to learn how to be an entrepreneur and how to grow a business in the industry you have chosen.

People will start to respect your dreams when they see how much hard work and dedication you’re putting into it. If you start a business and quit in 1 month you cannot expect the people around you to take you serious. That is not to say you must choose a business and no matter what stick to it. Sometimes businesses do not work out for different reasons and you must move on to other opportunities. After interviewing 60+ millionaires, the majority of them have had several businesses before the one that made them millions. The point is they never gave up on being a successful entrepreneur and eventually found the business they knew was the one.

Once they found that business, they focused all their attention on becoming a master at it. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at anything so be prepared to put that much time in if you want to be the best. The people around will see you as a master way before your 10,000th hour due to perception.  After a year or two of consistent growth and skill development people will start to see you as a master and no one can put down a master of their craft. Stay committed and it will be noticed.

“When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren’t the people who are motivated, but have consistency in their motivation.” – Arsene Wenger

2. Protect your dreams

Your goals and dreams should be protected like a map to a treasure chest. Stop letting everyone in on your deepest thoughts because most people won’t be able to understand them and you will not have enough time to explain. This was a mistake I made early on when people would ask me what I do. Quickly, I would find myself telling everyone my insane goals and people looking at me like I was immature and crazy.

A conversation focused around your dreams should be saved for the right time and right person. Find a mentor or close friend or family member that is a good listener and can provide valuable feedback. The more you protect your dreams, the more curious people will get and the more they will start to support you. It is a funny thing but it comes down to showing people your dreams instead of just talking about them.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

3. Support others

Whether you believe in karma or not, supporting others is a great way to gain support. You must learn what others around you are up to. That takes being interested and asking questions. Instead of waiting for someone to ask you what you’re up to, ask them what’s going on in their lives. This is your opportunity to be supportive and add as much value to their lives as you can.

As entrepreneurs we need to get laser focused on our businesses and it is easy to lose awareness of the people around us and want to always talk about what we’re up to. When you’re around people, change this mindset and start being more interested than interesting. The more you help people the more they will begin to support you and that help you gave will be reciprocated tenfold.

 

4. Be vulnerable *Expert Tip*

This tip is not for everyone but if used properly, it can create powerful relationships and will give you enough support and encouragement that will help propel your dedication.

Above I mentioned to protect your dreams and save this important conversation for a select few. When you find the people that you trust enough to talk about your biggest goals and dreams with, put everything on the table. Focus on WHY you want to achieve these goals.

I remember awhile back someone I knew quit his job to start a business. He told me how negative his wife was being about his decision. I told him to put himself in her shoes. She is likely concerned considering you have never owned a business, scared for her own wellbeing and unsure about the whole situation. I told him he needs to stop talking about his business because she is not going to understand but instead start talking about why you started the business. After she heard his reasoning it started a whole new conversation on a much deeper level. When we become vulnerable we allow people to come into our minds and they can begin to support our why’s because why’s are powerful.

I have done this with a few people and my relationships with them have become very important to me and my business. These people are my biggest supporters and have helped me through many tough times and celebrate with me through the good times. They have also become vulnerable with me and let me into their world and I make sure I return the support. This is also a great way to grow a relationship with someone you look up to and grow the relationship into a mentorship opportunity.

Another great tip to become more vulnerable that you can use with anyone is to just ask for help. When you ask someone to help, likely they will be honoured and proud that they are useful. You’re now allowing someone to come into your world and add value and when that happens naturally they will want you to succeed.

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” – Madeleine L’Engle

I have learned these tips from experience, interviewing many successful entrepreneurs, and reading many books. A book that has influenced every tip I just gave is “Influence” by Robert Caldini. It is a must read for any entrepreneur.

Thank you for reading my article! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

Eric Sciberras began his entrepreneurial journey selling items out of his school locker. His desire to grow as a businessman propelled him to start businesses in the event and nightclub, and fashion industries. His focus turned to online business when he realised its potential. He is currently founder and CEO of E Sixteen Media Inc where he helps multi-million dollar businesses and high profile entrepreneurs grow their brands online and creates his own digital products. You can check out his video content at ericsciberras.com.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Tim Denning

    Aug 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Eric thanks for sharing your views. I think people really get caught up in labels. If you want to be an entrepreneur then just do it and forget whether people acknowledge you as one or not.

    I have also seen that most of the negativity people give you is a direct reflection of the things in their own life that are not working. I believe that you should never get too caught up in other peoples opinions.

  2. Brenda Rachel

    Jul 26, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I love your article Eric. I have just been on my “new” entrepreneurial journey since November 2014, as I embarked on many over the last 20 years which really tanked. I got discouraged and gave up. I am now passionate, alive and working two jobs, my day job and my “passion” job, which isn’t work at all. I totally agree with the need to be consistent, working diligently and having the commitment and dedication to keep moving forward, no matter what setbacks. I also know from firsthand experience that there are only a very few people a person living their “dream” can really trust to share their innermost thoughts and plans with. I wanted support to come from family initially and when that did not happen, I was initially disappointed and now as I am still forging ahead many months later, one of my family members is showing some interest. I have chosen to support others who are on their “dream journeys and, in turn, I am receiving so much inspiration to continue on with mine. I appreciate you sharing your expertise and knowledge. I will share this with my connections, which are about 7,000 in about 7 months! I know it will benefit others!

    • Eric Sciberras

      Aug 6, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      Thank you Brenda! Mentors or like minded people are great to share your visions with and may help in the area of support if your family has not yet given any. Wishing you much success.

  3. Jon Lee

    Jul 24, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Hey Eric,

    This was a really great to the point post!

    I totally agree with the idea of guarding your dreams, not only might some people make fun of them but I think the more you talk about it the more you dilute your focus and intensity on it. I think it’s best to keep your dreams guarded until you’re pretty close to achieving them!.

    Thanks for posting I’m going to retweet this!

    Best,

    JL

    • Eric Sciberras

      Aug 6, 2015 at 11:20 pm

      I have found that protecting my dreams has definitely helped my focus. Telling people that do not understand can get pretty aggravating at times. Plus it’s fun to be a bit secretive until a big win.

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    These are some great tips on turning negativity into support. I really like the first one you mentioned about being consistent, Consistency and constant action is one of the keys to getting what you want in life, and you absolutely right that when you first decide to become an entrepreneur, people will doubt. This is a road many people don’t travel down because they believe in getting a job and doing things like going to college and getting a job. When you are consistent, the growth will come. When people see your work and growth, they start to believe.

    • Eric Sciberras

      Aug 6, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      I definitely agree Lawrence. Thank you for the comment.

  5. Ethan Bridges

    Jul 24, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Oh my goodness, this post is talking to me.

    I love your Expert Tip. But I’d say it’d be a good move to be vulnerable from the start. Transparency can take you a long way. I agree though that vulnerability may be shown with a grain of salt. Interesting point you raised there.

    #1 is really true. I use it interchangeably with persistence. Like a quote says, it’s like driving through fog, you can only see up to where your headlights can reach.

    Eric, thank you.

    • Eric Sciberras

      Jul 24, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Thank you for the comment Ethan. Glad you enjoyed it.

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Success Advice

3 Areas You Should Focus on to Become a Great Leader

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Having listened to all of our stakeholders and being fully aware of the situation, spring is a good time to conduct a quarterly review to see exactly where we are in order. This helps us have a clear starting point to re-adjust our goals for the coming year.

One of the main problems tends to be that we look back at the things we haven’t done and where we didn’t get the results we intended. Because of this, we get ourselves in a state of anxiety which is hardly a resourceful state for setting positive goals.

A better approach is to be nice to ourselves. Have a look back over the last three months and check all the things you have achieved. Give yourself a treat for all of the things you planned to achieve and did. They may be something as simple as maintaining a to-do list or smiling more.

Afterwards, think of all the things you achieved which weren’t planned and congratulate yourself on your flexibility and creativity; for the person with the greatest flexibility of behaviour controls the outcomes.

For those results that weren’t as you intended, remind yourself that we all make the correct choice at the time we make it. We don’t deliberately make the wrong choices and whatever the outcome, there’s always a positive intention. There’s no failure, only feedback, and we learn more from our failures than we do our successes.

“Be good to yourself. Listen to your body, to your heart. We’re very hard on ourselves, and we’re always feeling like we’re not doing enough. It’s a terribly hard job.” – Marcia Wallace

Look to yourself

It is vital, especially for sole proprietors or owner/managers, to manage themselves in order to be fit, healthy, and relatively happy. Evidence points to a clear relationship between our moods and assorted aspects of job performance such as decision-making, creativity, teamwork, negotiation and leadership.

While success may put us in a good mood, an organisation that sees the glass as half full rather than half empty, stands a better chance in these difficult times.

Depressed individuals will always see the glass as half-empty and even rapidly emptying. This attitude saps energy and leaves those affected feeling worthless, helpless, and hopeless. In its worst case, depression can impair the ability to communicate and it’s not hard to see the organisational parallels.

Below are three elements within all of us that need to be taken care of:

1. Your mind

The key to a healthy mind is variety, so take an interest in other people, things, events and current affairs. Adopting an open and curious mindset allows us to see future possibilities and hence be more empowered.

2. Your body

A healthy body requires a solid routine. Ensure you eat and drink healthy products (especially water) and get plenty of rest and exercise. Knowing our own limitations and taking action to stay within them ensures we operate at our best.

3. Your spirit

Much has been written about feeding or maintaining the spirit but I believe there is one simple rule. Believe in something that is true to you and spend time each day with your true beliefs. Solitude is the nurse of enthusiasm and is as needful to the imagination as friends are to our character.

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” – Dolly Parton

Beyond individual performance, there are broader issues at stake. None of us are islands, happy in our own little depressed world. Moods, good or bad, are infectious and some people or positions can have a greater ripple effect than others. If a shy apprentice has a gloomy outlook, few may notice. But if people like the owner/manager are wandering around looking like the end of the world is coming, that can directly affect team spirit.

Water bearer or well poisoner

So what can the organisation do? Firstly, as individuals, we must show a positive and upbeat demeanor. That’s not easy and faking it will easily be spotted as the deception will be transparent. This isn’t unauthentic, but merely an attempt to empower ourselves.

Congruent leadership offers the means to put into words what it is you are experiencing with the person in order so your behaviour is consistent with your own values and beliefs such that you always appear to be what you desire to be.

Your mood as a leader then is highly contagious. Even though leaders or opinion formers aren’t always in leadership positions, they’re at the centre of informal networks. They have charisma and magnetism, possess strong opinions, and express them forcefully. Therefore, they have considerable social power and can have a direct effect on morale by being a water bearer or well poisoner. Which are you today?

What resonated most with you about this article and leadership? Share your thoughts below!

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The 6 Step Process for Delivering Critical Feedback in a Constructive Way

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We have all been in the position where we knew we needed to have a difficult conversation at work that involved delivering constructive feedback. Maybe a major deadline was missed, there was a clear decline in performance, or someone blatantly dropped the ball. Most of us avoid delivering the feedback, and the conversation can get pushed back again and again, wasting valuable time and money.

Delivering constructive feedback is challenging, and uncomfortable for most people, even highly trained leaders. Yet, delivering and accepting feedback is one of the most important keys for success. So why do we avoid these conversations? Because we never learned how to have them.

Open, honest, direct communication is not a skill we are taught in school. There is no “How to Have Tough Conversations” 101. As a clinical psychologist that specializes in couples work, I see just how important communication is in maintaining thriving relationships. I understand that good communication is the foundation of every successful relationship; both intimate relationships and your work relationships.

Below is a 6-step guide to providing constructive feedback:

Step 1: Clarity on the Goal of the Conversation  

The first step is to get clear on the goal of the feedback conversation. Are you planning to see a change in performance, simply communicate how you felt, or receive an apology? Get clear on what you are hoping to get out of the conversation. Be honest with yourself about what you need, what is most helpful to the relationship, and what is most helpful to the organization. Getting clear on the goal also ensures you are speaking with the right person.

“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

Step 2: Invitation

Set up a time to talk. Feedback conversations are not meant to be had in the hallway. It is important that both parties can set aside adequate time and have the space needed for dialogue. Additionally, there must be respect for both parties’ need for time to process information. For example, if you are delivering feedback, and the receiver needs time to process the feedback before responding, setting up a subsequent meeting will be most helpful.

Step 3: Ownership

Own the role you played in creating the situation. When you model ownership of blind spots, failures, or missteps, you set the stage for the receiver to do the same. For example, you may acknowledge that you were not aware of how to support your employee and not aware of the problem until x situation occurred. Equally important as owning your role, is owning your emotions. Own your emotions using “I” statements. For example, “I felt disappointed when I realized your sales performance had substantially declined”.

Step 4: Open, Honest, Direct Feedback

Feedback that dances around the problem does not do anyone any good. It only increases anxiety on behalf of the receiver, and potentially causes the feedback to get totally lost. The conversation needs to be open, honest, and direct. For example: “I felt concerned when you did not attend the last two strategy calls this month…It brought up questions for me about your commitment to the company.”

Step 5: Listen, Validate and Accept

When providing feedback, it is important both parties maintain an open mind, and respond in a way that communicates validation and acceptance. As soon as an individual gets defensive, feedback cannot be taken in, and the value of the conversation dramatically decreases. When providing feedback it is important to listen, validate, and accept your receiver’s viewpoint. Notice, I did not say agree. This looks something like saying: “I can see why X led you to commit Y , I understand you were under a great deal of stress/dealing with a personal situation/frustrated.”

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

Step 6: A Clear Plan for Moving Forward

In providing feedback, the magic is that now things can change! If feedback is never given, relationships end, things will stay the same, businesses will die, and money will be lost. If you have gotten to this step, that means you did the hard work, and now you get to put change into action. A clear plan includes an acknowledgement from both parties regarding what they will do differently to prevent the situation from occurring again, and how they will stay accountable in making the change happen.

The good news about delivering feedback is that the more you do it, the easier it gets. Remember, giving and receiving feedback is one of the most surefire ways to open yourself up to massive growth.

As a giver of feedback, it is your job to model openness and a desire for growth, so that the receiver may take in the feedback and make the necessary changes. Exceling at feedback delivery will help you set you apart from others and enable you to achieve extraordinary relationships, in both your personal and work lives.

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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5 Essential Skills to Drive Success in Every Niche

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There are many people who don’t have the courage to launch a business in a niche as they think they don’t have the right skills and experience to obtain success. While there are specific skills which determine the success in every niche, there are also some general skills which ensure success in any business you would try.

Below are 5 essential skills you need to drive success in every aspect of your life:

1. Ambition

When you launch a new business, you need to be prepared for difficult moments such as fighting the competition and winning your target audience. Moreover, if you follow some successful entrepreneurs, you should keep in mind that they also faced difficulties and continue to experience them. So, how does a successful entrepreneur get over all the difficulties?

The essential skill you need to possess is called ambition. Set small and clear milestones in your development plan and use your ambition to go over each difficulty and finalize what you had in your mind. It doesn’t matter how hard the path is going to be. Visualize your target and put in all the efforts to achieve it. Staying organized and scheduling each step to get things done are some of the techniques you can use to achieve success.

2. Listen to those around you

While listening to your instincts is necessary if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, this is not enough. As your business develops, you will have an entire team to manage and lead to success. Therefore, you cannot be a successful leader and have success in every niche unless you learn how to listen to the people around you.

You should listen to your employees and discover what they are expecting from you. This is the way to follow if you want to keep your team motivated and help them give the best of themselves.

On the other hand, you will need to listen to your customers to improve your products and services and provide excellent customer support. By listening carefully to the voice of your customers, you will be able to stand out of the competition and ensure their loyalty towards your brand.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos

3. Courage

When you decided to become an entrepreneur and build your own business, it means you are a courageous person. Courage will help you harness the power of creativity. Don’t be afraid to take risks if you feel a specific action will bring more success to your business.

Apart from doing intensive research on your ideas and developing the exact steps you are going to follow, you will need the courage to implement them. Not all the ideas will turn out to be successful.

Regardless, you will have something to learn from each success or mistake and this will help you move your business even further. When you have the courage to follow a path which is not very familiar to you, this is going to be the moment when you will widen your horizons and exceed your limits to achieve success.

4. Creativity and imagination

If you already implemented your idea and you see that it works, you most probably think that you don’t need to change anything to achieve more success. You need to keep in mind that customers’ preferences change and your competition is waiting for your mistakes to “steal” your clients.

Therefore, you need to use your creativity and imagination to improve your products and services to meet your customers’ expectations. What is more, creativity can also mean that you are open to talk to new people and use their experience to improve something in your business.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs

5. Continuous learning

If you want to drive success in every niche you will need to show a willingness to learn. You need to stay updated with what happens in your niche and what your customers expect from you.

Education is not only something for school. It is a lifelong process, and you should be open to seek knowledge and improve your skills with every opportunity. An efficient trick is to stay close to people who are already successful in your industry, ask their opinions on various subjects and learn from their experience.

The above five essential skills will help you build a successful business in every niche. A true leader is ambitious, knows to listen to the people around him, and is always open to learning from others.

No matter the size of your business, you will need to be creative and use your imagination to improve your products and services. These skills will help any leader develop new skills, stand out of the crowd, and strengthen his position on the market.

What skill do you think is most important to be successful in life? Let us know below!

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