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6 Common Traits That Hold Entrepreneurs Back

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6 Common Traits Of Entrepreneurs That Are Holding You Back

Entrepreneurs are a rare breed. While everyone else is content with playing it safe, we have an undying urge to forge our own path in life.

I’m a firm believer that the entrepreneurial calling is in our DNA. It’s something we’re born with.

That doesn’t mean that anyone can’t take the necessary steps to create a successful business. But it clearly comes more naturally to some of us than others.

However, life has a way of keeping things balanced.

Some of the most defining traits of entrepreneurs work for and against us.

The trick is figuring out how to leverage these traits when appropriate, and knowing when to ignore them when they are holding us back.

 

1. We’re dreamers

Entrepreneurs dare to dream bigger. The most powerful innovations known to man all started as a dream in someone’s mind.

I’ve always been an avid daydreamer myself. I spent more time creating imaginary businesses in my mind than I ever did listening to my teachers.

If you’re a fellow daydreamer (I have a feeling you are) then you know that feeling when the light bulb goes off and your mind starts racing. All of a sudden whatever you’re doing becomes irrelevant and you quickly grab a notepad to start frantically recording your notes.

We always have this fear that we’re going to miss out on our next big opportunity if we forget this current genius idea.

The problem with this trait is that dreams don’t come true without action. To be successful at anything you have to spend more time practicing and doing than you do thinking.

We enjoy dreaming. We feel comfortable dreaming. But when has success ever been prefaced by comfort?

You have always been a dreamer and you always will be; relax, you’re not going to run out of new ideas. Now is not the time for dreaming.

Now is the time to take action!

“I’m not much of a math and science guy. I spent most of my time in school daydreaming and managed to turn it into a living.” – George Lucas

2. We hate asking for help

It’s not that we don’t like asking for help, we just absolutely despise it. This desire to do things on our own is usually what drives us to start businesses in the first place.

Who needs a boss, receptionist, and accountant when we can do it all ourselves, right? Wrong.

Sure we develop a ton of great skills by not asking for help, but we are only human. As mere mortals we need help and lots of it.

Here are the three primary reasons that we need to ask for help:

  • Avoiding burnout
  • Ensuring things are handled properly
  • Scaling our business

As much as you hate it, asking for help is a necessary evil. The good news is that it grows on you with time.

Speaking of time, how much of yours would you have saved by asking for help sooner?

 

3. We’re stubborn

Entrepreneurs are notoriously stubborn. That’s how we’re able to overcome obstacles that make others give up.

It’s not that I think I’m always right, I just prefer to do things my way. Sound familiar? The problem is, my way isn’t always the best way and yours might not be either.

How do we know when we are on the verge of a breakthrough or when we are being stubborn about the wrong things? Most of the time, we don’t. (Refer to number two)

Never be afraid to pivot. Successful businesses do it all the time.

Did you know that Twitter was originally a company called Odeo, a network where people could discover and subscribe to podcasts?

My point exactly. No one will look down on you if you pivot, as long as you follow through with something valuable.

Never give up
 

4. We’re very particular

I’ve been accused of having OCD because of my attention to detail, but I prefer to call myself particular.

As entrepreneurs, we’re very particular about things. The details matter more to us than they do to others.

We want everything to be just right.

Steve Jobs was known for being extremely particular about the design of Apple products, often forcing his engineers to adhere to designs that weren’t even feasible at the time. Of course we all know how well that played out.

There’s a fine line between particular and nitpicky. You can come close to the line, you can even walk the line, but don’t ever cross that line. When entrepreneurs cross that line we turn into that micromanaging boss that we ourselves hate.

Even worse, this carries over into our personal lives. You know how many of my ex-girlfriends got annoyed with how particular I am? All of them.

Yes, the details matter, but don’t sweat the small stuff. It does more harm than good.

 

5. We are emotionally tied to our business

Our business isn’t just a company or a brand, it’s our baby. We gave it life, nurtured it, raised it, and we are incredibly proud to watch it grow. So naturally it’s difficult to not be emotionally attached to our business.

When I was building my first company in the oil industry, my mood was completely tied to my business. When profits were up, I had a kick in my step and a smile on my face. When a deal didn’t go through or I struggled to solve a problem, it felt like a cloud was lingering over me.

Being emotionally invested in our businesses is a good thing. It’s that passion that defines entrepreneurs. But you have to learn to keep it contained. Emotions cause us to make irrational decisions and they affect our productivity.

Once you can learn to keep those emotions in check, without putting out the flame, you’ll be in full control. If this is something you struggle with, look into the philosophy of Stoicism.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” –Richard Branson

6. We enjoy breaking the rules

If we followed all the rules we wouldn’t be good entrepreneurs. True visionaries know how to change the game by breaking the old rules and creating new ones.

There’s a special satisfaction that comes from breaking the rules and not only getting away with it, but being rewarded for it. But there’s a problem with indulging in this trait too much.

You either break too many rules or you break the wrong rules. Most people who get busted for white-collar crimes didn’t start out with criminal aspirations. I’d estimate that most of them once believed they’d never break the law, other than minor traffic offenses.

What happens is they get away with something small, so they decide to take it a little further. As long as they get away with it and they are rewarded for it, they keep pushing the limit even further. Before long it feels normal and they forget they’re even doing something wrong.

Don’t let yourself get caught up in that cycle. White-collar thieves, sleazy scammers, and frauds usually start out as well-meaning entrepreneurs.

Break the rules, yes, but don’t break the law and don’t ever compromise your principles.

In his first year out of college, KW Stout built a six-figure freelance business working with oil and gas companies. Now as a copywriter and consultant he leverages his passion for marketing to help businesses grow their audience and profits. You can connect with him on Twitter.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Onyi

    May 14, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Excellent article, very profound thought leadership. In regards entrepreneurship, I once wrote; An entrepreneur is a leader of excellence, trailblazer and pioneer who constantly brings change to their generation. ~ Onyi Anyado.

Leave a Reply

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

Success Advice

A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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how to avoid burnout
Image Credit: Unsplash

Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break!

Here are 5 simple steps to avoid burnout once and for all:

Step #1: Build A Sustainable Work Schedule

Scheduling your work around your breaks (not the other way around) is the most effective way to avoid burnout. Now to be clear, I’m not saying “don’t work hard”. I’d never tell you that. But rather, to work in a sustainable fashion.

In other words: Prioritize your breaks the same way you would prioritize your work. For example, LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, schedules two hours of breaks throughout each of his workdays (in 30 to 90-minute blocks). How many breaks are scheduled in your day?

“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.” – Michael Gungor

Step #2: Practice Gratitude

If you’re reading this, you have eyes. Be grateful for them, some people don’t. Remembering what you already have is critical, because gratitude is a divine quality and awakens our sense of true abundance. Work hard and be mindful of every gift that you have in your life. An attitude of gratitude is the path to true happiness.

Step #3: Remember Your WHY Power

Why do you do what you do? Why do you go the extra mile, get up early, stay late, and work around the clock? Only once you’ve answered this question will you have isolated your “why power”.

For instance, do you want to retire your parents? Is your why power to become a billionaire so you can fund cures for diseases? My suggestion to you would be to prepare a pocket-sized list of your whys and re-read them whenever you’re feeling low on energy (you’ll know when the list is long enough when you read it and feel recharged).

Step #4: Meditate Twice (Daily)

If you only take away one thing from this article, please let it be this: Meditate, twice daily, 20 minutes (per session). Personally, I meditate once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Like exercise for the brain, meditation compounds and is truly a life-changing activity. You’ll experience unparalleled clarity by activating your brain’s “reset” button, which will allow you to focus on your work and get infinitely more done in a fraction of the time.

But like all worthwhile things in life, it requires consistency. To help with getting on a consistent schedule, I’d highly suggest purchasing a physical calendar and making a big red “X” on the days that you meditate. How many days in a row can you meditate without fail? If you’re new to meditation, I’d suggest starting with 10-minute sessions and using a guided video (I love this one on YouTube by the Chopra Center).

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” – Buddha

Step #5: Remember That You’re Going To Die

Newsflash: You’re dying. You’re not going to be here forever, so stop acting like it. I don’t know how old you are, but I’d please ask you to take a quick moment to teleport to age one-hundred. Feel free to close your eyes right now and do this.

As you’re on your deathbed, do you have regrets that you didn’t accomplish your goals, leave a legacy, and serve more people? Which of your dreams remain unfulfilled? Now, open your eyes and teleport back to the current moment. Alright, now go make it happen — and avoid that dark future from occurring!

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, please feel free to share with a friend or co-worker!

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5 Simple Mental Tricks to Help Leaders Deal With a Heavy Workload

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Entrepreneurs and other business owners put in a lot of work. In fact, many entrepreneurs report spending over 60 hours a week (or more than 12 hours each day) working on their business. These hours are busy — no extended breaks for browsing Facebook or watching funny YouTube videos. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of work, and a lot of learning. Of course, having such a heavy workload and so many responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming.

So how do successful business owners manage? A lot of it comes down to the right mental practices. By working smarter, not harder, leaders can effectively manage even the most seemingly insurmountable workloads and achieve their company goals.

Here’s a closer look at the mental practices you can apply to better manage your responsibilities:

1. Stop Multitasking

When you have a lot of work on your plate, it can be tempting to switch back and forth between projects so you can make progress on each one. But this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your productivity. Research has consistently found that multitasking actually slows down your work, rather than speeding it up.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error … even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.”

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

2. Start Your Day With the Hardest Tasks

Each task and responsibility you’re faced with will have varying degrees of difficulty and time commitment. It’s all too easy to save the hardest tasks for last, but if you wish to maximize your productivity and get through your workload, you should actually start with the tougher challenges.

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs take care of their toughest tasks first thing in the morning. For one thing, most of us have more energy when we first start the workday. The later in the day it gets, the harder it becomes to maintain that same drive and focus, making it all too easy to procrastinate. Knocking out a hard assignment early in the day also brings a sense of accomplishment, which can provide additional energy for powering through future tasks.

3. Know Your Limits

While hard work is essential for entrepreneurial success, you don’t want to run the risk of burnout. Continually pushing yourself beyond your boundaries can cause chronic exhaustion, anxiety, relationship problems and even heart disease.

“Everyone has different limits,” notes Jason Bliss, co-founder of Healthy Living Network. “As a serial entrepreneur myself, I’ve seen far too many people overwork themselves to the point of exhaustion, thinking it will help them succeed. In reality, overwork usually makes their results worse, not better. Learning the warning signs of burnout has helped me know when to step back — even for a short break — so I can come back later when I’m feeling refreshed.”

4. Plan Out Your Day

Knowing which task you want to start your day with isn’t enough — you also need to plan out the rest of the day. Catherine Adenle recommends “breaking your day into sessions, of maybe two or three hours. Take regular walk breaks after each session. First thing in the morning, when you get to the office, begin your day with a plan and assign tasks to each session.”

By dividing your day into more manageable chunks and planning corresponding activities, your workload won’t feel as overwhelming. You’ll be more likely to stay on track with everything that needs to get done. For best results, organize tasks based on urgency, deadline and the time they’ll take to complete.

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Margaret Thatcher

5. Understand Proper Delegation

As a business leader, you have a significant resource that few others enjoy: a support staff that can assist you with your responsibilities. Asking for help or delegating tasks can help you maintain focus on the activities that matter most for your business. Though you should be mindful of your employees’ pre-existing workloads and clearly communicate project expectations, delegation can significantly improve company productivity.

The problem, however, is that many leaders are reluctant to delegate. They worry about employees’ abilities to complete a task, or feel they could handle the work quicker and more effectively on their own. It is essential that you develop the humility needed to delegate to your staff.

Research from Gallup has found that employers who delegate, effectively experience significantly higher growth than their competition. By leveraging employee strengths to lessen your load, you can enjoy major improvements to your bottom line.

Adapting the way you approach your workload will require a fair amount of effort. There may even be some failures and setbacks as you change how you manage your work. But if you wish to obtain lasting success, few things will be more important than improving your mental approach. By implementing these tactics, you’ll be able to work more effectively and achieve higher-quality outcomes.

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Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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how to avoid burnout
Image Credit: Unsplash

Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break! (more…)

Alex Edson is a 19-year-old entrepreneur from Phoenix Arizona who has scaled two multi-million dollar companies from nothing. Alex began his entrepreneurial journey during his sophomore year of high school, founding a YouTube talent management agency from his apartment that would later grow to over 10 billion annual views. Today, Alex is the Founder and CEO of MailTag.io, a startup that helps sales and business people track their emails in real-time, for free. You can connect with Alex on his company’s blog https://blog.mailtag.io or by email Alex@MailTag.io.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Onyi

    May 14, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Excellent article, very profound thought leadership. In regards entrepreneurship, I once wrote; An entrepreneur is a leader of excellence, trailblazer and pioneer who constantly brings change to their generation. ~ Onyi Anyado.

Leave a Reply

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

Success Advice

A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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how to avoid burnout
Image Credit: Unsplash

Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break!

Here are 5 simple steps to avoid burnout once and for all:

Step #1: Build A Sustainable Work Schedule

Scheduling your work around your breaks (not the other way around) is the most effective way to avoid burnout. Now to be clear, I’m not saying “don’t work hard”. I’d never tell you that. But rather, to work in a sustainable fashion.

In other words: Prioritize your breaks the same way you would prioritize your work. For example, LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, schedules two hours of breaks throughout each of his workdays (in 30 to 90-minute blocks). How many breaks are scheduled in your day?

“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.” – Michael Gungor

Step #2: Practice Gratitude

If you’re reading this, you have eyes. Be grateful for them, some people don’t. Remembering what you already have is critical, because gratitude is a divine quality and awakens our sense of true abundance. Work hard and be mindful of every gift that you have in your life. An attitude of gratitude is the path to true happiness.

Step #3: Remember Your WHY Power

Why do you do what you do? Why do you go the extra mile, get up early, stay late, and work around the clock? Only once you’ve answered this question will you have isolated your “why power”.

For instance, do you want to retire your parents? Is your why power to become a billionaire so you can fund cures for diseases? My suggestion to you would be to prepare a pocket-sized list of your whys and re-read them whenever you’re feeling low on energy (you’ll know when the list is long enough when you read it and feel recharged).

Step #4: Meditate Twice (Daily)

If you only take away one thing from this article, please let it be this: Meditate, twice daily, 20 minutes (per session). Personally, I meditate once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Like exercise for the brain, meditation compounds and is truly a life-changing activity. You’ll experience unparalleled clarity by activating your brain’s “reset” button, which will allow you to focus on your work and get infinitely more done in a fraction of the time.

But like all worthwhile things in life, it requires consistency. To help with getting on a consistent schedule, I’d highly suggest purchasing a physical calendar and making a big red “X” on the days that you meditate. How many days in a row can you meditate without fail? If you’re new to meditation, I’d suggest starting with 10-minute sessions and using a guided video (I love this one on YouTube by the Chopra Center).

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” – Buddha

Step #5: Remember That You’re Going To Die

Newsflash: You’re dying. You’re not going to be here forever, so stop acting like it. I don’t know how old you are, but I’d please ask you to take a quick moment to teleport to age one-hundred. Feel free to close your eyes right now and do this.

As you’re on your deathbed, do you have regrets that you didn’t accomplish your goals, leave a legacy, and serve more people? Which of your dreams remain unfulfilled? Now, open your eyes and teleport back to the current moment. Alright, now go make it happen — and avoid that dark future from occurring!

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, please feel free to share with a friend or co-worker!

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Success Advice

5 Simple Mental Tricks to Help Leaders Deal With a Heavy Workload

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busyness
Image Credit: Unsplash

Entrepreneurs and other business owners put in a lot of work. In fact, many entrepreneurs report spending over 60 hours a week (or more than 12 hours each day) working on their business. These hours are busy — no extended breaks for browsing Facebook or watching funny YouTube videos. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of work, and a lot of learning. Of course, having such a heavy workload and so many responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming.

So how do successful business owners manage? A lot of it comes down to the right mental practices. By working smarter, not harder, leaders can effectively manage even the most seemingly insurmountable workloads and achieve their company goals.

Here’s a closer look at the mental practices you can apply to better manage your responsibilities:

1. Stop Multitasking

When you have a lot of work on your plate, it can be tempting to switch back and forth between projects so you can make progress on each one. But this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your productivity. Research has consistently found that multitasking actually slows down your work, rather than speeding it up.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error … even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.”

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

2. Start Your Day With the Hardest Tasks

Each task and responsibility you’re faced with will have varying degrees of difficulty and time commitment. It’s all too easy to save the hardest tasks for last, but if you wish to maximize your productivity and get through your workload, you should actually start with the tougher challenges.

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs take care of their toughest tasks first thing in the morning. For one thing, most of us have more energy when we first start the workday. The later in the day it gets, the harder it becomes to maintain that same drive and focus, making it all too easy to procrastinate. Knocking out a hard assignment early in the day also brings a sense of accomplishment, which can provide additional energy for powering through future tasks.

3. Know Your Limits

While hard work is essential for entrepreneurial success, you don’t want to run the risk of burnout. Continually pushing yourself beyond your boundaries can cause chronic exhaustion, anxiety, relationship problems and even heart disease.

“Everyone has different limits,” notes Jason Bliss, co-founder of Healthy Living Network. “As a serial entrepreneur myself, I’ve seen far too many people overwork themselves to the point of exhaustion, thinking it will help them succeed. In reality, overwork usually makes their results worse, not better. Learning the warning signs of burnout has helped me know when to step back — even for a short break — so I can come back later when I’m feeling refreshed.”

4. Plan Out Your Day

Knowing which task you want to start your day with isn’t enough — you also need to plan out the rest of the day. Catherine Adenle recommends “breaking your day into sessions, of maybe two or three hours. Take regular walk breaks after each session. First thing in the morning, when you get to the office, begin your day with a plan and assign tasks to each session.”

By dividing your day into more manageable chunks and planning corresponding activities, your workload won’t feel as overwhelming. You’ll be more likely to stay on track with everything that needs to get done. For best results, organize tasks based on urgency, deadline and the time they’ll take to complete.

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Margaret Thatcher

5. Understand Proper Delegation

As a business leader, you have a significant resource that few others enjoy: a support staff that can assist you with your responsibilities. Asking for help or delegating tasks can help you maintain focus on the activities that matter most for your business. Though you should be mindful of your employees’ pre-existing workloads and clearly communicate project expectations, delegation can significantly improve company productivity.

The problem, however, is that many leaders are reluctant to delegate. They worry about employees’ abilities to complete a task, or feel they could handle the work quicker and more effectively on their own. It is essential that you develop the humility needed to delegate to your staff.

Research from Gallup has found that employers who delegate, effectively experience significantly higher growth than their competition. By leveraging employee strengths to lessen your load, you can enjoy major improvements to your bottom line.

Adapting the way you approach your workload will require a fair amount of effort. There may even be some failures and setbacks as you change how you manage your work. But if you wish to obtain lasting success, few things will be more important than improving your mental approach. By implementing these tactics, you’ll be able to work more effectively and achieve higher-quality outcomes.

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Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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