“In your video, you really touched on the importance and value of having a moment to yourself every morning, how valuable do you believe taking those breaks every day? And what would you recommend to the entrepreneur or solopreneur who feels the need to work around the clock to get ahead, because it really seems like you’re hinting that taking those few moments for reflection every day seem to have been an important role in your success?”
Oh man, I could talk about this for days but I’ll keep it short. Burnout is real and it sucks. I think taking care of yourself everyday allows you to consistently show up and perform the way your family, employees, customers, and investors need you to over time.
My advice: Build your “daily moments” around things you already do. If you drink coffee, spend a few extra moments each morning to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee. If you journal and plan your day, write down 3 things you’re grateful for before you even look at your calendar.
You can’t drive a car on empty, let alone floor it on the highway. Baking positive daily habits into things you already do is a great way to “keep your tank full” as you work towards your goals.
“That’s awesome man, love it, and love the message! So I have to ask, throughout the entire process that you’ve been going through to build JavaPresse, what would you say are your five greatest takeaways or moments that you experienced the greatest challenges and/or the greatest growth, and how would you approach those same situations differently knowing what you know now?”
This is an awesome question, thanks for asking man. I’ve had a ton of learnings but here are 5 that made the biggest impact:
1) Getting comfortable with trusting other people to do great work. I’ve always felt like I can do just about anything (thanks Mom!), so delegating and trusting people to do a good job was a huge learning curve for me. In hindsight, I wish I would have started delegating sooner because having the right team members are an amazing thing. My rule of thumb now: If someone can deliver at least 90% of the quality (I think) I can deliver, let them take over. 90% is still an A.
2) Building relations with suppliers in China. Having the right relationships in China is one of our biggest strengths, but I went through a ton of ups and downs navigating the landscape, learning how the Chinese do business, and finding the quality I expect to deliver. People from different cultures are motivated by different things. In hindsight: I would work harder to understand how they work and get good at playing their game. That would have saved me thousands of dollars in manufacturing mistakes and months of time.
3) Managing focus. I worked a full-time job, had a long distance girlfriend, and built my company from scratch at the same time. Each had time commitments which were difficult to juggle. Pro tips for anyone managing multiple responsibilities: Don’t manage your time, start managing your focus. During work time, don’t do anything else but work. No emails, no unproductive browsing etc. When you’re spending time with family/friends/significant others, don’t do anything but be present with your loved ones. This actually trains your mind to perform at it’s highest capacity when you need it to. Almost like flipping a switch, which is powerful skill to have.
4) Staying motivated. When we first started getting inklings of success and I had fulfilled all of the goals I set for myself at the time, I got complacent. The old goals I had for why I wanted to succeed weren’t motivating me to reach for the moon anymore. If the goals you’ve got right now don’t motivate you to perform, identify new ones that will. Read books, travel, find mentors, and do whatever it takes to figure out your “why”. It’s the one thing that will make or break your success.
5) Build a brand. When we first started out, we were just selling physical products online, which created a really transactional relationship with our customers. Once we started being intentional about building a tribe and brand that made a real difference, sales took off and customer loyalty quadrupled. Biggest takeaway: Play the long game. Build a relationship with your customers through a product or user experience that blows them away. This will pay dividends down the line.
“Love it man! You touched on two really deep topics that I think a lot of people struggle with, work life balance, and giving up control by delegating roles. For people like myself, that struggle with delegating roles and trust, what actionable tips would you recommend to help people get over that mental hurdle? Sell us on the idea of why delegation and having trust in your team is critical for achieving success, and take us down a day in your shoes of what problems you faced and how giving up control helped you ultimately achieve your goals.”
Believe it or not, I actually think having a team you can trust and work-life balance go hand-in-hand. You can’t disconnect and enjoy your life if you’re constantly worried/involved in every part of your business. You can’t produce your greatest work if you don’t step away from time to time.
For actionable tips, I’m gonna give one of my e-mentors Cameron Herold a shoutout for sharing this incredibly insightful gem with me.
“Write down every single thing you do in your life for an entire month. Once you do, divide them into 4 categories.
You’ll find that 80-90% of the things you do every single day starting out can fit into the incompetent, competent, and excellent.”
Cameron is a freaking genius. Once you do this exercise, you’ll realize that there are very few things you can uniquely do to change the trajectory of your business.
This is the biggest reason why I believe creating systems and finding the right people to run them is one of the highest leverage activities we can do as business owners. As Cameron made me realize above, I don’t think every single task we do in our businesses is a unique skill set. 80% of them are things that can be learned and documented for duplication. So if you focus on providing great systems and resources (which is 100% in your control) for the right people, you can quickly create a sustainable business that doesn’t need you around 24/7 to run and scale, while giving you the space to focus on your unique skillets that can grow the business beyond what it’s currently doing.
One of the biggest problems I faced when I started delegating and hiring was expecting everyone to have an intrinsic desire to perform at a high level. That simply isn’t the case. Once I realized that, I started hiring for the character traits I valued and skills sets/accomplishments that verified those traits (of course, qualifications were still looked at but they weren’t the deciding factor). With this mindset, every single person I hired turned into an investment that compounded down the line.
It might take some hand holding or mentoring in the beginning so your teammates can learn company culture and expectations, but eventually you’ll be able to trust and delegate yourself out of day-to-day tasks and into unique roles that only you can leverage to create massive impact.
And operating from that space is what I really think allows us to win big in business, help people in incredible ways, and deliver our best work.
“That is phenomenal advice, and I think everyone at every level struggles with the hiring process. It’s not just a hard task to find the right hire, but it is also a task in itself in discovering what truly makes the strongest impact to drive your business forward.
Thank you Raj for taking the time to jump on with us and sharing with all of our readers a deep insight into the growing pains you experienced. You definitely didn’t hold back on the value you shared and it’s safe to say that this interview was littered with gold nuggets. I will definitely be following your progress and growth with JavaPresse and look forward to talking again soon.”
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By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make
Are you completely new to networking?
Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.
It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?
Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.
Rock up with confidence
If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.
Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!
Where to go networking
If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.
For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!
If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.
Get more leads and referrals
This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.
Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.
When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!
Grow your business
By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.
We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.
2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.
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