Author: yenforum

Lessons every successful entrepreneur follows

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Marketing cannot create entrepreneurs; it is the market that creates them by accepting the good and rejecting the bad. While there are huge number of start-ups and companies that take the leap, most of them fall short of achieving the desired success. According to a recent study done by IBM & Oxford Economics, 90 per cent of Indian start-ups fail within the first five years. Building a sustainable company is harder than most people can imagine. Entrepreneurship is defying logic, building dreams and achieving the impossible. The journey is a humbling experience even for the best ones. Setbacks are inevitable, how entrepreneurs handle them decides their fate. The successful ones have the passion to do whatever it takes to cross the line. They put their wholehearted efforts into accomplishing things that move the world forward. While there is no magic formula to guarantee entrepreneurial success, here we explore the secrets of what makes successful entrepreneurs.

  1. Self awareness

Handling a business without understanding yourself can be tricky. Successful entrepreneurs are good at evaluating themselves, their strengths and weaknesses. They analyse things objectively and understand what is needed from them. They stay balanced during success and failures without losing focus on the long term vision.

  1. They solve problems and bring value

Not everyone who starts a company is an entrepreneur. In fact, most companies fail because they are solving nonexistent problems and don’t really bring true value. The successful entrepreneurs understand the impulse of the market. They have a deep rooted understanding of customer pain points and goals. They offer a solution to issues that are critical for the customer.

  1. Inspired purpose

It is very demanding to be an entrepreneur. One has to be prepared to sacrifice family life, golden years of career, and put in tremendous amount of work. And all that without any assurance of success. The most successful entrepreneurs are always driven by a strong reason and purpose. They know why they are doing what they are doing. It is this purpose which keeps them going in moments of anguish.

  1. Get things done

Ideas without action are hallucination. Leadership gets things done and creates value every day with effective work. They understand what brings out the best in their people and constantly push them to great work. They are obsessed with progress and align their team to deliver excellent work on daily basis.

  1. Ability to get along with others

Building and running a business requires group of people who can work in synergy. The top entrepreneurs build networks, respect individuals with complementary skills and nurture long term relationships. They understand that it is not individuals but teams that drive and sustain businesses.

  1. 80-20 principle

One of the most common reasons for failure of companies is lack of focus. Focus requires spending time on the most important task. Successful entrepreneurs eliminate choices to focus on 20 per cent tasks that create 80 per cent impact for their business. A successful entrepreneur understands that his time is the most valuable asset. It should be spent on the core issues that matter the most.

  1. In-depth understanding of business

They have an in-depth understanding of their business and are always on the lookout for emergent ways to learn more. They read a lot of books, blogs, attend conferences, take online courses and constantly look at ways to refine their knowledge. Being constantly on the move, they are able to prepare themselves to pivot with emerging trends, disruptions and evolving technologies.

  1. Learning from failures

Building a company requires one to master many different facets of business. It isn’t easy. More often than not the cost of experience is mistakes and failures. Failures and mistakes highlight areas that need improvement. A successful entrepreneur is the one who minimises risk, learns from failures and moves on to bigger things. The ability to bounce back from failures quickly without losing time is important for entrepreneurial journey.

  1. Empower other people

Great leaders push, empower other people with opportunities and guide them to bring out the best in them. They back people when things go wrong, provide an environment to experiment and eventually help them to build incredible stuff. They also provide a platform where people can connect, build things and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

  1. The art of reinventing

Great entrepreneurs understand the need for innovation and frequently reinvent themselves to handle business challenges. They constantly push themselves out of their comfort zone. They question themselves incessantly and never take things for granted. Clinging to the past and present without having an eye on the future can be detrimental. The top entrepreneurs define the future and the road map to get there.

  1. Benchmarking against the best

They continue to raise their game by constant learning and benchmarking themselves against the best in the world. They set very high standards and demand everyone in their team to raise their game. Great entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do and take immense pride in their craft. They constantly improve themselves in order to reach the next stage and push the boundaries of excellence.

  1. Outcome not just activity

Success is determined by results not efforts. It is easy to mistake activity for outcomes, but effective entrepreneurs are result oriented. They take responsibility and lead from the front. They work hard, execute things flawlessly and produce the results that make the difference. They map their actions to the outcomes needed for the success of their business.

  1. They tell stories and connect with people

Successful entrepreneurs are fascinating storytellers that connect with people. They have a message that resonates with the masses and makes them stand out. Stories are a great way to communicate, build rapport and establish emotional bonding with people. All great brands are built on stories, powerful messages that set them apart and influence the world.

  1. Build trust

We live in an age where marketing has become the buzzword. Trust is a rare commodity and one that makes a huge difference to the fate of an entrepreneur. A trustworthy entrepreneur is someone who is able to sell his ideas to the team, partners, investors and customers. Great entrepreneurs are able to persuade other people, because they are sincere and genuinely interested in their well-being.

  1. Create a dent in the universe

Great entrepreneurs build their dreams and create a future of their imagination. They set themselves audacious goals and do everything in their power to reach them. They struggle, they are vulnerable and suffer, but they don’t give up. They endure longer because they are inspired to create a future with opportunities for everyone and impact the world in a positive way.

Contributed by: Milind Limaye

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7 quick tips for young entrepreneurs

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You’re an entrepreneur, and you don’t even know it yet! If you often figure out creative ways to solve a problem or fix a challenge, you’ve got the uncooked skills for being an entrepreneur. And if you too are inspired by the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ fad, chances are you have already taken the first few steps in the direction.

Everybody will tell you to do your homework, spend time in preparing and becoming an expert, refining your idea, and network like crazy. However, as any entrepreneur worth his weight will tell you, the real challenge begins once you set shop: by setting up processes, understanding your market, giving structure to verticals, taking risks, doing things you’d never thought you’d do, and at the end of it all, challenging yourself to do better.

Here, I have listed a few decent tips for young entrepreneurs who are already on their journey to becoming a bigger and better version of themselves, who have dared to bet on their dreams, and who are willing to work for a change and vision that they believe in.

Starting out the venture is the most exhilarating part, but, as the business progresses, even the most successful entrepreneurs face bouts of turmoil. It’s impractical to avoid these situations, but you can use these tips to sail through them.

Exceed Expectations

Always make it a point to impress. Impress your customers, your potential investors, your employees, yourself. Never promise or claim something that you already know you will not be able to deliver. You are as good as your word, and it might be tempting to suffix adjectives like ‘biggest’, ‘largest’, ‘fastest’, or ‘best’ while describing your organisation. But, refrain from using them unless they are objectively true.

Seek help

A leader is as good as his or her team. Remember, as an entrepreneur and manager, you need to make sure the work is done, and not do all the work yourself. Erroneously, asking for help might be equated with weakness or ignorance, but seeking clarifications, knowledge and information from experts, mentors and from your team will give you invaluable insights. Find a trusted mentor who knows the industry you are working in. Set up a fund-raising team to take care of finances.

Be flexible

Be open to changing the initial idea, concept, approach, partner, model, and works after testing it on ground. Until you hit the nail on the head, there is no harm in experimenting, and unless the stakes are high, experimentation will actually be a great learning ground. Be receptive to changes – suggested by employees, customers etc. It is very easy to get defensive and ‘this-is-my-baby’ mode, when someone suggests a critical feedback, but being honest, brutally so even, with yourself is the only way you can survive it.

Pick your battles

Once you have a set course for your destination, pick the battles and obstacles worth fighting. Do not lose sleep over petty operational challenges, instead focus on stabilising the main drivers of your idea and concept. You cannot afford to go around convincing everyone who doesn’t believe in you, for right now, others don’t see things your way.

Be patient

Someone very wisely said that startups don’t fail, they commit suicide, for their founders give up too soon. Give yourself and your idea time to manifest itself. Disruptions, no matter how big, do not happen overnight. The golden rule of starting things from scratch is that it will take time, and the struggle will be manifold, but equally essential to the process.

Find a stress-buster

You might not be doing every task yourself, but that doesn’t stop you from constantly worrying about it, does it? It is given that taking care of everything will get too much, and will get to you, maybe more than you anticipate it. You need to be able to find ways to disconnect and get in touch with yourself, to avoid being derailed from the path you set on, and to prevent yourself from getting too absorbed in the pieces to miss the bigger picture.

Plan-Review-Repeat

It is easy to be thrown off-course and into chaos by the challenges that are thrown while running a company, but the only sureshot way of avoiding falling into the trap is maintaining elaborate plans – both micro and macros, and reviewing them periodically. What’s more, get more heads in the review stage to change and evolve them according to how your performance has been, and to identify where you have done good, and where you need to work harder. Remember, you just need to identify how to manage your energies, and time management will effortlessly align with it.

Don’t be afraid to work hard. Pick a time you feel your creative juices are high. Keep a record.

Golden Rule: Make sure you are all in, and love it.

Use the to support your work – not as a distraction. Have a sales pitch ready – and at the back of your hand. Be humble – keep your attitude in check; don’t lose your edge. Keep the critics at bay – but pay attention to what they say.

Don’t be an entrepreneur because you think you can’t work for someone else, or you want to be a millionaire by the time you are 25, or simply because you think running a startup is more fun compared to working as an employee. Or because you want respect simply by standing out.

You can’t rush or force yourself into being an entrepreneur, without a solid idea or before the time is right. Many young entrepreneurs today trick themselves into believing that what they are doing is absolutely ground-breaking, whereas in reality they are too high above the ground to realise that they have merely repackaged someone else’s idea and concept and are trying to piggyback on someone else’s method.

Source: yourstory.com

World Environment Day 2017

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“This year’s World Environment Day is an ideal occasion to go out and enjoy your country’s national parks and other wilderness areas. Once you are there, why not set yourself a challenge (seek out a rare mammal, identify five butterflies, reach the remotest corner of the park). Record what you see, and send us a photo of yourself and/or your discoveries so we can post it on our digital channels and encourage others to go exploring too.” — United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Every year, June 5 is celebrated as World Environment Day with a new theme. This year the theme is “Connecting People to Nature“. This theme implores us to go outdoors and appreciate nature’s beauty and importance, and take forward the call to protect the planet Earth. Last year’s theme, “Zero Tolerance for the Illegal Wildlife trade” encouraged a fight against wildlife crime.

The day is celebrated to raise global awareness about the significance of a healthy environment and to solve various environmental issues by implementing some actions to protect nature and Earth, leading to a positive and healthy environment for all. World Environment Day is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Here is what you can do on World Environment Day:

  • You all can start from your home. Build a little garden or start with a sapling
  • Fertilize public trees and gardens
  • Clean the roads around your house
  • Say ‘YES’ to public transportation and carpooling
  • Say ‘NO’ to plastic
  • Buy items made from recycled products.

7 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Do Before 7 a.m. (entrepreneur.com)

Success always takes time, which is why the most successful people start early.

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Entrepreneurs are a unique breed of people. We like to do things our way and are known for our almost obsessive attraction to habits. But, there’s a good reason for that. Habits help us achieve our goals, keep us motivated, eliminates wasted time, and improve our lives altogether.

Arguably, the most important habit for an entrepreneur is their morning routine. After all, if you start your day off on the wrong foot, how productive, motivated, and focused are you going to be for the rest of the day?

To make sure that you start your day off on the right foot, here are seven things that every entrepreneur should before 7 a.m.

1. They’re wide awake.

Successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson are known for waking up bright and early.

“I have always been an early riser. Like keeping a positive outlook, or keeping fit, waking up early is a habit, which you must work on to maintain. Over my 50 years in business I have learned that if I rise early I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life,” explains the Virgin Group founder.

When you’re awake before 7 a.m. you have the time to check the news, gather your thoughts, or exercise. This prevents you from rushing out the door every morning feeling frazzled and unfocused.

Waking up early means that you have to stop hitting the snooze button by getting enough sleep each night – preferably between 7 and 9 hours. Besides ensuring that you’re an early riser, getting the appropriate amount of sleep improves your health, memory, learning, productivity, and mood. It may even help you make fewer risky financial decisions, reduce stress, and decrease fat and increase muscle mass with exercise.

Related: How I Run 3 Multi-Million-Dollar Companies While Getting 9.25 Hours of Sleep a Night

2. Avoid your phone.

This may sound crazy, but there a couple of perfectly valid reasons for not reaching for your phone first thing in the morning. For starters, placing it next to yourself throughout the night can interrupt your sleep because of the light the screen emits or the notifications that go off throughout the night.

Additionally, diving into your inbox or social media channels can be stressful and distract you from setting your personal priorities. Instead of setting your goals for the day, you’re frantically responding to an angry email from a client. That’s not the best way to start your day.

3. Exercise or meditate.

Yes. Whether if it’s going for run, lifting weights, plunging into a 57-degree Fahrenheit pool, yoga or reciting oms, regular exercise or meditation reduces stress, makes you happier, increases your energy, helps you sleep better, gives your immune system a boost, and prevents you from developing future health concerns like heart disease.

However, just as important for an entrepreneur, exercising and meditating each morning can help you focus on what you need to achieve throughout the day and develop new ideas.

Related: Meditation, Mindfulness and Sleep Can Radically Impact Your Success

4. Eat a healthy breakfast.

Stop kidding yourself. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day since it’s going fuel your brain and body for the day. But, not all breakfasts are equal. Skip the donuts or leftover pizza and consume:

  • Healthy carbohydrates like oatmeal or rye toast.
  • Low-fat protein like eggs, nuts, greens, and beans.
  • Fruits and veggies.
  • Dairy alternatives like soy, almond, or rice milk.

While having a morning a cup of tea or coffee to wash down your breakfast isn’t bad, try sipping on some lemon water before you eat.

“Drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up spikes your energy levels physically and mentally. Lemon water gives you steady, natural energy that lasts the length of the day by improving nutrient absorption in your stomach. You need to drink it first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) to ensure full absorption,” explains Travis Bradberry.

“You should also wait 15-30 minutes after drinking it before eating (perfect time to squeeze in some exercise). Lemons are packed with nutrients; they’re chock full of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. If you’re under 150 pounds, drink the juice of half a lemon (a full lemon if you’re over 150 pounds). Don’t drink the juice without water because it’s hard on your teeth.

Breakfast is also a great time to spend time with your family.

5. Lift your spirits.

Some mornings you just don’t want to roll out of bed. The weather’s crummy and you had a major setback. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s enough to kill your motivation for the next couple of days.

That’s why successful entrepreneurs practice lifting their spirits each morning. Whether it’s reading an inspiring book, memorizing motivational quotes, working on a passion project, or writing down your thoughts or experiences in a journal or blog, take a couple of minutes every morning to get in the right mindset before tackling the day.

If those tactics aren’t effective, write down the things that you’re grateful for.

“The five-minute journal is a therapeutic intervention, for me at least, because I am that person,” says Tim Ferriss, entrepreneur and author of The 4-Hour Workweek. “That allows me to not only get more done during the day but to also feel better throughout the entire day, to be a happier person, to be a more content person — which is not something that comes naturally to me.”

Related: How I Built A Million-Dollar Business In 12 Months

6. Set your goals and priorities.

Every Monday morning set your goals for the week. Each day for the rest of the week write down the goals and priorities that need to happen that day. Think about how you’re going to accomplish those goals while in the shower, jogging or whenever you have quiet time to yourself.

The most effective way to cross items off your to-do list is by starting with the hardest task – or the task that you’re dreading the most. Procrastinating on those tasks just leaves them for tomorrow. Get them done and over with now so that you can keep moving forward.

7. Get down to business.

Finally, it’s time to get down to business. You can now grab your phone and read and send emails, pop-in on social media, check the news involving your industry, and review metrics, such as the previous day’s sales. That data may alter your to-do-list, but because you got a headstart, you’ll be prepared and ready when it’s time to enter the office.

Related: 5 Ways That Coffee Affects Productivity

By creating, and sticking, to a morning routine you develop habits that will keep you healthy, productive, and prepared so that you can handle any situation that’s thrown your way. It may take some trial and error to find your ideal morning routine but it will make you more successful both professionally and personally.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/290427

 

What the Best Transformational Leaders Do (hbr.org)

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Companies that claim to be “transforming” seem to be everywhere. But when you look more deeply into whether those organizations are truly redefining what they are and what they do, stories of successful change efforts are exceptionally rare. In a study of S&P 500 and Global 500 firms, our team found that those leading the most successful transformations, creating new offerings and business models to push into new growth markets, share common characteristics and strategies. Before describing those, let’s look at how we identified the exceptional firms that rose to the top of our ranking, a group we call the Transformation 10.

Whereas most business lists analyze companies by traditional metrics such as revenue or by subjective assessments such as “innovativeness,” our ranking evaluates the ability of leaders to strategically reposition the firm. Some companies that made the list were obvious choices; for example, the biggest online retailer now gets most of its profit from cloud services (Amazon). But others were surprising, given their states before embarking on transformation. The list includes a health care company that was once near bankruptcy (DaVita), a software firm whose stock price stagnated for a decade (Microsoft), a travel website that faced overwhelming competition (Priceline), a food giant that seemed to lose its focus (Danone), and a steel company that faced new pressure from lower-cost rivals (ThyssenKrupp).

The team began by identifying 57 companies that have made substantial progress toward transformation. We then narrowed the list to 18 finalists using three sets of metrics:

New growth. How successful has the company been at creating new products, services, and business models? This was gauged by assessing the percent of revenue outside the core that can be attributed to new growth.

Core repositioning. How effectively has the company adapted its legacy business to change and disruption, giving it new life?

Financial performance. How have the firm’s growth, profits, and stock performance compared to a relevant benchmark (NASDAQ for a tech company, for example, or DAX Index for a German firm) during the transformation period?

To read more please click below:

https://hbr.org/2017/05/what-the-best-transformational-leaders-do?