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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
“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.
Success always takes time, which is why the most successful people start early.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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?
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The most important factor determining success or failure is how much value you get from what you do every day.
There are several small, but key commitments, effective entrepreneurs practice in their daily routine which help them to stay a cut above the rest. When it comes to success, these types recognize it is often the smaller disciplines which catapult them far beyond others who may be smarter, more talented or who have access to more resources which would seemingly give them the advantage. Highly effective entrepreneurs are scrappy, and succeed beyond their peers and colleagues because they commit to the simple things, which provide them the grit and resilience to push ahead.
1. They hydrate.
To function well, effective entrepreneurs start their day hydrated. Once they’ve had their coffee or tea, they start pushing the water. They are aware that staying hydrated keeps their memory sharp, their mood stable, and their motivation intact. Of course, highly effective entrepreneurs also give themselves permission to indulge in ending their day with an adult beverage to take the edge off, but they are mindful to do this with a balance. They would never choose to start their next day hung over. They start their next day hydrated from the previous one.
2. They exercise.
There is a misconception that successful people have the freedom to exercise whenever they want; however, this is not true for the exceptionally busy. With all the different variables at hand during a workweek it can be near to impossible to workout at the same time, or even in the same location each day. What is important, is not when or where they exercise, or even how long for that matter, but just that they do it. They exercise because exercise has proven to increase the neuroplasticity of the brain; making them smarter and more able to exist on the cutting edge of intelligence. Aside from the undeniable stress and health benefits, they will not sacrifice an opportunity to produce growth in their brain’s ability to stay sharp.
Related: 25 Best Habits to Have in Life
3. They get ready for the day.
Effective entrepreneurs are always ready for their day. No matter how busy they are, they accept that to be totally on-point they must be prepared and organized. The more prepared they are, the more confident, relaxed and efficiently they operate. They prepare lists, goals, calls, meetings, calendars, what they’re going to eat, sleep, what clothes they will wear, travel itineraries, time for exercise, family and friends. They make sure to start each day ahead of the game, rather than consistently behind the 8 ball.
4. They involve others.
Many entrepreneurs feel because they are on their own journey, they shouldn’t enlist the help of others. However, highly effective entrepreneurs embrace that success is never a one-man job. The more people they have on their team believing in their mission, the more innovative and successful they become. No one can succeed in a cocoon. They let go of their fears, guilt’s and doubts around their personal responsibility. They know their limits, and value the need to involve others to help complete them as person to get to the top. Success is the most fulling when it’s a shared experience.
5. They take time for themselves.
To be successful it takes a tremendous amount of grit and sacrifice. Effective entrepreneurs need time for themselves to recharge. They carve time in their daily schedules to make this happen, and view these meeting with alone with themselves as just as important as the meetings they have with others. They understand that to be truly be present to others, they must first nurture the connection they have with themselves. This time serves to keep them proactive in their mindset, rather than reactive.
6. They join groups outside of work.
There is a life outside of the office and effective entrepreneurs embrace this. They involve themselves in all kinds of groups that fit their tastes, whether it be CrossFit, yoga, church, charity, travel, or other extracurricular fun. These groups get them out of “business mode” into a more relaxed state where they can enjoy the fruits of their hard work. It also connects them with people who have nothing to do with business, which is enriching to their life. Involvement in these groups gives them a healthier work/life balance.
7. They ignore the naysayers.
Successful entrepreneurs have likely lost more relationships than they have gained. Why? The path narrows as they get to the top. The more successful they become the more people shoot arrows of jealousy and naysaying in their direction. They do not give them attention. If Matt Damon can drop out of Harvard, write a movie, have Robin Williams star in it, and win an Oscar then it’s possible for any of us to achieve the dreams we set out to achieve. The great successes work hard, ignore the jealous chatter, cruel stabs and have the grit to not stop until they make it to the top.
8. They don’t negotiate with their time for self-care.
Effective entrepreneurs value time as their most precious commodity. They understand they must maintain their much-needed quiet time to avoid burnout. For this reason, they pre-plan vacation time, take days off when sick or otherwise necessary. Because they take the breaks to enjoy their lives, they are actually more successful than the entrepreneur who works non-stop, lives on caffeine, nicotine and fast food in order to not miss work. Time for self-care is sacred in an effective entrepreneur’s world.
9. They embrace the chaos.
Any journey towards success will have chaos as a fundamental part of the process. Mistakes will be made, they will need to fire people, they will get screwed over, lose money and have to recover; hence, there will be frustration and failure. To be effective, they know they cannot shy away from the chaos or cower under its power. Rather, they see chaos as something they must study, face and conquer. Every run-in with chaos, successfully handled, is one step further along the path to living their dream.
10. They seek support of like-minded people.
Effective entrepreneurs view themselves as ‘learners.’ It’s no easy task working to be the best at what they do; however, the healthy medicine they need is the support they get from like-minded and similarly driven others. Effective entrepreneurs do not see and end-date to their success, so to continue learning and growing, it is crucial to have successful others to mentor, support and teach them. It is also important for them to play this role for others. They believe wholeheartedly the more help, support and encouragement they give and receive, the more enjoyable their journey to success will be.
11. They have supplies of motivation and information on hand.
Successful entrepreneurs are never without motivational quotes, books, audiobooks, or seminars on hand at all times. They are consistently tracking their written goals and organizing their next moves. They have copious notes on their computers, on paper and contacts in their rolodex. If they have questions, they have the resources at their fingertips necessary to get the answers they need.
12. They don’t take themselves too seriously.
Effective entrepreneurs are well aware that not everything is going to go their way, and it is for this reason they train themselves to keep a lighthearted attitude. Innovative solutions cannot come to a rigid and controlling thinker. They recognize how important it is to be able to laugh at themselves. They have learned the more open they are to what is in front of them, the clearer they see where they have control and where they don’t. This openness helps them come up with the solutions they need and to also know when it is time to stop controlling and let something go.