8 Things All Entrepreneurs Should Know About Being Their Own Boss

Entrepreneurship may have its dark sides, but the average entrepreneur is still happier than the average worker, and they would never give it up for a regular job. They are doing something they are passionate about and making real change through doing what they believe in. In this post, I shared with you 8 things all entrepreneurs should know about being their own boss.

If you want to start a business but don’t know where to start, you aren’t alone. In fact, given the new economic reality of our time, more people than ever before have found the “job” they thought was waiting for them doesn’t exist. Others have concluded that they would instead create work they love, constructed to fit with their own life goals. No matter what the motivation is to be your own boss, you can start today.

You can be your own boss. Just let that sink in for a minute and then imagine it. The benefits of being your own boss are amazing. You set your own hours, you don’t get hung up on committees and you decide your own dress code.

Whether you want to start working as a freelancer out of your home or create a brick-and-mortar store, starting your own business can be remarkably rewarding. It’s also arduous work that is laden with pitfalls if you aren’t careful.

Here are 8 things all entrepreneurs should know about being their own boss:

1. Take A Stand For Yourself

If you are dissatisfied with your current circumstances, admit that no one can fix them except for you. It doesn’t do any good to blame the economy, your boss, your spouse or your family. Change can only occur when you make a conscious decision to make it happen. As your own boss, you’re taking a stand for yourself all the time!

2. You Won’t Make Money Right Away

Almost all companies that were surveyed spent over half their digital marketing budgets just on finding the right audience. This illustrates how difficult it is to make money. In the beginning, you will be spending far more than you are bringing in.

For some people, they can’t handle this type of stress. They can’t handle digging into their savings funds and praying that sooner or later they will start to make some of it back. A lack of funds is one of the biggest stress factors for entrepreneurs. Before you dive into your own business, know that it may be some time before you get paid.

3. Work-Life Balance Is Impossible

In the building stages of business, seeking work-life balance is futile. Work will become your life. When you are at home with your family, at events or getting ready to go to sleep at night, you’ll be thinking about your business.

You’ll wake in the middle of the night worrying that you should have handled something better or jumped on an opportunity faster. There is no 9-to-5 to building a business, only a 24/7.

4. Emotions Will Overcome You

Leading a business is a roller coaster of emotions. When things go well, you will feel on top of the world. When things go wrong, you will feel like you want to be six feet under it. Entrepreneurs are naturally emotional figures and they will feel success and failure harder than anyone else working for that company.

During your business career, you will be faced some defining challenges. Your emotions will get the better of you and you will feel close to the edge of giving up. As an entrepreneur, these feelings are natural and you have to be comfortable going through these ups and downs.

5. Focus On Your Strengths & Work On Your Weaknesses

We all have strengths and this is where your success will come from. But, you also need to dedicate some time focusing on your weaknesses. When you start working on turning your weakness into strengths, you grow as a businessman and as a human being. If you become stagnant as an entrepreneur, you’ll be in big trouble!

6. You Won’t Be The Highest Paid

Media does a horrible job of really showcasing what entrepreneurship is all about. Many people think that just by starting your own business you’ll have fancy cars and a big house. Especially when you first start out as an entrepreneur, you’re not going to be the highest paid. In fact, very few entrepreneurs become successful enough to become part of the top 1%.

7. Nothing Will Happen As Planned

You can have the most excellent business plan in the world, but you’ll soon find that little goes to plan and your business plans will change all the time. The best people to lead companies are those who can adapt to new situations. If you are unable to deal with the unpredictability of entrepreneurship, it won’t take long before you are closing the doors on your company for the final time.

8. You Will Fail

Very few entrepreneurs get it right the first time. Most people will fail and fail spectacularly before they stumble upon something that works. Failure is not something to fear, it’s something to embrace because this is where you will learn from your mistakes.

The businesspeople who are sure to succeed are those who know how to react when they fail. They are not overly conservative, but they are not reckless either. They love to fail, and they will do it time and time again because they know it’s another step on the road to success.

Conclusion

Entrepreneurship may have its dark sides, but the average entrepreneur is still happier than the average worker, and they would never give it up for a regular job. They are doing something they are passionate about and making real change through doing what they believe in. In this post, I shared with you 8 things all entrepreneurs should know about being their own boss.

8 Ways To Bounce Back After Your Big Idea Fails

Failure is inevitable, but this is not the reason for you to stop and give up with your ideas. To be a successful entrepreneur, one must know how to get up from failure and start again. When the first idea fails, the number is infinite to have a new idea to have a successful business. In this post, I share with you 8 ways to bounce back after your big idea fails.

Failure is an essential step to reaching success, but it can still feel like it’s crushing your soul. To make failure your friend and not your enemy, you must overcome it. Here are some strategies for moving on after suffering some tough losses.

Failure is defined as a lack of success by many, but this really isn’t true. Failure only defines you if you allow it to, otherwise it’s an event. It’s a tough pill to swallow when your big idea fails, but the most successful individuals in the world were able to bounce back.

Here are 8 ways to bounce back after your big idea fails:

1. Feel What You Need to Feel

Failure can take a hefty emotional toll and that’s okay. What’s important is getting the negative feelings you have out of your system so you can regroup and tackle what’s next. Don’t trap your feelings inside of you because bottling up your emotions will only lead to emotional outbursts and overwhelming negativity.

So, how do you let it all out? There are a few ways to get the bad feelings out of you while gaining the knowledge you need. Start by setting aside some time, talk about it with friends and family, don’t allow it to become a part of your identity and acknowledge the open wounds you may have from failing. When hurt, you must confront it and that’s how you can get past it.

2. Be Realistically Optimistic

A recent study found that adopting an attitude of “realistic optimism,” which combines the positive outlook of optimists with the critical thinking of pessimists can boost happiness and resilience. Be realistic with your expectations, but keep a hope that you can make it.

Every time realistic optimists face an issue or a challenge or a problem, they won’t say, ‘I have no choice and this is the only thing I can do.’ Instead, they will be creative. They will have a plan A, plan B and plan C.

3. Deal With Failure

When you fail, you have to find a healthy way to deal with it otherwise it will haunt you for a very long time. You will need to accept, acknowledge and live with this temporary failure. Make life easier by reaching out to friends and family who can help you feel better.

Next, find people who have been through similar situations. Discussing your experiences and seeking their perspectives will make it easier to embrace this moment. While you do this, neither be ashamed of your failure. Be vulnerable and be honest because this is what will help you eventually get past these challenges.

4. Be Honest

In a very transparent manner, map out how things ended up happening the way they did. Think about what went wrong and why. Don’t rationalize anything. If need be, call on a mentor or a friend with an outside perspective to keep you accountable.

5. Change Your Definition of Failure

Failure is good. It can be hard to think of it that way, but changing your definition of failure can help you cope. Failure is a learning and growing opportunity that is necessary for growth.

Every mistake is a learning opportunity and after you’ve moved past your emotions, it’s important to revisit your mistakes with a new perspective. Look at what you did that went wrong, but also look at what you did that was right and also what you can do better next time. Failure is rarely so black and white.

6. Take A Break

Take some time off. This period is critical because it allows you to get all your emotions and thoughts together. Try taking a trip, spending time with loved ones, watching movies or getting some exercise.

Switch off your cell phone, tune out social media and anything else that may have you thinking about your failures. A clean break helps you get tuned to what matters and what doesn’t. Then, your comeback is stronger.

7. Seek Out Opportunities For Growth And Learning

Resilient people seek out growth experiences that boost self-reliance and individual decision-making skills, which gives them confidence in their ability to bounce back from failure. As a sense of competence increases, individuals are better able to respond efficiently to unfamiliar or challenging situations and persevere in the face of failures and challenges.

Those who have mastered the art of resilience know that setbacks and problems can be our most powerful learning opportunities. Some of the world’s most successful people have been fired from their jobs and used the experience to learn something about themselves.

8. Count Your Blessings

It’s not all bad, is it? Sometimes we can all use a moment to count our blessings. This is why successful entrepreneurs recommend that every day, no matter what, write down what you’re most grateful for. The list works as a practical tool. If you face a setback, you can quickly access a stack of lists to prove how much is still going right in your life. Researchers found that those who posted more to the gratitude journals on a particular day rated that day more positive overall.

Conclusion

Failure is inevitable, but this is not the reason for you to stop and give up with your ideas. To be a successful entrepreneur, one must know how to get up from failure and start again. When the first idea fails, the number is infinite to have a new idea to have a successful business. In this post, I share with you 8 ways to bounce back after your big idea fails.

7 Ways To Alter Your Poor Business Habits

Bad habits were once a choice and then they became a habit. When it comes to changing our bad habits, different tactics work for different people. In this post, I shared with you 7 ways to alter your poor business habits.

Identifying other people’s bad habits is easy. Maybe your coworker always rushes at the last minute to complete their part of the project, your boss shoots down ideas without even listening and your partner may be disorganized. Recognizing these traits in ourselves isn’t always as easy though.

All of us develop bad habits over time. Isn’t it time to get rid of the ones that limit your potential? When you’ve been doing a particular job or you’ve been working on a particular company for a while, complacency can set in. When it does, you’re likely to discover some bad work habits. Now is the time to get rid of them and develop better ones to help you become more successful.

Here are 7 ways to alter your poor business habits:

1. Identify The Habits That Are Preventing You From Reaching Maximum Productivity

Often times, we get so accustomed to doing things in a certain way that we don’t monitor our productivity on day to day tasks. Instead, take some time to figure out where your time and attention is spent on a weekly basis. See if there are any recurrent tasks that are taking up a lot of your time and if there is anything you can do to make things more efficient.

2. Substitute For Positive Habits

Habits become our default reaction to stimuli. To rewire bad behaviors, you need to replace negative habits with a positive one. For instance, instead of checking your emails every 90 seconds, stand up and do some stretches or quick yoga moves in your office.

Physical activities are an excellent substituting behavior because it gets your blood flowing and energizes you to do what you’ve been avoiding. However, feel free to use any positive habit that works for you such as sipping water or tea, doing a quick meditation and putting on energizing music are just a few ideas.

3. Choose To Make A Change 

Once you have identified your bad habits, this comes down to one thing: an act of the will. Choose to do it. Say to yourself throughout the day, “I am choosing to…” The history of free men is written not by chance but by choice, their choice. It is your choice. You can write your history.

4. Lose Your Inability To Set Priorities

If you find yourself struggling with being able to prioritize things, you will soon get overwhelmed by all the demands put on you at work. Try to accomplish the larger or more difficult assignments in the morning when you are fresh and save the more repetitive ones for later in the day. If you receive assignments as the day is winding down, use the last five to 10 minutes to prioritize for the next day. Lists are beneficial, and checking items off as you complete them is a real ego booster.

5. Reward Yourself

Set up a reward system for each period in which you successfully avoid the bad habit in question. For example, at the end of one week of successful improvement, you could reward yourself with a nice meal, going to the movies, getting a manicure or whatever floats your boat.

Rewarding yourself reasonably frequently helps. If you have to wait a whole month to be rewarded, you’ll probably be less motivated. Having a particularly hard day avoiding your habit? Thinking of a reward you can give yourself at the end of the day or even at the end of the hour can help you accomplish it.

6. Anticipate Challenges And Plan For Them

One way to deal with setbacks is to create a plan for handling the “triggers” that could lure you back to your old habits. Plan and figure out an alternate, more positive habit such as taking a 10-minute walk around the block to recharge.

7. Believe In Yourself

Confidence attracts positive people, fosters a collaborative environment and promotes progress. For you to be able to overcome bad habits, you have to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe that you can overcome a bad habit, you will have zero chance of accomplishing it.

Conclusion

Bad habits were once a choice and then they became a habit. When it comes to changing our bad habits, different tactics work for different people. In this post, I shared with you 7 ways to alter your poor business habits.

How To Advance Your Career In The Digital Sphere

Being stagnant and staying on the safe side will not bring you success, but rather lead you to more failure and outdated. In this post, I shared with you the ways on how to advance your career in the digital sphere.

Nowadays, more and more people have decided to move online for finding a job, which will give them more freedom and personal space. However, they are afraid that the digital world is not for everyone and that they must possess solid technical skills and master various tools to be able to compete in the market.

Luckily, the digital world is expanding at an enormous speed and the market can provide tons of opportunities. As a result of this, don’t hesitate if you want to change your life.

The digital working world is different from the traditional working world. The digital world is borderless. Anyone with talent can leverage digital platforms to connect with an employer anywhere. Where we work from is often times irrelevant, expertise is valued and collaboration is highly sought after.

Here are ways on how to advance your career in the digital sphere:

1. Stay Updated

You need to stay on top of industry news by following major digital marketing sites and influential people on social media. As the primary players such as Google, Facebook and Twitter regularly tweak their paid advertising platforms and algorithms, you’re in for a wild ride if you don’t keep up with the latest happenings in your industry.

2. Dare to be Different

It is in the nature of organizations to be conservative. Most businesses will continue to rely on existing structures, processes and procedures, especially when such approaches have been successful in the past. However, if you have a different or revolutionary approach that hasn’t been seen before, some forward-thinking companies may be interested. Don’t feel like you must cave yourself in a box, but instead expand your boundaries as far as you can.

3. An Eagerness To Learn

The digital marketing industry is both fast-growing and incredibly competitive. It’s easy for businesses to differentiate between candidates who have the willingness to learn versus those who are just along for the ride. This industry requires passion and a desire to succeed. Always be hungry to learn new information and even hungrier to apply it in your line of work.

4. Create Dialogue

Business organizations have historically been closed systems characterized by a lack of transparency and information flow. Openness and transparency has multiple benefits. If you are scared to talk to superiors, other influential leaders and important figures in your space, advancing your career will be impossible. It all begins with a “hello” and fortune truly favors the bold.

5. Build Your Personal Brand

If you want to succeed on the internet, you need to build some sort of online presence. When people look you up, what will they find? A strong online presence could potentially be the deciding factor between two candidates who have applied for the same position. Build a rock solid reputation online that will give potential employers an insight into who you are.

6. Networking

Surround yourself with people more talented than yourself. The people you meet will be your ongoing support network when you run into problems. Not only that, but the people you know can potentially help open up doors to opportunities you may have not found otherwise. Attend industry meetups and conferences in your area to nurture relationships with other digital marketers and enhance your skill set through in-depth workshops and presentations.

7. Learn The Terminology

In order to advance your career in anything, you must know the terminology and important pieces of information in any industry. There is a plethora of information available on the internet and you can utilize the web sphere to brush up on your knowledge. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re going to find it really tough to get anywhere with your career!

Conclusion

Being stagnant and staying on the safe side will not bring you success, but rather lead you to more failure and outdated. In this post, I shared with you the ways on how to advance your career in the digital sphere.

7 Strategies For Becoming A Powerful Influencer

There is no clear-cut path to becoming an influencer in your niche or industry. The only way to sustain long-term influence and power in your industry is to remain committed to your core values and talents. In this post, I share with you 7 strategies for becoming a powerful influencer.

Some people seem like they were born to excel. They’re gifted physically, intellectually or artistically, and it appears as if they just float to the top.

But don’t be fooled. However gifted someone may be, he or she still had to develop those talents to achieve a lofty professional position. And that’s good news for the rest of us. Each one of us has our own skills and abilities, and we too can develop them and propel ourselves into positions of influence.

Here are 7 strategies for becoming a powerful influencer:

1. Find The Right Platform

Speaking is just one way people can become influencers and reach many with their message. There are many others platforms that you can utilize such as authoring and releasing a book, posting on social media regularly and many other ways. The critical thing is you have to find the right platform for your voice.

Some people are comfortable with video and that might be the best way for them to share their message while others may prefer writing where blogging or social media may be the best channel for them. The key thing is to find the right platform for you so that you can share your message in the way that works best for you, and feels most authentic for you.

2. Be Approachable

Unlike celebrities, people expect social media influencers to be approachable. People need to be able to reach out with their questions and have a reasonable expectation for a response. Approachable people are some of the best power influencers because the general population can relate to them.

If you’re going to be an influencer on social media, you have to be prepared not only to receive many questions from your social followers but to answer them as well. Patience and humility is going to be required on your end constantly to deal with other people.

3. Become A Storyteller

Storytelling has been a vital tool in influencing people across cultures and eras. Influencers tell stories for strategic purposes. From motivating people to act, to teaching, to reducing resistance and changing minds, a well-told narrative is a formidable force, often far more powerful than the mere recitation of complex financial or technical facts.

Numbers and figures are significant, but when it comes to showing their relationship to any issue, a strategic narrative wrapped can deliver the message better and make it more memorable than anything else.

4. Establish Your Credibility Through Original Research, Analysis & Opinions

Don’t just write the same things your competitors are, but add original research and your own opinions. When talking about a great industry topic, it’s important to make sure your voice is prominent throughout the content. This is so readers don’t recognize it as just another blog about a certain topic.

A great way to make sure you beam with originality is to conduct your own research on a subject — this gives you informational power over others. You could also come up with your own personal writing style with a solid tone of voice guide. Interlace your brand’s personality into everything you communicate online, so your words consistently radiate originality, honesty, confidence and legitimacy.

5. Team Up With Your Peers

The reality of the matter is that you aren’t alone in your pursuit of influence. Many of your peers are seeking to do the same thing. Here’s an idea: team up. There’s power in numbers and you’ll be able to accomplish a lot more by partnering with like-minded people in your niche.

Leverage one another’s contacts, support one another in your endeavors, bring one another in on new ideas and value their success as much as you value your own. You’ll find that you’re able to climb much quicker and that their success does very little to harm yours. In fact, the more successful they are, the more successful you’ll be.

Not sure how to find like-minded peers? Well, just keep doing what you’re doing, but make listening a priority. The more content you read and social media discussions you follow, the more you’ll notice that certain people stick out. Investigate these people and watch what they’re doing. You’ll be able to tell pretty quickly if they’re on the same path as you.

6. Put A Unique Spin On Stale Topics

The problem with social media is that it’s inundated with the same old topics and ideas. Everyone seems to be saying the same thing, which really gets old after a while. And if you’re writing and sharing the same things, too, how do you expect to be considered an influencer? You’re actually a follower.

Influencers can take current conversations, and add something unique. They’re able to look at stale topics and create a new angle. This is how you stand out and get noticed. However, there’s a trick to putting that unique spin on these topics. You have to understand your readership. What are they looking for? Before you can understand the wants and needs of your audience, you need to discover who your audience is. What are the content, products, and services that they are really clamoring for? To influence them more, stand in their shoes.

7. Develop Your Critical Decision-Making Skills

Decision-making is a top leadership competency because it pops up everywhere, from the simple choice of where to hold a staff meeting to the strategic options of where to spend marketing dollars. These decisions impact the people in the next cubicle, but they may also affect a subsidiary halfway across the globe or an entire country.

Decisiveness is not a trait we’re born with but rather a skill that can be learned. To master it, analyze your process of critical decision-making to spot weak links in your reasoning and to recognize unconscious biases for or against something or someone. While we can’t control outcomes, we can shape the process that sets them in motion.

Conclusion

There is no clear-cut path to becoming an influencer in your niche or industry. The only way to sustain long-term influence and power in your industry is to remain committed to your core values and talents. In this post, I share with you 7 strategies for becoming a powerful influencer.

5 Things All Entrepreneurs Should Be Blessed About This Holiday Season

Being grateful for the things that you have in life is a great way to self reflect. In this post, I shared with you 5 things all entrepreneurs should be blessed about this holiday season.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it provides the opportunity to step back and appreciate everything you have and everyone you love. It is the time when we gather with friends and family to celebrate the end of an extended harvest, enjoy a delicious meal and follow it up with a long nap. Thanksgiving is also a time to take a break from our busy routines and to reflect on the beautiful people and things we have in our lives.

With the holiday season around the corner, I thought it would be a great idea to make a list of things all entrepreneurs should be thankful about this year. Here are 5 things all entrepreneurs should be blessed about this holiday season.

1. Be Grateful For The Chance To Make Your Dreams Come True

Whether you are pursuing your dreams alone or have a team with financial backing, it means that you are working on making your dreams a reality. You are building something new every day and are changing the world as you do it. Even if it is the hardest thing you have ever done, working on your own company is an immense privilege and something to be thankful for.

2. Be Grateful For Your Network

Whether you’re grateful for industry connections, your donors, your board of directors, your advisors or your mentors, it’s important to remember them and be thankful for them. Your network refines you as a leader and helps develop your leadership skills for the long-term, whether through criticism or encouragement. Successful entrepreneurs don’t go at it alone, so be grateful for the people you have found and the influence they’ve had on your life and businesses.

3. Be Grateful For Other Products and Brands

Trailblazers in any industry forge a path whether they’re acting as mentors or just being inspirational with their successes. Entrepreneurs can be thankful for the founders and brands that have gone before them and the lessons they can learn from them. Not only that, but be blessed that you have competitors. They keep you on your toes, push you to be the best and they help educate your market.

4. Be Grateful For Your Team

Send an email, text or deliver a handwritten card to your team. Whatever you do, make sure your team knows you appreciate them today. The people working alongside you every day share of your visions and your struggles and a simple acknowledgment or note of gratitude will help them remember you value their work and passion. It’s the team that sets the culture and the culture that fuels the organization, so be grateful for your team today.

5. Be Grateful For Your Customers And Clients

Without them, your company would be nothing. Literally. They are the ones who see the value of what you have to offer because you make their lives better. They are your best references and most crucial brand champions. Their ongoing support allows you to continue to provide your product or service to the world and continue to grow your enterprise.

Conclusion

Being grateful for the things that you have in life is a great way to self reflect. In this post, I shared with you 5 things all entrepreneurs should be blessed about this holiday season.

Milestones New Entrepreneurs Should Focus On During Year One

Creating and reaching your milestones in your first year of becoming an entrepreneur is no easy task. But fulfilling your milestones one at a time is considered an enormous success and will help you to survive the so-called 5-year threshold for every startup businesses. In this post, I shared with you the milestones new entrepreneurs should focus on during year one.

Few people apart from entrepreneurs themselves understand what goes into starting a small business. Before the glory of the launch day comes weeks, months and sometimes even years of preparation. This preparation involves everything from market research to prototyping and so much more to make their vision a success.

Given the number of things a new entrepreneur has to juggle during their first year, many end up focusing on all the wrong things. It’s extremely difficult to be successful during your first year in business so you must make as many of the right moves as you can to succeed.

Here are the milestones new entrepreneurs should focus on during year one:

1. Consume Less Information 

Before you get started, it’s important to remove distractions. The primary source of distraction for entrepreneurs is too much information input. Think about how much info that competes for your attention every day. There are blog posts, e-mails, newsletters, podcasts, tweets and status updates.

It quickly becomes counterproductive when we spend time on info that we aren’t even ready to take action on. New and shiny things are fun, but they are dangerous black holes for our time and energy. The solution is simple. Starting today, go on an information diet. Only consume information that relates directly to your current most crucial goal and you can put into action right away.

2. Focus On A Profitable Business Model

A business model should tell the story of how your entire business works. The story should focus on three core questions:

– Who is your client?

– What does your client value?

How do you deliver that value at the right cost?

All of those questions add up to creating a profitable business model. If you nail those questions, you’re well on your way. Set aside some time to write a full-fledged business model. It’s the first and most important business milestone that you must reach.

3. Initial Financing

Whether the first outside financing is for seed money to test the concept’s potential, start-up financing for product development and market testing or first-stage financing to initiate manufacturing or sales, the entrepreneur must understand how investors perceive the venture.

Businesses must compete in the capital as well as product markets to survive. Entrepreneurs should view securing financing as an opportunity to learn about their ventures’ acceptable financial and expense structure, given the highly competitive financial market. To be successful past year one, you must find a way to keep yourself afloat month after month.

4. Market Validation

Market validation (sometimes referred to as “product-market fit”) occurs when you take your solution “to the streets,” testing it by measuring the actual response of the market to your idea. Now, you’re no longer researching. You’re asking people to put their hard-earned money where their mouths are in support of your fledgling business.

Market validation can take some different forms, but one of the easiest is the creation of a simple landing page that’s supplied with a stream of paid traffic to gauge audience response.

5. First Customer

There’s nothing sweeter for a new business owner than that first sale; that first person who is, effectively, saying, “Yes, I believe in what you’re doing enough to buy into your vision.” In some cases, you may have earned your first customer during your market validation testing. In others, it might be a friend or family member who’s willing to throw their support behind you during your business’s earliest days.

Whatever the case may be, remember that customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you have no revenue – and without income, you have no business. Struggling to get customers is a normal part of early business growth. However, if the challenge remains ongoing as your company ages, consider this a sign that you may need to return to the drawing board and rethink your problem-solution or product-market fits.

6. Focus On Repeat Clients

Your business milestone involves that sweet, sweet exchange of currency. Landing your first repeat client (sometimes called an anchor client) will give you confidence in your business and the motivation you’ll need to keep going. The key word here is “repeat.”

You may earn that first repeat client through personal recommendations, an existing contact or cold calling. Landing your second repeat client will take understanding precisely who they are and where they spend their time, both online and off the internet.

7. Hire And Train A Solid Team

Starting off as a one-man operation, or solopreneur is great. However, except for a few lucky business models, it will only get you so far. You’ll need to hire and train a team. This exciting milestone will grow your business by leaps and bounds.

Put in the time to create a stellar employee training program before you even hire your first employee. Instead of stumbling through it and possibly wasting your time, energy and money with the wrong people, this will enable your team to be set up for success. You can also test the waters by hiring a virtual assistant or a contractor. They can take a lot off your plate without being a formal team member.

8. Positive Cash Flow

Having paying customers is essential, but revenue alone isn’t enough to keep a business sustainable. Cash flow management is a complex practice; one that’s often learned on-the-fly by new entrepreneurs.

Pay attention to your incoming revenue and your outgoing expenses, as well as to the possibility that unexpected events could throw things in one direction or the other. Reaching positive cash flow and sustaining it for any length of time is a significant milestone that small businesses should celebrate.

Conclusion

Creating and reaching your milestones in your first year of becoming an entrepreneur is no easy task. But fulfilling your milestones one at a time is considered an enormous success and will help you to survive the so-called 5-year threshold for every startup businesses. In this post, I shared with you the milestones new entrepreneurs should focus on during year one.

7 Dangerous Things You Should Watch Out For As An Entrepreneur

The rewards of entrepreneurship often outweigh these personal dangers, but you have to be prepared to live this type of lifestyle. Dangers shouldn’t steer you away from pursuing entrepreneurship. Instead, see them for what they are which may be fundamental obstacles on a greater path. In this post, I shared with you 7 dangerous things you should watch out for as an entrepreneur.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you are committed to a long term goal or vision. Many people in recent years have been lured into the entrepreneurial world due to mass media coverage. However, the life shown on television and other media outlets isn’t necessarily as glamorous as they may make it seem.

Many new entrepreneurs are in for quite a shock when they enter the business world and realize how tough it really is. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or one who has already started their venture, it’s important to look out for some dangers that you can avoid. As a seasoned entrepreneur myself, I’m going to share with you 7 dangerous things you should watch out for as an entrepreneur.

1. Being Overly Cautious

Being an entrepreneur means you’re going to be making significant decisions constantly. While you obviously don’t want to make decisions on pure impulse, it’s easy to spend too much time thinking about a decision. You never want to overthink a decision because those outcomes are usually not very favorable. Sometimes you need to just go for it without fearing the results. Don’t be scared of failing, be fearful of regret. Take a chance and live with the consequences as they may be later on down the line.

2. Sacrificing Personal Capital

Some entrepreneurs can start their ventures relying solely on external funding. That usually means a collection of angel investor contributions, government grants, loans and even crowdfunding campaigns. However, many entrepreneurs also have to dive into their bank accounts and personal savings to get things started. You may not need to liquidate your nest egg entirely, but you will have to front at least some personal money, which means abandoning or at least diminishing your safety net.

3. Losing The Steady Day Job

Most people get through their professional lives by banking on a single, steady, reliable source of income, which is usually a day job. They go to work Monday through Friday and know they’ll get the same paycheck every two weeks for years or at least until they decide to leave.

Entrepreneurs have to sacrifice this to dedicate enough time to their ideas and personal goals. Though you won’t have to quit right away, most businesses eventually demand the sacrifice of your mainstream job. When that happens, you’ll sacrifice a steady paycheck and you’ll be relying on the profitability and performance of your company to pay your salary.

4. Predicting Behaviors And Outcomes

Most of the departments within your business will live or die by the correctness of their predictions. Accountants must forecast your cash flow to ensure enough working capital for the company, marketers must predict the buying habits of key demographics and even operations managers must predict the correct steps necessary to build a functional product in a timely and efficient manner.

When you first start a company, you’ll have insufficient access to data, meaning your predictions will be slightly better-researched versions of blind guesses. That’s going to leave all your departments and processes vulnerable to critical weaknesses, which could individually wreck your company’s potential.

5. Trusting Key Employees

When you first start a business, you won’t have a full team of employees working for you. Instead, you’ll probably have a small, tight-knit group of people working tirelessly together to get things up and running. You’ll have to put an overwhelming amount of trust in them, especially if they have exceptional skills that are hard to find and are willing to start work at a lower salary than the industry standard.

6. Betting On A Central Idea

To be an entrepreneur, you have to invest everything into a single idea. In the daydreaming phase of planning your business, everything seems perfect and you can easily imagine your business taking off. But you’re going to be tying up real-world, tangible assets and resources in a wager that this idea has the potential for long-term success. No matter how good your idea looks on paper, there is always the possibility that it won’t be the success that you may think it will be. As a result of this, your entire business hinders on one idea. It’s a significant risk to take but a necessary one if you want to build a business from scratch.

7. Getting Too Comfortable

Some entrepreneurs get too comfortable in their business. They get into a routine and their businesses becomes stagnant. If you shy away from taking risks or making changes, you won’t be able to adapt and grow. You won’t be able to move forward. Scaling your business takes effort. You need to think about your business and your processes and be open to making changes for the future of your company.

Conclusion

The rewards of entrepreneurship often outweigh these personal dangers, but you have to be prepared to live this type of lifestyle. Dangers shouldn’t steer you away from pursuing entrepreneurship. Instead, see them for what they are which may be fundamental obstacles on a greater path. In this post, I shared with you 7 dangerous things you should watch out for as an entrepreneur.

If You Do These 15 Things Each Day, You’ll Become Smarter

Your intelligence can be increased over time by changing a few of your daily habits. Some of the most successful people in the world have practiced many of the habits mentioned above in this post. If you do these 15 things each day, you’ll become smarter.

Getting smarter isn’t something that happens overnight. Instead, you have to build your intelligence over time with the help of daily habits. We all differ in our abilities to solve problems, learn, think logically, understand and acquire new knowledge. But when you put your mind to it, you will work better, smarter and faster.

Intelligence is always a work in progress, so you are never too late to add to what you already know. The good news is that you don’t have to learn everything in a few hours, days or even months. The focus should always be on long term progress.

The most straightforward and most direct way to be smart is to build in-depth knowledge about things you care about. Building knowledge around an area improves your memory, thinking and decision making ability about that topic. You can gain insight faster about an issue you care deeply about than a random topic.

If you do these 15 things each day, you’ll become smarter:

1. Start Getting Curious About Almost Everything

Some people are naturally curious while others are not. Your learning should not stop at school, college or your job. Life-long learning has a lot to do with your success than you think. The number one way to expand your mind is through questioning everything. It’s probably much more comforting to accept information that comes to us, instead of challenging it and being susceptible to having to think. Have you ever wondered why a flower is a particular color, why someone said they like us or where someone got a math formula from?

2. Come Up With 10 Ideas Every Day

Think about how to reduce poverty, how to solve a daily problem you have, exciting movie ideas or anything that will make the wheels in your brain turn. It doesn’t matter what subject your plans fall into as long as you’re working your brain and your idea muscles. Your list might even lead to a new startup idea or project.

3. Discover What Motivates You

Find a topic that keeps you interested and dive into it. It’s easier to stay engaged with a topic you find stimulating. Find a format that stimulates your mind as well, whether it’s a podcast or a newspaper. Feed your mind well with things that it will enjoy.

4. Speak Up 

The more you can contribute to a conversation, a meeting or other things, the smarter you’ll come off. Even if it means admitting ignorance or asking questions, you’ll still look better than if you stay silent and you might learn something in the process. Expressive speech is key: you can boost your credibility a lot by just making sure you speak with an engaging tone. Change your pitch and volume as necessary and try to minimize the number of pauses you take. A little confidence goes a long way.

5. Get Lost And Find Your Way Back

Wandering around and finding your way will develop your spatial intelligence. The average person takes the same route every day to work or school. Over time, the brain’s capacity to navigate deteriorates. To “reset” and train the brain’s spatial intelligence, start by taking a new or unfamiliar route home. Plus, you might see some interesting things or  people you may have never run into before.

6. Think Of New Ways To Do Old Things

To be innovative means making creativity more important than the fear of being wrong. Even in the things you do every day, you can be inventive and experimental. When you take a risk and try something new, you’ll be surprised with how engaged your mind will be with your activities. You’ll have a daily reminder that imagination and creativity can change the world.

7. Hang Out With People Who Are Smarter Than You

Smart people have interesting things to talk about. They know how to expand their mind and feed their brain, so spending time with them is good for you on multiple levels. Seek them out at work, in service organizations and socially. You are who you hang out with so you might as well hang out with people who are smarter than you!

8. Play Devil’s Advocate

Take something you recently learned and generate a unique opinion on it that wouldn’t immediately come to mind. Try to support it with evidence and be open to the idea that new evidence will change your opinions. Repeat this every day and you’ll become much better at thinking outside the box.

9. Write 400 Words A Day

There’s a reason why so many successful people write every day. Whether you write in a diary or manage a blog, as long as you have some place to get your thoughts down, you’ll be fine. Writing things down forces you to clarify your thoughts into more concrete representations. It may take some effort, but it’ll become more natural overtime and your thoughts will start to become crisper. You’ll also have fewer doubts about your ideas.

10. Focus On What You Know

When engaged in a heated discussion with your friends, you’re bound to stumble upon a few holes in your knowledge. It’s okay to admit when you don’t know something, but if you’re feeling particularly self-conscious and want to keep up the appearance of intelligence, the key is emphasizing what you do know. If you’re in an argument, don’t stress disagreement so much as agreement—that way, you aren’t straying away from things you know about. You’re highlighting the parts you do know while still taking part in the discussion.

11. Expose Yourself To Different World Views

Be genuinely curious about other cultures, languages or how things are done differently by others. Different cultures could have a significant positive effect on your ideas. Read about other industries, places and how others do various things. Find out how work is done in various markets and get out of your perception for once. Be open to discussions that do not share your worldview.

12. Instead Of Watching TV, Watch Educational Videos

Sometimes, it’s more fun to watch things about a subject you love than to read about it, and you can learn a lot from other people’s experiences. Television is extremely toxic because most of the content on it will not help make your brain smarter. Instead, it will make your brain complacent and dull. If you want to change that, spend your free time learning about something rather than watching television.

13. Get Some Exercise

A healthy body means a healthy brain. So, in between all the reading and mind-expanding, make sure you’re leading a healthy physical life too. That means eating right and getting regular exercise. Some studies have shown links between daily activity and intellectual capacity, productivity and creativity. Will spending all day at the gym make you smarter? Not quite, but sitting around all day will not only kill you but hinder your brain from being at its absolute best.

14. Embrace The Genius In You

Be productive. Make a dent in the world. Break the rules. Ask lots of questions. Have fun. Love life. Start. Move, make, create, do. Just start something. Sometimes it is something big and other times it’s a massive failure.  Either way, the key is to take a step forward. Genius is much less about genetics and much more about mindset, ridiculous amounts of hard work, self-belief, focus and perseverance in the face of any setback.

15. Do Things The Hard Way

Technology has made our lives more comfortable, but sometimes it’s worth doing things the hard way. Take GPS navigation, for example; it’s great that you can essentially never get lost, but if you rely on it too much, you’ll never truly learn your way around. Instead, wean yourself off your GPS dependency and learn your way around town, develop a sense of direction and learn to navigate using your brain. Little things like that can expand your mind and naturally make you smarter.

Conclusion

Your intelligence can be increased over time by changing a few of your daily habits. Some of the most successful people in the world have practiced many of the habits mentioned above in this post. If you do these 15 things each day, you’ll become smarter.

8 Signs You’re Going To Be Successful Even When It Doesn’t Feel Like It

Success doesn’t always have to be about money, trophies or titles. Sometimes, success is how you’ve grown as a person and your journey from who you were to who you are. In this post, I shared with you 8 Signs you’re going to be successful even when it doesn’t feel like it.

We’ve all experienced those days when we feel like we are an absolute failure. It’s a reasonable feeling when things don’t go as exactly planned. When we feel like that, it’s challenging to think of yourself as a successful individual.

We’ve all had days, weeks, months and — for some — even years of challenges and failures that bring us down to rock bottom. At times like this, it may seem that you will never be successful but that is hardly ever the case. Instead, you must push through these situations and see what characteristics and qualities you possess that may help you get through it all.

Here are 8 Signs you’re going to be successful even when it doesn’t feel like it:

1. You Haven’t Given Up On Your Dreams

Even if you haven’t achieved them yet, you’re still making plans and moving forward with trying to reach your goals. Success isn’t always measured in whether or not you’ve met all your life goals. As long as you refuse to give up on your dreams, you have a chance to become successful. Just make sure to continue moving forward and taking chances to achieve it and everything is going to be fine.

2. Not Everyone Likes You Or Your Work

Unless you’re intentionally malicious and the consensus seems to be that you’re altogether disliked by everyone, having some people hate you is an incredible sign of personal development. It means you’re clear on your identity, are making a statement with your work and aren’t willing to compromise who you are to appease everyone. If people don’t like you, it means you stand for something and that’s great in being successful as an individual.

3. You’re No Longer The Center Of The Universe

We all know some “successful” people tend to act like they are the center of the universe. However, that type of mindset doesn’t necessitate success. True success as an individual requires you the ability to feel empathy and to realize other people’s feelings. If you can work hard in silence, you’ll allow your results to make noise.

4. You Are No Longer Controlled By Income

We all know that money is an important part of succeeding, but you shouldn’t let it be your sole motivation. Earning a comfortable living and being responsible for your money is always a good thing, but you cannot allow that to control your life. There are tons of incredible things that you can experience without money.

5. You Know That Failure Isn’t Forever

You’ve learned that the only people who never fail are those who don’t try. When you fail, you don’t automatically assume that you’re a failure. Instead, you embrace each failure as an opportunity to learn something and then you move on from it with more experience. If you still struggle with this at times, know that you’ll never experience real success until you learn to embrace failure. Your mistakes pave the way for your success by revealing when you’re on the wrong path. The most significant breakthroughs typically come when you’re feeling the most frustrated and the most stuck. It’s this frustration that forces you to think differently, to look outside the box and see the solution you’ve been missing.

6. You Can Say No

One of the easiest ways to get burned out is by constantly saying ‘yes.’ Successful people know that if that don’t have the time, interest or drive to do something, then we must politely say no. The most toxic thing you can do to yourself is to be a yes man because people will take advantage of you and your own results will fall behind.

7. You Accept What You Can’t Change And Change What You Can

There’s a difference between pessimism and practicality. If there’s a hurricane headed your way, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. But once you accept that the hurricane is coming, you can start working to mitigate its effects. If your company downsizes and you get laid off, every moment you spend in denial just delays whatever is waiting over the horizon. You’re able to move on only when you start exploring your options and making plans to change what you can. Taking responsibility for improving the things you don’t like about your life is one of the biggest indicators of success.

8. You Realize Success Isn’t Everything

Perhaps the wildest sign of them all is that when you start to become truly successful, you also begin to realize how little it matters. You will start to understand that it is not the answer to your problems and that you also value the people in your life, your downtime and your hobbies. True success is realizing that success is not everything people think it is, and it is a privilege to be able to know that.

Conclusion

Success doesn’t always have to be about money, trophies or titles. Sometimes, success is how you’ve grown as a person and your journey from who you were to who you are. In this post, I shared with you 8 Signs you’re going to be successful even when it doesn’t feel like it.