The Age of Entrepreneurship

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When people think about entrepreneurs just starting in the business world, it often seems like a younger person’s game. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Entrepreneurship can come at any age and at any point in your lifetime. The key is to have the right idea that will thrive and create success.

Although many people may think it’s best to start at a young age, it’s important to note that the medium age of successful founders is around the 40 to 50 range. Beginning as an entrepreneur in this industry at a later age brings a more extensive amount of life and work experience.

One of the biggest aspects of becoming an entrepreneur later in life, is you have the time to play and become more financially stable. Young business owners may not always have the income to fall back on if their ideas falter, which is why waiting until you have the support both financially and within your family or a spouse, could help your chances of success drastically.

Another aspect of beginning entrepreneurship later in life is most people have experienced failure in some way by this point in their lives. Having the opportunity to experience failure gives you an edge over others in not being afraid of your ideas floundering. Great entrepreneurs have personality traits in which they can keep their eye on the prize despite bumps in the road.

The skills and life lessons you learn in your early years of being a businessman or woman helps to shape the kind of leader you will be later in life. Because you will make many mistakes along the way, it creates a stronger and more confident business mind, thus, making this the perfect time to start your own business. When you can take a tip from entrepreneurs who have come into the game later in life, you can see how the experience has helped them become more successful.

Don’t let your age define how you continue throughout the business world. Just because you didn’t begin a company at a younger age doesn’t mean it’s too late and you won’t become successful in your endeavors. If anything, waiting until later in life means you are more prepared and have the experience to become successful in your chosen path for entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Success: Leave Your Ego at Home

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People often ask the question, “what does it take to become a successful entrepreneur?” The truth is, certain personality traits and qualities help in shaping a successful entrepreneur. Although some of these traits are instilled in us from birth, many can be learned and developed over time. It’s essential to understand the specific qualities that make an entrepreneur successful. One of the most significant aspects of successful entrepreneurship is removing your ego from your business.

Starting a new business is hardly a feat for one person. Although there are leaders out there who believe they can do it better and all by themselves, it simply is not true and will not create a sustainable business. Entrepreneurs can’t let their egos get in the way of the growing business. It’s essential to assemble a team of hard workers and leaders who understand and share the same goals and vision you do. Creating a support team of people who help you every step of the way will ensure success in your business.

Every position in a business is just as important as the next. Even though some founders may think that because it is their idea and vision, they are the most crucial component of the company. This is, quite frankly, very untrue and anyone who has worked in a business setting understand that success only comes when people work together and no one believes they are above the rest.

You can take some great tips from the book by Michael Strasner, Mastering Leadership, Shift the Drift and Change the World, on entrepreneurship and either embracing success or instead, leaving it behind when your time is up. The key to growing your ideas and business is making sure to commit to your idea fully. Once you do this and realize there is no fallback plan and this idea is the end goal, it will be far easier to pour your entire self into it. And, not just yourself, but your team.

No matter if you win or lose, creating a teamwork environment in which you can utilize your traits and leadership skills to share your vision and goals, is successful and can inspire others to follow their dreams of entrepreneurship.

 

Motivation For Your Small Business Team

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Small businesses definitely have some advantages over large businesses. Smaller teams make it easier to keep everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction. In many cases, small businesses actually outperform larger businesses based on scale. There are some challenges that all businesses face regardless of size, but the answers are not always the same. Small businesses will struggle with keeping their teams motivated the same way larger businesses will, but they may not have the same level of resources to throw into programs to help increase motivation. Here are 3 tips to help keep your small business team motivated.

Regularly recognize their accomplishments
You might be surprised just how far a little recognition can go towards improving employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees tend to be productive employees. While large companies may recognize employee achievements on an annual or semi-annual basis, small businesses have the opportunity to recognize employees on a daily basis. Recognition doesn’t have to be in the form of a plaque or award. Just a few words of acknowledgment of their hard work on a regular basis may actually be even more effective.

Set team goals and create a visual to measure progress
Anyone who has any experience with fundraising knows that simple visuals go a long way towards motivating donors. This is why almost all fundraising sites will have some kind of chart or measuring device to show potential donors how close to the goal the campaign is. The closer a campaign gets to achieving the goal, the more motivated donors become. Some donors may even pledge a second or even third time. The same thing that is true of fundraising is true of your small business.

Provide incentives they actually want
If everyone on your team loves Indian food, then promising a catered lunch from an Indian restaurant might be a great motivator to achieve a specific goal, but not if your entire team does not like Indian food. Providing incentives is a great way to motivate your employees, but not if the incentives are not attractive to your entire team. While they say you can’t please everyone, if you genuinely want to provide an incentive to motivate your entire team, then you will, in fact, have to find an incentive that is equally attractive to them all.

Entrepreneurial Ideas for Success

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It’s evident that all entrepreneurs want to be successful in what they are creating and putting out into the world. But not all entrepreneurs are successful the first few times around and need to continue to have the mentality to push forward through their failures in order to create something great. In our current economy and all different economy’s, it’s essential for entrepreneurs to develop products and ideas that will move us forward.

Entrepreneurship should produce and propel our economic growth. It’s the reason why we need entrepreneurs in this world to make sure that we can create new ideas that are productive. Some fail to consider this aspect and do so because they want to be their boss and have a money making product.

When starting your own business, it can be very much formed around a personal choice. This is true for many entrepreneurs, but along with the personal choice must come value. There should be value in the reasoning of starting your own business and creating a product. Think of your audience and what the value of your product and company is to them. It’s important to fully consider your audience because they will be the reason your business succeeds or fails.

You may think people know what they want, but in all seriousness, it’s not necessarily true. Part of being an entrepreneur is showing people what they want and need. This can be done by either creating something entirely new or refining something they already know and updating it. This can help your audience to see the product they already know in a different light. Your audience needs to know the value in what you are creating and find it useful and something that will fulfill their needs.

Many entrepreneurs are bogged down by the aspect of beating their competitors and being able to compete in a particular market. The real part is to make sure your potential customers see value in what you are offering and find that it excels past your competitors. Competition should come second to what your customers need and what they will want to invest in.

It’s essential to remember that your product must have value in order to succeed. Creating something that is going to add to our economic growth is one of the best reasons to become an entrepreneur. Of course, everyone will have personal reasons attached to it, but if you can add value and satisfy the needs of your audience, you can have a higher chance to succeed.

 

How Entrepreneurs Deal with Failure

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Being an entrepreneur means you will deal with failures many times during your career. This is not always the case for everyone, but more often than not, you will, unfortunately, fail at some point. The key to failure as an entrepreneur is learning how to handle that failure, pick yourself back up, and start again. As it is with life, the way you deal with these setbacks shapes the person and professional you are and want to be. Thankfully, there is a large number of entrepreneurs who came before you, sharing their wise words of wisdom for pressing on and dealing with your failures gracefully.

Just because you will experience failure doesn’t mean it’s going to be a significant failure. Unfortunately, most new businesses will fail within their first few years of starting out. But failure can also come in the form of other losses, such as the loss of a big client. It is essential for entrepreneurs to learn from these failures which takes us right to our first lesson.

Taking the time to write down a list of the decisions you made when you failed will help to understand what you could have done better and will do better next time. It creates your failure into a learning experience in order for you to grow from the setback. Handwriting the list will help the points sink in and stick with you for future growth.

Giving yourself time to destress from the situation will also create a better atmosphere and positive outlook for yourself and your company. Entrepreneurs are busy people that work at a very fast pace, high-stress environment. Giving yourself mental clarity by removing yourself from the failure can give you time to rethink, reevaluate, and figure out your next move.

If you look into some of the most famous entrepreneurs and how they started out, you will find that most of them repeatedly failed time and time again before they became successful. Their biggest early failures paved the way for some of the most successful companies in the world. It is essential to remember that failure is just a roadblock and stepping stone on the way to success. It is necessary in order to weed out entrepreneurs who are willing to pick up the pieces and keep going and the ones who do not have the mental strength to do so and become successful.

Building A Network For Your Business

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Building a proper social network is essential for the success of any business. Very little can be done by only one person. Every entrepreneur needs a few connections to help the various moving parts of a business to run as smoothly as possible. One person can’t possibly handle outreach, public or human relations, advertising, product or service development, and so on. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help from an adequate and knowledgeable network of peers and associates. The following are ways to build the right network around your business.

Establish Relationships
Put yourself out there and make some powerful business acquaintances. Every friend you make regarding your business will, undoubtedly, help your cause, whether you befriend someone who works in digital marketing or mingle with fellow entrepreneurs. Different people come from various backgrounds, bringing a wide variety of skills to the table. Even if you don’t enlist these people for your own entrepreneurial purposes, it is beneficial to surround yourself with others that have similar goals. Perhaps you will find yourself in a symbiotic relationship, helping others as they help you achieve your business goals.

Segment the Network
Once you have added a fair amount of people to your social network, you should keep everything in working order by segmenting the pieces of your network into various categories. These are a few of the labels you can place on people within your network, based on how they affect your business:

  • Advocates
  • Helpers
  • Lurkers

How you organize your network is completely up to you, depending on your own unique and individual goals, however, as long as a system is in place you will be able to easily recall and locate contacts anytime you need to call upon someone within your network.

Share The Wealth
People within your network are more likely to help your business succeed if they also benefit from your success. Make sure to share the credit and revenue you gain with those who deserve it. Anyone who’s help you’ve employed to make your business-related dreams a reality should probably receive a pat on the back, especially your own employees. This will only strengthen your network by building a sense of trust between you, your business, and its associates.

How Entrepreneurs Can Approach Branding

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Entrepreneurs are always working. With little free time to experiment on finding ways to brand their business, entrepreneurs sometimes find themselves at a loss when it comes time to work on their methods for PR. However, by taking a strategic approach to branding, entrepreneurs will find that they get their desired results quickly.

Branding Musts for Entrepreneurs
While effective methods for public relations are ever-evolving, there a few key things every small business owner should be taking advantage of. Entrepreneurs should follow these tips to effectively brand their companies:

Create Articles for Niche-Centric Outlets
Niche-centric outlets will allow entrepreneurs to easily reach their preferred audience. Rather than shooting for larger publications like Huffington Post, small business owners should turn to niche-centric outlets like LinkedIn, Quora, and Medium. The entrepreneurs will be able to target readers that already have an interest in their particular products or services.

When pitching these articles for niche-centric outlets, entrepreneurs should try their best to stand out. By making their content as unique as possible and creating a catchy subject line, entrepreneurs have a better chance of getting their content published. Once the article is published, other users will start to respond by commenting and sharing the content, leading to increased brand exposure.

Create a Blog
Blogging isn’t dead. Entrepreneurs looking for quick ways to promote their company and content should start blogging. On their blog, these small companies can post press releases, breaking news, and any information that provides professional and unique insights into their industry The blogs will attract new readers and, with the help of keywords targeted for SEO, convert them into customers.

Additionally, blogs offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect with their readers. Companies that interact with their readers in the comments section will be working to drive and maintain authentic and organic traffic on their website.

Get Into Guest- and Self- Publishing
Entrepreneurs looking to get their content recognized should look into guest- and self-publishing. Avenues like blogging, podcasting, and posting on YouTube serve as a way for entrepreneurs to publish their own content and connect directly with interested individuals.

Branding one’s self as a small business owner is essential to stand out from the competition. Keep these three strategies in mind when putting together new PR campaigns.

 

Handling Discrimination in the Workplace

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In spite of many progressive movements and laws, discrimination remains pervasive in and outside of the workplace. Showing others that discrimination is not acceptable in your workplace will help maintain a place of equal opportunity and ensure that everyone feels safe. Whether you are an employee witnessing or experiencing discrimination or you are an employer who receives a report of discriminatory activity, there are ways you can appropriately and professionally handle the situation without compromising your integrity or position.

For Employees
If you experience or witness discrimination in the workplace, the first thing you should do is report the activity to a superior or your employer. Make sure they know you take this seriously and request that written reports be documented for each incident.

Keep a record for yourself, as well. Document dates, times, and the details of any incidents. Hold onto any objects accompanying the discrimination such as threatening or insensitive photographs; your claims will be considered more valid with the physical evidence to back them up.

If your employer does not take appropriate action, you may want to consider filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In addition to this, make sure you are familiar with your company’s policies, as well as your rights; familiarize yourself with the law before taking any legal action, but do what is necessary if your superiors do not come to your aid.

For Employers
If you receive a report of discrimination, you should try to take immediate action and do whatever seems appropriate. By seriously addressing any complaints of discrimination, you will show your employees that the policy is sincere and no discrimination will be tolerated.

In order to prevent discrimination from occurring, you can focus on educating your employees through classes or workshops and evaluate your existing policies against discrimination; if it is inadequate, vague, or hasn’t been circulated, be sure to revise as necessary and make sure your employees are aware of the policy

You can also spend time teaching superiors how to respond to discrimination. This will not only ensure that your employees are prepared to handle any situation, but will also show your employees that you are concerned about their well-being. It will be more beneficial to show your employees that you support them and do not tolerate discrimination by creating and upholding your own policy and making sure you have the means of enforcing it.

The Power of Saying ‘No’

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Whether you are a young professional fresh out of college or a seasoned veteran entering your first day at your new company, making a strong first impression will always be one of the biggest priorities at the workplace. It is, in itself, an inauguration to the position and professional brand you want to establish the minute you walk through those doors. But as much as it is important to please those around you, it is absolutely imperative that you learn the concept and power to say ‘no’ to certain things.

In today’s society, we are driven by our ideals and endeavors to be the Jack-of-all-Trades at whatever company or organization you are affiliated with. While I will never reprimand a person for giving it their best to a particular position, I will say that when it comes to success, success and all of its glory will come when you know how to pick your battles. To this, I mean saying ‘no.’

Like many others, saying ‘no’ can be an incredibly difficult thing. With the word yes, you are not just accepting new and exciting opportunities, but also assuming new responsibilities for leadership and growth. While the positive gains will always favor that of saying ‘yes,’ you also have to live in the realm of reality. Not everyone can do XYZ while also managing an entire company. Understanding the limits and negative impacts that the word ‘yes’ can have can save you from undoing your success.

To start, as much as saying yes gives you opportunities for success, it also gives you ever-growing responsibilities for stress and anxiety. With a new task, you will be forced to assume various roles that go beyond the standard. Now, it never hurts to assume those particular roles. But if you know said-opportunity will hinder your work, it is your job to evaluate whether or not the overall return on investment and sacrifice is worth the hassle. Yes, you will need these chances to grow, but you also do not want to risk your own personal work because of the addition assignments you take on. Make sure you know your limits. Many young professionals are blinded by the opportunity to move up within the ladder that they end up shooting themselves in the foot because they were not paying attention to their initial responsibilities.  If you know the additional assignments are too much for you, just say no. The only harm a simple ‘no’ can do is that the new assignment will be given to another person.

Now to speak more about saying ‘no,’ the one thing every business will tell you is that quality is, and will always be, better than quantity. It is a simple concept taught to us throughout our formative years but has somehow lost its way when it comes to the corporate environment. While handing a bunch of tasks and completing them will always be seen as an achievement, nothing can showcase your strengths and professional development than the quality of your work. The simple reason is that quality is everything. It provides a stronger attraction and holds a more lucrative profit than anything in the world. When it comes to saying ‘no,’ you want to make sure that those opportunities you do say ‘yes’ to will not impact the quality of your current work. Yes, the work itself will change because of the amount of task you will be assuming, but if you know that the standard of your work will greatly suffer, then say ‘no’ might be your best option. Think of this in baseball terms, if you want to knock it out of the park, one home run will always be better than two doubles. Make your standards and your quality your top priority. Anything else should be secondary unless you know you can handle both tasks.

Lastly, after assessing the request and evaluating an opportunity’s benefits, make sure you say no in a proper and respectful way. Harvard Business Review goes over this concept and outlines specific tips that can help you through this process. First and foremost, after politely declining the opportunity, still show a willingness to pitch, even if it is in a small way. The ability to still be an asset will showcase your versatility and respect within the office. In addition, practice saying ‘no.’ The more you do it, the better and easier it will become. Make sure you are cognizant of your tone and provide a specific logical reason for bowing out at the opportunity. The more transparent and understanding you can be, the better.

Time Management Tips

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When it comes to work, it seems as if our lives become busier and busier each and every day. While it usually impossible to check off everything on your ‘to-do’ list or calendar, there are certain time management tips that you can utilize to help you prioritize your day. This, in turn, will allow you t to alleviate iron out all of the logistics within the workplace, while also alleviating your stress and anxiety at the office.

To begin, it is imperative that you plan ahead. I like to call this backward planning. Yes, we all have a calendar that, at times, dictates our day-to-day. But to create a schedule without an end-goal in mind will leave you scatterbrained and disorganized no matter what you have planned out. To do this efficiently, effectively, and consistently, start by creating a goal of what you want to accomplish within the workweek. You can even go as far as to create a backward plan for the entire month. Whatever is the case, make sure you are planning for the future. From there, you will be able to prioritize various projects and assignments and create a tangible realistic list that you can accomplish each and every day; the more comprehensive your plan and end-goals are, the better. Look at this in the perspective of a teacher. If a teacher is looking to have their students write a book report at the end of the month, they need to make sure they can compile and consolidate various lessons that can help them achieve their goals on a day-to-day basis. While everything cannot be accomplished within a day, having that time frame because of their backward plan strategy will allow them to leverage and capitalize various holes and opportunities for their students Similar to a teacher, you want to make sure you create your daily operations in a similar way. If you know you have a project to accomplish within a three-weeks time, make sure you break it up. This will also give you an opportunity to internalize the problems and task on a deeper level so that you can execute it in the most optimal way possible.

Now to have that sort of plan, make sure you have various systems in place. For many young professionals, one of the biggest mistakes they make is not creating an organizational structure that irons out all of the logistics within the workday. One thing that you absolutely need to master is your calendar. Some people do this in a variety of ways. Whether it is online or by hand, make sure your systems allow you to effectively execute on whatever task you are working with. Allow it to even work in your favor even if there are flaws within the system itself. By creating a system of this magnitude, you will be able to take control of various situations even when they may not seem manageable at the time.  

One way to truly perfect your systems is, of course, perfecting how and what you prioritize within a day. Prioritizing will be an extremely important fact when you are planning your day. While you want to, of course, tackle the toughest and most urgent projects first, you want to make sure you have a specific game plan for each task. Remember, projects of that magnitude will always take time. Because of that, break that task down and prioritize and hit specific objectives that can lead you to your end-goal. By prioritizing your schedule in this way, you will be able to alleviate stress and schedule certain blocks of ‘free time’ to answer calls, respond to emails, and eliminate unnecessary distractions. Remember, a simple email will always be there for you to respond to within a day. But the task of getting a project started will always be the first hurdle to your success within your company.

Now, as much as you want to be a go-getter within the office, you will often find out that some things are just impractical to do. This can be a specific team assignment a person is asking you to do or a new task given to you by your boss. If you know you already have a lot on your plate, do not think you are in the wrong or saying ‘no.’ Saying no can be a powerful tool within your artillery. With the armies of work may be at the gates, you as a professional need to prioritize your time for the more important tasks. Because of this, this will require you to say ‘no’ to particular opportunities, even if they benefit you in the future. If you do see a greater return on investment in those opportunities, try and find a way to capitalize it. If you know for a fact that those opportunities will hinder or impact your work in a negative manner, politely decline. At the end of the day, quality will always be better than quantity. Never mistake that.

Lastly, spend some time reflecting on your day-to-day. If you found that today was filled with stress and anxiety, ask yourself what you could have done to alleviate or lighten your load. At times, that type of positive thinking will help you improve and develop as a professional. One mistake many people make is that they allow those bad days to weigh heavily on them. While bad days will always exist, you cannot allow that to question or doubt your abilities. Everyone has those bad days, but to self-reflect and to find various ways in which you can improve on them through your work schedule will be incredibly beneficial in getting you back on track.