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.

Young Entrepreneurs on the Rise

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There is no time like the present to follow your entrepreneurial spirit in your younger years. Starting at a young age gives you time to focus and figure out your exact path in starting your own business. It can be a very scary process either diving right in out of college or leaving a stable job to pursue your passions of running your own business. Thankfully, there have been many people that went before you and followed their ideas. They were either met with failure or success, and either way, want to share what they’ve learned with the aspiring young entrepreneurs of today.

Research and Problem Solving
It is essential to do your research before you decide on your particular company and product. The research aspect assists in making sure your idea is original. If there is another type of product similar to the one you are creating, research who your competitors will be and how you can set yourself apart. Discovering who the target audience is by defining your market is an essential part of the original business plan, and a task young entrepreneurs forget to complete.  

Problem solving is an essential step in the beginning process of creating a business plan. The product or idea you have should solve some sort of a problem in order to be successful. This helps to increase the need for these particular goods and services.

Be Optimistic and Passionate
When you’re a young entrepreneur, just starting can be nerve racking but also very exciting because your future can go in so many directions. One thing to remember is that not every idea will be a successful one. Failure is inevitable, but that failure creates a drive to succeed if you have the passion behind it. Entrepreneurs who are genuinely passionate about what they do and the goods and services they produce will have a much higher chance of succeeding because they will not want to give up on their dreams.

Optimism is another crucial factor in staying on the path of success. Challenges in the entrepreneurial world are inevitable. You will hear the word ‘no’ at points in your career but staying focused, positive, and optimistic is going to keep moving you forward towards reaching your goals.

Young entrepreneurs can learn a lot from entrepreneurs who have been in the business for quite some time. It’s important to read about your mentors and the leaders you look up to and hear their success stories. Every one of them will have a list of failures and what helped them prevail and become the successful business leader they are today.

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.

 

Benefits from Pursuing Entrepreneurship

 

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Whether you are college student figuring out your path or a professional looking for a career change, entrepreneurship could be the choice for you. There are many different benefits that come along with being an entrepreneur along with being able to make your goals and passions come to life. It can, at times, be a strenuous and challenging job, but the rewards are unlike any other profession. Here we will discuss some of the benefits from seeking out life in entrepreneurship and why it might be the right choice for you.

You choose your schedule
With being your boss, comes the benefit of being able to decide how you spend your time. You get to work as long as you want and when you want to stop, then you stop. It is an excellent opportunity to be able to be so flexible with the time you spend on work without having to miss out on life and other opportunities.  

Choices depend on you
You are your boss. Decisions will come right from you when it comes to your company and your product. This is true for the other departments within your business. You are going to figure out the type of brand and marketing and how you want your product to look to your audience and consumers.

You live your passions
Being an entrepreneur means you can live out your passions. Your visions will be brought to life because of what is most important to you and what you feel the world needs. Not many other professions have this type of freedom in doing precisely what they want to do and exactly how they want to do it.

Continue to learn and grow
With being your boss in the entrepreneurial world, comes the opportunity to continue to learn, grow, and try on different hats. If you’ve never started your own business before, you will start to learn many various aspects of the business including marketing, sales, and planning. Until you have the capital to hire these jobs in your company, you may have to do some of it yourself. This just gives you the extra edge to hone your business skills to be a better leader and entrepreneur.

The opportunities in the entrepreneurial world are endless and up to you because you are your boss and help to control your future. It is a great process to be a part of in your life if you want to turn your passions into a reality.

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.

StartUp or Buy: Which is Best for your Entrepreneurial Endeavours

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Managing your own business hosts a number of unique opportunities and the potential for success. While starting your own original business is a common procedure, you may also want to think about instead purchasing an existing business and taking over operations. Both options have benefits and downsides, so it’s important to consider all your options and determine what is best for you and your ideas.

Starting A Business
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of starting up your own business is the prospect of complete autonomy and ownership. Building a business from scratch means that the ideas, organization, structure, and process are all your own. This sense of leadership and power can certainly be tempting. As long as you understand the responsibilities of a business owner, the management of your new business should be relatively clear-cut.

If you start your own business, you will be building from the ground up, which means you will not have any pre-existing mistakes or hurdles to fix, and the issues that do arise should be manageable, seeing as you should be able to identify the factors that lead to any errors.

Of course, if managing a startup were easy, everyone would do it. There are a number of barriers and obstacles you will face if you decide to start your own business. The work you have to put into a new business is immense, and unless you’re fully prepared to tackle it with a lot of effort, you might want to hold off on the endeavor.

For some, the financial burden is also a large deterrent. Unless you’re already wealthy or you’re fully determined to devote a significant amount of time fundraising, the process of procuring funds can be challenging. Relying on investors is a typical course of action, but this tends to mean that those investors wield some control over your business. If you’re willing to sacrifice some authority, then this won’t be too much of an issue, but finding investors who want to support your budding business may be tricky, too.

Buying A Business
Known as the process of entrepreneurship through acquisition, buying an established business can also prove favorable. Taking this course of action means surrendering some control, as your business will be an inherited one rather than an original; that being said, if you’re willing to take over a business, utilize their success, and work to improve sales or organization, you should consider buying a business and using their success as leverage for your own reputation.

It’s important to identify a good, profitable business before you buy; researching its history, its clientele, and its organization can help you determine if buying the business will be profitable. Repeat customers and a steady income are often signs that a business is successful and will continue along a similar path in the future.

As long as you devote a significant amount of time an energy to research, you will be able to use an established brand to your advantage. Most of the time, buying into an existing business means they have worked to create their brand and have overcome some of the obstacles that face new businesses. This means that you will not have to navigate difficult hurdles that would accompanying the creation of your own startup.

However, if the previous owner(s) made mistakes, you are responsible for identifying and amending them. Because you are coming into the business operations later in the game, you may not know exactly what led to the mistakes, and though your insight will be fresh and new, you may struggle to identify what the best course of action will be. Failing to fix major problems can lead to disaster.

Even if you do your research on the business’ financial history, there is no truly accurate way to gauge the worth of a business. Depending on the demand for the business’ product or service, you may find that your purchase is a flop; this is a risk you will have to take if you want to buy an existing business. You should also consider the potential reasons a business might be on the market; the current owners might anticipate a significant dip in profits or a decline in public interest, so you should be aware of the possible causes one might have for selling their business.

There is no right way to be an entrepreneur, and each experience is individual and unique. Identifying your goals, resources, and motivation will help you determine whether starting a business or buying one is the right move for you.

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.

What to Learn from Failure

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The road to success can be a very difficult and arduous task. As a young professional, you will face a variety of different obstacles. But the one biggest obstacle that we all face in life is failure.

While failure itself has a negative stigma associated with it, the concept and overall idea provides great lessons and insights about ourselves. Many people have even gone as far as to say that failure is the great teacher. While true in a way, accepting the concept of failure is harder than that it seems. Why? The problem is that failure is not just cryptic in its nature, but also it is downright damaging. Trying to figure out its lessons is no easy task, especially when you are nursing a bruised ego and are trying to move beyond the frustration, disappointment, and demoralization of the situation. For some people, it takes a few weeks. For others, it takes almost a year. But as much as you can refer to those moments with resentment and hopelessness, it is imperative that you, as an individual, accept them as they are if you want to grow both personally and professionally and move on to greater things.

Now to do this, you need to see these disappointing moments as windows of opportunity. As difficult as it may be, framing these incidences in this manner will allow you to learn and uncover those hidden teachable moments so that you can not just move on, but also grow in a bigger and better way. To help you deduce what exactly those lessons are and how they can help improve your chances of future success, I have provided various guidelines so that you can understand, plan, evaluate, and execute later on down the road.

To being, think back and reflect on those moments. Ask yourself those overarching questions of what happened and why did the result end the way it did. By challenging yourself with those hard-to-ask questions, you will be able to dive deeper into the minuscule flaws that you could have refined to help rectify the situation. Now, this is by no means a way for you to regret anything that you have done. What was done is in the past. The only thing you can do now is to learn from those mistakes and move forward. If there is a way where you can change your style of work or change your style of thinking, do that. If not, try thinking of other alternative routes that can help you get to your end goal.

Once you have self-evaluated and reflected on your goals, it is now time for you to reevaluate your planning and preparation for the next step. For some people, this is just the next project. For others, this is for their next job. Whatever is the case, make sure you spend your planning on the basis of your personal and professional goals. If the task and or job was similar to that specific moment of failure, try and strategizing of various ways of how you can avoid those similar mistakes. Remember, learning to anticipate for hurdles and problems will be your biggest asset starting anew. In the grand scheme of things, a vast majority of people spend a little time planning and deciphering these moments and continue to run into the same obstacles and unexpected circumstances. To prevent that from happening to you, utilize what you know and leverage it to your benefit.

After strong and strategic planning, try and focus on variables in your own control. During the early stages after a failure, you can often feel very passive and helpless going into a variety of situations. That fire that was once there seems to be only a flicker of light that may or may not be extinguished. While the dark times can be suffocating, do not allow that perceptual distortion to push you out of your locus of control. Instead, leverage what you know. Much of this goes back to the strategic thinking and self-reflecting portion of this blog, but to start executing specific objectives will give you the confidence necessary for controlling your failure and putting you back on the path of success.

Keep this in mind; failure is a part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn. If you don’t learn, you will never change. See these moments as not the opposite of success but as a part of your growth and success in the future.