How To Deal With Workplace Pressure

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People of all professions experience stress in the workplace. There are often times in a work environment during which employees feel pressure to perform at the top of their game, sometimes in a short amount of time. It’s easy to feel stress when you have a lot on your plate and you’re under pressure. Here are some techniques to make sure you don’t crumble under pressure.

1) Make a brief to-do list
The list doesn’t have to be long. In fact, it is suggested to keep this list to three items long so that you can truly focus on your priorities. This allows you to be realistic about what you can achieve in the very near future. You can also stop thinking about other tasks until you’ve finished these three so that you don’t get too bombarded with what to do.

2) Use some sort of organizing system
Don’t simply rely on your own brain. If you just think of what you need to accomplish, it can all get jumbled. Use an external organizing system, such as a handwritten to-do list, digital calendar reminders, or whatever works best for you. When you have a physical reminder of all of your tasks, you will be much less stressed.

3) Ask for help
There’s no shame in asking for assistance. Even the most hard-working professionals will sometimes struggle to handle everything on their own. Those who are truly successful understand that they will sometimes need to reach out for help. When your situation is getting out of control, reach out to some coworkers or other people in your network who you trust in order to get help.

4) Tackle your negative thoughts
Reframing your negative thoughts will allow you to be calmer. When you find yourself getting panicked over a tense situation, put the situation in perspective. Put an end to your frantic thoughts by reminding yourself that the situation can be handled and that it is not the end of the world. Then figure out what you will do first, second, and so on. This goes back to making a short to-do list.

5) Plan ahead
While a short to-do list is a great way to get things done, it’s also important to plan for the future. If there are challenges that are likely to come up, think about the steps that you will take to overcome the challenges. This way, you will be much better prepared for any issue that comes your way.

6) Take care of your body
In order to feel more calm and balanced, make sure you are taking care of your physical health. One of the most important things you can do to have the best cognitive function and the brightest mood is to get a proper amount of sleep. If you get enough sleep, eat healthy, and exercise, you will be more productive and have better peace of mind.

7) Be grateful
Being grateful for what you have in life will have a positive effect on not only your productivity but on your overall happiness. It has been shown that being grateful is the most influential factor in having a happy and positive outlook on life. Each day, think about what you are thankful for, and your success is likely to increase!

Working in any environment can lead to extreme stress. We have all felt moments during which we were extremely under pressure. But if you take a deep breath and follow these rules, that pressure has no chance of getting in the way of your success.

The Importance of Communication at the Workplace

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No matter what industry you are in, efficient, effective, and consistent verbal and nonverbal communication skill are incredibly valuable in the workplace. Some companies even go as far to invest a large portion of their time and money to help train and aid their employees on effective communication. Why? The simple reason is that good communication can take you beyond the conversation to something more impactful for your business and your customers.

By understanding these benefits of effective, effective, and consistent communication, you will be able to help your company focus on building a strong and conducive work culture that will be vital for your business’s future success.

So what do we need to know about strong communication?

First and foremost, you need to understand how it can help on a diverse and holistic aspect. With effective workplace communication, the most important way for this to work is how it facilitates across a variety of departments. Oftentimes, bad communication can result in various misunderstandings that can be harmful for your company’s overarching goals and visions. To reduce this negative, try and see how you can train your employees to communicate across different departments. Think of this in a various situations such as mangers to employees or departments to department. Fine-tuning messages across these groups will allow you to avoid cultural confusion and miscommunication. See what your managers and leaders in your business can do to simplify the information in strong, informative, laymen terms. In addition, see what errors there were beforehand and how you can improve operations to run even smoother.

As for team building, try and see how you can create a strong and more effective line of communication in the workplace that helps employees and managers perform at their fullest. One of the biggest problems you can find in the office is that employees have a timid distrust for upper level management. To alleviate this pressure, try and create a role of integrity and responsibility between the two individuals. Show that the communication itself is meant to support rather than to criticize. Last but not least, try and produce a positive line of communication with recognition and positive reinforcement. Many employees can underperform because they feel that their work is not valued at the office. To avoid that hostile work environment, create positive incentives such as rewards or shout outs that can boost the overall morale of your company.

Last but not least, make sure the line of communication is easily streamlined to the customer itself. Regardless of your company’s field or product, make sure the customer knows the shift and changes your product will see in the future. Apple was able to streamline their new products through various showcases and presentations that tapped new markets and new audiences. While, we cannot all be Apple, it does not mean you cannot rationalize your company’s changes in simple explanations through your employees or through various marketing strategies.

How to be a Successful Leader

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There are myriad interpretations of leadership. For instance, a leader might motivate others through official power and authority. However, just as often exceptional leaders guide through personal connections, persuasion, and inspiration. So what is leadership? It actuality, is the ability to lead and consciously produce a result that otherwise would not have occurred. It’s not only the creation of events that constitutes good leadership. Good leaders deliberately design challenging outcomes by engaging the help of others.

Successful Entrepreneurial Leadership Approaches

Successful entrepreneurship can transform a declining business into a Fortune 500 corporation by changing corporate cultures. Good leadership is an integrated solution for organizational success. The most successful entrepreneurial leadership approaches include:

  • Transformational. Transformational leaders motivate teams and influence coworkers to grow and develop. This is one of the most powerful leadership styles because it shapes work efficiencies, social culture, and mindsets.
  • Charismatic. Charismatic leaders are the driving strength that motivates teams to exceed expectations. These leaders frequently employ personal charm to inspire and lead and tend to be globally admired and respected. Charismatic managers are well known for their talent to assemble a large amount of followers.
  • Participative. Using participative leadership, entrepreneurs request advice and input from all team members involved in the business plan. This leadership approach values each team members’ opinion as significant. Employees become part of the decision-making process quickly, making everyone involved feel highly motivated and appreciated.
  • Situational. Similar to transformational, the situational leadership style is one of the most successful entrepreneurial leadership approaches. This type of leader focuses easily on situational adaptation and adjustment to personal capabilities, circumstances, and abilities of teams.

A successful entrepreneur will focus their career on combining these successful leadership styles. Whatever leadership styles you choose to emulate, it is essential to remember that not all of them work for the every organization or individual. Do what’s best and concentrate on what improves your chances of success.

Are People Born as Entrepreneurs?

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The latest question creating separation in the business industry surrounds whether or not entrepreneurs are a unique class, born with a drive and demand to succeed that the rest of humanity lacks. While many subscribe to this theory, others believe that entrepreneurship can be created through mentoring, experience, and education.

Multiple studies over the last decade have hinted at the existence of an entrepreneur gene, or at a minimum that people with distinct personality traits and genetic tendencies are more inclined to be successful entrepreneurs than others. Some studies suggest that genes influence whether a person will start a business and can even determine an individual’s earning potential. It’s a divisive thought, particularly for Americans raised with the notion that education and drive can enable success in any area they choose.

Exploring a Genetic Predisposition to Entrepreneurship

The dilemma surrounds whether entrepreneurs pursue a path because of a genetic predisposition or educational experiences. Most of us have met many successful entrepreneurs in our careers and would agree that they include diverse personality types and individuals, including a mix of extroverts and introverts, inherent risk-takers, and those with a higher, more circumspect outlook. There isn’t a unique representation of an entrepreneur, just as there isn’t one particular sort of business opportunity. However, the talents of many entrepreneurs converge in the following abilities:

  • Exhibit personal strengths in entrepreneurial endeavors
  • Align their skills and passions with potential opportunities
  • Develop the skills and attributes they need to maximize those opportunities

In short, a career based on entrepreneurial attributes and skills can be learned and is something that should be a component of the educational experience of all young people. That means that entrepreneurs can be created and also may be born with traits that predispose them to exceed. As mentors, we can all perform a role in supporting the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Ever-Evolving Concept of Leadership in the Workplace

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Like any other field, leadership goes through various trends and changes. Because of this, it is imperative that we understand these inclinations in order to be successful.

When we think about leadership, we can argue that there are only a few things that are more important than this skillful governance. The reason why is simple. Efficient and effective leadership helps nations through times of peril. It solidifies success within various businesses. And most importantly, it enables organizations to develop and grow each and every day. Any absence of leadership is equally dramatic in its effect. These negative ramifications can force organizations to move slowly, stagnate, or worse case scenario, lose their way.

With our ever-evolving world, we as business leaders need to internalize the beliefs and ideals of our times in order to move forward in a more positive and lucrative manner. To understand leadership, we first need to be able to separate historical thought from current practice. In today’s world, leaders must be able to provide inspiration, motivation, and direction to their team. Ten-fifteen years ago, this idea did not exist. Instead, leadership was defined by experience and age.  While that still holds some weight, today, leadership requires authenticity and transparency within a person’s tactics. To be inspirational and transformative, a leader’s employees need to understand the vision, goals, and beliefs of a person and their organization. Any type of cover-ups or dishonesty can compromise the overall trust your employees have for you. This in turn can even negatively impact their work.

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In addition to honesty, a true and impactful leader needs to have a positive brand. Think of your brand as your reputation. It is used to be that when people talked about your reputation, they focused on your public character and your past. Today, your personal brand is your reputation. Your actions, your work, and most importantly your attitude truly define who you are as an individual. If you are able to show a more positive gung-ho approach with your employees, fantastic! Keep in put! If not, try and figure out various ways in which you can build those foundational blocks with your team. Remember, if you are not social, you are missing the boat. As a leader, you need to be able to communicate at a certain level. Don’t hide behind a closed boardroom door. Instead, approach your team and ask how they are doing. This will boost morale in two ways: 1. Gives you various updates of daily task and 2. Gives support to those who really need it.

One of the most beneficial things you can do as a leader is build leadership from within. By creating a mentorship within your team, you are building a strong foundation for success. When mentoring, two things can happen. First and foremost, you will find your employees rise beyond their expectations when given a chance.  This goes back to trust. By entrusting these individuals to step up and assume a leadership role, you are giving them an opportunity to show them their worth. Most case scenarios, you will see individuals rise to the occasion by taking ownership in completing and perfecting this task. Secondly, you will find that mentoring teaches you as much as it teaches the mentee. That is because when you give away the knowledge and skillsets to perform at a higher caliber, it becomes a living and breathing entity. It takes a physical form that passes from one person to the next. From there you learn the impact of your work as well as the impact other individuals can have on the rest of the group.

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One of the last things is that you need to be honest to yourself.  There is a famous saying that, “if you are not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” This is true in the business world. Comprehend and internalize your own inconsistencies and failures. Only by understanding these weaknesses can you truly develop in becoming a better leader. This can be done by asking yourself various questions. Ask yourself if the previous year or month went exactly as planned. If not, ask what you could have done to change it. By developing that sense of honesty with your own shortcomings, you will be able to grow and develop as a more impactful leader. At the end of the day, true leaders do not just rely on their strengths. Rather they leverage their weaknesses to move towards their goals.

Entrepreneurship: Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting your Own Business

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Why am I starting my own business?

Before formally becoming an entrepreneur and starting any sort of independent enterprise, it’s important to truly understand why you are choosing to go this route. Do you like the flexibility and independence running your own business entails? Maybe you hope to generate a consistent and lucrative flow of cash? Do you want to address some sort of need in a niche market you are interested in? There are an endless array of answers you could use in response to this question. The important thing to keep in mind is whether those answers outweigh the negative possibilities that can arise when running your own business.

What are my goals for the business?

This question is very much in line with the previous question, except that it delves a bit deeper into the general business plan you hope to implement. Every business needs a business plan and a strategy for it to succeed. “Making money” is simply not good enough of an answer to this question. It’s important for any entrepreneur to have structured goals to reach during his/her business’s infancy years.

What capital do I have access to?

It takes money to make money. You must carefully assess the amount of money you are willing to invest into the business, as well as develop a realistic expectation on how much money you CAN collect through loans and other investors. The type and amount of capital you have will determine what kind of business opportunities are really available to you. Through crowdfunding platforms and other modern day investing mechanisms available today, coming upon some initial capital should not be impossible.

What do I know how to do ? What are my strengths?

Are you a great promoter? Do you write really well? Are you inventive and innovative? Are you organized and meticulous in your spending? Maybe you can sell the shirt off another man’s back. Regardless of what your strengths are, it’s important to incorporate some of your own natural abilities into the business you are hoping to develop. Running a business incorporates a wide range of skills. If you are lacking in a particular skill-set, partner up with someone who may be a bit stronger where you lack.

Who is my competition? What separates me from similar businesses?

Unless your idea is one of a kind, or completely new and innovative in today’s consumer market, you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Eventually even the newest idea will have copycats and competitors, so it’s important to always stay ahead of the curb and develop new strategies to set yourself apart from your competitors. Use your strengths as discussed earlier to distinguish yourself from like-businesses.

Who is my customer/client base?

Who is your target audience? Who are the products and services intended for? Know the people you are servicing and appeal to their interests. If it’s a niche product or service you are trying to sell, try not to stray away from their interests entirely. Even established businesses can have trouble expanding their general audience and market, I would suggest to stay within your known perimeters until you are comfortable with your company’s current position.

Am I prepared to dedicate a great deal of time and money to this business?

For many, starting a business can be a life project years in the making. Building a business takes hours of time and dedication, not to mention thousands of dollars – if not more. It’s important to be ready for the commitment that starting and running your own business entails. If you are not ready to commit hours of your life to this venture, then you need to reconsider your venture.

If this fails, would you regret it?

Being an entrepreneur involves creating your own journey. The first step was deciding that you would not be content with living a life that was already prescribed unto you by someone else. The second step was breaking away from the formal path, and deciding to become an entrepreneur. If you failed, you should not regret the journey you have embarked on. It is a unique path that few are brave enough to undertake.

Why We Love Shark Tank

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Entering into its seventh season on ABC, Shark Tank has captured the mind, the heart, and the essence of the every-day entrepreneurs. With its gimmicky and visually tedious conference room setting, it is no wonder why this show has captured the hearts of the American public.

But what is so special about this show? Why is it so popular?

For those of you who have never seen the show, Shark Tank is a reality television series that gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to bring their dreams to fruition. In the tank, individuals are asked to present a quick five-minute pitch about their idea and their company in order to convince a panel of five successful business titans. After a series of questions on the background, finances, and future planning of the company, the sharks give their decision of whether or not they will invest their money into the entrepreneur’s idea. When more than one shark wants to invest in their idea, a bidding war can erupt, driving the price of the overall investment. On the show, the most notable and recurring sharks have been Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner.

When people first watch they show, they are expecting to see something similar to a “talent searching” scene such as those found in the Apprentice or American Idol because of its stylistic judge-like setting. However, once they continue watching, they see that the overall show is much more than that. It is both informative as it is educational. The dynamics of corporate business found in each and every pitch is something that is interesting and new to television. Beyond, the pitches and products themselves, the knowledge and attitude each judge or shark brings to every episode makes the show that more worthwhile.  With over six million, this once pronounced bland financial cable show is and will continue to be a reality hit.

So why do we love this show?

There are three simple reasons why we cannot stop watching Shark Tank: the sharks, the pitches, and the negotiations.

The Sharks

While the concept of the show is intriguing overall, the variety of judges that are picked for each episode gives the show an overall edge for the viewers and the public. For these individuals, they are not picked solely on their looks or style. Rather they were assembled based on their resumes and successes. Having individuals like Mark Cuban or Kevin O’Leary giving both the presenter and the audience advice is something you will never see on any other television show. In addition, beyond the drama and banter, the Sharks themselves look to educate and advise the person rather than tear them down.

The Pitches

Beyond the outrageous ideas people have made on the show, the overall pitches shows ingenious well-thought out solutions that everyday people may need throughout their lives. For these pitches, the presenter aims not simply to sell the sharks, but also to sell the mass viewers. Because of this, the overall pitches become an entertaining concept for the viewers. It allows the viewers to agree or disagree with the sharks and channel whether or not the product is viable in its market.

The Negotiations

Probably the most exciting part of the show, the negotiations are the most memorable acts we can see between presenter and shark. Keep in mind, it is not the act of the individual getting the investment, rather how they are able to negotiate and whom they are able to negotiate with. In addition, this is where the business jargon comes to play where quick mental math of ‘valuations’ and ‘equity’ are clearly seen by each and every shark.

6 Lessons Learned After Your First Year as an Entrepreneur

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When we look at the life of an entrepreneur, we always use individuals like Mark Cuban or Mark Zuckerberg as examples for the overall field. In reality, the truth of an entrepreneur is not mentioned nearly enough. The reason for this is that our society craves on instant gratification. Simply put, we want things now and we want them fast. As much as we would like to see this type of change, especially for an up-and-coming business or company, the reality of it is that success (for an entrepreneur) will be a long and arduous journey.

As an entrepreneur, there really are no shortcuts or magic formulas you can do to make this type of turnover overnight. You have to work immensely hard each and every day until things start to develop. Below, you will find the six hard truths that every individual learns during their first year as an entrepreneur. While the lessons themselves are a roller coaster, they are ones you need to learn from so that your company can grow in the future.

1. Failure is Inevitable

Without risk, there is no reward. As an entrepreneur, you will be asked to make a variety of sacrifices. Whether that is your time, your money, or your life, everything will be put on the line if you are expecting to succeed. Now as much as you expect success, there is a high probability that you will experience failure at least once within your business’s life. Why does this happen? This happens simply because entrepreneurs are curious. Entrepreneurs pursue their interest and passion at a means to create an opportunity. As much as curiosity is a means to fuel entrepreneurs, it can lead them to failure. Take for example you are look into promoting a new an innovative product for your company. As great as your intentions were, the path itself leads to failure. When this happens, do not look at this as a chance for you to quit. See the failure as a way to set your new expectations for success. Learn from it and accept it as a way to evolve over the course of your career.

2. Expect Long Hours and Hard Work

While shows and movies such as Shark Tank and Social Network have displayed an imaginative world of ‘golden tickets’ and easy opportunities, the reality of it is that you will be expected to put in a lot of work if you are looking to succeed in your field. Remember, no matter what the name is or what the product, you company and your service is new to the market. In order to establish your ideas and your company, your work will never stop. To accept this, you have to understand that it is not simply the 9 to 5 where your only responsibilities are the task given from the powers above. Rather, you yourself are responsible for every decision and choice set for your company’s future. Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have attested countless times to working around the clock in order for their businesses to succeed. While you may not be running Facebook, the same idea can be applied here.

3. You Have to Constantly Learn

A successful entrepreneur will tell you that they are never done learning. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task that can be learned overnight. In fact, in reality, we cannot learn success. Rather much of it can be attributed from trial-and-error decisions. When you are working to build your company, you will find that you will have no free time to spare. Much of your time, if any, will be spent learning how to improve your network, market, or finance your company at the most optimum and effective way. This ability to ask questions, understand the answers, and absorb the necessary skills will be the ace up your sleeve.

4. The Trials and Tribulations of Marketing

When we think of marketing, we think immediately of getting our name out of there. Well for those who have tried, you will find out that the idea of selling yourself is not always that easy. The best way to market is to focus solely on the product and service itself. Allow the customers to make the connection of how it can benefit them. This type of customer interaction will allow you to branch your product to the right demographic. Keep in mind that there is a cost to your marketing endeavors. Be financially savvy with your money. Find the most cost effective strategy that can set your company for success.

5. Strategy Does Not Equate to Success

The process of thinking strategically can be a challenge especially when you are starting your company. There are various avenues and options you can take lead you to your objective of establishing your company within its perspective field. As much you want to believe that your strategies will take you to your end goal, you need to realize that you will have to inevitably revise, edit, and change your strategy time-and-time again. This happens because, throughout the course of your business, things will change. Because of these unknown changes, you have to be malleable and adaptive to this type of change. Make sure you are able to keep up the pace by changing your strategy when needed. It is that type of change that can lead to a groundbreaking success for your business as a whole.

6. Focus on What You Can Affect

There will be a time where you feel that everything will come at you at once. As much as you want to slow things down, the life and expectation of an entrepreneur will always demand more from you each and every day. That being said, remember that you are human. The best way to handle these tasks is by attacking them one at a time. Focus your energy on projects or objectives in which you can have the most impact. It is that type of strategy that will allow you to get the most ‘bang for your buck.’

What it is to be a Leader

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John Quincy Adams once said that, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” Having a great idea and assembling a team to aid you on your journey is the first step in creating a successful business. But what happens when you hit a bump in the road and morale is down? What if money is tight and the stress levels are at an all time high? The ability to successfully manage, inspire and execute your ideas is what will separate the dreamers from the entrepreneurs. As a leader, you will be required to make difficult and sometimes emotional decisions. Regardless of what happens, you need to own it. The best leaders are those that are able to control their emotions and make their decisions with the utmost reason and purpose. Below, I have outlined some key qualities that every good leader should possess.

A leader needs to be HONEST

Transparency or honesty in the workplace is one of the most important qualities you can bring within the work environment. This quality, often called company ethics, inspires confidence and respect within one another. Remember, you are responsible for a team of people. Instilling these standards in the beginning will provide a strong ethical culture needed in any working environment. Furthermore, discussing with your workers the overall place of the company allows them to see the value of their work or what they can to push it to the next level.

A leader needs to be able to MANAGE

In the broadest sense of the word, a leader is someone who brings people together and guides them towards a common goal. Anyone can tell a group of people what to do. But to be effective, to be understood, a leader needs to be able to delegate. The key to delegation is identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your team and capitalizing on them. This will not only improve the efficiency of the work, but also the culture of the team. It does not mean that they should stay complacent with remedial task. Rather, give them the opportunity to challenge themselves. The one person that can ignite that type of passion is you. Furthermore, with delegating comes logistics. Organization within management will play a large role with your job. Make sure that you have your own systems set up so that the rest can follow. Any derivation from your system can be incredibly detrimental the overall functionality of the team.

A leader needs to be able to COMMUNICATE

In addition to your goals, a leader needs to be able to communicate to every single person regardless of their position. Knowing what you want to accomplish may seem clear in your head. But to others this can be a different story. When you communicate, take into consideration the perspective the individual. Make sure you are able toe break down clearly and succinctly all of the extreme points in order for you to accomplish your goals. Be sure to also relate it to your overall vision. Many people want to see the end goal of their work. Going back and revisiting the vision as a motivator will be one of the most beneficial ways of communicating and delegating a task. Last but not least, be cognizant of the individual. There is a fine line between asking and telling someone to do something. Make sure that you are asking. Asking shows trust and understanding. Telling shows micromanagement and devaluation.

A leader needs to be CONFIDENT

There will be days in the workplace where the future of your company may be worrisome. But that is a just part of life; things do not always go according to plan. Part of your job as a leader is to not just put out the fires, but also maintain the team morale. Remember, you are their leader. You are the person that people look to when things are going array. By staying calm, composed, and confident you will be able to help the team feel the same way. Furthermore, own every decision even if they led to undesired consequences. Your word should be enough for your troops to trust you. All you need to do is be confident in yourself.

A leader needs to be PASSIONATE and COMMITTED

If you are expecting those around you to work and produce at a high quality, you are going to need to lead by example. A lot of the work culture can be impacted and cultivated simply by one individual. As a leader, your job is to an embodiment of your vision. Your commitment to your work needs to be scene each and every day. Even when times are tough, it will be your passion, your charisma, your magnetism that will push everyone to the path of success.