Handle Entrepreneurial Stress like a Professional

geoffrey-byruch-stressIn being an entrepreneur, you have to learn to juggle many different ideas, projects, and tasks all at the same time. This must all be done while you are also trying to build up your own company and create success within your business. One of the significant issues that come into play when entrepreneurs are dealing with multiple things at one time is stress.

Stress is something that hits us all in different ways when we have too much on our plate. The way we handle stress is essential to whether we are successful or not. Not managing your stress can lend itself to a great deal of failure in the entrepreneurial world, and your business will suffer because of it.

Understanding the effects of stress and what causes stress are the first steps to success and also healthily dealing with stress. When you are stressed, your mind automatically begins to think negatively and therefore, shuts down the possibilities of innovation and utilizing your brain to its full capacity. The best thing you can do is realize you are indeed stressed and make a choice to think positively with a small amount of stress. This way, you will continue making plans and ideas that will push yourself and your company forward.

Another way to handle your stress is by removing unnecessary worry. A lot of times, entrepreneurs and business leaders take on a lot at once, and many times, they worry about things that are out of their control. Take the time to make a list of everything that is currently on your mind and stressing you out. Then go through and either delegate things to others or shift your focus from the things that aren’t yours to handle to the issues you can personally deal with.

Instead of continuing to take on project after project or even more clients than your company can handle, just to grow your business, only take on what you can complete right now. If your business is not ready for the influx of clients, then do not take the extra work onto your plate. The same goes for projects. Learn to delegate and take work off of your plate and give it to others who have the extra time to do it. This removes the continued downward spiral of work piling up on top of the work that is already there. It will also help to remove that stress for you.

How the Internet of Things is Changing Small Business

geoffrey-byruch-iotThe small business community remains both progressive and ever-changing, and this is arguably best reflected in its embracing of modern technology. The internet of things (IoT), or the embedding of interconnected devices, stands as a key example of such innovation; from heightened time management to increased mobility, its benefits have only grown more profound in recent years, leading more small businesses to consider IoT-based investments.

Here are a few ways the IoT is currently shaping small business.

General productivity

Broadly speaking, the IoT has shown potential in enhancing internal productivity; this currently being observed on a variety of fronts:

  • Virtual assistants and other bot-based resources have increased efficiency by saving time spent on small, yet collectively hindering tasks — from payroll fact checking to the ordering of office supplies.
  • Some IoT workplaces have observed stronger time management tendencies thanks to interconnected scheduling devices. Workers utilizing a Google suite, for instance, are able to stay on top of daily obligations both at their desks and on the go via connected mobile devices.
  • Detailed business insights stemming from IoT technology have grown into a new analytical norm. Many businesses, especially those previously lacking in proper funding, are now able to effectively track and interpret key customer data via their own connected devices, accessing a potentially vast amount of data in a manner that is both quick and, in many cases, cost-friendly.

Equipment management

More specifically, the IoT has made it easier for certain companies to track and maintain equipment and products. IoT sensor technology is currently revolutionizing inventory management, a variable that, like customer data, may have been difficult to broadly oversee in the past while remaining efficient. Higher level supply chains are now able to tap a culture “rich in analytics, insight, and contextual intelligence and accountability for results” (which itself hinges on advanced IoT functionality) without sacrificing time otherwise spent on complex aggregation and subsequent insight analysis — not to mention the additional time spent on physical equipment errors.

With these notions in mind, it is easy to see why business-to-business (B2B) applications of IoT are currently expected to exceed $300 billion in annual revenue by 2020.

How to Stay Organized at Work

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It is not a secret that recruits and hiring managers are looking for an individual with strong organizational skills. For them, productivity is everything. The more you can do in less amount of time is something that speaks loudly to the efficiency and effectiveness of your day-to-day logistics. That is why it is imperative that you take control of your day and focus on these two segments of your life: 1. Time and 2. Mindset.

Time: “Having a clear mind and a clear space allows you to think and act with purpose.”

One of the biggest flaws to a person’s professional career is getting acclimated to the workload. While you may be new to the job, you will be expected to quickly organize yourself in the most optimal and professional manner. For some people, it can take days. For others, it will take weeks. Whatever is the case, make sure you are able to hone the logistical operations of your day. To do that, you need to be cognizant of your time.

Start the day by structuring your time by either creating a work ‘to-do-list.’ As minimal as it may seem, that will allow you to map out a holistic overview of your day. For many successful professionals, they usually go through their emails and social media updates at the beginning, middle, and end of the day so that they are not overloaded and overstressed. In addition to your emails, make sure you commit to a specific time period when coordinating and scheduling your task. For example, if you have a report or a task due, try and give yourself a particular deadline so that you can continue on to the next task. This will allow you to hit your objectives while also adjusting anything within your schedule as your day continues.

For meetings and breaks, make sure you note that in your schedule. At many companies, they will usually have weekly meetings at specific times. To help get you on track, enter those dates and time in your calendar. One useful tool many people use is Google calendar. Google calendar will help you stay on track while also notifying you of any upcoming deadlines or meetings within the week. Remember, the more logistically sound your schedule is the better. This will eventually give you a specific routine within your day to work at your best with minimal effort.

Mindset: “Never underestimate your strength, never overestimate your weakness.”

When it comes to the job at hand, you have to understand that a majority of your success comes down to your confidence and awareness of a situation. Rather than allowing the situation to overcome your day, take control and focus on doing the right task for the right moment. This will require you to manipulate your schedule when need be. In turn, you will be able to reduce the feeling of overload and procrastination associated with taking on big jobs. To do this effectively, make sure you understand the importance of each day-to-day task. If you have a big project on the line along with a report, try focusing on the more pressing issues. This will give you back the power, even when your schedule may seem overbearing. Try and utilize your checklist as a way to order (or reorder) your day-to-day objectives by importance and priority. That mindset will allow you to stay organized and confident as you accomplish each task on your list.

Now there will be times where things may seem a bit overbearing and downright daunting. Whatever is the case, do not allow this to psych you out. Instead, utilize your list and organizational skills to take control of the matter. That type of confidence will allow you to overcome the hurdles that may potentially block you from succeeding day in and day out.

Avoid these Common Mistakes New and Inexperienced Managers Make

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Congratulations! After all of the time and sacrifice you have put into your company, you have finally been promoted to the position you rightfully earned. This type of achievement is something that will definitely not go unnoticed. But like with anything in life, the higher the climb, the bigger the fall. As a director, supervisor, or manager of your company, it is imperative you understand and internalize the overall struggles that these leadership positions will entail. For many novice and inexperienced managers, they make the big mistake by not internalizing the various ramifications their actions can have on the company and their employees as a whole. Without understanding these flaws, you can find yourself in a very difficult position later on down the road.

To be an effective business leader, it is imperative you understand these overarching mistakes. By highlighting the political, control, and motivation hurdles, you will be able to lead your team in achieving their goals each and every day.

Below, I have highlighted some mistakes new managers have made or seen. While you may still experience some of these mistakes later on down the line, you will be able handle them in the most efficient and effective way possible. To help aid the process, I have broken these flaws into four different categories:

  • Performance Management
  • Career Development
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Skills

Performance Management

As a supervisor or manager at your company, it is important that you maintain a high level of performance and responsibility within your job. One of the biggest mistakes many novice managers make is being slow with dealing with performance issues. Yes, you are essentially the new kid on the block. In fact, you may have employees who undermine your authority because of your age and experience with this leadership position, but this should not deter you away from putting out the fires within your team. If you are noting specific performance issues early on, you will be able to give and create helpful feedback and viable solutions to ongoing or future performance issues. Now while all of this is happening, make sure you document any type of performance, whether they are positive or negative. Understanding the strength of your team will help you adjust your own strategies in leveraging the best out of your employees. If you find that the situation has escalated to unforeseeable outcomes, these notes may give you enough reason to terminate a particular employee. In addition, understanding the strengths of your employees will alone, provide a stronger and more holistic understanding to  those who can handle any high-level task. Remember, play the cards that are dealt. While some might not be in your favor, try and strategize so that they can benefit you your team as a whole.

Career Development

It goes without saying that a great leader is not a person who sets out various objectives, but inspires innovative and strategic action. To do this, it is imperative that you know your employees. Take the time to understand their personal and professional goals. Ask them overarching questions of their feelings about the job and where they see themselves five (ten, twenty) years from now. By understanding their own personal objectives, you will be able to help move them into either a better position or a different company. In addition, make sure you understand their strengths and weaknesses. While I have already mentioned this before, internalizing and noting the strengths and flaws of your workers will give you areas that you know your employees can excel and thrive in. It will also give you areas in which they themselves can grow and professionally develop in the future. Start off with their work. Understand their own personal work ethics and various tasks they can do well. If you know there is one particular flaw that they have, be sure to notify them of that weakness. For some employees, they are unaware of that limitation and can oftentimes overlook their own work ethics. This will give you the opportunity to showcase your leadership skills and build them to be efficient, effective, and consistent rock stars later on in their careers.

Leadership

While leadership has become more of a buzzword within the business sector, you have to understand the various attributes that align to it. Strong and successful leaders look to create and grow opportunities for their team. They will not only allocate any resources that can aid them in their efforts, but also specify what objectives they want to hit each and every day. Now, as much as I can talk about the organizational and managerial skills all leaders encompass within their professional careers, I have to highlight the true goal of a leader, inspiring action. The art of a leader is not to simply dictate various tasks. Instead, they are to inspire creativity, ingenuity, and action. This type of leadership is something that can take a mediocre team in hitting their objectives each and every day. To do this, be positive and transparent. Be informative and creative. And most importantly be decisive and confident.

Organization

Successful managers are great at their jobs because they are simply organized with their day-to-day task. As a manager, your role will require you to create a logistical system that workers in overseeing your employees’ task and your own. One of the biggest mistakes novice managers make is not taking a holistic approach is preparing their systems. Make sure you spend an hour or so compiling a system that works for you. The more organized and sound your logistics are, the better off you will be in executing any task that comes your way.

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.