the true entrepreneur – 3 tips for your success

improve yourself

“Most of you would agree that an entrepreneur is one who is a risk taker, a visionary, thinks outside the box, is passionate and determined, driven and courageous, strong work ethics, highly motivated and creative, a learner and a maverick. These are just the basic characteristics of an entrepreneur.

However, to be a true entrepreneur you must also be a charismatic leader with integrity, who knows how to listen and make decisions, is disciplined and a passionate servant, humble, driven, loyal, a good listener and influential. To be successful, you must be the combination of the two. In addition, you need to develop a procedure of leading that becomes the foundation of your business’ growth and prosperity.

Now, let’s look at why a lot of businesses fail and what you need to do in order to become successful. Here are the 3 tips for your success:

1_Change your mindset!

Most people fail because their mindset remains focused on steady paychecks, job security, benefits, promotions and time off. They get discouraged and give up. Being self-employed means changing your focus from an employee’s mindset, to focusing on being your own boss and doing things your way. Starting a business takes serious focus, day-in and day-out, all hours of the day. Don’t burn yourself out by doing all the work yourself. To be successful, look for others who are the best to do the work for you. Strive to use other people’s time and other people’s talents (OPT). The true entrepreneur will find the best employees or the best specialists to run their business.

2_Be a leader!

Get out of the mindset of having employees and start thinking about building a team. Employees compete with one another and have a win/lose mentality. Build a team that works together, helping one another for a common goal. Teamwork is not just something you teach. It is a lifestyle you live every day. It starts with you. A true leader will take responsibility for the success, as well as, the failure of the team. Learn how to communicate effectively with your people and develop great people skills if you really want be successful.

3_Adjust your focus!

Life has a way of bringing distractions in front of us. Distractions can prevent us from seeing what’s on the other side. If you want your business to be a success, you must look beyond the distractions in life and focus on the joy of gaining possession of your dreams. Allow your focus to bring out the best in you. Robert Kiyosaki has a great definition for focus. In his book entitled Midas Touch, he defines the word FOCUS as Follow One Course Until Successful. You need the strength of character and the ability to stay on course until successful.

When you apply these 3 tips in your life, you position yourself for success. You don’t have to be another statistic. You now have the power to be a success for everyone to read about and follow your example. Develop the qualities of being a true entrepreneur and live the life you were destined to live.”

 Matthew Habbis

how to lose a great employee in 10 ways

random thoughts

“If you’re a good (or even just halfway decent) manager or leader then you probably already know most of this, but it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of them now and again.

1_Be dishonest.
Yes, #1 on the list is dishonesty. Most good employees —and all great ones— have integrity. So lying to them, to their coworkers, or to customers / suppliers is sure to turn them off.

2_Don’t say ‘thank you’.
It’s a small thing, but it really does make a difference. Even small gestures of appreciation help keep talented people motivated and engaged.

3_Forget the values that made your organization a success.
I’ve been part of organizations that truly lived their core values (and even years later can recite them by heart, because they were so prominent).

4_Don’t take time to listen (to their concerns).
Good people almost always actually want what is best for the organization. They may have differing opinions on what that is, but they can be passionate, even fiery about it.

5_Ignore their personal and professional development.
Leaders only follow stronger leaders, so if you want to keep current or future leaders, be sure you are mentoring them. Help them become better professionals and better people.

6_Don’t be selective who you hire in the first place.
We all know that hiring people who really fit and are highly talented is tough. We know that the repercussions of a bad hire are awful for everyone. Make sure people really will fit into your organization.

7_Micromanage.
It’s not just classical micromanagement either. I’ve seen truly exceptional people who excelled in their role end up with their jobs ‘dumbed-down’ to cater to the lowest common denominator and to the point they were no longer challenged or motivated.

8_Set the bar low.
Great people will get discouraged and either leave or adapt to mediocrity if that is what they perceive is deemed acceptable.

9_Be cold and uncaring (to them and to their coworkers).
People are human. Why do we seem to forget this so often? They have personal struggles, ambitions, families, crises, etc. Also, talented people watch how you treat other people, not just themselves, and they take note of it.

10_The ‘usual’ things (under-pay them, intrude into their personal lives, etc.).
Yes, the ‘usual’ things will usually get a good person out of your organization as fast as they can possibly find an opportunity elsewhere.”

Paul Morris strategic finance leader at AlixPartners LLP

3 business lessons from Mexico’s Sinaloa Drug Cartel

random thoughts

“Blockbuster is gone. So are Lehman Brothers, Atari, Pan Am and countless others each year. Startups fail, too, with 80% going belly up within the first 18 months. But here’s something to consider in comparison: criminal syndicates don’t go out of business. The Chinese Triads have been around since the 17th century. For 25 years, Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel has outmaneuvered vicious competition at home as well as the United States’ $51 billion —annually— War on Drugs.

Net margins for criminal organizations shame their legal counterparts; while airlines earn 1.8% and oil companies average 8%, cocaine cartels earn a 93% net margin —for just wholesale. Profit per full-time employee ratios are also off the charts. Google’s profit per FTE is $270,000 and Apple’s is $460,000, both of which are impressive. But the Sinaloa Cartel’s profit per FTE is estimated at $20 million. The global reach of these organizations is also expanding; beyond North America, the Sinaloa Cartel is now active in Europe, Asia, and Australia.

All of this money and growth is happening despite the efforts of governments and law enforcement agencies to eradicate them. And yet criminal syndicates make immense profits mostly in competitive commodities businesses. So how do they do it?

In a word: culture. Criminal syndicates are far superior at creating successful cultures than the vast majority of the Fortune 500. All successful criminal syndicates, across cultures, geographies and endeavors, are primarily culture-driven brands. Despite their significant differences, these culture-driven brands have 3 key attributes in common.

1_Credo
The Japanese yakuza identify themselves as ‘chivalrous organizations’ and operate within strict codes of conduct that express very specific organizational values. The Sinaloa Cartel, unlike its competitors, actively cultivates a populist image and claims to adamantly oppose kidnapping and the murder of innocent civilians. These beliefs govern organizational behavior—who they are, what they do, and what they won’t do. And theses credos are far more actionable and authentic than the ‘values’ posters hung in corporate cafeterias. In place of employee handbooks and other corporate drivel, these organizations have distinctive rituals, symbols and artifacts to express their credos.

2_Improvisation
Corporations can over-index on ‘innovation’. But improvisation is a form of innovation, and just as important. As streaming technologies emerged, did Blockbuster improvise and move quickly to shift the way it did business? Not quickly enough. And that’s reflective of mainstream corporate cultures that tend to think of innovation as a ‘process’ rather than a behavior.
Criminal syndicates are different; they think of innovation as an organizational imperative. A drug smuggler who finds a new way across a border knows that customs agents will eventually discover the innovation, so he needs to always think of new ways. The Sinaloa Cartel was the first to design and construct a tunnel under the U.S.-Mexico border. The cartel also managed to have family members hired as border agents, and even used a catapult to counter a high-tech fence in Arizona. The yakuza benefit from highly diversified revenue streams, which they’ve systematically grown from traditional gambling and prostitution rackets to modern construction and transportation businesses. Where there is a threat or an opportunity, criminal syndicates improvise.

3_Small-but-big
While too many corporations bury employees within organizational charts that are so big there’s specialized software for creating them, criminal syndicates stick to small teams. With just an estimated 150 members, the Sinaloa Cartel produces revenue equivalent to the GDP of Belize (a country with more than 330,000 people). And while the Yamaguchi-gumi is the largest yakuza organization with more than 20,000 active members, those members are spread across 2,500 different businesses and 500 sub-groups. The teams are small, but they can pull significant resources from the whole.
Just as importantly, the small team structure nurtures an entrepreneurial zeal and an emphasis on doing. With so much at risk, with everyone empowered, and with everyone aligned through shared values and a unifying sense of purpose, criminal syndicates use small teams to accomplish really big things.

There it is, the underworld model for success: small-but-big teams inside belief-driven cultures improvising continuously.”

Devin Liddell leads the brand strategy offer for design consultancy Teague

6 bad habits holding you back from success

improve yourself

“We all have bad habits, but bringing your baggage along to the office can be the difference between soaring or stalling in your career. Below are six common workplace bad habits to break if you want to continue moving up the career ladder:

1_Being a lone wolf. Collaboration is the key to workplace success. You need to show you can play well with others. After all, managers and those in charge need to be able to lead a team.

2_Saying sorry. Are you apologizing too much in the office? Saying sorry about every little thing implies you are constantly making mistakes, and can undercut your position in the office and with managers.

3_Taking on every project. Do you get excited by new projects? Do you like jumping in with both feet and finding new challenges? These are great attributes to any employee, but it’s time to learn your limits. If you say yes to every single project, you might soon find yourself unhappy, burnt out, and badly overworked. The word “no” is a powerful thing. Be protective of your time and abilities, and know when one more task is just too many.

4_Being negative. Enthusiasm and passion are traits managers look for in superstar employees who get promotions and excel within the company. No one wants to promote someone who looks miserable to step into the office each day. Ask yourself what would make you wake up excited about your workday, and chase after your dreams.

5_Doing things the way they’ve always been done. Innovation is the lifeblood of any company, yet many workers just come into the office to punch their time cards and collect their paychecks. Lack of innovation in companies, it turns out, is a two-way street.

6_Being disorganized. Imagine how much of your work life is being frittered away every time you misplace a report under a pile of desktop debris. People walking past your cluttered workspace are judging you for your organizational chaos.

Your bad habits don’t have to hold you back from career success. If you tackle these habits head-on, you might just find yourself moving on up the ladder.”

Ilya Pozin serial entrepreneur, writer and investor

the 7 things successful people never say

improve yourself

“Here are the seven things you should strike from your workplace vocabulary if you want to achieve the success you richly deserve:

1_“That’s not in my job description”. When you accepted your current position, you had a good idea of what the responsibilities and workload of the role would entail. Throughout the months or years since you settled into your job, however, your role has expanded and changed shape. Some of these changes have probably been good, while others have made you wish for simpler times. When a boss or manager piles another responsibility on your already sore shoulders, it might be tempting to pull out this classic gem of work avoidance.
The better option, however, is to schedule a time to talk to your boss about your role. A specific conversation about your place in the organization is a good time to bring up the particulars of your job description, not when you’re asked to get something accomplished. No matter how stressed you are or how valid the complaint, dropping this phrase only makes you look lazy and unmotivated.

2_“It can’t be done”. Throwing in the towel makes you look like a quitter — and quitters don’t get promoted. Instead of giving up on a project entirely, frame your response in terms of alternative ways to get the work accomplished. Very little is truly impossible, and most managers and executives want forward-thinking problem solvers to climb the corporate ladder. If you offer solutions instead of giving up, you’ll be seen as a valuable member of the team.

3_“It’s not my fault”. No one wants to work with a blame shifter. After all, it’s just a matter of time before this person eventually shifts the blame onto you. Take ownership of your mistakes instead of pointing out where others have fallen short. Admitting to a mistake shows character and the ability to learn and grow from problems. Pointing the finger at someone else strongly implies you’ll never truly learn from your errors.

4_“This will just take a minute”. Unless something will literally take only 60 seconds, don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Saying something will only take “a minute” also has the side effect of undermining your efforts. Most likely the reason the particular task won’t take long is due to the benefit of your professional experience and acumen. By saying it will “just” take a minute, you’re shortchanging what you bring to the table.

5_“I don’t need any help”. The rugged lone wolf type might be the hero of most action movies, but they’re unlikely to become the hero at your company. You might think you can go it alone on a project or in your career, but teamwork is essential. Being able to work with others is the hallmark of a good leader; you’re unlikely to climb your career ladder always flying solo.

6_“It’s not fair”. Life isn’t fair, and often your career won’t be as well. Instead of complaining, you should look for specific and actionable workarounds to the problems you encounter. Is it unfair a coworker got to run point on the project you wanted? Maybe, but instead of complaining, work harder and go the extra mile. Finding a solution will always be preferable in your professional life to whining about a problem.

7_“This is the way it’s always been done”. Doing things the way they’ve always been done is no way to run a business. Just ask some of the companies which toed the line, accepted the status quo, and went under. Adapting to an ever-changing marketplace is really the only way to survive in an economy constantly being disrupted by the next big thing.
You don’t have to be a slave to the trends, but you also can’t stick your head in the sand and hope things go back to normal. Instead, come up with creative solutions to new problems and innovate, and you’ll soon be in the driver’s seat taking your organization into the future.

Everyone wants to be successful, so make sure your words aren’t holding you back. These seven phrases are career kryptonite — by avoiding them, you can fly into your future and become a successful superstar.”

Ilya Pozin founder of Open Me and Ciplex

15 daily habits of the rich and successful

improve yourself

“Want to grow rich? Why not follow the example of wealthy people by doing some of the very same things they do? You never know, these habits could be the key to your future success — at least, it’s worth a try!

1_Wake Up Early: You’re probably groaning at the very thought of it! But apparently, rich people are way more likely to do it than the rest of us.

2_Keep a To Do List: According to study author Tom Corley, “The daily To Do list is one of the tools the wealthy use to avoid procrastination, accomplish their goals, and maintain control over their day. Wealthy people understand that you cannot become wealthy if you procrastinate”.

3_Read: Love to read? If so, you’re in fine company! 86% of rich people love reading, compared to only 26% of poor people. And most of them make a habit of it. A staggering 88% of rich people read for 30 or more minutes each day — compared to a mere 2% of poor people.

4_Watch Less TV: If you’re one of the world’s richest people, you’re less likely to watch much TV. Maybe that’s because you’re too busy building and maintaining your wealth. Or maybe it’s just not a priority. 65% of the rich limit their TV watching to 1 hour or less per day. Only 24% of the poor do the same.

5_Avoid Reality TV: And when wealthy people do watch TV, it’s less likely to be the reality variety that they turn to. Only 10% watch reality TV — compared to 77% of poor people.

6_Get Your Kids to Volunteer: Giving back is something many rich people take seriously — as is teaching their children to do the right thing. Around 70% of rich people make their kids volunteer for at least 10 hours per month. Only 3% of poor people find themselves able to do the same.

7_Write Down Your Goals: How do the rich achieve so much? Maybe it’s because they’re so goal-oriented. They not only have goals — they also make a point of writing them down. Around 67% of the world’s wealthiest people put their goals into writing, compared to just 17% of the poorest.

8_Focus on Accomplishing a Specific Goal: The well off not only have a list of goals — they prioritize them and work hard to achieve them. A high 80% of wealthy people focus on accomplishing a specific goal. That compares to just 12% of poor people.

9_Listen to Audiobooks: Many rich people find an alternative way of squeezing extra reading time into their day. Around 63% of the wealthy listen to audiobooks during their commute. But only 5% of poor people are believed to do the same.

10_Limit Junk Food: Junk food might be cheap, but it’s also horrible for your health. Perhaps that’s why 70% of rich people limit junk food calories to 300 per day — whereas 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories each day.

11_Exercise: Most rich people place a high value on physical fitness. Around 76% of the wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days per week — compared to just 23% of the poor. Why? According to Tom Corley, “Wealthy people are healthy people. To wealthy people being healthy is about making more money. If they’re healthy they have fewer sick days, they’re exercising, they have more energy, they maintain health their entire lives so they can work longer careers”.

12_Network: Rich people realize the power of networking. 79% of the wealthy network for 5 or more hours each month. Poor people are less likely to put a lot of time into networking — only 16% say they spend over 5 hours doing so per month.

13_Encourage Your Kids to Read Non-Fiction: Rich people may be more likely to instill the importance of reading non-fiction into their children. Approximately 63% of rich people encourage their kids to read at least 2 non-fiction books each month — compared to just 3% of poor people.

14_Believe Good Habits Create Opportunity: A high proportion of rich people believe in establishing and maintaining good habits. Roughly 84% of the wealthy believe good habits create opportunity. Only 4% of the poor believe that. Conversely, 76% of the rich think bad habits have a negative impact. Only 9% of poor people are inclined to agree with them.

15_Believe in Lifelong Educational Opportunity: A high percentage of wealthy people see the benefits of a lifetime of learning. Roughly 86% believe in lifelong educational self-improvement — whereas only 5% of poor people can say the same.”

http://www.teendayz.com

 

let’s stop the glorification of busy

improve yourself

“Here are ten tips from Arianna and Thrive for creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder:

1. Redefine success.There’s no prize for working the most hours per week or making the most money.

2. Avoid burnout, stress and depression. Working harder doesn’t necessarily mean better results–in fact it can have the exact opposite effect.

3. Nurture your well-being. Make time to take care of yourself in terms of exercise, meditation, music, art, and family life–this isn’t selfishness, it’s good sense.

4. Sleep your way to the top. Get more sleep. Not getting enough sleep is associated with health risks and higher stress levels.

5. Take a digital detox. When’s the last time you turned off the cellphone and focused 100% on the people you’re with?

6. Keep learning. Learning shouldn’t stop when you’re out of school–indeed, that’s when learning may truly begin.

7. Listen to your inner voice. Listen to your gut feelings and be in touch with the perspective of your own thoughts.

8. Act like a child. Every action doesn’t have to advance your ability to earn money or exercise power.

9. Find solitude. Meditation helps relieve stress and helps us tap our inner voice. If you don’t like being with yourself, how can you expect others to like being with you?

10. Give back to your community. Being a compassionate person and helping others can help solve some of society’s biggest problems. Find a way that you can share your unique talents or time with a local shelter, an elderly home, or at your children’s school.

The question is: are you ready to stop the glorification of busy and start redefining success?”

Guy Kawasaki  author, speaker, investor and business advisor

losing sight of the forest for the trees

concepts & definitions

“The idea behind this metaphor is that when you are too close to something, you can get mired in the details and have difficulty focusing on the way those details fit together into a big picture.

During the past 10 years, psychologists Yaacov Trope, Nira Liberman, and their colleagues have provided a lot of evidence for what they call “construal level theory:” The closer you are to an object or event, the more specifically you think about it. While the more distant you are to that object or event, the more abstractly you think about it. This idea has important implications for your creativity.

So to help yourself think about a problem you are solving more abstractly, it is useful to give yourself some distance from that problem. There are several ways to create that distance: imagine that you are solving the problem for someone else rather than for yourself; think about what the solution to the problem will look like 5 years in the future rather than right now, think about how people 1.000 miles away might be conceptualizing the problem. Each of these methods helps to create some distance, and that can help you focus on the more abstract parts of the situation.

After you re-think the problem, though, it is important to focus on the details again. So, once you have an insight that changes the way you think about the problem, focus on it close up again. In that way, you can ensure that the solution you develop will also address the little things that can make the difference between success and failure.”

Art Markman for 99u (Behance)