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15 Signs You Are Ready To Start Your Own Business

15 Signs You Are Ready To Start Your Own Business
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A family, a home and a steady job. 40 hours of work a week, a pay cheque, and your evenings and weekends off, which you could either dedicate to your better half, your kids or to your hobbies. Or if that doesn’t suit you, you could always hang out with your work buddies instead.

Life’s good, or okay at least. Or is it? While a huge majority of the human race might be complacent with this sort of bourgeoisie lifestyle, not all of us are cut out for it. And the very fact that you’re still reading this article is proof enough for me that you have no intention of identifying as a bourgeoisie.

Oh, I like you! Now of course there are a lot of technical requirements to starting a business. Coming up with an idea, creating a business plan, finding an investment, hiring employees, and the likes.

But before you get into all that, you need to make sure you’re actually ready for the whole being your boss thing. So here are 15 signs that you are ready to start your own business.

1. You are sufficiently motivated

“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.” One of my favorite quotes from Napoleon Hill’s timeless classic “Think and Grow Rich”.

This one’s pretty straight forward. To be ready to start your own business and succeed at it, you would have to really want it first. Do you?

2. You have a confident personality

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” From the book “This is My Story” by Eleanor Roosevelt. We live in a cruel world. Bear that there will always be people trying to hinder or belittle you and your progress.

Now of course, there isn’t a thing in the world that should matter less than the opinions of those poor souls. But the bitter truth is, to most people it does.

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To stand apart, to succeed, you will need to sport a confident personality; to always be sure about what you’re doing or where you’re headed. Are you?

3. You are tenacious

“Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.” Thomas Huxley. Not all successful people possess genius talent. It would be a fair bet to say that a vast majority of them were no different from you and I when they started.

And they failed too. Often. But while most people tend to get demoralized at the first sight of failure, what they did was get right back up and try again. And again. And again. Until they succeeded. Can you?

4. You are passionate about what you are doing

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” A timeless advice from David Frost. Work is hard. Always has been and always will be.

Trick is to choose a line of business you’re so passionate about, that you will actually enjoy working hard. Look at every person in history who started a business and succeeded at it. They’ve always been exceptionally passionate about their work. Are you?

5. You enjoy learning

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” From the American novelist Louisa May Alcott. Like the world in its entirety, the business world is one big mystery. And people who actually believe they know it all might very well know nothing at all.

To successfully “sail your ship” you need to continuously feed yourself with knowledge and ideas. For which you must genuinely enjoy learning. Do you?

6. You have good people skills

“There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.” Dale Carnegie, legendary self-improvement and interpersonal skills guru.

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People constitute the world and influence how it runs. So it’s a no brainer that they ought to be at the essence of any business venture. Might be your investors, or your customers.

To succeed at business, you need to be excellent at understanding other people’s intents, and effectively communicating your ideas to them. Are you?

7. You are a visionary

“The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.” From the author of the popular book “Outliers”, Malcolm Gladwell.

Visionaries make lasting business people. What sets them apart from the casual folks is that they can see to the end. And accordingly, they know what needs to be avoided and what needs to be done to succeed.

If you want to own a business and be successful one at it, you must be know where it’s headed. Do you?

8. You have a good business team

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller. No successful venture in history was ever started alone. Behind every successful “self-made” person you hear about, are seldom heard of people that actually run the engines of the business.

The idea is not to be as independent as you can. That’s simply not how it works. What you need is to have is a team of loyal, dedicated and talented people that not only can, but actually enjoy laying the bricks to your castle. Do you?

9. You are creative

“The painter has the universe in his mind and hands.” Leonardo da Vinci. Creativity is the ability to create new things and find unique solutions to existing problems. Sounds like a pre-requisite to any aspiring business person.

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To stand out in your line of business and succeed, you will have to bring something different to the table. Can you?

10. You despise authority

“If ever you feel like an animal among men, be a lion.” Criss Jami, in “Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality”. It is a rule of thumb. People who have a predisposition to starting a venture and succeeding at it have at the least a healthy disregard for authority.

The very fact that you want to start a business and be your own boss is proof enough that you have no intentions of directly working under someone else. You like to think for yourself. Don’t you?

11. You can take risks

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” John A Shedd. In a world surrounded by uncertainty, fluctuating market for instance, the one who embraces this uncertainty isn’t always safe from its claws. And this very fact scares a vast majority of your competition away from the game.

But you must know that security and success don’t always come hand in hand, especially not as long as you’re still chasing the latter. You’re not in the game for security. You’re here to risk it all and win. Aren’t you?

12. You know your limits

“Oh, I’m not just going too far, I’ve arrived.” Jose Saramago, in “Seeing”. Know when to stop. Even if the years don’t make you smarter, they always make you wiser. And at some point you just realize you can’t have anymore.

That’s when the wise one knows s/he doesn’t need anymore. Successful people can calculate success as well as they can dream of it. Can you?

13. You are organized

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” Benjamin Franklin. Unlike the common folks, business people don’t like to waste more time preparing for a work than on the actual work.

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For a business to succeed, you have to organize few things beforehand. Finding a retail partner or having your own website, as per the business needs, is a pretty good sign that you’re ready to dive into the world of business.

When that’s inevitable, they learn from the new experience and make sure it never happens again. They have everything they need whenever and wherever they want it. Simply put, to be in control you need to be organized. Are you?

14. You are a leader

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis. Often, it’s believed good leaders are born. Actually, good leaders are made, they’re product of experience, training and necessity, amongst others.

And you know a good leader when you see one. Given a vision and all the necessary tools and crew at his/her disposal, a good leader knows how and when to lead. Do you?

15. You know your game

No famous quotation for this one. Simply cause it’s a no brainer. Before you can play a game, you need to know the game. Always know that there are people out there who are already doing what you plan on doing. Many of them professionals. And they’re all your competition.

If you’re planning on entering a particular line of business, you need to make sure you know sufficiently enough if not as much as the people already in that business first. Only then you can act smart. And then, you dribble your ideas to goal. So do you know your game?

Featured photo credit: Business People via Flickr.com via farm6.staticflickr.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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