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7 Valid Reasons To Start A Business

7 Valid Reasons To Start A Business

What’s not to like about being your very own boss? You decide your own work hours. You set your own rules. And there’s no office drama to get in your way, right?

Wrong.

These fantasies cater to the illusion of an ideal work environment. In reality, you have to be ready to face the challenges that come with putting up your own business. You decide your own hours, but you’ll frequently need to adjust your schedule to accommodate more work. You get to set your own rules, but adhering to them won’t simply be a matter of discipline – it could make or break your company. And while you certainly won’t have to tolerate petty office drama, you’ll still have to deal with difficult people day in and day out.

Before you start a business, you need to have the desire, drive, and passion for change and innovation. Wanting to simply escape office politics is not enough. Shallow, self-centered motivations will not give you the drive to last on your own in any industry. In the end, you’ll give up and ask yourself “What am I doing? Who am I kidding? This is not for me.”

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Before you decide to jump on the entrepreneurial bandwagon, consider these 7 valid reasons to start a business:

1. You have an idea you can’t stop thinking about

“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”  –Josh James, CEO and Co-Founder of Omniture

Do you often ponder an idea before you go to sleep and think about it again first thing in the morning? Does brainstorming this idea leave you staring into space for hours? If you keep thinking about bringing this idea into reality, perhaps fate is telling you to make that move. When Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky first turned a profit renting out three air mattresses on their apartment floor and serving breakfast, they thought their idea could actually work. It did. What started as two guys’ solution to earn rent money is now called Airbnb.

2.  You have a solution to a major problem

“One can get anything if he is willing to help enough others get what they want.”  –Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker and Author

This is the reason some businesses thrive and grow into huge corporations. All problems are meant to be solved, but not all of them require mega fundraising or massive investments. You need to have the solution to a large-scale, tangible problem. Dave Barnes, CEO and Founder of Gym and Fitness, started his business at the young age of 18. He was shopping for home gym equipment and noticed a huge gap in the online market. What started out as a hobby quickly became an obsession. He quit school, and is now the owner of multiple gym equipment stores all over Australia.

3. You are in a perfect situation

“Even if you don’t have the perfect idea to begin with, you can likely adapt.”  –Victoria Ransom, Co-Founder of Wildfire Interactive

You are in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. This formula often leads to something epic. If an opportunity comes knocking, and you feel with all the bones in your body that it’s best thing to do, then you should probably follow your instincts. When Chad Mureta, founder of App Empire, got into a debilitating accident that left him in the hospital with a mountain of bills, he took a leap of faith by venturing into an industry he was not familiar with. Now, Mureta has already produced 46 apps and sold three app companies.

4. This is your passion

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  –Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple

If you’re starting a business just because you can, then you’re starting out wrong. It takes more than knowledge and experience to become a successful entrepreneur. Hannah Grant, owner of Captura: Wedding Photography in Adelaide, started her business because she was drawn to capture the emotions of people and paint those heartfelt, authentic, joyful sensations through photography. That is passion. It’s beyond the financial aspect. If your work is your passion, then you won’t have to work a single day in your life.

5. You are born to be an entrepreneur

“Trust your instincts.”  –Estée Lauder, Founder of Estée Lauder

Do your friends or relatives often say you have huge potential to succeed in business? Did you ace your backyard lemonade stand or your scout troop’s cookie quota when you were a kid? You should use that unique instinct on something bigger. That is a trait that cannot be learned over time. It’s something you are born with. Embrace it. Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, began what is now a groundbreaking company specializing in innovation in technology… in his parents’ garage.

6. You have years of experience behind you

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”  –Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder and former CEO

Like a soldier, trained and armored for war, you already know the ups and downs of your business and the complex nuances of your industry. You know this is what you want. You have years of experience behind you. It’s time to blaze a new trail. Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, co-founders of Home Depot, were once fired from their executive jobs. However, that didn’t stop them from revolutionizing the home-improvement industry. Combined, they had years of experience in the industry and changed how we deal with DIY projects.

7. You’re a fresh graduate

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” –Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO of Facebook

You just graduated and you’re ecstatic. Let that feeling make you do crazy things you’ll probably not want to do in three or four years. Use that confidence to start your own business. What’s there to lose when you have all the time you need? While your friends work toward a promotion at some other company, you’re on your way to becoming the boss of your own company. Mark Zuckerberg was an undergraduate when he started Facebook, but fast-forward, and his one-time “hot or not” site has become a central part of our lives.

As Mr. Donald Trump once said, “You have to think anyway, so why not think big?” Yes, becoming an entrepreneur is always risky. Yes, it’s constantly changing. And yes, there’s no such thing as playing it safe. But the feeling of accomplishing something, doing what you love the most — that feeling will just propel you to go further. You never know – you might become the next Bill Gates!

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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