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12 Advice From Business Gurus To Young And Aspiring Entrepreneurs

12 Advice From Business Gurus To Young And Aspiring Entrepreneurs

While it may seem that most entrepreneurs become successful without any help, this is not usually the case. You can learn a lot from a mentor, but it may take a while to find just the right person. For now, here are some tips from top business gurus that will help steer you in the right direction.

1. Get Over Your Fears

Every entrepreneur is scared, but if none of them got over their fears, there would be no small businesses in the world. Arianna Huffington has been quoted as saying that she finds fearlessness to be a muscle, and the more it is exercised, the stronger it is. The more you face your fears, the stronger you will be.

2. Give Yourself Challenges

Richard Branson may have never finished university, but he lives his education, and considers his life to be an extended university education. He learns something every day, and so can you. Even the little things you learn can be extremely valuable, both in your everyday life and for your small business.

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3. Love what You Do

You need to enjoy running your business, and to do that, you need to love what you do. Steve Jobs says that if you don’t truly believe in what you are doing, you are never going to be completely satisfied in your life. For instance, you may want to write novels, or sell digital products online that you have created. Do what you love, and you will love what you do.

4. Plan Your Financing

Getting financing for a small business isn’t always the easiest task in the world, so you need to create a plan for raising capital. Richard Harroch said, “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.”

5. Be Willing to Take Risks

You never know if something is going to work unless you try. If it doesn’t work, learn from it and try something else. Never stop taking risks, because you will never know what you could actually be doing. Jeff Bezos says that he wouldn’t regret failure, but he would regret not trying, because that is an even bigger failure.

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6. Know what You Want

You need to have a vision, and know exactly what you want. That way, you have something important to work towards. David Karp, founder and CEO of Tumblr, says that an entrepreneur is a person who has a vision and who wants to see that vision come to life. The clearer your vision is, the better able you will be to see it and see what you have to do to make it happen.

7. Listen to Complaints

You aren’t always going to do things right, and your customers will let you know when you aren’t doing things right. Listen to them, and learn from their complaints. Bill Gates has said that your “most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” They can teach you what you are doing wrong and help you to succeed.

8. Learn from Your Mistakes

You can learn a lot from your mistakes, as well as from the mistakes of others. In fact, many successful entrepreneurs will tell you that your mistakes are your best teacher, as long as you are learning from your mistakes.

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9. Take Action

If you don’t do anything with your ideas, you aren’t going to be as successful as you want to be. Walt Disney said that the “easiest way to get started is to quit talking and start doing”. These are wise words that you should include in your mantra.

10. Put In Your Time

Your business isn’t going to be a success overnight. You need to work hard, and put in a lot of hours to be successful. Steve Jobs once said, “If you look closely, most overnight successes took a long time”. Truer words were never spoken.

11.Set Goals

You need to know the goals you want to achieve, and set them. Remind yourself every day about your goals, and each time you do so, jot down a way that you can reach those goals. Ryan Allis said that when you have the end in mind, you are sure to be working toward it daily.

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12. Understand Your Customers

When you know what your customers want, you can give them what they want, and that is going to help you to succeed. Dave Thomas said that knowing your customer was one of his three keys to success.

Featured photo credit: Charis Tsevis via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

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Published on January 28, 2020

How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

As someone who has been in recruiting for over 10 years I can tell you the interview is vitally important to getting that new job you really want. During the interview process, there will most likely be at least 2 interviews, a phone interview and an in person interview. Both are important.

Companies can of course have different interviewing processes but in general, there is at least one phone interview, also known as a phone screen, and a live, in-person interview. The in-person interview can be with one person or it might be with a variety of people. While they are both important, the live interview is typically the one that will make or break you as a candidate for the position you are interviewing for.

Many of the interview questions we will review here will more likely come up during the live interview. But it’s a good idea to be prepared for them on the phone interview as well.

To illustrate how important the live interview is, I’ll tell you about my search that happened a year ago. I’d decided it was time to move on from the role I’d been in for a little over 6 years. As I started researching and looking for a new opportunity, I began down the path with 2 companies. With the one I landed with, I’d had 3 separate phone screens, each one an hour long. They must have thought they went well because I was asked to fly to the city where the corporate office is at and do an in-person interview. — with 8 people.

Yeah, it was a long day. The good news is I rocked the interviews across the board. I flew home that evening and the following day, I received a call with the job offer. That was less than 24 hours after I’d had the in person interview. This is how important the live interview is.

So how to ace an interview? We can dive right in to helping you nail the 10 most tricky interview questions:

1. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

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The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Interestingly enough, a lot of people don’t have an answer to this question. It’s designed to find out if you’ve actually done research on the company and if you are excited about this position.

When I ask this question, many people have told me something like “because it looks like a good opportunity”. I mean, can you be any more generic?

The key to answering this is to show you’ve done research on the company and that you are enthusiastic about the actual position. Companies want people that are excited to work there, not just someone that shows up for a paycheck.

3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.

Don’t worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how it’s important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.

4. Tell Me About a Time You Messed Up

Or tell me about a time something didn’t work out the way you planned. Similar in concept. The key here is to show that you take accountability for your actions and how you react to things going wrong.

Companies like to see that you are willing to accept responsibility for the things you oversee and own up when you are wrong. People that always find a way to blame their missteps on other people or circumstances typically don’t make good team mates.

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The other component here is things don’t always go as planned, how good are you at adapting and thinking on your feet.

5. Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?

This may seem like a place to launch into all the things you don’t like about your current job. Or to talk about what a terrible person your boss is. Don’t do it. That’s the path you do not want to go down. And that’s really what this question tends to prod out of many people.

If I am interviewing you and ask this question and you tell me all the ways your boss doesn’t appreciate you and your company has terrible leadership, I’m thinking what you’re going to be saying about me in a year when you are interviewing somewhere else.

Make sure you are framing your answer in a way that doesn’t shed bad light on your current or most recent employer. You want to focus on things like you’ve enjoyed working for the company but your growth options are limited there so you are exploring outside opportunities.

6. How Would Your Current Manager Describe You?

This question gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths and what your boss appreciates about what you bring to the table. You want to focus on the positive traits that your boss likes and how it helps you in your role.

What you do not want to do is sprinkle in the things your boss doesn’t think as highly of. Don’t say something like my boss would describe me as a focused worker, at least on the days I make it into the office.

7. Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle

Another one of my favorite questions. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are able to deal with roadblocks.

Things don’t always go smoothly, so having people on the team who are able to solve problems has huge upside.

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Being able to overcome obstacles is a great trait to have. Make sure you have a few stories about how something didn’t go as planned that caused a challenge and how you were involved in solving the problem. It’s a way of turning a bad situation into a good one.

8. Why Should We Hire You?

If you are at the point of a live interview, you should be highly interested in the position.

By this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what the role is and how your skills and experience will help you succeed. The reason this question is being asked is to see if you are the right candidate for this role.

This gives you a great opportunity to tell your interviewer how your expertise will positively impact the role. Right now, you are in the spotlight to clearly show that your experience is the perfect fit for the position and why. Shine on!

9. What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

Employers tend to ask this question to gain an understanding of what your big wins were. What are the really impactful things that have happened during your career and how you were the reason why they happened.

This is another great opportunity for you to toot your own horn. What you want to be conscious of is how you tell the story about your biggest achievement. You want to make sure you say why it was such a big achievement.

If possible, it’s always good to include your team as part of the big win. Employers love to hire people who can make things happen but, it’s also important they understand the importance of team work.

10. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

You might be asking yourself why this is a tricky question. Honestly, it’s not a tricky question if you are prepared for it.

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What the interviewer is looking for here is how interested and excited you are for the position. You’d be surprised at how many people answer this question with a blank stare or have no questions prepared.

Again, if you are at a live interview, you should be highly interested in a position and the company. You will convey how interested you are in the opportunity with some well thought out questions to ask.

You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

The Bottom Line

There you go, insight to nailing the 10 most tricky questions during the interview process. There are, of course, many other questions you might get asked during the interview process but, these tend to be the ones that trip most people up.

Remember to take your time and thoroughly prepare for the interview. You don’t have to memorize your answers or anything but having a good idea of how you’d answer these questions will help you ace the next interview.

Here’s to being career advancement ready!

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Featured photo credit: Romain V via unsplash.com

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