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8 Life Hacks for Millennials Who Want to Achieve Success

8 Life Hacks for Millennials Who Want to Achieve Success

We live in a time in which anyone with a good idea and the drive to bring it to life can find success. However, it’s not as easy as putting your idea out there and waiting for the money to start rolling in. There’s a lot of tough work involved, especially when starting your own business. While it can be intimidating getting your business off the ground, keeping the following maxims in mind can help get your entrepreneurial excursion off on the right foot.

1. Wade in, don’t dive.

This is not to say you shouldn’t put your all into your business venture, but you definitely do not want to overwhelm yourself to the point of giving up before you even get moving. Learn as much as you can, but do so systematically. There’s a lot to know about running your own business, but you should gain a strong foundational knowledge of entrepreneurship before you tackle the more advanced techniques and ideas. Set intentional daily, weekly, and monthly goals for your education, and keep track of what you’ve learned on a daily basis.

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2. Be frugal.

We’ve all heard the saying “You gotta spend money to make money,” but that shouldn’t persuade you to go broke chasing your dream. You definitely need to invest in your business venture to get it off the ground, but don’t assume you will be an automatic success and spend all your extra cash on frivolous items. A year or two living in a studio apartment might be rough while getting going, but it will make for a good start to your biography when you’re 40 and own a home in the Hamptons.

3. Invest in yourself.

Like I said, you are definitely going to have to shell out some cash to get moving toward success. But spend that money wisely. Spend it on your education and your future. You don’t even necessarily need to have a four-year degree to gain the knowledge to be a successful businessman. Check out online courses and workshops. Many are available for free, or at the fraction of the cost of tuition at a large university. Even though you might start out your career in the red, you shouldn’t put a price on your education.

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4. Meditate.

Many successful businessmen have discussed the benefits of meditation at length. Meditating calms the mind, body, and spirit, and allows you to spend time in deep reflection. Use this time to clear your head of all the nagging issues which plagued you throughout the day. After you have spent time calming your nerves and mind, come back to the pressing issues that were causing you trouble before with a fresh head and new perspective. It’s a much better strategy than plodding through and burning yourself out.

5. Stay healthy.

Speaking of avoiding burnout, you can’t be productive if you’re bedridden. It’s good to be ambitious, but it’s not good to neglect your body’s needs in favor of your business. Take time to do some exercise on a daily basis. Don’t skip out on meals, no matter how much work you have to do. And get enough sleep. Your body will thank you for going to bed at a normal hour by waking you up earlier than you expected. Listen to what your body tells you, and don’t put it off. You could end up doing much more damage to your venture than will be done if you just call it quits early for a day.

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6. Network.

You definitely can’t go it alone in today’s business world. You have to make connections in order to help your business, and your own self, grow. Of course, it’s incredibly easy to hop on LinkedIn or Twitter and connect with hundreds, if not thousands, of other likeminded individuals. But the most worthwhile connections you’ll make will be the ones you’ve made in person. These are the people you can really learn something from, and who will take your business venture seriously. Put yourself out there and find people who you can truly connect with.

7. Be innovative.

If you don’t want to create another middle-of-the-road company whose mantra is “reach the status quo,” you’re going to need to be an innovative thinker. Analyze common problems faced by people of all walks of life, and attack the issue from a variety of perspectives. Try to come up with new, inventive solutions that use resources differently and more effectively. Accept that entrepreneurship involves a series of trials and errors, and it will take time and effort for you to make your first breakthrough. When you do get there, it will certainly be worth it.

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8. Keep pushing.

Like I said, it’s highly unlikely your first major breakthrough as an entrepreneur will come immediately. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Use the information you gleaned through your failed experiments and trials to make more informed decisions during subsequent attempts. As long as your knowledge and understanding continue to grow, your failures aren’t truly failures at all. It’s when you stop trying altogether that you’ve truly wasted your talents.

Featured photo credit: Steven Depolo via Flickr via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on July 15, 2019

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

This is an article I didn’t want to write. Even if it appears that way on the surface, few things are black and white. Between the two colors is a world of gray. Notwithstanding the bosses who behave criminally, some of the people who carry the “bad boss” label have possibly been, or have the capacity to become, a “good boss.”

This is an article I didn’t want to write because I understand that depending on whom you ask, many of us could be labeled either a good or bad boss.

Perhaps another reason I didn’t want to write this article is because context matters. Context for the organization and context for the individual. What is happening in the organization? What is the culture? Is the “boss” in a position for which the individual is equipped to do the job? Is the person in a terrible place in life? The office culture, the relationship a team member has with a boss or board and the leader’s personal life can all influence how the person shows up and leads and how others perceive the individual.

But since I am writing this article, I will share a few signs that bosses are bad and in need of a timeout.

1. Bad Bosses Don’t Know and Haven’t Healed Their Inner Child

If you plan to lead people – well, if you plan to effectively lead yourself – you must get reacquainted with your inner child. Just because you are in young adulthood, middle age or the golden years doesn’t mean your inner child matches your chronological age. If you experienced trauma as a child, your inner child may be stuck at the point or age of that trauma. While you walk around in a woman’s size 10 shoe, your behavior may showcase an inner child who is much younger.

In a June 7, 2008, Psychology Today article, Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D., observed,[1]

“The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older … But, psychologically speaking, this is not adulthood. True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child. For most adults, this never happens. Instead, their inner child has been denied, neglected, disparaged, abandoned or rejected. We are told by society to ‘grow up,’ putting childish things aside. To become adults, we’ve been taught that our inner child—representing our child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness—must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises and potentiates these positive qualities. But it also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers.”

Sometimes the key that your inner child needs tending to is conflict with someone else’s inner child.

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Good bosses are aware of the ups and downs of their childhood, have worked or are working to heal their inner child and are aware of their triggers. Good managers use this awareness to manage themselves, and their interactions with others. Bad bosses are oblivious to how their inner child impacts not only their life but the lives of others.

2. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Accept Feedback

Bad bosses are not intentional about creating an environment where their peers and colleagues can share feedback about their leadership. They don’t solicit feedback. Given the power dynamic that managers, CEOs and others in leadership yield, they must go out of their way to solicit feedback, and they must do so repeatedly.

Before being completely honest, most team members will test the waters and share low-stakes information to get a sense for how their boss will respond. If the boss is angry or retaliatory, team members are less likely to risk being candid in the future.

So being unable to accept feedback takes on two forms: failing to proactively and repeatedly ask for feedback and reacting poorly when feedback is shared.

3. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling to Give Timely Feedback

The flip side of accepting feedback is giving feedback. Both require courage. It takes courage to open yourself up and accept feedback on ways that you need to grow. Similarly, it takes courage to share honest feedback about a team member’s or colleague’s performance or behavior.

Since not everyone is open to accepting feedback, whether they’re a manager or not, having an honest conversation about areas a team member or colleague has missed the mark, is not always easy. Still, good bosses will find a way to share feedback, and they’ll do so in a timely fashion.

Withholding feedback and sharing it months after a situation has unfolded or in a snowball fashion is unhelpful to the employees. One of the ways we grow as leaders is through feedback. When people have the courage to tell us the truth, that information allows us to progress.

4. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Acknowledge Their Mistakes

Owning their mistakes is like a disease to bad bosses; they do not want it. Instead of being risk averse, they are accountability averse. The problem is that they can only gloss over their weaknesses or failures for so long; the people around are able to see their flaws and weaknesses, and bad bosses pretending they don’t exist is not helpful. It is infuriating.

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However, bad bosses are masterful at reassigning blame. They are unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes — small or large. But career expert Amanda Augustine told CNBC “Make It” in May 2017, that “good managers also admit their mistakes.”[2] They don’t pass the blame or pretend they didn’t make a mistake. They own it.

5. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling or Incapable of Being Vulnerable

Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill. But well-placed and well-thought out vulnerability enables employees to see their leaders’ humanity, and it creates a way for leaders to bond with their teams.

Bad bosses may talk about vulnerability, but they don’t practice it in their own lives, particularly in the workplace.

6. Privately, Bad Bosses Do Not Live Up to the Organization’s Stated Values

Bad bosses may publicly spout the values of the organization they work for, but privately they either don’t believe or don’t embody those values.

If they work for an environmental group, they may not practice sustainability in their private lives. Their words and actions are incongruent.

7. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Inspire Others

When bad bosses are unable or unwilling to take the time to inspire others, they lead through fear or command. Neither are helpful.

A culture dominated by fear will stifle creativity and risk taking that can lead to innovation. An autocratic management style will have a similar effect in that team, members will not feel they have the space to step outside of the box they have been placed in.

A good boss is someone who takes time to share the big picture and time to inspire their teams to want to be a part of it.

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8. Bad Bosses Are Disinterested in How Their Behavior Impacts Others

They are narcissistic and focused on self-preservation. In “19 Traits of a Bad Boss,” Kevin Sheridan said,[3]

“Terrible bosses are endlessly self-centered. Everything is about them and not the people they manage or what is going on in their employees’ personal lives. It is never about the team, but rather all about how good they look. Conversely, great bosses lead with integrity, honesty, care, and authenticity.”

Rather than seeing their team’s talents and seeing people’s full humanity, bad bosses believe their team exists to serve them. Families, personal life and priorities be damned. Bona fide bad bosses believe that their comfort should be prioritized over their team’s needs and desires.

9. Bad Bosses Have Likely Received Negative Feedback

Bad bosses have likely been told that they are poor supervisors. They have likely been told time and time again that their behavior is harmful to the people around them.

Perhaps they do not know how to change or are unwilling to change. But bad bosses certainly have received clues, insights and direct feedback that their management style and behavior are harmful to others.

Even when someone hasn’t explicitly said, “Your behavior is harmful to me and others,” the absence of feedback indicates a problem. It can mean that the leader’s team doesn’t feel safe enough to share feedback, that people do not believe the leader will act on what is shared, or that people have determine the best strategy is to avoid the boss as much as possible.

10. Bad Bosses Are Perfectionists

Bad bosses are driven by an internal urge to be perfect. Perfectionists don’t just want to be perfect; they want everyone around them to be perfect as well. This is a standard that neither they nor their team can live up to.

Since perfection is illusive, they spend their time chasing their shadow and being frustrated that they cannot catch it. They are unable to enjoy the journey and often block others from doing so as well. They let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.” Rather than embracing a growth mindset that desires to learn and improved, they are compulsive and toxic.

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If you are like me and you see yourself in parts of this list, do not despair. A bad boss can change. The key is seeking honest feedback and being willing to work through that feedback and your triggers with a therapist or coach.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your age and the mistakes you have made, you can change and become a healthier leader whom others respect and appreciate.

Conversely, if you are employed by a bad boss, do everything in your power to take care of yourself. Understand that your boss’s behavior, even if directed at you, is not about you. Your boss’s reactions, if and when you make a mistake, is a reflection on that individual, not you.

To survive the work environment, think about the lesson you are meant to learn. You can do this with a trusted therapist or capable coach. However, if you deem the work environment to be toxic and harmful to your health, seek employment elsewhere.

In the end, this is an article I did not want to write, but I’m happy I did.

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

Reference

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