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7 Reasons Being an Entrepreneur a Great Life Decision

7 Reasons Being an Entrepreneur a Great Life Decision

When most people come to the realization that their decision to become an entrepreneur is a life-long decision, they’re almost instantly confronted with the feeling of fear and uncertainty. While being an entrepreneur isn’t a smooth journey, life isn’t either. But if you’re out there wondering if your decision to own your business and leave your 9-5 day job behind is the right decision, I want to assure you that you’re on track to make the best decision of your life.

Have you ever wondered what life as an entrepreneur feels like? Well, the following feeling is what you get as an entrepreneur.

1. You’ll get to live the life of your dreams

Not everyone gets to live their dream lifestyle, and certainly not a majority of people that work 9-5 jobs. Many people have had tough economic times and wrong executive decisions cut their dreams short. Being an entrepreneur puts you on path to live the life of your dreams.

What most people like to associate with entrepreneurship is hard work, sleepless nights, and worries over whether they are making the right decisions or not. However, many fail to see the beautiful side of being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson, Neil Patel, Tim Sykes make good efforts to show the beautiful sides of entrepreneurship.

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By following the path of entrepreneurship, you’ll get to live the life of your dreams once success comes your way.

2. People Will Respect You

In the world where a larger percentage of its population are uncertain of what the future holds, a young person who has made the decision to take his/her own world into their hands sure gets a lot of respect from people. My friend, Olawale Daniel of Techatlast.com recently told me how so many people were asking him to sign autographs when they learned he runs his own business. This is the “cool guy/gal” atmosphere you carry around as an entrepreneur.

Your parents and siblings will have even higher level of respect for you the moment you make the big announcement that you’re going to start your own business.

3. You’ll Learn More about Money than Your Friends Would

One thing entrepreneurs learn very quickly is how money works. Someone working in a 9-5 job may not need to bother to learn about how money functions because they practically have everything handed to them. As an entrepreneur, you will learn, firsthand, that without money life can be tough.

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Young entrepreneurs like myself may find it hard to control how money goes out of their pocket, but, trust me, with a couple of hard knocks from the real world, you’ll quickly learn to keep your wallet closed tightly.

4. You Will Be In Control of Your Financial Life

A higher percentage of the problems we encounter in life are money-related. When you’re working for someone, they control your financial life. You only get paid when they decide you will. Should they mismanage the company’s funds, you may not get paid for what you’ve worked for.

Being in control of your financial life is such a beautiful thing. There are dozens,even hundreds, of books on financial management, but you’ll never get a practical experience of full financial control without running your own business.

5. You’ll Get to Know Most of Your Dream Businessmen and Women

As kids, we grow up admiring certain people. For most people they are athletes, movie stars, and authors while for others they are successful business people and politicians. The chance of meeting these people and interacting with them in the real world is just as slim as winning a lottery ticket.

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An opportunity to meet and even work with one or more of the people you admire growing up is one of the life perks entrepreneurship brings you. In 2014, Richard Branson gave several young inventors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet with him one-on-one and share their ideas with him.

So many successful business people, athletes, and movie stars love to interact with young entrepreneurs. Just don’t forget — once you have hit the big time, give back to the kids that look up to you.

6. You’ll Live a Life Full of Courage

If there’s one thing entrepreneurs are not, it is being a coward. Entrepreneurship will help you develop self confidence and a great sense of courage. Deciding to take your career into your own hands by starting on your own business sure takes a very great amount of courage.

So when you want to think about some other life benefits of being an entrepreneur, being courageous should count as part of it.

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7. You Get to Shape Other People’s Career

How often do you get to feel the sense of responsibility when others are involved, especially when it has to deal with their career? As an entrepreneur, you get to hire people to work for you and your business. This gives you a rare opportunity to help build people’s careers.

When you wake up every morning, remembering that a family is able to feed itself and live the life of their dream is all because of you makes you feel fulfilled.

So when you think about the decision to become an entrepreneur, think of it as your life’s best decision.

Featured photo credit: Liqueur Felix via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

More Tips on Advancing Your Career

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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