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6 Lessons For Entrepreneurs From Game Of Thrones

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6 Lessons For Entrepreneurs From Game Of Thrones

Game of Thrones is coming to us with a 6th season, which is a great opportunity to review what we know about the series until now. And more important, what we learned from the series. While most people focus on the murders, I tried to go beyond them and analyze why each character did those outrageous things. And this is how I found Game of Thrones offers a lot of valuable lessons for entrepreneurs!

1. Do not owe anyone, anything

The famous line of the Lannisters is “A Lannister always pays his debts”, which is probably the most valuable tip in this list of lessons for entrepreneurs from Game of Thrones. If Tyrion and his gang used this rule to justify the slaughter, entrepreneurs can use it to make sure their business thrives.

As a businessman your goal is to maximize the profit, but you must always pay your debts! As soon as you leave your debts to gather, you enter a downward road, which is not going to end with a cool breeze from the business market! In fact, not even the most powerful air conditioner will be able to cool down your employees and partners, if you’ve failed to pay them on time. Worse, your business rivals are waiting for this dark scenario to happen, so they can steel your employees and partners, along with your internal secrets.

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The take away: always pay your debts, for the safety of your company.

If you do fail, everyone in the market will recognize you as a reliable, serious entrepreneur, so they will be willing to work with you again.

2. Do not fear bad times

Littlefinger’s favorite line is “Chaos is not a pit, but a ladder” and he couldn’t be more right! For an entrepreneur, the best times are bad ones, when you need to struggle and learn a lot of things on the go. During bad times you have to act fast and dare to take bold decisions. If your company manages to survive during tough times, when the storm makes room for bright sun, your company is going to sail in full bloom. One of the best lessons for entrepreneurs you can take away from Game of Thrones is seeing tough times as opportunities, not obstacles.

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3. If you need to reinforce your status as a leader, you’re sitting on a thin layer of ice

As an entrepreneur, you have to inspire your employees and partners and gain your status as a boss. Successful entrepreneurs never have to say they are the boss, just like respected people never have to say “respect me”. In Game of Thrones, the Lannisters, (“Any man who must say I am the king is no true king”) act as rulers and they are seen as rulers. In real life, you need to act like a boss, take the right decisions, be objective and never cross the boundaries. If you are a good entrepreneur, power will come to you on the way, as well as respect and profit.

4. Don’t be afraid to speak up

Tyrion Lannister also offers a great lesson for beginner entrepreneurs: he might not be taken seriously at some times, but this doesn’t stop him from speaking out loud. When you are a young entrepreneur, or you’re not even currently holding the status of an entrepreneur, but you wish you could run your own company one day, you need to be bold enough to speak up your mind. Don’t be afraid to step up in front of the line and share your ideas – you might be noticed by someone!

5. Don’t be unfair to your employees or partners

The entire Game of Thrones series is rich in bloody leaders who inspire fear in everyone who dares to look up to them. With one exception: Daenerys. The blonde teen becomes the beloved Khaleesi due to her kindness. When you translate this into business world, you gain important lessons for entrepreneurs: don’t be cruel entrepreneur, employer and partner. Yes, you do want people to respect you and listen to you, but using cruelty is not the way to gain loyalty.

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Never try to intimidate others and gamble on your skills to get contracts and grow your business. In the long run, this approach will gain you a lot of friends and trusted partners, which are essential for a successful entrepreneur.

Also, listen to your team! If you fail to do this, you might become a despised leader. Looking at Game of Thrones’ Joffrey Baratheon, you can see the side effects of such a leader. On the business market, being despised is a sure way to kill your company, as your reputation is an important drive for businesses.

6. Never break your word

In businesses, your word is sacred! Once you’ve broken a promise, you’ve lost your word as well as your credibility. Without a valid word, you are going to have a tough life in the business world, where many agreements and contracts start with a discussion at a smoke. Retrieving your credibility is almost impossible, so make sure you never break a promise. Who taught us this from Game of Thrones? Robb Stark, who promised to wed a Frey woman, than completely forgot about it and we all know the bloody consequences of his broken promise.

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Lastly, remember the iconic line from Game of Thrones: Winter is coming!

The House of Stark doesn’t want to message us all that it’s time to open the winter coat chests, but they want to say they are always looking forward to make sure they are never caught on a bad foot. Back to business, you have to look in the future and make sure you stay up to date with the latest innovations and technologies. The sooner you do this, the better for you. If you are preparing your “winter coats” in the summer, you are definitely going to win the Game of Businesses!

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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