Advertising
Advertising

5 Things Entrepreneurs can Teach Us about Confidence and Conviction

5 Things Entrepreneurs can Teach Us about Confidence and Conviction

Whatever you are pursuing in life, and whatever your goals are, you need to believe in yourself, be confident about your ideas no matter how crazy they might seem, and simply make a move.

The best way to learn about success is from entrepreneurs, as most of them went from rags to riches because they had a vision, a dream, confidence and conviction. So, take a chance in life. After all, if you don’t make your dreams come true, someone will hire you to build their dreams.

1. Look your fear in the eyes

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

This quote, although it does not come from a traditional entrepreneur, tells the real truth about fear. Remember what you were afraid of when you were little, and what your attitude is towards that now. Take for example, the fear of the dark. Back when you were little, turning off the lights at night meant letting all the monsters out. Now that you are older, turning off the lights means one thing, that it’s finally time for some silence, a good night’s sleep. The same goes for any business you are pursuing. Whatever fear you have, know that more experienced people find that an advantage.

Advertising

What distinguishes an entrepreneur is that they looked their fear in the eyes, and made a move. They certainly aren’t fearless, they are humans after all. But at the beginning of their career, they feared they can lose everything, that they were not competent for something, and that they were simply not good enough to become successful. However, they didn’t let all that stand in the way of their dreams. When it comes to anything in life, fear the fear itself, because it is your biggest enemy, and will keep you down if you let it.

When you make a move, and fearlessly step into the business world, later on you might also be scared of some challenges. Don’t let fear stop you. Because, as Richard Branson said “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” Make a mistake, and learn from it. Be confident in your knowledge and goals, so you can work on solutions, and not problems. Only this way can you achieve something worthwhile.

2. Self-doubt prevents success

“When in doubt, dare.”  Robin Sharma

Having self-doubt means that you lack confidence and have almost no conviction. Whatever you want to achieve in life, don’t doubt your skills and knowledge. What doubt does to you, is prevent you from succeeding in something. Doubt takes you one step back, and makes it impossible for you to actually do something. Moreover, if you have partners or clients, be sure that they will notice your insecurities, which will only lead to not trusting you with their money. Learn how to deal with your insecurities, so you could guarantee yourself a long-term success.  If you don’t believe in yourself, other people won’t either.

Advertising

Therefore, whenever in doubt, dare, try and stick to your dreams. This is when confidence and conviction play their important role. They are the ones that will keep you going, and help you achieve everything you ever wanted. Even if you fail, you will learn a lot, which will lead to inevitable success.

3. Growth mindset and believing wholeheartedly in yourself

image01

    “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had – everyday I’m learning something new.” Richard Branson

    Your whole life is a path of knowledge, and everyday you are making mistakes and achieving some goals. Those might be unimportant and small tasks, but they develop your skills. For example, in everyday communication with people, you learn what attitude you need to have when speaking with some people, when to just listen, and how to have a discussion without becoming nervous. Every step in life, and a business move, is a chance for you to learn.

    Advertising

    When you realize those small situations that shape you, you’ll start asking yourself how you can get better in something. This means having a growth mindset, which makes you work on yourself, your skills, and improving your knowledge. The opposite of a growth mindset, is a fixed mindset, which you can easily recognize when speaking with people who constantly ask themselves how good they are.

    A growth mindset means learning from mistakes, failures, and not being affected by negative feedback. Make sure you wholeheartedly believe in yourself, constantly try to improve and don’t doubt your every move. Only this type of mindset can achieve something, while a fixed mindset will constantly be lost in the past, negative things, and stay at the bottom because of a lack of confidence, courage and conviction.

    4. Conviction gets you into business, and keeps your enemies away

    “If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”- Steve Jobs

    Only when you have overcome your fears and became courageous, can you do something big. However, for all that you need to believe in yourself and what you are doing. When you strongly believe in those two things, there’s no one who can bring you down. People who just merely hope, can easily stray away from their path to success, or even be tricked into deviating from it. When you do something, put your heart into it and don’t let anyone tell you different.

    Advertising

    Conviction will put your fears behind and make you brave enough to take the first step towards fulfilling your dream. And when you’re running a business, conviction will be there to make it all possible and, more importantly, make it all happen.

    5. Stick to your code of ethics and morality when faced with adversity

    “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” – Ryan Freitas, co-founder of About.me

    When you face an unpleasant situation, where you might be tempted to question your morality and ethics, the best thing to do is remember who you were at the very beginning. Ask yourself what that person would do, and you’ll have the answer. Never risk your reputation and integrity for money or career. Remember the beginning when you were so courageous and sure in your vision that you could slam the door to anyone who thought differently.

    If you are at the beginning of your career, write a letter to your older self. Write down your dreams, goals and beliefs. One day, if faced with adversity, open that letter and it will help you make the best decision.

    This doesn’t have to apply strictly to the business world and achieving life goals. You can apply this advice in developing yourself, so that you can be happy with who you are. Believe in yourself, have the courage to make a mistake, be proud you’ve failed, find a solution and succeed.

    More by this author

    Katarina Milovanovic

    Creative Writer

    4 Easy Ways to Avoid Procrastination When Working from Home This Is What Happens When Someone Stops Using Heroin 6 Unusual Ways in which Going Green Can Enrich Your Life Girl Power: Meet 5 Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs 6 Lifehacks to Make Money Even When You Are Unemployed

    Trending in Productivity

    1 4 Effective Ways To Collaborate With Your Team 2 Why Your Habits Hinder You From Reaching Your Goals 3 We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why? 4 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away 5 How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on January 6, 2021

    14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

    14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

    Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

    In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

    For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

    For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

    Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

    Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

    Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

    How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

    Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

    1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

    Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

    For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

    2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

    Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

    Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

    Advertising

    Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

    3. Create a System

    Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

    This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

    You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

    Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

    Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

    4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

    We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

    If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

    Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

    5. Use a Ratings Scale

    Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

    Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

    Advertising

    It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

    6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

    This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

    You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

    You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

    7. Offer Feedback Forms

    Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

    First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

    Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

    You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    8. Track Cost Effectiveness

    This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

    Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

    Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

    9. Use Self-Evaluations

    Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

    Advertising

    Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

    10. Monitor Time Management

    This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

    Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

      The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

      While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

      11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

      We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

      Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

      For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

      Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

      Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

      From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

      12. Utilize Peer Feedback

      This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

      Advertising

      Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

      Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

      It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

      13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

      When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

      Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

      Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

      14. Use an External Evaluator

      Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

      They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

      While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

      Final Thoughts

      These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

      The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

      The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

      More Productivity Tips

      Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next