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10 Ways to Ensure the Success of your Start-up

10 Ways to Ensure the Success of your Start-up

Start-ups. They can bring you millions of dollars or debts. It seems like everybody has a start-up these days. Which is good! Entrepreneurs understand entrepreneurs.

People who put their ideas into action and get out there with a business that actually helps the world… eventually, make it to the Fortune lists, the Forbes lists and the Wealthiest lists.

Sadly, a lot of start-ups crash and burn well before then. Here’s how you can avoid the wreckage:

1. Delegate

There’s too much to do in a day. From marketing to web design and SEO, branding, providing social media content, updating your subscribers/email list with ARS. Not to mention developing and executing your plan, preparing for the market. Ah! It’s enough to derail any sane mind.

Several platforms you may have heard of include ProBlogger, Upwork, Guru, for your freelancing needs. Treading these murky waters tends to be hit or miss when it comes to the quality you need.

The point remains: nobody can do everything all by themselves. That’s why Tony Robbins, a successful businessman and author, delegate less-important tasks. Save what’s vital for yourself. It’s not your job to take the whole world on your shoulders.

2. Have A Concrete-Solid Plan

You can’t get to where you need to be, without knowing where it is you’re going. How do you figure that out? It’s time to get analytical.

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Draw out a map – a brainstorm, if you will. From point A to point B: right now, where are you? Where do you want to be? What will it take to get there? (Be sure to leave no stone unturned.)

Whether it’s learning how to program in a day or being ballsy enough to stare yourself in a mirror, and answer the hardest questions you’re asking yourself… if you’re successful at minute details, you’ve found a way to make entrepreneurship your metaphorical “slave”.

3. Work Ethic

Instead of giving value to JFK’s quote “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” a lot of people seem to be into “What can everyone do for me?”

Here’s the key to working hard: it is a necessity. Nobody will get anywhere by playing games three, four hours a day. Same goes for Netflix and YouTube. The people in life who are on the millionaire fast lane with their start-up businesses – the people whose names ring out all over the land… do not indulge their instant gratification.

I personally have trouble turning off video games. But, if I want to be anything more than a forgotten speck along posterity’s eternal breath… I’ve got to stop. Same goes for you.

4. Develop Thick Skin

Complaints will happen. It doesn’t matter what – some people out there just love to complain and listen to their own voice. When you launch and review initial feedback, there’s going to be a backlash. It’s inevitable. There is nothing anyone has ever created that’s escaped the vicious whip of “I hate this.”

And if you have to brush it off, that’s what you must do. At least, brush off feelings that may arise about, say, feeling personally attacked.

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One way to look at negative feedback is, looking at it like a platform for improvement. People tell you directly what’s wrong, so you fix it.

5. Invent Twitter and Blogger

Every time you start a company – and I’ve started five or six – you have the opportunity to screw up in whole new ways.
Evan Williams

The social media mogul who not only created Blogger – kicking off the launch for a revolution in our online communications (“online” is practically synonymous with blogging) but Twitter, as well.

Do something new, just like Evan did.

Clearly, Evan Williams knows how to punch history in the face and leave his mark. He was only able to do this after drafting and following his own rules.

6. Stay In The Game

This is a rule in life, not just for start-ups. You have to stay in the game.

Anybody can quit. A lot of people do quit. They quit their business, they quit the struggle for a better, richer life. They quit on themselves.

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This is what separates successful business owners from… everyone else.

The willingness to persevere is key – in life, love, and business.

Justin Kan, the co-founder of Twitch.tv, says: “90% of start-ups fail because the founders get bored, discouraged, or something else, and they move on to other things.”

If you’re starting something, you should believe in it. This is your LIFE we’re talking about, right now. Jumping one ship and onto another two weeks from now is a waste of time, money, and resources.

7. Ignore Naysayers

People love to criticize and argue. Everyone is an expert on something. You could be Jesus Christ reincarnated and you’ll be insulted.

Because the truth is, you can turn bad feedback into something good. Turning “this product lacked a way to X” into “now I can X and this product is great!”

Every now and then, though, people are going to tell you that you can’t do something. We invent a hundred and a million reasons for not doing something new. A lot of the times, the people who tell you “no” are the people who gave up on their own dreams a long time ago.

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It’s the sad, flabby “If I can’t have goals and desires, no one can” sack of pitiful waste. I’ve seen it over, and over, and over. It has no place in your life. Get rid of it. Get rid of the people it comes from.

8. What’s Your Exit Strategy?

Have an exit strategy when it’s time to sell. It is never a wrong time to have an exit strategy. YouTube sold itself to Google, do you remember that? Do you think YT’s co-founders ever thought that would happen?

Business is an art: and requires strategic moves to make your business look sexy to people looking to own it. Know when to sell your start-up to acquire maximum profit.

9. Evaluate Your Strengths

Being a jack-of-all-trades rarely works. Really settle into a niche you know for certain you can dominate, and superglue your time and effort to it. What can you do that your colleagues and competitors can’t? Utilize that; you’re an asset.

Evaluating your strengths just may help you single out your weaknesses – which is awesome. The most successful business owners always improve themselves. Knowing just where you can improve? It’s a win-win.

10. “Just Sell The Damn Thing”

What this means is: stop thinking, stop analyzing, and just get down in the trenches and grind yourself to the bone. Roll up those shirts and get to making those hours of plans a reality.

Why make money tomorrow when you can make money today? Get it done. Do it, for yourself. For the people who need you.

Last Word of Advice

I hope you’re in this for the long haul – because it is a massively time-consuming business, running a business. I hope you keep your head down, grind hard, and see a fortune doing what you love.

Featured photo credit: pexels.com via pexels.com

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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