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10 Ways to Ensure the Success of your Start-up

10 Ways to Ensure the Success of your Start-up
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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.

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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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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