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5 Attributes and Skills Millennial Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed in Business

5 Attributes and Skills Millennial Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed in Business

A shifting trend has witnessed many millennial entrepreneurs joining the ranks of young business owners – 18% started their own companies in 2014 according to a global report.

Additionally, an ever increasing number of millennials consider themselves “entrepreneurial”; 70% were cited as saying that they would ditch working in traditional businesses to become full-time entrepreneurs, while one in five would quit their jobs and form their own company to become young entrepreneurs.

Did you know that the average millennial will most likely have four or more careers in his or her lifetime? No matter what industry you choose, as a young and ambitious entrepreneur, here are five skills and attributes you’re going to need to be successful in your line of business:

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1. Tap into Your Emotional and Social Intelligence

In the hyper-digital world where news gets around fast, you need to learn how to sharpen your emotional and social intelligence skills. The power of social media lets us easily connect with thousands to millions of people around the world. However, many believe that this has led to a general lack of creating real connections and meaningful person-to-person relationships. It’s important for a number of reasons and helps in building and retaining clients.

Communication mediums like email and instant messaging tend to put a cap on our ability to display certain emotions such as empathy and sincerity. As a millennial entrepreneur, you must understand the limitations these platforms pose, and learn a thing or two about effective communication. It’s all about making your client feel special and approaching them the way they’d like to be approached.

2. Be Your Own Best Manager

The number of professionals and freelancers working from remote locations has more than doubled over the past decade – millions today are seamlessly working without the need of any direct on-site supervision. However, to maintain high efficiency, you must develop exceptional self-management skills such as managing your own schedules, lines of communication, daily tasks, projects etc.

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Nobody knows your priorities or mind as well as you do. It is important to be in control of yourself and be your own manager. While you may need someone to manage your work, never count on them to manage you.

Tools like Basecamp, for example, can help you stay on top of daily to-dos and stay in touch with your team at all times to see what milestones are being achieved in real time. These tools also work great to let teams do “daily check-ins” and keep tabs on what they were able to achieve on a day to day basis. It’s exactly this type of consistent communication that allows every team member to own up to their tasks and eliminate the possibility of any bottlenecks.

3. Save Time by Utilizing More Productivity Tools and Third Party Resources

Being a millennial entrepreneur means you need to understand early on that time is one of your most valuable assets. You must know how to make good use of your working hours. Consider registering yourself on platforms like Upwork where you can save plenty of time by hiring experienced freelancers to oversee some of your daily business functions.

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Personal productivity tools such as Feedly and Evernote make it more convenient to stay organized, act on actions quickly and communicate with your team more effectively.  As your business start to explode and the time comes when you have to register your company, make sure you are with pros and cons of setting up different types of companies.

4. Capitalize on Mobile Digital Marketing

In the days of old, entrepreneurs had to make do with hard-to-scale and expensive marketing channels. As a millennial entrepreneur, however, you have the luxury of mobile digital marketing which makes its much more practical and quicker to identify your prospects’ needs, work on product ideas and test those ideas extensively before making your offer available.

Millennials are spending most of their time on smartphones – more than 65% of Facebook’s 8 billion video views come from handheld devices.

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If you truly want to be successful at selling and be an influential figure in today’s online business economy, you need to know how to tap into social media to get your message across. There’s such an overwhelming amount of meaningful content being produced every day on social channels that you need to stand out as a millennial entrepreneur. You might want to consider hiring a digital marketing firm with an established track record to take care of this aspect.

5. Understand How Financing and Investments Work

Owing to the 2008 worldwide financial crisis, a number of millennial entrepreneurs are still intimidated by the financial system. They’re using bots and computer programs instead of real financial advisors just to play it safe, and in some cases, not investing at all.

Financial information is something many people find overwhelming – to make matters worse, there are conflicting opinions or complex investment routes that millennials are often not willing to bet on. In reality, all you need is a good understanding of financial elements like debt vs. equity, cash flow statements, compound interest, balance statements and tax implications with regard to various financial decisions. Understand these and you’ll have full control over your financial goals and personal budget.

Good to know:

  • A new generation of millennial entrepreneurs is outperforming their baby boomer counterparts.
  • Millennials are embracing entrepreneurship much earlier than boomers did.
  • Millennial entrepreneurs today are generally more open to failure than boomers. They are also far more likely to keep going.
  • Millennials are focusing on much larger profit margins; 75% expect their profits to increase in the following year, which was 42% for boomers.
  • Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was a young millennial entrepreneur at the age of 31, when he became one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of over $42 billion.

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Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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