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Were You Born to be an Entrepreneur?

Were You Born to be an Entrepreneur?

Do you work a grueling 9 to 5 job that you hate, waking up every day thinking “this is not meant to be my life”? Do you dread going into work, hate your manager or your boss, hate working under anyone in general, and can’t wait to clock out and go home every day? Are you struggling to get by on your wages, and feel underpaid and under-appreciated? Do you long for freedom; freedom over your hours, your schedule, your vacations, and your income? Freedom over your life?

If you’re saying “YES!”, read on. If you have already started a business, sit tight. Do you feel like the black sheep in a flock of robots who are astoundingly content with working a dead-end job? Do you feel like you’re driving 100mph in the wrong direction the longer you keep working this painful j-o-b and aren’t taking your career into your own hands? Yes? Have you ever thought about running your own business? Have you ever tried?

Now answer these questions. Were you doing things as a child like selling your personal items to your family members and neighbors, creating a “store” in your room or on the street? Were you dreaming up business ideas and thinking about making money from a young age?

Are you a self-starter, and do have drive to accomplish things on your own without the need for structure and direction? When you want to achieve something and you are left to your own devices to do it, are you motivated, determined, and thrive in the total freedom? Do you have a fire in you that is hellbent on achieving success, living your dreams, and breaking the mould?

Congratulations. You were born to be an entrepreneur.

This is your destiny, your true calling, and how you’re going to manifest your goals and your dreams. By building, and successfully running, your own business.

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Imagine waking up every day excited; you love what you do, you have total freedom, you choose when you want to work, and decide whether you work 40 or 4 hours a week. You make more money than you have ever dreamed you could make, and your income is constantly increasing. You are your own boss, you call the shots, you run the joint. Powerful, right? If your mind was just running wild with excitement while reading this paragraph, it’s 100% official–you my friend, have landed on this page for a divine reason.

Whether you haven’t even come up with a business idea yet or whether you have already started a business (and maybe it’s not making enough money or you don’t love the industry you’re in), the answer that is written for you is the same. You were destined for entrepreneurship, and you are on the right path. And reading this article is propelling you forward down that path.

Now let’s play the devil’s advocate.

Say you don’t thrive when left to your own devices, you feel like you need structure and direction, and need someone to hold you accountable in order to get tasks done. You don’t enjoy a lot of challenge and would rather be comfortable, and stay safe from risk, failure and rejection.

You don’t think you would have enough determination, and energy, to run your own business, to pursue self-education where you need the knowledge, and to run with everything on your own, as a leader and not a follower. If any of this rings true for you, that’s okay! Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur, and many would not find success and wealth down this path.

In fact, 80% of businesses fail. One might say it was because they didn’t have enough funds, the right business plan, or the right resources. And that may very well have been true, but none of these things were the underlying cause. The cause, most of the time, is the person and their mindset. You not only need to be determined, persistent, diligent, resourceful and committed, but you need to have drive…passion.

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And, you need to be creative, a great thinker, and an even better doer. You need to want this so much you can feel it in the very fiber of your being. And once you figure out which type of person you are, and you go against what you’re meant to do, your life just feels wrong, like you’re on the wrong airplane holding someone else’s boarding pass.

Now that you know what you’re meant to do, how do you do it?

1. The first step is the idea.

If you’re just beginning your entrepreneurial journey today, your very first step is coming up with your business idea. All you need to do is pull out a pen and paper, and write down all the ideas you currently have. Next draw two columns; in one column list your passions, hobbies, and things you love doing. In the second column, write down a list of things you are good at, and the more excellent you are at it the better. Think of this list in terms of services or products you could sell.

This list may have your business idea staring right at you – if it doesn’t excite you however, we’ve got a problem. If you start with very little passion for your business, your motivation will die after you start having to put in the work. Compare these two columns and try to find any correlations.

Say you are excellent at cooking, and it happens to be one of your hobbies too. Perfect, the online cooking/baking industry is huge. Consider starting a food blog with a corresponding Youtube channel. Think up a unique angle, something original, and specific.

Next write down ways you could make money with this business. With a website or a blog/vlog, you can monetize it, and the more traffic and fans you gather the more you can charge for advertising space. Think services you could sell, like online cooking classes/courses, and products, like recipe books and ebooks, etc. Let your inner-entrepreneur run wild!

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To stand out, come up with a unique twist or angle on a product or service. Some great examples of this I found are hotel babysitting services for traveling parents, revolutionary health-conscious feminine care, and thinking big and outside the box like Airbnb and Uber did.

Still struggling on deciding what industry you want to be in and what you would find the most success doing? Take the Entrepreneur Quiz, and find out what type of entrepreneur you should be based on your personality, traits, hobbies and skills.

2. The second step is the hardest part.

You need to take action. Massive, determined action. And you need to do it NOW. Not later, now. Otherwise you will lose the motivation and the momentum you just started to get going, and it will fizzle out. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll just put it on the back burner for now and revisit it later, maybe when you’re making more money, or things are less crazy, and less busy…yeah, things are way too busy right now, it’s not a good time, too much going on.

Guess what – your mind is lying to you! These are 100% made-up excuses your mind is generating in order to keep you in your comfort zone, to avoid risk, and potential failure. Basically, your limiting beliefs and self-doubt are trying to swindle you out of achieving your goals and living your destiny. But if you don’t leap, you will never fly. And if you don’t do it now, you will never do it.

So, next you will need to write up your business plan. And it is crucial you build your sales funnel.

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3. Build your online presence.

You will need a business name, you need to get incorporated, build your website, set up your social accounts, etc. And SEO (search engine optimization), is absolutely mandatory for every online business in order to get found online, rank in Google, drive traffic to your site, build yourself an online presence, and increase your sales. This needs to be one of your top ongoing priorities in any online business.

I have 11 years of experience in SEO, and I want you to walk away from this article with some actionable tips, so I’ll share with you the most important on-page factor in your SEO – optimizing your title tags. This one task alone can have a massive impact on your Google rankings.

What are you waiting for?

Get out there and take action. Once you have got momentum, there is no stopping you. You were born for this. It has been written in the stars, it is your destiny – creating and building a life for yourself, run by YOU and only you. Doing what you love and sharing it with the world. Basking in personal and financial freedom and independence, and most importantly, walking the path you were meant to walk.

Featured photo credit: Olu Eletu via unsplash.com

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Chloe Spencer

Online Marketing Specialist, SEO Expert, Millennial Entrepreneur and Professional Writer and Speaker

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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