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Were You Born to be an Entrepreneur?

Were You Born to be an Entrepreneur?
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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 July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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