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5 Steps To Become A True Entrepreneur From One College Dropout Who Reinvented Himself

5 Steps To Become A True Entrepreneur From One College Dropout Who Reinvented Himself

Dropping out of college and hanging out in your parents’ garage aren’t parts of the traditional recipe for success. In Sam Ovens case, something was different. By his second year of university, Sam knew that staying in school was not doing him any good. He wasn’t interested in the 9 to 5. Like most budding entrepreneurs, he wanted something different – something better.

In 4 short years, Sam made $10,000,000 dollars and moved out of his parents’ New Zealand garage to Manhattan. Sam rewrote the playbook for the consulting industry, and, at 26, he’s one of the fastest-rising successful entrepreneurs. There was no magic moment that turned his life around, and his rapid success offers lessons for other, would-be entrepreneurs.

Successful Entrepreneurs Are Made by Experience

OVENS International, the consulting company that led to this entrepreneur’s wild success, was not his first business. It wasn’t even his first successful business. It did change the way he thinks about entrepreneurship, however. From his parents’ garage, Ovens had started several previous businesses, including a reverse job board that flopped after nine months of hard work and investment. He had nothing, but didn’t quit.

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Research shows that he was in good company, repeat entrepreneurs are more successful. Learning from mistakes is what separates a business owner with a decent shot at success from someone like Sam Ovens, who entered the business consulting industry, flipped it on its head, and enjoyed wild success by the age of 26.

Never Underestimate the Value of Being Organized

Repeat business ownership can teach valuable lessons, but only if you are prepared to learn from previous mistakes. Planning and organizing are vital to an entrepreneur’s skillset for a few reasons, most importantly because you can’t learn a lesson from the past if you don’t know where things went wrong in the first place.

There is another reason to stay organized and plan. Building your personal brand takes time and commitment. Your agenda will already be packed, and if you aren’t following a schedule and planning, making time for personal branding could be easy to overlook. Your personal brand is just as important as your company’s branding. Look at Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Richard Branson – their names are synonymous with the companies they created.

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Look for Solutions Where Others Think They are Impossible

One lesson repeat entrepreneurs master is the need to rethink approaches, both theirs and accepted industry practices. The willingness to self-criticize, analyze, and innovate are skills that make breakthroughs more possible.

One of the most common questions startup owners are asked is how they came up with their ideas. Sam’s story offers a clear lesson on this count. The innovative nature of startups is often a result of the analytical nature of the people running them. Innovation isn’t a one-time event in a successful startup’s life. Success doesn’t revolve around a single decision. It’s a process that evolves over time, as important decisions are evaluated and reevaluated. The willingness to rethink what existed is why Ovens’ consulting firm succeeded so quickly, and how he could reshape the industry’s grey areas into a clear science.

Talk to People

No matter how amazing your product or service is, it cannot sell itself. Talking with people about what you do is a major step in advancing your brand, and one that can be particularly difficult for introverts. Start with your personal network. Discuss your business with friends and family, and sell them on what you do. It’s often easier to sell to your personal network. They already know you, and talking with them is less intimidating than approaching strangers.

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Once you have your elevator pitch mastered and have made a few sales in your personal network, ask for referrals. Grow your business through family and friends first, and ask for testimonials. The ego boost from a few good testimonials will help you to get over any rejection you might face later and you can also use them to help attract new customers.

Last Word – Keep Analyzing and Evaluating Your Decisions

Sam Ovens took an incredible journey from living in a garage with three failed businesses behind him to managing a multimillion dollar consulting firm from Manhattan. He’s made millionaires out of nine other consultants and helped nearly 140 more earn six-figure incomes. His success is the product of repeatedly analyzing and evaluating himself and his company and remaining flexible but persistent.

Look in the mirror. Don’t be afraid to criticize yourself or your business. The change brought on through careful analysis can take your business from a pipe dream to an overnight success.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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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.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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