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Are You a Potential Entrepreneur? These 15 Signs Can Tell You the Answer

Are You a Potential Entrepreneur? These 15 Signs Can Tell You the Answer

So you think that you’re ready to become an entrepreneur? It’s not all glitz and glamour, and for most people, it takes dedication, time and a lot of late nights to get a business off the ground. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most difficult ways to earn a living, but also one of the most rewarding. These 15 signs, all backed up by successful business people and entrepreneurs, show the qualities you need to have in order to become a successful entrepreneur. How many do you see in yourself?

A Fiercely Determined Mind

The first thing that you will need to be an entrepreneur is ironclad determination. Someone that doesn’t give up at the first sign of difficulty.

When asked about what it takes to become a entrepreneur, Nitin Aswani, Founder & Head of Product of Oganikk Superfoods[1] said,

You can brush off negative, non-constructive criticism; you know that if you want to satisfy everyone, you should just sell ice cream. You are driven by purpose and are passionate – you understand that money is an output of resolving customer problems, not the other way round.

Always Go For The Leading Role

When you work with people in a group, do you find that you can’t help but assume a leadership role? Do you take it personally if a project doesn’t live up to your expectations? Then you might have what it takes to run your own business.

Evan Harris, Co-Founder & CEO of SD Equity Partners[2] explains,

The difference between a manager and a leader is vast. Just because you have held a management position for X number of years, does not mean you will succeed as an entrepreneur. To be a great entrepreneur, you must be able to lead. Your team needs to believe in your vision and trust that you can get them there. You need to inspire and incite passion. These are the qualities of a leader, not a manager. One who has these leadership qualities is on the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Gritty? Okay.

A true entrepreneur isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty when needed, as did founder of Kent Dating[3]. He said,

In the early days of your startup, you will likely be doing a lot of the grunt work yourself until you can afford to hire some additional help. Be prepared to get into the trenches and get dirty, metaphorically speaking.

A Goer For Risks

Are you prepared to be yelled at by your customers the moment that something in your business goes wrong? As an entrepreneur, you will be in charge of dealing with difficult people. You’ll also need to be ready to give up time, comfort, and financial security if you expect your business to stand a chance. Evan Harris, Co-Founder & CEO of SD Equity Partners[4] said,

Starting your own business generally involves taking a lot of risks. In order to be successful, you must be able to understand the risks involved in a decision but also know that there will always be risk and not allow it to hold you back. Someone who can assess risk and then make an informed decision, without being sidelined by fear, is definitely an entrepreneur in the making.

On risk-taking, Fred D. Winchar, President of Max Cash Title Loans[5] adds,

You are a risk taker but only when the risk is in your favor. You don’t blindly risk but when you do, you are confident you will win.

A Contrarian

When everyone else says “why?”, you say “why not?” You don’t just want to go along with business as usual; you want to really mix things up and change the world for the better. Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of GreenPal[6], is this kind of person who said,

One of the most important character traits of a successful entrepreneur is they have to be contrarian – but right. Contrarians are the ones that challenge the majority but have the stubbornness to see an idea through till the end.

Always Asking To Know More

Were you the kind of child that took the family appliances apart to try and figure out how they worked? You likely have the inquisitive mindset necessary to start a business.

Jeff Kear, Founder of Planning Pod[7] says

Are you are always interested in learning other parts of the business in which you work even though they aren’t your responsibility and you might annoy others working in those roles or departments? When I had jobs prior to running my own businesses, I was always asking questions and looking into ways to improve how I worked and how the business functioned.

Unsettled With Traditional 9 to 5 Roles

Are you bored with your day job, doing the same task over and over? Does it all feel meaningless, and like you’re just undervalued and lining someone else’s pockets with your hard work? It might be time to get into business for yourself:

Ben Taylor, Founder of Home Working Club[8] says,

If you feel constantly stifled in traditional jobs and convinced you could do things better, this probably marks you out as an entrepreneur-type – so long as those convictions are based on reality!

Kristen Gagné, Founder of Webtawks[9] adds,

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The typical 9-5 job feels wrong. You loath office politics. You detest being put in a corporate box. You don’t feel the value in working in a position that isn’t useful. You feel stifled.

Comfortable With The Unknown

Entrepreneurs are comfortable with the fact they may not know where or who their next paycheck is coming from: “You are more than comfortable losing everything you have until you succeed. Everything. You live your life “all chips in” and if you lose, you are prepared to live like a pauper till you get another opportunity to win” says Fred D. Winchar, President, Max Cash Title Loans.

Sarah Glass, Founder of Kent Singles [10] adds,

You’re comfortable with the unknown. You enjoy not knowing what one day will be like to the next. You enjoy the process of not having all the answers. Predictability is boring.

A Jack-Of-All-Trades

An entrepreneur wears a lot of different hats in their business. Early on in your business, you may be in charge of sales, customer service, accounting, marketing, manufacture, and other tasks all by yourself. You will definitely need to be able to budget your time and complete multiple different tasks.

On what makes you a great potential entrepreneur, Steven Benson, Founder and CEO of Badger Maps[11] says,

When you have the basic blocking and tackling in each area of business – Sales, Marketing, Technology, Accounting, Finance etc. A big surprise to a lot of people who start companies is how much time they need to spend selling to be successful. You need to be a jack of all trades, because a big miss in any of these areas can be company killing.

A Doer Rather Than A Sayer

Many people sit and dream, but an entrepreneur actually takes action and turns their dreams into a reality. You can’t just think about great business ideas and have them magically happen; you’re going to need to actually put in some hard work. As what Fred D. Winchar, President of Max Cash Title Loans[12] says,

The difference between a potential entrepreneur and a SUCCESSFUL Entrepreneur is the ones who can truly live a life that others fear to live and know others will mock you as you live out your dreams. Inside, your heart is burning to be more than just an employee and you know that you are relentless in your pursuit to make it. Their fear is not yours.

A Meticulous Planner

A good entrepreneur plans for any possible outcomes. You need to think in advance of any opportunities or risk that may impact your business and have action plans to adjust accordingly.

Steven Benson, Founder and CEO of Badger Maps[13] says

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I think that a great indication of being a potential entrepreneur is when you consider yourself a ‘planner’. That’s someone who really enjoys planning things, whether it’s events or business strategies. If you are going to run your own business, you have to get used to thinking a couple of steps ahead and you have to develop a concrete action plan to get started.

You also know how to manage your time on a day-to-day basis, Brandon Latack, President of 651 Lab[14] , once said,

Deciding how you are going to spend your time throughout the day is one of the key aspects of being a successful entrepreneur. You and Elon Musk are both given 24 hours in a day. Use those hours wisely.

No Fear For Hard Work

You’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Entrepreneurs often put in 60 or 80 hour weeks in the first year of their business! If that sounds unappealing to you, you may want to stick to a salaried job working for someone else. Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com[15], says,

One of the greatest signs that you’re destined to be an entrepreneur is found in the hard work you’ve done over the years and the amount of initiative you’ve taken/shown for what you’re passionate about. Entrepreneurs embrace hard work and do not shy away from it. Rather; they enjoy it especially when it ties in with their passions. Ultimately, you become what you believe you will become and if you set your intention, stay focused and positive, and believe in yourself while working hard, great things will happen.

Fred D. Winchar, President, Max Cash Title Loans[16] concludes

You have no concept of weekdays verses weekends. Every day is a day to work. Money is made 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Vegas proves that.

An Especially Innovative Mind

Ben Taylor, Founder, Home Working Club[17], says,

With plans and schemes of making money since school, then that entrepreneurial spirit is probably in your blood – especially if some of those ideas were successful.

For people to buy your product, it’s going to need to be something new that they may have never seen before. You can take inspiration from other brand’s ideas and improve upon them, but merely copying a product or service that already exists isn’t going to make you rich. On this, Kristen Gagné, Founder of Webtawks[18], says.

You always think of ways to improve everything – from the way to tie your shoes to the design of the picnic table in the park – you seek out efficiencies and betterment of your world.

Nothing Can Beat You Up

Entrepreneurs don’t take no for an answer! You’re going to have to stick to it when things get rough and don’t seem to be working exactly the way you had planned. Fred D. Winchar, President of Max Cash Title Loans[19] also says,

When you fall, you are the fastest person you know to stand back up. Everyone falls. Failure is part of success. I have yet to know the successful entrepreneur who has not failed multiple time and had crushing losses.

On bouncing back from failures, Brandon Latack, President of 651 Lab[20] added

There will be several roadblocks when starting a business. The bigger the idea, the more roadblocks there will be. [Entrepreneurs] think of each failure as a learning experience. Next time you will be ready for it!

Highly Disciplined

If you’re able to succeed in other areas of your life such as dieting or mastering a particular skill, then you may have the discipline required to become an entrepreneur.

Commenting on the discipline it takes to be your own boss, Nitin Aswani, Founder of Oganikk Superfoods[21],

You are highly internally motivated – being your own boss can be a challenge for those who tend to slack off if there is nothing pressing.

Brandon Latack, President, 651 Lab[22], also says

You have the discipline to stick to challenges. It’s easy to become less enthusiastic and talk yourself out of a challenge once adversity smacks you in the face. Entrepreneurs continue to push forward when things start to get tough.

So there you have it, 15 sure-fire signs that you’ve got what it takes to become an entrepreneur. If you answered yes to over half of these 15 questions, then you’re well on your way to making that dream of being your own boss a reality.

Reference

[1]Oganikk: Home
[2]SD Equity Partners: Home
[3]Kent Dating: Home
[4]SD Equity Partners: Home
[5]Max Cash Title Loans: Home
[6]GreenPal: Home
[7]Planning Pod: Home
[8]Home Working Club: Home
[9]Webtawks: Home
[10]Kent Singles: Home
[11]Badger Maps: Home
[12]Max Cash Title Loans: Home
[13]Badger Maps: Home
[14]651 Lab: Home
[15]MyCorporation: Home
[16]Max Cash Title Loans: Home
[17]Home Working Club: Home
[18]Webtawks: Home
[19]Max Cash Title Loans: Home
[20]651 Lab: Home
[21]Oganikk: Home
[22]651 Lab: Home

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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