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10 Successful Entrepreneurs Stories About Getting Through Tough Times

10 Successful Entrepreneurs Stories About Getting Through Tough Times
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We all face challenges, regardless of what field we choose to operate in. In our little way, we have developed mechanisms to help us fight them. And while these tactics might not necessarily be the same, we all have stories about how they’ve worked for us — and in some cases, how they’ve not worked.

So, to help keep you in check, here are 10 successful entrepreneurs stories which are also some intense challenges that all businesses face. You will also find expert advice from professionals concerning how they they deal with these challenges.

1. Jeff Brodsly: Working Through Tight Finances

    How do you keep yourself and your business engaged when you don’t have sufficient funds to continue operating?

    Finances are the engine which drives your business, and a lack of sufficient funds is especially dire when you have an innovation or a means to, and you have just so many developments that need to be made before your product can launch.

    Still, there’s no cash.

    It’s a problem that Jeff Brodsly, Co-Owner of Elite Merchant Solutions, is all too familiar with. The company set out to provide merchant account setup services across the country, and things didn’t always start so rosy. However, his solution always comes in the form of compartmentalizing.

    He said,

    “Compartmentalize… when budgets got real lean, I compartmentalized the immediate pain of a tight budget and kept the long term goal in mind.”

    2. Doug Burgoyne: Work-Related Stress

      When the stress of the business gets excessive, how do you keep yourself form capitulating?

      You can’t have a business without necessarily going through some stressful times. These periods make you question your motives for even owning the business, and they could cause you to begin doubting whether you truly can pull through.

      However, it is important for you to keep your eyes focused on the vision of your business and where you see yourself going to. You built a vision for your business at the onset, and you have status or situation or place where you see yourself. Never lose sight of that, as it is what will give you the drive to keep going.

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      Doug Burgoyne, President of Frogbox said,

      “My philosophy on managing my attitude when things are stressful focuses around four things: Mission, Vision, Values and a Realistic view of the financial situation.”

      3. Retha Sandler: Feeling Stuck In Business

        Is there any way to work around multiple commitments?

        Time and task management are two things that you will need to develop as a business owner. Managing multiple tasks over a short period of time will come to be an invaluable skill as you move on down the timeline of your business, and you need to understand how to merge both.

        However, it is also important for you to understand which tasks take priority and which might affect the mold you’re looking to build. These should be given your attention.

        Retha Sandler, President of Blamtastic said,

        “I make 100 decisions a day, 99 of which I don’t want to think about. The little things cannot be ignored and take up a big portion of your time as a business owner, but keeping the big picture in focus is vital to survival.”

        4. Loredo Rucchin: Handling Online Staffing Problems

          In a world where things move rapidly, what are the basics that my business needs?

          In most times, it becomes impossible for you to scale through certain challenges on your own. That’s why you’ve got employees and a team of people working on a project with you.

          So, make sure that you hire the right crop of people to help you scale these challenges, and you can be secure in the fact that they’ve got your back as well.

          Loredo Rucchin, CEO of JukeBoxPrint, said,

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          “As you grow, your challenges will change dramatically. If you are operating your business mostly or even partially online, you need a good IT team (yes, you need to hire multiple people) to keep your website stable, secure and operating smoothly.”

          5. Adam Anthony: Obstacle To Your Position

            As the head of a business or company, how do you tackle people or situations that threaten your authority?

            Hostile takeover attempts are common. How do you navigate them?

            The issue of holding your own when challenges come is an important one, because at the end of the day, it is what will determine your mettle as a leader and whether you truly have what it takes.

            Well, instead of cowering out, develop a mindset that enjoys these challenges.

            Adam Anthony, CEO of Creo Care, said,

            “To maintain a healthy perspective we take inventory of the great attributes of our company… Instead of cringing at challenges, we try to savor them… and reflect upon past triumphs.”

            6. Mohan Varkey: Difficult Media And Public Perception

              When change does come, it is important for you to be ready. You might have to pivot, but keep in mind that your core business practices don’t necessarily need to switch as well.

              You’re who you are, and sticking to that can help you keep your identity as you pivot.

              How do you handle people seeing you in a difficult light?

              Be a friend and keep the consistency up.

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              The public is your major market, and it is important that these people see you as a friend who is willing to help out. That’s the only way they will be guaranteed to patronize you

              Also, as Mohan Varkey CEO, of Zebra Blinds once said,

              Keep in mind that consistency is key. You don’t necessarily have to stick to the same old thing, but ensure that you’re consistently good at one thing to keep your business running.

              7. Dave DuPont: Handling Unplanned Change

                When an unanticipated dynamic is thrown into the mix, what is the best approach?

                Change is an issue that some businesses never see coming. It could be a switch in the market or an innovation that threatens to make what you do obsolete.

                It is also important for you to know- especially in your early days- that there is always an opportunity or a potential for you to pivot. Some businesses end up flipping their blueprint and moving into a model that wasn’t there from the start. If it’s essential to your business survival, then “zag” your perspective.

                Dave DuPont, CEO of Teamsnap said,

                “Perspective allows me to know that just about any successful business does not follow the plan it starts out with… Groupon [for example] was originally a cause-based message board. Call it adjusting or pivoting, whatever. I call it ‘zagging.'”

                8. Ellen Rohr: Getting Ready For A Shake-Up

                  When change comes, how do you deal with it, especially if it has the potential to make my company obsolete?

                  A way to ensure that you’re ready for the inevitable change is seeping a holistic view of things. The problem that a lot of business heads and owners make is never keeping a view on the various things that could drive their businesses, and it ends up coming back to haunt them.

                  Being a leader is understanding the facts and knowing how your business progresses along a certain curve. Be in the know.

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                  Ellen Rohr, public speaker and president of Ellen Rohr ZOOM DRAIN – Zoom Franchise Company said,

                  “Once a week, I review my business plan, review our top projects list, look through the marketing calendar and the financials. I believe you plan or get planned for.”

                  9. Christian T. Russell: Defying Existential Crises

                    If you’ve had a business for a long time, then you’ll understand what it means to have an existential business crisis. Essentially, it is a challenge that is so significant, and it makes you wonder why you built your business in the first place and whether you truly have what it takes to pull through

                    When these times come, the solution is to remain resolute in the fact that you understand your purpose for being here. Challenges will come, but that conviction in your identity will keep you standing.

                    Christian T. Russell, President of Dangerous TACTICS, said,

                    “You HAVE to know your purpose for running your company in the first place! Why does your business exist? Who do you serve? What do they need most from you, right now? 99% of business owners do not take the time for this introspection.”

                    10. J.T. O’Donnell: Getting A Challenge For Control Of Your Business

                      There is always a chance of people looking to believe that they’re more essential to your business than you are. You get threats over what you can and can’t do, and it could even seem that people might want to hamstring you at some points in time.

                      So assure yourself of your purpose here.

                      Challenges could be internal (within the company) or external (from outside sources it could be competitors, customers, or contractors). When these happen, keep in mind that you own the business and there’s a place you’re going to. This will fuel you to deal with any such conflict.

                      J.T. O’Donnell, President of advocacy and career consulting firm, Work It Daily said,

                      “I remind myself that nobody is making me do this. I chose to build a company… I can stop if I want. This always reminds me that I’d be miserable doing anything else.”

                      Final Thoughts

                      Challenges are a part of every business journey, and you need to be ready to tackle them. Using any of these tips from bonafide entrepreneurs, you can easily get things done and reach a stage where challenger are unable to surmount you anymore.

                      More About Entrepreneurship

                      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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                      Tanvir Zafar

                      The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about productivity, creativity, entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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                      Published on July 27, 2021

                      15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

                      15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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                      During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

                      But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

                      Put the Pro in Professional

                      After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

                      1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

                      The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

                      Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

                      2. Dress the Part

                      While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

                      Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

                      For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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                      Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

                      3. Stage Your Workspace

                      Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

                      Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

                      4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

                      Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

                      Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

                      Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

                      Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

                      5. Arrive on Time

                      In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

                      Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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                      6. Turn on Your Video

                      Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

                      If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

                      Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

                      7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

                      Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

                      Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

                      Attend to the Pesky Details

                      8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

                      With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

                      Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

                      9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

                      Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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                      Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

                      10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

                      As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

                      Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

                      Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

                      Talking Has a Time and a Place

                      11. Chat Appropriately

                      Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

                      At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

                      12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

                      The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

                      Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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                      13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

                      In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

                      Manage Yourself

                      14. Minimize Distractions

                      While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

                      Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

                      15. Save Snacking for Later

                      Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

                      However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

                      Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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