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5 Important Keys to Bootstrap Your Entrepreneurship

5 Important Keys to Bootstrap Your Entrepreneurship

Getting a website on the net as a novice isn’t exactly cake. It requires registering a domain name (example.com), hiring a web designer, and paying a monthly fee to host the site. A content management system is also preferable over paying a web designer hourly to make updates when he can fit it into his schedule. Therefore, a website can run several thousand dollars not including the monthly hosting fee or the occasional updates. These are the reasons that paved the way for me to separate myself from the rat race and become an entrepreneur. I decided to create a web-based application called Posima.com that does all of the above for a low monthly fee. I hired 4 contractors from 4 different countries to complete all the necessary work for the project. I’ve learned many things over the course of the past 14 months, but have 5 suggestions I would like to pass on to any entrepreneurs who are ready for battle.


1. Don’t Panic
Panicking is overrated and doesn’t help anybody do anything. If you are buried alive in a coffin, you will use air less quickly and have a better chance of surviving by keeping a calm head vs. panicking. I’ve had contractors try to quit on me or turn MIA for weeks at a time. At first I flipped out, and flipped out often. But I realized that it wasn’t the end of the world and I’d figure out how to get the work done one way or another. Panicking wasted valuable time I could have been utilizing elsewhere. If a problem arises that needs a fast solution, panicking will do nothing but burn up your remaining air.

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2. Reframe problems
I got this from a book about Alexander the Great. Reframing means find the correct problem first then follow with the proper solution. For example, during the sales process my host told me I could do “x” with my shared hosting account. Later I clarified with support how to accomplish “x.” Once “x” started being done, my host shut down my account saying I was taking up too much of the shared servers resources. I started talking with a lawyer, compiled all the conversations where the company said “x” was OK, etc etc. Upon further review I decided going this route was a bad idea, it would cost money and headache with no obvious solution. I originally thought the problem was the host lying to me. The real problem was that “x” needed to be in working order for me to continue. I solved the problem by leasing a server from the same host on which I can do whatever I please. The host gave me some extra goodies for the trouble.

3. Budget
Budget is a fake word made up to explain a fake process. A budget is how much you have or are planning on spending. You will go over budget; it’s inevitable. If you have $10,000 to spend, why make your budget $10,000 when we know you’ll go over? I think it’s smart to make your budget 50% of what you have to spend. Plan your project around $5,000. When those inevitable issues arise (having my own server costs $250 a month more than what I had before), you’ll still be in the black vs. trying to figure out where you’re going to find that extra cash. If by some miracle you stay within budget, you’ll have extra cash to allocate elsewhere or put into savings.

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4. Outsource
Outsourcing usually has a negative connotation. We outsource every day a hundred different ways. When I need food, I don’t go outside, shoot a cow and pick tomatoes from my garden. I go to a grocery store. When I want to talk to a friend, I don’t send up smoke signals or talk into a can attached to a long string. I pick up the phone and dial. Just because you have a tech guy on staff, doesn’t mean he knows the finite details about making a standards based web site. Just because you have an office manager that keeps the books, doesn’t mean come January she’s a CPA. I’m a one-man show. I came up with the idea for my service but didn’t have any of the necessary skills to fulfill my dream. I could have raised venture capital or brought in “co-founders” to help me, but then I’d get less pie at the end (and I like my pie). Instead I contracted out all work I couldn’t do myself. It took a little longer, but cost less in the long run. Don’t be afraid to hire a professional to do certain tasks.

5. Forget the Others
This one I hold dear to my heart. After graduating college from the University of Texas I worked at a large corporation as a cubicle monkey for a year. I couldn’t handle the bureaucracy and quit knowing I wanted to start my own business. I worked the pick axe and shovel for months digging holes for septic systems while toying with different ideas for a business. When I finally got my idea, I dug holes during the day and molded my software with my contractors at night via email. During this process I received an uncanny amount of pushback from my friends and family telling me to get a real job. No one quite understood what I was trying to accomplish with my software and wrote it off as a dumb idea. I blew everyone off and stayed the course. I now have those same skeptics eating their words, calling my software a multi-million dollar idea. My point is don’t worry about what the skeptics say, it’s not their life to lead.

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All in all, be agile in whatever you do. Just as nothing goes exactly right in life, it doesn’t in the business realm either. At 24 years old, it took me 13 months to create my web application. Often times it was rough and I was poor, but I now have a very cool product to offer small businesses that I believe they will be very pleased with. The experience was incredibly rewarding emotionally and have my fingers crossed that it will be just as rewarding financially. I highly recommend starting your own business if not for the experience alone. If you happen to need a website for that business, why not check out my web application?

Chad Sakonchick is a 24-year old entrepreneur from Austin, Texas. His business, Posima, is a web application that makes it easy for small businesses and non-profits to get up and running on the web. It provides the domain name, the hosting, the design and a content management system all rolled into one.

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Last Updated on July 27, 2020

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

Here’s How to Create a To-Do List that Super Boosts Your Productivity.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

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These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

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You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks

9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

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When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

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When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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