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15 Signs You Have What It Takes To Be A Real Successful Entrepreneur

15 Signs You Have What It Takes To Be A Real Successful Entrepreneur

Unemployment rates are diminishing and more jobs are available than there were in the past couple years, but it’s still one of the best times to become your own boss. If you’re thinking about opening your own business, go through this list and see if you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

1. You have a never-ending passion.

If you’re thinking about opening your own business, you obviously already have great passion. Whether you want to become a business consultant or open a bakery, you love what you do enough to want to do it for a living. Your passion means that you can not only work full time, but you can live and breathe whatever you choose to do without burning out.

2. You serve as a fountain of ideas.

Do you have one good idea for a business that keeps coming to mind? That’s not a bad start, but to be successful, it’s best if you have a nonstop flow of ideas. You need to be able to think up the basis for your business, a way to refresh your image after awhile, how to get your name out there and how to make sure what you’re doing is necessary for the community. The ideas should just keep coming to you, whether it happens naturally, while you’re sleeping or during a scheduled brainstorming session.

3. You’re not afraid to work really hard.

If you think owning your own business is fun, you’re wrong. It helps that you have the love and passion to make it fun, but it’s going to take a long time to get there. First you’re going to have to work really hard. You’re starting with nothing, building a business and a name for yourself. You not only have to think about your business name, identity, logo, storefront, products and website, but you also have to think about what you’ll charge to make a profit and the taxes you’ll have to pay. If you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, none of that scares you because you’re willing to work really hard for what you want to achieve.

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4. You don’t like to give up.

You’ve made it this far, so you seem like you’re eager to stick with things. If you’re going to be a great business owner, you don’t like to give up, and it’s really hard to make you give up. You don’t get discouraged if there’s a lot to be done, or someone says something negative, or something doesn’t go the right way. In fact, obstacles like those make you work even harder!

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    5. You’re willing and able to learn from everyone.

    Entrepreneurs don’t ignore people who might not be in their field or have their best interests in mind. You have to be willing to listen to anyone, because you never know who might have good advice or inspire a great idea. You can’t write someone off because they don’t own a business or don’t seem successful, because you can learn lessons in the most random places.

    6. You’re a calculated risk-taker.

    Opening your own business is a huge risk in itself, but it’s just the first. You need to be ready to keep taking more risks in order to keep your business afloat. This means you have to be open to uncertainty, but also that you know what risks are worth it. You can’t put all your money into one venture and hope it succeeds and can fuel the rest of your business, because if it fails, you’re out. You can, however, put a great deal of money into something innovative to see if it works, because then you might be on the cutting edge of something new. If it fails, you’ll have lost some money and learned from the risk so you can appropriately further your business in the future.

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    7. You can see the big picture.

    When you’re excited to open your own business, it’s easy to stop looking at the big picture because you’re ready to get started, and you naively think you’re going to succeed immediately. Successful entrepreneurs don’t get caught up in the excitement, and instead can see the big picture. They know there will be hard times but don’t get discouraged because they know ups and downs are part of the big picture.

    8. You keep up with the times.

    Business owners have to be on the cutting edge of technology, the community they’re in, marketing and more. For example, anyone selling their wares remotely, like from a food truck or at a crafts fair, will have the ability to run a credit card through their smartphone. If you’re not up on this type of technology, you could lose a lot of business by only accepting cash if you’re working remotely. Successful entrepreneurs know what’s going on that will help them push their business even the tiniest bit farther.

    9. You’re not afraid to ask for help.

    Just like listening to advice from a variety of people, successful business owners aren’t afraid to ask for help. Just because you’re branching out on your own and being in charge doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Ask for help from your family or your employees if you need it, whether it’s physical help or just emotional support. Ask fellow business owners for advice if you need a push to stay positive. The more connected you are with those around you, the more help you’ll find.

    10. You’re able to complete things.

    Business owners have to step up and complete everything that’s on their plates. You can’t only do the easy tasks, or the ones that can be done quickly. If certain projects seem too daunting, divide them into smaller tasks that seem more manageable. Tackle your To Do list and make sure you complete all that needs to be done, or else your business will suffer.

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    11. You don’t procrastinate.

    When you’re your own boss, you can’t put things off. There’s no one higher up than you to take care of the important things, and no one below you to shove the boring tasks off on. You have to do it all yourself, and you have to be able to do it in a timely manner. The longer you put things off, the harder it is to do them; when you own your own business, this might make the difference between landing a major client and losing a job bid completely.

    12. You’re excited about what you do.

    Excitement is crucial when you’re your own boss, because you don’t have anyone else to motivate you. You need to keep yourself positive by constantly having a drive and desire to get up and work every day. As soon as your excitement starts to falter, your business will suffer because you’re not putting in enough love and effort to keep it afloat.

    13. You use your imagination.

    Business owners are innovative; they stay on top of their game and use their imaginations to brainstorm anything from business names and logos to marketing ideas and ways to reach out into the community and stay fresh. You can’t depend on hiring outside help to implement all of this – it’s your business, so you need to be the brains behind it! Your imagination runs nonstop and you never toss out an idea because it seems ridiculous; good entrepreneurs will give anything a try, because you never know what will work!

    14. You’re a social person.

    Being your own boss or working by yourself can seem like a lonely endeavor, but in reality you need to be a social person. Business owners have to network way more than people who are employees within a larger company. Entrepreneurs have to reach out into the community and see what is needed and what they can do to make their business important. They can’t just stay faceless behind a computer, they need to socialize with their customers and clients and have good people skills.

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    15. You like to give back.

    Entrepreneurs can’t be selfish and successful — you have to give back! So many small businesses donate a portion of their profits to charity these days that it really sticks out when they don’t. Giving back doesn’t have to be limited to financial giving, though. Entrepreneurs who volunteer or give motivational speeches at schools are also giving people, and don’t mind donating their time and knowledge to such appointments.

    Do you fit these characteristics? If so, get out there and make it work!

    Featured photo credit: the UMF via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on November 27, 2020

    15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

    15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

    Where you work has an enormous impact on how you work – on your ability to focus (and stay focused) and your overall ability to be productive. That means the design of your office, whether you work at home or in a larger company environment, is of supreme importance. This isn’t just about Feng Shui, this is about producing results and getting things done.

    According to studies done on workplace and productivity, the most significant factor in determining an employee’s ability to focus is their physical environment. In fact, it’s been said that a well-designed office can increase your productivity about 20%. However, despite the studies and statistics, nearly half of the employers interviewed don’t consider workplace design a good business investment.

    So what is a productivity hack to do? What if you work in an environment that doesn’t promote focus?

    Check these 15 factors and make changes where you can. A little adjustment can produce a lot of impact.

    Lighting

    Lighting is one of the most important factors in staying focused and feeling inspired to create, yet it’s one of the most overlooked and least invested in. Bad lighting can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches and overall irritability. Dark spaces can actually produce depression.

    If you work in a company office:
    You probably have no control over your general lighting so bring in your own, if need be. Consider using natural light bulbs or a light therapy device.

    If you work from a home office:
    Open the windows and doors and let natural light in. Using lamps in a variety of areas for cloudy days or when it’s dark.

    Chair and Table

    If you’ve ever sat at a desk to do work but found yourself adjusting, stretching and moving too often to actually stay focused, then you’re aware of the importance of having a correctly fitted table and chair. In today’s work environment where so many of us are sitting for most of our day, it is critical that your throne fits your body probably.

    Consider these quick ergonomic checks:

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    • Eyes 24-36 inches from the computer screen. The top of the monitor should be below or at eye-level.
    • Feet should be on a foot rest or resting on the floor.
    • A slightly reclined chair posture is best to reduce pressure on your spine and minimize lower back pain.

    If you work in a company office:
    Ask for an adjustable chair. Add pillows for your lower back or bum, if you need it. Many companies will also provide risers for computers to adjust the height of your computer screen (and a separate keyboard to keep your hands and wrists in the ideal position)

    If you work from a home office:
    Invest in a decent chair or at least use a few pillows to make the chair more comfortable. If the table is too high, add pillows to your chair. If it is too low, consider buying leg risers from your local hardware store and using books beneath your computer to raise the screen. Use a separate keyboard.

    Clutter

    Your mama was right, it’s important to clean up your room. Clutter may help the creative mind create, but it isn’t necessarily helpful for focus and productivity.

    If you work from a company office: While you can’t control the cleanliness of the office at large, do keep your own environment around you clean. Spend 10 minutes every morning or evening making sure things are put away, filed, organized and generally out of sight so you’re not distracted by it later.

    If you work from a home office: Because you work from home, the entire house or apartment is potential for distraction. If you can afford it, hire a professional cleaning service to keep your home clean. If not, schedule a specific day and time to clean your home. Commit to doing daily pickup at a specific time. And spend at least 10 minutes every day making sure your office  is organized and tidy.

    Room Color

    The colors around us all have an effect on our moods and brain function. It evokes both a physical and emotional response. So choosing the right colors for your work space has the ability to affect your productivity. For instance, blue has been said to illicit productivity. Mind you, too much of anything can be overwhelming, even color.

    If you work from a company office: Bring in items from home that are a certain color that inspire you and keep you focused. Use postcards, magazine cutouts, even just blocks of color will do.

    If you work from a home office: If you work from home, you have much more control over the colors around you. Consider repainting a wall, adding color to the table you work at, or hanging pictures that are dominated by a specific color.

    Room Temperature

    Most offices keep their temperatures around 65-68 Fahrenheit but it turns out that this might not be good for productivity. Warmer rooms actually make people more productive.

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    If you work from a company office: Most offices are regulated by somebody else, so bring a space heater, sweaters and blankets to your work space.

    If you work from a home office: Depending on the season, open the windows or adjust the heat or a/c so that you’re more comfortable and warm. Pile on the sweaters in the winter or add a space heater to your feet.

    Room Scents

    Like the color of the space you work in, our sense of smell can powerfully affect our mood, mindset and thus our productivity. Consider adding scents to your work space to jar your mind into focus when you start to notice yourself drifting off.

    Try using these scents to stay focused:

    • Pine – Increases alertness
    • Cinnamon – Improves focus
    • Lavender – Helps to relax you during a stressful work day
    • Peppermint – Lifts your mood
    • Citrus (any) – Wakes you up  and lifts your spirits

    If you work from a company office: Most people will not appreciate added scents to their work environment so you’ll need to keep it subtle. Keep essential oils in your bag or drawer and when you’re in need of a boost put a few drops on a handkerchief or cotton ball.

    If you work from a home office: Use candles, incense or essential oils. You can also simmer herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your home with a warm scent.

    Noise Level

    The noise level in a work environment can vary greatly depending on the size of the team you work with, the office design and company culture. But make no mistake, the noise around you affects your ability to stay on task. Not only can it be distracting, it can also raise stress levels making your ability to sustain productivity far more difficult.

    If you work from a company office: Bring in noise cancellation headphones and use music services like Spotify or Songza and choose concentration boosting sounds, like white noise.  Find out if your office offers quiet work spaces for times when you need the utmost focus.

    If you work from a home office: Sometimes the complete quiet can be as distracting as an office. Use a service like Coffivity to mimic the noise of a coffee shop, which has been said to help with concentration.

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    Air Quality

    Air quality can drastically affect our ability to focus and think clearly. Get this: OSHA estimates that the total annual cost of poor air quality in office environments costs employers $15 billion “due to worker inefficiency and sick leave.” Yeah, it’s serious business.

    If you work from a company office: Talk to them about installing air filters. If there is a way to bring in fresh air through windows or doors, arrange to have them opened for at least a portion of the day. If nothing else, get a personal air filter to have on your desk or nearby.

    Also, get a plant (or better yet, have the company buy and use more plants in the office!). Plants are great at filtering the air and providing clean, purified oxygen.

    If you work from a home office: Open windows and doors and let in the fresh air. Install an air filter or get a portable air filter to keep near your desk. And, yes, you too should get a plant.

    Different Spaces

    If you can manage it, give yourself more than one space to work from. Putting yourself in a new space with different qualities and things to look at quite literally shifts your brain and helps you stay focused.

    If you work from a company office: Many offices offer a variety of environments to work from: your personal space, lobbies, break out rooms, conference rooms, kitchens and eating areas and, if you’re lucky, they also provide lounge areas. Use all these spaces to vary your routine. Make sure your supervisor knows so they don’t think you’re slacking off and know tat you’re actually getting more done!

    If you work from a home office: If you work at a desk, add a comfortable couch or chair to the room. If your space is less flexible or ultra tiny, think about more creative ways to change your work space. Rotate the pictures on your walls every couple of days. Sit on the other side of your desk. Get a lamp and multiple colored bulbs. Or go work at a café, the library or in a park.

    Organization of People

    Most employers organize employees around job function or in specific divisions. Instead, studies show that people are more creative and productive when they are sitting with colleagues that share the same goal or client. Not only are you able to get answers and generate solutions quicker, but because you’re directly accountable to the people around you, you’re more likely to stay on task and productive.

    If you work from a company office: Ask your employer if you can experiment by clustering your group together in a conference room for a day or a week. Get feedback from everybody involved. Show the results. If your company won’t make permanent adjustments, perhaps they’ll allow you to work together a couple times a week when the conference room or lounge area is free.

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    If you work from a home office: This is a little bit more difficult because when you work at home you’re not with colleagues. You can recreate a similar space digitally, however. Create a Skype group and have everyone logged in during working hours. You can do morning accountability and check-ins while remaining available for questions, solution-finding and general banter that promotes creativity.

    Idea Storage

    Ever been working hard when you’re suddenly distracted by a great idea? At first you try to push it away, but then the next thing you know you’re 20 pages deep into an online search on the topic. Ideas should be encouraged and cultivated, but when they come right in the middle of another task it can be incredibly distracting. Instead, create a place to store your ideas that’s easily accessed from your work space.

    For both a company and home office: Keep pads of paper around, have a chalk wall, get a white board – when you have a spark of inspiration write it down right away to get it out of your head then return to the task at hand. Then, at the end of the day or when you have free time, collect all the ideas and review them. With a little time and space you can better decide if it’s worth pursuing or better to leave it on the back-burner.

    Refreshment

    Our brain needs nourishment to keep going, especially when we’re driving hard and staying focused. You can let a rumbling stomach go on for only so long before the brain shuts down. Assuming your different is like wanting your car to keep driving without having to stop and fill it with gas. A novel idea, but not realistic.

    If you work from a company office: Pre-make snacks for the day and/or week. Or, bring in prepackaged snacks. Keep in mind that junk food has properties of diminishing returns so if you’re buying your food prepackaged think nuts, fruit, unsweetened yogurts, and hummus and crackers. Likely, your company provides coffee, tea and water so you don’t have to worry about supplying that for yourself.

    If you work from a home office: If you work from home, this can be a key distraction. Try to reduce the number of times you walk into the kitchen each day. To do this, keep quick and   easy snacks pre-made or prepackaged ready and near your desk. Keep a water bottle nearby. And consider bringing a kettle into your office and stocking tea and coffee so you’re   not tempted to wander around the house and lose time poking through the pantry.

    Bring in Nature

    We are biological creatures, first and foremost. So we are deeply affected by our access to (or lack of) the natural world. It’s important for our psychological and physiological functioning, which directly affects our ability to be productive.

    If you work from a company office: If you don’t have windows in or near your work space, bring in pictures of the outdoor world. Keep a picture of something natural as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks outdoors at lunch or in between major tasks. Just a few minutes outside in the fresh air and sunshine can boost our mood and shake out the doldrums. Be sure to add a plant to your desk, too!

    If you work from a home office: Keep the shades open and, if you can, let in fresh air. If you can’t see anything natural out of your window, keep pictures of the natural world as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks. Or, just step outside and put your feet on the ground. Put plants in your office – research shows that having live plants in your office makes you more productive, happier and less stressed.

    Digital Space

    For most people, our primary work is housed within our laptops and our physical environment simply the backdrop to our digital lives. Make sure your computer has software that helps you sculpt the digital environment that best elicits productivity. Use focus apps like this one or this to decrease distractions. Or design your day using intervals with an app like this one to keep you at your peak focus throughout the day.

    Featured photo credit: Phil Desforges via unsplash.com

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