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21 Habits Of Successful Entrepreneurs That Everyone Should Learn

21 Habits Of Successful Entrepreneurs That Everyone Should Learn

What do Richard Branson (Virgin), Bill Gates (Microsoft), and Sara Blakely (Spanx) have in common besides being guests on Oprah? They all share these 21 admirable traits that I encourage you to adopt if you want to blaze your own path to financial freedom and happiness. (Hint- Oprah has them too!!!)

1. Fear Doesn’t Paralyze Them

Oprah says “I believe that one of life’s greatest risks is never daring to risk.” The feelings associated with fear are produced by chemicals released when are body goes into fight or flight mode. Entrepreneurs realize that there is no imminent danger, just huge potential for success when they feel this and it actually gets them motivated to move forward rather than paralyzing them.

2. They have a passion – making money is simply a byproduct

They all make money because they have found a unique way to solve their customer’s problem. None of them founded their company with a goal of getting rich. They had an idea. They had a plan that they followed. They know what the consumer wanted and delivered.

3. Entrepreneurs see failure as part of the path to success

They know that Henry Ford went bankrupt three times and that Coca-Cola only made $200 in their first year in business. They don’t see failure, they see failed attempt. Each failed attempt puts them closer to success.

4. Successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with a great team

They know their strengths and surround themselves with a team whose complimentary strengths make for a balanced workplace.

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5. They indulge themselves

Building in rewards on your path to success is not only a great motivator, but often by creating small goals along the path to the finish line, you actually gain momentum towards the end which is the exact opposite of how a race is typically won.

6. They’re intentional

Their actions are aligned with the intention behind their goal. This allows them to avoid being sidetracked along the way. Having a clear and specific intention allows your energy to flow.

7. They start before they are ready

This is Marie Forleo’s mantra. Why? Because when we wait the perfect time, we are waiting for an impossible thing. Nothing is ever perfect

8. They are the chess players and not the pawns

They make bold moves and plan for all eventualities. They control the game only because they have released their attachment to outcome. This allows for bold moves.

9. They don’t waste time on email and social media

They use communication methods to their advantage. It doesn’t zap their valuable time.

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10. They think outside the box

In the world today, the most successful billionaires have the same 24 hours and the same access to information as the rest of the planet. They set themselves apart by thinking differently than everyone else.

11. Their cup is always half full

Seeing opportunity in everything is a mindset not a personality trait. Successful people recognize their destructive thought patterns like self-doubt and hesitation and then they change them.

12. They take notes

Recognizing that they have very full lives, they take notes about anything that is not relevant to the task at hand and they return to it later. This organized focus allows creative multitasking without letting their work become scattered.

13. They work hard and play hard

For most successful entrepreneurs there is huge overlap between work and play. They know when to go hard and when to relax and rejuvenate.

14. They give useful feedback

Not only do they have a plan, they will listen to yours and give thoughtful advice. They know what they are good at and are generous in helping others to realize their dreams.

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15. They like getting feedback

Being in a small percentile of super successful people, they recognize that their brains work differently than other people’s and they go to others for input recognizing that many perspectives are needed.Even if they find more critics than supporters than aren’t dissuaded from an idea once they get started.

16. Entrepreneurs network constantly

You never know where the next fabulous partnership will be formed so networking is part of what they do at every wedding, school ceremony and business meeting. There is never a wrong time to make the right connection.

17. They ask lots of questions

They are naturally curious about how things work and how others think. Asking questions not only endears them as interested, it also allows them to steer conversation to where it is most useful for them.

18. They surround themselves with the best

This included everything from the best staff and office equipment to the best doctors and lawyers. Their belief that everyone in their life is the best at what they do attracts people who want to be at the top.

19. They are thankful

They recognize the good things in their life and are regularly thankful for them. This is the attitude of gratitude. In Oprah Winfrey’s words “What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it.”

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20. They don’t sound rehearsed

They got where they are by being in touch with what they have that the world needs. They speak about it from the heart and never sound like used car salesmen who have a rehearsed elevator pitch and closing argument.

21. Their self-worth doesn’t fluctuate with their bank balance

Think of Donald Trump- his bank balance has been up and down like an elevator but his confidence and self-worth stay constant.

Start channeling these habits until they are second nature. Acting successful ultimately leads to being successful.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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