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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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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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