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10 Things Everyone Always Forgets That Are More Important Than Their Job

10 Things Everyone Always Forgets That Are More Important Than Their Job

Let’s face it. We have so many work priorities that we simply forget about life’s real priorities and we easily get lost in the pursuit of making more money. And it is a never-ending circle. As we make more money, our appetites increase, and we think we need more money, and so on and so forth. Once we get lost in this jungle, getting home tired each and every day, years pass by, and before we realize it, we have become old and have nothing else except our career to show for. So, here is a list of things that you should pay more attention to. These things will ultimately bring your more joy and personal satisfaction than your work.

1. Family Bonds

You’re already quite lucky if you have a family that loves you and that supports you. Whenever we think of business people, we assume that they have no time for their children. But that does not have to be so! Make time! It is essential to participate and be a big part in your family’s life. This balance between making money and participating in family activities can be hard, but once you achieve it, you will feel your bonds with your loved ones become stronger

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2. The Elusive Love

Finding a love partner is already hard as it is. And if you work from 9 to 5 (or usually more), it can be even harder. You can quite easily slip into thinking “I don’t need anyone,” and while it is important to know how to enjoy life when single, it is also important to at least give love a chance and try and find someone that will make your life a bit more fulfilling. Finding that perfect someone can take a lot of work, and it will require a lot of compromise on both sides. But once you find yourself in such a relationship, you will have another support pillar in your life, a person who will always be there to give you a helping hand, or a kind word – whatever you need.

3. The Flow of Time

Time management skills are really important for any working professional, and they are essential if you want to have a balanced lifestyle, where you have enough time for everything. This should be on your priority list, but most people just throw it away and dedicate themselves to only a single aspect of their lives. If you succeed at balancing your work and social life, you will easily create more space for your hobbies or other activities that make you happy. Get up early, but also remember to sleep well. Spend your weekends wisely. Yes, get to work on time, but also get home on time, as both of those things are equally important.

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4. Philanthropy

I know that the economy is not what it used to be, but guess what – it never is, was or will be! The economy is changing all the time, and no one can deny that money is tight; so many of us ask a simple question: why should I help others? Probably even people like Bill Gates, who gives a lot of his own wealth to charity, ask themselves this question from time to time. But the answer is simple: you are defined by how you treat those less fortunate than yourself. Not only will you feel good by helping others, but you will be changing lives all around you. And similar to Superman, you should not be doing this for selfish reasons. You can help out both financially and practically almost any charitable organization. You could find a local animal shelter and donate some money, or you could buy some food for a local homeless shelter. The possibilities are endless. Just imagine how the world would look if everyone were to help out others once in a while.

5. The Importance of Friendships

Without friends, life would not be as fun. You wouldn’t have anyone to laugh at your jokes or anyone to ask for advice. Not to mention that you wouldn’t have someone to share your secrets with. But friends, nowadays, are taken for granted and are seen as a means to an end. This is why you must maintain your friendships, and this can be done easily: invite a few of them over for a coffee, where you can talk about life and share your experiences. Everyone knows that we are all busy, but making time for your friends is actually the most clear indication to them how much you deeply care about their friendship, something that will prove to be the brightest of candles in the darkest of times.

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6. The Need to Improve Yourself

Every day you are alive you learn something new, something interesting and something practical. You should never neglect your personal growth. Make time to fine tune your skills and knowledge. In this age of practicality, you can learn so many new things online. There are courses for everything, so something like learning a new language has never been easier. This is really important for two simple reasons. Firstly, you will become a better person by learning new things, which will broaden your horizons and open you up to new experiences. Secondly, sooner or later you will probably be in a situation where a particular skill will be really useful or even necessary, especially in a work environment.

7. Proper Exercise

The same way you need occasional mental exercise for your mind, you need physical exercise for your body. This can be achieved easily, as no one is asking you to become a body builder but just to visit a gym a few times a week. With the help of a professional, this can quickly become an easy and fun task. If you do not like overcrowded gyms, you can go for a jog, and even invite a friend or two. This can turn into a nice social event and will also be healthy for your body. Exercise has been shown to ward off depression, so whenever you are feeling down, or the stress at work is simply killing you, then maybe you need to grab those sneakers and run a few circles.

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8. A Healthy Diet

We all know how tempting fast food can be and how hard it can be to avoid things like bacon because… well… bacon. But having a balanced diet will not only improve your health but it can also improve your work performance. The next time you have free time, prepare a healthy meal for yourself. Bring it to work the next day for lunch. This way you can avoid cheeseburgers. The same thing goes for snacks, as the over-consumption of sugars is the main cause of obesity in developed countries. So make your own delicious home-made substitutions that are not loaded with sugar. Eat fruits and greens in larger quantities. And remember, fries do not count as vegetables.

9. Adventure

What is the purpose of life if it is not in some way fun and exciting? Remember to travel, read, explore and interact with new people and situations. Do not be afraid of new experiences. People are generally afraid of becoming stuck in a rut, but many people, ironically, find safety there and fear leaving their comfort zone. Be stronger and smarter than that. Dare to try new things! Go on a vacation – alone, if no one wants to go with you. A few days abroad can open your eyes more than a year of doing your same old job. This will give you the courage necessary to take more risks. And who knows, some of them might change your life for the better in a way you previously thought was impossible.

10. Personal Satisfaction

All of these things we have mentioned above have one thing in common: they make you realize that there are more important things in life than work, and that we are quick to forget about them. But they are actually more important to your personal feelings of satisfaction. You work hard. You try your best and this is why you need to ensure that you feel happy and satisfied, and it is your duty, and a duty to others, to be content. Spend time with the right people, have understanding, love and patience for your family, and nurture your health and your body. Try and focus on the more important things in life, even if they do seem small and insignificant. There is much more to life and happiness than your job. You should never neglect your life for the sake of a paycheck.

Featured photo credit: Hastening businessman against office. The modern business man. via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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