Advertising

10 Unexpected Reasons Why Being An Entrepreneur Rocks

10 Unexpected Reasons Why Being An Entrepreneur Rocks
Advertising

When I was growing up, all the cool kids wanted to be in a band.

I wasn’t cool, so I hung out in the library – probably trying to learn how to be cool (but that’s another story).

Today, all the cool kids want to be entrepreneurs. Kids dream of having a start up when they grow up and professionals leave established careers to have a shot at the entrepreneurial dream.

As someone who took an active role in launch of three businesses in the last seven years I can testify to the fact that – contrary to popular opinion – there’s no glory in being an entrepreneur whatsoever.

Having said that, I absolutely love being en entrepreneur because every day I experience perks which I believe a “real” 9 am to 5 pm office job simply can’t provide me with.

Let me share with you a few that matter most.

Advertising

1. Fight Club

I’m very competitive in nature. I like to compete with myself and others. Being an entrepreneur, by its nature, means being involved in a never-ending competition.

Showing up on top in Google search results, making profit and scaling a business are all signs of being able to out think, out strategize and out market other entrepreneurs.

It’s like being in a boxing ring during working hours; I’m always either ducking, blocking or striking. Every moment someone is trying to beat me, which makes the game of entrepreneurship intrinsically fulfilling and rewarding.

2. Living a Designed Life

Because rigid boundaries of a job description don’t limit me, I’m free to design my life the way I want it. I then implement business strategies which allow me to have amazing life experiences.

This year, for example, I’m travelling around the world with my wife; since January we’ve lived in the USA, Spain, Israel and are yet to trek through France, Italy and Switzerland. Both of us are working from our laptops until early afternoon and spend the rest of the day exploring new cultures.

3. Creating Replaces Dreaming

I used to be a desire-driven dreamer. “I wish I had this” was a very common thought in my mind. My life was centered around a need to flip through glossy brochures and dream of buying luxury items which would make me feel like I had finally “made it”.

Advertising

Becoming an entrepreneur taught me to create real results. I no longer find satisfaction in dreaming or pretending.

4. No Bureaucracy

One of the main reasons I disliked the having a “real job” was because I felt like a lot of my energy was wasted on dealing with unnecessary meetings, office politics and red tape.

It was frustrating to see bureaucracy killing off the best ideas. The bigger the company, the less I felt like I could contribute to it in a meaningful way.

In contrast, as an entrepreneur I can have a great idea in the morning, discuss it with the team an hour later and have it alter the direction of the business by the afternoon.

Each person in a start up has a direct, noticeable effect on business strategy and tactics.

5. Enjoying Work

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all travel and perfectly balanced lifestyle. I go through periods when I work every day for three or four weeks from 6 am until late into the night, without taking weekends off.

Advertising

To someone works in a regular job that can sound like a nightmare. However to me work is an opportunity to create and push myself beyond my limits, so long hours are not a problem.

I look forward to going to work. Some days I stop working only because I need to to taking care of the most basic needs, like sleeping and eating.

6. Traditional Problems Disappear

When I was growing up, I was taught that “problem” was synonymous with something bad. Good life, then, was one without problems.

For entrepreneurs, “problem” is a synonym for “challenge”. And challenges are the reason we get up in the morning. Solutions to challenges are then used to create value which can be leveraged in the business.

I design my life around the challenges I enjoy facing. For example, as tempting it may be own a venture capital backed company, I am not currently steering my businesses in that direction because spending my days pitching, reporting to investors and trying to getting traction in the marketplace before their money runs out is not my idea of fun.

7. Powerful Relationship With Money

When you work for a corporation, your pay check is your main reward. Its sole purpose is to be spent. The by-product of burning that cash is happiness (which is a lie that we’ve been sold).

Advertising

When you have a start up, your context around money changes. It becomes a resource you take smart risks with in order to grow your business. The by-product of this process is growth (and a deep, lasting sense of fulfillment).

8. No Negative Moods.

I can’t remember the last time I was bored. Similarly, I also can’t remember last time I had to “kill time” because “there was nothing to do”.

9. Sense Of Adventure

I have a solid business plan for the next year. But none of my business plans so far went even close to the plan.

There are literally a dozen business opportunities I can explore in the near future, a dozen ways I can steer my business to exploit them and probably a dozen new opportunities which I’m yet to see and will need to consider.

This abundance of possibilities washes away any sense of routine and replaces it with excitement about upcoming adventures.

10. Great Conversations With Positive People

Entrepreneurs don’t whine and complain. They rarely engage in hollow water-cooler gossip about colleagues and “thank God it’s Friday” rhetoric.

Advertising

I like hanging out with people who take full ownership of their life and I find that most entrepreneurs I meet fit that mold (they have to, otherwise their businesses would not succeed).

More by this author

become freelance writer 13 Best (and Worst) Things About Becoming A Freelance Writer. human resources recruitment careers 12 Human Resources Blogs You Need to Start Following personal branding jobseekers Personal Branding 101: Essential Guide For Job Seekers. building a business 31 Things You Can Do To Build A $1 Million Dollar Business In 3 Years. why being an entrepreneur rocks 10 Unexpected Reasons Why Being An Entrepreneur Rocks

Trending in Work

1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How To Stay Motivated As You Build Your Business 3 15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow 4 23 Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Get Your Business Underway 5 20 All-Time Best Entrepreneur Books to Make Your Business Successful

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
Advertising

During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

Advertising

Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

Advertising

6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

Advertising

Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

Advertising

13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next