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30 Things Only Entrepreneurs Would Understand

30 Things Only Entrepreneurs Would Understand

Sometimes you just want to be understood. That’s why entrepreneurs often hang out with other entrepreneurs – those who know their struggles and joys. If you work for yourself, or if you are in the process of building a business, see how many of these points you can relate to. If you know an entrepreneur, here’s a tiny peek into their brain.

30. You try to stay organized… but there is a lot of stuff

Paperwork, invoices, employee documents, to-do lists, project plans, meeting summaries… You have an ongoing goal to get more organized, but at some point you wonder whether it’s even possible with this much stuff.

29. You don’t mean to micro-manage, but…

Sure, you may love and trust your employees. You were probably even the person who hired them. But how can you really be sure they will perform a task properly (i.e. how you would do it)? You can’t help but micro-manage sometimes, just to ensure everything goes smooth.

28. The thought of a cubicle and a boss sends shivers down your spine

9 to 5 is no problem, as long as it’s on your terms. Having little control over what you do and how you do it has never appealed to you. You prefer to do work that matters to you.

27. You get bummed out when things flop

Being an entrepreneur has plenty of perks, but when an idea totally fails, you can’t help but feel defeated. After all, you put your authentic self into everything you do in your business.

26. You have a never-ending reserve of motivation

Even if things go wrong, even if there are setbacks, even if you make a mistake – you always keep going. Because if you don’t pull your business through, who else will?

25. You have to deliberately ensure emails don’t cut into your sleep time

It’s not hard to spend your entire day staring into the inbox abyss. There are the imaginary emails you totally forgot to send, the ones you forgot to read, the ones you are avoiding, the ones that are promising, and the ones that you have to re-read 10 times to understand. It never ends.

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24. You are used to people inaccurately judging your daily life

“You run a successful business with several employees? You must spend most of your time in a hammock, ordering your employees around via email!” Nope.

23. One of your top goals is to roll out of bed each day and do whatever the hell you want

Everyone dreams of this lifestyle, but you are actually willing to go for it. Not only this, but you actually believe it’s possible, unlike many people. You know from experience that persistence and hard work pay off.

22. You groan at the thought of content marketing

Unless you actually run a business that offers content marketing services, you usually groan at the thought of having to update your blog, website, or social media accounts. Hopefully by now you’ve hired someone who knows what they’re doing in this area.

21. You got 99 problems and differentiation is one

You’re always concerned about the impression your business is making… or not making. The internet is saturated with businesses trying to make their mark. There are undoubtedly a few people in your industry that offer the same things you do. Thus you know that your success is determined by how you can differentiate and let your individuality shine through to customers.

20. You’re perpetually looking for ways to “expand your business”

…whatever that means

19. You smile through your teeth at difficult customers, then vent about it later

Your friends and family might be concerned at the level of rage in your voice, but once you get it off your chest, you’re good.

18. You love when people ask, “So what do you do?”

Perfect bragging opportunity.

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17. You do a happy dance for every new client or customer…

Even if it’s just mentally.

16. You know that pre-launch anticipation all too well

It’s like a balled up mixture of pure excitement and terror. Awesome, right? There are a billion questions you have to ask yourself, and even more things to consider – like pricing, marketing, budgeting, designing,..

15. Your desk or bookshelf is filled with how-to books for entrepreneurs

There are just so many good ones… you have to read them all.

14. You can spot a problematic person a mile away

Whether it’s a potential partner, client, supplier, or anyone else, you can identify those red flags that hint at a person’s unreliability.

13. You’re used to hearing people tell you what they can’t do

If you’ve attained even a slight level of success in business, people probably ask you, “How did you do it?! I could never do that.” However you know better, because that’s how you felt when you first started down the entrepreneurial path. In this way, you may see potential in others even when they don’t see it in themselves.

13. You take charge when you see someone misconstruing your vision

Entrepreneurs are like parents – except their baby is the business. When an employee or anyone else jumps in with some not-so-positive ideas or actions, you don’t hesitate to (politely) shut them down.

12. You don’t let your flaws hold you back

Some people think of entrepreneurs as invincible. However, you know your own weak spots. They exist, but they don’t keep you from thriving and adapting in your business.

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11. You have a healthy stack of business cards from people you intend to collaborate with

Gather a few entrepreneurs together in a room and you’ve got ideas flowing in no time. Execution is a different story. If you could only find the time…

10. You are always waiting for an opportunity to mention your business

“We’re going to a rave? Should I bring my business cards?”

9. You don’t believe in the status quo

You are the boss of your own life. Why follow someone else’s path when you know there are other options? After all, you can’t possibly succeed when you are working to achieve someone else’s goals.

8. You are caught in a vicious coffee-nap cycle

Coffee, nap, coffee, nap, coffee, accidental nap…

7. Your business worries often leak into your personal life

You know you should stop thinking about it, but you tend to get caught up in little worries on your days off.

6. Time management is the bane of your existence

Family, friends, business meetings, social media, raising funds, product development, clients – is there any of your time that’s not booked to take care of all of these tasks? Hopefully you’ve learned to make time for yourself, or at least leave some blocks open now and then. When you allow for more free time, you automatically do less managing.

5. The other bane? Taxes

A snippet of your dreams around tax season: I owe money. I know I owe money. But the scariest part is how much? How much will I owe this year? How much? How much? (Then you wake up screaming and call your accountant at 4:00 a.m.)

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4. You get way too many offers for things you don’t want

Why do people think that because you run a business, you want to buy their crappy products and services? You’ll spend money when it makes sense, but not on spam offers. You listed your email as myname [at] business dot com on your website. How are the spammers still getting to you?!

3. You do whatever it takes

You’ve probably talked about starting businesses with several friends or acquaintances, yet when the time came to work through the challenges, you were the only one left standing. More than anything else, this is what qualifies you for entrepreneurship.

2. You want to utilize your talents for good

Your business isn’t just a route to financial stability; it’s the way you connect with people and contribute your talents to the community.

1. You have a strong desire to put something valuable out in the world

What better feeling than knowing your individual ideas and efforts have impacted the lives of hundreds or thousands of people? Or that you started from scratch, carefully working your way to a profitable platform you can be proud of? For an entrepreneur, there’s no better feeling.

Did we forget anything? What are some other things only entrepreneurs would understand?

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

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