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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 February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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