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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 September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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