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32 Quotes That Helped Me Become An Awesome Entrepreneur

32 Quotes That Helped Me Become An Awesome Entrepreneur

I don’t like cheesy, vague advice. I like specifics that really challenge my thinking about a situation. Often, just changing the prism you look through can offer the perspective you needed all along. Words can be that prism.

Growing a business often entails a series of small actions, such as growing your social media communities or cold calling. However, it’s meaningless without a vision behind it and the directions to accomplish it. You must simultaneously consider the pieces and the whole, like a jigsaw. This is how you become an awesome entrepreneur.

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Having been an entrepreneur for years (and currently on my third startup), I’ve built up a collection of strong quotes that keep me inspired and keep me on track. In sharing them with you, I hope these quotes may help you start the new year with laser focus on your business.

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These quotes will help your entrepreneurial efforts when you start losing focus or come up against the proverbial brick wall.

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  1. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting with the first one.” -Mark Twain
  2. “Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs.” -Vaclav Havel
  3. “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now.” -John Wooden
  4. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” -Nolan Bushnell
  5. “People seldom do things to the best of their ability. They do things to the best of their willingness.” -Anon.
  6. “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” -Simon Sinek
  7. “People think that what a business does is make money. But money is just the intermediate stage—just a shorthand—for whatever people want. What most businesses really do is make wealth. They do something people want.” -Paul Graham
  8. “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” -Warren Tracy
    become-an-awesome-entrepreneur
    • “If you can’t write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don’t have a clear idea.” -David Belasco
    • “Do something today that your future self will be thankful for” -Anon.
    • “If you want money, provide value. It really is that simple” -Anon.
    • “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” – Bill Gates
    • “Build what the world wants, not what you think it wants” -Denis Duvauchelle
    • “You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing the small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” -Alvin Toffer
    • “It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out. It’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” -Robert Service
    • “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” -Anon.
    • “We shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us.” -Herbert Marshall McLuhan
    • “Facebook and Twitter aren’t the real problems in the office. The real problems are what I like to call the M&Ms, the Managers and the Meetings.”-Jason Fried
    • “Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.” -Peter F. Drucker
    • “Recessions are great because they unlock the best people.” -Aaron Patzer
    • “Life does not mean coming to office, going home and sleep. There is more to a life. You need time to socialize, exercise and relax. Don’t make your life meaningless. A person who sits in the office until late is not a hardworking person. He is a fool who does not know how to manage work within the stipulated time. Besides, he is a loser who does not have a personal or social life.” -Always Leave The Office On Time
    • “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” -Dale Carnegie
    • “Learn. Ceaselessly. Learn to code, to write persuasively, to understand new technologies, to bring out the best in your team, to find underused resources and to spot patterns.” -Seth Godin
    • “Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.” –Anon.
    • “The middle of every successful project looks like a disaster.” -Rosabeth Moss Kanter
    • “Finished crap can be edited. Unfinished greatness languishes forever. The only bad writing is the thing you didn’t write!” -Margarita Gakis
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      • “You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently” -Steve Jobs
      • “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”-David Ogilvy
      • “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” -Calvin Coolidge
      • “Geniuses think productively, not reproductively. When confronted with a problem, they ask “How many different ways can I look at it?”, “How can I rethink the way I see it?”, and “How many different ways can I solve it?” instead of “What have I been taught by someone else on how to solve this?” -Michael Michalko
      • “Big innovation lives right on the edge of ridiculous ideas.” -Brendan Boyle

      And to finish…

      become-an-awesome-entrepreneur

        – Betsy Cañas Garmon

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        Last Updated on December 5, 2018

        How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

        How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

        Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

        We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

        How do they do it?

        By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

        1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

        There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

        If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

        2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

        Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

        According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

        Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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        3. Demand Learning from Your Team

        CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

        “The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

        His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

        Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

        “We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

        Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

        4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

        Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

        Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

        • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
        • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
        • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
        • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
        • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
        • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

        5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

        Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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        Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

        • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
        • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
        • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
        • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
        • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

          “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

        Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

        6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

        The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

        Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

        You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

        7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

        Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

        But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

        On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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        • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
        • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
        • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
        • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

        8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

        Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

        When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

        9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

        The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

        What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

        Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

        10. Empower Your Employees

        Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

        They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

        Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

        You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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        If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

        11. Nurture Your Company Culture

        Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

        Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

        However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

        Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

        Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

        Be a Leader, Not a Boss

        Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

        However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

        In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

        Reference

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