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7 Ways to Let Your Family Know You’re Serious About Entrepreneurship

7 Ways to Let Your Family Know You’re Serious About Entrepreneurship

RIIIIIIIINNNNNNGGGG!!! That’s only the 9,6697th time your mom’s called today. Rather than beat your head against the wall again, take back your precious minutes. You’re the owner. You’re the boss. Entrepreneurship isn’t a game. And whether you work from home or work from Starbucks, your time is money. And every minute you allow someone to take away from it, imagine they’re sucking a dollar from your bank account. And that is the fastest way to end up eating peanut butter and jelly with a side of Ramen noodles for dinner.

They mean well. They really do. They don’t intend to steal your money. They think they’re just calling. Besides, why wouldn’t you want to talk to them? But in the end, their good intentions won’t pay your bills. And the key to laying down the law is to do it while letting them know you are serious about your work and that you appreciate their being a part of your life. So when they step over the line and ignore the following rules, all you have to do is politely, calmly, and lovingly (with a hint of smugness, of course) remind them that the rules are in place because success doesn’t happen without them and that you’re happy to deal with them when the time is right.

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Lay down your rules, take back your time, and own your business. Without getting disowned by your family. Here are the new house rules of entrepreneurship for both you and your family.

1. On or Off

Set your hours to coincide with the time they are least likely to bother you. Yes, when they’re asleep. Whether your disctractors tend to be under 4′ tall or older than 45 years of age, they have to sleep. Schedule your hours so they happen when you have the most energy. Morning person? Get up at 3:30am like I do and work like a mad person until you are forced to stop and get everyone ready for the day. Night Owl? No worries, trade your movie time in for work time. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll accomplish with no one calling you or screaming behind your head. Really.

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2. Lock yourself away.

If you work from home, it’s likely you’ll run into more than one project that requires you to work outside of your scheduled “Office Hours.” Don’t panic. Set up the kids, your spouse, your bird in another room with LOADS of fun and entertaining activities. Soccer games are great to keep those sports lovers out of your hair and a deck of cards? Well, the kids will never play a hand of rummy with them, but they’ll have a blast playing 52 Pick Up. While they’re doing what they do best, you’ll hunker down in your corner and do what you do best. Note: There will be no yelling screaming or fighting during this time or the party is over and everyone sits on their beds quietly waiting for time to finish. Totally not kidding. And when your work time is done, put in their minds that everyone will pitch in to clean up the mess.

3. Automate

Set an automated message that lets you politely remind callers that you’re unable to be interrupted right now. They’ll get the message and you won’t have to be scum by hanging up on them. After one or two tries, they’ll give up and be more respectful of your time. All you have to do is wait.

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4. Give back

Contribute a percentage of your earnings to the household. Nothing says you mean business like money. And when your family sees your not just pocketing your earnings for new pipes for your motorcycle, they’ll understand that you’re in this for the long haul and they can enjoy it or they can give up what you’re putting forth for them. And as your business grows, so does your financial input, making your business the last thing they’ll want you to quit.

5. Hide it

Tuck your phone in a drawer or in another room on silent. Even if you’ve turned the volume all the way down and the vibration is off, it’s still a temptation sitting by your side. You’ll still work a little; then catch yourself on Facebook ten minutes later or responding to somebody’s yummy chocolate birthday on Instagram. Protect yourself from pitfalls. Keep your phone at bay in a drawer or in another room.

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6. Silence!

Turn off all notifications. This was the hardest thing for me. You’re in business, right? It’s your job to respond to situations. And you will, in time. During your peak work hours, the ones where you create the most content, have the most success reaching out to people, or just generating ideas, it’s your duty to honor and respect that time. And responding in social media or to emails isn’t doing that. Section out time to do that each day and you won’t feel you NEED to be “on” 24hrs/day.

7. Fill the shoes

Act like a BOSS. No one is going to take your business seriously if YOU don’t. You have a business to run. Run it as though every eye on you is waiting for you to fail. And you will never let that happen. Your time is now. They’ll learn to deal with it. They’ll learn to live around it. They’ll learn to love it as much as you do. Whether “they” are your spouse, your kids or your mom. Set up your rules. Set up your success.

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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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