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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 10 Tasks That Aren’t Automated but Should Be

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 10 Tasks That Aren’t Automated but Should Be

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What task isn’t automated (yet!) that you wish would be in your business?

1. Industry Research

Andrew Schrage

    A significant portion of my day involves researching what is going on in my industry, as well as what the competition is writing about. I wish there was a way to automate this process. I know of a few apps that help with this, but I’ve yet to incorporate them into my workday.

    Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

    2. Meetings

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    Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer

      I want a universally accepted ability to automatically schedule meetings and then send confirmation reminders the day before. Ideally, this smart piece of software would intelligently categorize your existing meetings so that you can look at the data to see what you are focusing on versus what you should be focusing on. In fact, if you do this, I’ll happily introduce you to VCs!

      Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR

      3. Partnerships

      Liam Martin

        Right now we run partnerships in a completely manual way, and it takes up quite a lot of our time to investigate them, explore possible avenues and run pilots with possibly companies. I would love to automate this process, but since it’s so dependent upon people, I don’t see how we could figure this out while still respecting the fantastic companies that contact us to work together.

        Liam Martin, Staff.com

        4. Searchable Libraries of Content

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        Alexandra Levit 2

          I’d love to have all of the content I’ve ever published housed in one place with easy search capabilities. I’ve probably written over a million words in the last several years, and to be able to automatically pull ideas for use in current projects would be invaluable.

          Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

          5. Hiring

          Brett Farmiloe

            Hiring good people takes a significant amount of time. I’m not sure if you could ever automate the process of finding the perfect person for a role, but I’d love it if the right candidate magically appeared in an automated fashion.

            Brett Farmiloe, Digital Marketing Agency

            6. Inventory Management

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            Aaron Schwartz

              We have a ton of inventory — at least 100 units across 150 unique styles! On a monthly basis, we need to count this inventory, which is a major pain. A bigger issue, however, is that the lack of insight into our inventory means that we sometimes miscalculate when we need to reorder products, which creates rush fees from our factory.

              Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

              7. Reports and Proposals

              Phil-Laboon

                One of the most tedious tasks for our business is creating unique, enticing proposals with valuable insights. It would be extremely advantageous to have an all-inclusive reporting solution — an all-in-one tool that provides all the insights we need instead of having to use multiple tracking tools, chart generators, image editors, document layout tools, etc. to generate reports.

                Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing

                8. Client Background Research

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                Patrick Conley

                  We like to have a solid background report of clients so that we can speak intelligently on discovery calls. The Internet delivers tons of data, but sifting through and finding the pieces that are relevant and accurate can be a tedious process. It would be great to have a more automated solution, but there’s some serious automated intelligence that needs to be developed first!

                  Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes

                  9. Follow-up Reminders

                  doreen-bloch

                    I wish there would be a reliable tool for automated reminders to follow up with clients and partners. Right now, I use Boomerang and other email plugins to set reminders, but it’s not fully automated, so it takes time to set up. An automated system would free up time for setting up reminders and enable us to focus on just doing the follow-ups that drive business value.

                    Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

                    10. Task Management

                    Manpreet Singh

                      If my team and I weren’t so busy recording what we’ve accomplished, we’d definitely accomplish more. Basecamp currently gives summaries of on-platform updates, which is nice. But it’s not organized. So, team members manually go to one of several Excel sheets and update it with details of their tasks. That could be automated with a “record” button syncing computer or mobile activities to Excel.

                      Manpreet Singh, Seva Call

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                      Last Updated on July 2, 2020

                      13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them

                      13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them

                      In life, we encounter problems as we breathe. But it doesn’t get to us until we feel a major impact, and that’s when it becomes a source of concern, hurt, or sorrow.

                      Life problems, depending on their magnitude, can be clogs in the wheel of progress, and we may not be able to attain our full potential if we don’t learn to place our problems in the proper perspectives as suggested in Robert Schuller’s Tough Times Never Last.

                      In this article, I have identified some common areas where you will most likely face problems as you make progress towards reaching your full life potential. I have also suggested practical approaches in handling, managing, and solving such problems.

                      1. Financial Crisis

                      We live in an uncertain world and a financial crisis may come at different stages of life. While you should always anticipate and prepare for a financial crisis, it may still catch you off guard or the magnitude may be far more than any preparation you have made over the years.

                      It could be that you lost your job or a major investment, got slammed with a lawsuit that threatens your savings, or have your livelihood be affected by a major disaster. So what do you do when you are in a financial mess?

                      Solution

                      To overcome a financial crisis, you will have to come to terms with the crisis. Acknowledge and accept the situation and begin recovery by setting your financial priorities right.

                      The next thing to do is to identify the cause of the crisis. If it’s due to a job loss, then your effort should be directed at getting a new job. If it is having multiple debts, look for ways to consolidate your debt so that your monthly debt repayment can be consolidated into one instead of being burdened with multiple payments.

                      You can also sell some of your assets to raise money to save the situation, or look for a better job if you are earning less at your current job. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends if you need to.

                      2. Health Crisis

                      Another major problem that might come up in your life is a health crisis. This is not far-fetched because our body systems work round-the-clock, even when we are sleeping. As a result of this, and if you don’t maintain routine health habits, health deterioration might begin to set in. Things might even get serious if you don’t attend to it early.

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                      Solution

                      When you are facing a major health crisis, the first thing to do is to consider lifestyle changes. This includes cutting down on junks, eating healthy diets, exercising, breathing fresh air, taking some sun, etc.

                      Apart from the lifestyle changes, you have to seek quality medical help and make sure you get different opinions about the state of your health so you can get the best affordable care.

                      3. Relationship, Marriage, and Family

                      There may not be anything as sweet as love and family life, but it can also be the source of pain for some. Human imperfections in a relationship can cause a major crisis in life. This has been a stumbling block to many on their path to fulfillment.

                      Solution

                      The best thing to do is to prevent relationship problems from happening, but if they do happen, you need to face reality and begin to take steps towards addressing them. Do your best to keep the lines of communication open as this can help in strengthening your struggling relationship. Talk about the challenges with your partner and look for common grounds.

                      You can also arrange to see a counselor together or read books that address the specific challenges you are facing. The worst thing you can do is to end a relationship and that’s only when you have exhausted all other options.

                      4. Workplace

                      The workplace is supposed to be a place where we dutifully render the services for which we’ve been hired.

                      However, it is not impossible to face animosity at work—dealing with toxic people who would rather not see any good in what you do. It might be caused by differences in background, attitudes, and unhealthy competition that can result in personal conflicts. This can create undue stress and reduce productivity.

                      Solution

                      Be as professional as possible when dealing with toxic people. Be kind and show understanding, and try to avoid personal confrontation.

                      You can even try to reach out to the persons and invite them over for a coffee and get to understand their worldview. This can help you to connect with them at their level so that you can avoid unnecessary stress for yourself.

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                      5. Career Pressure

                      In your quest to become more successful, you will likely encounter work-related pressure. Such can come when trying to stabilize your career or climb the career ladder. It can also come as a result of overworking and having no life. Career pressure is one of the most common life problems.

                      Sometimes, it may be that the promotion you are working hard to get is not coming or positions you are qualified for are being offered to others. The pressure can get more intense when you find that most of your colleagues are moving ahead of you.

                      Solution

                      Check to find if you have personal or attitudinal problems. Some attitudinal problems can put you at a disadvantaged end. It may be poor communication, poor personal grooming, or poor relationship and networking skills. If it is any of these problems, then work on improving yourself in those areas.

                      You can also observe your colleagues who are succeeding and take note of what they are doing differently.

                      6. Unfair Treatment

                      We are in a world where some people often think they have some privileges over others and may want to exercise this thinking and treat others unfairly. If you find yourself in an environment where you are being oppressed or treated badly because of your race, gender, or current status, this can make you feel really bad and can also affect your psyche and productivity.

                      Solution

                      There is the temptation to decry your treatment, defend yourself, and demand a change immediately, but you should really wait for the right opportunity to do that.

                      When the time is right, reach out directly to the person or authority involved, and make it private. Meanwhile, you should be factual about the instances of your unfair treatments. Don’t just say it that you are being treated badly; give several undeniable instances.

                      Once you’ve made your grievances known politely, keep being you. If things don’t change, you can cocoon yourself in that environment. If you have an option to leave, you can do so as well.

                      7. Emptiness and Boredom

                      When you are in a rut, everything becomes normal, dull, unproductive, and yet difficult to change. This can lead to feelings of emptiness and boredom. This may not seem like a serious life problem, but it can have a great impact on your life.

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                      Solution

                      To overcome boredom and emptiness, break out of your routines, and deliberately create a new experience for yourself. If you can’t leave your job to find a new one, start doing other things that reflect your true passion. Sometimes, the things that give us the needed drive in life are not our day jobs.

                      8. Confusion

                      Confusion is described as a change in mental status in which a person is not able to think with their usual level of clarity.[1]. It is inherent in forgetfulness and lack of concentration.

                      It can be caused by different things including medical and environmental factors. It can also be due to the experience of a loss, a heartbreak, or abuse.

                      Solution

                      Don’t allow the situation to deteriorate into something more serious. Try to snap out of whatever experiences you have had that is causing confusion. Seek medical help if necessary or talk to a psychologist.

                      9. Friendship Problems

                      We need friends in our lives to rob minds and hang out together and even help us when we run into trouble. But many people have found themselves in serious trouble as a result of the company of friends they keep. They’ve experienced jealousy, backstabbing, and betrayal of trust. Some friends have even used the information freely provided in times of friendship to betray trust.

                      Solution

                      Don’t open up on everything to friends. Keep some information only to yourself. If you notice that a friend is working against you, confront them with the truth. Limit your interaction with them or get rid of such toxic friends completely.

                      10. Haunting Past

                      We all have pasts, and we might have done some crazy stuff in the past before we begin to live a more civilized and decent life. But sometimes, the past comes back haunting. It’s even worse when life problems of the past haunt you back and become problems of the present.

                      It may be that what you have done is now striking your conscience, keeping you awake at night. Or someone who knows about it is trying to use it against you, and it is standing in the way of your progress.

                      Solution

                      Be true to yourself and forgive yourself. If it is an issue with another person, you can reach out to the person to settle with them. If it is a secret that is now being leaked out, own up to it, take responsibility, and move on.

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                      11. Safety and Security

                      You may find yourself in an environment where there have been unexplained murder, gun violence, police brutality, insurgencies, and other life-threatening situations. This can make you feel like you might be the next victim. What should you do in this situation?

                      Solution

                      Ensure that you watch where you go and keep your home secure. You can also get involved in a neighborhood community watch to collectively find solutions to the threat. If the situation persists, you can move to a more secure location.

                      12. Failure

                      Failure can bring disappointment and can also slow the pace of progress. But failure is also part of life, and we have to learn to deal with it. But what do you do when an experience of failure weighs you down?

                      Solution

                      You can read a book or biography to get inspired by other people’s success stories.

                      13. Grief

                      No one loves to grief but we can’t totally shield ourselves from it. The loss of a loved one is painful and, if not properly handled, can lead to an emotional breakdown.

                      Solution

                      Take your time to express emotions. You can also pen an emotional tribute to the individual. Writing can help us bring out the feelings that cannot be expressed otherwise, and it helps us breathe a sigh of relief.

                      You can also cope with your grief by helping them to realize some of their unfulfilled dreams or do something in their honor. Lastly, while you think about your loss, you will still have to move on, accepting the fact that life is transient.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Problems are what make life worth living. They help us adapt to become tougher as we adapt to different situations. Always remember that whatever problem you are facing has a solution or, at least, a manageable approach.

                      Therefore, never allow your challenges to stop you from fulfilling your true potentials in life.

                      More Tips to Help You Get Unstuck

                      Featured photo credit: Danka & Peter via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Medicinet: Confusion: Symptoms & Signs

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