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Dear Entrepreneur: It’s All Up to You

Dear Entrepreneur: It’s All Up to You


    When you are in the first few years of business it can be a roller-coaster ride. This is the case whether you still have a day job and you’re trying to start a business on the side, or whether you’ve jumped in with two feet and are ready to make something of yourself.

    I have some advice for you…it’s good news and bad news all rolled into one.

    It’s all up to you.

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    The Good News

    You control your time, you have the freedom to choose what to work on, you are an awesome person which means you have the opportunity to build an awesome company! Unlimited opportunity awaits!

    The Bad News

    You now have control. That’s like flying the plane after you have only read the manual. It is a different experience to read about business and actually have a business. You’ll also need to face the hard choices of working or being with your family. Or whether or not to take risks. Or how you are going to handle all of the requests of your customers and still do a good job.

    It’s Scary!

    Amos Winbush III was a songwriter, and started his own company. He now has a multimillion dollar company but here is what he said when he was first starting.

    “I was extremely scared. I was excited and really frightened at the exact same time that this company that we had dreamt about and started to develop was actually a reality and people were using the service. And it was all up to me. It wasn’t an idea at this point. It wasn’t something that was remaining within the four walls of my apartment which is where we launched CyberSynchs and it was actually on the market and people were using it and we had the responsibility of keeping these individuals contents secure and safe and accessible at any given time.”

    Your customers and clients will start to rely on you. Your family will start to rely on this income source that you control. The responsibility will keep growing and growing especially when you start having employees and start being responsible for other people’s families too.

    But everyone is scared at first. I am willing to bet that every new entrepreneur has had some sort of freak out. Just know that millionaires and ultra-successful people have done the same thing.

    You Are Not Entitled

    But we also need to remember and prepare for a lot of hard work. Even if you get past the scariness of it, you’ll still need to deliver in order to feed your family.

    I interviewed Michael Port, millionaire and best selling author of Booked Yourself Solid. I asked him about when he became an entrepreneur and he had these words of wisdom:

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    “When I left my corporate job and I just thought clients were going to fall into my lap. I left with my bonus. I figured okay I’ll be fine; it’ll give me a couple of months. Well here I am living in New York City, my rent was like $3,500 a month and that was like a small two bedroom in Long Island city and I’m blowing through my money.

    It was just a huge big scary experience. I said this is wrong. So I really put the pedal to the metal at that point. I think the first sort of big change that happened was for me to realize that I’m not entitled to anything. I thought I was entitled. I’ve worked hard and I’m an adult and blah, blah, blah. When it didn’t happen, I realized I’m not entitled. You know what, that means… I have to work, I have to do whatever it takes – 18 hours a day, I have to get over my fears.

    I‘ve got to be willing to be bold and fully self expressed and do things that I’ve never done before and really think bigger about who I am and what I offer the world.”

    Many entrepreneurs go through something similar to this when they start. They are told that being an entrepreneur is awesome, and that it’s so great to have the control. They jump in all excited and ready to go.

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    Then that moment hits when you realize it’s going to be a lot of long and hard work.

    That said, remember this quote from Ronco Johnson, a millionaire and President of L.R. Johnson & Associates:

    “We all come with two days – a start date and an end date. What you do between it, you have to make sure that everything you want to do is taken care of.”

    Well, I’m here to tell you that whether you draw the line in the sand and accept that it is hard or whether you decide it’s not right for you at this time…

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    It’s all up to you.

    (Photo credit: Confident Businessman via Shutterstock)

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    Published on January 28, 2020

    How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

    How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

    As someone who has been in recruiting for over 10 years I can tell you the interview is vitally important to getting that new job you really want. During the interview process, there will most likely be at least 2 interviews, a phone interview and an in person interview. Both are important.

    Companies can of course have different interviewing processes but in general, there is at least one phone interview, also known as a phone screen, and a live, in-person interview. The in-person interview can be with one person or it might be with a variety of people. While they are both important, the live interview is typically the one that will make or break you as a candidate for the position you are interviewing for.

    Many of the interview questions we will review here will more likely come up during the live interview. But it’s a good idea to be prepared for them on the phone interview as well.

    To illustrate how important the live interview is, I’ll tell you about my search that happened a year ago. I’d decided it was time to move on from the role I’d been in for a little over 6 years. As I started researching and looking for a new opportunity, I began down the path with 2 companies. With the one I landed with, I’d had 3 separate phone screens, each one an hour long. They must have thought they went well because I was asked to fly to the city where the corporate office is at and do an in-person interview. — with 8 people.

    Yeah, it was a long day. The good news is I rocked the interviews across the board. I flew home that evening and the following day, I received a call with the job offer. That was less than 24 hours after I’d had the in person interview. This is how important the live interview is.

    So how to ace an interview? We can dive right in to helping you nail the 10 most tricky interview questions:

    1. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

    This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

    The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

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    The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

    2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

    Interestingly enough, a lot of people don’t have an answer to this question. It’s designed to find out if you’ve actually done research on the company and if you are excited about this position.

    When I ask this question, many people have told me something like “because it looks like a good opportunity”. I mean, can you be any more generic?

    The key to answering this is to show you’ve done research on the company and that you are enthusiastic about the actual position. Companies want people that are excited to work there, not just someone that shows up for a paycheck.

    3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

    Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.

    Don’t worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how it’s important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.

    4. Tell Me About a Time You Messed Up

    Or tell me about a time something didn’t work out the way you planned. Similar in concept. The key here is to show that you take accountability for your actions and how you react to things going wrong.

    Companies like to see that you are willing to accept responsibility for the things you oversee and own up when you are wrong. People that always find a way to blame their missteps on other people or circumstances typically don’t make good team mates.

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    The other component here is things don’t always go as planned, how good are you at adapting and thinking on your feet.

    5. Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?

    This may seem like a place to launch into all the things you don’t like about your current job. Or to talk about what a terrible person your boss is. Don’t do it. That’s the path you do not want to go down. And that’s really what this question tends to prod out of many people.

    If I am interviewing you and ask this question and you tell me all the ways your boss doesn’t appreciate you and your company has terrible leadership, I’m thinking what you’re going to be saying about me in a year when you are interviewing somewhere else.

    Make sure you are framing your answer in a way that doesn’t shed bad light on your current or most recent employer. You want to focus on things like you’ve enjoyed working for the company but your growth options are limited there so you are exploring outside opportunities.

    6. How Would Your Current Manager Describe You?

    This question gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths and what your boss appreciates about what you bring to the table. You want to focus on the positive traits that your boss likes and how it helps you in your role.

    What you do not want to do is sprinkle in the things your boss doesn’t think as highly of. Don’t say something like my boss would describe me as a focused worker, at least on the days I make it into the office.

    7. Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle

    Another one of my favorite questions. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are able to deal with roadblocks.

    Things don’t always go smoothly, so having people on the team who are able to solve problems has huge upside.

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    Being able to overcome obstacles is a great trait to have. Make sure you have a few stories about how something didn’t go as planned that caused a challenge and how you were involved in solving the problem. It’s a way of turning a bad situation into a good one.

    8. Why Should We Hire You?

    If you are at the point of a live interview, you should be highly interested in the position.

    By this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what the role is and how your skills and experience will help you succeed. The reason this question is being asked is to see if you are the right candidate for this role.

    This gives you a great opportunity to tell your interviewer how your expertise will positively impact the role. Right now, you are in the spotlight to clearly show that your experience is the perfect fit for the position and why. Shine on!

    9. What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

    Employers tend to ask this question to gain an understanding of what your big wins were. What are the really impactful things that have happened during your career and how you were the reason why they happened.

    This is another great opportunity for you to toot your own horn. What you want to be conscious of is how you tell the story about your biggest achievement. You want to make sure you say why it was such a big achievement.

    If possible, it’s always good to include your team as part of the big win. Employers love to hire people who can make things happen but, it’s also important they understand the importance of team work.

    10. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

    You might be asking yourself why this is a tricky question. Honestly, it’s not a tricky question if you are prepared for it.

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    What the interviewer is looking for here is how interested and excited you are for the position. You’d be surprised at how many people answer this question with a blank stare or have no questions prepared.

    Again, if you are at a live interview, you should be highly interested in a position and the company. You will convey how interested you are in the opportunity with some well thought out questions to ask.

    You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

    The Bottom Line

    There you go, insight to nailing the 10 most tricky questions during the interview process. There are, of course, many other questions you might get asked during the interview process but, these tend to be the ones that trip most people up.

    Remember to take your time and thoroughly prepare for the interview. You don’t have to memorize your answers or anything but having a good idea of how you’d answer these questions will help you ace the next interview.

    Here’s to being career advancement ready!

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    Featured photo credit: Romain V via unsplash.com

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