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How To Make The Best of a Business Opportunity

How To Make The Best of a Business Opportunity

Eminem says you only get one shot, and you have to lose yourself in the moment. This would be true if life were a comic book. Unfortunately those moments are never-ending, and there’s no such thing as overnight success. The truth is you’ll take a minimum of ten thousand shots to truly master your craft.

When you have a business opportunity, you have to make the most of it in order to get the next one. Each step counts, and maximizing each individual opportunity is the only path to winning. Don’t half-ass your future – instead follow these tried and true steps to turn a business opportunity into a successful business.

1. Turn Losses into Wins

Every winner loses, but not every loser wins. Although Michael Jordan is widely hailed as the greatest basketball player in history, he got there by focusing on his failures instead of riding the wave of his own successes. The quest to overcome losses drives all champions, both on and off the court.

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If you lose a business partner, use that extra time to find a better one. Your energy levels rise as the fear of financial problems hang over you. Pour that energy into something productive – it’ll keep your mind occupied as you better your business instead of lamenting the loss.

2. Weigh the Risks and Rewards

A few months ago, I received an invite to hang out backstage with Snoop Dogg on 4/20. Initially this seemed like a great opportunity. As the date approached, I realized the risk wasn’t worth what it was going to take to get there. While it could’ve been a great experience for a fan, it wasn’t as beneficial to my bottom line as it was to stay at an event I was due to cover.

I ended up choosing business over pleasure. I made enough money by staying to afford a VIP pass to any concert I wanted, and the content I produced got my name in a variety of publications I wouldn’t have appeared in otherwise. My inner child was disappointed, but the adult me got ahead in my business.

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When you are presented with an opportunity, weigh the risks versus the rewards. If you’re risking more than you stand to gain, you’re giving yourself worse odds than a roulette wheel in Vegas. Never gamble what you’re not willing to risk, and never bet the whole farm to save one crop.

3. Play to Your Strengths

Anyone is capable of doing anything, but we all have certain skills and talents that are more dominant than others. I’m a writer because I love to research and talk. I’m a successful writer because I understand marketing and SEO. I write online because I’m tech-savvy.

Whatever you’re good at or enjoy doing, learn to incorporate these skills and talents into your work. If you’re out and about around town, keep an eye and ear open for opportunities you can help out with. You never know when one of these opportunities will evolve into something bigger.

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4. Turn Down Opportunities that Don’t Fit

I receive business solicitations all the time. There’s no shortage of people looking for a review, plug, or assistance. As a mortgage and insurance whistleblower, it gets difficult because many people assume I’m capable of helping them keep their homes. Although I understand how your house was fraudulently taken from you, I’m not an attorney, and my hands are tied to stop your foreclosure proceedings. As much as I hate doing it, I have to turn down these opportunities.

It’s normal to want to jump on every opportunity you’re presented with. It’s even more tempting when you’re just starting out or your business is struggling. Doing anything you’re asked will lead to you taking on tasks you’re underqualified for and aren’t capable of providing the level of quality required. You may want that business connection or income, but if you’re not giving your best, it won’t last very long. Hold out for your true passion.

5. Get on Your Grind

Business opportunities don’t just show up at your door. Opportunity doesn’t knock at all – you have to look up where opportunity lives, hit the streets, stalk, and bang on opportunity’s door until it lets you in. If it doesn’t, you go around the building looking for open windows. Climb the roof and slide in through the chimney if you have to.

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Whatever you do, don’t just sit around waiting for a business opportunity. Just because you wrote a song doesn’t mean a stadium full of people will show up. Jay-Z isn’t an Illuminati – you’re just an entitled, lazy human being who hasn’t put in more than a day or two of the blood, sweat, and tears Hova put into his career. Sean Carter is a legend because he earned it, so get on your grind or get left behind.

6. Put Your Eggs in Multiple Baskets

The most powerful lesson yoga teaches is to detach yourself from the results. If you define yourself as an executive and end up in an entry-level job, you’re nothing but a phony. Just because someone you admire hit it big off a certain event or contest doesn’t mean that’s your only entry point to your dream career, and no one opportunity defines you.

If you gain a meeting with a company or entrepreneur you admire, use that as leverage to gain a meeting with even more. If Walgreens wants to carry your product, sell it to CVS and Walmart. Instead of being the person who got into one store, you’ll be the person who got into every store. It’s easier to negotiate when you don’t reek of desperation.

The business world is a wild one; you never know how things will turn out, but as long as you swing for every fence, you’re bound to hit a home run sooner or later.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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