So I logged into my Facebook messages today and I saw an awesome message from my cousin who is away at university. This message is so inspiring and so I thought I would share this little story with you.
Simple question: When difficult times approach you; do you give in to them and let your life go south or do you realize that what you need to overcome the situation is inside you? Story: There was a business executive who was deep in debt and could see no way out as creditors were closing in on him and suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.
Suddenly an old man appeared before him. “I can see that something is troubling you,” he said. After listening to the executive’s woes, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.” He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, “Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time.” Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he came.
The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world! “I can erase my money worries in an instant!” he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought. With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.
Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man. “I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you. He’s always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.” And she led the old man away by the arm. The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him.
Suddenly, he realized that it wasn’t the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his new found self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after. Answer: Everything you need is inside you.
A reality check of sorts. Take a notepad and write down some of the thoughts you’ve had since you woke up or even over the past week. What do you notice? This is an exercise that I have done with new entrepreneurs in coaching workshops. Invariably they tend to have more negative thoughts than positive thoughts. Why? Well the journey of entrepreneurship is challenging and uncertain and so we can be plagued by doubts and fears.
Thoughts though are like energy fields and so negative energy emitted by negative thoughts has a terrible effect on our demeanor, personalities, expectations and faith. We attract negative things and repel all possible positive opportunities and possibilities. You can reprogram your brain to think more positive thoughts and you will attract more positive things.
One good friend of mine once said to me at a low point in my entrepreneurial journey, “why doubt yourself, everyone else is doubting you. Are you really going to join them?” Interesting huh! You can find many books and videos on positive energy and attracting what you want. Here are two of my favorite books:
I also do adore this recording from Earl Nightingale:
Now back to that list that you wrote.
I want you to look at each negative utterance, sentence or thought and remove them AND counteract it with a positive one. You are exceptional and you will do the exceptional if you think thoughts that are positive, forward thinking and full of growth! Thoughts are things.
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I know that you do not want to hear this. Yet, it’s true. I know that when you began your entrepreneurial journey that you just knew that your idea was so great, your passion so palpable, your vision so clear that you would be guaranteed success overnight. Now, I am not saying that overnight success does not exist but not quite like that.
Success may happen overnight. Yesterday you had 100 views – today 10,000. Guess what though? It took a whole bunch of tasks, and redefining, and well work to get you there. You put in lots of work for many nights and days before your fortune changed. You were innovating, creating, redefining and well working all the time.
There is literally no such thing as something for nothing. It does not exist and actually defies the laws of the Universe. You must give in order to receive. There is no other way. It is a cyclical process. The more you give the more you will eventually receive. See eventually. Making it takes time.
Every big business was once a small business. Everyone seems to forget this fact. Every huge corporation was once small. Think of Facebook or Microsoft or even Whats App. The common theme that runs through all of these stories is that they started small – often in dorm rooms or basements. It takes time.
I am like you often impatient and wondering where is the success I see. However, you know what I’ve found? When I have poured my heart into projects that somehow the Universe conspires to eventually create opportunities to reach the right people and grow all because of the work I have done before. So:
Don’t be daunted
Work on your patience
Keep giving your best at all times
Then money will come – but it takes time!
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I know that as an entrepreneur you have a to do list that’s even longer than your list of goals. I know it. The list is in your smartphone, your calendar, or scribbled on a notepad. It seems that like Pinocchio’s nose it continues to grow and grow and grow! I have been guilty of the never ending to do list too. What does this endless list do to you? It overwhelms, frustrates and cripples you. Yes I said it cripples your creativity. If you are forever in a state of doing, when can you reflect on what you’ve done?
In my Idea to Business in Three Weeks Podcast Series, I explain the importance of creating opportunities to celebrate the accomplishment of short term targets, but if you are always busy when will you have the opportunity to do this? Instead you will trick yourself into believing you are further away from your goals because your To Do List never shortens. Anyway, I am not here to preach at you but help you. Here is what I have begun doing to keep trim my To Do List and maintain my sanity and peace.
I place only TWO THINGS on my To Do List at once. Yes you heard me. I write TWO things down that I wish to accomplish for that day. There must never be more than TWO things on my list at any one time. The truth is the brain cannot multitask well. Research has shown that attempting to multitask actually degrades concentration and effectiveness. It is better to give yourself, your mind and your creativity completely to one task at a time. It’s easier to do that if you are not constantly thinking about how many more things you have to accomplish before the day’s end on your Pinocchio list.
If your facing mental resistance, brain freeze or any sort of inability to move forward on your first task, move on to and COMPLETE the second. Then add a new number two task on the To Do List. Try moving back to your number one unfinished list. This allows you to not get stuck on an incomplete project but to move on and complete the next one. I did this today. I am writing an article, a top ten list, and was stuck on number three(I started at ten :)). So, I went to my number two which was sending out some specific emails and then moved back to number one. I was able to add a few paragraphs before becoming paralyzed. So I halted and am now completing this post. The feeling of satisfaction is great, the feeling of being overwhelmed – absent.
Try it! TRim your To Do List today! If you like my posts do share and become a subscriber of the site.
Are you a new entrepreneur, or do you have an idea for a new venture or business. This podcast series is for you. This podcast series gives you 15 podcasts and more than ten worksheets and resources that help you to systematically launch your business or clarify the business that you are already in. Work as quickly or as slowly as you want through the series. Scroll Down to purchase all 15 podcasts and worksheets for just $97.00. Here is Day 1 FREE for you:
Day 1 – Clarifying your idea and defining your product or service offering.
Day 2 – Your competitive environment.
Day 3 – Who is buying? segmenting your market and profiling your customer.
Day 4 – customer discovery – market research.
Day 5 – can I come in? – Reaching your customer through promotions and marketing tools.
Day 6 – Goal setting – ensuring your goals are SMART.
Day 7 – Internal processes – ensuring that the operational details go smoothly in your business.
Day 8 – A practical step – getting your business license/permits and determining your business’ formation.
Day 9 – Let’s talk money! – funding your business venture.
Day 10- Keeping track of your money. – Bookkeeping and record keeping the old fashioned way and use technology.
Day 11 – Get your mind right! – the psychology of doing business and removing FEAR!
Day 12 – No Rules – Unleashing your creativity.
Day 13 – Overcoming failure – what to do when you don’t achieve the goals you set.
Day 14 – You are your business – viewing yourself as a brand.
Day 15 – Passion – staying driven.
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No one tells you this. Not one soul. No one tells you how low the valleys can be in your entrepreneurial journey. They say it’s hard but they don’t define what hard is. Most of the literature says it’s hard work – but it is also hard on your psyche, it’s hard on your pocket, it’s hard on your relationships – and then it is like a cycle because – then it’s hard on your emotions. This is true. I would love to know of one entrepreneur who has not said “this is too much”,who did not feel depressed and down trodden. (If you are one send me an email so I can share your story of ongoing optimism).
All the seminars you attend, all the boot camps, all the podcasts – no one speaks of the psychological lows. I’ve been there myself and though the dungeon of depression can be deep, I have found some ways that you can climb out and move from depressed to just having a down moment – depression is ongoing – down moments are fleeting. This is how I’ve progressed from being depressed.
Introspection: I am starting with introspection, because many of us are chasing dreams of entrepreneurial visions that are not in synergy with our passions and purpose. I’ve suffered from this and I have found that you have to step back and make sure they are in alignment. Why? Well, because the hard work that everyone tells you that is required (and is) to keep your business going can only be sustained if you love what you do. So take some time out, and really be honest with yourself. I mean why work for yourself if it’s going to feel like torture – you can feel that way working for someone else and without all the risk and investment.
Be Brave: Well, what did you think that you would have introspection without action? Never! So you’ve dug deep and you know deep in your heart what needs changing – this can be little, like simply reworking those parts of your business that don’t align or it can be drastic – you may have to stop what you are doing altogether .
Set smaller goals: Sometimes, when you set long range grand plans, you get overwhelmed and can’t see the light at the end of the cliche tunnel. So set smaller goals that get you to the grand goals and set shorter term goals. It’s easier to look at one week at a time than the next 3 years. Plus you are always changing, so is the business environment so shorter term is more effective.
Change your focus: Stop focusing on what you have not done. Focus on what you have! I know you’ve accomplished some things – even if it’s just reading this post to help you improve your frame of mind!
This comprehensive study guide is ideal for any student studying introductory Business and Management courses.
The guide is divided into three main modules; Business and its Environment, Management of People and Business Finance and Accounting.
Key topics such as motivation, the evolution of management theories, organization structures, types of businesses, stock valuation and investment appraisals are included. https://www.createspace.com/4309998
This study guide is quite comprehensive and a great companion to Principle of Business Management Study Guide 1. This text covers the modules of Production and Operations Management, Marketing and Small Business Management.
Multiple choice and extended response questions are included in each module. There are also scores of Internet resources listed for students to undertake further reading.
Tamu Petra Browne is a tertiary level educator and Founder of Innovative Education and Training Solutions. an online tutoring company. Tamu has authored a number of other guides including Principles of Business Management Study Guide 1 and The information Technology Workbook. https://www.createspace.com/4321685
You do not have to work at a Fortune 500 company or a Silicon Valley super company to practice intrapreneurship – which is basically entrepreneurship in the confines of the firm. Although many companies like Google, Microsoft and scores of others have implemented systems, policies and allocated a budget to institutionalize innovation – anyone can be an intrapreneur. Even you.
Think about the many times you have identified areas for improvement at your company– you know those areas you moan about and lament about and wonder why no one makes some changes. Well can’t that someone be you? Now, let us get it clear, I am not saying that you march into your boss’ office demanding change. There are some steps though that you can take to let your inner innovative alter ego out and make yourself a more valuable team member in the eyes of your superiors.
Identify a process for improvement that is within your current job role, function, area of expertise or department. Why? Well you are most likely to persevere through the inevitable challenges, if the outcome will ultimately benefit you. Additionally, it is easier to build a coalition of supporters and champions for change amongst those who you have worked with more closely and those who know your passion for innovation. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that you will be the most effective and successful if you tackle a project that is in the sphere of your expertise and experience.
Create a plan. How will you effect this change? What resources will you need? A tip – make sure the resources that you need already exist – perhaps heavy on the human resource side and light on the budget side. Most bosses will approve a project where the resources to tackle it are well within the means of the company or department, and have little capital outlay. You must then be able to articulate the outcomes. Who will it benefit? This is extremely important . Your higher ups will NOT give you an ear if the project you wish to tackle is your pet peeve or the pet peeve of just a few. Your initial project must result in significant increases in efficiency and effectiveness for it to be considered. It would be wise to create a brief electronic presentation that can be downloaded or printed and given to your boss during the meeting. Which brings us to our final step.
Ask for a meeting – yes a face to face meeting. If your company has an open door policy – great. If not request one by email. Your email should be formal, brief and provide a concise outline of the problem and your idea for a solution. When you do meet (if not possible lay out your plan in email) outline why the issue identified is a problem – indicate how it reduces, productivity, morale and the bottom line. Indicate your willingness to work with a team to get it resolved and the benefits to resolution. Never mention increased compensation or remuneration. THIS IS NOT YOUR GOAL. Your goal is to flex your entrepreneurial muscles and build your skills and value and worth to the firm.
P.S. Once you have successfully completed your project add it to you resume!
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I am so excited to offer Free Business Strategy Sessions for a limited time. . I am really excited about helping new entrepreneurs, small business owners and those with just a business idea grow. For a limited time you can book a free online business strategy session with me. Do book. I am eager to help! Visit my appointments page and select Free Coaching and come away with an action plan to grow your business and see your ideas come to fruition.