Saturday, November 10, 2012

If Your Business Cannot Work Without You!

The reason why most entrepreneurs fail is because they build a business that depends solely on their presence and unique skills set. They are the primary producer of the goods or services. They are the one attending to the customer, making the sale, cutting the hair, doing the accounts, cooking the food etc...

They are the business and the business is them. These entrepreneurs are, in real terms, self-employed individuals and not the owners of a business that works.

The business needs them to be physically there in order to function. If they aren't there, they lose the sale, the goods cannot be made, the service cannot be performed and the customers will not come.

So what's the problem with this?

The problem is that if your business only works when you are there, then you have sacrificed the most important reason for being an entrepreneur...FREEDOM. You can never take a holiday. If you were to ever take leave for a month, your business may no longer be there.

In this scenario (which is all to common for most entrepreneurs), you will be trapped in your self-created 'cage' until the day you die. You will never be able to sell your company or let someone else run it for you while you retire.

You will end up spending seven days a week, working 13-hour days or more, and working to the very end. Not a rosy picture, is it?

I'll share with you how you can escape this trap and work ON your business and not IN your business.  Please browse through my topics here.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sameness Kills Your Business!

The number one reason why most businesses get killed by the competition and fail is because of 'sameness.'

The tuition centre that the new entrepreneur starts is just like hundreds of other tuition centres. The electronics store that the new entrepreneur opens is just like all the others in the neighbourhood. The hairdressing salon that the new entrepreneur opens is just like any other. And so on...

When your business is no different from anybody else's (the only thing different being the name of your company), then you will find that your chances of success is just like everybody else...very low!

Remember that only 10% of businesses succeed and 90% fail. So, if you do business the same as everybody else, you can bet that you are going to be among the 90% that will fold up.

Wherever I conduct my entrepreneurship workshops, people tell me the same thing. Competition is tough, very tough. They tell me that business used to be good, but when all the competition came in, prices fell and profits disappeared.

So they ask me what kind of business they can get into which has less competition and more opportunities? This is a story I hear all too often.

My reply to them is that every industry is competitive if you do business like everybody else. However, if you do your business in a totally different way, you will find that you will have NO DIRECT COMPETITION.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

7 Simple Steps to Stop Procrastinating

Are you a victim of laziness, a root cause of procrastination? Do you often suffer because of what you initially considered as easy has turned difficult with the loss of time, and what appeared hard, due to further delay, has become impossible now? You may draw comfort from the fact that you are in the company of many that are affected by procrastination. But you must realize that you will experience true comfort, if you get rid of your laziness by shaking yourself up into action. Like many others, you can indeed stop procrastinating and start meeting deadlines, by following a few simple steps that teach you effective time management.

1. Plan your daily must-do activities. Draw up a to-do list; preferably, write it down on paper; or, use a computer if you prefer.

2. Prioritize the activities, the more important ones taking precedence over the less important. If there are urgent things to do, but not important enough to be worried about if not done, put them below the important ones. The idea is based on the established principle that 80% of rewards accrue from 20% of effort directed towards accomplishing important work.

3. Estimate the time required for each of the listed activities after analyzing their complexity. Avoid underestimation, as you may not have enough time to do well a particular of piece of work. Similarly, avoid overestimation, for that may leave some activities without enough time. A realistic budgeting of time is a must. Time allocation is a skill that is acquired with experience. So keep reviewing and revising your time schedule as you progress.

4. Organize your life. That will help you avoid wasting your precious time and leave more time for the actual work.  Remember indiscipline causes confusion, even chaos, in life. It eats into your time. Avoid sloppiness. For instance, leave your personal belongings of daily use, like your glasses, your clothing, your computer etc., in the same place.  If you do, you won’t need to spend time looking for them all over the place. Apply the principle of doing work first and then taking time for pleasure and relaxation. Reverse the order only at the pain of falling prey to procrastination. You can get time for rest and relaxation if you are efficient in doing your assigned work. 

5. Start working bit by bit. You may see a mountain at first, but mountains can be moved, especially if you begin by moving just a small stone from it. You know you cannot move the entire mountain all at once. Do not be overwhelmed by the immensity of the task before you. That will put you off.  And you will put off the task for another day, which will never come. Just begin by taking one small step and you will invariably reach your destination.

6. Put first things first early in the day. Remember procrastination grows into a habit by the minute. Begin your day by launching yourself head first into the most important job waiting to be done.

7. Learn to cope with anxiety, depression, stress and other similar conditions of the mind related to your problems in life. Keep yourself fit, not just physically but mentally as well. Learn and practice suitable mental relaxation techniques such as meditation.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Don’t settle for mediocrity

True success in life can only come by not settling for mediocrity, we should always strive to achieve and get the most out of life that we possibly can, it is only when we push ourselves and give it all we’ve got can we then give ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done. Success in life depends on self-discipline and not giving in at the first hurdle you come across or going into a project only half heartedly, by pushing yourself that little bit further you will be surprised at what you are capable of achieving, this is what separates the winners from the losers or the successful from the unsuccessful.

All people say that they want to succeed in life at whatever they do but very few are willing to actually push themselves them little bit further in order to achieve their goals, and this is why some of us succeed in life and others fail. How well you succeed is all about how bad you want the success, what it means to you, are you willing to succeed a little or are you willing to go the whole way and beyond to achieve a higher status and be outstanding?

We all start out with the best of intentions when racing towards the goals we have set, we shoot out of the starting gate and run down the straight but many of us fall back at the first hurdle, we don’t push, we run out of steam when the going gets tough and don’t pause to catch our second wind but come to a halt and give up, or stumble on half heartedly and cross the line in second or third place at best.

Those who do have the winning streak in them, who know that with a little extra push and a pause to catch their breath and then a final sprint down the home straight and past the winning post a head in front of their competitors are the ones that end up with the glory and true success in life.

Of course all those who are successful don’t just rely on pushing themselves, all winners have a strategy and are willing to be flexible on their way to success because life has a way of throwing many different spanners into the works along the way. We have to be able to adapt to these unexpected happenings when they occur and not get bogged down, we have to take them in our stride, skip around them and continue in the race.

Never settle for anything less than giving it you’re all

Here are some tips to help you remember never to settle for anything but your best no matter what the project is

  • It doesn’t matter how big or small the project put your all into getting it completed
  • If you think you have given it your best shot, pause and ask yourself “could I improve”
  • Plan our your project but always be willing to make changes and work your way around the unexpected
  • It’s ok to pause but get back into the race and carry on until you pass the winning post.

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