Want A Successful Business? Focus On These 5 Things

It shocks me to see how many entrepreneurs continue to get in their own way by focusing on the wrong things in business. There’s no reason to make success hard when it’s easy.

Don’t focus on what you don’t know at first you’ll just get frustrated and stuck. Focus instead on what you can do and keep going to gain momentum. This means focusing on the easy parts first, then coming back to the more difficult aspects of building your business. Hopefully, by then you’ll have built up enough momentum that it won’t break your productive focus.

The following are some of the basic business skills (especially soft skills) that drive you to success with ease. These basic skills are what truly set you up for success.

  1. Focus on what works for easy success. Many entrepreneurs believe they’ll succeed, but they lack the basic business skills and common business sense to back up that belief. They waste a lot of time focusing on expensive details.

For instance, when I work with entrepreneurs in building or reinventing their businesses, I help them develop or re-create their branding. Occasionally, I get a client who gets stuck on such details as perfecting the font on the logo when he should be focusing on areas of the business that generate profits. People like this make it hard for themselves, instead of making it easy by trusting the process.

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Introducing how to succeed in business. 6 Secret steps to success. Part 2 – How to achieve your dreams in real life – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHwxR…

Obsessing over perfection or the wrong details isn’t cost-effective. You must learn how to prioritize. Know how much time to spend on each aspect of your business, and don’t waste time on less important tasks.

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  1. Avoid “Squirrel Syndrome.” It’s not uncommon for a business owner to spin their wheels and lose focus. When this happens, many people start looking for the next bright, shiny object to grab hold of. This is called Squirrel Syndrome.
  • Squirrels have a severe inability to focus.
  • Squirrels often dart back and forth—doubting their deci­sions—unable to choose a direction.
  • Squirrels have something to teach us: what not to do.

The Squirrel Syndrome may cause abrupt dashes from one idea to another or one project to the next. When this happens, you become unfocused and may even become frantic about not getting things accomplished. The result is, you delay or never complete important projects to reach your goals.

You can avoid Squirrel Syndrome by learning to recognize when a squirrel shows up in your life. Refocus by taking the time to define the project or direction in which you need to go. Then stay on task and turn off all distractions. Remember, every time you stray off course, it takes that much longer to reach your goals.

  1. Focus on activities that create results. Focus is one of those basic-but-critical, habits you need to master if you want to be successful. Improve your focus on the day-to-day basic business activities you do best, and from which you produce extraordinary results. If you don’t, you’ll create higher stress levels and may experience burnout. When you spend most of your time and energy doing the business tasks you’re brilliant at and allow others (like employees or subcontractors) to do the rest, you reap the biggest rewards.

For example, don’t try building a website unless you’re a webmaster, and don’t try learning technical skills if that isn’t the best use of your time. Outsource those things instead, and focus on running your business so it can grow and prosper.

  1. Multitask mindfully. The key to multitasking is to do it strategically and mindfully. Mindful multitasking means that you check in with yourself and determine how you need to focus in each new situation.

Mindful multitasking allows you to stop reacting to distractions, such as the automatic reflex to answer the phone or read an incoming text. It allows you to focus on the actions that provide the best results and disregard everything else. After you set your intentions for the day, create a to-do list that you can tackle using mindful multitasking, allowing yourself to be present in each action you take for the day.

  1. Focus on developing one big project at a time. Don’t try to start multiple projects at once—it fragments focus and time. Entrepreneurs are creative people, often with many good business ideas. And it’s hard turning off the desire to act on multiple ideas at one time. But if you split your attention between more than one big project at a time, you’ll run into trouble completing anything at all. You’re going to need all your energy and focus to get your one new project off the ground.

Here are five ways to remain focused on whatever your task at hand may be:

  1. Write out what you need to accomplish each day so you don’t forget important tasks. When a new idea comes to mind, don’t stop what you’re doing. Simply make a note of it and come back to it at a more convenient time.
  2. Focus on your overall ideas and then implement an effective action plan. Keep your top three goals in mind and commit to achieving them each week. Write down the specific actions you need to take to achieve those goals.
  3. Tackle creative work first. Mindless work will drain your energy, lower your focus, and waste your time. When you start with creative work at the beginning of the day, you can work on the most complex projects when your energy is highest before moving on to simpler tasks, such as answering emails or returning calls.
  4. Understand what’s worthy of distraction. Don’t allow last-minute, nonemergency issues to kill your focus. Stay on task and stick to your commitments. Prioritize other tasks and put together a timeline so you’re not needlessly distracted.
  5. Unplug from email, social media, and phone calls. Take a break from all outside distractions and focus on the task at hand. You’ll get a lot more done when you’re not constantly interrupting yourself.

Debbie Allen

By:Debbie Allen / Speaker, Business Mentor & Author

Source: Want a Successful Business? Focus on These 5 Things

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Warren Buffett Says You Should Practice the 4 Habits That Separate The Best From The Rest

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, turns 91 in August. Remarkably, at an age where most people’s cognitive functions have entirely regressed, where many are now at the hands of caretakers, Buffett still captures the world’s attention as the fifth richest person on the planet.

The greatest investor of this generation has amassed a following of millions who’ve learned, like Buffett, that long-term success is achieved by making smart decisions — in investing and in life.

Here are four Buffett lessons that will yield good returns when you choose to act on them.

1. Master the practice of “boundaries”

With all the demands on him every day, Buffett learned a long time ago that the greatest commodity of all is time. He simply mastered the art and practice of setting boundaries for himself. That’s why this Buffett quote remains a powerful life lesson. The mega-mogul said:

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.

Buffett’s advice is a bull’s-eye to our conscience. We have to know what to shoot for to simplify our lives. It means saying no over and over again to the unimportant things flying in our direction every day and remaining focused on saying yes to the few things that truly matter.

2. Invest in your personal development

What assets should you be investing in the most? In a 2019 interview, Buffett said: “By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.”

As Buffett has repeatedly taught us, it means to never stop acquiring knowledge — the kind of knowledge that betters yourself as a whole person, not just as an investor.

Buffett’s lifelong pursuit of learning, which he shares with his longtime Berkshire Hathaway partner and colleague Charlie Munger, is the secret sauce of his success.

3. Model the leadership behaviors of the best managers

In Buffett’s 2015 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, he summarized how one arrives at leadership greatness in a few words:

Much of what you become in life depends on whom you choose to admire and copy.

The quote was in reference to Tom Murphy, who taught Buffett everything he learned about managing a company. Murphy, who was Buffett’s biggest admirer, gave plenty of lessons on the best management practices that Buffett has adapted for his own companies, including:

  • Give autonomy to workers.
  • Delegate your authority effectively and wisely.
  • Hire for integrity.

4. Build a positive reputation

Buffett’s reputation is founded on his principled and level-headed approach to his personal and professional life. When it comes to building a good reputation, these are some things worth prioritizing:

  • Establishing trust, transparency, and fairness
  • Offering good value and high-quality products and services
  • Treating people with dignity and respect
  • Communicating clearly and promptly
  • Providing a service to the community

You should treat your business practice as a reflection of yourself, and that means being thoughtful and considerate of how your decisions affect others. If you embrace professional opportunities as a chance to add value to your community, your reputation will reflect your own personal growth.

Source: Warren Buffett Says You Should Practice the 4 Habits That Separate the Best From the Rest | Inc.com

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“Poor People Should Do This!” Warren Buffett ***SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS*** – http://bit.ly/2jVoXRb ►If you struggle and have a hard time, consider taking an online therapy session with our partner BetterHelp. https://tryonlinetherapy.com/dailymot…. We receive commissions for referrals to BetterHelp. We only recommend products we know and trust. ►MOTIVATIONAL CLOTHES Be a Dreamer http://onlydreamersallowed.com ____________________ 👉Follow us on: https://twitter.com/dailyM_channel https://www.facebook.com/dailyMOTIVAT… https://www.instagram.com/dailymotiva…
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Millionaire Mindset: 6 Steps to Think and Act Like a Millionaire

6 Steps to the Millionaire Mindset

Why I don’t make Millions?

Steps to Think and Act Like a Millionaire

Millionaire Lessons

Rules of the Millionaire Mindset

1. Invest At Least 10% Of Your Income In Yourself

The next step

The Lesson

2. Invest At Least 80% of Your “Off” Time into Learning

Millionaire Mindset: Becoming more productive

3. Don’t Work For Money, Work to Learn

How to have a millionaire mindset when you have a average job?

Don’t Focus on the money.

4. Don’t Learn For Entertainment, Learn To Create More Value

Nurture the passions you make pay.

Get rid of hobbies that are bad.

5. Invest At Least 10% Of Your Income Into Vehicles That Will Generate More Money

Advantages of Investing

6. Shift Your Motivation From Getting To Giving

Ethics of the Millionaire Mindset

Contribution is the ultimate purpose.

Now I have the Millionaire Mindset:

Joseph Brown

 

Source: Millionaire Mindset: 6 Steps to Think and Act Like a Millionaire | by Joseph Brown | The Startup | Medium

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I think you’ll agree with me when I say that everybody wants to know how to become a millionaire and get rich. Unfortunately, some people just don’t know where to start. Would you be surprised to learn that you can get rich in your own way, starting today? http://bit.ly/2ZBFdpX The following 6 tips will help you visualize the road ahead of you and enable you to set goals to make more money than you ever dreamed.
Learn how to think like a millionaire with my FREE download. Click the link above! ___ Learn more: Give me a follow on Clubhouse! @briantracy — see you there! Subscribe to my channel for free offers, tips and more! YouTube: http://ow.ly/ScHSb Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrianTracyPage Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrianTracy Google+: +BrianTracyOfficialPage Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BrianTracy Instagram: @TheBrianTracy Blog: http://bit.ly/1rc4hlg

10 Efficient Ways to Save Time So You Can Follow Your Dreams

Time is something we all need more of, but how can you get more of it when there is only 24 hours in a day? Sadly there is no way to put more hours into each day, but what you can do is be more efficient with your time so you can follow your dreams. Here is how I was more efficient during my college years, which allowed me to run a business at the same time.

  1. Watch television on the web – the problem with television is that you had to watch TV shows when they want you to watch them. Now with the technology advancements most entertainment channels like NBC, FOX, CW, and even a few cable networks let you watch your favorite TV shows online. It is free, you can watch the shows when you want to, and an hour show usually ends up being 45 minutes because there are a lot less commercials.
  2. Sleep more – if you learn to take power naps, you will have more energy throughout the day. Although you may lose some time from napping, you will be able to work more efficiently, which will give you more time.
  3. Eat healthy meals – changing your diet maybe hard at first, but eating balanced meals will affect how you do your daily tasks. It will give you more energy so you can get your work done faster.
  4. Do less work – a lot of the things you do on a daily basis, don’t need to be done. Think about your daily routine and cut out anything that isn’t essential. You will be surprised on how much time you are wasting.
  5. Tell people what’s on your mind – being honest and to the point is a great way to accomplish things quicker. When you beat around the bush things don’t get accomplished as fast. Just think about boardroom meetings, people are hesitant to say what is on their mind, which causes meetings to drag on forever.
  1. Have some fun – all work and no play is a good way to make you feel depressed. Get some fun into your life, it will make you feel better, work harder, and hopefully make you want to accomplish your dreams.
  2. Adjust your working hours – many companies are very flexible on what times you can start and end work. If you work in a heavy traffic city such as Los Angeles you can easily spend an hour or 2 commuting to work during rush hour. But if you adjust your working hours you can cut back on driving time drastically.
  3. Cut down on your communication methods – cell phones, email, and instant messaging are just a few tools you probably use to communicate with others. The problem with some of these methods is that they can easily be abused. For example if you log onto AIM, you may waste an hour talking to others about junk. Try and use communication tools like AIM only when you need them.
  4. Don’t multi-task – when you mult-task you tend to switch between what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t. By single tasking you are more likely to do what you are supposed to be doing.
  5. Get rid of distractions – things you may not be thinking of can be distractions. Whether it is gadgets or even checking emails every 5 minutes, this can all distract you. By getting rid or distractions or controlling them, you will have more time on your hands.

Saving time creates time to focus on you and your goals. But finding time is only half the battle. You need to remain as productive as possible with the time you have to make the most of it.

Need help? Here are 51 free productivity apps that can help you out.

Source: https://www.quicksprout.com/

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How Jen Does It

I’m sharing ten real ways to save time! Click the link here: https://cook.ba/2DBU1hj to get $50 off your first two weeks of Blue Apron and share who you would cook for in the comments below! This video is sponsored by Blue Apron #WhoWouldYouCookFor ❤️Please subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/HowJenDo… ❤️Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/howjendoesit/ ❤️LIKEto.KNOW.it: https://www.liketoknow.it/howjendoesit 💙Amazon Store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/howjendoesit 💙Eat at Home: https://eatathom.samcart.com/referral… Save 25% by using code JEN25 (menu plan, recipes and grocery lists) 💜Digital Body Analyzer: http://my.vanityplanet.com/jenfit Use code JENFIT at checkout for 60% off! 💜Personal Microdermabrasion Wand: http://my.vanityplanet.com/jenderm use code JENDERM at checkout for 60% off! 💜Hair products that I use: http://liketk.it/2RF5n *Description box contains affiliate links. Thank you to those of you who use my links and codes! What I’m wearing: Sweater: https://www.express.com/clothing/wome… Watch: https://rstyle.me/~aFByM Nail Polish: https://rstyle.me/~aHv76 Primer: https://rstyle.me/~ar1CN Foundation: https://rstyle.me/~ar1EP Bronzer: https://rstyle.me/~ar1C6 Concealer: https://rstyle.me/~ar1Dz Blush: https://rstyle.me/~ar1Df Eye Shadow: https://rstyle.me/~ar1BW and https://rstyle.me/~ar1Cs Eye Liner: https://rstyle.me/~az8ph Mascara: Watch more of my videos: Fall Cleaning Routine | Home and Yard Clean with Me: https://youtu.be/7Q3lzW9fy8c Cooking Cleaning and Answering Your Questions: Cooking Cleaning and Answering Your Questions My Relaxing Fall Nighttime Routine: https://youtu.be/vpakVWPsLCk How To Be More Confident and Your Best Self: https://youtu.be/6gpwJCw90Jo My Weekly Cleaning Routine: https://youtu.be/ojVcEw_ZFRo My Daily Cleaning Habits | How I Keep a Clean and Organized Home: https://youtu.be/L5vpSPCmfMs Zone Cleaning Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Clean and Organized Home Challenge: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Chandelier in bedroom: http://bit.ly/2JvHUB0 Night Stands: https://amzn.to/2I2uHjz Head Board: https://amzn.to/2HVRYWQ Round Mirror above bed: https://amzn.to/2KhN8ll Duvet Cover: https://rstyle.me/~arwTy Sheets: https://rstyle.me/~arwUu Pink Pillow: https://rstyle.me/~arwUF Paint Color in Master Bedroom: Benjamin Moore Smoke 📷Filming and Lighting Equipment That I Use: Camera: https://amzn.to/2GWgZ0g Camera: https://amzn.to/2GTZoWQ Microphone: https://amzn.to/2qqjcKp Voiceover Mic: https://amzn.to/2JBWE2c Lighting: https://amzn.to/2IO6UTX Ring Light: https://amzn.to/2INaM7L

Customer-Centric Leadership is The New Growth Indicator: Zendesk & ESG

  • The new report, CX Champions: How CX Leaders Who Improve Their Game Are Driving Business Success , surveyed more than 1,000 CX managers and leaders in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America to better understand their investments in CX.

Zendesk today released new research in partnership with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) showing how companies investing in customer experience (CX) are reaping the benefits.

The global study found that there is a clear link between organizations with more mature customer experience capabilities and greater business success in areas such as market share, increased customer spend, and dynamic processes over the past six months.

The research also found that, as companies around the world adapt to new forms of remote work and constant uncertainty in 2020, more than three-quarters of medium-sized and enterprise companies (78%) and almost two Thirds of small businesses (65%) said that customer-centric agility has increased in importance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Organizations are under increasing pressure to outperform the competition and grow their businesses – that’s an even greater challenge as companies adjust to the impact of a global pandemic and associated uncertainty ahead,” he said. Colleen Berube, CIO and senior vice president of operations at Zendesk.

“By working with ESG, we set out to confirm the link between an organization’s ability to deliver a high-quality experience and better business results. The relationship is clear. We hope that these insights into the connection between a focus on customer experience and business success can help companies learn from those ahead of the CX scale, “he added.

The new report, CX Champions: How CX Leaders Who Improve Their Game Are Driving Business Success , surveyed more than 1,000 CX managers and leaders in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America to better understand their investments in CX. Based on the research, ESG developed a CX Maturity Scale that segments organizations into three levels of customer service maturity, based on seven key characteristics that cover how organizations use their support teams, technology and data to drive better performance. Next, ESG classified the companies into three maturity categories: Starters : showing from zero to three of the seven characteristics; Risers (Advanced): they have four to five of the characteristics; and Champions (Expert 🙂 that meet at least six of the characteristics.

Some key findings from the report show that companies that invest in CX reap significant benefits, including:

  • Faster growth: Even during the pandemic, midsize and business Champions were found to be 8.7 times more likely than beginners to have significantly increased customer spending. For the Small Business Champions, this figure increases to 9.2 times.
  • Increased market share: Medium-sized and enterprise Champions were 3.3 times more likely to have increased their customer base in the past six months. Small Business Champions experienced similar growth, 3.6 times more likely to have increased their customer base in the same period.
  • High-level support: Champions also ensured increased investment and support from high-level leaders within their organization. For example, senior Champions leaders of midsize companies and enterprises were 3.8 times more likely to see customer service as a differentiator.

“Our research identified a clear connection between CX excellence and business growth. Not only are companies in the Champion stage of scale seeing better results in traditional service metrics such as time to resolution and CSAT, they are also experiencing positive business results in customer spend, retention, and CX board-level support as a business priority, ”said Adam DeMattia, director of personalized research at ESG.

By: Entrepreneur en Español

Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows how customer-centric leadership can help your business. Try our award-winning PM software for free: https://www.projectmanager.com/?utm_s… The customer is king, but unfortunately they aren’t always treated as such. See how customer-centric leadership can help your business with real-life case studies from successful companies such as Apple, Amazon and Virgin Airlines.

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7 Actionable Tips Every Business Should Try

When the news is constantly negative and the world seems down, are you going to take your business down with it? Of course not!

It’s time to rise up and get your business in gear during these difficult times. Get those gears churning and make your business a success in even the toughest of times.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, it’s time for you to look into some of these actionable business tips. Just keep reading.

1. Save, save, save

One of the biggest problems that businesses have is that they don’t have enough cash in the bank for when bad times come. When there’s a slow down in your business or a slow down in the economy in general, you have to be prepared.

Think about this as a savings account.

It’s highly recommended that everyone keep six months’ worth of living in their savings account. This means that you should have at least $3,000 in your savings account if you spend $1,000 a month. This includes all living expenses like rent, food, utilities, gas, and more.

You should have enough in your business’ savings to cover six months of employee pay, supply pay, and more. If you’re not keeping this amount in your business’ account, you need to reevaluate how your business is operating and allocating its expenses.

2. Take care of your great employees

The best thing you can do to keep your business running on a positive note is to take care of your employees. You need to recognize who your most valuable employees are and take care of them as much as you can.

If you continuously take care of your best employees, they’re more likely to work harder and stay longer. Having faithful employees is great, especially when it makes for a great environment for your customers.

The employees that you’re taking care of will appreciate your friendly and encouraging workplace over others they may have worked at. The point in caring for these employees is to make your workplace stand out. Take advantage of your great employees and show them that you care so that you can stand out for making them stand out. 

3. Say goodbye to bad employees

It is never too early to fire a bad employee. While you should understand that giving second chances is okay, you should know when to fire them.

A bad employee isn’t an isolated issue. These are people who are interacting with your business’ customers and other employees. They could be making a bad experience for everyone else.

If you’re finding that one of your employees is building a poor experience for your customers and employees, it’s time to say goodbye.

Before moving on from this idea, we should explore second chances though. It may be useful to have an unspoken system when it comes to disciplinary actions for poor employees.

You may want to give one or two chances for small, isolated incidents. If an employee has blatantly made a customer have a poor experience, you shouldn’t be shy about hiring someone else for that position.

4. Look at yourself before anyone else

If something in your business is consistently going wrong, your probably the reason why. This is why you should always look at yourself before anyone else when it comes to workplace mistakes.

You have a great influence on your workplace, from your leadership style to your workplace rules to even your mood. It’s important to recognize how you could positively and negatively impact your workplace.

Make sure to evaluate yourself before pointing fingers. Even if an employee made a mistake, you should think about how you could have poorly communicated your expectations.

5. Listen to your customers

The customer is always right, at least the majority of the time. They know what they want, and it’s your job to help them get what those things are.

As your business grows, your customers will tell you what they want. Whether it’s through your social media channels or directly to an employee, it’s important to take down any complaints or suggestions.

Make sure that you tell your employees that they should always make a note of what the customers have been saying.

6. Trust your gut

Your gut is normally right when it comes to split-second decisions. Go with your gut.

In business, you’re going to come across a lot of decisions to make. Sometimes, you’re not going to have the time or the energy to get into a full-scale investigation for every question and problem. That’s the perfect time to depend on your gut.

Focus your time and energy on bigger decisions. Let your gut lead you when it feels strongly about something.

7. Keep your business separate

You need to keep your business life separate from your personal life. Keep them separate when it comes to everything.

Your social life will thank you when you’re keeping your work life at work. You shouldn’t be working on work tasks at home, just like you wouldn’t bring your children to work with you every day.

You should also make sure that your personal and business accounts are different. You never want to tap personal money into your business accounts. It’s going to be a tough call to make if your business is ever on the downturn, but you need to make sure that your business is sufficient outside of your personal savings account.

Getting More Business Tips

Getting business tips like these are great for any business person who’s looking for a little bit of inspiration and encouragement. You should always be looking to take in great information like the seven tips we shared in this post. If you have more specific questions to ask, contact us here. We’d love to hear from you and help you with anything you need.

By: Adam Jacobs / Managing Director Bubblegum Casting & Hunter Talent

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How to Make Smart Bets in Business

Business is full of bets, especially where investing is concerned. If you’re interested in rolling the dice by purchasing a business, making an angel investment in a startup or even allocating your hard-earned money for your first employee, it’s important to know what makes a smart bet and how to protect yourself from a worst-case scenario. It’s worth stating that even deciding to go into a business of your own is a form of a bet, and merits the same type of background due-diligence.

This may require testing or gaining new knowledge, but a thorough understanding is critical, especially with glaring statistics regarding the failure rate for startups at a whopping 50 percent, according to Small Biz Genius. With statistics like these, there’s no way to ensure success. However,  there are definitely ways to think through potential pitfalls in business models and feel more secure regarding where you invest your money and your time.

Related: Make Your Money Grow: How to get wealthy by Smart Investment

Verify demand through popularity

When it comes down to it, a sure bet in business is dependent upon how much customers want what it is that you’re selling. If you can do some market research and verify demand, you’re in good shape. Demand can come from the product’s value — such as its ability to solve a problem — or even from the person who’s selling the product, like a major celebrity who has established trust with millions of followers online. 

This is one of the reasons why big influencers and celebrities can land lucrative book deals. Publishers know that whatever they release will fly off the shelves. The demand from their fanbase is verifiable. Take comedian Amy Schumer, who landed a rumored $8-10 million book deal for 2016’s The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo.

Verify demand through testing

If a celebrity or big-time influencer isn’t included in the equation and you’re just trying to figure out how a product will sell, try a “market as if it were real” test approach. According to Ron Rule from the Entrepreneur’s Handbook, this is because “the only way to truly know if someone is going to fork over their hard-earned cash to buy your product is to get it in front of them.” Otherwise, market research is all mere guesswork. It gets you more clarity than you would otherwise have, but it doesn’t mean much until a target customer’s wallet is involved. 

Rather than going through the hassle and added investment of actually building out the product and then seeing if there’s a demand, Rule recommends creating a prototype of the product in Photoshop, setting up an ecommerce website and then leaving your payment processing in test mode so that it doesn’t actually charge a potential customer’s credit card for a fictional item. 

Then, begin to direct ads to the page to see if customers actually buy. “Personally I would spend around $10,000 on a proper marketing test, but you can start with a lot less if you aren’t comfortable going that high right away,” Rule elaborates in his book. “I do recommend spending at least $1,000 because you want to get enough clicks and conversions for the data to mean something — trust me, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to lose $1,000 on a marketing test than it is to lose tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars producing a product nobody wants.” 

Sometimes, the best bets require a smaller upfront investment first for a big payout on the back end.

Engulf yourself into the industry

The more you know about what you’re investing in, the more educated your bets can be, which usually pays off on the back end. This piece of advice comes from sports gambler Zach Hirsch. At 18 years old, Hirsch is regarded as one of the top-performing sports analysts in sports gambling, with a 90 percent accuracy rate in his predictions (which is over 20 percent higher than the industry average). 

Hirsch’s best advice on making sound bets is to “engulf yourself in the industry.” For Hirsch, he takes this piece of advice within the type of sport he’s betting on, but the advice carries for business investments, as well. “Learn everything there is to know, engage with the experts, and do whatever it takes to further your understanding of the craft,” Hirsch recommends. This advice can be extended to getting to know the founder of the startup you’re investing in or just ensuring you know as much as you can about your new industry, so you can see clearly how a product or service will perform. Do your backup research, then research some more. Keep having important conversations.

Related: How to Invest Your Hard-Earned Money in the Right Project

Even with verified demand and a thorough understanding of your industry, there’s no guarantee that your investment is 100 percent safe, but you’ll at least have the perspective to see potential bumps in the road or glaring stop signs in your betting decisions. These insights may make all the difference.

By: Aimee Tariq / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Smarter Faster™ Big Think is the leading source of expert-driven, actionable, educational content — with thousands of videos, featuring experts ranging from Bill Clinton to Bill Nye, we help you get smarter, faster. S​ubscribe to learn from top minds like these daily. Get actionable lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers & doers. Our experts are either disrupting or leading their respective fields. ​We aim to help you explore the big ideas and core skills that define knowledge in the 21st century, so you can apply them to the questions and challenges in your own life. Other Frequent contributors include Michio Kaku & Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Michio Kaku Playlist: https://bigth.ink/kaku Bill Nye Playlist: https://bigth.ink/BillNye Neil DeGrasse Tyson Playlist: https://bigth.ink/deGrasseTyson Read more at Bigthink.com for a multitude of articles just as informative and satisfying as our videos. New articles posted daily on a range of intellectual topics. Join Big Think Edge, to gain access to a world-class learning platform focused on building the soft skills essential to 21st century success. It features insight from many of the most celebrated and intelligent individuals in the world today. Topics on the platform are focused on: emotional intelligence, digital fluency, health and wellness, critical thinking, creativity, communication, career development, lifelong learning, management, problem solving & self-motivation. BIG THINK EDGE: https://bigth.ink/Edge If you’re interested in licensing this or any other Big Think clip for commercial or private use, contact our licensing partner, Executive Interviews: https://bigth.ink/licensing ———————————————————————————- Follow Big Think here: 📰BigThink.com: https://bigth.ink 🧔Facebook: https://bigth.ink/facebook 🐦Twitter: https://bigth.ink/twitter 📸Instagram: https://bigth.ink/Instragram 📹YouTube: https://bigth.ink/youtube ✉ E-mail: info@bigthink.com

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Working Crazy Hours Is Exhausting, Draining and Painful. But Sorry Entrepreneurs, It’s Necessary

Lately, there is a huge movement towards the idea of work-life balance. We are often told that people can be just as effective in working less time and that doing 50-70 hours a week is toxic, unsustainable, and unnecessary.

Although it sounds smart to maintain work-life balance, experience tells me that a business would not normally get off the ground if a business owner didn’t put in the time. 

Related: How 7-Figure Entrepreneurs Effectively Manage Their Energy

I launched my first business in 2002 and like most entrepreneurs, worked incredibly long hours. A typical day was about 12 hours and a typical month involved taking one weekend off. I averaged 60 hours of work per week for four years straight as the business grew from $1M+ in sales revenue to over $10M+.

In 2006, I launched another business and once again found that a 50-60hour week was the time it took to stay on top of everything that needed to be done. The same happened when I started another company in 2010 and it persisted for another five years.

There’s a reason for this. Businesses make money primarily because of the assets they control and as a result of the labor that sweats those assets. A startup neither has any assets or any labor force.

The trick to getting a business off the ground is to create valuable assets (products, systems, brand, intellectual property, etc) while simultaneously recruiting a team and running the day-to-day operations. If that sounds like a hard task, you’re right — it is. It’s a constant balance of working on the business, in the business, and recruiting people to join the business. You also have to achieve all of this, without running out of money. 

Anyone who works in an established company is leveraging existing assets. When they mention the company brand, refer to their operations manual, log in to the IT system, share a customer success story or sell a proven product, the assets are doing most of the work.

Related: 5 Ways to Get a Natural Energy Boost at Work

Working with an established team creates efficiency and momentum that you don’t normally notice until it’s missing. A company that has a team of 40 people who have all got training and experience is constantly benefiting from that team dynamic. Even if you hired and trained one new person a month, it would take about 4 years to arrive at a functioning team of 40 people.

Creating assets is a full-time job. Hiring and training people is a full-time job. Running the day to day operations of a business is a full-time job. It’s easy to see why entrepreneurs don’t have any trouble filling 12+ hours a day with work that needs to be done.

It’s important to know this before you start a business. If you have an expectation that a business will materialize with minimal time and effort, you will experience a lot of frustrations as the reality sets in.

On the flip-side, if you expect to be doing long days and working on your weekends, you’ll get on with it and still have a smile on your face. Work isn’t really work for entrepreneurs. Creating your own business, around something you are passionate about will feel energizing most of the time.

It is critically important that if you are doing long hours that you are blending your time between the three key roles. You can not simply be working in the business or else you will eventually burn yourself out and have nothing to show for it.

I recommend a blend of: 

– 50% of your time working in the operations of the business: sales, marketing, administration, delivering value to customers.

– 25% of your time into asset creation: creating software, systems, intellectual property, media, and documenting best-practices.

–  25% of your time into hiring and training your team: start with an executive assistant, then get a salesperson and someone who can assist clients. Initially, this time could be used for fundraising and then when funds are secured, diverted to hiring and training. 

Related: 9 Ways to Attract Good Energy Today and Every Day

Using this formula, you might spend 30 hours a week working in the business, 15 hours creating assets, and 15 hours developing your team. To some, this might sound like an unbearable workload but most successful entrepreneurs I know have put in these long hours in order to get to the point where they now make it look easy. More to the point, they have the assets and the team in place, who make it look easy.

By: Daniel Priestley / Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

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Stress-Less Leadership

The One Thing Every Successful Entrepreneur Does

Talking about how to handle failure as an entrepreneur might seem easy from a distance. But once you find yourself in that ugly rut, you might wish you never trundled the entrepreneurial path. Many compare the feeling to a bad break up, which is what it is.

I remember back in college, my project supervisor talked to me about the wonders of failure. He said failure is a ladder through which an entrepreneur can attain the next phase. As a naïve entrepreneur, I never really grasped the concept or realized how tormenting it would be.

Related: 10 Strategies for Entrepreneurs Dealing With Failure

I had an idea — a business model that I was convinced would be my ticket to financial freedom. It started with a formidable plan, a map to guide me to my dream. I remember the sleepless nights and how passionate that dream burned within me.

Every morning, I would wake up with a sparkle of hope and expectation, ready to play my part in this vast world. To me, time was the only barrier to my dream. If I could remain consistent and focused, I was confident I’d hit the gold, or so I thought.

But then I woke up one morning and discovered that my business had been hit. An algorithm update affected my website’s ranking, causing me to lose over 80% of my traffic in a week. My business was like a baby to me, and I was watching it go down the drain.

Years of hard work, resources and effort materialized to nothing. No doubt, it plunged me into the most profound depression I’ve ever known. I felt worthless, broken, hopeless, and, most of all, I felt like a failure.

Learning from failure

Every failure comes with a lesson, and it is up to you to identify these lessons and do things differently. By learning from each failure, you’re able to tell what works and what doesn’t. Through this new insight, you become wiser and more intelligent.

Related: 5 Ways Fear of Failure Can Ruin Your Business

Almost everyone knows the man that invented the light bulb, Thomas Edison. As you might have already known, he failed 10,000 times before finally pulling it off. In his words, “I have not failed 10,000 times – I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”

When you think about it, it sounds insane. When others see failure as failure, some people see this frightening monster as their ladder to success. You must understand that failure doesn’t make you a failure. You only become a failure the minute you decide not to try again.

Getting back up

If you’ve never failed as an entrepreneur, you will never truly understand what it means to. It isn’t about reading tons of self-help books or listening to motivational speakers. If you’ve not dined with failure, your first time dealing with it won’t be pleasant.

At that moment, you will feel beaten, hopeless and depressed. Worst of all, you might lose faith in your capabilities as an entrepreneur. Doubt is most likely to creep in and you’ll start wondering if this path is really for you. 

When you get beaten down by failure, you might consider an easy alternative — giving up.

According to Henry Ford“Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

To get back up from blaming and feeling sorry for yourself, understand the role of failure. It is like you’re being told to try something different, to start again more intelligently.

There is always a reason for failure and a fix for it. Perhaps you didn’t pay attention to your business, finances, team or competitors. Or maybe you’ve been focused on quantity instead of quality.

When you successfully learn from failure, you will get back up like a fearless lone wolf with an undying dream. Try to remember why you choose to be an entrepreneur — that will compel you to keep going.

Related: Why Embracing Failure Is Good for Business

Understand it never ends

I’ve failed numerous times, and I have continued to fail to this day. While you can’t defeat failure, you can change your mindset about it. Instead of seeing it as a hideous monster fighting to end your dream, envision failure as your guide.

It is there to guide, groom, and teach you about what works and what doesn’t. In each failure, there are lessons to be learned and adjustments to make. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs neglect the lessons.

When that happens, you find yourself in a loop, making the same mistake without making headway. But when you learn and get back up, you become an unstoppable force ready to translate your dreams to reality.

By: Henry Ibeleme / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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After graduating from college, I’d wake up at six in the morning with one question in mind: Should I go all-in and focus exclusively on entrepreneurship — consequences be damned? Or look for a full-time job that gave me a sense of stability (and allowed me to make rent).

Let me rewind a bit. Back in 1999, while still studying computer science, I came up with my very first software product idea, a free open source membership program for a student website. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled when this turned out to be an unexpected success. 

After receiving positive feedback from users, I decided to release a paid version that soon became lucrative. Just like that, I was an entrepreneur in the making.

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Friends insisted I follow my dream after graduating and jump in with both feet (a tempting choice for a twenty-something-year-old). 

But after all of the back and forth, I ended up deciding against the most seductive choice and listened to my gut instead.

Overnight success stories are overrated

This is not the story you were probably expecting. In the tech industry, you’ve likely read about fearless dreamers who launched their startups against all odds: Those who opted for building businesses from scratch rather than pursue the security of a nine to five job.

I get the allure of these stories. Overnight success isn’t impossible. But this narrative can be misleading when it makes people believe they should start a business before they’re ready.

I’m a fairly risk-averse person. Meaning, I think moderation is king when it comes to most things. So, what did I end up doing all those years ago? (It’s not as exciting as all those founders who went straight to the top of TechCrunch after graduating). 

I found a full-time job as a programmer for a New York media company. 

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But here’s the thing: I didn’t give up on my dream. Instead, I used my day job to fuel my passion and learned valuable lessons about business and managing teams in the process. Five years later, I felt more prepared and confident to quit my job and to start my own company, JotForm.

Of course, during that time, I had the privilege of finding a job in the first place. 

Because of the current crisis, many of us are re-examining different aspects of our lives. 

You may be questioning whether you should turn your skills into a business, or maybe you are one of the tens of millions of Americans who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus recession and were forced to make this decision.

While new opportunities are always exciting, whatever your situation — more than anything, I’d like to advocate for following a grounded approach. 

Some real talk about entrepreneurship

In her fascinating article for Harvard Business Review, author Emily Heyward points out that there are a few things to consider before taking that blind leap with your business idea. 

“As a founder who works alongside many other founders, I’ve seen firsthand what leads to success, as well as what can go wrong,” Heyward writes. “It’s also never been more competitive. The barriers to entry for starting a new business keep getting lower, as technology becomes more accessible and user friendly.”

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This is in no way to discourage you from trying. While Heyward describes the excitement of starting a new venture, she also offers a few guiding principles aspiring entrepreneurs should take to heart.

“However you come to your idea, you should feel like you have no choice but to start this particular business at this moment in time,” she says. In other words, a genuine connection to your idea is key to success.

I couldn’t agree more. As CEO of JotForm, I’d love to share the expert-backed tips and lessons I’ve learned over the years while bootstrapping my company to over seven million users.

Surround yourself with trusted mentors and colleagues

Unlike other entrepreneurs, I ended up deciding against having a co-founder to build my business with. However, this doesn’t mean I didn’t rely on incredibly smart people to help me along the way. 

Before you dive headfirst into your idea, make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the right people like mentors and colleagues who are a few steps ahead of where you want to be. 

Writing for Entrepreneur, Sheila Eugenio argues that in hard times, having a mentor can help us keep our head high: “The valuable connections, timely advice, occasional checks — together with the spiritual and moral guidance you will gain from having a mentor — will literally leapfrog you to success.”

Focus on value over competition

JotForm is bootstrapped, and we’ve never taken a dime from outside investments. Which is to say, we’re not necessarily the “cool kids” of the startup world. 

Here’s my point: There are always going to be competitors more popular than you. Hitting the front page of TechCrunch or playing the comparison game will get you nowhere. 

So, what does move the needle forward?

Focus on building value for your customers instead of chasing trends. As Heyward puts it: “It’s not about who’s first, it’s about who does it best, and best these days is the business that delivers the most value to the consumer.”

Keep asking yourself: How can I make the best product possible? How can I keep improving my services?

The bottom line: We reached over seven million users because we chose to listen instead of compare. 

Do it with passion or not at all

While there’s no way to know how long this recession will last, considering your role as a founder from the very beginning will go a long way in ensuring where your business ends up. 

“People care deeply about who’s behind the companies they’re purchasing from,” Heyward notes. “It’s hard to feel a personal connection to a nameless, faceless corporation, and far more rewarding to support brands that are built by individuals with a compelling story.”

Whatever you do, don’t be generic. Be willing to communicate with your consumers, share your purpose with them, and what’s driving your efforts. Developing an authentic voice and relationship with the people buying your products doesn’t just help you gain traction, it gives your work more meaning.

Perhaps Heyward put it best: “Recognize that the very long, exhilarating, terrifying, exhausting, but oh-so-rewarding journey ahead of you only begins when you fully commit to your vision and take control of your outcome.”

By: Aytekin Tank Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP / Entrepreneur / Founder and CEO, JotForm

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