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6 Legacy Building Techniques To Make A True Impact On Your Business, Employees And Customers

Master these six things and make a true impact on your business, employees and customers.

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True entrepreneurship involves a mindset of solving problems. But real success goes well beyond the bottom line to impacting lives and leaving a legacy.

Many global challenges need innovative solutions that are likely to be solved by entrepreneurs. Established industries like health care, education, and alternative energy are ripe for disruption.

This creates opportunities for those who want to step up and become the next Larry Page, Elon Musk or Bill Gates.

This is how you can do it:

1Find your purpose or ‘why’

The pioneering entrepreneur Peter Diamandis says, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

People often say to me, “I’m 30 years old and have no idea what to do with my life.” Lacking clarity can waste years of your life.

People who change the world have a strong why, and a clear purpose. For example, Elon Musk said the goals of his companies SolarCity, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity.

If you don’t know your purpose, start working on yourself now by asking:

  • What matters most to you and why? (Maybe improving well-being in your community, access to education and ending suffering or poverty.)
  • What is your calling? What do you think you should do?
  • What gets you excited every morning and why? Intrinsic motivators from your deepest values will sustain you, not extrinsic motivators powered by someone else’s values.
  • What do you enjoy so much that you’d do it for free?
  • How do everyday problems frustrate you and what can you do to solve them?
  • If you won the lottery, what would you do differently?
  • What are you here to do? What legacy do you wish to leave on the planet?

2Revisit your purpose often

business-goal-and-purpose

Any plan is worthless without execution. At times, you’ll feel out of alignment; that’s the human experience — plans and reality often contradict each other. Frequently revisiting your purpose will keep you on track.

How you revisit your purpose will depend on your personality. As an extrovert, I get my energy by connecting with my ‘tribe’ — people on the same journey as me. Look for a local entrepreneurship group, attend a seminar or hire an executive coach.

If you’re an introvert, take time out for mindfulness and introspection. Write everything that’s on your mind each morning and night in a journal.

Rewrite the answers to your purpose questions. Unplug from technology for the weekend. Read stoic philosophy for perspective.

3Cultivate your signature strengths

Identify your signature strengths and talents so that you can use them every day to add value to others. Maybe you know your strengths based on previous feedback or the outcomes of your decisions. Think about what talents you used when experiencing the most success and fulfilment. If you’re still unsure, take some personality tests like Strengths Finder or 16Personalities.

4Don’t work in isolation

isolation

An African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Cultivate an exponential mindset — where you view the world as full of possibility and hope. Don’t work in isolation.

Collaborate with transformational leaders and build an exceptional team; they’ll teach you how to be a better leader. And you’ll build something bigger than yourself with a lasting legacy.

5Be part of the team, rather than above it

In Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek says that great leaders look out for their team before themselves. Let them know that you’ll always have their back, so they’re empowered to build a business with impact and legacy together.

Develop first-hand knowledge of the challenges the team faces. Just ask. This raises your confidence and credibility.

6Lead a life of service

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Go beyond your call of duty to solve grand global challenges. Even after wild success in business, Bill Gates has found a higher calling in eradicating pandemic diseases.

Legends like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa aligned their passion with a purpose to change the world.

It takes courage to have a vision and to serve that vision so you leave a legacy that fosters prosperity for future generations. We live in an extraordinary time in the history of humanity. Use this opportunity to take a stand and build a legacy that will help humanity flourish.

Kunal Sood is a member of The Oracles, a brain trust of high-level entrepreneurs. He is the founder and CXO of X Fellows and a TED Resident. He is writing his first book called Exponential Happiness.

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How Entrepreneurs Can Make Good Decisions Quickly

Below are some tips on how you can do just that.

Amy Galbraith

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As an entrepreneur, you have to face difficult decisions on a near-daily basis. These can range from deciding on what marketing strategy suits your business best or choosing what new talent to hire for your team. Making good decisions quickly can be tricky, even more so if you are pressed for time. However, there are methods you can use to do this.

Decision-making is an intrinsic part of being an entrepreneur, and once you know the answer to “What is decision-making?” you will be better able to make good decisions, quickly. Below are some tips on how you can do just that.

Acknowledge what you are trying to accomplish

Making decisions can be difficult if you do not know what, exactly, you are trying to accomplish. Before you reach a decision, you will need to carefully look at what you are trying to accomplish and optimise. Once you have done this, you will be able to make the right, and quickest, decision.

An example of this is changing a marketing strategy. Are you trying to reach a new audience? Are you trying to release a new product to the public, or are you trying to change your brand’s image? Once you have acknowledged what you are trying to accomplish, you can decide on what options best suit the situation. This process might take time at first, but, once you have done it a few times, it will become second nature.

Related: 6 Common Decision-Making Blunders That Could Kill Your Business

Use available data

Having evidence or data to help with a decision can be highly useful for any entrepreneur. And in today’s online world, you will be able to find enough of both to help you make any decision, whether it is big or small.

Using data and evidence, you will be able to see how your company is currently performing and make a business decision based on this data. The key to making good decisions in the shortest amount of time possible is having the right evidence and information available. You will need to be sure that you understand the data and evidence in order to use it as part of your decision making.

Give yourself a deadline

It is important to set deadlines for decisions. This way, you will be able to make them quickly, effectively and before any problems become bigger than they need to be. For example, set a deadline for deciding on a new employee a week from their interview date. This gives you time to examine their strengths and weaknesses in depth before deciding.

Having a deadline creates a sense of urgency, meaning that you will spend less time procrastinating and more time on the actual decision-making. It will keep things moving forward and you will avoid “paralysis by analysis”, a common occurrence in entrepreneurs and business owners. Deadlines help to keep the goal in sight, allowing you to make a decision quickly and easily without overthinking it.

Get an outside opinion

Even the Khaleesi in Game of Thrones has an advisor to help her make decisions. And if she has one, it makes sense that a business owner or entrepreneur should too. It is a good idea to get an outside opinion, especially if you have been thinking about a decision for a long time.

An objective voice can help you to reach a final decision, as they can help you consider points that you might not have thought of. You could ask your friends or your colleagues for help, but be sure that they do not have any attachment to the decision. This can make it difficult for them to give objective advice. If you have a mentor, this is the best person to ask for advice.

Related: 5 Bad Decision-Making Habits That Can Destroy Your Business

Reframe the problem

Step back from the problem or decision you are facing and look at it from another angle. Often, reframing a problem or situation can help you to reach a speedy conclusion, especially in terms of business.

Try to see the issue from as many perspectives as possible, as this will help you to ensure that you are not emphasising one aspect and neglecting another. This is all a part of the answer to “what is decision making?” as seeing a problem from another perspective can help you to see the bigger picture. You should try to think of at least three different ways to see the problem and work from there.

Keep calm

One of the most important ways to make good decisions quickly is to keep calm. By keeping your emotions in check, you will better be able to make a decision that is smart and objective. The steps in decision-making include knowing what you want to accomplish, using the data available to you, giving yourself a deadline and asking for an outside opinion. Once you have taken all of these steps, you will be able to make efficient and effective business decisions.

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Simple Ways To Make Your Small Business More Professional

If you are looking to boost your business success and look more professional to clients, read on for some top tips on how to do so.

Amy Galbraith

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Owning and operating a small business can be tough, time-consuming and at times, frustrating. There is always a business out there that is more efficient, funky or more professional than you. But you can get an edge on the competition if you strive to be better.

One way to bring in more professionalism is to send your staff on office administration courses so that they are able to perform administrative tasks to improve efficiency, or you could hire a professional administrative assistant to do the job. If you are looking to boost your business success and look more professional to clients, read on for some top tips on how to do so.

Create a modern website

In today’s modern, digital age, the very first thing that people see when looking for your business is your website. And, having an unprofessional, outdated and badly designed one will send potential clients running for the hills before they even contact you to find out about your products or services.

It is not enough to have a Facebook Business Page, you will need to have a professional, modern website that tells clients exactly who you are, what you do and (most importantly) what you can do for them. You will also need to include your contact details, office address and business hours, so that your clients can reach you when they need you. A modern website will entice customers to find out more about your company, too.

Related: Government Funding And Grants For Small Businesses

Always use a business email

You might think that creating another email address is tedious, but think about how embarrassing it would be to email clients from your current one that you might have created in high school (BarbiePrincess89@hotmail.com is hardly going to impress anyone).

If you already have a business website, then setting up a business email is quick, simple and more often than not, free. You can use Google My Business or other similar tools to create a business email that reads YourName@yourbusiness.com, which is much more professional and will send the right message to your clients. A business email also makes it easier for you to answer work emails quickly and efficiently, as you will not be scrolling through your personal inbox, trying to find them.

Have someone to answer your phones

If you have employees for your small business, you should look into sending someone on office administration courses so that they are able to answer your office phone quickly, effectively and in a professional manner.

Having a receptionist or office administrator to answer your phones immediately makes your small business seem more professional. And it will allow you to focus on more important tasks, rather than having to answer a ringing phone all day. Your office administrator will be able to forward calls to you, take messages and answer any queries that clients may have. This will give clients a positive experience when dealing with your business too.

Avoid formal titles on your business cards

If you are a “one-man-band”, so to speak, it can be tempting to call yourself the CEO of your business, or a similarly formal title. After all, you are the one putting in all the work, right? However, clients will not be impressed by this title and it could backfire rather than work in your favour.

More often than not, calling yourself the CEO of a one-person company will make you look unprofessional and appear to be a “small-time” operation, especially as the CEO is the one chasing up clients and running around doing all the grunt work. It is best to simply leave it at your name and the name of your business. You do not need a title to prove that you are good at your job, rather let your products and/or services speak for you.

Related: How South African Small Business Owners Can Overcome Economic Uncertainty

Lease a professional office space

If you are just starting out or your small business has not yet taken off, you may not have a professional office address or space. While it can help to cut costs to operate out of your home, it will not help to raise your level of professionalism in the eyes of your clients.

You could look into leasing a workspace in a coworking space such as No 80 Hout Street in Cape Town or Worq in Pietermaritzburg. Having a professional space to meet with clients and to conduct your business will increase your success and will help you to stand out against the competition. Coworking spaces are highly popular among young entrepreneurs and you might even meet like-minded people who you can collaborate with on projects for clients.

Professionalism is in the eye of the beholder

Going on office administration courses, having a modern website created for you, creating a business email and hiring someone to answer your phones are all highly effective ways to make your small business more professional. Clients will appreciate the effort that you have put into crafting a professional presence, no matter if you have one employee or ten.

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8 Steps For Conducting Difficult Conversations At Work

There’s no avoiding it. Whatever your role, it’s inevitable that sometimes, you’ll need to have difficult conversations at work. Handled poorly, these conversations can make bad situations a lot worse. Handled right, they can improve performance and strengthen relationships.

Taryn Nightingale

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Whether you’re an entrepreneur handling a crisis with a client, a manager addressing a performance issue like absenteeism or an employee tackling a disagreement with a colleague, these eight actionable steps will help you navigate a tricky conversation with finesse.

1. Set a date

Formally schedule a meeting and send the person you need to speak with an invitation, briefly outlining what you’d like to discuss. Avoid going into too much detail, especially if there’s potential for conflict. Stick to facts and don’t get personal. This way, you keep the playing field open and neutral, and allow the other party to prepare for the discussion.

2. Create a safe space

People communicate best when they know they’re in environments where they feel safe. So ensure the space you meet in is private, reasonably comfortable and free from distractions.

Related: Your Team Will Succeed Only If They Trust Each Other

3. Prepare what you’d like to say

Get all your facts straight. Gather and review all the information that led you to identify the need for a discussion in the first place. Then take time to write down what you want to communicate. It’s important to do this so that during the actual conversation, you don’t get side-tracked or drawn into making unnecessarily personal comments. Plan to end the conversation with a resolution on the way forward.

4. Find a common goal

According to author and leadership advisor, Mike Myatt, people are more likely to be open to collaborating and resolving issues when they feel their objectives are being taken into account. Initiate this process by introducing a shared goal for the conversation – like agreeing to find a way to work in harmony.

5. Stick to “I” and avoid “you”

Speak from your perspective and avoid playing the blame game. If you’re at fault, accept responsibility, and, if the situation allows, offer an alternative you can commit to. If you need to address poor behaviour, focus on exactly that – the behaviour, not the person.

“Late reports make us look unprofessional” is much better than “you’re tardy and making us look bad”.

6. Paraphrase

Summarising what you’ve heard the other person say in your own words forces you to absorb their perspective, gives them the opportunity to correct you if you’ve misunderstood, and proves you were really listening and trying to understand.

Related: Can Your Words Be Used Against You?

7. Anticipate strong reactions

Ensure you’re emotionally ready to handle an intense reaction. Tears, denial and finger-pointing are all likely responses to hairy conversations. If you’ve anticipated these types of responses, it will be easier for you to control your own emotions. Keep calm and either steer the conversation back to finding a solution or, if appropriate, end the conversation. If someone is too emotional to talk about something, it’s healthiest to reschedule the conversation for a better time.

8. End with a plan

Make sure you conclude with a plan that meets both your objectives and serves the common goal established near the beginning of the conversation. Aim to get the other person’s agreement to strive to meet this target and book a follow-up meeting where progress can be reviewed.

See difficult conversations as an opportunity

Although difficult conversations can be stressful they can provide you with the ideal opportunity for positive change and growth. Shoving issues under the carpet can breed resentment and distrust. Having hard discussions that focus on finding solutions gives you the chance to build better relationships.

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