Success, for many, doesn’t run deeper than the development of skills or talents. There are many forgettable people in the world who are skilled, talented and successful. Success is a great thing, but having an impact is another.
To be successful and feel the fulfillment of your success, strive to have an impact. Strive to make a real difference in lives of others. Live for those opportunities to help. Deep life satisfaction comes from being a really good human being.
Success without generosity is not success. You must be dedicated to your work and driven to meet goals but you must also be driven be a real superman or superwoman in your community.
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When you make a difference in the lives of others you also make a significant difference in your own everyday life.
1. Start with you
Before you can make a difference in the lives others, you must make changes within yourself first. Such an inward difference will undoubtedly show an outward ripple effect. To have an impact in the world you have to wake up and take a look at your “stuff.”
Do your own personal inventory and cleanse your personality of its toxic qualities as best as you can. When you wake up and become conscious, you become aware that life is not a drama of the Universe starring you. You are able to see outside of yourself to where and with whom you can make a difference.
2. Turn the negative into positive
Greed, impatience, anger, jealousy and stupidity are among the many emotional and mental poisons that exist in each and every human being. We all have threads of these emotions to varying degrees. Rather than deny they exist, find ways to turn them to positive.
Find ways to turn greed into generosity, impatience into patience and acceptance, jealousy into the celebration of others, and ignorance into education. You are a more powerful motivator of others when you are tuned into what is positive about life and people.
3. Make a habit of respect
Do your best to treat others with respect. Everyone has their own story. Whether you like someone or not, there is a decent way to treat everyone. It is important, classy and intelligent to be cordial. If you cannot be cordial, have the decency to be quiet.
It is possible to love a person but not like them. We are all human beings, and treating others disrespectfully doesn’t serve anyone, including you. When you are respectful to others, others look up to. We are influenced the most by those we admire.
4. Think of others
Resist getting so caught up in your own world and drama that you forget to consider the people you see each day. You cannot have an impact on others when you are wrapped up in yourself and your life.
It is the coworker or family member right next to you that you can reach out and touch. Be mindful of the people in your life. Look for how you can get outside of yourself long enough to really “see” them. Do what you can to be of service.
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5. Be kind
Kindness will get you further in life than any other human virtue. There is no quicker or faster way to have an impact on others than to simply be kind.
Having an impact isn’t limited to donating to charity, starting a philanthropy or creating a movement. Simple kindness is a movement all unto itself.
6. Look for the good
Acknowledge the good within others and within yourself. Yoga classes typically end with a prayer that says “the light within me sees the light within you, Namaste.”
Take that perception into the world, regardless of your experience or judgments of others, and find the good no matter how small. Accept that finding the good in certain people can be challenging but seldom impossible.
When you cannot find the good in another, strive to be the bigger person. Come from the good within yourself when dealing with difficult people in your life.
7. Take time
The most valuable thing you can give of yourself is your time. If you see that someone is stressed take a minute for them. You may make the difference in their day they needed in order to be able to turn it around.
Sometimes just allowing another person to vent opens them to the solutions they were seeking. When you take time for people you show them they matter and are of value. To make another feel they matter is a powerful way to have an impact, and all it takes is the giving of a little bit of your time and attention.
8. Show up
Put your heart into everything important to you. Be present to other people. Listen, don’t just talk. When you show up in life and are completely present, it will inspire you to commit and follow through.
When you commit and follow through you touch other people and help them see bigger things in themselves and for themselves.
Make a difference every day for the people you love, for those who work for you, in the lives of the people you meet and for yourself. When you show up you make others feel secure, valued, included and considered.
A smile lights up your whole personal aura. A smile, like a yawn, is contagious. Smile. There is so much to be grateful for and happy about. People will be drawn to you and your energy when you smile. Smiling, especially on your bad days, is important.
Life is challenging but suffering also has a positive purpose. It teaches you resilience. Your smile has the power to change your day and the day of others.
10. Be involved
You make very little impact only being an observer or spectator. To have an impact you must be actively involved in your life and in the lives of others. You will never know your power unless you have the courage to activate it.
Get dirty, dig in to life and do whatever you can to positively influence others with your passion, love and involvement. The more involved you are, the more others will want to be involved.
11. Be grateful
Emotions are transmissible, so you may as well adopt a grateful spirit. People are inspired by an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful, regardless of your burdens. Better yet, find a way to be grateful for how your burdens help you grow.
Impact others by turning your pain to positive. Use the knowledge you gained through your struggles to help others see the light at the end of their own tunnel. Speaking the language of gratitude shows others there are blessings in the bummers.
Success is one thing, but having an impact is another. Live to have an impact. Too many so-called successful people are unremarkable, self-centered and greedy. True success comes in creating a shift, no matter how big or small, in the lives of others.
When you strive to make a difference in the lives of others and in your own life, you only increase your capacity for giving, for leading others and for running a business and life that has an authentic influence in the world for the better. You will always be cherished, revered and influential when you live to create a positive difference.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
4 Common Myths About Leadership That Can Hold You Back
Alignment with your values and belief systems is the foundation of becoming an effective leader.
To be a great leader in today’s world, being a brilliant knowledge expert or technician is no longer enough. Even harder is trying to learn the golden rules of the wrong and right ways to be a great leader. The amount of content spouted in countless books and resources is overwhelming let alone confusing.
To be unstoppable leaders for our businesses and our people, tuning out from the noise and distractions potentially misguiding us is pertinent now more than ever. Pay attention to any presence of these four myths and make guiding your people a more soul-enriching journey that they and you will want to continue well past your leadership term’s end.
Myth 1: Great leaders are highly ranked individuals
Richard Branson proves a classic example of how great leaders can get to the top without having ivy-league school connections and astounding qualifications. Having had enough of struggling at school, Branson dropped out of the highly reputed Stowe boarding school at the age of 16 to start a magazine called Student. The first publication sold $8000 worth of advertising. We all know the Virgin story from there on. Then there are the likes of Rachael Ray, food industry personality whose empire has amassed a $60M fortune without her having any culinary qualifications whatsoever.
There’s a common entrepreneurial DNA that runs through the veins of such leaders. An avant-garde vision, tenacity and patience seem to be common underlying themes for many. For others, it’s about making sacrifices and taking risks that could cost their life to serve a cause extending far beyond serving their own needs.
By publicly speaking out against the Pakistan Taliban’s extremist rulings, one of which of was to prevent females from accessing education, Malala Yousafzai became a target. At 15 years of age, a masked gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head. She survived and many months of rehabilitation spurred her determination to fight for every girl to have the opportunity to attend school. The work she achieved through establishing the Malala Fund with the undying support of her father, earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in December of 2014.
Whether from desperation or a happy place there is always the genesis of a passion driving a persistence to go against the grain and to continue the fight. Often there’s no formal training, qualification or certification in sight.
Myth 2: Following a certain checklist of behaviours will make you a great leader
The ‘fake it ‘til you make’ adage has become a common throw-away phrase consultants and coaches spout as a means to quickly build confidence. Following advice to merely emulate the behaviour of those you admire and respect can pose grave risks, especially when you become a leader by default as opposed to by your own audition. Smart teams can smell falsehood and copycats a mile away. Your integrity will often be scrutinised and your jury will constantly evaluate the values and principles you lead by. One foot wrong might end your leadership term just as quickly as it began and not necessarily by your team’s choosing.
Imagine being tasked with driving credit card sign-ups yet you yourself struggle to make repayments on your own overdraft. How long can you resist your inner conscience? You’ll feel the tug every time you invite a customer to sign up and at every request to your team to follow suit. At some point, you’ll be struggling to face yourself see in the mirror.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
9 Ways To Get Employees To Buy Into Your Vision
Your business is your dream come true, now it’s time to include your employees in your vision to drive future success.
Your vision statement is the foundation of your business. It is the baseline against which all strategic planning is assessed and the benchmark against which all results are measured. However, as important as it is to have a vision when it comes to business success, it is equally important to get your employees to buy into this vision to ensure that success.
Here are nine ways to get your employees to buy into your vision by making it their dream, as much as it is yours…
- It must be believable – Your company vision needs to be within the realms of possibility otherwise people just won’t believe in it. It must be steady, achievable and relevant.
- It must be inclusive – Employees need to see how they can play a part in achieving this vision to make it relatable and inclusive. If they don’t understand what the business does, they won’t care how well the business does.
- It must be reinforced – Talk about your vision all the time. Don’t assume everybody has read it or is familiar with it as new people may not have seen it and older people may have forgotten. Constant communication is critical to ensure everyone is, literally, on the same page.
- It must be transparent – Make sure your communication around your vision is open and clear. Talk about it with clients, with all staff members, at all meetings and keep on talking until everyone understands it. When a vision is tangible and accessible it is far more achievable than when it is ethereal and vague.
- It must be practical – Don’t make flamboyant statements that are almost impossible to achieve like, ‘We will be number one in X!’. Be practical. It doesn’t matter if you’re not number one, it does matter that your vision is practical.
- It must be shared – Connect people’s careers to the vision by creating opportunities for them. Show them how the work they do is tied back to the vision and the business. If the business is only about profit and customer, then employees often don’t see how they fit in or why they are important. Create opportunities for them and they will be inspired to achieve your vision.
- It must be people-centric – People make up the core of your business. It is bigger than just one person or one idea. So, give them something to aspire to with a realistic, practical and human company vision.
- It must have purpose – Embed your vision and its values into the way you do business. The way you treat your employees and your customers and the choices you make should all reflect your vision. Take it beyond just ‘We want to make money’ and show how your vision positively affects your community and others.
- It must be visible – Put your vision on doors, in emails, on letterheads, in proposals. Show what you stand for at every opportunity. Employees need to feel that there is a cohesive plan for the future. This will not only drive engagement but it will keep them steadfast when times get tough – they believe in the ship too much for it to sink.
What’s Your Number? How To Unpack Company Valuations
Business is booming. Investors want in. But how do you put a price on the value of the company you have built with your own hands?
Company valuations is such a hazy part of the scale-up journey of a private company. Putting a price tag on a business is both art and science. At the end of the day, the number that makes the headlines (if ever disclosed) will be where willing buyer and willing seller meet.
But how do you , as business owner, go about setting your asking price? Before approaching investors, it’s a good exercise to determine your own valuation range for the business. Choosing the right valuation method is the first big question. The answer has many parts to it, but the most important driver is the stage of the business.
Let’s look at some of the most commonly accepted valuation methods in our market:
Applicable stage: Established, profitable companies
Listed companies, institutional players and private equity investors normally invest in a company for its cash flow profit that can contribute to their portfolio income. More often than not, companies will be valued based on their current earnings (bottom line profit after tax).
This method can only be used for companies that consistently make a profit. A multiplier will be chosen based on the company’s perceived risk. Younger, more risky businesses will likely have lower multipliers (as low as 3 and 4) and high growth, well established, lower risk companies will get higher multipliers (8-15).
Sometimes small adjustments are made to current year earnings (like non-standard, non-repeating income statement items) after which the valuation is set at Earnings times multiplier equals company valuation.
Discounted Cash Flow (DCF)
Applicable stage: Post-revenue start-ups, growth companies and established businesses
The most commonly used method in practice, the DCF method argues that a company’s value is determined by the future cash flows that it will yield to investors.
The starting point is creating a five to ten year cash flow forecast for the business. This is no small feat. In order to create a full financial model – income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement – for the next decade requires a lot of work, both from a strategic and technical perspective.
Investors love this model because if forces the owners to put a clear strategy and expansion plan for their business into numbers. It will include dozens if not hundreds of assumptions – all of which can be scrutinised for reasonability. The result of financial model will be five to ten years’ worth of projected cash flows. These amounts are then discounted to present value at a discount rate that reflects the company’s risk and expected cost of capital.
The sum of the discounted future cash flows plus a terminal value (that represents the value after the five or ten year period of the model) then represents the valuation of the company after some final small adjustments for things like existing debt in the business.
A revenue multiple valuation approach is focused on the market for similar businesses and is underpinned by your company’s current turnover. It seeks out the sales price of other similar companies in the country or worldwide, adjusted for size, stage and market differences.
A company that sold for R100 million at a turnover of R50 million would have a two times revenue multiple (valuation/revenue). If the average revenue multiple for similar companies is in a certain range, this multiple is then slightly adjusted and applied to your business.
If the average sale in your industry has been two times revenue but you are growing much faster than the average with a better competitive advantage, you can argue that two and a half times revenue is a more applicable number for your business. Revenue multiples are often used as a reasonability check in the market for the current asking price.
Most established companies are valued using one or a combination of more than one of the above three methods. At start-up stage, there are a number of other methods like Cost to Replicate or the Scorecard Method that early stage investors look to. When a company is simply in too early stage to practically value it, seed stage investors would also consider SAFE Agreements (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) – an instrument that determines that the percentage of the company the investors are buying with their investment. This is only determined when the Series A round is raised at a future date and under certain conditions, generally at a discount to the price the series A investors are paying.
Company valuations are complex. Many of the above technical factors play a role. A lot of it also comes down to the salesmanship of the owners and the negotiating capabilities of the parties. In ‘How Yoco Successfully Secured Capital And The Importance Of A Pitch’, the Yoco team speak about the importance of the right approach in their recent R248 million fundraising
Don’t go into this process without seeking some kind of expert advice. The price of the wrong valuation is simply too high. Make your numbers and your arguments bulletproof and you will be on your way to defending a strong and exciting valuation for your next raise!
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