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3 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their Productivity Secrets

We’re all busy, but how do the super successful manage to fit everything in?

Stephanie Vozza

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How does a thought leader grow a website subscriber base to nearly one million? How does a serial entrepreneur juggle yet another business?

We caught up with three high profile entrepreneurs and asked them for their secrets of time management. Each had a method for getting more out of each day. Here’s their advice for small-business owners, entrepreneurs and anyone else who wants to increase their productivity:

Amanda Steinberg: Delegate the Small Stuff

Amanda Steinberg is the founder of the popular financial website DailyWorth. A driven and dedicated business owner, she launched her venture-backed company in 2009 on the same week she gave birth to her daughter. Steinberg’s method for managing it all is delegation.

“My secret weapon is my personal assistant, who I hired through thebacanaplan.com,” she says. Bacana Plan is a company that provides business services such as personal assistants, bookkeepers and tech support. “Having the right people around me has been my key to productivity,” Steinberg says.

A single mom of two young children, Steinberg says she knew she needed help when she was missing business appointments that she hadn’t written on her calendar. “Too much of my life felt out of control, and it was stuff that I couldn’t sacrifice,” she says.

Steinberg has her assistant handle everything from fixing her broken smartphone case to scheduling her son’s doctor appointment. “My ability to kick her small tasks saves me endless time,” she says. “Doing those things could take hours of my day.”

Steinberg says an entrepreneur can’t be truly successful until they learn to delegate.

“If you don’t learn to delegate, you risk never getting anywhere and burning out from frustration,” she says. “Is that worth the risk?” Even if you can’t afford to hire your own personal assistant, look at what tasks bog down your day and think about who you can delegate them to, perhaps an administrate assistant or an intern.

Grant Cardone: Divide Your Hours

While in college, New York Times best-selling author and sales expert Grant Cardone learned about a time management secret used by Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

“He chopped up his hour into 15-minute increments,” says Cardone who is also a contributor to Entrepreneur.com. “I became fascinated with this theory and found that when you divide up an hour, you multiply the available time by four.”

Cardone says handling hours in smaller increments changes how you view the concept of time. He schedules his day in 15-minute increments, with no open space. For example, he schedules 15-minute meetings with his team.

“When you start a meeting and say you have 14 minutes 59 seconds, you tend to handle the things that are most important,” he says. “I honour time and truly believe time is money. People will agree with that, but very few people actually treat time like money.”

“You have to pay attention to time. It’s difficult to pay attention to an hour, but anyone can focus on 15 minutes and become more efficient,” he explains.

Angela Jia Kim: Create a Daily Action Plan

“My secret weapon is my Daily Action Plan,” says Angela Jia Kim, founder of Om Aroma & Co., an organic line of skin care products, and co-founder of Savor the Success, a women’s business networking group. “Without it I’m useless.”

With two thriving companies as well as a spa in New York’s West Village, Kim is in and out of meetings all day. “I have so much to do,” she says. “If I didn’t put it on paper and organise and prioritise, I’d feel like a piece of paper flying around in the wind. My Daily Action Plan staples my day together.”

Unable to find a system that could handle her needs, Kim designed her own, with sections that include ‘Brain Dump,’ a list of everything on her mind that day; ‘Three Frogs,’ her three most important tasks; and ‘Three Ships,’ tasks that have the potential to bring rewards, such as making a sales call or working on a proposal. It’s part of her Manifest Method, a workbook and daily planning system she hopes to publish later this year.

“I take five to ten minutes filling it out each day,” she says. “It puts me in CEO mindset. I literally spend 80 percent of my time in high-dividend long strategy planning instead of spending a day putting out fires.”

Stephanie Vozza is a freelance writer who has written about business, real estate and lifestyles for more than 20 years. A former small business owner, she recently discovered she's better at writing about them. She lives in the Detroit area with her husband, two sons and their crazy Jack Russell terriers.

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Self Development

Why Your Professional Persona Matters

You don’t have to become a different person to succeed in business.

Timothy Sykes

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For superheroes, getting into professional mode is as easy as slapping on some spandex, a mask and a cape. For the everyday entrepreneur, however, the proper work mindset is less about attire and more about adopting a professional persona.

Your professional persona is your personal branding in the workplace. It refers to the way that you conduct yourself publicly in a business setting, and the image you project to coworkers and colleagues. Far from contrived or inauthentic, it’s simply the polished-up way that you present yourself professionally.

How do I develop a professional persona?

It’s actually extremely easy to develop a professional persona. All you have to decide is who you want to be in the workplace, and then take efforts with your attitude, dress, and conduct to become that version of yourself. Action follows intention, and over time, you’ll find that adopting your professional persona feels as natural as putting on your coat before leaving the house.

Now that you understand what a professional persona is, let’s talk about why you should work on cultivating one and what you stand to gain.

Create a self fulfilling prophecy

Success is typically hard-earned and slow in the making. However, if you take the time to develop a professional persona, it can help bring success sooner. If you conduct yourself casually and informally in the workplace, you’re less likely to be taken seriously and might spend far longer in the career trenches.

But if you make a concerted effort to conduct yourself with the professionalism of a manager or CEO, you’ll make yourself a more desirable candidate for advancement. Since you’ve already demonstrated the appropriate attitude for higher level positions, you’re more likely to be thought of when opportunities arise.

Related: 25 Bad Words That Make Other People Feel Inferior

Focus on what’s important

When you establish a professional persona, you put yourself in the right state of mind for work. This can help you attain your career goals.

Say, for instance, that one of your big career goals is to become a leading authority in your field so that you can become the next TED Talk celebrity. With this specific goal in mind, you can tailor your professional persona so that it can help advance you toward this goal. For instance, you might begin speaking at local networking events or starting a topical podcast. Doing things like this will help you establish a professional persona of being an expert in your niche.

Make yourself indispensable

One of the best ways to create job security is to make yourself indispensable in your position. A professional persona can help by letting you establish recognisable and dependable hallmarks in your working style.

For instance, perhaps part of your persona is that you are the person who always meets his or her deadlines on time. In time, this will become part of your professional identity and will be part of how people see you in your office or field. When others know and trust that they can depend on you, you’ll make yourself indispensable. Over time, this can have a powerful and positive effect on your career.

Be taken more seriously

A casual attitude is fine when you’re hanging out with friends. But in a professional setting, it may be holding you back. When you present yourself with a more polished professional persona in work settings, you’ll be taken more seriously. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at work, of course. But it does mean that you should conduct yourself with an air of professionalism and should never engage in bad habits like gossip or use language that might come back to haunt you later.

Remember: You get what you give. When you act respectfully in the workplace, you’re more likely to be treated with the same respect.

You’ll get more followers

More and more, entrepreneurs are using social media to attain a higher professional status or to attract more business.

When you take the time to develop a professional persona, you adopt a personal style, a way of articulating, and potentially even an aesthetic. These things add up to more clear and compelling personal/professional branding. This can help you maintain a consistency on social media platforms that makes your posts recognisable. Over time, this can lead to additional followers, which can mean more opportunities for selling, career advancement, and more.

Develop a thicker skin

You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t take things personally in the professional sphere. But anyone who has ever experienced rejection or criticism in their career knows that this is much easier said than done.

Your professional persona can help give you some personal armour. When you have a professional persona, it can be easier to separate your personal life from your work to a greater degree. No, this doesn’t mean that you won’t feel any pain when things go wrong, but it will allow you to compartmentalise in a positive way, so that an issue at work doesn’t impact your personal life quite as much.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Company Posts

6 Steps To Cultivate A Success Mindset

What does a winning mindset mean to you? It’s what has separated the likes of Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Usain Bolt and Floyd Mayweather from fellow professional athletes. Adopting a similar approach could help you achieve massive success in 2019 and beyond.

ACCA

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A winning mindset is the trait that allows you to persist even when defeat looks like the most probable outcome. People with a winning mindset are much clearer about the process to attain their goals. They are not afraid of failure as long as they believe that they’re doing the right thing. That’s the difference between winners and losers.

1. Persist and understand that you must put in the work before you see results

The most successful people embody the principle of a winning mindset, because very few people in the world, be it in sports or business, can succeed without having to overcome obstacles. It’s seldom that talent is all one needs to succeed in any endeavour, otherwise most people would be successful.

A good way to understand this principle is to observe professional athletes before and during tournaments. Anybody competing in professional sports, such as the Olympics, has the talent but not all professional athletes are winners. A number of their memorable victories were achieved when they came from behind, when it looked like they were losing.

2. Press the reset button for the new year

The new year is notorious for long lists of resolutions that are not honoured and ultimately remain wishes. That said, the dawn of a new year tends to bring with it positive energy and a commitment to do things differently.

Entrepreneurs need to approach the New Year with a simple goal to do better than the prior year in whatever endeavour they are undertaking. It is important to build on current success or failure, and then commit to go one up. That way, the goal won’t seem unattainable.

Related: Many SMEs Start With Great Plans But Fail To Take The Big Leap

3. Take small incremental steps

The first step is to be clear about the goal and to write it down where you can see it every day. The second thing is to map the process of how you will get there, broken into small steps. From there onwards, focus on the process and not the goal as this allows one to achieve small but important victories. This needs to be backed up by an appropriate support system, associating with like-minded people.

4. Don’t stop upskilling yourself

Success in business is about creating shared value and solving real-world challenges that customers grapple with. Skills are therefore necessary to achieve success, so upskilling oneself is never a bad investment. It’s good to know something about everything, but ultimately one needs to know everything about something.

Some skills will be brought in through hiring staff, others through outsourcing and in some cases through strategic alliances.

5. Remember that no goal is static

One of the most important things to always remember is the goal, and that the goal is dynamic; it will have to be adjusted along the way. Business leaders can therefore celebrate the small victories fully aware that there is more work to be done. Achieving temporary success is easy, especially with all the tenders around, but building a sustainable business and staying on top requires persistence and hard work.

Related: Organisational Design Disruptions Do Not Occur In A Vacuum: Future Business Models

6. Your top tool is in your head

It’s all in the mind, backed by passion and a strong desire to succeed. If anything, business leaders need to train themselves to be uncomfortable with the status quo, not to get too comfortable with the present.


Why Not Consider The Acca Qualification For 2019?

ACCA professionals are more than accountants. They think holistically, consider challenges in the context of business and have strong strategic and leadership skills. Visit www.accaglobal.com for more information.

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Self Development

Taking Care Of Mental Health Is Powerful, Not Weak

Charlamagne Tha God talks success, anxiety and mental health.

Lewis Howes

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It’s time to open up. No matter what you’re dealing with, you’re not alone.

There is nothing shameful about having anxiety. Think about this acronym for FEAR – you either Fear Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. The more you confront the things in your past you don’t want to do with, the more you’ll be able to move forward. So, are you going to run from your fear, or face it?

On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk about anxiety and PTSD with a man who has become an unofficial mental health advocate: Charlamagne Tha God.

New York Times bestselling author Charlamagne Tha God is best known for being co-host of the nationally syndicated hip-hop iHeartRadio program “The Breakfast Club.” He is also a social media influencer; an executive producer with his own production company, CThaGod World; and co-host of the popular podcast Brilliant Idiots.

Charlamagne says that refining his life’s mission and examining his past helped him take control of his anxiety.

Don’t allow anxiety or depression to cause you to keep suffering. Learn about Charlamagne Tha God’s mental health struggles and what he did to restart his life on Episode 721.

Related: The Business Of Anxiety In Business: Giving Heroes Permission To Feel Vulnerable

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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