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Self Development

8 Ways to Focus on Your Career with an Entrepreneurial Mind-set

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be limited to opening up and running a start-up. Here’s how you can be an entrepreneur in your current position by applying these eight insights that will shift the way you think.

Sam Paddock




You don’t have to start your own business to benefit from the mental habits practiced by the world’s most wildly successful innovators.

Related: 4 Reasons Why You’ll Never Be a Millionaire, and How You Can Change That

Here are eight entrepreneurial shifts you can try today, regardless of your profession or designation, guaranteed to help you ditch the employee mindset and:

“…Maximise your potential, starting where you stand, and to bring about the creativity, agility, flexibility, tenacity, and resolve needed to succeed wherever your personal, professional, and inventive journey takes you.” – Clifton Taulbert: entrepreneur & author of Shift Your Thinking: Win Where You Stand

Establish your own personal metrics board

Entrepreneurs know exactly what makes their business, and themselves, tick. Pay close attention to your own health and happiness metrics: What makes you feel accomplished? When are you most inspired? Be mindful about tracking those moments, so that you can create more of them, more often.

Look for efficiencies, everywhere

The world’s most successful businesspeople don’t tolerate poor processes. Challenge the status quo: What’s the “red tape” that’s holding you back right now? Whether within your organisation or your personal life, it’s time to find a way to cut it down.

Work hard, play hard

There’s a reason whiteboards are still so popular amongst progressive, tech-dependant companies in 2015. Complex breakthroughs often start with a simple sketch: Brainstorming can be just as good for your career as it is for big businesses. Set aside some time to play around with an idea that’s been on your mind. See what you come up with.

Live your values

Entrepreneurs turn values into habits that increase their personal effectiveness and inspire those around them to flourish.

Ground your behaviour in non-negotiable principles: When you demonstrate a commitment to independent thinking, integrity, teamwork, or having constructive attitude, you’ll also encourage those around you to follow suit.

Related: How to Always Keep Your Eyes On The Horizon

Spend wisely to increase your returns

Not all strategic moves have to be directly profitable. Always look at the bigger picture. Many strategic decisions work to improve your product or service, or put you in a more powerful position so you can compete with your competitors. Delay gratification to maximise return:

Financial restraint not only means spending less than you earn, it also means spending money on real assets and initiatives that increase enterprise value.

Be mindful of time and attention

Successful entrepreneurs tend to be highly organised, time-optimisation rockstars, with a capacity for laser-like focus where it counts. Time and our attention are our only truly finite resources: Would you wear the same outfit every day (à la Zuckerberg) if it freed up your time and attention to focus on more impactful decisions?

Turn your ambitions into achievements through strategy

Entrepreneurial business leaders unite their teams behind a common purpose by communicating their strategic vision. Answer the question “What is my mission?”. Articulate your answer to that question, loud and clear, and watch people give you all they’ve got to help you achieve it.

Related: 3 Psychology Books to Change Your Mindset (and Your Business)

Shape the experiences that shape you

Because they understand the importance of working to make themselves into the type of person who would be wealthy, entrepreneurs are often self-taught, and rigorously so.

Develop skills that compound: Whether it’s learning to code, write copy, or handle your own accounts – an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

Are you ready to adopt an entrepreneurial mind-set when it comes to your career growth? Browse UCT and GetSmarter’s portfolio of over 55 online short courses and propel your professional life forward through part-time, online skills development.

Sam Paddock is the CEO of GetSmarter - an online learning platform in South Africa. For more information on the courses they offer, visit their course list .


Self Development

How You Can Make Failing Part Of Your Growth Strategy

Here’s how you can make failing forward part of your growth strategy.





The concept of ‘fail forward’ basically means that it’s okay to fail as long as you learn from your mistakes. Once you shift your mindset regarding failure, it becomes an asset to your growth. What’s not to like about learning?

Here’s how you can make failing forward part of your growth strategy.

1. Take risks

If it’s okay to fail as long as you learn from it, then it’s okay to embrace the idea of taking more risks. Try new things and see if they’ll work. If they don’t, then at least you’ve tried and learnt.

Related: Flourishing Through Failure And Finding Fortune

2. Learn constantly

Failing and learning shouldn’t be one-offs or isolated incidents. They should weave together in a constant stream of learning that builds and rewards as we move forward. That way, we can improve and eventually succeed more often than we fail.

3. Search and reapply

Learn from each other’s mistakes. Marketing is a spectator sport — you can learn from watching each other’s brand activities — both the wins and losses.

4. Accept failure

This one is the hardest step. It’s not easy to fail. It’s not something we’re taught to do. It distracts us from our mission and it takes time away from being successful. Or does it? If you start failing forward daily, not only for yourself, but for your teams as well, you will create an environment where failing forward is accepted and embraced as part of a learning culture that seeks continuous improvement. That improvement includes actively learning from your individual and collective mistakes.

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Self Development

Listening To These 8 Audiobooks On Success Is A Better Use Of Your Long Commute

Commuting is mostly just unpaid work, unless you make an effort to learn something along the way.

John Boitnott



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Commutes are getting longer, and in some cities they’re up to two hours each way. I have a friend in Los Angeles who does this. He passes the time with audiobooks. Now that’s still a lot of time to be stuck in transit, but he doesn’t view it that way. He says it allows him plenty of time to feed his personal and professional goals.

I’ve spent years listening to literature in the car while commuting, but somewhere along the line I switched over to books on business and personal improvement. I mostly gravitated toward amazing people who built their success from scratch and who experienced tremendous hardship. It stands to reason that if you’re dealing with hardships like a long commute, it’s important to hear motivational words that can help you transcend the difficulties.

Here are eight audiobooks that will help grow your success, both personal and professional, on your next commute:

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Self Development

3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

Erik Kruger



3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Goal setting as a concept makes perfect sense. At the most basic level you decide on the destination and then plot the way to get there. But as with many things, we like to overcomplicate that which should be simple.

Before you know it, you end up with 2 big goals in 15 different areas of your life and 100 micro goals that will help you reach your 30 big goals.

Complicating something simple. Some of the biggest obstacles to people in reaching their goals are:

  • The overestimate the effort it will take to achieve those goals
  • They want to go from 0-100km/h in the blink of an eye
  • Life is dynamic and static goals often do not make sense
  • They get so entrenched in the day to day running of things that goals get pushed aside.

What if instead of goals, we just focused on giving our best every day?

Of course, you still want to have an indication of where you are going.

But, if you are giving your 100% every day then you can forego the micro goals for a better way of calibrating your compass… using questions.

Related: Goal Setting Guide

I suggest you ask yourself these three questions regularly:

1. What does better look like?

The question at the heart of development and incremental improvement. This question allows you some creative space in which you can imagine a better future.

  • What does better health look like?
  • What does a better business look like?
  • What does better customer service look like?
  • What does better leadership look like?

By reflecting on this question, you materialise the gap between where you are and where you could be. Now, the only thing that is left is to align your daily actions with the better future you imagined.

2. What can I control?

Borrowed from Stoicism this question highlights the power of decision in your life. Epictetus said we should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”

Once you ask this of yourself regularly you will feel more in control of your life and more in control of your business.


Because your focus is solely on the things that you can influence. It restores the belief that you can actually impact the world around you in a meaningful way.

3. Was I impeccable with my actions today?

One inherent flaw with goal setting is that the goal setter often feels judged. As if we need more of that. In addition to the constant negative self-talk we have to endure we now have an additional source of judgement – whether we reached our goals or not.

As we discovered in question #2 We cannot control everything. Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

So, instead of judging yourself, commit to giving your best every single day.

Related: The Tim Ferriss Approach to Setting Goals: Rig the Game so You Win


What I love most about these questions is that they provide a built-in layer of accountability. Use them every day.

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