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Self Development

How to Achieve a State of Total Concentration

That state of total concentration is called “flow,” and the people who love their jobs experience it often while they’re working.

Nadia Goodman




Think of an activity you enjoy that completely immerses you. When you’re doing it, your attention is fully focused, and you are so absorbed that you lose track of time. You feel free and effortless. That state of total concentration is called “flow,” and the people who love their jobs experience it often while they’re working.

“It’s what keeps you going,” says Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the leading researcher on flow states, a professor of psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, and author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008). “Flow creates an experience that is so exciting and so stimulating that you would do [the activity] even if you didn’t get paid.”

Entrepreneurs are especially likely to experience flow at work because they have the freedom to choose their own challenges. “The ability to take risks in a calculated way helps create the dynamic that makes entrepreneurial activities flow-producing,” Csikszentmihalyi says.

To experience flow and stay focused on a regular basis, try these four tips:

1. Choose challenges that fit your skills.
To experience flow, your skill level needs to be sufficient to tackle the challenge with confidence. “If there is a good balance between the challenge and the skills, then you start feeling flow,” Csikszentmihalyi says. If the challenge overwhelms your skill, you’ll be anxious, but if it underwhelms, you’ll be bored.

As you work, notice when your skill-challenge match is out of balance. If you find yourself anxious, then work on improving your skills. If you’re bored, then increase the challenge. “Every activity will take hundreds of these adjustments,” Csikszentmihalyi says. Staying attuned to these imbalances will help you adapt and re-enter flow.

2. Know the steps to reach your goals.
Full immersion in any task can only happen when you know how to accomplish it. You need to have some idea about how to get from point A to point B. “That constant awareness of what is next is what keeps you focused,” Csikszentmihalyi says. “That’s where the engagement comes from.”

Much of entrepreneurship is new or unfamiliar, so at the beginning of a new project or task, make yourself a roadmap. Talk to a mentor or peer about how they would proceed, especially if you’re at a loss. You may go down several dead ends, but having a path to try is all you need to experience flow.

3. Set aside distraction-free time.
Flow can only happen when you are uninterrupted. Open office spaces or constant email notices prevent complete focus, so give yourself the time and space to really get in the zone. Close your email, turn off your phone, find a quiet space, and signal to others not to interrupt you.

For example, John Reed, the former CEO of Citigroup, kept his office door closed from 7am to 10am every day, refusing to take any calls or visits until he opened his door. You might adopt a similar strategy, set aside one day a week, or work from home sometimes. Just find a system that works for you. “Otherwise, you’re like a marionette that’s being pulled by strings,” Csikszentmihalyi says. “You have to cut the strings to feel good or produce any flow.”

4. Get feedback on your work.
To build your skills enough to achieve flow, you need to know if what you did was right or wrong. “You have to know how well you’re doing,” Csikszentmihalyi says. That feedback empowers you to improve so that you can find your flow – a state that only occurs after you’ve mastered the learning curve.

Initially, you get that feedback from your boss or an older colleague, but as you become more expert, you learn to give yourself that feedback autonomously. If you are your own boss (as most entrepreneurs are), then look to peers or mentors for honest feedback about your work. That constant drive to improve will make flow a regular part of your work life.


Nadia Goodman is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY. She is a former editor at, where she wrote about the psychology of health and beauty. She earned a B.A. in English from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. Visit her website,


Self Development

21 Inspiring Quotes About Success, Persistence And What It Means To Be An Entrepreneur

Leaders of companies big and small share the mindset it takes to achieve your dreams in the face of all obstacles.




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True, being an entrepreneur can be exhausting, lonely, frustrating and terrifying. But it’s worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears when you are pursuing your passion, turning your dream into a reality.

In an ongoing series called Real Entrepreneurs, we pick the brains of founders and leaders about what it is like to have every decision big and small rest on their shoulders and have compiled their thoughts on what it takes to succeed on the long, sometimes crazy journey of an entrepreneur.

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Self Development

The Mindset Strategy From The “Rock Star” Coach Can Turn Your Beliefs Into Results

William Badenhorst, a Director of Global Strengths shares his mindset secret to ongoing entrepreneurial success.

Dirk Coetsee




William Badenhorst, a Director of Global Strengths, is a coach to the coaches. His “Rock Star” attitude along with the deep driving desire to help others find their true selves formed the fabric of a highly interesting and entertaining interview.

The rolling thunder of his voice brought forth quote after quote, quip after quip and wisdom after wisdom. As a “peak performance coach” to professional athletes, celebrities,  entrepreneurs and corporate career orientated individuals, William believes that knowing who you truly are as an individual is the catalyst for lasting growth and useful change in business and in life in general.

His intense eyes and energetic hand gestures emphasized one of his core beliefs and that is that we all are nothing but our very own beliefs.

“Everyone is focused on Results”

Everyone is always focusing on the outcome – the results they want. But what creates results? Let’s do some reverse engineering. In order to achieve RESULTS we need to take ACTION. And in order to take ACTION we need to make a DECISION. To make a DECISION, we need to think about it – THOUGHTS.

The interesting thing about humans is that we do not create our thoughts, we can only control them. So what does create your thoughts? Your BELIEFS creates your THOUGHTS. So ultimately your BELIEFS creates your RESULTS.

“You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.”


It is our very own limiting beliefs, such as for example that “I am not good enough” and “I am not deserving” and “I’m not worthy ” that creates barriers to our own success in entrepreneurial ventures and in our lives. In order to reach our limitless potential we must find and remove the self-created barriers that hold us back.

Although he loves the interaction and benefits of social media he is quick to point out that it also has created a fantasy of who and what we should be. He advises to not to adopt such fantasy as your desired reality but to instead be who you really are as an individual and goes on to quote the famous Greek philosopher Socrates:

“Know thyself, Be thyself and Love thyself”

You always end up falling back on your beliefs -whether they are empowering or disempowering. The challenge with that is that a large number of your beliefs are unconscious especially when you have not put in the work to find out what your belief system truly is.

Related: Osteostrong: An Exploding Global Movement Of Positive Change

Through his vast experience as a coach he realized that a large number of people veer away from self-awareness as they are afraid of being judged for whom they truly are.

Have Faith

The conversation naturally evolved into the exploration of the true meaning of the concept of faith and William’s mind grasped at a Quote from the apostle Paul:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

He went on to explain that faith is evidence of true-self which creates certainty which in turn is equal to confidence. Confidence brings a certain state where everything flows. He calls it “Peak State”. He further advises to search for evidence of who you really are and gain belief in yourself.

Advice to young entrepreneurs

William’s thoughts on self-development for entrepreneurs are to get a Coach. If you are already in business and don’t have a Coach – get one!  Begin with taking extreme ownership and responsibility of everything in your life. And when you do that you win.

Stop blaming everything and everyone around you. Stop complaining about circumstances. You are in control and it is up to you to make it happen.  There are no un-resourceful people, there are only un-resourceful states. Go where you are celebrated not tolerated and love yourself unconditionally. Remove the very unrealistic expectations of what and who you should be and authentically be yourself. Believe in yourself and go all in on YOU!

Related: How To Conquer Your Fear Of Becoming an Entrepreneur By Being Disciplined

Become the best form of yourself because as an entrepreneur you are the business. Play to your strengths and manage your weaknesses. You do not need a title to lead, have massive self-belief and others will follow.

Have an attitude of constant learning:

“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”

And then yet another quote rolled off his tongue that put me in a self-reflective mood:

“A person that shines from within does not need a spotlight”

William Badenhorst, the father, the coach, the entrepreneur and key note speaker left the author and the reader with a question of mesmerising depth:

“What if you woke up this morning with only the things that you were grateful for last night?”

Gratitude is everything!

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Self Development

How You Can Move From Your Potential To Your Purpose

“Value isn’t in opinion, it’s in perspective” – Wes Boshoff

Wes Boshoff




Let’s face it, we all know that when wanting to achieve something different, you need to do something different. The challenge isn’t in wanting the different, it’s in doing the different!

Mark Twain said, “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why”.

I love that because it highlights the importance of knowing that you have a purpose, and that you need to find it or design it, then live it, love it and look after it.

You have heard it said or said it yourself…”that person has huge potential, if only they would…”. It’s great to have potential but potential doesn’t equate to purpose. They are like elastics, just sitting there on the desk, and it’s not much good to anyone just sitting there. You see there is a gap between potential and purpose and that gap is called ‘The Stretch’.

Related: Founder of Five-Star Wes Boshoff Weighs In On Becoming An Entrepreneur

For that elastic to move from potential to purpose it needs to be stretched, and only once its stretched and put round a bunch of pens does that elastic really move into its purpose. We are a lot like elastics, we need to be stretched to move from potential to purpose. The stretch isn’t always easy because we tend to get twisted out of shape when we need to do something different. However, the stretch is not designed to change who we are, just change how we are.

Here are a few ideas to help you in The Stretch.

Think about what you think about – it’s all in your perspective

Things are achieved or not achieved depending on how we think about them. Do you focus on the obstacles or the opportunities? It’s easy to see the obstacles, the key is to choose which one you going to focus on. Obstacles will always get in the way of opportunities if you let them. So, remain attentive to the possibilities that opportunity brings.

That means you need to position yourself in the way of opportunity, get in its way – make something happen, don’t just sit there! There’s a catch to this one though, opportunity never travels alone, it always comes with responsibility. Do you have the ability to respond to the opportunity? Are you taking responsibility, often we are given it, but we don’t really take it! You need to take and own the responsibility to maximise the opportunity!

Beware of distraction

‘Dis’ – a prefix meaning reversal, or the absence of action and traction refers to grip. When you get distracted you lose grip and that’s dangerous. Imagine driving, suddenly, you’ve lost traction, you are heading in the wrong direction, you may even end up going backwards.

Make sure you stick to what you need to do, create daily productive habits that will help you achieve in the long term. Grow your capacity and increase your footprint. Gain traction by repeating what works for you, that way your practice becomes repeatable and your brand becomes reputable. Don’t stop moving, its easier to change direction while you are still moving, than it is to start moving.

Related: What Building A Mini Car Taught Me About Leadership

Things don’t always work out

Employ the “What’s Wrong – What’s Next?” philosophy. When things go wrong with people, products or plans, we can get caught up in drama. There’s no time for drama, simply define what went wrong and decide what needs to be done next to fix it. Once fixed, then deal with the doer of the wrong, but deal with them in the right way too…you still don’t need drama!

“Value isn’t in opinion, it’s in perspective” – Wes Boshoff

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