Motivation is a daily struggle for entrepreneurs, so I’ve put together these motivation-boosting tips from eight of today’s most successful international entrepreneurs.
1. Fear of failure
In an article that he wrote for Bloomberg, Mark Cuban stated that he uses the fear of failure for self-motivation.
“No matter what business you’re in, you’re always at risk — particularly in technology, where it changes so rapidly you’ve got to put in the effort to keep up,” writes the US Shark Tank panel member. “There’s always the opportunity for some 18-year-old to come out of nowhere and crush you — that motivates the hell out of me.”
Failed at something? Ask these Mark Cuban questions. “What did I do wrong? Who did I trust that I shouldn’t trust? What can I learn from this situation so I can avoid it next time?”
Related: Mark Cuban’s 12 Rules For Start-Ups
2. Follow your passion
This is the key. However, as Chalmers Brown, co-founder and CTO of Due writes, “We want to not only make a lot of money but enjoy what we do as well. We are willing to take on the risk of unstable pay in exchange for following our dreams.
“Unfortunately, your dream job may not always be the best decision financially. Sometimes your hobbies are best kept as projects in your spare time for fun. If you do want to try to turn your passion into a full-time job, these tips can help you get started the right way.”
Brown gives the tips below:
- Improve something that you’re already doing
- Figure out where the market is
- Share your passion with others
- Stay happy and motivated by assigning tasks that you’re not a fan of to someone else.
3. Keep affirmations where you can see them
“It’s so easy as an entrepreneur to get sucked into feeling exhausted or frustrated, and often the blame is yours alone,” writes Murray Newlands, founder of online invoicing company Sighted. “But a negative mindset sucks up mental bandwidth and energy that you need to stay focused and successful.
“It is crucial to maintain an optimistic attitude in the face of setbacks. Whenever you see a quote or a picture that helps you stay positive, place it front and centre so you can remember what this journey is all about.”
4. Surround yourself with highly successful and motivated people
“No one does it alone,” said Mark Zuckerberg during a Q&A in 2016. “When you look at most big things that get done in the world, they’re not done by one person, so you’re going to need to build a team.” When building your all-star team, seek out people who excel in the areas where you’re not strong or have less experience.
“You’re going to need people that have complementary skills,” he emphasised. “No matter how talented you are, there are just going to be things that you don’t bring to the table.”
5. Be grateful
“Most of the time when people ask me about motivation, 80% of the time I attribute it to gratitude. If you want real fuel to win, be grateful,” writes Gary Vaynerchuk.
“Gratitude is what has gotten me through my toughest moments in business. Whenever I have lost a deal to a competitor, or an incredible employee, or millions of dollars in revenue, I default to gratitude. It’s impossible not to stay motivated or get too down when you’re feeling grateful.”
6. Never feel sorry yourself
“All of my best successes came on the heels of a failure, so I’ve learnt to look at each belly flop as the beginning of something good,” says Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and Shark on US Shark Tank.
“If you just hang in there, you’ll find that something is right around the corner. It’s that belief that keeps me motivated. I’ve learnt not to feel sorry for myself, ever. Just five minutes of feeling sorry for yourself takes your power away and makes you unable to see the next opportunity.”
7. Don’t obsess over your vision
Yes. Think about your vision. But don’t spend too much time over it or it will bog you down. Elon Musk, for example, only spends around 30 minutes a week on his vision of SpaceX colonising Mars. Besides those 30 minutes, Musk spends a majority of his time focused on the milestones that are the most immediate and critical to get him there.
8. Leverage the power of rejection
“On June 26, 2008, our friend Michael Seibel introduced us to seven prominent investors in Silicon Valley. We were attempting to raise $150 000 at a $1,5 million valuation. That means for $150 000 you could have bought 10% of Airbnb.
“Below you will see five rejections. The other two did not reply,” writes Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky on Medium. “The investors that rejected us were smart people, and I’m sure we didn’t look very impressive at the time.” Today Airbnb is valued at just under $30 billion.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
3 Wonderfully Uncommon Reasons To Form Better Habits
As we race away into 2018, consider these very personal and fundamental bonuses to making and sticking to your resolutions.
Eat healthier. Exercise more. Be more productive. Read faster. Be friendlier. Sleep better.
Welcome to the New Year, a time when people set resolutions to form better habits and lead better lives.
Understandably, a lot of the articles, videos and other resources about starting off the New Year focus on which habits are best and the steps you need to take to achieve them. They outline the goals, plans and actions we need to make our resolutions a reality.
If you’re looking for 10 tips on how to lose 100 pounds in 90 days, then this article isn’t for you. Instead, why not consider some of the underlying and lesser-talked about benefits of kicking bad habits and forming better ones this year.
1. Challenging your norms
Why is it that you sneak sweets and junk food so often? How come you’re always so tired in the morning? Why can’t you get your butt to the gym?
If your answer for poor habits is “That’s just the way I am/the way things are” then you’re probably underestimating yourself. Stop. Think about your actions and why you’ve taken them perpetually over time. You might learn a lot.
Take personal finance advisor and entrepreneur Ramit Sethi for example. When he stopped to analyse himself and why he wasn’t going to the gym, he realised something simple that he’d never considered previously: His closet was in a different room, separate from his bedroom. Instead of getting up in the cold to put on clothes, it was easier to just stay in bed.
“Once I realised this, I folded my clothes and shoes the night before. When I woke up the next morning, I would roll over and see my gym clothes sitting on the floor. The result? My gym attendance soared by over 300%.”
Forming a new habit is your chance to examine your life — or at least one important aspect of it — and figure out why you’ve been making the decisions that lead to the habits you want or need to change.
2. Taking control
We don’t have to be the sum of randomised actions and results, based simply on moral and civil codes. It’s up to each one of us individually to take control of our actions and maximise the results.
It’s the same in business. There’s nothing you do without careful research and consideration in order to maximise productivity, profits, etc.
You’re your own boss. You control your thoughts and actions; these things aren’t up to chance. Having the ability to make significant changes to your life is empowering, so long as you seize the opportunity.
Take control. Be the entrepreneur of yourself, 100 percent.
3. Achieving clearer self-awareness
Some people say it takes only 21 days to form a new habit. Others say that just isn’t true. However long it takes, habit formation is a personal journey; one that requires desire, motivation, dedication, perseverance and change.
Habit formation takes you out of your comfort zone, to a place of self-discovery. If you’re getting into shape, how far can you push yourself physically? If you’re trying to eat better, how much temptation can you withstand?
Figure out what was required to succeed or why it was that you failed. Either way, you can obtain a clearer sense of your personal limits and, hopefully, how to achieve your goals — and sustain them — within your constraints.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” Not only to the world, but to yourself as well.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
How To Build A Disruptive Attitude
What does it mean to navigate a disruptive world and succeed in a market – place that is changing faster than it’s ever changed before?
What do you need to know to be a success? What resources and support do you need? How do you need to feel and think to be a success in a disrupted world?
According to Malcolm Gladwell, who spoke at the 2017 BCX Disrupt Summit, you need three key things to succeed in a disrupted world: Resources, knowledge and the right attitude.
The First step towards innovation and disruption is your mind. Your attitude.
For Gladwell, Malcolm McLean is the single biggest disruptor of the 20th century, in that he implemented containerised shipping. Without this fundamental shift in the way we ship cargo, the modern, connected world as we know it today would not exist.
Crucially, McLean did not invent containerised shipping, but no one had been able to make it work before a trucker from Ohio came along, and got irritated by how long he had to wait at the docks to offload his cargo (roughly 24 hours).
But McLean had an idea and he presented it at a conference of maritime shippers in Amsterdam. They laughed him off the stage. Normally, when we are treated with this type of derision, we get discouraged and give up. McLean didn’t do that. He possessed a fundamental trait that all entrepreneurs need: He didn’t require the approval of others to do what he believed was right. Entrepreneurs are open, creative, and see solutions to problems that others don’t; they are also — crucially — highly conscientious, which means they follow through on an idea in a detailed, disciplined way.
This is rare. You get creative people, and conscientious people, but it’s not easy to find both traits in the same person. Add to that the third trait of disagreeableness, in that they do not have to follow established norms, and you have a real game-changer.
McLean didn’t look at the problem as a shipper did. He came from an entirely new angle, and not only found a way to make containerised shipping possible, but affordable too.
Ikea is a similar example. In a nutshell, Ikea is furniture shipped flat from Poland. Ingvar Kamprad pursued outsourcing on an aggressive level, had an extraordinary amount of creativity in solving problems, and was very conscientious. Consider how difficult it would have been to build a world-class manufacturing plant in Poland in 1961. The country was a post-WW2 mess, in the grip of Soviet Russia, known for shoddy workmanship and actively hostile to free enterprise.
And then Kamprad waltzed in from Sweden and pulled off the impossible because of his single-minded grit and attention to detail. He is the epitome of conscientiousness and obsessiveness.
Now consider Steve Jobs.
By the 1970s, Xerox was the most important tech company in the world. They were the richest, most innovative and profitable company, and they invested in a state-of-the-art R&D centre and filled it with 100 of the most brilliant computer scientists from around the world, and told them to be brilliant.
And they were. As per Xerox’s request, they reinvented the office. They invented the laser printer, the world’s first word processing programme, interfaces — and the list continues.
And then a 23-year-old Steve Jobs visited the centre. At that stage, his company was making traditional kit computers out of a garage. He was blown away by what he saw at Xerox Park and all the incredible things they were doing — particularly when he was shown the mouse and interface the Xerox team had developed for personal computers. He immediately saw how icons and a mouse changed everything. This was the future of computing.
Leading the charge
Here’s why Apple is the world’s biggest tech company four decades later, and Xerox is not: While the Xerox team understood they had changed computing forever, there was no urgency to be the first to market.
Jobs left that day, immediately told his team to stop what they were doing, because it would soon be obsolete anyway, and started working on a new product based on what Xerox had developed.
His team told him he was nuts — they’d spent millions on what they were doing. Jobs said it didn’t matter. It was obsolete. He didn’t have more resources. He didn’t have smarter guys. He didn’t even have a wiser and better vision.
But he was in a hurry. And he was able to execute on his vision.
If you can get your mindset right, you can gather the resources and knowledge that you need to be successful. Learn as much as you can. Be open to new ideas. And if something is soon going to be obsolete, walk away. Find the next big thing. Because you’re either being disrupted, or you’re the disruptor. Which would you like to be?
Time Is The Ultimate Success, Not Money
Don’t use your time to make more money, use your money to make more time.
Why do we work so much? I know the answer is “money,” but why? Yes, we need to cover our cost of living – your true basics like food, clothes and shelter. But after that, what are we working for?
The short answer is luxury. We want to get our hands on some luxury.
For some, that’s cars, watches, boats and all of the other flashy things we see scrolling through Instagram. For others, it’s art or travel. Everyone has their own definition of luxury.
But that shouldn’t be the reason for our lifetime of toil. It should be for time. You see, time is the true measure of success – the real currency of an entrepreneur.
We work our lives away to buy objects of luxury instead of enjoying the luxury of our time on earth. We should be yearning for free time to do what we want, not what we must. We should want time to do the things we like, not the things we dislike. Forget the desk job. Forget cleaning the house. Forget mowing the lawn or cooking dinner. If you don’t like it, the luxury of having extra money should eliminate it from your life.
This isn’t a rant promoting unadulterated laziness. I’m a firm believer in work, especially deep work in your creative pursuits and hard labour in your physical pursuits. I’m also a firm believer in not doing what you hate.
For my own creative enjoyment, I enjoy writing – both words and code. That’s my deep work, and no matter how much money I have, I’ll never outsource that. In the physical world, I enjoy lifting weights, fighting and doing yard work. Those are things that I won’t be cutting down anytime soon. Since I enjoy those things, my time isn’t better spent eliminating them from my life. But certain aspects of them can certainly go.
I love weight training, but I hate planning my workouts. It takes me too long to figure it all out. Thankfully, that’s a problem that money solved in my life. I have an amazing trainer who sets it all up for me, giving me my time back. I love writing, but I hate publishing my work. Thankfully, you can hire a content manager (or team) to handle that. Prime examples of money buying my ultimate luxury – time. Time that can be better spent doing things that either make me more money, which I can use to unlock more free time, or that I enjoy, like reading or hanging out on a beach with my family.
Maybe I want to tighten up my Jiu Jitsu game. Maybe I want to create a cool bonsai tree. Maybe I want to learn to play chess or learn a some new tech that could advance me in the professional world. Maybe I just want to sit on my ass and read or play a video game or watch some mindless tv for an hour every now and again. These are things that we work for.
Freedom versus the slavery of materialism
Only after you’ve unlocked your free time is it even worth pursuing the material. Fancy cars aren’t my style, so why would I waste money that could be used unlocking my freedom, on a cool car? Unless you truly enjoy driving cars (which I do,) washing cars (which I don’t,) fixing cars (meh) and everything else that comes along with it, you’re spending your time to make money to buy something you don’t truly love. That’s backwards.
Love to travel, but only get one week long vacation a year? Go somewhere for a month or two. When you’re not working a full-time job, you’ll have the time to explore new ways of making a living if you want more months like that.
Do you really love exotic cars and want a Ferrari, but you’re just settling on the Mercedes? Take that money, buy some more time, and spend it building a business that makes you the money instead of your boss. Instead of that Benz, put that money into buying more time. That’s now what defines you as successful.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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