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My 10-Year-Old Son Almost Made Me Late For A Meeting. How I Reacted Made Me Money.

Sometimes your child will forget something on the way to school, and you have to turn around. But how you deal with it could effect your bottom line.

Noah Lam

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One morning, I had an appointment with one of my customers at 9 a.m, so I figured I would leave the house at around 8:15 a.m.

with my son, who I was dropping off at school. The plan seemed reasonable with plenty of time to spare to gather my thoughts before walking into the meeting.

At 8:05 a.m., I tell him to make sure everything is ready. Shoes, lunch, school bag – the usual stuff that an elementary school student would need for his day. Then, half-way to the school, I hear, “Oh no!” from the back seat. I say, “What happened?”

“I forgot my violin.”

My first reaction was to frown. My first thought was, “I will be late.” Next thought was that we would lose a sale because, since I am late, he would think that our company was unreliable. A whole bunch of scenarios ran through my head within 30 seconds.

But then, I just sighed and thought this – “There are much worse things that could have happened today.” At the next intersection, I circled the car around and headed back to the house. I hear, “I’m sorry.” To which I replied, “It happens.”

Related: Richard Branson on Business Lessons From Parenting

I really wanted to give him a lecture on being prepared. Instead, I told him to get ready to sling-shot out the car so he can run into house to grab his violin. He laughed and went in, and I smiled.

1. Business versus personal life

What I have learned is that what happens in one part of my life does have an impact on the other. If I don’t create business, that immediately affects my personal life, but seldom do we think that our personal life impacts our business.

I could have easily scolded my 10-year-old, and make his morning terrible.Most likely, I would have felt bad, and that would have affected me during my meeting. However, I walked into that meeting happy and came out with an opportunity that was unexpected.

A great personal life does indeed result in good business fortune.

2. Being in control of the small choices

Rearview-mirror

Every day, we make a series of decisions that will nudge us closer to being extraordinary, keep us in status quo or further down the path of destruction. They may seem negligible at the time.

Yes, I could have been really angry at my son and blurt out what immediately popped into my head. However, as the adult with some level of emotional maturity, I chose to be in control of situations like this. Where do uncontrolled choices lead you?

I made a choice that nudged me toward my happiness, and I got a nice big hug from my boy as he started his day. For me, I get to add another dollar to his university fund!

3. Having a ‘why’ for goal-setting

My ultimate goal is to live a happy and fulfilling life. With that in mind, I can’t sweat the small stuff. Overall, the turnaround time was seven measly minutes. Those seven minutes could have cost me a whole lot more in my life than in my business.

Since, I remind myself of my goals and strongly connect them to my “why.” It helps me focus on how my business goals are created and results in providing the life that I want for myself and family. So, does the dog wag the tail, or the tail wag the dog?

Related: Richard Branson on Parenting and Work-Life Balance

As much as you teach your children about life, there are many lessons to be learned just by interacting with your children. I’ve probably made millions and lost millions because of how I reacted with my children. Thank goodness that my children have balanced that scale somewhat in our favour.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Noah Lam has been in the healthcare industry for over 21 Years. His different companies nationally distribute medical supplies and equipment to hospitals, nursing homes and individuals. Over the past eight years, Noah has lost 70 pounds, completed 12 marathons and one ironman and loves to involve his family in a healthy lifestyle. This experience has lead him to become a Team Beachbody Coach. You can find his running updates at Run With Noah. For medical supplies, visit CWI Medical.

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Constance Prince Maurice – For Unspoiled Luxury Between Lake And Lagoon

Romantic hideaway, stunning architectural design, luxurious setting; choose from one of the 64 Junior suites, 12 Family suites, 12 Villas or the lavish Princely Villa at Constance Prince Maurice. Unplug and recharge in a 5* luxury hideaway surrounded by an abundance of nature. Blissfully peaceful, its elegance is matched only by our discreet, intuitive service. Experience our passion for wine in the most extensive wine cellar in the Indian Ocean. A place to open your heart and let the everyday slip away.

Constance Hotels & Resorts

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Constance Prince Maurice

Constance Prince Maurice enjoys an idyllic location on the north-east coast of Mauritius. It is 15 minutes from the airport by helicopter and 35 km from the capital Port Louis. Constance Prince Maurice is situated on 60 hectares of private land which is completely unspoilt, sheltered from the prevailing winds and ensuring maximum privacy for its guests. Its tropical gardens consist of rare and luxuriant vegetation and the calm turquoise lagoon blends perfectly with the fresh green hinterland and the secluded beaches of brilliant white sand. A natural fish reserve situated in the western part of the hotel adds to the uniqueness and natural beauty of the location.

Designed by architectural mastermind Jean Marc Eynaud and designer David Edwards, Constance Prince Maurice is where style, space and architectural designs create the perfect hotel lifestyle. Peaceful by day, the hotel is amidst lush tropical greenery. Our infinity pool and natural reserves add to the décor by instilling a sense of tranquillity.

Picturesque at night, the structure of the hotel is enhanced by warm lights positioned to harmonise with the environment. Lounge in an intimate and secluded setting, pamper yourself at the U Spa by Constance and Sisley and feast on exceptional cuisine created by our chefs from around the world.

Related: Immerse Yourself In Purposeful Reading This Holiday Season

Families can choose our beach villas and complimentary Constance kids clubs while golf pros can retreat to our two 18-hole championship golf courses.

Inspired by Feng Shui principles to create the perfect sense of harmony, all beds stand high above floor level to help the circulation of Qi. In the first hall of the Archipel restaurant, internal concrete columns are at the centre of the hall so as to increase the concentration of energy in the centre.

Highlights of your stay

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  • Taste one of our 25,000 wine bottles in the Indian Ocean’s largest wine cellar.
  • Enjoy a fine dinner in a floating bar and restaurant… a Mauritius exclusive.
  • Gaze at the underwater waterfall illusion from a helicopter.
  • Experience kite surfing with friends and family

The Constance Hotels and Resorts Group owns and manages a number of luxurious island destinations in the Indian Ocean, made up of 5-star Resorts: Constance Belle Mare Plage (Mauritius), Constance Ephelia (Seychelles), Constance Moofushi (Maldives), Constance Tsarabanjina (Madagascar) and 5-star deluxe Hotels: Constance Prince Maurice (Mauritius), Constance Lemuria (Seychelles) and Constance Halaveli (Maldives).

Distinctive elements for these hotels and resorts include magnificent locations with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world; distinctive architecture and design; warm hospitality; completely personalised guest experiences; gastronomic excellence matched by internationally recognised sommeliers; Constance Kids Clubs at all hotels and resorts; complete wellness and rejuvenation with U Spa by Constance; and some of the most beautiful natural diving locations in the world (PADI and CMAS are available at all hotels). Constance Belle Mare Plage, Constance Prince Maurice and Constance

Related: Turn Your Holiday Into A Luxury Affair

Lemuria Seychelles on Praslin all have 18-hole championship golf courses.

Contact us now for your island destination holiday in some of the most idyllic spots in the world.

Central Reservations: Tel: +230 402 3636

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Work Life Balance

10 Tips On Fatherhood And Entrepreneurship

Rowan Leibbrandt, Owner of premium drinks company, Truman & Orange (which has brought us Bannermans Scotch Whisky and Mazzatti Italian Beers to name the two most relevant to most dads), told us how he balances being a Superdad with giving his growing business all he’s got!

Rowan Leibbrandt

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The weird nature of this type of thing – starting a business, starting a family – is that by definition you’re always a novice: Everyone does it for the first time, everyone needs to work it out for himself. Ironically, if you’re good at both, it will be really, really hard.  Typically, things you’re good at are easy, but this seems to work the other way around: Being a successful entrepreneur and the kind of dad your kids crane their necks to find in the crowd when they’re playing sport, requires enormous, consistent, thoughtful effort.

From a certain perspective, things are clearly more challenging for today’s aspiring entrepreneur. The modern world has a complexity that dads of previous eras didn’t have to grapple with. Noah, in launching his nautical cruise business, never had to catch the red eye to Jerusalem. Marco Polo never battled with cell phone reception while on his way to meet customers. To be sure they had other challenges, but they were somewhat linear. Today, the future Steve Jobs has to wrestle with something far more mercurial and slippery: Time.

Sprinkle in the contemporary demand for a man to balance the needs of fatherhood with his career, and you have the built-in tension which, simply put, some rise to and other don’t.

Related: How To Start A Business With No Money

I’m not quite sure how I’m fairing

There are some days where we land some achievement at work and I get home and one of my sons wants to sit on my lap and tell me about his day. On those days I try to remember to fist pump and tell myself what super-human man I am. Other days I leave for an early flight before anyone else is awake and forget I was meant to take one of the boys to swimming lessons that afternoon. In any event, here are the lessons I’m learning. (I suggest starting from the top and mastering each level before moving onto the next until you gradually become the Dad-entrepreneur Jedi that I know lurks inside you.)

OK, here goes:

  1. Never ever have kids at the same time as starting a new business (oops!)
  2. If you break rule one, try very, very hard to learn your lesson and not do it again (dammit!)
  3. If you’re still reading you’re not doing very well, are you? I suggest you take a really deep breath, suck it up and get on with it. (Seriously, this is actually the most important rule – the rest are details, really.)
  4. Don’t bother reading Elon Musk’s book because you heard he had 5 kids and built a tech empire and thought, “Mmm he sounds like a guy who might have some answers”. His answer involved a small army of au pairs. Your wife probably won’t let you hire one (remember Tiger Woods?) and let’s face it most of us start up a business with a little less than Ellon-Paypal-Musk.
  5. Try not to travel on Fridays, so you can be home on Saturday mornings. Seriously, this should be obvious, but it took me a while to figure out. And get up early on Saturday to buy coffee and croissants for breakfast. That works well.
  6. Never ever send your wife pictures from a business trip unless where you’re standing is absolutely horrific. She will always assume your business travel is incredibly glamorous and way more fun than staying at home with your amazing kids. War zones, cities after some sort of natural disaster or some sort of heavy industrial setting work well. Never under any circumstances send a pic where there is any trace of blue sky, sunshine or (god forbid) a beach.
  7. Never phone your wife while anyone is laughing in the background. And don’t call her if you can hear female voices either: this will not end well. If there is a hairdryer in the hotel room I sometimes turn it on before I call to drown out any potentially fun-sounding noises that might escape from my un-airconditioned, 1-star, economy hotel in Lagos.
  8. OK, back to kids. (Rule 6, strictly speaking, comes from my “How to avoid pissing your wife off while building a business” list, but I usually include it in all my lists because the costs of getting it wrong permeates the rest of your life so powerfully.) Explain to your kids what it is you do. You’d be amazed how much they understand and how fulfilling it is to have them relate to what you’re trying so hard to do. We have a drinks company and my son, from about 4-years old, has been happily telling everyone he’d rather be a whisky salesman than a doctor. How cool is that? If anyone wants to nominate me for Best Dad 2018, please go ahead.
  9. I’ve left some of the biggies for later as they’re the hardest. Also, if you’ve mastered things so far, you are fast approaching ninja level and Jedi is in sight. This will sound simple, you’ve heard it before and (like the force) you absolutely know it without needing to be told: don’t spend your weekends on your phone, be present. It doesn’t really matter what you do: if my son wants to poke slugs in our garden, then I need to find him just the right stick and not be distracted by my phone.
  10. Buy them stuff when you’ve been away for a while. Not expensive stuff, but random, unique things from far-away places that create excitement when you return, remind them you’re thinking about them all the time, and give you an opportunity to talk about where you’ve been. (By the way I’m referring to gifts for the kids. Gifts for your wife operate on an entirely different set of principles, refer to rules 1-4 of my other list if you want some guidance as to what to buy her. Please don’t confuse the two. Please, just don’t.)

Related: 20 South African Side-Hustles You Can Start This Weekend

And finally, learn how to deal with feeling guilty. This is hard and there will be times when you fail to be the best dad and entrepreneur you can be. In fact, this will happen often. But remember the guilt is there because you’re trying so hard at both not because you aren’t. Use it to remind yourself what is important and help you think harder about how to do the best at both these amazing jobs you’re fortunate enough to have.


Win This Father’s Day

bannermans

Win with Truman & Orange!

To enter, email the answer to the following question with the header: “Entrepreneur Magazine competition”.

Name the whisky and the beer distributed by Truman & Orange. 

Email your answer, together with your name and cell number to bannermans@trumanandorange.co.za to stand a chance to win a bottle of Bannerman’s Finest Scotch Whisky and a bottle of each of the Mazzatti Birra Superiore range (Don’t forget to put “Entrepreneur Magazine competition” in the subject line).

Find out more on the Truman & Orange range here.

Ts and Cs are as follows:

  • Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash and the judge’s decision is final
  • Winners will be notified by email
  • No persons under the age of 18 may enter the competition.

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Work Life Balance

Avoid Burnout With These Small Changes To The Way You Work

Follow these five tips to work smarter, not harder.

Lisa Promise

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Workplace burnout is real. I know, because I’ve been there, and I know most others have as well at some point or another. Thrive Global’s Arianna Huffington is no different. She’s on a mission to fix what she deems a “culture of burnout,” after her own collapse from exhaustion in 2007.

Huffington rightly says: “When we take care of ourselves, we are more effective, we are more creative and we are more successful in a broad definition of the word.”

Medical News Bulletin recently published “Can Positive Psychology Traits Prevent Burnout?,” referencing a study where participants completed a survey about the balance of the effort versus reward from a job. This particular research was focused on the manufacturing industry in China, given the “monotonous and repetitive nature of their work,” but this can be said for many professions and sectors. It was found that hope, self-efficacy, resilience and optimism can help to manage work stress, and people with these qualities are less likely to become burnt out.

Related: (Video) Avoid Burn Out

There have been many studies published over the years that working less results in higher productivity (hint: the optimal number is less than 40 hours per week). Perhaps even more important is that it’s nearly impossible to stay focused for long stretches at a time. Some research suggests that you should be breaking as frequently as every hour.

Work smarter not harder

In line with that, I believe in working smarter, not harder. While there are 24 hours in a day, they weren’t all made for work. I’m in the camp that working eight hours nonstop is actually more unproductive than it is beneficial. Your brain has peak operating times, and what works for one may not work for another.

Some people are at their best in the mornings, while others are most efficient late at night. I firmly believe that dictating what hours you should work and when is not the best method to yield quality work.

I often get asked how I can get things done. I work from home, and some have the perspective that I have no one to hold me accountable throughout the day. Inquiring minds wonder everything from what my daily schedule looks like, to how I motivate myself to finish up a project or prospect for my next client.

Related: Even If You Work Hard And Love What You Do, You’re Still At Risk Of Burning Out

tim-ferrissLet me start by saying that I strongly value flexibility. It’s the reason why working for myself is the best fit for me. But I hold myself accountable, and there’s a certain amount of self-discipline involved in doing that. Everything I do is because I’ve set goals for myself.

I have a duty to uphold to my clients and my partners, and a commitment to myself about the success of my business. I also pride myself in the underrated aspect of efficiency. It’s not how long you do something for, but how well you do it.

Several books I’ve read over the years on this topic have stuck with me. Getting Things Done, by David Allen, addresses the two-minute rule. If you can do something in two minutes or less, do it now. Don’t make a note and come back to it later. The time you spend thinking about it, planning it and recording it is more than the time it actually takes to complete the task.

Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Work Week covers the topic of efficiency as well. He’s a prime example of taking the phrase “Work smarter, not harder” to a whole new level. To be successful, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to work more, only that you need to work more efficiently.

Based on experience, I’ve adopted these top five tips to do just that:

Free up your mind

There is no need to remember everything. You read that right. Why are you keeping everything in your mind, which only serves to bog you down and make you feel overwhelmed? Find a record-keeping system that works for you.

Related: Admin Hacks For Entrepreneurs

Some people prefer old-fashioned paper notes. I prefer electronic. With a Mac laptop and an iPhone, I use Notes and Reminders apps to store everything I need to do or think about. I schedule reminder times to make sure I’ve checked something off my list. No matter what device I’m on, I know it’s available to me.

Schedule

Plus, I schedule everything on my calendar – my morning activities to start my day, hours allocated for every client and even things like time to take a walk. But again, I’m flexible. I move things around as needed, but I know I have set time to focus on a task at hand.

Plan and bucket

Some projects seem daunting from the start, but they need to be done whether you want to or not. Oftentimes the hardest part of a project is starting it.

Create a plan and break it down into manageable chunks. If you can complete a portion each day, not only will your mind stay sharp, but that focus will also help to make the task more bearable. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Follow the 80/20 rule

I’m a longtime follower of the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle: 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of the work.

Why are you spending time on things that take 80 percent of your resources but deliver 20 percent of the value?

Stop doing meaningless tasks, or outsource them if they must be done. Prioritisation is one of the most important keys to efficiency.

Take breaks

It might seem counter intuitive that you can get more done by working less, but the human mind was not created to work non-stop. As research suggests, breaks are beneficial. Go for a walk, have lunch away from your desk, read a book, catch up with a friend or colleague – I promise you’ll feel refreshed and ready to reengage.

Related: Is Working Too Hard Destroying Your Business?

The 40-hour workweek is so synonymous with the American culture that it’s unlikely to change in the corporate world anytime soon. Most of us know that 40 hours isn’t really 40 hours anyway, it’s “whatever it takes.” That being said, with influencers like Huffington working to educate companies on the detriments of overwork, there’s hope.

There’s nothing wrong with working hard – it’s to be admired and valued. But don’t work long hours only for the sake of it. The companies that are getting it right realise that face time isn’t everything.

The results you deliver, the reputation you hold and the relationships you build should always outweigh the hours of your workweek. As an entrepreneur, you can take advantage of this and you can evangelise this approach to others. Work smarter, not harder, and you’ll be better for it.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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