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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

Make Your Goals A Reality

Setting goals in writing is the first step towards achieving them. The next is to develop habits and ways of thinking, believing and acting that ensure they are achieved.

Michael Jeffreys

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Man writing down goals

It’s not easy. The road to a goal-oriented successful personal and business life is tough with many twists and turns. These eight success secrets that changed the lives of some of the world’s best motivational speakers are the tools you need to dramatically raise the likelihood of attaining your goals and turning your dreams into reality.

Success Secret 1: Take 100%responsibility for your life

In a society where people blame everything from their parents to the government for their failure to get ahead in life,successful men and women refuse to buy into the mentality that says: “I could succeed if only it weren’t for…”.

They realise that when you say someone or something outside yourself is preventing you from succeeding, you’re giving away your power to that someone or something. You’re saying: “You have more control over my life than I do!”

Successful people don’t buy into this victim thinking. Rather, their personal credo is: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”

Consider Les Brown. Abandoned by his parents at birth and labelled “educably mentally retarded” by his schoolteachers, he had every reason to give up on himself and his dreams. But when a high school teacher told him that “someone else’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality”, Brown realised in that moment that his future lay inhis own hands.

He went on to become a state legislator and author, and today earns $20 000 (about R140 000) per hour as one of America’s top motivational speakers.

What Brown understood was that there are certain things in life you can’t control, such as nature, the past and other people. But there are things you absolutely can control, such as your thoughts and your actions. Taking 100% responsibility for your life is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself.

Success Secret 2: Live your life “on purpose”

What separates superstars from others more than anything else is that they live their lives “on purpose”. That is, they are doing what they believe they were put here to do. These speakers will tell you that the time they feel most alive is when they are on stage, connecting with an audience.

Says Wayne Dyer: “Having a sense of purpose in your life is the most important element of becoming a fully functioning person!”

The difference between living your life on purpose and not living it on purpose is like night and day. The latter consists of simply getting through the week with the least amount of problems while expending just enough effort to get by.

But when you live your life on purpose,your main concern is doing the job right. You love what you do, and it shows.Your conviction is as evident as it is persuasive. And you will find that people want to do business with you because they sense your commitment to giving your all.

How do you live your life on purpose? By finding a cause you believe in and creating a business around it. For example,Mike Ferry, who was once a top US salesperson selling audiotape programmes, believed realtors needed help developing sales skills.

So he started The Mike Ferry Organisation, a seminar and training company for the real estate industry. Today, he earns more than$10 million (about R70 million) a year from seminar and product sales. Like Ferry, once you get your life’s purpose and focus on providing value for others, the money will take care of itself.

Success Secret 3: Be willing to pay the price for your dreams

Wanting a big house, a luxury car or a million rand in the bank is all very nice, but the problem is, practically everyone wants these things. The question is: Are you willing to pay the price to get them?

This is one of the major differences between the successful and the unsuccessful. Successful men and women find out what it’s going to cost to make their dreams come true; then they find a way to make it happen. Most important, they don’t complain about the work it takes to achieve their dreams.

Les Brown has a callous on his left ear.Why? “When I decided to get into speaking, I had no credentials, no reputation,no credibility and no experience. So I had to call a lot of people,” Brown explains. “I called over 100 people a day, day in and day out, to ask for an opportunity to speak to their group.”

You can get practically anything you want in life if you are willing to pay the price.

Success Secret 4: Stay focused

Every day, we are bombarded with hundreds of tasks, messages and people all competing for our time. This is why the ability to focus on your goal is so critical to achieving it. Focusing requires giving up some things in the present because you know the time invested will pay off big-time down the road.

When Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen compiled their first Chicken Soup for the Soul book, they were turned down by 30 publishers. But instead of giving up, they stayed focused on their goal.

“We did three to four radio or newspaper or magazine interviews a day, five days a week, for a whole year,” Field recalls. In every interview, they talked about why the country needed this book now more than ever.

Eventually, a small publisher called Health Communications Inc. decided to take a chance and publish the book. It not only became a number one bestseller, but also hatched an entire series of Chicken Soup books that have sold more than 10 million copies!

That’s the power that staying focused on your goal can give you.

Spend as much of your day as you can focusing on achieving your goals and dreams. Every day, ask yourself: “Is what I’m doing right now bringing me closer to my goal?” If it’s not, do something that will. Focusing is like any habit; the more you do it the easier it gets.

Success Secret 5: Become an expert in your field

One striking factor about all 15motivational speakers I interviewed is how seriously they take their profession. Their drive to be the best at what they do is phenomenal. They’ll do almost anything if they think it will help improve their speaking skills.

For example, Patricia Fripp, who speaks to Fortune 500 executives on how to become more successful, took a comedy workshop and hired a private speech coach because she wanted to improve her speaking ability.

Fripp did this after she had already been named “One of the Ten Most Electrifying Speakers in North America” by Meetings & Conventions magazine. To Fripp, being one of the best simply wasn’t good enough; she wanted to be the best she could be.

If someone followed you around at your business all day with a video camera to make a how-to tape for people who want to do what you do, would it be a tape you’d be proud of or embarrassed about?If the latter, make the decision today to work towards being the best in your field.

How? By studying the experts. The quickest way to become successful is to find out what the best are doing, then do what they do.

Success Secret 6: Write a plan for achieving your goals

Taking the time to write out an action plan, or a map, for how you’re going to achieve your goals is one of the best ways to get there faster.

Brian Tracy, one of America’s most successful business sales trainers and speakers, points out: “Goals that are not in writing are not goals at all. They are merely wishes or fantasies.”

Most people try to reach their goals without taking the time to write out an action plan. This is like trying to drive from Johannesburg to Pofadder without a map. Forget the fact that your odds of reaching your destination are extremely slim.

The frustration and wasted time, energy and money will probably cause you to give up long before you get halfway. With a map in hand, however, you’ll not only enjoy the trip much more, but you’re also virtually assured of arriving at your destination in the shortest time possible.

Success Secret 7: Never give up

It may sound simple, even obvious, but when you’re truly committed to achieving your goal, giving up isn’t even an option.You must be willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

In the mid-1970s, Wayne Dyer quit his job as a professor at Wayne State University to promote his new book, Your Erroneous Zones. However, no major talk show would book the then unknown Dyer. Did he give up?

Not on your life. He loaded his car from floor to roof with hundreds of copies of his book, and then spent a year on the road travelling from small town to small town and appearing on any radio or TV talk show that would have him.

Once on the air, Dyer would give out the number of the local bookstore and say that his book was available there. After the interview, he’d quickly drive over to that bookstore, where the manager would say: “Oh, you’re Wayne Dyer?

We’ve been getting lots of calls for your book!”Dyer would reply: “Well, I have a case in the car; would you like some?” The response: “Oh, yes! And would you sign some while you’re here?”

By the end of the year, The Tonight Show was calling him. And by the end of the 1970s, Your Erroneous Zones had become the number one bestselling non-fiction book of the entire decade. This is what the power of perseverance can do for you.

Success Secret 8: Don’t delay

In his book Live Your Dreams (Avon Books),Les Brown recalls talking on the phone one day with a friend named Marion. The very next day, Marion’s husband called to tell Brown she had died. A few days later, Brown was helping the husband clean out Marion’s office when he came across some notes for a play she had been working on.

Unfortunately, the play would never be published. Marion was the only one who knew how it was supposed to end, and now she was gone.

The lesson here is that Marion didn’t know how much time she had left to accomplish her dreams, and neither do you or I. We must remember that we don’t have forever. The clock is ticking, there are no time-outs, and sooner or later your number is going to be called.

Top achievers know this, but rather than seeing it as something negative or depressing, they use it to spur themselves on to go after what they want as energetically and as passionately as possible.

Michael Jeffreys is an author of Success Secrets of the Motivational Superstars (Prima Publishing).

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mareli Csabai

    Jun 28, 2012 at 10:33

    powerful.. thank you.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

12 Entrepreneurial Traits That Will Tempt You To Quit Your Job Immediately

Unhappy in your job? It’s possible you’re an entrepreneur.

John Rampton

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quitting-work

You’re sitting at your desk one day, and a light bulb goes off for a business idea. After a couple of days spent contemplating the idea, you decide it’s not worth pursuing.

While the idea might not have been as great as you initially thought, the reality might be that you’re uncertain if  you are cut out to be your own boss. After all, starting and running a business isn’t for the faint of heart.

You may actually have what it takes to be an entrepreneur but you have been focused on providing for your family or just need a little spark to ignite that fire. If you’ve been on the fence about entrepreneurship, see if you have the following traits.

1. Your “business mind” began spinning at a young age

Think back to when you were young. Were you the type of kid who was making money with a side gig? That’s one of the most common denominators linking successful entrepreneurs.

For example, Daymond John created customised pencils for girls in his first-grade class. Mark Cuban sold trash bags in his neighbourhood as a 12-year-old. Richard Branson bred and sold parakeets. Juliette Brindak designed a website at age 16 that went on to be worth $30 million.

Simply put, the gears of an entrepreneur’s “business mind” start spinning at an early age. If you’ve always been looking for ways to make money, you’ve probably been an entrepreneur your whole life – you just didn’t realise it.

2. You’re a self-starter

Entrepreneurs are known for carving their own paths. They don’t follow others, wait for permission or let distractions get in their way.

Reflect on your life. Did you start an organisation in college? Have you volunteered for a local charity? When there’s a project to complete at work, have you been the person to take the reins and rally the troops?

These are signs that you have a get-it-done personality, which is essential to making your vision a reality. This is a very good sign you’re an entrepreneur.

Related: 10 Things You Must Do Before Quitting Your Job To Start Your Company

3. You think like MacGyver

Back in the ’80s, there was an amazing TV show called “MacGyver – there’s a reimagined version currently on-air. The series was about Angus “Mac” MacGyver, who was a troubleshooter with unconventional problem-solving skills. One time, he made a hot-air balloon out of a soccer ball, kerosene, newspapers and cotton.

Entrepreneurs are also troubleshooters who develop innovative and out-of-the-box ideas to solve problems. They are resourceful and think quickly on their feet.

4. Losing gets you fired up

No one likes to lose. But there’s a big difference between entrepreneurs and everyone else – they’re motivated by setbacks.

They don’t make excuses, complain or give up. Instead, they use setbacks as motivation. Take Gary Vaynerchuk, for example. He loves losing. It sounds a bit out there. But, as he explains, “I’m obsessed with losing.” The reason? “I love losing, because I know what you’re thinking about my loss, and I can’t wait to stick it in your face when I come back.”

5. You’re driven by passion

Passion: It drives us to take risks and pursue our dreams. For entrepreneurs, this also means focusing only on the goals they’re passionate about. It encourages them to see those goals through – regardless of distractions or hurdles.

If you’re the type of person who works out when you’re in pain or completes a project at your current gig before the deadline, you’re driven by passion.

Related: 9 Reasons To Quit Your Job As Soon As You Can

6. You are easily bored

Do you find yourself easily bored? Some people might think that’s a problem. There’s nothing wrong with being bored with activities that don’t use your abilities or aren’t challenging.

That’s why throughout school, you couldn’t stand most of the classes you attended. They either weren’t difficult enough or you just couldn’t sustain any interest – you knew you wouldn’t be using the information presented to you.

7. You’re able to delay gratification

Few successful entrepreneurs experienced overnight success. The reality is that it may take years, if not decades, for entrepreneurs to develop and launch a business. Even after they start their business, it takes a decent amount of time to start turning a profit. It takes many around three years, but this can vary.

Because of this, entrepreneurs must be patient and willing to delay gratification. At the same time, they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

8. At work, you’re a super connector; at home, you’re a loner

When you’re at work, are you a rock star? This means you excel at your job, and people flock to you. When you get home, are you more of a loner?

That’s not exactly shocking. Entrepreneurs place a huge emphasis on their work. Even bigger on having productive habits at work. It’s their priority – even at the expense of close personal relationships.

Richard Branson has said that “Business is all about personal contact. No matter how heavy your workload is, do not allow yourself to work in your cubicle or office all day, every day – for your own well-being and the health of your business, you need to get out and about, meeting people and developing relationships.”

Related: Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job To Start A Business

9. You can spot trends

When entrepreneurs are out and about, they’re taking stock of what’s going on around them. It’s not some strange safety precaution. It’s because they’re looking for trends and analysing what customers are demanding.

Take Beanie Babies, for example. The craze started when a community in the Chicago suburbs started trading the stuffed animals. After it went national, Peggy Gallagher noticed it hadn’t reached Germany. Gallagher contacted a distributor in Germany and placed an order for $2 000. She brought the box of hard-to-find stuffed animals back to the States and made an impressive $300 000.

10. You go big or go home

“We’re often told not to ‘bet the house’ on anything,” writes Lauren Elmore, president of Firmatek. “It’s generally good advice. But the best business advice I’ve received is actually the opposite: Bet the house on it.”

“Betting the house is the best piece of advice I’ve received because it’s not a singular thing to do,” explains Elmore. “It’s a way of life and a mentality that promotes taking risks and giving everything you have to make it work.”

Of course, just because you go all-in doesn’t mean you do so carelessly. Entrepreneurs minimise risks by surrounding themselves with the right people, being resilient and addressing their fears to let them go.

11. You’ve had a history of losing jobs

Have you bounced from job to job because you got fired? Don’t be embarrassed. You’re just too creative, driven and self-motivated to work for someone else.

I’d even say you may be a bit selfish – why should someone else reap the benefits of your hard work and talent?

Related: 20 Signs That You Should Quit Your Job (Infographic)

12. You’re never satisfied

In school, did you best your classmates in academics or sports, but still feel disappointed? Do you have more sales than your colleagues, but it’s still not enough?

You’re constantly striving for more because you realise victories are short-lived. That’s why you see a lot of entrepreneurs start a thriving business and move on to another – they want to tackle new challenges and setbacks.

You may not have made the entrepreneurial leap yet, but if these 12 traits sound familiar, it’s more likely a matter of “when,” not “if.”

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

Want To Get That Side Hustle You’ve Been Dreaming Of Off The Ground This Year?

Stop dreaming. Carve out 30 minutes a night after the kids are in bed, and start putting together something tangible.

Syed Balkhi

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side-hustle

Want to make extra income? Who doesn’t? That’s why so many people in recent years have been taking their talents and skills and turning them into a side hustle. In fact, according to a recent survey from Bankrate, nearly four in 10 Americans polled (37 percent) said they have a side hustle.

Unfortunately, though, a lot of people get stuck in the “dreaming” stage. They sit around brainstorming ideas and dreaming of the day they have a successful side hustle that brings them joy and money but never actually get started. Well, scratch that: This is the year to turn it all around.

And to do that, and get one step (or multiple steps) closer to turning your side gig idea into an actual money-maker, check out these five tips for how to get your side hustle off the ground this year.

1. Change your mindset

A lot of people never get their side hustle off the ground because they have the wrong mindset. I know it seems simple, but believing in yourself and thinking of yourself as a business owner and not just a hobbyist will make all of the difference when it comes to starting a successful side hustle.

Even if you’re nowhere near to being a successful business owner yet, act like one. In fact, the “fake it until you make it” strategy actually works. According to a study in Psychology Today, people gain influence by acting dominant and confident. This strategy has the ability to convince people you’re serious about your side hustle and can win you customers, too.

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

2. Create an agenda

You can’t expect your side hustle to take flight on its own; you’ve got to put in the hours to get it off the ground. I know it’s hard to feel motivated to do that when you’ve already got a full-time job and a ton of other responsibilities, but you’ve got to set time aside.

Luckily though, you don’t have to fear burning out to get it done: Chris Guillebeau, founder of the Side Hustle School and author of Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, says that you can develop a successful side hustle by carving out just 20 to 30 minutes of your day. If you’re a parent, you might choose 30 minutes each evening after the kids are in bed; or you could even use your lunch break at work.

Whatever time you choose, put it in your calendar, set an alarm for it, stick to it and don’t let anyone drag you away from it.

3. Join a community

Sometimes we all need a little bit of inspiration to give us the push we need and some good solid advice to help us improve. That’s why you should join an online community for side hustlers. Joining with like-minded people can help you build a support system of buddies who have been where you are now and can provide a wealth of information to get your side hustle going.

There are tons of such groups onlines. Simply search for them on Facebook and LinkedIn and you’ll discover numerous groups for every niche. Ask questions, bounce ideas off other members, learn from others’ mistakes and get inspired by stories of success. All of this community interaction will push you in the right direction.

4. Build a tangible brand

Branding is the personality that identifies a company to its customers. Even if your business is only part-time, you still need to build a brand in order to attract customers and present yourself as a professional business. This means creating a logo, coming up with a tagline and developing a theme for your website, including a colour scheme and personality. All of this will work together to show your target audience who you are as a business.

If you’re thinking that all of that sounds expensive, don’t worry. For side hustlers who are strapped for cash, there are a number of ways to create a stunning brand while still saving your pennies. If you set up your website with WordPress, for example, you’ll find many free and affordable website themes to help you build a brand with just the click of a button. You can also use a free tool like Canva to create a gorgeous logo, business cards, flyers and more for your side hustle venture.

Related: 50 Jobs, Gigs And Side Hustles You Can Do From Home

5. Start marketing your side hustle

The final step to getting your side hustle off the ground is to start putting yourself out there. So, whatever you do, don’t keep your side hustle a secret! Start telling all your friends, family and neighbours about your side hustle. One of them could become your first client or customer or could recommend you to someone he or she knows.

Next, get online and start marketing your side hustle on social media. Social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are particularly great for marketing product-based side hustles. Other free ways to market your side hustle online include joining forums like Quora, blogging and building an email list and cold-emailing potential clients to offer your services.

Over to you

Don’t sit around again this year wondering if your side hustle has what it takes to make money. Get out there and make it happen. With the new tips you’ve learned, this year will finally be the year you hit the ground running.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

7 Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Adopt Today

There are certain skills that any entrepreneur can adopt to help build a business and shape their future.

Nicholas Bell

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entrepreneurial-skills

The road taken by the entrepreneur used to be the one least travelled. The one where only the bold dared to tread and few understood the risk or benefitted from the reward. Today, the road may be one travelled by many but it still comes with challenges and obstacles that can trip up the unwary. The best way to thrive, is to learn from other entrepreneurs, using their learnings and mistakes to sidestep the challenges and embrace the opportunities.

Here are seven skills that any entrepreneur can apply to their journey today:

1. A vision

Know exactly what you want. Have a clear idea of your end goal. Write it down, verbalise it, embrace it. This is how you know exactly where your steps will take you. Your vision is what defines the strategic goals of your company and what helps you create a business plan that will get you where you want to go.

2. Ask questions

Question yourself, your plans, your strategy, your business plans and your decisions. This is a critical skill that will ensure that you are constantly driving yourself to be better tomorrow than you are today. By challenging yourself at every turn you will refine your vision and ensure you are always on the right path.

3. Passion and energy

Nobody else is going to be passionate about your business. Nobody else has the energy to take it where it has to go. It is entirely up to you. This may sound extreme, but without these two key qualities you will battle to take your business through the complexities that lie ahead and onwards into long-term success.

4. A work ethic

Like passion and energy, a work ethic is critical. This is your business and your vision so you need to put in the hours. And there are a lot of hours.

If you’re not prepared for the weekends, late nights and unexpected holiday disruptions, then you may not be ready for the demands of being an entrepreneur.

5. Create opportunity

While you may be the vision, the passion and the workhorse of your business, it is important to remember that your company can only go so far with only one person behind the wheel. Learn how to build a team and focus your energy on building something bigger than yourself. Your drive should not be just about building a successful business, but creating opportunities for others.

6. Communication

Throughout your journey you will need to share your vision, ideals and business plans with your employees and your executives. They have to buy into what you are planning, to be fully engaged with the work that they do. This means you have to learn how to communicate clearly and create a transparent culture so people feel part of something and committed to what it represents.

7. Sales

Ultimately, you want your business to grow and this means mastering the art of selling. Regardless of your business proposition, it is likely you need customers to buy into your product or service. So, learn how to sell. A large part of this magic formula is made up of the passion, energy and work ethic you’ve already mastered, the rest is all about relationships, communication and hooking the clients.

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