I have been building businesses for over 10 years and I have to say that entrepreneurship is like learning to surf. Before catching a good wave you will fall many many times. It is part of the process and I find it necessary. After all, it makes you appreciate way more the success, when it eventually comes. So you should not be discouraged by the falls. Unless you find out you are meant to be an employee, but if you already started a business, I seriously doubt it. So take a look at my list of five common weaknesses of entrepreneurs. If you recognize yourself in one of these, do not worry. It is just another indicator have an entrepreneurial mind and you will most probably fix it.
- Bad Time Management
Working 14 hours a day is not such a great idea. Doesn’t mean you get more things done. Different people are productive at different times of the day, also some time management techniques work for some people and not so much for others. But if you work more than 8-9 hours a day, consider changing some habits.
- Hesitance to Delegation
When you start a business and you have not worked for any multinational company as a manager of a team, it is very common that you would be hesitant to delegate work to others. But unless you want to be a one man orchestra you will have to get over it.
- Biased perspective on the business
Yes, when you have been working for months on the same project you become so absorbed by it that you lose the perspective and may start taking some bad decisions. Take the time to step back every now and then and also ask for external feedback.
- Being all over the place
Having a lot of ideas is great! But don’t try to implement them all at a time. It will most probably be a disaster.Focus on 3-4 important things and chase them over. Then go back, analyze, get rid of what was not working, add something new..
- Bad Administration skills
I strongly recommend that you hire an accountant from the very beginning because administration most probably is something on the very back of your mind. Also software can help, there are many apps out there to help you keep track on invoicing, taxes and all these things you hate.
If you want to learn more, keep on reading.
How to Overcome your Weaknesses as Entrepreneur
The post is based in my own experience as entrepreneur and in my role of mentor of advisor of more than 1000 entrepreneurs.
I include 5 more common weaknesses of entrepreneurs:
- No Sales Skills
- Couple and Family relations
- Bad and Unhealthy habits
- Friends vs. Employee
- Self control and stress
Finding a clear cut answer to who an entrepreneur is? Well, there is none. Although there are traits that every entrepreneur may not share, nonetheless many do have a few common characteristics. The shared characteristics encompass creativity, flexibility, dedication, passion, self-confidence and above all, leadership.
These individuals are tenacious but recognize their limitations. Rather than following the status quo, entrepreneurs have a youthful insolence for general rules, and often set out to do things that others might not have the courage to do. They are also prepared to fail and start over, taking the lessons they have learned to produce something new and improved.
Many different types of people get excited by the idea of entrepreneurship and a wide variety of aptitudes, talents, and personal traits aid in contributing to an entrepreneurial spirit, vision, and personality. The mindset, attitude, passion, and character that outline the successful entrepreneur are sometimes difficult to pinpoint. However, it is always easy to recognize an individual in action within the business field. By investigating some of the more prime qualities of a true entrepreneur, it is conceivable to emulate them, develop and nurture them, or to admit whether or not an individual is suited to an entrepreneurial career.
Therefore, not everyone is cut out to be a businessperson, and it is significant to understand that fact. Otherwise, a woman or man may invest their energy, time, effort, and money trying to go into business for themselves – only to determine that it is not what they are best suited to do or want out of their life. Individuals who take the wrong path because they lack understanding or insight can waste valuable financial resources, months, and years in pursuit of the wrong career path.
If you are one of those passionate entrepreneurs who have potential but you are still not progressing, then continuing reading. This book thoroughly explains where entrepreneurs go wrong and how can you overcome those issues. Often the following problems could lead to a failure of the organization. Hence these are essential to understanding.
Chapter 1: Bad Time Management
When an individual owns a business irrespective of its size, time is often at a premium. You might have to deal with several departments at the same time due to a lack of manpower or when (as an entrepreneur) you face multiple crises. This is why operative time management is vital for an entrepreneur to run a successful business. Time management guarantees that you complete essential tasks every day and not waste time on less important activities.
Irrespective of the type of work you do and the kind of person you are, every individual might face issues related to time management. In spite of everything, there are only 24 hours in a day. How is it that individual get anything done? Entrepreneurs are well aware that there are a finite number of hours in a day and five working days. However, somehow these people end up working more hours than required, giving up family contacts, sleep, and even relaxation time. You might think that this is the key to getting their business off the ground, that restless nights and decreased social contact are expected. Entrepreneurs have a large to-do list, but it also looks like they seem to be falling further and further behind. This is the biggest problem that entrepreneurs face, which leads to lack of productivity.
Every business person has unique challenges which are why the time management system has to be distinctive. They also have multiple priorities but the most difficult task for entrepreneurs is being the only one everyone can rely on. This fact motivates people to work all the time, worry for everyone and to work for longer hours. What they fail to realize is that working 20 hours a day does not mean that they will you will get more things done. Rather this will lead to decreased productivity of an individual.
Productivity relates to the concept of getting more things done in less time. Being efficient. Passionate entrepreneurs are so indulged in the idea of getting the work done that they forget «the efficiency» part of it. If you overburden yourself, the chances of getting the work done will be slim to none. Besides levels of productivity differ for different people at different times. Same goes for the time management techniques. Maybe you are more productive using to – do list or through reinforcements, so different methods work for different people.
If working for more than 10 hours in a day then it is time to make some massive change of habits. You can maximize every second even without working all day. Let’s look at how that can be done.
Time is one of the scarcest resources that any individual can have but use it efficiently and move mountains. These following strategies can help entrepreneurs optimize their time and improve productivity.
Getting the right amount of rest is crucial when it comes to enhancing productivity. This is because not getting enough sleep will make you restless and that leads to less work done in a day. Apart from that, you need to interact with your family, eat well and find an activity that relaxes you. Relaxation will blow your mind in a way that will encourage you to start fresh the next day.
Commit to a Weekly Plan
One of the tasks that entrepreneurs face is ensuring that you are working on what you ought to be working on. It is suggested that writing out a plan for the week has been one of the greatest productivity boosters. Seemingly, every minute an individual spends on planning saves them at least ten to fifteen minutes when it comes to execution. If this seems to be too good – you can try it for and see for yourself. Begin your week on a Sunday, take a pen and paper and consider thoroughly about everything you would want to achieve in a particular week, think about larger goals but then again also try to schedule the steps required. Make sure you are prepared to start work on Monday, instead of spending your morning trying to find out where you need to begin.
Make certain that the tech tools in your life work together to streamline and simplify time management. If appropriate, utilize cloud solutions to stock your data and synchronize calendars and files, so you are not entering activities in multiple devices or finding yourself without important files. Employ online project management instruments so that you stay on top of what the team is doing at a glance.
Get tough with distractions
Telephone and email are a continuous source of temptation and distraction. Checking your inbox or calling a subordinate are often postponement disguised as work. These actions break your attention, interfering with the significant work you have to do.
Make a smarter to-do list
Do not just list out everything that needs to be done and expect that you will cross things off the list as they come. Make your goals realistic, organize your list by priority, and set a daily focus for every day of the week. This will facilitate you to clear your head and generate to-do list a bit more manageable; it also will aid discussion and stop wasting your time on restructuring the list.
Chapter 2: Hesitation to Delegation
Delegation is the procedure of granting authority to assistants to perform tasks of superior level. However, in this case, the preferred recollects accountability. It provides a solution of coping with the amplified workload without causing interruptions in an organization.
It is typically the most difficult task for leaders who are somewhat skilled at the task they are trying to delegate––or when they enjoy the activity. In both cases, it is natural to be hesitant to let go. However, as organizations cultivate, leaders need to exploit the talents of all the members of a team. Leaders discover that they must delegate some tasks to find (for instance) the time to plan, start new projects and develop new initiatives.
Hesitation to delegation is a problem faced by entrepreneurs that can bring the business down in a few months. This is why it is why vital that you take this seriously and learn techniques that can facilitate in eradicating this problem.
Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses
Before you begin assigning tasks, you have to be aware of your team’s weaknesses and strengths. Every individual is going to bring something diverse to the table, so if you want to make the best out of your delegation procedure, you need to accommodate to those individual quirks. For instance, one of your workers may be methodical and slow, while another is fast but a little sloppy. To the prior, you can delegate important, yet non-urgent tasks, and to the latter, you can delegate tasks that are time sensitive.
Make your expectations clear
When delegating, be as precise as possible about the expectations. Let your teammate know exactly what and how you expect the task to be completed, and when you anticipate it to be done by. If many teammates are working on a venture, establish clear functions, or at least elect one person on the team to act as the lead for the project. Take a moment to address any queries or points of confusion early on to avoid problems down the line.
Having an ego issue will not help you get better at this. The first step is to realize that you have this problem, which makes you feel that you are the only one that can perform that job at best. This superiority complex will only complicate things further.
Although it’s hard to delegate work to your team members, it is essential for you to stay sane. A useful technique is to transfer work to responsible people, and once they are done with the task they are assigned; you MUST give them feedback. Constructive criticism is imperative for the team members to understand where they are going wrong and how they should improve it. Part of feedback also includes reinforcing or rewarding the team even if it is in the shape of verbal rewards.
Chapter 3: Biased perspective of the business
Entrepreneurs face numerous external challenges in their work. However, some of the most traitorous difficulties they might counter are the tricks played on them by their minds. When you work on one particular project for months, the chances are that you will be so deeply absorbed that you will ignore the little flaws. This could lead to a huge mess, since not catering to these small flaws, can cause a problem in the long run. Looking at things in perspective is essential for an entrepreneur, but humans can get trapped in their personal biases. Entrepreneurs are predominantly susceptible, since they are continually engaged in a high-wire act while managing many issues and tasks, and any misstep could result in the downfall of the business they are running. Therefore it is vital for entrepreneurs to be conscious of these biases and deal with them determinedly.
The curse of knowledge and feeling that you are better than your team members can also cause disruption within the organization. In this case, entrepreneurs might not consider any flaw that has been brought into notice by lower management.
Entrepreneurs are humans and humans get attached. Attachment often leads to biases and for that, you must take the following measures:
Hire external help
Hiring people from outside the organization will give an objective overview of the problems because these individuals will not have any attachment or vested interest with the product or idea in the process. An entrepreneur can meet these mentors or advisors on a regular basis (once a month) so that they can continually recognize flaws as it the product or idea progresses. This approach is better because this way you can take corrective measures while you are developing instead of making these changes after everything has been finalized. Staying objective is the key, but if you’re absorbed in the process, then a real decision is highly unlikely.
Openly communicate with the team about the problems
Instead of hiring external help, another way to go about this is to ask your team members. These people are involved in the process and will be able to identify the problems that exist or could occur in the future. In this scenario, you need to ensure that you do not start a blame game. Rather you should encourage them to communicate what they believe could be flawed openly. Successful teams are those that can openly communicate. Make your team a successful one.
Chapter 4: Being all over the place
Entrepreneurship comes with a swarm of challenges. Rewarding challenges, but tough challenges nonetheless. Knowledgeable entrepreneurs have to deal with this no matter how long they have been in business – trying to launch a brand, modify to match or surpass the competition and to keep your business lucrative is a challenge no matter how many years you have been in business. One of the most common problems that these individuals have to face is LACK OF FOCUS. Let’s discuss this further.
Being an entrepreneur means that you are responsible for more than one task that is assigned to you, which implies that your work environment could be filled with chaos. This is particularly the case for individuals who do not know how to say NO or are utterly disorganized.
Entrepreneurs are zealous in nature. They are brilliant. They are powerful ideas and packed with creative energy. These character qualities are what invigorates an entrepreneur’s business, inspire others, and turn it into a profit. But these characteristics, valuable as they are, have a hazardous sharp edge.
Passion can turn into multi-passion. Brilliance can convert into a burnout. Creative energy can sweep into distraction. Powerful thoughts can be pushed aside for the next spurt of an even better idea.
These symptoms share a mutual diagnosis: Lack of focus.
One of the primary jobs of an entrepreneur is to think of the business and come up with ideas that will help the business stand out of the crowd. Creative entrepreneurs, however, have gazillion ideas to choose from. This could make their job super challenging and paralyze them to make the right choice for the future. Adopting an approach that ultimately will not be feasible can result because of this, leading to disruption in the budget, the company being inefficient, waste of investment and underutilization of resources. All of this will eventually result in the destruction of the business.
Focus is the name of the game when it comes to the corporate world. Without focus, your organization’s planning is absent; your actions are dispersed, and your outcomes are below expectations. In fact, your lack of interest might be silently killing your business. To sum it up, the phrase «too many cooks, spoil the dish» is appropriate.
As an entrepreneur, you have a lot on your mind. Staying attentive and engrossed can be tough with a continual stream of clients, employees, emails, and phone calls craving your attention. Amongst the noise, understanding your brain’s restrictions and working around them can expand your focus and escalate your productivity.
Our brains are finely adjusted to distraction, so today’s digital atmosphere makes it particularly hard to focus. Distractions indicate that something has reformed. The brain’s response is automatic and nearly unstoppable. Recognizing actual work from distractions is imperative for an entrepreneur because otherwise, the business will fail miserably. As mentioned earlier, entrepreneurs have several ideas, which can lead to chaos and be all over the place JUST cannot help. This is why you need to consider the following solutions:
With many ideas comes the urge to pursue them, but are all ideas good ones? Well, maybe. But this is highly unlikely. In this case, an iterative process could come in handy. It is prepared for arriving at the desired result or a decision by repeating a cycle of operations or rounds of analysis. The goal is to bring the decision you want or outcome closer to discovery with each recurrence (iteration). The iterative procedure can be utilized where the verdict is not merely revocable or where the penalties of revocation could be expensive. This process can help you as an entrepreneur since you will be able to test ideas and filter out the ones that are not feasible enough.
Act on the «One Thing» principle
What’s the one thing that is essential for you to do right now? If you want to be prosperous, you’re going to have to pick that one thing and do it. Select a thing that will make all the other processes simpler and easier to achieve. Write it down. That should be the plan for today. You are permitted to have as many goals as you want, however for today, you should focus on one thing. At any point in time there can be merely ONE Thing, and when that one thing is aligned with your purpose and sits on the top of your priorities, it will be the most productive thing you can do to move forward and achieve the best that you can do. This simple principle can assist you to drop the «unfocused» baggage that you are carrying around, and free you to chase a single profitable action.
Commit to strategy
Although the «focusing on one thing» principle is promising, can it transform your life and eradicate your lack of attention? Not by itself, it cannot. You need to know what to concentrate on. Merely doing is not effective. Keeping busy is not innately good. What if you are doing the wrong things? You need to realize that your job is not to do everyone else’s job. Your job is to aid others to do their job better. The most fruitful way to do that is to form a strategy that will push your business to the top. A business plan is by itself an attentive attempt. To create a plan, you must separate your end goal, a goal. Then, you must outline the path to get there. Your strategy converts into your «one thing» task list. Once you have your strategy, you know precisely what you should be accomplishing on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Finally, once you are evolving into a single-minded and engrossed entrepreneur, it is time to put the icing on the cake. Test your ideas. Do not be satisfied to merely be focused. Be focused on the right things at the right time. The way to differentiate the good from the best is to keep testing. Test your approach, test your headlines, test your website, test your market, test your emails, and test your social media strategy. Test, test, test and failure will eventually disappear into the background.
Chapter 5: Bad Administrative Skills
The business world is always forward bound and fast-paced. To keep up with the growth in the industry and for your personal advancement, it is crucial to practice good organizational skills. Being muddled and unsystematic can hinder your ability to get where you want to be workwise, reduce your productivity, cost you extra resources, and can even be ruthless for your mental and physical health.
Every organization has different expectations from the team. However, no team can function with only one individual. Passionate entrepreneurs tend to forget this and try to be the jack of all trades. This acts as a problem for the team, the business and the entrepreneurs themselves.
It is imperative for you to understand that all businesses need an assortment of skills to be able to grow and survive. As the owner of business, it is probable that an entrepreneur will be called upon to perform more than a few roles out of necessity. This will indicate the functions that you as an entrepreneur are better at and identify the ones that you should rather outsource. At this point, an entrepreneur needs to realize that they do not have to know about everything or perform each task themselves.
Simple explanation: you are just one person (limited capacity) with 24 hours in a day, which is why the amount of things that you accomplish in a day will be restricted. If you try to do everything yourself, there is a high chance that the company will face major problems. In this case, it is highly likely that you will stunt professional growth and the levels of productivity will automatically decrease.
Moreover, this will lead to a burnout making it a real challenge for the entrepreneur. When there are several different things on your plate, you forget that you only have so much energy and time to take things on with. Stay realistic and try to divide the tasks at hand appropriately. Take your time, pick a couple of things to concentrate on, and be aware of your personal well-being.
So if you wish that your business should grow, it will reach a stage when these necessary skills are developed and extended. This is why it is essential to get the right mix of individuals to reinforce and complement your business. Having a competent management team aids you to produce a more efficient and capable business.
Likewise, an entrepreneur rarely has the mixture of skills that a management team may have. Each member of a management team can focus on their range of expertise. Also, the business profits from having its overall goals and direction viewed from different perspectives.
Nothing is unfixable, so it is imperative that once you recognize certain issues within an organization, you must take steps to resolve them.
Hiring the right people
Irrespective of the kind of organization, having the right team on board is the key to efficiency and success of business. When it comes to the hiring procedure, it is not only about finding someone to fill the spot immediately such as a loved one or family member who may not meet all the requirements. Being able to commit time and resources towards filling these positions with employees who are enthusiastic about the long-term success of a business is vital to the longevity of any venture. Some entrepreneurs might believe that a lot of effort should not be put into hiring people for administrative skills but the opposite is true. Bad organizational skills can disrupt the function of the organization.
Making the wrong choice in the hiring procedure can lead to a lot of further issues and stress that can hinder the growth of business. A bad employee will adversely impact the other staff they are around, could cost a company a lot of unnecessary expenses and could drive down sales. By employing the right individual the first time around the business will move in a progressive direction and will become more efficient in the future. Business owners and managers need to be aware of the effect that an employee can have and contemplate their impact throughout the hiring procedure.
Entrepreneurs have always considered outsourcing as a strategy set aside for large companies, however, technology has made it a more reachable tool for small businesses–and for small individual firms, outsourcing has made a great impact on their productivity, growth and bottom lines. Taking the initial steps toward outsourcing can be onerous, but figuring out how to shape your business with support from outside professionals can provide improved efficiencies and economies of scale. Outsourcing has become popular in the recent years because one individual cannot possibly handle all the tasks within an organization. For this reason, many companies hire other companies to do their taxes, accounts, payroll, etc.
There are certain tasks that every company should outsource especially when the in-house staff has other responsibilities. These include accounting and taxes, social media managing, web development and graphic design. Additionally, outsourcing administrative skills can save the hassle. If you fear to sift through your swarming email inbox every day, a virtual administrative assistant (VA) might be just what you need to simplify that frustrating procedure and keep you from being swamped by a continuous stream of messages. In addition to prioritizing and consolidating your correspondence, VAs can do other clerical and secretarial tasks such as making travel plans and scheduling appointments.
It is highly likely that (due to the bias) you might not be able to find the flaws that the organization has. This is why you should hire a legal advisor or an external entity so that you can get objective information about the wrong decisions that you are making. So this might be a good idea.
Chapter 6: No Sales Skills
Every entrepreneur must learn to sell. It is vital to every business, and an emerging entrepreneur might have little, or no, sales knowledge, but it is imperative that they are selling their service or product from day one. If you do not sell enough, your business will not last. Similarly, high growth prospect companies that need to raise money to cultivate often have to increase additional funding as sales targets are overlooked. Many individuals think that ‘selling’ is something that comes from within – a natural talent that cannot be taught. In fact, many selling techniques and skills can be acquired and just change your attitude about what trading can benefit enormously.
Selling is a crucial skill that every entrepreneur must major in. Think about it: Beginning from day one in your business, you are selling. Whether it is pitching your idea to probable investors or showcasing your cutting-edge innovation to prospects, the accomplishment of your business is contingent on your ability to sell.
Being an impressive sales rep is imperative for an entrepreneur because it is the chief reason for the operations in an organization. However, the majority thinks that «selling» is an inborn talent and they would rather focus on other aspects. On the contrary, selling can be learned, and that will be discussed further. If as an entrepreneur you are not good at selling then you will miss out on certain opportunities such as:
Selling makes you a better leader
Selling has a direct correlation with leadership skills. You cannot lead if you are incapable of influencing people. Sales are the art of persuading people and moving them to act in a particular direction. You can’t be a great leader if you do not know how to sell.
Being able to sell is required if you want to inspire your team to buy into your idea. You must be able to persuasively and clearly enlighten your team about what your vision is and why they should follow through. Or else, you will only have employees who are conforming to what you’re asking them to do. You do not need individuals to obey you rather you need them to follow you.
Selling can aid you to get funding
How many times have you seen entrepreneurs who have great ideas but are unable to convince the investors to fund them? Having an excellent idea isn’t the end game instead if you have a superb idea and a good product, then you must know how to pitch it in a way that the investors are convinced to buy in.
If you think sales is not an important skill for an entrepreneur to absorb, look at a couple of episodes of Shark Tank, and you will swiftly change your mind. Think of the sweat, blood, and tears these would-be entrepreneurs gave to successful liftoff businesses. It is almost tragic. You watch them crash and burn just because they did not know how to sell their thoughts properly. There could be some other factors that lead to a failure of not getting an investment but a majority of the times it is the lack of sales skills that result in the failure.
Selling aids you to move more products
Lastly, being able to sell will facilitate you to move more products. If you are constructing a company, you will not want to sell your product. Even when you employ a sales force, you will want to sell your product. You will have to retail your product to the employees you appoint. You will have to sell your product to everyone you meet. Not only that, you should be able to market the product effectively, which requires you to be skilled at persuasion. These are only a few explanations of why great entrepreneurs should be great salespeople. There are a lot more. If you want your business to develop, you need to acquire the art of persuasion.
Entrepreneurs who gain high technical skills have a lower sense of marketing and selling the value that their product creates for the people. These individuals deal with the technical part of the product and have a better know how of that, which is why they can only sell the features of the product. But how many consumers care about the features in a product? Customers want to know about the value that the product creates or the desires it satisfies. This is why entrepreneurs must know about the value-creation process and how to attract consumers.
Want to boost your sales figures? Need to halt from a slump? There are several ways that you can develop your selling skills to meet your objectives. Remember, this is an ever-changing business and even if you have been retailing for years, it is important to keep yourself updated, acquire new skills and acclimate to the changing marketplace.
As an entrepreneur, one of the things you need to master is: selling. You must be the best sales rep within the organization. To attain this objective you should:
Learn to market «value» not features
Customers purchase products because of the necessities that the product fulfills and the issues that the product solves. Features in and of themselves are unusable — they are present to fill a need. Customers will find product features useful only if those features fulfill a need and if the action of filling that need is something which is meaningful to the consumer. Learning how to sell will enable you to deliver the message of value that the product creates, and the outcome will be an increase in revenue. People are mostly motivated to purchase a product if it creates value, not because of the features it has.
Work with a sales coach
Irrespective of the fact that you are new to selling or the best sales rep, it does not mean that you do not require training or coaching. If you do not train, you will not gain new skills, will not progress, and you will continue to replicate the same mistakes in the process without even realizing it. Working with a sales coach can help you (as an entrepreneur) to be a more effective leader and a great role model for the team. So what is a sales coaching? Sales coaching is just like any other form of coaching that requires a distinctive, one-on-one approach for each sales rep and not a «one size fits all» method. A sales coach will not be responsible for managing the results. However, he or she can control the steps or behaviors that the sales reps take to reach those results. Coaching uses a procedure of inquiry so that individuals can access their inner strength or energy to reach their level of attentiveness. Tapping into a person’s formerly fresh talents and strengths advance personal learning and growth, which challenges entrepreneurs to discover their personal best. Coaching is combined as well as interactive.
Chapter 7: Couple/Family Relation
Typically, entrepreneurs find it difficult to find a perfect equilibrium between their personal and professional life
Being an entrepreneur is not the carefree, easy career path that many consider it to be; it is rather opposite. When everything is devoted to your own business – money, time, passion and creativity; it can border on fixation. Also when you work from home or your family or spouse cooperate with you, you seldom, if ever, leave the office at least from a rational position.
If you think meeting a boss’s targets or deadlines is tough, try accomplishing your own, particularly when your personal savings are on the line. Maybe your credit cards are maxed out, or maybe you’ve borrowed money from friends and family, and you are on the hook to return them the money back. This kind of pressure lights a fire below even the most relaxed personalities. Not only will you sense the pressure to get your business off the ground, but you will also feel the additional pressure to do so rapidly to recover some semblance of financial security. The stress could take its toll on the family relations as well.
Yes, it can be difficult to work for somebody else, knowing your talents and skills are eventually making someone else a lot of dollars. Nevertheless, in most jobs, you can leave the work behind when you go to your family and enjoy with them. As an entrepreneur, the amount of work can be intense, especially throughout the early stages when you are the CEO, CFO, Tech guy, HR person, marketing guru, and the office manager. With all these roles, there is hardly a moment that you feel your job is «done» for the day. There is always something more you possibly can be doing, like researching new markets, contacting new media, writing press releases, developing new products and the list goes on. Also, this can eat away time that was formerly devoted to leisure activities, family, workouts or relaxation. It’s a tough balance to strike.
Given that this job is extremely demanding striking a correct balance between your professional and personal life could trigger some issues. It is essential to handle those in time before they escalate to the bigger problem.
If anything, this is the only problem every entrepreneur wants an answer to. So here we go:
Stay single or negotiate
One technique for dealing with entrepreneurial stress (related to family) is to stay single. Being an entrepreneur has its risk, which is why you must negotiate and inform your spouse or the family about them. It is imperative for you to inform them about this because if things go wrong, they will also be suffering with you.
You must keep an open mind and listen carefully to people within your business, and to individuals who you are in a relationship with. Pay consideration to emotions, body language, and time spent speaking versus listening. Talking is not the same as communicating.
Spend quality time with your family
Entrepreneurs are required to be connected to their digital devices all the time, but being online all the time adversely affects your relationship with your family or a spouse. This is why you must allocate a specific amount of time for your family. Make sure that during that period, you are not connected to any device or answer phone calls. Instead, you should completely divert your attention towards the family and spend quality time with them.
Chapter 8: Bad and unhealthy habits
Just as there are practices that should be a part of your routine, there are also some toxic habits that ought to be controlled. These behaviors are communal to many entrepreneurs, and those who have found triumph have also established ways to minimalize their damage. Nearly all of these practices initially stem from good intents, whether it is trying to expand your learning, communicating with the team or paying attention to details. It’s not essentially the actions themselves, but the habits we develop around them to impact the way we carry out these errands that derail us as entrepreneurs.
The mysteries of successful entrepreneurs are no longer hidden. It is usually understood that entrepreneurs require a combination of planning, vision, perseverance, and other good habits, to become a successful business person. What is rarely talked about are the ruthless habits of successful entrepreneurs. If you have ever questioned what they are, then read on.
Entrepreneurs are seen as driven business innovators and leaders with unlimited positive energy and a single-minded vision. While this is perhaps faithful to a great extent, the nature of the work generates some bad habits and occupational hazards. We are not just talking about biting nails, but severe and recurrent practices that can have a remarkable effect on an entrepreneur’s personal life and business.
It is no accident that a lot of entrepreneurs have health related issues. As entrepreneurs, we often treat our bodies dreadfully in exchange for success. Entrepreneurs work long, unsociable hours, on little sleep, powering their bodies with crap food – so that we can get back to what we were doing. This is not healthy, nor is this is the idea of success. These two (consuming junk food and sleep deprivation) habits are extremely unhealthy and necessarily affect every aspect of our life, whether it is personal or professional.
Although there are many things that an entrepreneur needs to be mindful of especially if they want their business to grow, but eating right tops the list. Not having a time or not knowing how to cook just do not qualify for valid excuses for entrepreneurs to stop at a fast food joint every day. This might be a stress-free fix if you are a busy entrepreneur but think of the long-term impact that it will have on your body. Apart from obesity and other health factors, it is reported that consuming junk food decreases an individual’s productivity and as entrepreneurs that will have damaging effects on the entire organization.
We have all had sleepless nights for whatsoever reasons, but all too often, for professionals and entrepreneurs this one-time instance of sleep deprivation happens on a regular basis. This eventually starts to become a consistent practice. Before you even know it, you will be stuck in a vicious cycle of getting four hours of sleep a night, and you cannot break free of the cycle.
In the short term, you tell yourself that this is a good thing because you are busy, and you do not have ample time to get a good night’s sleep. Nevertheless, in the long term, sleep deficiency will kill your career because:
You lose focus and concentration
It’s the first and most visible step of sleep deprivation. When you do not get the adequate amount of sleep at night, your ability for attention and focus plummet. Even with caffeine, which can aid you to feel more alert, you will experience a hard time executing even your basic tasks. If elongated, your entire production could crash, compelling you to work longer hours, and lengthening the cycle. Getting an hour or two of extra sleep can augment your productivity enough to negate the time you spent resting entirely, so do not make excuses about the quantity of work you have to do in the morning—get your rest.
Your memory begins to suffer
Your short-term memory is the following cognitive function to go, and you might start feeling this after only one night of sleep loss. Having a reduced short-term memory makes you even more competent on your daily tasks. You might find yourself going back over the same data multiple times, checking and rechecking your work because you cannot remember what you had before. Additionally, you could have trouble remembering the names of individuals you meet or absorbing the information from company meetings. In any case, your poor memory will begin to impact your career if you remain to deprive yourself of sleep.
You might have to rely on drugs
There is an assortment of substances that can ease the effects of sleep deficiency in the short term, but eventually, they will only make the problem worse. For instance, in taking caffeine can help you stay more attentive on your work and feel more conscious, but as you consume it more, a threshold will be developed, and you could even become reliant on it. Likewise, sleep aides can assist you to get to sleep soundly, but consuming them frequently can result in dependence and ultimately, even poor sleep habits.
You will be more prone to stress
When your body is underprivileged of sleep, it becomes more susceptible to stress. A slightly exasperating event, like getting caught in traffic, can intensify to become infuriating, and a minor hindrance can cause you to break down with grief. Because you are more sensitive to both minor and major events, the stress of your job will begin to take its toll on you and ultimately, you won’t be able to manage. Getting more sleep can facilitate you to take things in stride and not get anxious over comparatively minor obstructions.
Unhealthy habits are not appreciated whether you are an entrepreneur or an ordinary individual. The following things are important to consider to move a step forward towards a healthy lifestyle:
Focus on your sleeping patterns
It is important to understand that sleep deprivation will eventually kill your productivity and creativity. Fortunately, sleep deprivation is a sequence that you can come out of. Initially, you will have to make a commitment to yourself. Lack of sleep is merely the result of a personal choice. You do not have to work late every night. Plan your tasks so that you can get the work done in time. Make a vow to get a minimum of seven hours sleep each night—even though eight to nine would be healthier—and exercise habits that encourage you to sleep earlier. For instance, don’t intake caffeine before bed, do not stay up viewing television or using digital gadgets. Likewise, try to go to sleep and wake up at a similar time every day (even on the weekends), and use relaxing music or meditation to facilitate quick sleeping. In time, you can restore your sleep cycles and correct the issues that sleep deprivation triggered in the first place
Consume healthy foods
Undoubtedly, the most significant thing you can do to improve your health and start feeling better instantly changes what you eat and drink. Enhancing the variety and quality of food that goes into your body certifies that your mental processes, immune system, and metabolism function at an optimal level. This is crucial if you want to have the mental capacity or physical vitality essential to run your own business for the long term.
Just because you are busy and do not know how to cook, is not a good enough reason to consume junk/processed food every day. You should research a little and find healthy alternatives to fast foods. Consuming better food will offer better fuel to the body, which will upsurge your productivity and attentiveness. It is amazing to see how much the food we eat influences all other areas of our lives. Concentration, attitude, and energy are just a few examples. Before you start to take care of yourself, you initially have to recognize the importance of eating right.
Improve the way you eat
It is not just what you eat, but how you consume those that can make a huge difference. These are a few solid eating tips that can help you keep the health in place;
- Eat within an hour of waking up.
- Set the precise eating times (ex: 10, 1, 5 & 8).
- Chew your food meticulously (ex: 36 times, once for every tooth).
- Do not drink during and for up to an hour after consuming a meal because it slows down digestion.
- Eat food fresh and instantly after it’s prepared to augment nutritional value.
Make sure that you hydrate yourself. This is because mental processes are affected by as little as 2% dehydration. Moreover, the most widely known cause of afternoon fatigue is dehydration.
Furthermore, there are certain rules apply whether you are an entrepreneur or not. For instance, you must NEVER skip breakfast, rather have a large, healthy breakfast. For lunch, decrease the portion size a little bit and have a poor dinner.
Chapter 9: Separate Friends from Employees
Friends at work and work friendships help to make our jobs a bit more enjoyable. It is also nice to hang out with associates after a particularly demanding day. No one appreciates you venting out at work like a colleague who deals with the similar workplace issues. Nevertheless, when you are an entrepreneur or a supervisor, it is not so easy to have work friends who fill this part in your life.
An entrepreneur’s relationship becomes imbalanced when it comes to power. The administrator has the authority to promote, hire, fire and discipline. Unlike the supervisor/employee relationship, healthy friendships do not contain one friend having control over the other. It can be very hard to tell your friend that they did not get a raise or that their work performance is such that their employment is in jeopardy.
So is it smart to be friends with your teams at work? You may believe that it makes your everyday operations more agreeable, but in the long run, you are asking for trouble. Contemplate the difficulties of falling into employee-friend relationships before you get too chummy.
It’s not scalable
You have numerous personality types in the employee pool, and it is natural that, on an individual level, you will be drawn to a few more than the others. People might feel left out, and ultimately it will be seen as nepotism. Realistically, you probably will favor your friends. Isn’t that what friends do?
They won’t take you seriously
As a boss, your final verdicts must be valued. Your friend-employees might roll their eyes at concepts they do not agree with. They might even refuse to carry out your directions. You will less likely correct this behavior in a friend, and that sets a pattern of disrespect in your corporation.
It will confuse your relationship
Friendships are built on equality. As you direct significant things in your friend employees life, for example, responsibilities, income, and promotions it alters the nature of your relationship. Being friends should be unpretentious. Do not complicate it.
Their personal issues will get in the way
Understanding and compassion may be significant values to you; take it too far and you will endanger the daily operations of your association. A good friend can devote hours as a sounding board. That works perfectly outside of the office, but when it holds you from being productive, it’s a concern.
It’s not fair
When it is time to assign bonuses, promote and grant growth prospects, you might find it hard to separate your professional observations from personal feelings. No matter which way you lean, your employee-friend might question the rationality of your choices and thus question his or her performance.
You might share things you shouldn’t
Being an entrepreneur can be lonesome. If a good friend is outside of your office door, it is problematic to abstain from unloading work-related problems or confessing about other employees’ shortcomings, which is not okay.
It’s hard to fire a friend
Your friend, who is a graphic designer, was almost certainly well suited to the job when you launched the business, however now you need an advanced level of creativity and skill. So in this case, what do you do? Rationally, you replace the designer, but then how do you fire a friend? It is not simple to make this one a win for both parties.
It is acceptable to be friendly with your workforce, however, be cautious in founding friendships. When it comes to friendships and relationships at work, be caring, empathetic, and supportive, but figure out where the boundary is for you. Going for lunch with an employee or to get coffee together on a break may be a good idea, but it might cross the boundary too far into the alliance if you agree to go out for drinks after work. So what should you do?
Think before you hire a friend
There are certain things that you must consider before you hire a friend for a job in your organization. For one you must think about the turn your relationship will take if things go south. Secondly, hiring friends and family means that they will expect «special treatment» from you which will disrupt the entire organization’s system. Thirdly, family and friends may intentionally or involuntarily challenge your leadership with other employees; that will result in them and other employees to not take you seriously.
Don’t let your emotions come in play
A part of hiring a friend has to do with the emotional factors. Hence you need to make an honest, objective decision when doing so. It is understandable that turning down a friend is difficult especially when you know they need help, but it is still not a good enough reason to hire someone you know. Ensure that the friend is qualified for the job, are they responsible, trustworthy, and most importantly will they by any chance disrupt the work environment.
Try to avoid working with friends
When your friends inquire about the hiring situation at your firm, the best answer is to laugh it off and change the topic. Although hiring a friend is a tempting offer because obviously, you connect with them already, you are aware that they will be loyal to you. Additionally the feeling of working towards a common objective with them sounds fantastic. Likewise, the office environment will be more pleasant than usual since you will have someone to joke with. But what happens when they stop taking you seriously and they must be fired? This situation has various adverse effects on the relationship and most often is the cause of a 20-year long friendship to end. Similarly, you must avoid working with your spouse as it will generate a similar situation.
Chapter 10: Self-control and stress
There are numerous reasons because of which entrepreneurs can experience stress and lose self-control. This area is of particular importance to cover because it is directly linked with your personal life, which should be prioritized over the working lives. This chapter presses on these two factors as a stressor and what can entrepreneurs do to overcome them.
Entrepreneurs experience the most amount of stress, given the number of things they are responsible for. The primary reason for experiencing high-stress levels and losing self-control is the multiple things they take on. Individuals need to realize that they are not superheroes, rather they are just normal human beings. This is why they need to divide and delegate tasks that are time sensitive.
Stress is not always bad. If it is within your comfort zone, then it can aid you to stay energetic, focused, and able to meet new challenges in the place of work. Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a demonstration or alert to avoid accidents or pricey mistakes at work. However in today’s frenzied world, the workplace can every so often seem like an emotional roller coaster. Tight deadlines, long hours, and ever increasing demands can leave you feeling uncertain, worried, and overwhelmed by stress.
However, when stress surpasses your comfort zone, it stops being useful and can begin causing significant harm to your body and mind as well as your job satisfaction. Nevertheless, no matter what you do for a living, or how demanding your job is, there are ample things you can do to lessen your general stress levels and recuperate a sense of control at work.
With high levels of stress and lacking self-control comes burnout syndrome. This disease is known as the disease of the modern societies, where entrepreneurs or the workforce has to keep up with the changing trends continuously. Burnout is the consequence of chronic stress (at the workplace) that has not been effectively dealt with. It is categorized by depersonalization (negativism/cynicism) and exhaustion and leads to feelings of ineffectiveness and absence of accomplishment. All these outcomes are a primary concern for the entrepreneurs. Hence, they need to ensure that they do not experience entrepreneurial burnout at any point, or else the company might fail.
To appreciate a healthy, long, and productive career, you have to seek out habits to achieve self-control, reduce entrepreneurial stress and to cater to your needs. Here are some activities and habits that you might want to adopt:
Take a break
The general perception that a majority of entrepreneurs have is that the more they work, the more they will achieve. However, this is highly unlikely. Entrepreneurs are human beings, and they do need a break from work. This applies in particular to these individuals since their workload is massive. With so many responsibilities, comes stress leading it to burnout. So it is important for the entrepreneurs to take a break every once in a while as a refresher. This will not only increase productivity rather it will bring out positive outcomes for the organization.
Meditation essentially trains your brain to develop into a self-control machine. An even simple practice like mindfulness, which encompasses taking as little as five minutes in a day to concentrate on nothing more than your senses and your breathing, enhances your self-awareness and your brain’s capability to resist negative impulses. This is why Buddhist monks seem calm and in control. Furthermore, it can turn you into a more effective business person. It provides you an advantage when you are dealing with other individuals, whether they are partners, employees, or competitors. As an executive who meditates, you can acquire to be responsive and calm, rather than being fatigued and reactive. You will have a better understanding of your emotions, and thus, will be able to manage them to your benefit. You also become a better listener and be more conscious of what is going around you. This provides you an edge in negotiations. So you must give it a try.
Getting your body moving for as less as 10 minutes secretes GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your urges. A highly undervalued form of exercise is swimming. With this type of training, you can kick your heart into high gear without risking injury or overstress your joints. A majority of large gyms provide pool memberships, and you can quickly shower after that before heading back to the office.
Reframe your Perspective
Worry and stress are powered by our skewed observation of events. It’s easy to think that unforgiving bosses, unrealistic deadlines, and out-of-control traffic are the reason that we are so stressed all the time. You cannot regulate all the circumstances. However, you can control how you report to them. So before you spend a lot of time thinking about something, take a few minutes to put the condition in perspective. If you believe in far-reaching, sweeping statements such as «Everything is going as expected» or «Nothing will work out,» then you need to reframe the situation. An excellent means to correct this unproductive thought form is to list the correct things that are not working out or are going wrong. Most probably you will come up with just some items—not everything—and the range of these stressors will look much more restricted than it initially appeared.
Do Something Competitive
There is something about competition that we all find innately gratifying. Competitive undertakings engross us on a deep level and offer a brilliant source of stress relief. If you are not part of something competitive, you might be missing out on these prospects. Competition could range from dirt bike racing, playing poker with your friends or getting involved with a rally car. Or else, you could even dust off the old football shoes and join an amateur football league. Other options consist of entering in music competitions or playing competitive chess. The possibilities are endless.
Spend Time with Family
Stress is not always embedded in the business. Sometimes, an entrepreneur’s fear has its roots in the fact that he or she cannot spend as much time as they would like with their family. This ultimately compounds with time and becomes an even more unrelenting concern. The more an individual works, the more he or she misses out on his or her family. Also, the more she or he misses their family; the more stress is compounded. This harvests a risky cycle. While it may seem strange—particularly if you have young kids running around–spending time with them can be a big stress reliever. It lets you channel your energy and to center your attention on something more meaningful than your business. This viewpoint can alter your entire outlook.
Although entrepreneurs have a lot of responsibilities, this does not mean that they cannot ask for help. Many entrepreneurs forget this and decide to burden themselves with some extra tasks that they can easily delegate. This can help them allocate time and other resources to tasks that are more significant compared to the ones they are wasting time on. Likewise, there are other weaknesses and problems that entrepreneurs can face. This guidebook will help you understand these issues clearly and offer several solutions, from which you can choose and apply to suit your organization better.