There aren’t many natural born leaders. Most leaders take responsibility for training themselves to be effective. Whether you learn from the wisdom of others or get insights from personal experience, becoming a more effective leader is about what you do, not what know.
5 MAIN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE AN ENTREPRENEUR
When you work a 9-to-5 you’re at the mercy of your boss and the company you work for. They can decide to hire or fire you, they decide how you spend your eight hours every day and what happens in those eight hours affects you beyond that time.
You have little control and in exchange, they give you a paycheck. The problem is today’s economy. Gone are the days of working at a company for years and retiring with a pension. These days entrepreneurship is the new pension plan. Your income is too important to leave in the hands of someone else.
2. Freedom to spend your time doing what’s important to you.
Life is short and time is the one thing we’ll never get back. This makes time one of your most valuable resources and you should treat it accordingly. Entrepreneurship gives you the ability to balance your time.
If you have family or other life circumstances come up, you can decide to forgo any work for that day. You don’t have that kind of flexibility at a job. Your work should fit into your life, not the other way around. The life part has to come first.
3. Unlimited earning possibilities.
At a job, your earning potential is set by the job or a contract a union negotiated. You can get raises and promotions, but those are the exception, not the rule. Your earning potential is capped no matter how long you stay at that job.
To be fair, you could earn nothing at your business, but those who jump into entrepreneurship are self-motivated to build a profitable business. Entrepreneurs aren’t happy with the status quo and continue to grow their business and income. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that there are no gatekeepers to keep your income regulated.
4. Location independence.
The beauty of having your own business is the ability to create something that supports you no matter where you are in the world. There are more than 2.5 billion people online daily, which means you could have an unlimited customer base and build a location-independent, online business.
No longer do you have to be tied down to any one location. You can have freedom to be where you want. This is great because different environments can foster innovation and creativity. Last year I got to travel to 12 countries all over the world and still made money. You just can’t beat that.
5. The chance to leave a lasting legacy.
When you build your dream business it can carry on to your kids and their kids. What starts as a quest for freedom can end as something that’s in your family for generations. A company like Ford has been passed down through the generations and continues to impact lives.
If your business is started out of something your passionate about, that passion will impact lives for years and generations. You can leave your children something you’re proud of.
We live in a time when we can use technology and the Internet to create the business and life we love. It’s not going to be easy and it will take time, but it is possible. If you’re thinking about making the leap, make sure you’re prepared. You don’t want to turn your dream into a nightmare.
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5 TIPS FOR SUCCESS IN LIFE AS AN ENTREPRENEUR
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where,” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. – dialogue between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
People who know what they want and have set a course for achieving their goals are generally happier than those that just let life happen to them. This wisdom is not new. Earl Nightingale once said, “Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future.” Ralph Waldo Emerson encouraged goal setting by stating that, ‘Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
2. Don’t Fear Failure
“I failed my way to success.” – Thomas Edison
So often we are taught in our lives that failing is a bad thing. Failure is almost always placed at odds with success. Yet without failure few would know the way to success. No one ever did it right all the time. But most that have experienced some success have failed at some point.
3. Take Risks
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
Life is more fun and exciting when we take risks. At the end of the day there is truth to the statement, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” But be calculated – risk should not be taken for risk’s sake. Opportunity may knock, but it may not stand around very long. Be ready to go on an adventure at the knock of a door. A successful life includes not having regrets for not having taken enough risks.
4. Don’t Stop Learning
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
The more you know, the more you realize you do not know. Formal education just scratches the surface and is a drop of our capacity to learn. Knowledge, no matter how insignificant it may appear to be, gives us a reason to get out of bed every morning. Make it a habit to learn something new each day. Treat knowledge like a new friend. Life is so much more satisfying when we make a new friend every day.
5. Do Not Settle
“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
Success is a process – not an event. Some goals may happen overnight. Others require more time, energy, and alignment of some planets. Do not get discouraged. Keep plotting forward with your plan. Evaluate your progress and make course corrections. Keep your goal top of mind and keep your feet moving. Michael Jordan once said, “If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
helps us record our thoughts, release the mental storage, and move on to the next great idea or solution.
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WAYS TO TRAIN YOURSELF TO BECOME A GREAT LEADER
1. Keep promises, period.
Never make promises you’re not sure you can keep. Nothing kills your credibility quicker than a breached promise or unfulfilled expectation.
Sometimes keeping promises can be challenging, if not downright painful. This commitment will develop discipline and integrity. Practice it with your kids as well as colleagues.
2. Dress to influence.
Don’t dress to impress, dress to influence. That means making sure your appearance is consistent with your personal and professional brand. Begin by asking yourself how a leader with your aspirations should appear to others.
And don’t limit appearance to just yourself. Apply it to your company. Butler Amusements, a Fairfield, Cal.-based carnival company, has always prided itself on having the cleanest trucks in the business and has built a brand around the slogan: “The Cleanest Show in the West.”
3. Treat your team as you expect them to treat customers.
Asking your team to be courteous to customers and being a jerk to them is in-congruent and hypocritical. Being the leader doesn’t give you a free pass to indulge your base instincts. The way you treat people is a barometer to everyone on your team. Robert Greenleaf coined the term “servant leadership” in the 1960’s. It isn’t about being servile, but about finding ways to support your employees so they can become successful. Periodically ask: “What can I do to help?”
4. Show your commitment to personal growth.
There are ultimately only two ways to grow your business: grow yourself and grow your team. As you and your team improve, so do service levels, operational efficiency and everything else. Suncoast Coffee Service and Vending is a small company of twenty employees based in Tampa, Florida. The founders pay employees to read books that benefit both their personal and professional lives. Through the company’s reading program, called Making People Better, books are distributed to employees, along with a “read by” date. Employees have approximately one month to read the book and are given $50 after completing it. At the end of the month, employees meet to discuss the book.
5. Ask rather than wait for feedback.
Some leaders react to unsolicited feedback as criticism and miss an opportunity to learn. But waiting for your employees to become brave enough to offer you feedback is a risky proposition. Don’t ask employees what they like or dislike about you. You’ll get better information by asking: “In your opinion, what might I do to become a more effective leader?”
Listen for actionable behavior. If someone says you’d be more effective by communicating more clearly, ask for an example of when you haven’t, so you’ll understand what he or she means.