Being your own boss sounds like a dream: Doing what you love, making the rules and choosing a schedule to suit you.
But the reality can be very different: only 58 per cent of small businesses survive beyond three years. It takes grit, resilience and hard work to succeed with little chance to stop if you’re sick or desperately need a day off.
Small business owners face different challenges to their corporate counterparts. Fifty-seven percent report above-average stress and 80 per cent admit cash flow issues affect their mental wellbeing. Income and financial uncertainty mean endlessly chasing work under changing economic conditions and owners feel responsible for the livelihoods of their staff. The absence of support structures mean they must also juggle multiple responsibilities, like sales, marketing and finance, that don’t always align with their key skills.
The Cost of Not Caring
Making a new venture succeed can take its toll: long days, little sleep and working when you’re sick lead to high-stress levels. Absenteeism, presenteeism (at work but unproductive), productivity losses and workplace accidents due to stress cost around $44 billion in the US, 15.1 billion pounds in the UK, and $12.6 billion in Australia each year.
Not only does chronic high stress affect your cognitive functions, slowing your accuracy, response time and ability to make critical decisions; it’s been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. There’s also a greater risk of depression compared to the general population with business failure often associated with suicide risk.
Consider self-care an investment: Not only does cash stops flowing in if you can’t work, PriceWaterhouseCoopers found each dollar spent on workplace health meant a $14.50 return on productivity benefits.
So where should you start?
Over 50 per cent of owners work nine hour-plus days and 43 per cent work weekends. But long hours don’t make you more effective: you’re wasting time spinning wheels because you’re too tired to think straight, and you risk burning out completely.
Studies have shown regular exercise is a powerful way of managing stress. To be our best, we need to feel good inside-out, which means a healthy body is key to achieving a healthy mind. Use your breaks to move: schedule time before work or escape your phone and email at lunchtime. Hit the gym, go for yoga, or just walk around the block.
Sleep is another way to replenish: sleep deprivation impairs our focus, judgment and ability to make sound decisions because we can’t assess situations rationally and plan accordingly.
You can only give if your own cup is full, so take enough time out. Gift yourself a sleep-in, get a massage or have lunch outside so you can organize your thoughts. Feeling refreshed allows you to think creatively and take better decisions for your business. You’ll be more available for personal relationships and be more effective with clients because you’re more present, less frazzled and can focus on the task at hand.
Owning a small business can be lonely. Literally, if you’re a solopreneur working long hours; or as a boss unable to share your struggles with staff. Isolated working conditions and lack of social connections are some of the biggest triggers for stress.
Whether it’s your financial situation or something else outside your expertise, ask for help or invest in a business coach. It could make the difference between spending hours working on a problem or getting a solution with a two-minute response. Take advantage of someone else’s gifts and talents so you can use your own more effectively.
Many industries and local councils have business networks you can join for peer support. Not only will you feel less alone, having someone to bounce thoughts and discuss challenges can lead to fresh ideas.
A plan of action helps keep you focused, providing structure and sense of achievement as you tick off completed tasks.
Set up your day before you start by deciding what your priorities will be, what you want to achieve that day and what can wait. Plan your work according to when you function best: if you think you’re better in the morning, complete complex tasks early and leave other work for the afternoon.
Distractions can lead to a 40 per cent drop in productivity, so don’t be afraid to turn off your phone and messages while you concentrate. It may feel odd but if you’re consistent with checking emails at specific times and respond quickly, clients will be trained not to expect a response outside these hours.
Delegate and Outsource
When your business gets to a certain scale, find the resources to delegate or outsource things you’re not great at. Not only will it create more time for you to grow the business and use your expertise better, but you also won’t be stuck doing something you don’t enjoy.
Ask whether there are smarter ways of doing something. Is there an automated alternative? What do your competitors do? Time spent training someone or purchasing a new system is an investment that will repay itself multiple times over; you gain efficiency and free up resources.
And learn to say “no” if you don’t believe you will achieve the right outcome for the client and yourself. You’ll save the heartache and keep your reputation intact by not taking on something that pushes you to the brink.
The people around you bear the brunt of your stress, so take notice of how your employees are feeling (stress is contagious) or if people start asking you if everything is ok. Use it as a sign to assess how you’re feeling: the quicker you identify stress, the quicker you can change things. Take time out, delegate work or say no to a project because you’re full.
Embrace your Mistakes
Perfection has no place in your business. You’ll reach a point where more time spent making something perfect will make very little difference. Pause and ask yourself whether there are any more benefits in continuing work on something.
Accept you’ll make mistakes. No one takes the right decision every time and all successful entrepreneurs have stories of failure: not all of Richard Branson’s ventures worked out (think Virgin Cola and Virgin Vodka), and Sir James Dyson took 15 years and thousands of prototypes to develop his iconic vacuum cleaner.
The past is done. But you can learn from mistakes and change the way you see the future.
Ask for Help
Deloitte Access Economics found 84 per cent of workers experienced mental health issues due to work and there were similar findings among small business owners. The earlier you seek help, the quicker you can get yourself and your business back on track. Health practitioners can help you find the support and tools you need.
Your health and well-being is an invaluable investment: you can’t work if you’re sick. If you’re in great mental and physical health, not only will your productivity improve, feeling mentally and physically well can be the key to taking your business to new heights.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Amy Chen
The only way to improve your life is to consistently make choices that will make your life better. It’s tempting to think you need to make sweeping changes in an effort to shake things up and improve everything all at once. But the reality is, it’s the little things that add up and have a huge impact on us.
If you really want to start improving your life, start with small but meaningful steps that you can build on over time. Take on new and exciting activities, but begin slowly so you don’t get overwhelmed. In no time, you’ll begin to see your life improved by taking steps that help you build knowledge, improve confidence and engage in activities that make you feel healthier and more connected to your inner self and to others.
Here are seven steps that will help open your mind, release stress and remind you of what’s really important in life. Start today, and in just seven days you’ll begin to notice the small but profound improvements to your life.
1. Begin learning a new skill.
What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to learn, but have never made the time for? Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to speak a foreign language, play an instrument, knit or use a sewing machine. You may wish you had a practical skill, like Photoshop or Excel spreadsheets, but never made the time to learn it.
Or you may consider taking up an activity you used to enjoy but gave up on, like learning how to Rollerblade or ski. Pick something that’s been gnawing at the back of your mind and come up with a plan to learn it.
Next, look for the resources you need to help you master this new skill. To learn a foreign language, there are a number of apps available for download. LinkedIn Learning offers many tutorials to help you with business, management and software tools. YouTube is another great resource, offering free tutorials on anything from learning to Rollerblade to using a sewing machine. Set aside 15-30 minutes every day to work on your new skill, and see how awesome it feels to start chipping away at this bigger goal.
2. Give yourself a reward every day.
One of the greatest pieces of self-care advice is nestled away in an early episode of Twin Peaks, courtesy of Agent Dale Cooper: “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair or two cups of good hot black coffee.”
Too often, people get hung up on the idea that a self-reward should be a big, rare event limited to special occasions; that it needs to be planned in advance and earned through hard work. The truth is that it doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t need to push yourself in order to deserve something nice. In fact, it’s much healthier to indulge once in a while (in moderate doses, of course), rather than constantly live in deprivation.
Giving yourself a little treat each day will provide you with an extra boost of happiness and positive motivation. Consider it the emotional equivalent of hitting the “refresh” button. So, rather than burn out, you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to tackle the challenges of your daily life.
3. Start an exercise program.
Exercise is not only an important part of living a healthy life; it’s also a great way to improve your mood, maintain control over your weight, suppress your appetite and reduce the effects of stress. And as the ultimate incentive, people who exercise live longer and healthier lives than those who are sedentary.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of the two. If you’re not getting that level of activity now, it’s time to start doing something about it.
No matter what your fitness level, you can start a home exercise program. First, assess your fitness level by taking into account your basic level of fitness. Then consider what your goals are. Do you want to lose weight, increase flexibility, build muscle? Are you hoping to train for a marathon or another fitness challenge? Set clear goals so you can gauge your progress. You should aim to incorporate strength training of all major muscle groups into your fitness routine at least two days a week. Try making exercise a daily habit. Start slowly and work up to more rigorous exercise routines over time.
4. Declutter your environment.
Whether or not you’re a fan of the Marie Kondo approach of decluttering by asking yourself if an item “sparks joy,” you have to admit that living in an orderly and clean environment is a great way to improve your life. It can decrease feelings of stress and help you operate more efficiently.
A clutter-free living environment creates a feeling of ease and contentment in your home and office life. A neat and tidy space allows you to perform daily tasks more efficiently because everything is readily available and you know where to find the things you need.
Removing clutter is also physically healthier because it removes dust particles that accumulate on all the stuff we never use. And the process of decluttering can give you a sense of accomplishment. You’ll take pride in your environment, which means less anxiety or embarrassment when visitors pop by.
5. Make a bucket list.
A bucket list (a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”) is a great way to provide clarity on what’s important in your life. A bucket list can be whatever length you want it to be, and it can include both short-term and long-term goals you want to accomplish. This list is an important step to improving your life because it can help you see what’s most important to you.
The ultimate goal of a bucket list is to help you make the most of each day. Instead of letting your days float by in a blur, use a bucket list to give your life purpose, focus and direction.
It can help you determine what experiences you want to have, and help you reach for the things you want to accomplish. Once you have the list, you need to start having these adventures, exploring your world and building the memories that will make you smile each day.
6. Confront a fear.
We all have fears. Fears can help keep us alive and safe. But fears can also hold us back, especially if we let them control us. Take time to define your fears. Some fears are valid, but others are simply deep-rooted anxieties. Separate “real” fears from worst-case scenarios that you have let spiral out of control. When we confront our fears, we build courage and learn to overcome these dark thoughts.
As you work through your fears, you develop wisdom. Some of our fears may come true, but living through adversity helps us gain insight. Even if the worst happens, we can learn to overcome. Understanding our fears helps us develop compassion for others.
We can put ourselves in other people’s shoes and have empathy for what they’re going through. And most importantly, facing your fears will help you build resilience and tenacity. If you have confronted your fears, you have learned to overcome obstacles. You have learned that you can succeed even under difficult circumstances.
7. Reconnect with an old friend.
There is nothing quite like the joy of reconnecting with an old friend. Sometimes we let space and time come between us and those we cherish. Sometimes friendships fall away or become muted, not out of any feeling of misgiving or malice, but because we get busy and don’t make the effort to maintain those ties.
But when we revive old friendships, we reconnect with our past. And you may find that those connections are still as strong as ever; that you can pick things up right where you left off.
Old friends can remind you of who you were before life got complicated, and this can help you see who you want to be in the present. They can reawaken those old dreams and desires you once had. Perhaps you’ve moved beyond those old ambitions. Perhaps those old desires are no longer valid. If that’s the case, those friends we’ve had forever can help us gauge how far we have come, and remind us how far we have yet to go.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Deep Patel
Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has come a long way. Originally little more than a Facebook for the working world, the professional social network now boasts more than 575 million members. Along the way, it’s become a top recruiting platform, a must-have for marketing, a networking platform and a saving grace for salespeople.
But LinkedIn’s legacy isn’t written just yet. In fact, the social media platform’s future looks brighter than ever. Media consultancy 4C reported last August that the only social media platform to beat Instagram’s 204 percent year-over-year growth in ad spend was LinkedIn, which posted a 212 percent jump over the same period. For all other social platforms, 4C found that ad spend grew less than 50 percent last year.
Why leaders are banking on LinkedIn.
Getting ads in front of the right people, however, is just one of many reasons why business leaders are investing more in LinkedIn. In addition to its networking tools, LinkedIn offers:
1. Best-in-class integrations.
To help salespeople convert their connections into revenue, LinkedIn offers a suite of tools it collectively calls Sales Navigator. Although Sales Navigator offers lead recommendations, connection maps and real-time updates on accounts, its real magic is its partner integrations. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP) features integrations across the sales stack, ranging from Engagio to Demandbase to Adobe Sign.
The latest addition to SNAP is Mixmax 2.0. The email automation platform’s latest iteration lets users send LinkedIn Mail and connection requests, view Sales Navigator profiles, get icebreaker suggestions and check prospects’ recent activity. Users can also add connection requests and communications to Mixmax sequences, which automate routine tasks like follow-up emails.
According to Mixmax CEO and co-founder Olof Mathé, the partnership is a natural fit for Mixmax’s mission to help businesspeople communicate more effectively. “Many of our users live in Gmail and our integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator ensures users can conveniently make richer connections and seamlessly expand their networks as part of their email workflow,” said Mathé in a press release.
2. Smarter sales education.
Nothing about sales is static. There’s always a new tool to discover, trend to learn about or prospect to sell. But while 87 percent of Millennials — the generation your young salespeople likely belong to — approach jobs as development opportunities, Spherion Staffing found that just 14 percent of surveyed workers would give their employer an “A” rating for training and development.
So where can workers turn for training they’re not getting at the office? LinkedIn’s Sales Academy provides online coursework and training resources for salespeople looking to get a leg up. Two currently on offer are “The Art of Selling,” which covers how to understand, target and engage buyers across channels, and “The Art of Sales Coaching,” which digs into management and mentorship tactics that sales managers can use to maximize their impact.
Kurt Shaver, chief sales officer at Vengreso, suggests LinkedIn’s sales training, particularly for inside salespeople. After using it to help train an external team in digital sales, Shaver points to its universally relevant recommendations, high-quality content and peer engagement tactics as helpful legs up.
3. Exclusive research.
What do 1,200 talent developers, 400 people managers, 200 executives and 2,200 employees have to say about workplace training and development? To find out, download LinkedIn’s latest Workplace Learning Report. Surprisingly, the survey showed that all groups surveyed on the subject agree that it’s more important for employees to learn “soft” skills like communication and collaboration than role-specific skills.
But LinkedIn doesn’t just dump the data and forget about it. LinkedIn’s learning center covers topics ranging from talent acquisition to marketing to employee engagement, often drawing insights from its own research. LinkedIn’s “8 Ways to Engage Your Learners” playbook, for instance, combines its first-party data with case studies from companies like Sage.
4. Sector-specific resources.
Neither sales nor networking look the same in the retail industry as they do, say, in financial services. To help leaders take a tailored approach to talent development, LinkedIn regularly publishes guides and webinars that cover best practices in each industry.
LinkedIn’s latest industry webinar, for instance, helps those in the financial services sector maximize its tools. “The growing complexity of the advisory business is requiring Wealth Managers and Financial Advisors to rethink the way they do business,” LinkedIn’s Jennifer Benincasa wrote in a blog post. “Social networks can help financial professionals differentiate their value proposition to prospects and clients.”
In addition to its content for the financial services industry, LinkedIn also publishes articles and guides specific to marketing, higher education, recruiting and more. What’s more, LinkedIn encourages users to fill its industry gaps by suggesting the best content for company pages to share.
No longer is LinkedIn just a place for professionals to connect. Whether it initially meant to or not, the social network has shaped itself into a forum for learning, leadership, sales, marketing and just about anything else its users might want to learn about. With more than half a billion users, LinkedIn really has become the backbone of the business community.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur by Rashan Dixon
Discipline is the greatest obstacle in preventing most people from achieving the levels of success they desire. Take a moment to process that if you had the discipline to do everything you knew you should do, even when you did not feel like doing it, how much more successful you will be in achieving your personal and professional goals. Discipline is the most challenging habit to do consistently, which is why employers reward it more than any other.
Make the commitment
If you really want to achieve your goals, then you must make the commitment to be disciplined. It’s that simple. Being disciplined isn’t something you have — it is something you do. Discipline every habit you have. Be disciplined with your physical health and nutrition, put responsibilities before leisure, control your reactive emotions, watch what you say and keep a positive mindset.
Review your goals each morning before you start your day, or set and review your goals for the next day before you go to sleep. Make sure to pick a quiet time and / or place where you can focus and visualize on what you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will help you to set the most important goals on your list for the next day. As you visualize, see yourself achieving your goals and imagine the feelings of success which will come along with this. In this way you start your day in a productive and positive mindset.
As you plan your day discipline yourself to accomplish the tasks which require the most effort and discipline from you. Get your big stressors out of the way. When you accomplish your more stressful tasks first, not only will you begin to do this with more consistency, but you will be less stressed throughout the rest of your day, allowing you to be more productive on your other, less important activities. In this way, you learn to turn a mess to greatness.
Get sufficient rest
An important key to success is to have your mind and body ready and prepared for each day. There is nothing better for concentration and the ability to be patient then getting enough rest. Create a bedtime routine which helps you wind down and shut the day off. Whatever is stressing you before bed, make an agreement with yourself to let it go. Whatever is stressing you can be handled the next day as your number one priority.
Eat for energy
Good nutrition equals a smarter brain and better energy. Start your day with a breakfast high in protein and low in carbs. To avoid a food-coma at lunch avoid eating starchy carbs or drinking alcohol. Eat foods that are clean and alive. Eat greens for your carbs and have a lean meat for your protein, and make sure to drink sufficient water.
Stay away from simple sugars, too much caffeine and nicotine. This will help you keep your energy flowing throughout the day. Make sure to pack little snacks, such as protein bars or almonds, as well to maintain optimal blood sugar levels.
Do the little things
A great way to cultivate the habit of being disciplined is to focus on doing the little things you know you should do such as making your bed before you leave the house, keeping your environment clean, keep your car clean, take the garbage out and pick up after yourself. As you discipline yourself to do the little things, you will become more disciplined in doing the bigger, more important things.
Make decisions ahead of time. If you decide to exercise each morning before work, then do not allow yourself to talk yourself out of it, no matter how much you want to. If you are going to take on an important project in the morning don’t second-guess your decision in the morning. The decision is made — so follow through with it.
Without follow through you have no discipline. Your mind is often your greatest enemy when it comes to following through, it will try and talk you into laziness and doing things later. You must win this battle and keep up on all that you have planned to do.
When you accomplish the things which require your discipline, your success will be what rewards your effort. When you see the success you have created exploding right in front of your eyes, reward yourself when you are done. Be happy and proud of yourself. Share with your loved ones what you have achieved and take everyone out to dinner and drinks with you to celebrate your hard work and subsequent achievements.Feel good about what you are doing. Each time you witness your own success, you see your discipline habit paying off. It is this payoff which motivates you to stay disciplined.
To stay disciplined, you must adopt the mindset of “Just do it.” Do not allow your mind to talk you out of doing what you need to do to achieve what you have committed to achieving. Attack each day with the commitment to being disciplined, healthy, maintaining good energy and keeping your mindset motivated and positive.Attack your stressors first thing in the morning, so you can focus on your longer term goals for the remainder of your day. When you are disciplined, you are less stressed, which turns you into a greater success.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Sherrie Campbell
Creative people often get a bad rap for being who they naturally are because they are different than everyone else. They tend to struggle through times of being ridiculed and misunderstood until they make such a major difference in the world that others can only admire them and want to be a part of it. These traits are traits we can cultivate if we can open our minds to think more flexibility and with more plasticity.
Highly creative achievers are naturally restless. They tend to be easily bored and may even be accused of being hyper. This restlessness comes from being extremely open and also from their intense interest in having new experiences. They do not function well in routine or mundane work environments because their minds naturally wanders. For this reason it is fundamental to their happiness and success to be consistently involved in challenges or with projects which excite and drive them.
Highly creative achievers approach every new experience with the mindset of being a “beginner,” no matter how advanced they may be. They are jumpy, spontaneous, inquisitive, and ask a lot of questions, rarely claiming to already know everything. Having this mindset helps them see things from a fresh perspective. They often ask “why” and “what,” leading them to solve problems with levels of creativity they may not otherwise have had access to without questioning.
2. Bold risk takers.
Highly creative achievers are bold risk takers. They are brave and willing to risk it all just to see what happens. They are full of curiosity and show an interest in the trial and error process of learning. They embrace mistakes and use their wisdom and bravery to effectively execute their more innovative ideas, whether they do it themselves or delegate to a team of others.
Highly creative achievers show lower levels of fear than most people, and when they are not getting the proper dosages of the adrenaline rush they crave their equilibrium is off and they can struggle emotionally until they get back to their “normal.” Their normal is balanced living on the precipice of risk and failure. Creative achievers thrive here and trust that the tools they need to manage the difficulties they face in life exist within themselves.
3. Out-of-the box thinkers.
Creative achievers are creators not observers. They do not enjoy living off of other peoples lives, ideas, reputations or successes. These are not your basic sideline achievers. Highly creative achievers will create until they are done, rarely taking any time off. They are known for exhausting themselves until they have released all their creative energy and put it fully into the project at hand. Highly creative achievers are known to use both sides of their brain to process information in an integrated fashion, which gives them an edge up on innovation. Most people are more comfortable focusing on facts and minutia where they seemingly have more control, whereas, the creative achiever thrives in the space of the unknown, too stressful for most. Creative achievers are artists and scientists in tandem.
4. Lead with their heart.
Highly creative achievers tend to be anti-establishment. They view bureaucracy as something which stunts their creativity and serves only to dictate and limit their behavior, their full expression and their potential to have a significant impact in the world. They are often considered non-starters because they will not go by a rule, as they prefer to lead from their heart and not their head. They are more interested in people than status, and choose to work in ways that serve the larger whole rather than only serving to empower of the establishment itself.
Creative achievers are compelled to act on what they are curious about. They prefer to seek out and learn new things, and they enjoy the thrill of processing the emotions of anxiety, fear and excitement with great regularity. With their natural openness to novel experiences, curiosity creates as sense of wonder and imagination which has been linked with the development of true happiness. Because they are endlessly curious and remain open to new experiences, it increases their probability of doing something innovative and it helps them to more naturally discover the deeper meaning and relevance of their lives.
6. Disregard rules.
Creative achievers live with the belief that if they follow the crowd they will get lost in it. Their actions will be criticized and more people will try to bring them down then build them up, but they will continue to be fearless in their pursuits. Highly creative achievers know that what they have to offer this world is not self-serving, but rather what they offer is in service of the higher good. For this reason they embrace the times in life which call for the rules to be broken. When they find themselves getting comfortable, they consciously disrupt routine and violate status quo. At some point in every creative achievers career they must break rules, as this is the only way for the next levels of their innovation to be born.
7. Work independently.
Creative achievers are deeply connected with their authentic nature and ambitions, which inevitably leads to their independence, growth, happiness and wholeness. They do not avoid challenges or struggles, as they see struggle as the very thing required for their growth. They do not walk paths which lead to weakness, conformity or regret. Creative achievers work independently and quietly, allowing their success to do the talking. In the pursuit of their personal freedom, these people independently discover their destiny.
Because creative achievers are open to new experiences they tend to be divergent people. They are non-conformists, are impulsive, demonstrate low levels of agreeableness and can also be low in frustration tolerance. They are often misperceived as aloof or unreachable, but they simply tend to be fickle and extremely independent in their thinking and approach to life and business. Highly creative achievers are not fickle to be annoying. Their minds are constantly in overdrive, and for this reason they change their minds quite often while in deeply engaged in the creative process.
Creative achievers are akin to mad scientists. In reality they are creative geniuses. They are unique, emotionally intense and passionate which allows them to fully immerse themselves, and even lose themselves for a time, in their work where they lose track of time and space. They make use of repetition knowing that the more times they experience a unique trigger in association a particular emotion the stronger that association becomes. Ultimately all aspects of creativity are disorganized and difficult for outsiders to comprehend. Creativity is associated with an openness to experience, inspiration, hyperactivity, impulsivity, rebelliousness, critical thinking, precision and conscientiousness all working together in tandem. It is this perfect storm of contradicting traits mixing at once which makes these achievers seem eccentric.
Daydreaming allows highly creative achievers to escape what is current and allows them to imagine what is future-forward. The imagination center in the brain allows them to imagine their future self, but it also allows them to imagine what someone else is thinking or needing. This allows highly creative achievers to see their visions impacting and supporting the thoughts and needs of others. Because they are naturally endowed with insight, they can imagine themselves changing the world based on what they perceive the needs of the consumer to be. They focus less on bling and more on creating a life of significance. Highly creative achievers think big, work tirelessly and are willing to be seen as weird or crazy. It is these people who attract the strongest gathering of naysayers, and they are also some our world’s greatest innovators.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Sherrie Campbell
Change is recurrent in all aspects of life. Seasons change, technology changes, people change. Change is both necessary and unavoidable.
People often say that they want to change their job, their loved ones, even their bodies. But what sparks change in relationships, businesses and life in general? As we begin a new year this a perfect time to see what needs to change in our lives.
Change happens when a decision is made. Now is the time to time to create a framework for decisions that will initiate the action necessary to facilitate that change. Here are things to consider if you want to make a change in 2019.
Everybody wants change, but not everybody is willing to change.
We all know someone who wants to get in shape but keeps eating McDonald’s and refuses to go to the gym. What about the friend who says they want a stable relationship but keeps dating troubled or emotionally unavailable people?
If we want to make a change we have to be willing to put in the work. Wanting to change is not enough. The pain of not changing has to be so severe you have no choice but to take action. Think about the consequences of not changing, versus the excuses you have not to.
You are the creator of your circumstances, not the victim of them.
We all have histories that make us who we are. Sometimes these stories serve as crutches when we allow them to prevent us from taking necessary action to make the changes we need in life. We can easily blame the market, our clients or our spouses for not supporting our vision, but if we want to make a change we need to take ownership of our circumstances.
In any given situation, there are things we don’t have control of, but there are also things we can control. To overcome your circumstances you must identify opportunities to take responsibility and create the change.
Change manifests internally before it can be recognized externally.
Mindset dictates behavior. To create change we need to become aware of the actions we take daily and shift our perspective. Trying to do it overnight is the most common reason we fail to implement behavioral change.
First, we need to change our mindset. We need to prove to ourselves that our current behavior doesn’t serve us anymore but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Following that, change happens one day at a time. Eventually, you will create a new pattern of behavior to replace the old one. When you strengthen your mindset you empower yourself to take action.
You can’t always control the outcome, but you can control your reaction.
Statistics show that most people give up on their new year’s resolution just 45 days into the year. Creating change is not easy. Like everything in life, you will experience setbacks. How you react to these setbacks determines your probability of success. Understand that it takes time, both in your business and in your life, to create meaningful change. Think of a time when you’ve encountered a challenge and reacted negatively. Did it help you solve the problem? See every failure as an opportunity to one up yourself.
Change is uncomfortable. If you stay comfortable you’ll stay the same.
Image a businessperson 25 years ago who, after first hearing about the internet, decided: ”I will not change the way I worked all my life, screw the kids and their computers.’’
That person probably is not in business today. You will achieve success if your drive to change is greater than the need to stay comfortable. Growth happens outside of your comfort zone.
Circumstances and people around you are not going to change by themselves.
Believe that change is possible, and always keep that vision to keep you going forward when times get tough. If you do not have that belief, and if you can’t see the finish line, chances are that you are going to give up. You have to spark and create the process of change and improve yourself first, before expecting the change from others.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur by Raul Villacis