How Entrepreneurs Can Keep Motivated

10 Ways to Grow Your Business!   If you’re an entrepreneur, you may at times feel beaten down by the constant stress and work that comes with running a business venture. As the owner of your own business, you’re the person in charge – you have to make the big decisions, and if something goes wrong, it’s on you. There’s no longer anyone above you to pass on decisions. This challenge means that you’re going to be doing a lot of work. You may find yourself working long hours, on the weekends, and even during holidays. None of this was what you thought about when you started your business. When faced with the reality of all the hard work they have to put in, some entrepreneurs start to feel discouraged and lose motivation to continue. It seems like they’re always working but getting little in return. If you’ve hit this phase of your entrepreneurship, here are a few things you can do to boost your motivation so you can stay at it. 1. Have Your Own Mission Statement You probably have a mission statement for your business. This statement is what guides your company and helps direct it. It provides motivation to everyone in the company. You should have a personal mission statement, too. This statement will help you determine your own professional direction and motivate you to achieve your goals. You should right down this mission statement and, if needed, read it out loud every morning when you’re feeling stressed and demoralized. 2. Have a Plan Just like businesses have mission statements, so too do they have plans based on these statements. You should develop a plan from your mission statement that includes your short and long-term goals and your personal as well as your professional goals. You don’t necessarily need to write this down, but you do need to know what it is you want to accomplish and how you plan to do that. Also be ready to make adjustments to this plan—it’s likely that something unexpected will arise that forces you to make a few changes. That’s okay. 3. Have a Routine Some people think falling into a routine is a bad thing and means that they’re boring, but that’s definitely not true. If you have a morning routine that helps you wake up physically and mentally, prepare for the day, and set your focus, it’s definitely not a bad thing at all. It’s a good habit to fall into. As part of your routine, consider your plan for the day, the week, the month, and more long-term. Is everything you have lined up going to help you achieve the goals you need to achieve? If not, consider if these tasks or your plan need to be revised. 4. Make Time for Yourself You can’t be hyper-focused on your business all the time. If you try to be, you’re going to exhaust yourself. Always set aside a little time for yourself to [...]

2018-08-16T16:23:28+00:00 By |

Tips From The Top: One On One With Tracey Edmonds

I spoke to television host and producer Tracey Edmonds about her best advice   Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people? Tracey: Many would be surprised to know that I’m in the entertainment industry, but I don’t really like being in the spotlight. I prefer working behind the scenes in a creative capacity. Adam: How did you get here? What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth? Tracey: I have always been a hardworking entrepreneur. I was raised in a single parent household for many of my childhood years and we were often faced with financial challenges. We often struggled to make ends meet so I got my first job when I was only 13 years old. At age 13, I looked and acted very mature for my age, so I was hired to be a receptionist for a mortgage company where my mom worked. When I was 16, I went to Stanford University on a scholarship, but also worked 2 jobs to cover my books and meals. Those experiences forced me to establish self-discipline and a strong work ethic at an early age and I’ve been working ever since. I went on to be a music publisher, record label head, TV/film producer, and now I have a lifestyle brand. Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? Tracey: I think that an effective leader leads without ego. No job should be too small or too big for a leader and they need to be willing to get into the trenches with their team. Leaders need to lead with clear communication, optimism, and enthusiasm. Positive energy and passion goes a long way on a team. Adam: How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level? Tracey: Have a clear vision. Have effective communication Serve as a role model Be passionate Execute in accordance with your values Set definitive goals and follow concrete action plans Maintain a positive attitude and motivate others Continue to learn and grow Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders? Tracey: Lead by example. If you set a tone of professionalism, dedication, diligence, courtesy, and respect, your team will follow. Communicate effectively and respectfully. Effective communication is paramount. Great leaders know how to make sure that their messaging is heard and understood, but they also know that communication is a two-way street and that it is also important to listen to others. Healthy working relationships ARE important so be emotionally intelligent in your communications and remember to be effective, but kind. Be productive by setting definitive goals and action steps, then execute them. Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received? Tracey: My father told me when I [...]

2018-06-19T16:34:31+00:00 By |

7 Steps to Prime Your Brain for Success

This Simple Morning Ritual Will Activate Your Subconscious to Help You Achieve Your Goals Good leaders know that holding regular planning sessions and reviewing goals is vital to running a successful company. It’s important that mangers set specific goals, consistently review them, focus on their skills, and act on opportunities to achieve our goals. We all want to be consistent in focusing on our goals, but that can be tough when life presents us with unexpected situations. Your boss might ask more of you at work; your children or spouse might need you to be home more often and available to attend important events; you might even feel like you don’t have enough time for yourself to relax, have fun, and plan for the future. Before long, consistency can seem like an unobtainable dream. Over the past 33 years, I have had the privilege of growing seven profitable companies and in that time I’ve learned that the most effective way to keep your goals in the forefront of your thoughts is to wake up 30 minutes earlier each morning to hold a meeting with your inner self. Treat your morning meeting with your inner self seriously. Hold your meeting in a space that is free of disruptions, and create an agenda that you’ll follow. Make sure that you also have the necessary tools available: an uplifting book that describes successes of others achieving their goals, a pen, and a notebook for you to write in. READ SOMETHING THAT INSPIRES YOU Spend five minutes reading something uplifting to put you in a receptive mood. As you read about the successes of others, your mind will look for ways to make those kinds of successes familiar and normal for you. WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU'RE GRATEFUL FOR Spend up to 10 minutes writing a gratitude letter. Be grateful for the good things already in your life, as well as the things that you hope to have soon. Psychologists agree that gratitude and happiness help you to be more focused and able to solve problems. Express gratitude for what you have—in this example, health and family—and what you want as though you have already received it, in this case, increased sales at work. The subconscious will then search for ways to help make this goal a reality. READ WHAT YOU'RE GRATEFUL FOR OUT LOUD Spend up to five minutes reading your letter out loud with emotion. Studies have shown that when we read something out loud, we anchor it into our subconscious, which will help us to notice more possibilities to make our statements true. VISUALIZE REACHING YOUR GOALS Spend up to five minutes with your eyes closed imagining what it will be like to have your goals realized. What will you be experiencing, and how will you feel? Who will be celebrating with you? Olympic athletes use this technique as part of their training. They see themselves making the shot, winning the competition, celebrating with teammates and family. [...]

2018-05-07T14:02:18+00:00 By |

5 Things to Give Up On

How Bad Do You Want the Life You Want? “Hold up your cup here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you”. In order for one to be successful in entrepreneurship, there are certain things that one must be ready to give up on. Entrepreneurial success does not come in a day, meaning that one must be able to lay down short-term and long-term goals. In that process, one needs to give up on things that may hamper progress as well as attainment of the set goals. More so, one needs to sustain personal discipline and commitment to goals and objectives. The list of things to give up on are individual-centered, hence everyone has a specific list. The following section looks into five items that one needs to give up on in order to realize success in entrepreneurship. One, giving up on procrastination is the first step. Most people tend to procrastinate, hence end up failing at meeting their goals and responsibilities in a timely manner. In entrepreneurship, one needs to meet the needs of customers and clients, which must be done in a timely manner. Failure to meet their needs in a timely manner may impact their loyalty, hence leading to low returns. On the other hand, procrastination makes an individual waste precious time. After planning for certain responsibilities, they must be executed as planned in order to avoid time wastage. Two, a person needs to give up on leading an unhealthy lifestyle. It has been established that such a lifestyle impacts one’s performance, hence may positively or negatively impact it. For instance, for someone who does routine physical activities, he is able to refresh energy and will perform better than one who does not. In this light, one needs to give up on an unhealthy lifestyle that gradually impacts performance and productivity. Third, it is highly important for one to give up on the ‘magic bullet’ mindset, which makes an individual believe that at a particular time things will work out. Normally, an entrepreneur makes decisions regarding how to attain financial goals over a period of time. Making short-term as well as long-term goals is where the key lies without waiting for a day when everything will magically work out. One needs to have a mindset of cause and effect where planning and decision-making will lead to favorable outcomes as desired. Fourth, it is important for one to stop spending unnecessarily. Mainly, every successful entrepreneur invested and made savings before climbing up the ladder to become a known entrepreneur. Actually, investing and saving have been recommended as the most effective ways of attaining financial stability. One needs to spend when it is necessary and should not buy items that are not needed. Impulse-buying and wastefulness have been the leading causes of financial instability for majority of working individuals. Further, in spending, it is imperative for one to prioritize so as to do it optimally. Finally, it is important for [...]

2018-04-06T03:00:48+00:00 By |

How to Take Your Career to the Next Level

There’s a familiar saying that nice guys finish last. That’s not always true, but it is a reminder that you may not get what you deserve out of life, while others seem to get more than their fair share. We often see this in the workplace. It’s not always the smartest or most qualified person who gets the raise or the promotion or the corner office with a view.   Don’t be discouraged. Early in my career I was dismissed as just another pretty face or the wife of someone famous, and dealt with many who felt that a woman had no place in the executive ranks of the music, film or television industry. I had to work hard to prove myself and eventually achieved successes above and beyond the obstacles I faced. To this day I'm still fighting to prove myself and I’m still winning.   Getting to the next level can be a full-time job in and of itself. There are strategies and skills you need to succeed.  Often times knowing and exhibiting those skills will indicate that you are qualified for the position that you seek.   Here are some tips and strategies to make sure that you get not only what you want, but what you deserve out of your career.   Know Your Stuff   Be a master of your craft.  If there’s a new product, do the research.  If something is discontinued or didn’t work, learn why.  Know all there is to know about whatever it is that you want to do. When I first started as a producer, I took film classes and watched EVERY movie on the American Film Institute’s list of top 100 films.  I also reached out to experts in my field to pick their brains for advice and information and gained a few mentors and contacts that I’ve stayed in touch with throughout my career.   Speak On It   People aren’t mind readers, especially people in leadership positions. You may think you are exhibiting all the qualities of someone who should to be promoted, but you have to let people know that career advancement is part of your plan.  Many people are good at their job and want to be “lifers” in their position.  Don’t miss out on an opportunity because someone else was willing to ask for it.  Make sure you wait for the appropriate time, be patient, and not pushy.  But let people in positions of authority know what you want. Ask Questions   The easiest way to start a conversation is to ask a question.  It’s an easy way to develop a dialogue, especially with superiors, new clients or colleagues.  People love to talk about themselves or the projects they are working on.  Do your research. Find out what they’ve got going on, then ask them about it.  Even if it’s a question you know the answer to.  It will give you an opportunity to start a discussion.   Participation [...]

2018-03-03T16:03:37+00:00 By |

The Heart of Listening

Imagine a world where every world leader, parent, teacher, manager, and friend has become an effective listener. What would a world populated with truly effective listeners be like? How would it be different? In this kind of world, conversations would not lead to arguments, discussions would not escalate into altercations, and everyone would thoroughly listen to what a speaker had to say in order to better understand what was said the first time it was spoken. For 15 years I have been bringing the transformative power of effective listening tools to corporations, universities, non-profits, and the helping professions.  This column is dedicated to bringing practical and reflective tools and information to you, so that you may become more effective in your listening, and help others do the same. The Foundation The foundation of my work on listening began when I reflected on why my grandmother was so successful at building relationships with her family, friends, and people she met. People changed their demeanor in a positive way when they were in conversation with her. The residents in her building always flocked to her apartment to have conversations. I always looked forward to our Saturday afternoons together. Why? Every Saturday during my adolescence in Boston I would ride the trolley to Grandmother’s six-story apartment house to visit. Together Grammy and I would make breaded chicken wings for dinner, entertain her friends living in the building, and then walk arm in arm on the shady side of the street down to Howard Johnson’s, some ten blocks away, to indulge in my favorite dish, fried clams. Along the way, Grammy would ask me about my hobbies, home, and school. Her questions were simple, asked to discover what was happening in my life. She listened to every word I spoke, even, it seemed, the unspoken ones. When we sat down to have our meal, we talked about what was happening in her life and the life of her friends. Since my grandmother was the conversational hub around which the 1440 Beacon Street apartment revolved, there was an ample supply of matters to talk about. On the walk back, minor incidents became magical. On the other side of the street, which was lined with all kinds of shops, all the proprietors knew who my grandmother was. Clerks at the local grocery store, hardware store, and other shops knew her by name. The hair salon owner, who would usher her into her weekly appointment with a reverence I didn’t understand at first, would wave a greeting. By the time we got back to her apartment, she had managed to acquaint me with the lives of a number of shopkeepers she knew. I’d be in awe of her memory, her easy way of talking with the people she met, and the way in which she would change their demeanor from one of distance to closeness because of her presence. During high school years, my conversations with Grammy turned to deeper subjects – [...]

2018-01-07T19:32:52+00:00 By |

Don’t Want to Answer the Question? Find Out How!

Each one of us have had the experience multiple times of being asked a question that we don’t want to answer. This happens in our professional and personal life, and we often don’t know how to proceed quickly or gracefully.   Essentially, the reason you don’t want to answer a question is what gives you your strategy for responding: The asker has not earned the right to have that question answered due to the level of personal relationship they have with you. The asker has not earned the right to have that question answered due to the level of professional relationship they have with you, or the professional need for the information. The asker has a question about someone else, and is asking for gossip fodder   Personal Questions Normally, the reason you don’t want to answer the question is because it is inappropriate, goes over a personal boundary, or is asking something that the person has not earned the right to know.  So, it’s no wonder that you want to dodge the question.   Who has earned the right to know? Perhaps the following exercise will help you be decisive in internally answering this question. Using the following image as a guide, put in the circles what you would be willing to disclose or not be willing to disclose to people that are intimates, those that influence you, those you have an affiliation with, and those that are acquaintances.  Once you have made these decisions, you will be able to respond to dubious questions quickly.   The best way I have found to handle this type of situation gracefully is to ask, “What an interesting question. Why do you ask?”  The trick behind answering a question with a question is to force the asker to get clear about what they are asking and why, or get them to understand gracefully that the question is not appropriate. The more questions you respond to with a question, the faster they’ll get to that point.   Eventually they may wise up to this strategy, but by then they realize this is a question you are not going to answer. During this conversation however, you have held your boundary and you have handled it without being rude, condescending, or angry.   Professional Questions In a professional environment, some questions are asked to find out business information the asker shouldn’t be privy to, or how you feel about a situation at work, or to find out personal information about you or others, or add your answer to the rumor mill.   Who has earned the right to get an answer? Perhaps the following exercise will help you be decisive in internally answering this question. Using the following image as a guide, put in the circles who you would be willing to disclose professional information to.  You are in the middle of the circle. The numbers refer to the approximate number of people in that professional circle. Your influence on [...]

2018-01-02T16:13:25+00:00 By |

Gal Interrupted: Gender Communication in the Workplace

by Leslie Shore From the kindergarten classroom to the corporate boardroom, men and women are socialized to communicate differently. Unfortunately, instead of taking advantage of the different styles in a positive way, we see colleagues at odds with each other and not understanding why the conversation is going awry.  There are two main differences in gender communication styles: how they listen and why they speak, and disproportionate interrupting of women by men. Men and women listen in conversations for different things. It has long been known that men, because they are wired to be fixers, will listen for that need; and women, who are wired for empathy and relationship building, will listen with that filter in place.  To add to this differential, men and women also structure their speaking differently. Communication expert Deborah Tannen defines the difference in gender style as "rapport-talk" and "report-talk."(Githens, 1991) Men get to the point quickly, frontload information, leave out what they consider unimportant information, and don’t sugarcoat their responses. Women give the listener as much context as possible, and as much information as possible in order for the listener to understand the situation, and are more diplomatic in their responses. Lastly, men see conversation as a way to share information, and women see conversation as a way to create or deepen a relationship. Although some of each gender don’t adhere to that behavior, the reality is that the workplace highlights this communication difference on a daily basis. How does this play out at work? Let’s say you ask your colleague Joe to give you feedback on a PowerPoint, and his comment is, “Why the heck did you chose that approach?” The directness with which it was said puts you on the defensive. When you ask Judy for feedback she says, “That’s an interesting approach. Can you tell me why you chose it?” This response is asking for critical thinking. Joe’s response was clearly expressing disagreement with the approach YOU chose, making it personal. Judy’s response was curiosity as to the rationale, making her response about getting clarity, and perhaps having you re-look at that decision. We generally don’t know why something we said landed well or poorly because there is no understanding as to how socialization affects communication choices at a core level. Here are some tips to help navigate these treacherous conversational waters. Men Understand that women speak to give context, so work on being patient with their way of talking about an issue. Keep in mind the women react to negative communication more personally than men, as they feel self-respect is on the line. Have your word choice lean toward asking questions rather than using absolute or negative statements. Remember that women react positively to conversation that enhances connection. Women Instead of showing frustration because of the lack of context you are getting, ask questions to get what you need. Say, “Would you like to rephrase that?” when something that was said lands in you negatively. This [...]

2018-01-10T13:53:58+00:00 By |

Is Balance Possible? Can I Do It All with Creativity and Ease?

I am a single mom of two, an author, a filmmaker, I blog for multiple magazines and I manage to get laid on a regular basis and find time to take naps, and many people ask me “How the heck do you do all that?” It’s a really great question… how do we live our lives to the fullest, with meaning and purpose, feeling pretty good about it all? The honest answer is, I don’t, not the way one might think about always feeling good, having a shower everyvday and getting it “all”done. After being asked this question so often I decided to really look at why it is, that even when it sucks, I feel a deep sense of happiness about my life and it came down to 3 things. Gratitude: I am truly grateful for my life, even when I went on food stamps, wasn’t sure if the electricity would be on, wondered if I would ever find love and the first time my pre-teen said “I hate you”. I would still take time every day, usually in the morning, before I fully awoke to the realities of life, to say thank you. Because I have realized that life is a tremendous gift, an adventure I get to go on every day and that is amazing. I am in awe every day at the little things, for instance today my cat Ollie took a flying leap at a butterfly and landed full belly flop into the bushes and it was epic, he seemingly flew 20 feet across the yard and if I hadn’t just taken a moment to look up from all the “things” I had to do, I would have missed out on a profoundly fulfilling guffaw. That is what life is about, when you’re stuck in the quagmire, to look up in awe. Step 1- find awe every day, find it multiple times a day- make it a practice to find something as often as possible that makes you step back and say wow. Let go of Control: OMG we LOVE LOVE LOVE to control things, especially as Mothers, Jeez Louise it’s the only way we’ll actually survive… Right?!! Well the truth is, it isn’t. Have you ever noticed that the harder you try to control something, the more that booger wiggles more than your two-year-old while you’re trying to get their PJ’s on! There is a big difference between organization and planning and control, know the difference. Step 2– Research, Plan and organize what you need to do to accomplish your goal and then let go and allow, be flexible. Remember, the only thing you can actually control is your perspective and attitude. Let Go of the Outcome: Of course, when you have a dream or desire you want it to happen, otherwise it wouldn’t be a dream or desire! After 46 years I’ve come to learn that the outcome often comes, but not in the way I imagined it. The more I am present [...]

2018-05-03T18:40:01+00:00 By |