21 Success Tips for Young and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

21 Success Tips for Young and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Being successful often means learning from those who have already achieved their goals. Having a mentor is an amazing blessing to an entrepreneur, but not everyone can find one in person.

If you haven’t yet found your personal business guru, here are 21 tips for young or aspiring entrepreneur to help get you started.

1. Challenge yourself. 

Richard Branson says his biggest motivation is to keep challenging himself. He treats life like one long university education, where he can learn more every day. You can too!

2. Do work you care about. 

There’s no doubt that running a business take a lot of time. Steve Jobs noted that the only way to be satisfied in your life is to do work that you truly believe in.

3. Take the risk. 

We never know the outcome of our efforts unless we actually do it. Jeff Bezos said it helped to know that he wouldn’t regret failure, but he would regret not trying.

4. Believe in yourself.

As Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses.

5. Have a vision. 

The founder and CEO of Tumblr, David Karp, notes that an entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a desire to create it. Keep your vision clear at all times.

6. Find good people. 

Who you’re with is who you become. Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, noted that the fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.

7. Face your fears. 

Overcoming fear isn’t easy, but it must be done. Arianna Huffington once said that she found fearlessness was like a muscle — the more she exercised it, the stronger it became.

8. Take action. 

The world is full of great ideas, but success only comes through action. Walt Disney once said that the easiest way to get started is to quit talking and start doing. That’s true for your success as well.

9. Do the time. 

No one succeeds immediately, and everyone was once a beginner. As Steve Jobs wisely noted, “if you look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” Don’t be afraid to invest time in your company.

10. Manage energy, not time.

Your energy limits what you can do with your time, so manage it wisely.

11. Build a great team. 

No one succeeds in business alone, and those who try will lose to a great team every time. Build your own great team to bolster your success.

12. Hire character. 

As you build your team, hire for character and values. You can always train someone on skills, but you can’t make someone’s values fit your company after the fact.

13. Plan for raising capital.

Richard Harroch, a venture capitalist, has this advice for upcoming entrepreneurs: “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.”

14. Know your goals. 

Ryan Allis, co-founder of iContact, pointed out that having the end in mind every day ensures you’re working toward it. Set goals and remind yourself of them each day.

15. Learn from mistakes. 

Many entrepreneurs point to mistakes as being their best teacher. When you learn from your mistakes, you move closer to success — even though you initially failed.

16. Know your customer. 

Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, cited knowing your customer as one of his three keys to success. Know those you serve better than anyone else, and you’ll be able to deliver the solutions they need.

17. Learn from complaints. 

Bill Gates once said that your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. Let unhappy customers teach you where the holes in your service are.

18. Ask for customers’ input. 

Assuming what customers want or need will never lead to success. You must ask them directly, and then carefully listen to what they say.

19. Spend wisely. 

When you spend money on your business, be careful to spend it wisely. It’s easy to spend too much on foolish things and run out of capital too soon.

20. Understand your industry. 

Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos, once said, “Don’t play games you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them.” Truly understanding your industry is key to having success.

21. Deliver more than expected.

Google’s Larry Page encourages entrepreneurs to deliver more than customers expect. It’s a great way to get noticed in your industry and build a loyal following of advocates.

Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of work, a lot of vision and a lot of perseverance. These 21 tips, from entrepreneurs who have already found success, will help you navigate the path much more easily.

TIPS ON HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED DURING QUIETER TIMES

REGARDLESS OF THE BUSINESS OR INDUSTRY YOU WORK IN, THERE’LL COME A TIME WHEN BUSINESS SEEMS TO GRIND TO A HALT.

One minute you’re flat out, generating new business each day, posting record numbers and leading the competition in every aspect, the next you’re passing the time by browsing random Wikipedia articles and wondering how it’s still not even lunch time yet.

Due to the Panedemic we’ve all seen our businesses and strategies have a huge change of pace forced upon them. Whilst adapting things have seemed to have frozen and we are all treading water until the frost thaws and we are back to full steam ahead once more.

This feeling of ‘treading water’ can lead to a huge dip in motivation. That dip in motivation can have a hugely detrimental effect on a business.

Once your team start losing their motivation, you may find that their willingness to go the extra mile begins to evaporate. Regular tasks take longer to complete, quality of work begins to slide, and employees may also start to become disengaged with you as a leader.

Of course, as soon as things start to pick up again, you’ll want your people to be on their A-game; ready to take on new challenges in their stride and start smashing their targets again. But if your team have been experiencing an extended period of inactivity, you may find that they have settled into that rut, and it may already be too late…

TACKLING TEDIUM

Now, it’s not uncommon to feel bored at work when things have gotten quiet. In fact, it’s estimated that between 30-90% of adults experience feelings of boredom on a daily basis. There are even some studies that suggest small periods of boredom can actually be good for you!

The problem is that when work dries up and boredom sets in, it can lead to a whole host of other negative outcomes if left unchecked – all of which are lethal to productivity and motivation. These can include mental fatigue, anxiety, aggression, depression, poor interpersonal skills… basically, nothing conducive for a healthy and happy work environment!

It’s for these reasons that its essential businesses help their employees stay motivated and engaged when things are quiet.

Whilst you might not be able to conjure up new work or projects out of thin air, there are several simple things you can do to keep your team’s productivity levels high and help them stay ‘match fit’ for when workloads start to pick up again.

START TAKING STOCK

When things are quiet, it’s an ideal opportunity for a business to start taking stock – both literally or in terms of overall strategy.

It can be easy to lose sight of objectives, strategy or plans when you’re rushed off your feet. However, when times are quiet or you know there is going to be a break in workloads, you can spend time analysing what is working within the business or perhaps looking at what needs improvement, too.

Aim to look back at goals set you’ve set your employees over the course of the year and see if they’re on track to achieve them, or if there could be any potential barriers.

Quiet times are the perfect opportunity to spend time and communicate with your team members to review working processes or identifying if there are any positive changes that could be made to help them do their jobs more effectively. They may even have some great ideas of their own!

When you’ve got plenty of time to spare, there’s really no excuse not to.

RE-EVALUATE YOUR APPROACH TO MARKETING

Let’s be honest for a second: are your drops in workloads simply down to an expected or normal dip in business? Or is your blip becoming more of a regular fixture? Regardless, if things have been dragging on, it might be time to re-evaluate your marketing activities.

Now, it should be said at this point that marketing isn’t an exact science! But when times are quiet, it’s always sensible to see if your marketing activities could do with a bit of a refresh or perhaps evaluate what’s working and perhaps what isn’t.

Spend any potential downtime devising an alternative strategy or planning for your next big campaign. Not only will it focus the efforts of your staff, but you’ll also build renewed motivation and energy levels.

GET OUT THE HOUSE!

Did you know that the average British worker spends on average a bum-numbing nine hours a day sat down every day? And we’re not just talking about being just sat at a desk; it’s also the time spent sitting whilst commuting or whilst relaxing at home.

All this sitting down may be taking the weight off your feet, but a sedentary lifestyle isn’t great for a healthy lifestyle or a great working environment.

When times are quiet at work, try to avoid falling into the trap of being sat at a workspace or computer/phone all day; so that means no more lunches at your desk or sitting browsing the web for hilarious memes to share (yes, we know we all do it when it’s quiet…).

Instead, take regular breaks to stretch your legs, clear your head and get some fresh air. If the needs of the business make it possible, why not work from home and embrace flexible working rather than commuting into the office? After all, is there really much point to commute into work everyday if you can quite easily carry out your regular tasks remotely?

Doing something as simple as going for a fifteen-minute walk every day can do wonders for both your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that regularly going for a walk can also help with your creativity and problem-solving – perfect for staying motivated and tackling the tedium of slow business days.

MAKE TIME FOR TRAINING

Slow work days are perfect for brushing up on key skills or expanding skill sets; so, see quieter periods as an opportunity to set new training objectives or tasks for you and your staff.

Setting goals and tasks around any potential training will ensure it holds everyone’s attention in the absence of regular work. Plus, getting your staff involved in team-based training can also be a great opportunity to encourage bonding and build a positive team spirit.

The great thing about staff training is that it doesn’t have to be expensive, either. If you’re having to watch the pennies and perhaps can’t stretch to a more formal training course, take the time to look for industry expos or talks.

These are generally free to attend, but will often have a multitude of industry talks taking place which you can attend and gain valuable industry insights at. They’re also a great chance to meet with potential new clients… so definitely worth investigating further.

CELEBRATE THE SMALL VICTORIES

When things are quiet, it can become all-too-easy to become downcast and de-motivated. Therefore, celebrating little wins can be instrumental in elevating moods and boosting motivation levels.

And the power of celebrating little victories at work shouldn’t be underestimated! Research has found that capturing those every-day small wins can enhance a worker’s motivation and positively influence an entire workforce’s performance!

Now, it’s obviously not necessary to throw a party every time there’s a little win in the workplace; but do take the time to recognise someone’s achievement – especially when things are quiet.

This recognition can be in the form of a simple ‘thank you’, to maybe just a little reward in the form of a gift card! Simply recording progress in some way helps to boost people’s self-confidence and can help boost motivation for when business begins to pick up again.

How To Beat Entrepreneurial HUMP Day

It’s Mid-Week, Wednesday, AKA… Hump day!

Hump Day? You may wonder…isn’t that something for the nine-to-five-stuck-in-a-soul-crushing-job-counting-down-to-the-weekend-folks?

Just because the terminally employed see the half-way point in a week of compensated drudgery as a ‘hump’ that is being conquered; meaning all roads from here lead to 48 hours of freedom, doesn’t mean that the entrepreneur doesn’t experience their own ‘hump’ or hit their own wall. In the same way writers, or musicians, hit up against a creative block or get themselves into a rut that has become formulaic and dull, entrepreneurs can easily feel like they have given themselves a mountain to climb and, with their heads down, can get themselves into a bit of a funk.

With that in mind we’ve written 4 top tips for snapping yourself out of that ‘funk’ that’s so easy to get stuck in, so you can continue to be as productive as possible.

Super helpful for any entrepreneur.

1. Refocus at the beginning of your day.

Take some time to recognise how you feel, maybe the slump in energy and enthusiasm has come from overwhelm or lack of clarity. Set aside some time to assess everything you have accomplished in the week already and then go over all the tasks that still need to be completed before the weekend. Make a detailed plan of action, break any big tasks down into small manageable chunks and make sure you add in some REWARDS for getting everything done!

2. Change your working environment.

If you always work in the same place, at the same time, surrounded by the same things, it’s going to soak up your inspiration and enthusiasm. If you have the ability to leave your usual working space, take your work and move to another location, coffee shop, park, garden even just another room. Somewhere bright and airy, clutter-free and quiet are usually the best kinds of work environment. The change in scenery alone can help boost your productivity and get your creative juices flowing again.

3. Save the fun tasks for your hump day.

Many of us do all the easy tasks first and leave the worst until last, try swapping this around. So when you’re full of motivation and energy at the beginning of the week, smash out the difficult tasks with ease, so when you get to the middle/ end of the week and your energy levels aren’t quite where you would like them to be. You’ll only have the fun/ easy tasks left to do. Be kind to yourself, if you know this is something you repeatedly struggle with, switch it around and thank yourself later

4. Something to look forward to on Hump day.

If you struggle to be productive or find energy/ enthusiasm on a certain day, this is a great opportunity to mix things up. If you are able to, plan something nice for the day, something to look forward to, maybe add in an afternoon/ evening activity like a walk or trip. Plan a lunch meeting with a friend. Use the day for events. It will give you a nice little break from your usual packed day-to-day workload and help you feel ready to work again on Thursday.

If you find the middle of the week is where you regularly feel a bit burnt out after starting the week off super-productive. And you struggle to cope with the slump. Try these 4 top tips to help get you through hump day and make for an overall productive week.

Give it a go!

20 Tips for Being Productive When Working From Home

Everyone who works remotely has to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work and personal life. What about office equipment, career development, training opportunities, and building relationships with colleagues? Working remotely, especially when working from home most of the time, means figuring out these issues and others. Here are 20 tips for leading a better and more productive remote-working life, based on my experience and what I’ve learned from others.

1. Maintain Regular Hours

Set a schedule, and stick to it…most of the time. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility, and sometimes you need to extend your day or start early to accommodate someone else’s time zone. When you do, be sure to wrap up earlier than usual or sleep in a bit the next morning to make up for it.

Automatic time-tracking apps, such as RescueTime, let you check in on whether you’re sticking to your schedule. They can also help you figure out what times of day you’re most productive versus when you slack off. You can use that information to your advantage by reserving your hours of high focus for your most important tasks.

RescueTime helps manage your schedule

2. Create a Morning Routine

Deciding you’ll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another. What in your morning routine indicates you’re about to start work? It might be making a cup of coffee and taking the time to actually savour it before you start looking at your to-do list. It might be returning home after a jog. It might be getting dressed (wearing pyjama-pants to work is a perk for some, but a bad strategy for others). A routine can be more powerful than a clock at helping you get started each day.

I say “morning,” but not everyone who works from home follows a nine-to-five schedule. Yours might be a “getting started” routine at another time of day.

3. Set Ground Rules With the People in Your Space

Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children who come home from school while you’re still working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Additionally, just because you’re home and can let service people into the house or take care of pets doesn’t mean other family members should assume you will always do it. If that’s how you choose to divide up the domestic labor, that’s fine, but if you simply take it all on by default because you’re home, you may feel taken advantage of, and your productivity may suffer.

4. Schedule Breaks

Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. If you’re self-employed, give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone. A lunch hour and two 15-minute breaks seems to be the standard for full-time UK employees.

5. Take Breaks in Their Entirety

Don’t short-change yourself during breaks, especially your lunch hour. You can use an app, such as TimeOut for Mac and Smart Break for Windows, to lock yourself out of your computer for 60 minutes. Or you can just launch a simple clock or timer on the screen when you take a break. If you return to your desk after only 40 minutes, walk away for another 20.

For more on breaks, see How to Take Better Breaks to Boost Your Productivity.

6. Leave Home

To the extent that it’s allowed and safe where you are during the COVID-19 outbreak, get out of the house, provided you can maintain social distancing of course. The same advice applies to people who work in traditional office settings, too. Leave the building at least once a day. Your body needs to move. Plus, the fresh air and natural light will do you good.

You don’t have to go to crowded public spaces to get away from your solo workspace (and you probably shouldn’t right now, either). Take a walk. Weed the garden. You get the picture.

7. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for What You Need

If you’re employed by a company or organisation that supports your work-from-home setup, request the equipment you need as soon as you start working from home, or within a day or two when you realise you need something new. It’s extremely important to set precedents early that you will ask for what you need to get your job done comfortably, including the right monitor, keyboard, mouse, chair, printer, software, and so forth. Organisations that are accustomed to remote employees often have a budget for home office equipment. Ask what it is and how often it’s renewed. It also doesn’t hurt to ask whether there’s a loan agreement or who will pay for return shipping or disposal of outdated equipment.

If you’re working from home unexpectedly due to coronavirus, ask for what you need within reason. You could be working from home for weeks on end and you should be comfortable, but ordering a new office chair and desk might be asking too much. Consider a mouse and keyboard, plus a back-supporting cushion instead. For more tips on getting your new space in shape, you can read our story on everything you need to set up an ergonomic office.

8. Keep a Dedicated Office Space

In an ideal world, remote employees would have not only a dedicated office, but also two computers, one for work and one for personal use. It’s more secure for the employer, and it lets you do all your NSFW activities in private. But not everyone has a separate office in their home, and keeping two machines isn’t always realistic. Instead, dedicate a desk and some peripherals only for work use. For example, when your laptop is hooked up to the monitor and external keyboard, it’s work time. When it’s on your lap, that’s personal time. You may want to go as far as partitioning your hard drive and creating a separate user account for work.

For more on creating a home office that feels like a place you’ll want to get work in, you can read our story on cheap and easy ways to level up your home office. We also have tips for how to you can maintain focus and productivity with tips for keeping your desk tidy.

9. Maintain a Separate Phone Number

Set up a phone number that you only use for calls with colleagues and clients. It doesn’t have to be a landline, second mobile phone, or even a SIM card. It can be a free VoIP service, such as Google Voice or a Skype number. Similar to some of the other tips, having a separate phone number helps you manage your work-life balance.

10. Use a VPN

Use a VPN whenever you’re connected to a network that you don’t control. That includes Wi-Fi at co-working spaces, cafes, libraries, and airports. Some organisations have their own VPNs that off-site employees need to access certain servers or websites that store information meant only for internal use. In those cases, you’ll also need to use a VPN at home. In any case, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of leaving your VPN connected as often as possible because it’s always safer to have it on than not.

One more point about VPNs. Remember, when. you’re connected to them, your company could conceivably see what you’re doing.

11. Socialize With Colleagues

Loneliness, disconnect, and isolation are common problems in remote work life, especially for extroverts. Companies with a remote work culture usually offer ways to socialize. For example, they might have chat channels where remote employees can talk about common interests, meetups for people in the same region, and (once the coronavirus ends) in-person retreats. It’s important to figure out how much interaction you need to feel connected and included. Even if you’re highly introverted and don’t like socializing, give a few interactive experiences a try so that you’re familiar with them if you ever decide you want them. If you’re not at a company with a strong remote culture, you may need to be more proactive about nurturing relationships.

One of the main ways people socialise at work when they are working from home is via business messaging apps like Slack. The only problem is that they can provide too much opportunity for socialising. For tips on way to avoid getting sucked in when you’re trying to be productive, you can read a story on how not to get overwhelmed by Slack.

12. “Show Up” to Meetings and Be Heard

Certainly, you’ll take part in video conferences and conference calls, but it’s a good idea to attend optional meetings sometimes, too. Be sure to speak up during the meeting so everyone knows you’re on the call. A simple, “Thanks, everyone. Bye!” at the close of a meeting will go a long way toward making your presence known.

If your company uses Zoom Meetings for its video conferencing you can quickly master its ins and outs with this story on Top Zoom Tips for a Locked-Down World

13. Get Face Time

If your employer is lax about getting you in a room with other employees, ask to have an annual or semi-annual trip in your contract. It could be for annual planning, training, or team building. Or, tack it onto some other business event, such as a yearly fiscal meeting, nearby conference, or office holiday party. Don’t wait around for someone to invite you to the office or an event. Be proactive.

For those unexpectedly working from home who are also trying to reduce face-to-face contact, set up a video call with your colleagues or manager once a week to check in.

14. Take Sick Days

When you’re not well, take the sick time you need. If sick days are part of your compensation package, take the time off that you need. Not taking it is like throwing away money. If you’re a freelancer who doesn’t have paid sick days, it can be very easy to fall into the opposite time-is-money trap and try to power through illnesses. Keep in mind that sometimes it’s best to rest and get better so that you can be your most productive self in the long term.

15. Look for Training Opportunities

When you’re not in an office with your fellow employees, you might miss out on training and skills development courses that are taught in person. Your company might even forget to add you to its online training courses. It can be tempting to regard this as a dodged bullet, but you might be missing out on an opportunity to learn something useful. Speak up and make sure you’re included.

In addition to top-down training, you can request online or in-person courses, training, and coaching if you need it. For people who work remotely 100 percent of the time, look for learning opportunities that are taught at the company’s headquarters or your closest office. That way, you get training and face time with colleagues.

16. Overcommunicate

Working remotely requires you to overcommunicate. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so. Overcommunicating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write a five-paragraph essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself. Joke about how you must have mentioned your upcoming vacation six times already, then mention it again.

17. Be Positive

I like succinct and clear messages, but I know that the less face time I have with people, the less they know how to interpret my tone in writing. When you work remotely full-time, you must be positive, to the point where it may feel like you’re being overly positive. Otherwise, you risk sounding like a jerk. It’s unfortunate, but true. So embrace the exclamation point! Find your favorite emoji :D. You’re going to need them.

18. Take Advantage of Your Perks

Every week, I bake a loaf of bread. Why? Because I work from home and I can. Plus, I enjoy it. When I worked in an office full-time, I struggled to find the time to pop something into the oven that often. Working remotely comes with unique perks. Take advantage of them. You deserve it.

19. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

The most successful remote employees have a reputation for being extremely disciplined. After all, it takes serious focus to do any full-time office job from an unconventional space. That said, everyone lets their attention drift sometimes. If you find yourself working one minute and booking flights for your upcoming vacation the next, don’t reprimand yourself too harshly. Instead, ask yourself whether people in an office setting do the same thing. If the answer is yes, cut yourself some slack, then get back to work. Above all, remember, you need to balance productivity with self-care; otherwise, you risk burning out.

20. End Your Day With a Routine

Just as you should start your day with a routine, create a habit that signals the close of the workday. It might be a sign off on a business messaging app, an evening dog walk, or a 6 p.m. yoga class. Something as simple as shutting down your computer and turning on a favourite podcast will do. Whatever you choose, do it consistently to mark the end of working hours.

Make It Personal

Above all else, figure out what works best for you. Sometimes the answer is apparent, but other times you might need some inspiration from other people who are in the same boat. A supportive community of remote employees does exist, whether you find them in your organisation’s dedicated App or online through blogs or Twitter. Consider, too, that you might need to shake up your routine once in a while, lest it get too…routine.

11 New Year’s Resolutions that Will Actually Impact Your Business

With the start of a new year comes a lot of resolutions – almost everyone in the world makes a resolution or two at the start of a new year.

Most of the time these resolutions consist of promises to lose weight, get fitter, quit smoking, and be nicer.

However, your resolutions don’t just have to be personal ones; you can also set resolutions for your business – AKA goals that will help your business to grow more successfully over the next few months.

With the start of a new year, now is the perfect time to reflect on your business’s past year and decide what you want to do different this year, to ensure that your business is as successful as possible in 2021.

Below are 11 ideas to help you to do that…

1. Learn to Delegate

The chances are that your to-do list extends longer than a page in length, which means that you have too much to do.

If you continue to overwork yourself and put too much pressure on, your business will not succeed.

You need to learn how to delegate tasks to other team members or to outsource them to freelancers, to give yourself a break.

You can only work so many hours in a day, and so, it is vital to ensure that those hours count, instead of focusing on menial tasks.

2. Practice Managing Your Cash Flow More Effectively

The cash flow of your business is like the heart’s blood supply, without it there is no hope.

Did you know that 80% of small businesses that fail, do so because of a lack of effective cash flow management?

So if you aren’t already being mindful about your business’s cash flow management, now is the time to start.

3. Boost Your Digital Presence

Take everything from your digital marketing to-do list and make it a reality.

Don’t put off making your website mobile-friendly, if you still have not put together an email marketing strategy, or you are yet to add a blog to your website, make this a new year’s resolution.

Digital presence is more important than ever before for businesses, so make it a priority.

4. Charge a Fair Amount

Do you undercharge for your services? Don’t continue to do so, otherwise your business will suffer as a result.

Be brave, put your prices up, and hope that your clients value your services enough to continue to use you and your company.

5. Learn New Skills

All of the best businesses owners make it their business to constantly be learning new skills.

The fact is that the business industry is changing and developing all the time, which is why learning new skills and staying up to date with what is going on in the industry is so crucial.

6. Strategise Each Week

Don’t make the mistake of failing to strategise. If you want to ensure that your business has every chance of growth over the next 12 months, taking the time to strategise each week is crucial.

A little bit of planning and goal setting can go a long way, and it is important to realise that.

7. When Things Don’t Work, Move On

If you know that something is not working for your small business, don’t make the mistake of continuing to do it.

Instead, realise that moving on is crucial, if you want your business to be a success, that is.

If a certain technique, service, or relationship with another business is no longer working for you, move on from it and find another path to go down.

8. Promote Regularly & Consistently

When it comes to your business’s success, make sure to promote your products or services regularly and consistently, taking advantage of every platform that is available to you.

9. Keep Your Technology Up To Date

Technology has never been more important than it is now, so make sure that your business always has the newest pieces of technology and software to use.

Do this, and your business has a much higher chance of success.

10. Be a Better Communicator

Don’t focus on quantity of communication, focus on quality.

Sure, you could send out 15 social media posts in a day, but are they of a high enough quality to make an impact?

The key is to put quality first, and only do things that will have a positive impact on your business’s success.

11. Treat Your Employees Well

Make sure that you never take your team members for granted.

Employees who feel undervalued won’t work as hard or be as motivated, they are also much more likely to jump ship.

So, make a conscious effort to be kinder to your team members, and treat them how you would like to be treated.

What can we learn from people who succeed later in life?

As a society, we tend to focus on prodigies — the young stars in their fields. But what if we looked at the people at the opposite end of the timeline instead?

When, at the age of 50, John Fenn joined the faculty at Yale, he was old by academic standards. But then again, he was an inveterate late starter. He published his first research paper at 32, a decade after leaving graduate school. He was 35 when he got his first academic appointment, at Princeton, where he started working with atomic and molecular beams, research that he continued to pursue at Yale. Though Fenn was hard-working and diligent, he was largely a low-impact scientist. His department chair must have felt some relief when Fenn turned 70 and they could force him to take mandatory retirement.

Yet Fenn had no interest in stopping. Three years earlier, at the age of 67, he was already semi-retired at Yale, stripped of lab space and technicians, when he published a paper on a new technique he called “electrospray ionization.” He turned droplets into a high-speed beam, allowing him to measure the masses of large molecules and proteins quickly and accurately. He saw it as a breakthrough and he was right — his technique quickly turned into a must-have tool in labs.

So, after idling at Yale, he relocated to Virginia Commonwealth University. He opened a new lab and what he did in these later years was revolutionary. Improving upon his initial idea, he offered scientists a robust way to measure ribosomes and viruses with previously unbelievable accuracy, transforming our understanding of how cells work. In 2002, by then in his mid-eighties, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Fenn’s story embodies a simple message: Your chance of success has little to do with your age. It’s shaped by your willingness to try repeatedly for a breakthrough. Realizing this was transformative for me — I started seeing Fenns everywhere.

There’s Alan Rickman, whose first movie role came at 46; Ray Kroc, who joined the McDonald’s franchise at 53; Nelson Mandela, who emerged after 27 years in jail and became his country’s president at 76. There’s Julia Child, who was 50 when she hosted her first TV show.

But these late-in-life successes had something else in common besides tenacity. Their pathways to success were guided by a hidden factor that unveiled itself throughout their careers. My team and I named it the Q-factor, and it helped us answer the question: Where do highly successful ideas and products come from?

New projects always start with an idea, no matter what creative field you’re in. Still, the importance or novelty of the idea isn’t something we always know in advance. So let’s call it r for “random idea,” letting stand for a number that captures its value. Opening another fast-food joint in a strip mall? Give it an r close to zero. Building a working teleportation machine? That could have a huge r ... if you can pull it off.

But ideas are cheap, a truism often parroted by venture capitalists. Your ability to take the idea and turn it into a useful product determines the size of the check an investor is willing to cut for you. The same is true in any occupation: A terrific idea in clumsy hands rarely leads to an important outcome. Your ability to turn an idea into a discovery is equally important, and that varies dramatically from person to person.

We called this ability a person’s Q-factor, which allowed us to translate the process of innovation into an equation. Each of us takes a random idea, with value r, and using our skill, we turn it into a discovery or “success” S, which captures its impact on the world. If we want to predict this impact, we need to establish how the two factors — the as-yet-unknown merit of the idea, or its r, and one’s Q-factor — work to determine a project’s ultimate success, or S. Multiply your Q-factor by the value of your next idea, r, and you get a formula to predict its success. Written as a formula, it is:

S = Qr

In other words, the success of a product or a deal, or the impact of a discovery, will be the product of a creator’s Q-factor and the value of idea r.

So, if an individual with a low Q-factor comes across a great idea with a huge r value, the impact will still be mediocre, as the resulting product — or Q— is diminished by the small Q-factor. Fantastic idea, poor execution. Think Apple’s first handheld Newton, with its inept handwriting recognition. The reverse also happens: A creative person with a high Q-factor can put out multiple weak or mediocre — or low r — products. Think AppleLisa, NeXT, the G-4 Cube, MobileMe. Never heard of them? They’re in the graveyard of Jobs’s many failures. If an idea has a small r value, no matter how high the Q, the product will be cheapened. Great execution, poor idea.

Then there are those perfect-storm instances where the idea and the creator both shine. When the Q-factor and r are both high, they enhance each other, leading to a career-defining breakthrough. Think of the iPhone — a fantastic idea with brilliant execution, resulting in the product that defined Jobs’s legacy.

Once my team and I figured out how to measure a scientist’s Q-factor, we learned it remained unchanged throughout her career. That’s right. The data was clear: We all start our careers with a given Q, high or low, and that Q-factor stays with us until retirement. Well, I had a hard time believing that I was as good a scientist when I wrote my first research paper at twenty-two, the one with absolutely zero impact, as I am now. And you probably feel you weren’t anywhere near as good a teacher, writer, doctor or salesperson in your twenties as you are now. However, we spent six months rechecking our findings, and we came to the same conclusion.

Does this finding apply to those outside the sciences? We were able to answer that after we figured out how to measure the Q-factor in another domain: communication. Onur Varol, a new lab member, looked at Twitter users, measuring how good they are at putting out tweets that resonate with users.

When we compared individuals with the same number of followers, we found that some were much more talented at engaging with audiences than others. There seemed to be no systematic growth or decay as Twitter users honed their skills — the high-Q-factor performers stayed that way, and the low ones didn’t budge. The minute anyone joined Twitter, a Q-factor was set and stayed roughly the same for months and years.

But what if our Q-factor is low? Then there’s some hard advice I can offer you: If you are repeatedly failing at breaking through, you may very well be pursuing the wrong vocation. I’ve experienced this myself. In high school, I was preparing to be a sculptor. But I wasn’t good, to be honest. Even back then, I was better at physics. So I followed my Q-factor, abandoning the art studio for the research lab.

Or, maybe you’re stuck in a deeply solitary field. I’ve been there as well, working for years on quantum dots, an obscure discipline where even the biggest discovery gets little traction. I switched to networks, an area where my work could reach a wider audience.

The point is that if our Q-factor isn’t resonating with our job, we should consider if we’ve pinned our hopes on the wrong career path. Once you find that perfect fit, that area or profession where your Q-factor shines, there’s really only one more thing you need to do: not give up.

The key to long-term success from a creator’s perspective is straightforward: let the qualities that give you your Q-factor do their job by giving them a chance to deliver success over and over. In other words, successful people engage in project after project after project. They don’t just count their winnings; they buy more lottery tickets. They keep producing. Take writer J.K. Rowling, who followed Harry Potter by creating a successful mystery series (under the name Robert Galbraith). Each time she publishes a new book, her new fans go back and read the older volumes as well. Each new book, then, breathes life into her career, keeping her whole body of work present and relevant.

A high Q-factor, combined with Fenn-like persistence, is what drives the engine for career-long success. People like Shakespeare, Austen, Edison, Curie and Einstein are not remembered for a single work of theirs that changed everything. They tower over their fields thanks to their exceptional Q-factors — and their willingness to test their luck repeatedly.

And there’s another smart way to exploit your Q: collaboration. Harness your network to help you with your projects. If nothing else, this prompts you to keep trying. Teamwork can motivate us. For me, the students and postdocs — and the many projects we do together — force me to continue to be productive. Since success, too, is a collective phenomenon, our response to high-quality work or talented people can shape our fates.

Stubborn creativity, combined with a John Fenn–like tenacity, not only gives our lives their essential meaning, it also provides the true secret to career-long success. The Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai is one perfect, parting exemplar of that. “All I have produced before the age of 70 is not worth taking into account. At 73 I have learned a little about the real structure of nature,” he wrote at 75. What followed made my day. “When I am 80 I shall have made still more progress. At 90, I shall penetrate the mystery of things. At 100 I shall have reached a marvelous stage, and when I am 110, everything I do, whether it be a dot or a line, will be alive.”

Hokusai lived to be 89, and he created his most memorable works in the final decades of his life, including the iconic woodblock print The Great Wave off Kanagawa. The image is of an enormous white-capped wave that slowly unfurls over a half-drowned skiff, dwarfing Mount Fuji in the background. It’s an apt depiction of how success ebbs and flows over a lifetime, building sudden momentum and crashing over us, only to start all over again.

How to Succeed In Tough Times.

“It’s not how hard you can hit, it’s how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” That’s one of the famous lines from the inspiring movie, Rocky. In the movie, Sylvester Stallone who starred as Rocky Balboa told his son:

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.

But it ain’t how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.

Rocky Balboa

There are times when you will face tough times and difficult moments in life where everything seems to crumble.

And of course, there are also good times where you enjoy every moment and life seems to be just beautiful.

This is a cycle of life and you have to understand that when there are good times, there will be tough times.

It is normal and you just need to know that it’s natural.

When there is an ‘in’ and there will be an ‘out’. When there is a beginning, then there will be an end. Up and down, yin and yang, left and right, good and bad, etc.

Hence, the first step to overcoming setbacks is to understand that setbacks and tough times are inevitable. They are a part of your life. You cannot live without setbacks. Just like what J.K. Rowling said:

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

J.K. ROWLING

So, don’t be afraid of failures. And don’t worry about tough times and setbacks. For they are there to serve a purpose.

The First Billionaire Author in History and How She Overcame Adversities

Ever since she was a child, she loved writing and dreaming of being a professional author. At the age of six, she would write fantasy stories.

In 1990, inspiration struck her. While she was on a 4 hour train trip, she suddenly got the idea of writing about a wizard boy and his magical adventures.

She began writing ferociously. However, fate intervened and it would be a few painful years more before she took up her pen again. Her mother suffered from illness and died.

She got so devastated that she went into depression. After that she went to Portugal to start a new life as an English teacher.

Things started to get better and she got married and got her first child. But good times are short for her, her husband left her and she suffered another blow in life.

She even thought of wanted to commit suicide. This was the darkest moment in her life. Finally, she rounded up all her strength and decided to write again.

Over the couple of years, she would spend most of her days writing in cafes. She got no job and had no money. She survived on government welfare. Her life was in a terrible mess.

Still, she holds on to her dreams and believed that her novel would turn her life and fortune around.

After 5 long years, she finally finished her first manuscript for her novel.

She submitted her first novel to 12 publishers, all rejected her. Success won’t come so easily. She refused to quit.

She continued to send her manuscript to every publisher she could find and submit it every day.

And finally after one whole year of persistence, a small publishing house, Bloomsbury agreed to publish her book.

The publisher told her she should look for a job as it would be hard to survive and make money from selling children’s story book.

Bloomsbury only printed 1,000 copies because they are doubtful about the sales. And 500 of those copies were distributed to libraries for free.

Months later, miracle started to happen. The book went on to win numerous awards, gaining her the recognition she fully deserved. She then started to write the series for her novel.

It was only after the publication of her fifth book few years down the road, that the book became an international best-seller and earning her a celebrity status.

Who is the author and which famous storybook you asked? It’s J.K. Rowling and her famous Harry Potter series.

JK Rowling quote

More than 300,000 copies of Rowling’s fifth book, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ were sold in the first day in UK. And in the US, the book sold more than 3 million copies within 48 hours.

And her sixth book for the series, sold more than 9 million copies in 24 hours of release; breaking all the records.

Today, Harry Potter is a global brand with an estimated worth of $15 billion, making J.K. Rowling the first billionaire author in history.

Read: 13 Most-Inspiring J.K. Rowling Quotes that Make You Stronger

Failure Is Part of Success, Not the Opposite of Success

Great achievements will not come without failures and obstacles. Don’t ask me why because I have no idea about it. That’s just how it works.

Just look at it as a test from God to prove your worthiness before he blesses you with all the amazing success you desire.

Most people are afraid to make mistakes. They are afraid what if things don’t work out. They are scared to go through setbacks and adversities.

The ironic truth is that all the great successes are on the other side of all the failures and obstacles. And you have to overcome those failures before you can get there.

Don’t try to search for shortcuts because there are none.

Therefore, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t be scare to screw up. Anthony Robbins said that if you are going to screw up, screw up big.

Setbacks, obstacles, tough times, mistakes, and adversities will never kill you.

So if you are facing tough times right now, what about that? You still live and still able to read this article, right?

You just need to persist, hold on and get through it.

Here are the 5 principles that can help you to overcome hard times in your life…

1. All the Bad Things Will Come To an End

les brown quote

It just can’t rain all the time. The same goes for all the obstacles and difficult times you are facing.

They will just go away. Don’t ask me why because this is just how it works.

Sun will rise and sun will set. Rain will come and it will go. It won’t stay for long.

Hard times are not there to make you fall; they are there to PASS so that great times will come.

It can rain, it can snow and it can have a thunderstorm, but all these are not going to be there forever. They will just go.

Things will come and things will go. And things will change. The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself.

So just bear with it. Believe that great times are near and have the courage to go through tough times.

2. There Are Something to Learn

dale carnegie quote

Successful people treat setbacks as a lesson. They see it as an opportunity to learn than just looking at failure as failure.

You have to adopt the same principle and mindset as well.

Extraordinary people know that they can only get to where they want if they learn how to get there. It doesn’t matter if they got lost in the journey.

Just learn and take it as a feedback to improve. If you start a business and face with difficulties, do you quit or do you learn to overcome them?

You know the answer. It may be difficult when you are unaware of this principle while going through tough times.

And you may feel that there’s nothing for you to learn from your setbacks. Seriously, put some thought into it. Take time to think about it, what is there to learn from the tough situation?

It is your decision and your action that get you where you are. So there must be something related and something that you can learn from there.

When you treat setbacks as feedbacks, things will start to change because you started to look at things differently.

And when you look at things differently, you will be able to decide and act differently, which gives you different result.

Thus, change your mindset and thinking now. Believe that there are something to learn from all the hard times you go through.

Read: 8 Golden Lessons: What Can We Learn From Failure

3. What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

challenge yourself to be stronger quote

If you have been through divorce, it will make you stronger emotionally. If you have lost money in the stock market, it will make you wiser and a savvy investor after.

You will never grow if you have never gone through hard times.

Every adversity gives you the wisdom and emotional strength you need to take on bigger challenges and experience greater opportunities.

If your business goes bankrupt, you will feel the pain. However, once it was over, you will see that you are still alright and you still survive. And of course, you can start over again if you want to.

The bankruptcy will make you wiser in running your business and make you emotionally tougher.

There is a saying:

Once you go through hell and back, a walk in the park at night doesn’t seem scary anymore.

Just like playing games. When your character faces tougher opponents, he will gain experience and increase his level. The higher the level of your character, the stronger he is.

It is the same in your life. The more setbacks and tough times you have overcome, the stronger and wiser you will become.

So, don’t be afraid to fail. Grow yourself, learn from your mistakes and failures, and this is how you become a better person who is worthy of the success you want.

4. Every Setback Opens Up a New Opportunity

paulo coelho quote

Napoleon Hill said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

Whenever one door closes, another door will open. There cannot be a new beginning unless there is first an end. There cannot be a recovery unless there is first a crisis.

Did you know that the most numbers of millionaires are created in a recession?

During a recession, property and stock prices will go down. And if you grab this opportunity to buy at a lower price and then sell it high after the recovery, you will make a lot of money.

Warren Buffett, the world’s greatest investor, made the majority of his billions buying stocks during the great recession.

His philosophy of being greedy when others are fearful is what makes him so successful.

So learn to see the opportunity in every adversity, and grab it!

5. Enjoy the Ride

bill watterson quote

What should you do if it rain? Learn to dance in the rain.

Johnny Depp said, “I think the thing to do is enjoy the ride while you’re on it.” You can’t stop the rain, so just enjoy it then.

When the economy comes down, you can’t stop it. So instead of complaining, blaming, and worrying about it; learn to enjoy it. Or better yet, learn to profit from it.

Everything happens for a reason. Many people give up when things seem tough because they see their suffering as being pointless and unfair.

When they fail or experience huge setbacks, they perceive it as a message that they are not good enough, that what they are doing is not meant to be or that they are just unlucky.

They tend to ask themselves, “Why must this happen to me?”

Like the story of J.K. Rowling and many other successful people who have made it, whenever you are suffering a setback, take heart knowing that it’s not without a reason.

If you can overcome it, you will see that it has led to a greater good for you. So just enjoy the ride while you’re on it. Unless you can get off the ride, else you should just have fun on the ride.

Read: Why Failure is Good and Necessary to be Successful in Life

The Conclusion

No matter how hard the times are, believe that it is going to be over and won’t stay forever. No matter how big the setback is going to be, believed that it has come to pass and there’s always something for you to learn.

Tough times will make you stronger and wiser. Just like playing games, if you have beat a level 10 boss, a level 3 enemy will be a piece of cake to you.

If you are at level 3 right now and you face an enemy at level 5, you will feel that it is difficult to overcome it. However, if you have gone through it, you will get yourself level up.

This is life and you just can’t get away from the up and down cycle. And since you cannot escape life, why don’t just enjoy every moment of it?

Instead of worrying, blaming, and over-stress yourself, make it a game to challenge yourself to overcome the tough times.

And when you take the challenge, stop limiting yourself, and embrace the hardship, it is when you make the most progress in life. You will end up becoming a stronger and better person. You will become more successful.

Let me know what you think about this article. And I seriously hope that the ideas presented here are able to give you positive energy and support you in your journey.

How Can The National Grid Help Make the UK’s Net Zero Target a Reality?

Climate change is the greatest challenge facing mankind at this time. Decisions we make now will determine the future of our planet and life on earth. It has become crucial that we change the way we live in order to reduce harmful carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2050.

Time is running out and acting now is the only way forward. In the next ten years the renewable energy industry must fulfil a number of goals.

There is much work to be done but the future looks promising with the emergence of viable technologies as well as some political commitment and investment.

Undoubtedly, in order to have any chance of reaching net zero by 2050 big changes need to be made. Currently 85 per cent of homes and 40 per cent of the UK’s power needs are supplied by gas. If the UK is to become one of the world’s first net zero economies by 2050 the gas sector needs to set out a plan for decarbonisation. In the next decade alone, it is essential that low carbon heating systems are installed in approximately 2.8 million homes.

Nicola Shaw, Executive director at the National Grid has laid out some ways that both her company and the UK can make the most of the huge opportunities that will come with the progression to net zero emissions. The National Grid is working with their industry partners as part of the Future Gas Forum to research different ways that our homes can be warm but environmentally friendly. One of their main proposals is a switch to hydrogen which is cleaner than the methane most often used at present. There are various difficulties that need to be overcome such as producing hydrogen at scale and adapting the current infrastructure. Tests are being carried out on ways of safely transporting hydrogen around the transmission network. An example of this is Project Cavendish which is researching ways that hydrogen can be produced, stored, and imported at the Isle of Grain in Kent, to get hydrogen to the South of London. Other projects are looking at how hydrogen or a mix of hydrogen and methane can be carried around the gas transmission network. All these projects are vital if low carbon energy, is to be delivered reliably and safely to all consumers. 

In another bid to make carbon savings, the National Grid has been sending robots down high-pressure gas pipelines to carry out checks and repairs. This not only reduces maintenance costs but also generates annual savings of more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon which is the equivalent to the emissions of 500 households.

The changeover to electric cars is another very important condition in the shift to net zero emissions by 2050. The UK needs to see the installation of approximately 60,000 charging points to power nearly 11 million electric vehicles in the next decade.

The National Grid has come up with a proposal to install a network of ultra-fast chargers at UK motorway service stations which would cut charge time to as little as five to 10 minutes. They appreciate that with new petrol and diesel cars no longer on the market from 2035 they need to be prepared for the big increase in electric cars. They believe that faster transition is possible and that they are robust enough to cope with the forecast uptake in EVs. They do think though that some targeted investment will be required to ensure that there are suitable places where drivers can access sufficient high-power charging away from home.

In alliance with Equinor and Drax, the National Grid is investigating the possibility of achieving the creation of a net zero industrial cluster in the Humber region. The three companies together are committed to £800,000 of funding as part of a £2.6m project to plan out industrial decarbonisation on a grand scale. The Humber area employs 55,000 people and contributes £18bn towards UK GDP making it already home to the UK’s largest industrial economy. The workforce has a significant skillset established from taking part in activities such as refining, petrochemicals, and manufacturing. Using this experience and adding the right support and carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) technology means that Humber and by default the UK, will lead the way in decarbonisation and regeneration of the area.

Today, the UK has 10GW of offshore wind but this needs to take a giant leap to 75GW under net zero. Up until now the National Grid has connected wind farms to the grid one by one but this needs to change now to allow for the further 65GW needed. Long-term solutions need to be developed to ensure we don’t create bottlenecks and that disruption to coastal communities is minimal. The National Grid fully supports the government’s recent review into offshore wind farms. They are playing their part by evaluating the costs and benefits of different coordinated network designs and technologies. In doing this they can encourage innovation, harness the economic benefits, and create highly skilled jobs.

It is vital that in the next decade that low carbon electricity generation is increased by approximately 50% from sources such as wind or solar power.

National Grid Partners, has backed a range of companies that are assisting the progress of a lower carbon future. One example of this is Autogrid which is developing sophisticated technology to bring more renewable energy into the system. Another example is Carbon Lighthouse which is helping building owners to cut energy waste to fight climate change.

We have already passed the point that saw most of the UK’s energy coming from coal-fired power stations. Those days are over. To ensure that this continues the National Grid is creating a network of interconnectors. These undersea cables enable smarter energy systems to react quickly to changes in supply and demand, ensuring renewable energy flows from where it is being generated in large quantities, to where it is needed most. Over £3 billion has been invested in 4.4GW of new interconnector capacity since 2014, which provides access to enough electricity to power 11 million homes. There is potential to add a further 9.5 GW of interconnectors in order to deliver a smarter, more flexible future energy system.

The number one aim for the National Grid is to enable the transition to a clean and low carbon future but they are also looking closely at their own operations to ensure they are doing the right thing. In the UK, the National Grid has promised to replace over 50 per cent of their internal fleet with alternative fuel vehicles by 2026. They are continuing to lead in developing alternatives to the insulating gas SF6 and will no longer install any equipment that uses this greenhouse gas. Further to this they are also looking at lower carbon construction methods and have set a target of increasing the energy efficiency of their own buildings by 10 per cent.  

You may not have realised that the National Grid had such a pivotal role to play in tackling climate change but they are doing much more than just keeping the lights on or the gas flowing.

10 Ways To Stay Ridiculously Focused On Your Goals

1) Remove Distractions

There is no greater goal-killer than distraction. Whether it’s TV, the internet, going out for drinks, the friend’s parties, when you are trying to achieve a huge goal that requires ridiculous levels of focus, you need to remember that these things are rewards. Otherwise they are just a distraction.

We don’t want to be ‘all work and no play’, but we do need to keep a laser-like focus in order to achieve bog things.

2) Write Down Your Goals

I’ve written about this extensively here: What is an easy way to keep track of the life goals that I want to practice daily?

In short: Write down what you want to accomplish, both long term and short term.

Each day, your task list should be working towards those goals.

If it’s not, then it becomes very easy to see where you are spending your time so you can readjust.

As we’ve acknowledged in point 1, hit a short term goal then allow yourself that reward.

3) Measure

“If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.”

This is a quote from Ron Gibori.

When you set a goal, figure out how you are going to quantify success.

Is it simply completing the project?

Is it raising a certain amount of money?

Is it how many people see it or read it?

Set a measurable goal, track it, and be honest with the result.

It’s the only way you’ll know whether you’re growing—or not.

4) Feed Your Brain

You have to study your craft.

If you want to start your own company, read about other companies, read case studies, research your industry and competing industries.

Read the success stories for motivation, and read the downfalls for perspective.

The more you read and study, the sharper your toolbox will be.

5) Surround Yourself With Good People

Rule of thumb: The 5 people you spend the most time with are a reflection of you.

If you surround yourself with people that are smart, go-getters, passionate about what they do, then those qualities will rub off on you.

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you should leave.

Take the time to audit your group of friends, your co-workers and work environment, and even your family.

If these people are not contributing to your life in a healthy, positive way, reconsider how much time you spend with them.

6) Exercise

A common thread between great minds is exercise.

Whether it’s a sport, going to the gym, or even taking a brisk walk through the park, being in tune with your body will help you get through the mental marathons required to produce great work.

Too many entrepreneurs and “driven achievers” forget this.

7) Meditate

To those that are new to this practice, I realize it seems unorthodox.

I’d like to remind you that DaVinci, Tesla, Steve Jobs, etc., all attributed their brilliant ideas to meditation.

Take some time in the morning and at night before bed to quiet your mind and let the creativity come to you — instead of you relentlessly chasing it.

It doesn’t take much.

Just allow yourself to sit in silence for 5–10 minutes.

And if you can’t, ask yourself why.

There’s a lot to explore there.

8) Remove Your Vices

This is different from removing distractions.

Distractions are the TV, cell phone, the party next door, etc.

Vices are the things we use when we really, really want to avoid the hard work.

By removing them, we can become more aware of what within us is holding us back.

I promise you, if you are a drinker, a smoker, etc., and you remove your vice, you will see all too clearly the moments when you crave it and the moments when you (surprisingly) have no craving at all.

And those cravings will give you endless insight into what truly holds you back from achieving greatness.

9) Love

Being in love is always a surefire way to getting motivated to accomplish great things.

However, love can also be felt outside of an intimate relationship.

Similar to spending time with good people, find ways to truly express yourself with people you feel comfortable with.

Make some time, no matter how small, to spend time with family and friends during your work week—people who truly care about you.

Even the world’s most successful people need hugs every now and then.

10) Get Rid Of The Garbage

This is, in my opinion, the most important part of being laser focused on your goals.

MAKE TIME TO PLAY!

If you are a painter, don’t spend every day painting with a serious face on.

If you are a writer, don’t spend every day slaving away on client work (instead of your own novel).

Pick up that guitar sitting in the corner of your room.

Go build a $10 model car one afternoon.

Grab that plastic lightsaber in your closet and go battle your younger brother in the backyard — I mean, on Tatooine.

Do the silly little things that help the brain remember that all creativity is supposed to be fun.

Goals as big as the sun won’t be achieved no matter how fast you try to sprint down the path.

You have to fly, my friend.

And you fly when the garbage in your head is gone, and you remember you’re doing what you love.

Why Your Business Isn’t Retaining Team Members

Does your business find it difficult to retain valuable members of your team? Has retention always been an issue, or is it only recently that team turnover has increased tenfold? Whatever the answer, it’s important to investigate what the root cause may be before your competitors are the beneficiaries of all those months and years you invested in your people.

There are several reasons why people move on, and not all of them boil down to becoming tired of where they work. Family reasons, the desire to try something new. or relocation are all valid reasons for moving on. However, if you notice a steady increase in people just straight up quitting, this is an indicator that something is not right, and likely, there is an underlying issue that is causing people to leave your company.

Has Anything Changed?

Are you able to pinpoint a time when turnover started to increase? If so, has anything noticeably changed in the workplace that may coincide with this?

Perhaps a new manager was hired or promoted, changes to policy were made, or increased workload could be the reason behind members of your staff leaving. While some change is good, negative changes in the mood and atmosphere almost always lead to a fragmented team, with vital members going on their merry way.

When you can diagnose a problem, you can work towards finding a solution. Whatever that may be will come down to your findings and it may involve making a tough decision. Make sure to speak to your employees to try to uncover any patterns or issues that may arise in their discussions with you.

Market Analysis

If you aren’t aware of what your competitors are offering, you can be sure that your staff members certainly are. This is especially true if your company has been unable or unwilling to offer any bonuses or incentives recently.

Remember that whether you offer an increase or not, inflation continues to rise, meaning that your peoples’ expenses are rising too. If their income doesn’t match this, they may believe it’s time to move on, regardless of how loyal they may be to the business.

To combat this, you should speak to your network and find someone who can help to formulate a solid bonus structure and reward strategy based on market research. You may find that your teams’ gripes aren’t about the money itself but how much they feel valued by the company.

For example, if they have not been shown any indication of an incentive for a long time, despite taking on extra responsibilities in the business, they will feel as though they are being undervalued by the company. In this case, don’t be surprised to learn that they have already been going to interviews elsewhere.

The Future of the Business

How does the future of the business look in the long-term? If your team catch wind that the business’ future is in doubt, they may look to jump ship before any announcement of closures and opportunities are lost, which would leave them out of work and in desperate need to find new ones in order to pay their bills.

Make sure to be as transparent as possible with your staff members as to the state of the business – for better or worse. This will earn their trust more than anything. When employees can see that there is a clear plan of action, the business is moving in the right direction, and there is not so much uncertainty for the future, they won’t be as tempted to seek other opportunities.