Every should an advisor or mentor for themselves. You do not have to pay for these services, although when you do pay, you are much more apt to take it seriously because your money is on the line.
It is important to seek out the right advisor or mentor for your needs - not just someone with experience. You need someone who understands you and were you are on your journey of development. You need someone who understands your business and it's needs not only now, but in the future. And you need someone willing to work with you on a consistent basis.
Once you find someone that fits the criteria, do everything possible to work with them. The benefits will be tremendous.
For example, I mentor a young entrepreneur that has a fast growing startup. This entrepreneur is very good at a few things in the business, but crafting professional communications is not one of them - at least not yet. Recently, there was a client contract dispute in which the entrepreneur needed to get an attorney to represent the business in a specific state. They had no idea what to do and were just going to fire off a couple sentence email that would not have gotten a response. They knew they needed help.
So, they reached out to me and we crafted the message together. I shared with them how to address an attorney, how to lay out the facts and desired outcome from retaining their services, and craft a professional message that would get an attorney to respond and work further to potentially represent them. I saved this entrepreneur hours of time and headache and taught them how they need to approach professionals for their services. I also walked through the situation with them to see the client's point of view and come up with a plan and solution that when communicated by the attorney would most likely resolve the matter and cost a few hundred bucks at most.
This type of mentorship can be priceless. I know it was for me when I started out (how do you think I learned to craft professional messages!)
No matter what stage you are in for your growth and that of your business, you should seek to bring in the best people you can around you to fill your gaps and help you become better in these areas. Remember, the bigger you grow yourself and your capabilities, the bigger business you can have.
Reach out and seek an advisor (or two), today!
I get to meet, speak to, and work with a lot of top entrepreneurs. I am always impressed by their ways of thinking, success routines, and the effort they put in to be the best in their business and in serving their clients/markets.
But, still, as good as these people are, they aren't perfect and have to overcome challenges. Many times, those challenges are self-imposed. I was thinking about this the other and I started to look at the most common ways I've seen that entrepreneurs sabotage themselves and hurt their success. Here are 6 of the most common ones.
This is probably the most prevalent. Everyone goes through periods of doubting themselves and their abilities, especially entrepreneurs, but the key is someone's ability to pull themselves out of it and not let self-doubt create unnecessary destruction in your life and business. The first place I always start when I feel self-doubt creeping in is to stop and ask myself if what I am feeling is really true or just an emotional reaction to current events, a bad day, etc. Usually, it is a temporary outside event or influence that is short lived and in understanding it, I can change my thought patterns and gain perspective so that I don't let it sabotage me. You can do the same.
Taking on Too Much and Not Delegating
It is sometimes tough for entrepreneurs to truly let go and remove themselves from the day to day tactical needs of their business - but they will not grow or scale unless they do so. The hardest part is knowing that you can do all of these better and/or faster than those you delegate to, but that is OK. You will never be able to have the business run for you unless you realize that there is only one of you and that is OK. Others can get the job done. They may do it differently, but they will get it done. Trust in that and empower them. Let go!
To go with above, one of the biggest sabotaging habits of entrepreneurs is not trusting the people around them and questioning everything instead of empowering and trusting. I've see another of great businesses ruined by an owner who could not and would not trust those they have worked hard to bring in to help them. And typically either ends with good people quitting or leaving or the business owner taking the business down. If you are going to have a business and grow, you must be willing to trust those you bring into help you. There is nothing wrong with checking in and verifying things are being done how they are supposed to, but that is leadership, not lack of trust. Don't fall into this trap.
A lot of business owners are incredible at creating and selling their product, but horrible at managing their finances. I understand. Financial education is not taught in any real good way in formal education. Understanding cash flow and how to read a P&L, or how to understand the trends happening in a business is a different kind of financial literacy. Entrepreneurs need to invest the time to understand the numbers and what they are telling them. An accountant can easily help educate you on these things and you should self-educate. I've seen a lot of businesses who are "killing it" fall apart because they could not manage cashflow. Just because you sell something doesn't mean you have the cash yet and not understanding the expenses required to deliver what you sell can sabotage you very fast. Get financially literate.
Understanding and Managing Risk
Great entrepreneurs, understand risk and how to use it well in their business. They practice "asymmetric risks." These are risks that when taken have a tremendous upside, but small downside. In other words, if it doesn't work out, the business won't fail. Many entrepreneurs do the opposite. They take huge risks where almost all of the risk and consequences are on them if they fail. They "bet the farm" and many times don't last because of it. As entrepreneurs, we will always have and many times must take risks, but the key is to make sure they are asymmetrical and that the consequences can be mitigated or overcome if the risk doesn't pan out. I'd rather take a number of risks and have a few workout very well than take one big risk and it bring me down. I think you'd agree.
Lack of Focus on Two Key Areas
Another thing that sabotages entrepreneurs has nothing to do with the business itself. It is a lack of focus in two key areas: Physical and Mental Health. You cannot be your best in your business if you are not at your best physically and mentally. You need to have the stamina to keep things going and pushing forward in your business and you need the mental capacity to handle all of the things that come your way. The best entrepreneurs have a daily fitness routine and a daily mental health routine. And it doesn't need to be anything crazy. For me, it is my Ironman training every morning and my 10 minute prime that I do where I write our 3 things I am grateful for and my 3 most important things to do for the day, followed by a prayer. This keeps me grounded, focused, energized, and healthy. Everyone is different, so you need to figure this out for yourself, but you must figure it out and put it a physical and mental health routine into action in your life.
Avoid these 6 ways of sabotage and you'll find you reach goals even faster and will have a better business for it.
There is a growing trend happening across the world and it's not good. It was happening before the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, but since the virus was unleashed on the world, it has been exacerbated and it's getting worse.
The trend is being fostered by governments and many aspects of society - all in the name of helping - when it is actually hurting people and their future.
The trend? The lack of personal responsibility.
When people stop taking responsibility for their actions and choices and in many cases, are now being rewarded for it, it fosters a false sense of reality in society. And at some point, truth and reality always win. People can blame others for their place in life or commit terrible acts in which they don't take responsibility, but those that do, never get the satisfaction or reward they are looking for. They end up disappointed and disheveled.
Success and fulfillment lies in taking full responsibility for yourself, your life, your actions, and your choices. Why? Because it gives you your power back. When you blame others and don't take responsibility for yourself, that means you are ceding your power to someone else or something else. You handing over your biggest chess piece on the board and letting someone else, something, or group control your life.
The power is in you, the individual, and in taking your power back through personal responsibility. When you do that, you cannot be hurt, you cannot be offended, and you don't have to play a victim, because you are in control and choose how you respond to things. Everything is your choice. And choices have benefits and consequences, no matter if you take responsibility for them or not. But, if you do take responsibility you will find that you will be and achieve so much more and reach levels that you never expected. You will hold yourself to a higher standard - a better standard, one that you choose.
Don't miss out on this incredible secret to success by giving away what is rightfully yours - your biggest source of power, your personal responsibility.
The times I have made the biggest strides in my life and work have always come when I put an intense focus on my personal growth and development.
I am always reading and studying something - most of the time because I enjoy it and it keeps me learning new things, but there is a difference between passively learning something and being intently focused with a goal.
I have found that when I set a goal to learn a subject to use the information to generate true results in an area of my life; I learn it better, I use it better, and I retain it better.
And the periods I have been able to do this best are when I have slower times or downtime in my life. Times when I don't have as many distractions and obligations taking my time and I can focus better. For example, when I am working on a product launch over a 6-8 week period and am reiterating with my teams and working late hours seemingly up to the last second to get it right; it is not a great time to set a focused personal growth goal.
But, when the launch is over and we've celebrated our success and things calm down - I find it a great time to immerse myself into learning a new skill or subject.
One thing that the Coronavirus has done for most people, is slow things down. It has given many people a great opportunity to focus on personal growth in their lives. In fact, now is one of the best opportunities in years to focus on learning new skills and subjects, not just because we have, but also because there are so many great resources available to us.
If what I just shared makes sense to you and you want to make a commitment to your personal growth, here is my advice to you.
Now is the THE time to grow in your life. Don't waste it!
One of my favorite scenes in the movie Ocean's 11 is where Rusty (played by Brad Pitt), explains the "art of conversation" to Linus (played by Matt Damon). It is a short scene, but it offers some great business lessons.
The biggest one I take from it, is that less is more. When selling, don't say more than you have to close a deal. When leading people, don't push people past their breaking point when inspiring them. When setting targets, keep them simple, short, measurable, and easy for everyone to understand. When reaching for new levels in your success, don't take on more than you can handle.
Less is more. Simple is simple. And simplicity, executed well, leads to great results.
Watch the clip below and see what lessons you takeaway from the "art of conversation."
I was recently reminded of a very important lesson in life. My daughter put herself in danger of drowning because she pushed herself and her limits too far.
First off, my daughter is an incredibly strong swimmer for an almost 8 year old. One of the best I've ever seen. She's going to be amazing on a swim team some day. Over the 4th of July holiday, we were in the pool with some family visiting and she was showing off her ability to swim underwater and hold her breath. She can swim all the way down and back in the pool without needing a breath! After a few times, she didn't take much rest and went to do it again and this time, got about halfway back when she passed out underwater.
Thankfully, my wife and I were right there to scoop her out of the water and administer care. I know it seems like I am casually writing this story, but I cannot explain the terror that went through me as I pulled what seemed like her lifeless body from the water. I immediately noticed she had a pulse and was moving a little, but I got her down and started a couple breaths into CPR and she came to. She did not spit up any water or show signs of water in her lungs and after about 10 mins was completely awake and back to normal. We then took her to the ER and stayed for several hours while they monitored her and then discharged her with a clean bill of health.
There are so many lessons I can speak to from this experience and probably will in a future Lessons for Hannah episode, but a very important one that everyone can learn from is to understand your limits. After she was back to normal, I asked her what she remembered right before things happened. She told me she remembered her lungs hurting, but she thought she could make it - and then everything went black.
She passed out because she did not heed the warning signs of her lungs' limits. When they started hurting her, she should have immediately come up for air, but she decided to push things without understanding the limits she had. Of course, this is after repeated conversations with mom and dad over time about how to be safe in the pool, etc.
And that is the hardest part, sometimes we don't know our limits until we reach them or try to blindly push through them. This can and does get us into trouble, or can end in tragedy. Thankfully to God and quick action by my wife and then me and our whole family, we didn't have a tragedy - but my daughter learned about her limits the hard way and it could have cost her, her life. I don't think my adrenaline came down until after 2am in the morning that night - as a father, this is the hardest thing I've ever experienced.
But, the lesson you can take is to know and understand your limits and be careful when you push them.
I am all for pushing your limits and reaching new heights, but doing so in a calculated and planned way.
You must learn to know when you are going too far and back off.
We are very lucky and we have a lasting lesson to share with others. I hope you take this to heart and don't learn about your limits the hard way!
This won't be a long post, but it is an important one.
At this point, we are over 4 months into the Wuhan Coronavirus being unleashed on the world. Every aspect of life has been impacted and in many cases turned upside down. A lot of people when this first began, thought that it would come and go rather quickly and things would go back to normal.
I hoped for that, but at the same time I sat back and mentally prepared. I asked myself, what I would do if this went on for 6 months, a year, 2 years, etc? What if things never got back to being the same and in the midst of it all, the world changed, the way business is done changed - basically, what if everything got turned upside down? Would I be able to handle it? Would I be able to adapt? What would I need to do and prepare myself and my businesses to do?
You may have asked some of the same questions. And as we get into the 5th month of lockdowns, business shutdowns, riots, and general unease throughout the world, it is most important to remember one thing.
I see a lot of people beginning to crack or even break under the pressure, fear, uncertainty, and changes to their lives and businesses. As entrepreneurs, we must lead the way. Change and dealing with problems and and challenges are our every day lives. And yes, now we are throwing in the virus and all this other stuff - but we must remain and stand strong. We must prepare for things to go longer and be worse than we ever thought and at the same time, power through it.
Entrepreneurs were made for these times and we are the ones who will help pull the world out of it. We will do it with our will, our faith, our spirit, and never give up attitude. I just wanted to remind you of this. Stay strong, endure, and keep pushing. These times will eventually fade to different and better ones - just be prepared to keep going until those times come.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded of reality and the facts of life. No matter how much we keep them at bay or seek to change them, there are certain truths that will win out over time. And there are certain truths that when we live by them have proven to make us more successful, happier, and free'er in our lives.
I was thinking about this the order day in the midst of much of the chaos around the world and started making this list. While it's not complete and something I will probably noodle on for a while, I wanted to share it with you. I hope it will spur you to think critically and differently and question what is being hailed as "normal" in our lives.
Sometimes, we just need a little inspiration and a good video with a uplifting message is one of the best ways to get it. Below are 3 of my favorite inspiration videos I want to share with you. Enjoy!
Les Brown - You Gotta Be Hungy
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