Motivation

When it comes to taking the next step, are you afraid of the great unknown? Image credit: pixabay | Jan-Mallander

Many things stop us from doing what we know can enrich our lives – making wrong career choices, lack of financial management, lack of education, even raising a family are some of the reasons I have heard people give for not taking the necessary steps to self fulfilment and self-satisfaction.

When it comes to business, the reasons for sticking with 9-5 jobs vary slightly differently. It was always baffling when I come across people with Entrepreneurial tendencies and traits, who talk about business all the time but never take the necessary steps to quit their jobs and go into self employment.

While chinwagging with a couple of friends last Sunday, it occurred to me that amongst the 4 of us present, we had identified a gap in the market, a business, done a quick primary research, mapped out details for a marketing campaign and almost nearly narrowed down start-up costs. Basically, between 4 friends, we had enough resources to start a business the next day (Monday)

This happens in most communities, amongst most friends all over the globe. But most never take the next step to actually starting that business. Why?

Well, here’s the great secret. The reason for all that procrastinating is very simple….. FEAR!

It’s quite understandable though, for who is willing to take such a huge step, a financial gamble such as quitting your paying employment and starting a business? So, understandably, one must tread with caution, the only problem is sometimes caution becomes trepidation.

Fear of starting – Fear of failing – Fear of rejection. Will you be able to raise the right finance? will your product be accepted by the public? will your business model work? WILL IT WORK?? These are all legitimate questions that can provoke fear; which can subconsciously cause procrastination.

What will that fear stop you from doing?

The most successful entrepreneur is the one that shows very little fear, not risk averse (willing to take significantly more risk than the average entrepreneur) and one who is willing to try almost anything. Fact!

You must be wiling to try everything. Easier said than done I know, but if you don’t try, you don’t know right? If you have a business idea, or have been nurturing one for a long time but somehow you have been too afraid to take the next step, well here’s a bit of permission from someone who’s been there done that. Someone who’s left a well paid, full-time employment for the unknown of self employment and entrepreneurship.

It won’t be easy, and anyone who tells you otherwise is hiding the truth. But here’s another truth, no matter how tough it is, staying at it is the only guarantee of success.

Go for it!

Kole Obasa

www.thiskoleobasa.com

 

 

Entrepreneurs have frequent opportunities to doubt themselves, their plans, ideas and abilities. Perhaps you’ve occasionally asked yourself, “Am I really cut out for this job?” or “Am I on the right track?”

In 1998, I was laid off from a prominent public relations position at a well-known hotel in Palm Beach, Fla. Instead of looking for another job, I decided to start my own company, the Protocol School of Palm Beach.

In the beginning, I had my share of doubts. I often wondered if I had made the right decision and whether I should get a second job to supplement my income. I was short on money and patience. It took me nearly five years to make a profit. Now I’m grateful that I persevered. I’ve had my company for 17 years and now my business is stronger than ever.

It’s important to learn how to manage stress in moments of extreme doubt so that you can continue to pursue your goals. Here are four helpful tips that will enable you to overcome self-doubt whenever it strikes:

1. Don’t compare yourself to others.
The temptation to compare your business to others in your industry is difficult to ignore. Try not to make unrealistic or unfair comparisons that cause you to doubt your own abilities. Worrying about what competitors are doing wastes time and can leave you anxious and exhausted.

Instead, try to network and learn from the success of others. What did they do well? What challenges did they overcome? A great way to exchange ideas and encourage others is to join a mastermind group. Or hire a business coach or a set up weekly calls with a mentor, someone whom you trust and admire.

2. Acknowledge previous accomplishments.
Any entrepreneur will tell you that starting a business is one of the most difficult paths a person can choose. It takes an extreme amount of work and dedication to take any idea from inception to market.

There will be good days and bad days. Plus, at some point, you’ll realize you can’t please everyone 100 percent of the time, no matter how hard you try.

If you feel like giving up, step back from the situation. Acknowledge what you’ve already accomplished. Show gratitude for having encountered exciting opportunities and positive experiences. Keep an abundance journal to record victories — no matter how small. When you hit a bump in the road, you’ll be able to look back and remember why you chose your career in the first place.

3. Make decisions in a timely manner.
Running a business entails making hundreds of decisions. Every choice you make will have consequences — some positive and others negative.

When faced with a fork in the road, many entrepreneurs suffer from analysis paralysis. The very feedback that they solicited from clients, colleagues and mentors now hinders their ability to make a final decision and move forward. They may become overwhelmed by the various opinions and frozen with self-doubt.

The success of a business is determined by the culmination of many small choices over the long term. Running a successful business is more like a marathon, not a sprint. If at some point you make a wrong decision, you can always try to fix it.

So commit to a course of action and make corrections as you go along. The more proactive you are, the more confident you’ll feel in your ability to lead the company.

4. Accept your failures.
Anxiety is often rooted in fear. Mistakes are inevitable. No matter how talented you are or how hard you work, you will occasionally make errors. Some mistakes are easy to correct whereas others take a considerable amount of time and money to fix.

Either way, mistakes will make you a wiser, more cautious businessperson. Successful people embrace failure as part of the journey toward success. Rather than obsess over problems, focus on solutions.

If you make a mistake, don’t cover up or misrepresent what happened. Instead, admit it as soon as possible. When you own up to your failures, you develop a professional reputation of reliability and trustworthiness. Rather than fixate on every misstep, simply take responsibility, learn from it and find a way to correct the issue. Then move on and let it go.

Jacqueline Whitmore Via Entrepreneur.com

 

 

Image credit: thoughtfeast.co.uk

Image credit: thoughtfeast.co.uk

Who you are. What you have done. What you do. What you will do. Your failures. Your accomplishments. Every one of these things begins with a thought.

“Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.”

This popular quote cannot be said any clearer: Who you are. What you have done. What you do. What you will do. Your failures. Your accomplishments. Every one of these things begins with a thought. In fact, every positive, tangible (even intangible) thing that exists in the world is the product of a single thought.

That iPhone you enjoy using? The product of a thought.

A healthy and fit body that was once overweight? It started with a thought.

A just law that was once an unjust law? It began with a thought first.

That successful, million-dollar company that employs thousands? It was in someone’s head before a single cent was generated.

Just as positive achievements begin in our thought life, so does the failure to achieve. You want to lose weight, but you are hesitant to take the first step due to the overwhelming dedication it may take. You want to start that business, but are afraid to take the first step. You failed to get the deal you worked so hard on, and now you are second-guessing if you’re cut out for your industry. These negative, fear-based thoughts are the root cause for quitting in the midst of adversity as well as quitting before even trying.

If everything produced in your life is the result of your thoughts, then it’s important to control your negative thoughts (before they control you). Here are three methods to incorporate into your life right now and take control of negative thoughts holding your back:

1. Identify What Comes Out of Your Mouth – Do you find yourself in situations saying things such as, “That will never happen,” or, “It probably won’t work out.” You will never take the first step toward accomplishment if you shoot yourself in the foot before ever beginning. Negative words are reflective of negative thinking. Everything we say, even the things we utter when no one is around, is indicative of how we feel in our minds. Remove negative words from your speech and replace them with positive statements that line up with your goals.

2. Replace the Root – Once you identify the negative words that you say, go further and identify the negative thoughts that are at the root of those words. Replace words such as should and can’t with will and can. Not only are negative words reflections of your thoughts, but they are also reflections of your emotions. By taking control of negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts that line up with your goals, you are also fine-tuning your emotions and attitudes. The most important attitude to have when setting out to achieve anything is confidence.

3. Focus on Solutions, Not Problems – By identifying the negative things you say, understanding the thoughts at the root of those words, and replacing those with positive thoughts and words, you are taking action, building habits, and reshaping your character. Those habits and that character will sustain you when you challenges seemingly appear out of nowhere. Instead of dwelling on your obstacles, challenges, and hurdles, think about how to solve the problem. Instead of dwelling on a lack of resources, you now possess the ability to focus on what you can accomplish with the resources you have at your disposal right now. Before you know it, you will look up and notice that you have made progress.

Everyone thinks on some level, but how many of us actually think about… well… our thinking? Thoughts are the essence of everything we do or fail to do. They are the roots of words, which produce action, which produce habits, which produce character. When you think about it on that level, our thoughts are the very thing that control us. Take control of your life, your goals, and your success today by taking control of negative thoughts!

 

Rhett Power via Inc.com

Image credit: tweeternewsfeed.com

Image credit: tweeternewsfeed.com

 

Another very fascinating article from my friend Princess. Here she talks about the power of positive thinking. In many ways, the word impossible represents a complete dead-end. It shouldn’t be. You can turn impossible into an advantage to work for you. It should really urge each and every one of us to go further just to prove our doubters wrong. It is particularly important for Entrepreneurs to familiarise themselves with the word Impossible because doubters will throw it at you many times, if you are made of weak stuff, you will never be able to accomplish your goals.

Personally, I like the word impossible because it makes me say to the world….. JUST WATCH ME. Enjoy the article……..

Today, most of us define words according to what the dictionary says or what some writer or group of scholars has penned down, but then a few have the courage and brevity to create their own definition to suit their dreams and objectives…. smart ones!

According to the dictionary, the word IMPOSSIBLE means ‘not possible, that can not occur, exist, be done, not convenient, not believable’. I am very sure you are conversant with the above listed meanings, but then I have got my own personal life definition of the word IMPOSSIBLE.

IMPOSSIBLE to me means “I (Princess) makes possible.

Yes! For with the power available within me, I can do all things – I make possible what seems impossible.

Back in my university days, there was a time we had no electricity and water for months, people would go to the stream to fetch water, while I would wait till they got back and then I would beg for a bowl of water from hall mates to make up a bucket of water, so I could bath, then this great day came and hall mates had agreed not to share their water with me, saying I have to go to the stream just as they did to fetch mine, I pleaded as usual but No! they all said to me, they left for the stream and I left for the dry tap within my hostel, knelt down and began to pray for the tap to run and fill my bucket. Guess what?

The tap did run and my bucket and other bowls were filled with water!!! Laughing, my first major miracle, they all got back and were shocked to find me all bathed and clean with extra buckets of water. Who says the impossible doesn’t happen? It does all the time but first, you must believe and act.

What is your own definition of IMPOSSIBLE?

Walt Disney, the man who changed the face of entertainment more than any other person, was widely regarded as an impossible thinker. He was such a strong impossible thinker that if he told his team that they were going to do something and all of them got excited about it and said “let’s go for it, we can do it” he would change his mind and decide on something else, if he shared the idea and they all said “this is impossible, it can not be achieved”, he would get excited and say ” that’s exactly what we would do”, he would encourage them, push them and more often than not, he and his team would achieve the impossible! Power of positive thought and unity…

We all can do the impossible!

There’s nothing that will make your life glorious and sweet as stretching yourself to do great positive things that you thought impossible, it’s better to try and fail, than not to try at all!!!

Get up! Get started!!! Keep moving.

You have got great power within you, awaken that dormant gift or talent, there is a good in you that the world needs… don’t hoard it dear!!!

The hour has come, make use of the power within you for good today.

By Princesswealth

 

Entrepreneurs should be treated like celebrities. - Image credit: Pinterest.com

Entrepreneurs should be treated like celebrities. – Image credit: Pinterest.com

If you ask me, there are a group of people equally as important as celebrities and politicians but do not get the appropriate recognition. These group of people are called Entrepreneurs and I am proud to be one of them. With the amount of contribution Entrepreneurs make to the economies of most countries, I am bewildered I don’t see more of them lauded and revered like most celebrities are.

Entrepreneurs must be rewarded, encouraged, empowered and celebrated and this has to happen in any society. Entrepreneurs can change the way we all live and work. Innovators and inventors can change our quality of lives. In addition to all that, successful entrepreneurs act as role models and their business models copied. Make no mistake, Entrepreneurs are important and contribute significantly to every country’s economy and here’s 10 reasons why:

1) Entrepreneurs Create New Businesses: Naturally! Since they are self employed, the only other way to earn a living is by creating a business. Most people start from scratch and create a business they have an interest in, while others can simply buy an already existing business; either ways a new unique enterprise has been formed.

2) Entrepreneurs Create Jobs: By virtue of the fact that they have created new businesses this definitely holds true. The more businesses they create the more staff they need to assist them in running the businesses. From bakers to mortgage lenders, from 2 staff members to hundreds of staff members, entrepreneurs have a habit of creating jobs.

3) Entrepreneurs improve Industry Standards through Healthy Competition: Competition is good, healthy competition is even better. In other to gain competitive advantage, entrepreneurs continually strive to improve their products or services, this no doubt reflects positively on the industry set standard. Car dealers for example might give discounts or allocate points to customers who are accident – free within the first year of purchase in order to gain an advantage over other car dealers. This in turn promotes safe driving which is beneficial to the automobile AND insurance industry. Restauranteurs or Hoteliers could do the same for the Catering and Hospitality industry.

4) Entrepreneurs create new Skills: Think about an inventor with a never before seen product; to promote, market/sell and make a profit from this product, the entrepreneur would have to train other people as to the technicalities of this product. And its not just inventors alone, skills acquisition can range from customer care and services to plumbing and carpentry. The more diverse the scope of the business, the more skills needed to fill the jobs created.

5) Entrepreneurs create Wealth and Empowerment: Developing (and already developed) countries benefit significantly from the wealth businesses bring into their society. From societies in South America where citizens are empowered to grow coffee beans to societies in Africa where farmers benefit directly from Mangoes sold to Europe and America. Entrepreneurs, by creating new products, services and technologies enable markets to be developed around these items creating wealth as a result.

6) Entrepreneurs contribute to the National Income: Entrepreneur must pay taxes (in one way or the other) These taxes go directly to the national purse. It also follows that the taxes businesses pay is related directly to the size of the businesses. In the UK (as at 2014) small and medium sized businesses had a combined turnover of more than £1.6 Trillion. Do you see how much tax will be generated and added to the national purse? Don’t forget, there are countries with more entrepreneurs, thus more businesses. It is why most governments welcome entrepreneurs and their businesses. 

7) Entrepreneurs create Social Change: Some entrepreneurs are so cool, they create businesses not to make money, but to effect a change in society through the people they help. Social entrepreneurship (using business techniques to find solutions to social problems) is not a new phenomenon, however it is becoming more pronounced and visible lately. Every society have issues that need solving, some entrepreneurs have thus made it their life’s mission to attempt to solve these problems or at least minimise them. Entrepreneurs have taken on issues like child marriage, poverty, climate change and social injustice. Some of my favourite entrepreneurs with charitable ventures are Tony Elumelu (Tony Elumelu Foundation), Bill Gates (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and Opray Winfrey (Oprah’s Angel Network)

8) Entrepreneurs sustain Innovation beneficial to the country: By introducing new technologies to the market, these cool entrepreneurs can come up with new, creative gadgetry that could even serve their countries. The military can benefit from it (Missile guidance and delivery systems), the health sector can benefit from it (pioneer drugs) History making technologies have been created by entrepreneurs and we all benefit from them even today. Steve Jobs(RIP) – Apple Computers, iPhones and iPads . Bill Gates – Microsoft. Stephen Katsaros is also an Entrepreneur  and the founder of Nokero International, which is building a better, longer lasting, and solar-powered light bulb for use by the 1.6 billion people worldwide that live without electricity. Amazing!

9) Entrepreneurs encourage trade networking: By forming and carefully maintaining mutually beneficial trade relationships with other entrepreneurs, businesses and in other regions, entrepreneurs gain knowledge and wisdom from networking which in turn can be applied to their various societies. One of the easiest ways to promote themselves is networking and because it is virtually cost-free, most entrepreneurs engage in it. By engaging in it (networking), they systematically promote it (networking) and their trade to other trades and entrepreneurs and vice versa.

10) Entrepreneurs are the new celebrities: Goes without saying, if Entrepreneurs generally contribute more to the economy than the film or music industry then they must be celebrated like movie or music stars. Some times I go to my local grocery store or take a walk in the park and people pass me by like I don’t exist, I am yet to be pursued for my picture or autograph (except at networking events where I am the Guest Speaker) I am an Entrepreneur and that needs to change, don’t you agree?

So when you see an entrepreneur today, commend them, celebrate them, buy tickets to see them and hear their talks, because they help sustain and improve the economy you live in and make sure  you get an autograph because they might be the creators of the next greatest thing.

Kole Obasa

www.thiskoleobasa.com

Muhammed Ali. Image credit: theredlist.com

Muhammed Ali. Image credit: theredlist.com

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or manager you most likely have varying definitions of success. But, one thing we can all agree on is that being successful isn’t just about how much money you have in your bank account. It’s about having an attitude that makes us want to wake up every morning and do something bigger and better than the previous day. But, sometimes you need a little bit of inspiration. Even if you believe that you’re already successful, here are 22 quotes that can motivate you to strive for even more.

1. “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi

2. “I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” – Abraham Lincoln

3. “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life-think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” – Swami Vivekananda

4. “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

5. “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” – Oprah Winfrey

6. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas A. Edison

7. “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success … Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” – Nikola Tesla

8. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

9. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

10. “Businesses that grow by development and improvement do not die.” – Henry Ford

11. “Chase the vision, not the money.” – Tony Hsieh

12. “You can say anything to anyone. How you say it to them will determine how they react to you and the future of your relationship together.” – John Rampton

13. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn

14. “Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” – Steve Jobs

15. “People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” – Tony Robbins

16. “If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.” – Jeff Bezos

17. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali

18. “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson

19. “Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso

20. “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” – Theodore Roosevelt

21. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash

22. “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

23. “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” – Dr. Seus, ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go

John Boitnott