3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurship Is the Greatest

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Entrepreneurship is great for many reasons. Personally, it has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Not only do I get to operate my own business and make an impact in so many different organizations, but I also get the opportunity to hear other entrepreneurs share their journeys and experiences.

Some of the biggest difference-makers to ever live were entrepreneurs. They were creators and self-starters who found a desperate need in the world and came up with a solution to ultimately make the world a better place. Here are three reasons why entrepreneurship is the greatest:

1. There is no ceiling as to what you can do.

There is absolutely no ceiling as to what you can do when you choose to be an entrepreneur. The only person in charge of you is yourself, and that includes your level of achievement and the difference that you make in your industry.

In a company and corporate setting, everyone has job descriptions and has to report to someone. When you make the daring adventure to go out for yourself, you don’t report to anyone but the person looking back in the mirror. In a company and corporate setting, creativity sometimes can be locked down, which can be very frustrating.

Entrepreneurship and changing the world requires extreme creativity at all times. There is nothing in the way as to what ideas you can get working on and how you go about your everyday business. You get to experience the wonderful feeling of being free and most important, yourself.

2. You can make a greater impact.

You can make a difference wherever you are with however much or little you think you have, regardless if you are an entrepreneur or not. As an entrepreneur though, your ability to change the world and create a movement to make the world a better place is extraordinary. A trait of all majorly successful entrepreneurs is creating something that was once missing in the world.

This isn’t to say that everyone who walks down the path of entrepreneurship is going to become the next Albert Einstein or Mark Cuban, but an example of what could happen is your small business has the potential to fill a major void in your local community.

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to make a difference in others or in the world, but entrepreneurship does give you the opportunity to make a greater impact if you find what’s missing and create something to fill that void.

3. Dreaming is at the focal point.

The focal point of entrepreneurship is dreaming. Without dreams and hopes for the future there is nothing. I have witnessed thousands of men and women who gave up due to the hustle of bustle of life and will unfortunately die without those dreams and hopes realized.

As kids we all have dreams and things we want to do when we get older, but somewhere down the line when we reach adulthood, we start to lose sight of our kid-like ability to dream. Entrepreneurship rekindles that soft spot in your heart and gives you that same feeling as when you were a kid.

If you’re not innovating, dreaming and constantly looking to expand who you are and what you’re doing, it will be difficult to win in the long game in the world of entrepreneurship. Instead of carrying out someone else’s dream, the entrepreneur builds a team around them to carry out his or her vision.

There is nothing easy about entrepreneurship. There will be plenty of challenges along one’s journey, and those challenges never get any easier even as you become more successful.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

Wake Up and Get Off the ‘Someday Island’

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There are plenty of differences between high achievers and everyone else, but I think there is one that really solidifies the gap between the two. That one difference is that high achievers don’t live on the “Someday Island.” They are living on the “Now Island” and are fully creating their own circumstances in life rather than going along with what has been presented to them.

It’s disheartening when I meet men and women from all different walks of life and of wide ages who have already died inside, but just haven’t made it official yet. To hear them talking about their glory days 10 and 20 years ago while having no new hope or dreams for the future is totally depressing. The reason why it’s so depressing is because that same person has the power and ability to live their best life right this moment — now — and totally redirect where his or her life is headed.

The major reason why this becomes the point of quiet desperation for many people is because of their habit of putting important things off and living in a world of “somedays.” If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. The next time you are having a conversation with a family member or close friend, ask them what they want out of his or her life. I can almost guarantee you that his or her response will be, “Someday, I want to lose 20 pounds and have that dream body I always wanted,” or, “I would love to someday be in business for myself and become the entrepreneur that I’ve always envisioned.”

What has happened is that living on the “Someday Island” is the new norm for many people. If you aren’t living the life that you wholeheartedly love and desire, you can change it. Don’t shut off your ability to hope and dream about the future. Right this moment can be a new beginning for you. Think about it. What would you love to do? What is your lifelong dream?

Get off the “Someday Island” and put that new idea into action for yourself. Start that business that you have been contemplating for the past 20 years. Start working and developing that new course or product that your organization has wanted to roll out into the marketplace. Start being the leader that you always wanted to be.

The fact is that you have very little to lose by going after what you desire compared to letting those same passionate things die inside of you and never unleashing them out into the world.

At the end of your life, you will ask yourself if you truly lived a purpose-driven life. Whatever that “thing” may be for you, get off the “Someday Island.” Position yourself on the “Now Island” and get busy. Your life is worth way more than living in the past or ruminating over broken dreams and wishes. It doesn’t matter if you are 25 years old or 75 years old, you have a magnificent and wonderful life ahead of you now.

One of the best decisions you can make in both your personal and professional lives is to get in the habit of living now, taking massive action and going after what you deeply desire, full steam ahead.

 

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

When Leading Through Change, Adopt These 4 Strategies

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The two guarantees in life are taxes and death. No matter how much we hate both, they will be there. There is no way around them.

In business, the one guarantee is change. Organizations of all sizes will experience a great deal of change at some point and it’s up to the leader to create an atmosphere of effective adaptation. The best organizations that dominate the market and competition have leaders that know how to lead through change better than anyone else, as well as bring out the best in their people during times of extreme uncertainty.

Here are four important strategies to lead through change:

1. Stay purpose driven.

When your organization is experiencing turbulent times and you are in a position where you have to lead through change,you must stay purpose driven. If the leader of an organization veers away from the organization’s purpose, how in the world are the employees of that organization supposed to stay on target? It’s just not going to happen.

You might not know the exact way in the beginning, you may be more nervous than you have ever been in your career or the criticism from the outside world may be at an all-time high, but if you direct all of your focus on staying purpose driven and creating a culture high on purpose, the “how” will eventually present itself.

2. Communication must be constant.

I write about communication a lot, and a major reason for that is because I think there are too many organizations that undervalue its importance, especially during times of major change. Great communication is required to create great relationships. Great communication is required for athletic teams to perform at a high level. The same goes for organizational health and being able to lead effectively.

It’s important for leaders to constantly communicate from a technical standpoint, but also to reinforce much needed inspiration and acknowledgment of their people. The next time change hits your organization, whether big or small, make it a priority to become a world-class communicator.

3. Invest in your people.

As a leader, you have to understand that the most important people are the ones who work with you. These are the men and women that are expected to carry out your vision and head into the trenches to make sure that the transition through whatever change your organization is going through is a success.

Depending on the size of your company, look to invest in your people as much as possible. The organizations that are passionate about developing and building their people are the same organizations that win and come out on top.

Whether it’s incorporating team-building exercises, bringing in experts in a certain field or enhancing skill sets in different ways, the opportunities are endless for you to invest in your people. This will not only help you and your organization lead successfully through change, but you will also be showing your people how much you care about developing them to become better.

4. Persist until you succeed.

No one enjoys change, and that especially goes for employees. They will be tempted to give up, slow down and lose focus of the overall objective and purpose. It’s your job as a leader to instill a culture of persistence.

It’s really hard to see the end result and even move forward when it feels as if nothing is being accomplished. Throughout the course of my athletic career as well as speaking to hundreds of majorly successful companies, I have realized that the most detailed plan and course of action can only get you so far when leading through change.

Persistence isn’t just a trait of the most successful people, it’s the backbone of the organizations that completely thrive during times of extreme change. Persisting and staying the course even when progress seems to be minimal is an absolute must when leading through change.

It’s inevitable that you will experience change at some point throughout your professional career. As a leader, business owner or entrepreneur, it’s your job to set the tone when leading your organization through change. These strategies will greatly improve your chances of getting the best out of your organization.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

20 Inspiring and Valuable Quotes on Leadership

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Every day I pick out a quote that I carry around with me and really spend a lot of time thinking about it. I think about the meaning of that quote and all of the possible ways on how I can adopt that into my way of living.

Below are 20 leadership quotes that I have been paying close attention to as of late. I hope these quotes add value to your life and inspire you to become a better leader.

1. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” — John Quincy Adams

2. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — Jack Welch

3. “Great leaders are willing to sacrifice the numbers to save the people. Poor leaders sacrifice the people to save the numbers.” — Simon Sinek

4. “Think about all the great leaders. Think about Obama. Think about Clinton. Think about all the people that we know who are very successful in business, in politics and religion. What are they? They tell purposeful stories. They move people to action by aiming at the heart.” — Peter Guber

5. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” — Colin Powell

6. “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” — Ronald Reagan

7. “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” — Jim Rohn

8. “You manage things. You lead people.” — U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Grave Murray Hopper

9. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” — John Maxwell

10 “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” — Warren Bennis

11. “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” — Sam Walton

12. “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” — Theodore Roosevelt

13. “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” — Nelson Mandela

14. “Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” — Henry Ford

15. “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army or in an office.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

16. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

17. “A leader is a dealer in hope.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

18. “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” — Andrew Carnegie

19. “I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.” — Colin Powell

20. “ As a leader … your principal job is to create an operating environment where others can do great things.” — Richard Teerlink

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Your Food Choices Ultimately Influence Your Workplace Success

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We rarely associate our meals with workplace performance, but science is now telling us that what we eat has a significant impact. What you have for lunch can make a meaningful difference in your cognitive performance, energy levels and critical decision-making ability. Your food choices ultimately influence your workplace success.

Being properly fueled allows you to get the most out of your day and stay present through long meetings and stressful situations. Presentations in the boardroom, high-stress negotiations and client interactions require fierce concentration and brain power. Food helps fuel electrical impulses for learning, memory and other cognitive tasks.

Diets filled with energy drinks, fast food and sugar negatively affects your mood, learning and memory, whereas diets filled with fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds can enhance your concentration and outlook.

Plan your nutrition.

Staying alert on an empty stomach is difficult. It is imperative to plan your fuel intake throughout the day. Planning your meals and snacks in advance can take your work performance to the next level — especially if your life is filled with meetings and deadlines.

Decide what you are going to eat before lunchtime arrives. This leads to balanced, smart nutritional choices, rather than a trip to the vending machine or candy bowl.

Keep your snacks or “fuel supply” readily available throughout the day so you have options that are nutritious and provide consistent energy boosts every few hours rather than eating one big meal at lunch time. Healthy snacking is the key to maintaining peak energy levels and boosting brain power.

Your health should be a top priority. By taking care of yourself, you are better equipped to do your job. You should take a break to replenish your body when needed, which is why having your fuel supply nearby, readily available and freshly supplied every day of the week is so important.

Food affects your brain.

If you’re seeking an edge to achieve maximum performance, intelligent food choices are key. To function at your highest performance, your mind needs nutrient-rich and low glycemic foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and foods with B vitamins, antioxidants and essential fats.

The brain relies on glucose as its primary fuel, according to numerous studies on glucose enhancement of human memory. Increases in circulating blood glucose can actually facilitate cognitive functioning. This phenomenon has been dubbed the “glucose memory facilitation effect,”according to a 2011 study in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.

Spikes in blood sugar affect your brain and productivity. When food breaks down in our systems it converts to glucose. Having a steady glucose level in your body equates to better focus. You should avoid processed carbohydrates and refined sugars that will cause your blood glucose and concentration levels to spike.

Healthy snacks including fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables and protein bars will maintain your glucose at an optimum level. Eating quality protein and fats within each meal also help stabilize your blood glucose levels.

Eating disorders: a hidden danger lurking in Corporate America.

Eating disorders are more prevalent in the business world than many people realize. For many people in corporate jobs, skipping lunch is now the norm.

“Patients with eating disorders have the highest cortisol level in their systems, which means they carry an enormous amount of stress in their bodies,” says Dena Cabrera, PsyD, clinical director of Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders in Arizona. “They have a high rate of anxiety, perfectionism and obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

High-pressure jobs and executive positions often come with long hours and a large amount of responsibility. Placing a person prone to anxiety in that type of environment is the perfect storm for an eating disorder to be triggered, Cabrera says.

People miss the signs because they don’t expect adults to have an eating disorder. In the United States, about 30 million men and women suffer from an eating disorder, meaning the person is so preoccupied with food that he or she cannot focus on other things — including work.

Unfortunately, the pressure to perform at work leaves little time for self-care, which means that many individuals don’t seek help, Cabrera says.

“There is incredible stigma and shame associated with admitting or exposing mental-health problems, especially for someone with authority,” she says.

Treatment for eating disorders is widely available and successful when the disease is dealt with quickly. Facilities such as Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders have proven recovery models to help patients. There are signs to look for that a co-worker, employee or friend may be suffering from an eating disorder, including mood changes, significant changes in weight, eating very little or an enormous amount of food, changes in job performance and compulsivity on eating healthy or exercising, Cabrera says.

Focusing on nutrition should not be an afterthought.

The link between eating healthy and job performance is undeniable. People need to make their health and nutritional choices a priority in the workplace. In turn, they will be able function at the top of their game.

Likewise, employers should encourage their staff members to refuel with a snack and take time to eat a healthy lunch. Employers should set an example of what healthy “brain” food looks like. Instead of bringing donuts or pizza to a staff meeting, the menu should include fruits, vegetables and nuts.

This will not only help improve the health of your staff, it may just boost your bottom line as well.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com