The 24 Best Podcasts for Entrepreneurs In 2017

20161215220414-gettyimages-471688870Image credit: martin-dm | Getty Images

Entrepreneurs and business leaders have turned to podcasts as a great source of inspiration and education. But with more business podcasts launching into the iTunes store to meet the growing demand, it’s getting harder and harder to find the best podcasts for entrepreneurs.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the best podcasts for entrepreneurs and executives. You might have heard of more publicized podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show and Entrepreneur on Fire, but this list covers a wider range of podcasts and includes a lot of new and noteworthy examples, like Powderkeg: Igniting Startups and Breaking Into Startups, that you shouldn’t ignore.

Here are the 24 best podcasts for entrepreneurs in 2017.

Starting Up Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

1. StartUp

StartUp is one of 10 shows produced by podcasting company Gimlet Media. Co-hosted by Gimlet CEO Alex Blumberg and former FiveThirtyEight editor Lisa Chow, it tells the story of how Blumberg founded Gimlet and everything he learned along the way. It tackles all the issues of starting a company, like naming it, valuing it and bringing on partners through a personal, narrative lens.

2. Mixergy: Startup Stories

What makes Mixergy unique is that host Andrew Warner arranges some of his interviews with world-renowned entrepreneurs into online business courses. The “Starting a Business” course presents six interviews in an order that works as a “how-to” guide for building a company, with each successive interview delving deeper into the topics of product development, customer acquisition and sales.

3. How to Start a Startup

Back in the fall of 2014, Y Combinator president Sam Altman gave a one-semester crash course at Stanford University on how to start a startup. Bringing in 29 other Y Combinator alumni as guest speakers, he put together 20 lectures on running a startup from inception to later-stage concerns. The lectures were recorded and have since been archived under the appropriate title, “How to Start a Startup,” and can be downloaded as video or audio files.

4. Entrepreneur On Fire

EOFire is an award-winning podcast where host John Lee Dumas interviews the most inspiring entrepreneurs seven days a week. Every single day, you can expect to hear incredible stories from highly successful entrepreneurs, actionable ideas that can transform your business, and be inspired to build the life of your dreams.

5. Powderkeg: Igniting Startups

A newcomer to the business podcast lineup, Powderkeg is already turning heads in the industry with a solid lineup of guests, in-depth interviews, and informative content. Focusing on the tech industry, this show reveals how entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley found traction and ultimately, success. Energetic host Matt Hunckler taps into the minds of top-tier entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators to provide insights that will help aspiring founders no matter where they’re located.

Leadership and Productivity Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

6. Jocko Podcast

Jocko Willink is a retired Navy SEAL officer who doesn’t beat around the bush and tells it like it is. You are sure to learn key lessons on leadership, work ethic, and discipline that will help you to become the best version of yourself. Apple recently named Jocko Podcast one of the best podcasts of 2016 having this to say about it, “Leadership, fitness, military history — retired Navy SEAL Jocko and his guests turn any topic into a riveting life lesson.”

7. Self Made Man

In a nutshell, Self Made Man is a self-improvement podcast. Investor, entrepreneur and host Mike Dillard, along with each episode’s guest host, offers advice on how to improve yourself so that you can improve the world and achieve true greatness. The show places a special emphasis on business and finance but also covers topics like health and relationships.

8. The Action Catalyst with Rory Vaden

The Action Catalyst podcast will inspire you to start taking action on what matters most in your life and how to take your productivity to the next level. Self-discipline strategist and New York Times bestselling Author Rory Vaden Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 14 countries get extraordinary results.

9. The Tim Ferriss Show

The Tim Ferriss Show is the first business/interview podcast to surpass 100,000,000 downloads and when you listen in, you will be able to see exactly why. Angel investor and #1 New York Times bestlling Author Tim Ferriss interviews world-class performers from all different industries on what helped catapult them to the top and provides actionable advice you can implement into your own routine. Former guests include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx, Tony Robbins, Peter Thiel, and many more.

10. Youpreneur FM

Lots of modern entrepreneurs are successful because they create a personal brand. Chris Ducker is one such person, and his Youpreneur podcast is aimed at instructing its listeners in all things personal brand entrepreneurship. He and his guests, which include top online business minds, cover everything from building your brand to creating products and marketing yourself in order to teach you how to succeed as a solopreneur.

Innovation Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

11. This Week in Startups

This Week in Startups has a finger on the pulse of the tech industry. As the name implies, host Jason Calacanis brings on a guest entrepreneur each week and talks about what’s happening right now in tech. The podcast is a combination of current events, company profiles and insider gossip, which means there’s so much juicy information packed into each episode that you can’t go wrong by tuning in.

12. The Twenty Minute VC

Have you ever wanted to get into the mind of a venture capitalist? (Here’s a hint: you should.) The Twenty Minute VC does just that. Host Harry Stebbings interviews two prominent VC investors each week, delving into why they do what they do and what they’re looking for in a startup. The show is also notable for being brief and to the point, with most episodes clocking in at around 20-30 minutes.

13. The Full Ratchet

Angel investor Nick Moran came up with the idea for The Full Ratchetas a result of his own difficulties obtaining clear and actionable information on how to be a good investor. He decided to start recording his chats with industry veterans to help investors and entrepreneurs understand how the whole funding process works. Like The Twenty Minute VC, this podcast teaches you how investors think and what will persuade them to buy into your company.

14. a16z Podcast

According to Silicon Valley-based VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (or a16z), “software is eating the world.” Their podcast brings on tech experts and business leaders to talk about the current state of devourment, discussing tech news, industry trends and what the future holds. If you want to hear what industry behemoths have to say about their work and the world, then this is the show for you.

15. Breaking Into Startups

Breaking Into Startups has only aired a few episodes, but it’s off to a very promising start. Created by Artur Meyster, Timur Meyster and Ruben Harris, the program shares the stories of people who broke into the tech industry from nontraditional backgrounds. The goal is to encourage and inspire people who want to get into tech by teaching them how to leverage their unique experiences in other industries.

Sales and Marketing Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

16. Marketing School

Neil Patel and Eric Siu are experts in digital marketing, and they share a bit of their knowledge every day in Marketing School. Each episode provides you with a unique online marketing tip in fewer than 10 minutes. It’s a great podcast for anyone looking to roll up their sleeves and get to work implementing actionable advice on a daily basis.

17. Social Pros

Jay Baer of Convince & Convert and Adam Brown of Salesforce co-host this podcast about how to market your business on social media. Each week, they interview a leading social media strategist from a prominent company (think Dell, IBM and ESPN) to pick their brain and discuss the latest trends in social media marketing.

18. SaaStr Podcast

From software-as-a-service community SaaStr comes the SaaStr podcast, presented by venture capitalist Jason Lemkin and hosted by Harry Stebbings of The Twenty Minute VC. The show focuses on the world of SaaS, bringing on business owners as well as investors to explore what it takes for companies to succeed in their highly competitive market. SaaStr’s trademark area of focus is on advising startups how to go from $0 to $100 million ARR faster.

19. The #AskGaryVee Show

CEO, entrepreneur, angel investor and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk has built his personal brand with social media, and now he’s helping others do the same with his show, #AskGaryVee (available in video and audio). The show follows a simple Q&A format, with Gary answering viewer-submitted questions about marketing, social media and entrepreneurship.

20. The Growth Show

If you’re looking for advice on growing your business (and why shouldn’t you be?), then The Growth Show is just the ticket. It’s produced by HubSpot and features guests who have achieved remarkable growth with their businesses, delving into how they did it and what it was like to go through the transition. It’s sure to give you plenty of ideas and strategies for taking your business to the next level.

Inspirational Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

21. The School of Greatness

The School of Greatnes which is hosted by successful entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author Lewis Howes will without a doubt inspire you to achieve your biggest goals and dreams. Lewis is a phenomenal interviewer who asks great questions. This is one of the most popular podcasts each and every year for a reason. It never disappoints.

22. Smart Passive Income Podcast

Pat Flynn is known in the blogging and podcasting spheres for building an online business almost entirely through passive income channels. On his Smart Passive Income podcast, he shares tons of passive income strategies that work as well as all the ones that don’t. Building passive income streams is all about working hard now so you can sit back and watch the cash flow in later!

23. Eventual Millionaire Podcast

Jaime Masters thought at a young age that she would one day be a millionaire. She still believes this is true, but she hasn’t gotten there yet! In her Eventual Millionaire blog and podcast, Masters interviews businesspeople who have reached that milestone to learn their tactics and advice for growing personal wealth.

24. Unemployable Podcast

If you’ve found yourself drawn to the entrepreneurial life, if might be because you’re “unemployable,” like lawyer-turned-writer-turned-entrepreneur and founder of Copyblogger, Brian Clark. In his weekly podcast, Clark draws from his 18 years of experience to provide advice and encouragement for freelancers and entrepreneurs looking to develop their personal businesses.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurship Is the Greatest

20150305183724-motivation-silhouette-stading-city-inspiration-shawdow-artsyImage credit: Thomas Hawk | Flickr

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

 

10 Ways to Crush It in 2015

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At the beginning of the every new year and even a little bit before then, everyone has the same theme, or at least they think so. This theme is, “This is going to be my best year yet!” Unfortunately, once the end of the year rolls around again, they quickly realize that the past year was just like all the other years.

Nothing was really different. The same habits, the same achievements, the same goals and the same mediocre results. Please don’t fall into this category that will rob so many people of greatness this upcoming year.

Here are 10 ways to help you crush it in 2015.

1. Get serious!

To truly make this year your best year yet and absolutely crush it in 2015, you must get serious about doing just that. A majority of people will get excited for the first 30 days and then fall victim to complacency and just coast along from that point on. Get serious about your life. Get serious about your business. Get serious about your health. Get serious!

2. Learn and let go of 2014.

The whole last week of every year I spend every single day reflecting on how my previous year went and how I can grow and get better from it. I analyze my wins and losses and how I can build momentum going into the New Year.

But once I am finished with this process, I let the previous year completely go. I erase it from my thinking and encourage you to do the same. If it was a successful year for you, great, but don’t let that define your 2015. Build new successes and reach for new heights. If it wasn’t the best of year for you, there’s incredible opportunity ahead because you have a whole year to absolutely crush it and make up for lost ground in 2014. Don’t let one bad year turn into a bad life.

3. Take your health and fitness to the next level.

If you are going to take your success, income and business to the next level, then you must not forget about your health and fitness. This is one of the greatest assets that you have. Never take your health for granted. If you keep your body in unbelievable shape, you will increase your productivity levels like crazy and boost your self confidence.

4. Get very clear about what you want.

Setting a goal to lose weight, get in better shape or make more money won’t cut it. Maybe for the first month you might be motivated but over time this type of clarity won’t cut it. When you get extremely clear about what it is you want, your desire and commitment to actually make it a reality will skyrocket. Get clear about what you want.

5. Take massive action.

If people decided to actually get going on their new year goals and resolutions instead of just talking about them they would begin to see an amazing shift take place. One thing is for certain if you are going to really crush it in 2015: You must take massive action! Less talking and more doing.

6. Let this be the year you let your mind work for you, not against you.

As hard as it may be at times, we fully control what goes into our minds and what we think about. Instead of letting your fears get the best of you or letting self-diminishing thoughts convince you that you are not capable, really work at what goes into your mind and what you think about. Come up with a routine that nourishes your mind and builds you up. Read the book As a Man Thinketh by James Allen to help get you started.

7. Hang around those who are doing better than you.

Take the time to analyze your relationships. As I say all the time, “Association is everything.” If you constantly surround yourself with others who aren’t doing big things then guess what? You won’t do big things. The weak and mediocre get jealous when they are surrounded by others who are doing better than them. Champions, on the other hand, love being in the presence of greatness. They not only admire other peoples’ success, they let it fuel them to be great themselves.

8. Create a personal growth plan.

Make 2015 all about your growth as an individual. I am a big believer that self-education is the best kind of education. Possibly nothing else could impact your life more in 2015 than creating a personal growth plan.

9. Stop the take-take mentality and operate out of the give-give mentality.

In business and in the game of life, always try to give more than you take. Be known as someone who gives freely and is always looking to serve others.

10. Create a sense of urgency!

Nothing gets on my nerves more than someone with a lack of urgency. Life is short, so live that way! If there is something you want to do, do it. If there is someone you love, tell them. If you have a passion, follow it. What a shame it would be if you missed out on something special all because of a lack of urgency. I see it happen all the time.

I hope this year is the year everything changes for you. I hope this year is your best year yet. I hope this year is the year you absolutely crush it and end up changing your life and business forever. Don’t settle for average. Happy New Year!

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

4 Simple Strategies to Improve Your Business Success Rate

Whether you are just starting out as a new business owner or you have successfully been running one for quite some time, there are always new strategies that can help maximize your success rate in the marketplace.

Whether you are bringing in over $100 million in yearly revenue or $10,000, you can double or nearly triple that number by paying close attention to these four simple strategies:

1. Professional development

No matter what category your business happens to fall in, one thing is necessary in order for you to provide your customers extreme value: to make the commitment to continuously learn and study what’s “hot” in your field.

If you spend an hour a day to learn about and research your field, you will instantly start to set yourself apart from your competition. Those hours begin to add up quickly and before you know it, you’ve entered an elite category.

A valuable piece to the research aspect is paying attention to what your market needs and what your customers are saying.

2. High quality products/services

One of the quickest ways to set you apart from the competition is to provide your customers with high-quality products at the same price as your competitors. Quality is everything when it comes to growing your business. Spend the time to plan, organize and deliver top-notch quality products/services in everything you do.

3. Customer value

Providing value in the lives of your customers is extremely important when thinking about creating lasting business success. If you are not changing or adding extreme value to your customers’ lives, your business will hit “stall mode” very quickly. The stall mode is when you truly believe you are doing everything right and working extremely hard, but the results and success aren’t present to show for it.

Start asking yourself regularly before you take on a new task or release a new product or service, “What is the value for my customers in this product?” If you can’t think of an ample reason as to why your product or service is of extreme value, then chances are you should go back to the drawing board to plan and recoup some new ideas.

4. Serve over everything

It boggles my mind when I see a business pay more attention to what they think is right rather than to what the customer has to say. Listen, we all make mistakes and some of the best business people fall into this category as well.

If a customer isn’t satisfied or happy, you have to do everything in your power to make that customer happy. Give them what they want. Even if your customer was the one who was wrong, take the initiative to fix things and correct them immediately.

When you wake up each morning asking for more ways to better serve current customers, you will dramatically boost your business and success rate. Always think in terms of serving.

By implementing these four simple strategies, you can maximize your success rate, increase profit margins and create longevity in a competitive marketplace.

Originally Posted On Entrepreneur.com

The Genius Of Mentorship

The Genius Of Mentorship

When you look at the survival rate of new businesses, you’ll see that entrepreneurs need all the help they can get. When I was an NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears, I thought my career was fully established. Little did I realize it was just a stepping stone to my true career.

After an injury that resulted in being sidelined and no longer able to play for the pros, I discovered my truest passion. Writing and speaking. However, when I uncovered what my true passion was, I had no idea how to pursue that career. That’s when I discovered I needed a mentor.

When I began to work on my personal growth, my mentor explained to me that I needed to become a different person than who I was if I wanted my business to be a thriving business. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what he meant but I agreed and followed his lead. As time went on, I noticed almost everything that we talked about or worked on really had nothing to do with my actual business. Instead, it was all focused on who I was as a person, my characteristics, how I thought and what my daily habits were.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, I’m sure you have read or maybe even experienced firsthand the tremendous benefits from having a mentor. There is so much value that comes from learning from a master who has been there and done that.

I strongly believe that having a solid, experienced and willing mentor will do more for you personally and professionally than any book, online course, or any other type of learning material available. Without the help of my mentors, I may have never been able to build my public speaking business and writing career. Here are a few thoughts on finding a great mentor or friend to help you:

-The sky’s the limit! Think big from the start. If you don’t visualize yourself as being successful, then you won’t attract the great people who will want to help you.

-Be realistic. Recognize that there are things you don’t know. Remember, experience is built from your mentor facing the same or similar situations before. That’s something that no entrepreneur can have too much of on their team.

-Trust your instincts. This is your passion, your business. Listen to advice but be careful to filter it. You are in charge of your life and your decisions, so stay true to them.

-Use caution and choose your mentors carefully. Many people who “talk a big talk” may have few real experiences and will be more of a danger to you. Remember, the goal of this mentoring relationship is to make your habits and values better as you become more like the people you spend time with. It’s O.K. to have a friend as a mentor if you respect their principles. And it’s O.K. to choose someone you’ve never met.

-Timing is everything. The more proof you have that you are on to a winning idea, the easier it will be to attract a new mentor.
Don’t expect your mentor(s) to have all the answers; however, a great mentor can help you find the answers for yourself or refer you to someone who can help.

-Be appreciative. Reward them well and be prepared to offer them equity or similar that will incentivize them to help you over the long-term to build your company and its value. (This, of course, depends on the type of mentor they are and the type of business you’re building).

-If this fits your business model, then seek out entrepreneur groups, business angel and seed capital networks. These are all good places to look for great advisers and mentors.

-Choose different mentors for different areas of your business. Someone who shared your vision for your business might not have the best advice about budgeting or back-office issues. So, choose different mentors for different needs.

Take Action: Application is king. If all you do is meet with your mentor or study about him in books, you’re not going to get much from this relationship. Once you have selected your mentor(s) you have to take action. Apply what you have learned!

Your mentor cannot do things for you. You have to do them yourself! This is the most important step with any mentor in your life: applying what you learn. At this point, you have come to the realization of just how important it is to grow personally, you have a world-class mentor to make sure you become the person you need to be in order to reach the top in your field, and now it’s time to apply everything that you learned.

If you find your business not growing or reaping the rewards you were maybe once hoping for, chances are that it has absolutely nothing to do with your actual business but everything to do with you individually. We can have mentors for literally every area of our life, but having one to help you grow personally will be one of the best decisions you ever made in your professional career. The fact is, if you grow personally, it will cross over into your professional life so you can maximize your company’s growth, as well.

Pay it forward. Remember this: Pay it forward. Mentoring is a cycle. Keep this cycle going and return the favor of all the wisdom you have received from your mentor by becoming a mentor yourself. The more you give, the more that will be returned to you. It’s a universal law of life.

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

You Have Good Ideas–Don’t Let Them Disappear

good ideas

Good ideas come and go every second, but what doesn’t happen very often is the capturing of those thoughts. You can have the brightest and sharpest ideas that could take your life and business to a whole new level, but they mean absolutely nothing if they’re pushed aside and forgotten.

It doesn’t matter what our education levels are or where we come from, we all have great and wonderful ideas. The only problem is that most people let the hustle and bustle of life get in the way and interrupt their ability to capture their golden ideas.

Now, you might not come up with the world’s next greatest invention (or maybe you will). But everything we use in our day-to-day lives was once just an idea. Not every idea will be worth a billion dollars, but perhaps one or two of them can change the trajectory of your business and life for the better.

We all have 24 hours in a day, no more or no less than the next person. Think about how many times where an idea or thought comes to mind but you do nothing about it. There really is no value for us if we don’t take the initiative. The other reason why it is so imperative that we capture our ideas is because coincidence or not, some of our best ideas don’t come to us in the office.

Here are three steps to take every day:

Have a system. The best way I have found to capture ideas on a regular basis is to take a systematic approach to it. We all prefer different ways of doing things. Some of us prefer electronic devices while some of us stick to the trusted pen-and-paper route.

Either way, pick what works for you and stick with it. I prefer to log all of my ideas and thoughts into evernote and then at the end of the day analyze each idea. After I dig a little deeper, I transfer the ideas that I may want to act on immediately or in the near future into my moleskin journal.

Pick the good ones. Just because you start capturing your thoughts and ideas doesn’t mean everything that comes to mind is going to be something that you will act on. Finding time alone where you can analyze what you logged for the day helps tremendously. This is where you can determine whether a specific idea is worthy of your time. Throw out what’s useless.

Make it a habit. Just like with any new habit that we try to adopt into our everyday lives, it takes time. I truly believe that if you make a determined effort on a regular basis to capture your ideas, it will greatly benefit your personal and professional life.

Of all the great men and women I have had the fortune to work with, they all knew the importance of keeping track of their thoughts and ideas. Stick with it.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Five Ways to Change the Odds

5 ways to change the odds

I love America. Where else can someone come from absolutely nothing and go on to create an extraordinary life?

When the odds are stacked against you, it’s so easy to become the statistic everyone expects from you. How does one escape their bleak fate and go on to achieve noteworthy success? How do men and women with very little resources, horrific backgrounds and less-than-promising circumstances end up making history and reaching world-class levels in their line of work?

They each committed to changing their odds. Here are five ways you can, too.

1. Relentless work ethic. 

Countless men and women have overcome obstacles to create everlasting masterpieces. Their key to success is a relentless work ethic. Be willing to outwork the others. Arrive earlier, stay later, do more than is expected of you. Strive to be the best in your field. Take pride in yourself and your work.

2. Unbreakable self-belief.

Life can be tough. Don’t wear the labels people will try to give you. Albert Einstein was once labeled “mentally handicapped” for not speaking until the age of four. His name is now synonymous with “genius.” Shed the limitations and develop expectations for yourself. Begin by seeing yourself as a valuable member of society. Become that. Believe with obstinate conviction that your future is bigger than where you are and where you were.

3. Keep knocking. 

Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of all time, took 1,000 attempts to make a light bulb that worked. Where would we be if Edison had given up after the 900th time? When asked, Edison said, “I have not failed 999 times, I have simply found 999 ways how not to create the light bulb.” Keep knocking, keep persisting, no matter how long it takes you.

4. Seek positive role models.

Study great men and women who have already reached their pinnacle of success. The vast majority overcame substantial odds.

Your role model can simply be a person of character you want to strive to become. Whether it be the discipline of your mother, work ethic of your father, or a marriage like your grandparents, seek these individuals out. Ask lots of questions and take notes. Try making a list of five people who can be a positive role model in your life and find a way to get in touch with them. You just might be surprised at the response you receive.

5. Create opportunity.

Changing the odds begins by taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and creating opportunities when there seemingly isn’t one.

One of the core reasons why many miss golden opportunities is because they are thinking in terms of instant gratification. They aren’t willing to lay the groundwork for opportunities to bloom down the road. Laying a firm foundation will allow opportunity to sprout in the future.

Understand that opportunities aren’t always going to come your way. People who wait for the door of opportunity to swing wide open so they can waltz through will likely be waiting a lifetime. Sometimes you have to walk right up to that locked door, size it up and begin breaking it down.

The odds will run your life unless you decide that you are the captain of your ship. What you do when confronted with challenge, the attitude you choose, will dictate your outcome. Focus on your destiny with all into your passion and you will end up at the right destination.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

What the NFL Taught Me About Being a Motivated Entrepreneur

Let’s face it, entrepreneurs and business owners deal with more stress, challenges and setbacks than most. As the going gets hard, motivation levels tend to decrease drastically.

The experience and amount of hardships that come along with entrepreneurship is a lot like a roller coaster. Things start off slow, then, in a blink of an eye rapidly shoot out the gate, offering up plenty of twists and turns along the way. Hopefully, at the end of the ride your arms are high in the air in complete satisfaction.

That said, those twist and turns are trying times where pressure and frustration may have you second guessing what exactly it is you got yourself into. That’s why it’s very important we take control of our emotions and find ways to fire ourselves up.

As a former professional athlete, I had to constantly program my mind and motivate myself even in the midst of some of the most difficult times in my life. These are the exact same strategies I have been implementing into my everyday life for the past ten years which have helped me achieve some audacious goals as an entrepreneur.

Here is what I have learned along the way about staying motivated all day long.

Carry a ‘trigger card’ around with you everywhere you go.

I call it a “trigger” card because one glance at this notecard should have you fired up and ready to take things to the next level immediately. It consists of writing your two most important goals on a notecard in the present tense as if you already accomplished them. On the flip side of the card, pick two to three quotes that really move and inspire you. Whenever you are feeling down or unmotivated, pull your trigger card out and read it over a few times.

Talk to yourself like a champion.

Thinking positive and empowering thoughts is one thing but talking to yourself like a champion, reconditions your thought process in an instant. With power and conviction, repeat phrases such as, “I am the greatest at what I do,” “There is nothing that I can’t do when I fully commit myself,” and “There is nothing ordinary about me. I am a champion.”

Rewrite your goals at some point throughout the day.

It is important to pick a time (or two) during the day to rewrite your goals. From my experience, I have observed that a majority of people have goals wandering around in their head, yet, only a small percentage have clear, written out goals and an even smaller percentage rewrite their goals daily. Throughout our hectic day we become very susceptible to fall off track and forget about what we are striving towards. This alone can take motivation levels to the next level throughout the work day.

Search for ways to grow and invest in your personal development.

This is a complete game changer. Constantly feed your mind with material that will uplift your spirit and help you grow in your line of work. Try turning off the music and indulging in a good audio book during your commute to work. Read for 10 to 15 minutes on your lunch break. Reach out to a friend or mentor who always seems to leave you in a more positive and motivated place.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com