Key to Success: Letting Go of Fear

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Whether in business or in life, success doesn’t come easy. But when you achieve it, you get to enjoy not only the rewards of your achievement but the joy of accomplishment. However, if you find that you never seem to quite achieve the level of success you desire, you may be holding on to one thing: fear.

Fear is a very tricky and complex feeling to have. On one hand, fear can propel you to work harder, do better, and strive for more. But more often than not, fear can be crippling. Whatever your dreams are, fear can hold you back from them. Fear is also not rational – it can cause you to justify even the most irrational of situations.

So why do we hold on to fear? Why don’t we we just let it go and take risks? The answer is pretty simple: we use fear as an excuse. It causes us to think about the worse outcomes and how much we’ll falter if we fail. It makes us think that the reward isn’t worth the sacrifice.

However, to achieve anything in life, we can’t think that way. Success doesn’t just happen and most of the time, you need to take a risk. If you’re ready to let go of fear and achieve success, you need to:

1) Look at the glass half full

Attitude is a contributing factor to fear. If you have a pessimistic outlook, the fear you feel will be multiplied. Instead of seeing the worse in everything, look at the glass half full. You have much more potential than you give yourself credit for. If you work towards it, nothing is out of reach.

2) Have a plan

Many people are fearful of taking drastic steps, especially in their careers, because they put all their eggs in one basket. If Plan A fails, they don’t have a Plan B. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Have a back up plan, no matter how basic it is. Even the most successful of people know that nothing is a sure thing.

3) Accept failure

And finally, the most crucial part of letting go of fear: accepting failure. Accept that you may not succeed at everything. Accept that failure is a part of life. And accept that failure may actually be good for you. Failure is a learning experience and if nothing else, you know what not to do again.

Spring Cleaning Must Dos for Every Entrepreneur

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Spring is upon us, which naturally means Spring cleaning! Now, when I say Spring cleaning, you might automatically think about cleaning out your house of all the unnecessary things you’ve acquired over this past year and potentially having a garage sale. While I do mean that, you can also apply the same idea to your business, if you’re an entrepreneur.

When you’re running your own business, you need to constantly reevaluate it but certainly after every year. Alot can happen and change in 12 months and it’s necessary to take a step back and analyze it from afar. This is crucial to maintaining the health of your business and what you find might even surprise you.

For every small business and every entrepreneur, here are your “Spring cleaning” must do’s:

Analyze the profitability of your business.

This may be obvious but take some time to analyze the profitability of your business. Simply put, is your revenue greater than your expenses? If not, you’re going in the wrong direction. It may also be a good idea to hire the help of a accountant or a financial advisor, who can give you unbiased advice. Numbers may not be your forte so find someone whose is.

Evaluate yourself, your employees, and your partners

A business’ most prized asset is its people and its crucial for you, as a small business owner, to understand that. If you do have employees, you should evaluate them on their performance. Are they exceling or underwhelming? As an entrepreneur, it may be tough to let people go but it’s something you may need to do. Similarly, you need to evaluate your vendors and partners as well. Are they the most cost efficient option? Your business is always evolving and your needs will change. Lastly, don’t forget to evaluate yourself. As the leader, take a step back and see if you’re doing everything you can support the growth of your business.

Look at what your competitors have done

Any business needs to keep track of it’s competitors. Otherwise, you can get pushed out of a industry very quickly, Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Can you offer customers even better, if not the same? If you can’t, you’re not on the right course.

Take steps to move your business forward

Like the garage sale I mentioned, it’s also time to think about how you can move your business forward. It may mean letting go of certain partners or goals. However, this will be vital to the long term health of your business. Making tough decisions now will help you build a foundation for the future.

 

FRIDAY FIVE: Small Biz LinkedIn Tips, Telling Your Story, and America’s Top Job Creators

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Causes of small biz failure; LinkedIn tips, and America’s top jobs creators — all in this week’s “Friday Five” can’t-miss tweets from the past week:

Yes! You, Too, Can be Productive!

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We talk a lot on this blog about how to be more productive. In many ways, we often associate productivity with how much we can jam into a certain period of time. For many people, the more things they accomplish, the more productive they deem themselves to be.

While this is often true, it isn’t always the case. Productivity is hard to measure and sometimes we only think or count the tangible things – such as how many reports we finished, errands we ran, or emails we replied to. But at the same time, we have to think about the things are aren’t tangible. Being truly productive encompasses much more than just checking things off a to do list.

Are you spending your time efficiently?

Even though you might be getting a lot done, are you spending your time efficiently? Of course, we all know that there is limited amount of time in a day and the one mistake people often make it not spending their time on the right things. What will make the biggest impact? What are your priorities? People have a tendency to sweat the small stuff, when in the end, only the big picture counts. Even though you might be doing a lot in a short amount of time, you may be able to spend your time more wisely.

Stress is a factor, too.

The need to be productive can lead to stress. While a little stress can be a motivational force, too much of it is never a good thing. Stress can actually negatively impact our mental and physical health. If you feel like the need to get everything done by a certain time is taking over your life, you need to take a step back. Your overall happiness is important too. Don’t get carried away with the notion that you need to be as productive as possible.

Time “off” is not always wasted time.

There is sometimes a guilt associated with taking time off or taking a vacation. People feel like it gives the impression that they’re not working hard or not pulling their weight. Unfortunately, that is the sad reality of society these days. Taking time off is OK. Not only is it OK, but it’s necessary. In fact, you’ll be even more productive once you do it. Most don’t realize this but mental health plays a very significant part in how productive you are. A rested and relaxed mind can get a lot more done than a tired, overworked mind. And it can do it better.

So yes, there is such a thing as being too productive. The optimal levels of productivity are different for everyone. What may work for someone else may not work for you. Find your own balance.

Baby Break!

My wife and I had our fourth child last week, so I’m taking a bit of a breather from posting this week.  I hope to post again later this week and will be back to our regular schedule next week.

Thank you!