Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

4 Laws of Success Any Ambitious Person Should Know

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 2.26.57 PMBy Kaihan Krippendorff

You’ve felt it before: you create an intention – you want to leave your job, start a strategic project at work, write a book, start a new venture – but instead of truly living that intention, you are waiting, like a shy high-schooler at your first school dance, for a reason to jump in.

I felt this myself last week. I was burning to get into the game, to finish my PhD and launch a consulting firm. But the usual mental blocks emerged: can I do it when I’ve failed before? Is this really my calling? Will I see it to the end without getting discouraged or bored? Why start today when there is always tomorrow?

And as I sat there on the edge, contemplating these questions, the game was underway without me.

How do you get out of the stands and get in the game?

To answer this, I studied three books – The Four Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling, Ownership Thinking by Brad Adams, and Strategy Maps by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton – and put myself into the Fortune Magazine Gazelles Leadership Conference where I heard from a powerful line-up of business thinkers including Daniel H. Pink (To Sell is Human), Jim Loehr (The Power of Full Engagement), and Jack Stack (The Great Game of Business). Along the way, I also interviewed two CEOs and a naval captain who oversees a big chunk of strategic execution for the Southern Command.

There were four key themes that these books and speakers repeatedly touched on. They are the closest hints we have to universal laws of success:

  1. Create a game: Remove the seriousness from your decision by conceiving it as a game. You play to win, but if you lose, there is another game coming. This frames the game in a series of sprints and provides a healthy dose of detachment, which will have you playing with more energy. I realized my ambition to start a consulting firm seemed daunting because I viewed my new firm as a permanent extension of me, like the only painting I would ever paint. Instead now I think of it as a game called “launch and build in five years the world’s first true strategic innovation firm … something that will live on without me.” Knowing that this game is not the last you will ever play will liberate you.

  2. Name the game: To win the game, you need to always remember you are playing it. This helps if you have a memorable name. Pick a name that is short, fits a metaphor, rhymes and/or evokes a story. Game names I have seen work include “Win the Lighthouse,” “5 by 5,” and “The 180.” We haven’t named our game yet, but I am going to propose “tent pole” – we need four to five core clients to be the poles to our tent.

  3. Pick one score: My 3-year old son just started playing soccer. Now, he doesn’t know off-sides from out-of-bounds, but he does know one thing – the goal is to make a goal – and that drives him around like a bee in search of honey … “Get the ball in the net!” Similarly, your game should have one score. Sure you will have other KPIs (key performance indicators) to track, but in any given year, in any given quarter, focus yourself and your team on just one goal. The most important goal for my consulting firm is pipeline value. Later on we may switch our score to “client satisfaction” or “intellectual property,” but if we don’t win enough clients now, we’ll never get a chance to play those games.

  4. Monitor the board: Nearly every source I read or heard touched on the need to keep the score top of mind for you and your team by reviewing it in a rapid rhythm. I missed a flight once because I was on the phone and didn’t see the boarding notice. My client was visibly stressed out when an hour before I was set to take the stage, they had 500 people seated, but I still hadn’t walked through the door. Everything worked out. The following flight got me in just in time. But now in airports I check the board every three minutes and I haven’t missed a plane since. My team and I have set up a daily “huddle” and weekly “opportunity call” to track our board.

This all it takes to jump into action: create a game, name the game, pick one score, and monitor the board. Do it now. It will take 20 minutes and the results could pay off for a life time.

What Does It Take to Be a Charismatic Leader?

2009 Five Presidents George W. Bush, President Elect Barack Obama, Former Presidents George H W Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter PortraitWhat are the secrets to charisma? Is it something you are born with or can you develop it over time?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra outlines three key ingredients to charisma, demonstrated by the greatest leaders in history. Leadership may come more naturally to some than to others, such as Deepak’s example of Bill Clinton, but we can all learn to practice these skills over time. They are what Deepak teaches in his “Soul of Leadership” course at Kellogg School of Management, and also in his book by the same name.

The three keys to charisma:

1. Be completely present in the moment. Make those you interact with feel that they are the most important person in that moment.

2. Be responsive to feedback but immune to both criticism and flattery. You will not be offended by criticism, and your actions will not be influenced by flattery.

3. Radiate warmth through compassion, empathy, joy, and equanimity.

Who is the most charismatic leader you know? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well, and check out Deepak’s book The Soul of Leadership

Top Three Myths of Entrepreneurship

Being an entrepreneur is both rewarding and challenging. People who aren’t entrepreneurs have a lot of misconceptions about people who are: you’re a renegade, you don’t play by the rules, you have unlimited wealth and resources. Being an entrepreneur has a certain mystique. It’s romantic, kind-of sexy to be able to set your own schedule, turn down jobs that you don’t want. But the truth? It’s a lot of hard work! It has its ups and downs, but it is a thing of beauty when it all comes together. Here are some of the myths I’ve come across in my years in the entrepreneurial ring, and what I’ve learned from it all.

 
Myth #1 – Own Business = Quick Money.
 
Fact – There is no such thing as easy money – unless you’ve won the lottery! It’s important to not become obsessed with your money-making desires. Starting your own business is not just about the profits. It is also about enjoying the process of having created something that is wholly yours. Running a business is about long-term success, not the quick turnaround. Plan your work, and work your plan. You can’t go into business expecting to have instant success, or that you will naturally earn profits, or that they will come quickly. Plan to scrimp for the first year or two. So if you have a product or service that is in demand, take your time and do it right, and make sure that growing too fast doesn’t sink your business.
 
Myth #2 – Entrepreneurs are born, not made.
 
Fact – Success takes practice, time and dedication. Nothing more. I sometimes think that this myth is perpetuated by entrepreneurs themselves in order to feed their own ego! There isn’t anything that you can’t learn to do, especially when you have a fervent passion for something. Focused thoughts and smart implementation are what you need to work the entrepreneurial field. I like what Thomas Jefferson said – “The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Sometimes all we see is the result, and we forget about all the sweat, tears and hard work that went in to that result. And isn’t it wonderful to know that you could bring that kind of “luck” to yourself?
 
Myth #3 – You must be in the right place at the right time.
 
Fact – Right where you are is the right place and time. But people who choose to believe this myth are a cautious bunch. They plan their hours of work carefully, in addition to cautiously selecting where they are going to set up their shop to coincide with the stars’ alignment. Every card must be in place. They cannot stomach the notion of failing. With all the good faith and might of their gods, their business will not fail. Unfortunately, it is their business that will not see the light of day. You make adjustments to your business, sometimes quite drastic changes – but you don’t close up shop. When the going gets tough, change your game plan!
 
These three myths all deal with scenarios that are “supposedly” out of our control – but isn’t it amazing to think that it’s all about what we do with what we are given that makes the difference?
 
 
A self-made millionaire by 31, international speaker and author Melissa Evans is The Guru of Implementation and President of The Broshe Group, a consulting firm that helps businesspeople Monetize their Soul/Sole Purpose – to live abundantly and passionately. Download your free special report, “10 Myth Busters About Entrepreneurship That Could Derail You”: www.broshegroup.com 

 

You Can’t Lead In Fear

You can't lead in fearFear ruins more bright lives than you might imagine. Each of us, by virtue of our very human nature, has the potential to Lead Without Title and achieve great things that elevate everyone around us by our model of possibility. But the chattering voice of fear in our heads stops us from playing big.

A little while back I had the chance to spend 3 weeks in New Zealand. And just before I returned home, I had the opportunity to go heli-skiing. Yes, this is where a helicopter drops you off at the top of a mountain, and you ski down.

The experience was challenging, exhilarating and full of rich lessons for growth. Here are some of them, that we can apply to business and life:

1. You Don’t Grow In Normal
All I mean by this is that if you stay within your comfort zone, you don’t grow. But if you instead stretch and face fear head on by going to your limits, you’ll discover your limits will grow.

2. You Don’t Know Until You Try
It would have been easy to refuse the chance to heli-ski. I could have made a thousand excuses. But Leaders Without a Title recognize good opportunities. So I seized it. And because I tried heli-skiing, I not only grew as a skier, I added another experience to my life that will shape all I do.

3. On the Other Side of Your Fears You’ll Find Your Confidence
By doing what we’re afraid to do because it’s beyond our comfort zone, we grow in confidence. The increased confidence I have as a skier because I skied a new peak will translate to increased confidence as an entrepreneur and as a human being.

4. Life’s Short So Get In The Game
A rich life is one made up of many rich adventures. Don’t miss out on enjoying as many as you can.

Keep Leading Without A Title.

Robin Sharma

P.S. Connect with me on facebook.

11 Obsessions Of Remarkable Entrepreneurs

Recently I delivered a three-hour presentation for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization in Vancouver. I was really delighted to share my ideas on what it takes to be a world-class entrepreneur. The productivity habits of best entrepreneurs, and ultimately how you build a fast growth company while actually cultivating a better lifestyle. A lifestyle where you have more fun and more balance.

And I wanted to share the 11 Obsessions of Remarkable Entrepreneurs with you. Because I shared a lot of the ideas with them and I wanted to offer them to you so you can multiply your profits, build a truly great small company while creating a truly exceptional lifestyle.

The 11 Obsessions of Remarkable Entrepreneurs

1. Remarkable Entrepreneurs understand the quality of the practice determines the caliber of the performance

The Pro Athlete Protocol: Prepare Yourself Mentally, Physically + Emotionally

2. Bureaucrats talk about people and problems, Remarkable Entrepreneurs talk about possibilities and solutions

Focus on results and get things done. What’s the opportunity here? How can we leverage this situation. Focus on possibilities. Results. Results. Results.

3. Remarkable Entrepreneurs understand they are paid not just to work, but they are paid to be scared

The best entrepreneurs play out on the edges and take calculated risks. Challenge the way you performed yesterday. Take calculated risks.

4. To have what only 1% of the entrepreneurial population have, you must be willing to do what only 1% of the entrepreneurial population are willing to do

The best entrepreneurs do what’s difficult, what causes them to stretch and what requires commitment. Be committed. Be willing to do what the few do. Develop the leaders around you. Go into silence. Work on your customer experience. Have acute clarity on your 90 day goals. Work on your goals. Build relationships and trust. Persist.

5. Bureaucrats are threatened by change, Remarkable Entrepreneurs are inspired by change

The best entrepreneurs understand that a change is required to get to the next level of profits, success and fulfillment. Go through the confusion to get to the clarity.

6. Bureaucrats have jobs, Remarkable Entrepreneurs have crafts

Develop your talents and make a dent in the universe. Do something you are proud of. Elicit the best within you. The best entrepreneurs aren’t in it for the money, they’re in it for the pride they feel on creating world-class products and doing genius-level work.

7. Remarkable Entrepreneurs understand an addiction to distraction is the death of creative production

The best entrepreneurs understand the key in business is to shift out of complexity + busy-ness to simplicity + focus. Focus on the few high leverage activities that will get you to where you want to be.

8. Bureaucrats wait until they get the energy, Remarkable Entrepreneurs understand that to get the energy you must first do the work

When you do the Work You Will Receive The 3 Entrepreneurial Gifts:
1. Release of more motivation 2. Release of confidence 3. Release of energy

9. Remarkable Entrepreneurs understand the bigger the dream the more important the team

Leadership is about influence – moving people to action by your example. Leadership is about impact – less talk more results. Leadership is about inspiration – grow other leaders

10. Remarkable Entrepreneurs populate their lives with people whose lives they want to be living

Surround yourself with people and environments that inspire you. Obsessive attention to excellence. Create worlds that inspire you.

11. Remarkable Entrepreneurs are obsessed fundamentally with giving

Ask yourself not what can I get, ask yourself who may I help. Business is about producing unusual value for as many people as possible.

Make Your Business Awesome.

Robin Sharma

P.S. Watch the video for The 11 Obsessions of Remarkable Entrepreneurs.

P.P.S. My friend John Warrillow’s excellent new book about building a company that you can sell launches this week. Get it now and and you’ll also receive some cool bonus gifts. Details here.

Eat Your Mistakes Whole

 “There’s no such thing as a mistake.” Ha!

This is one of my favourite New Age doozers. Puhleez. Like, getting hosed because you didn’t get it in writing wasn’t a major drag. And spilling your friend’s secret to the wrong person burnt that bridge to a crisp. Or not saying “yes!” to the one that got away – well, THAT sucked. There are such things as mistakes. Major eff-ups and human stupidity happens to the best of us. The rest of us are in denial.

 

And yes, yes, mistakes are positively divine, each one moves us forward – even the ones that flip your world upside down. I’ve never made a mistake that I didn’t learn to love. But before we spiritualize and shellac the error of our ways, it’s incredibly useful to put our faux pas under the microscope. It’s liberating. It’s grown up. It’s dignified. And best of all, once you see your mistakes for what they are – you are more certain to good and truly move on!

Give it a go: Admit to your mistakes. Just admit it. No one else is listening. Make a pathetic, grizzly list of all the “sooo should not have’s” in your life. Don’t resist it. Clean house! (I’ll go first: should not have done a 50/50 deal with X, should not have shared the news that G’s wife was having an affair with his…sister, should not have struck a "creative control" deal with last publisher, should not have gotten B’s name tattooed on my ass.)

 

I wager that rather than feeling grossed out, you might get kind of giddy – eventually. You could feel the rush of knowing better, the delight of being the wiser for your wear. A subtle sense of compassion may start wafting into your being. Okay, maybe you still feel like a total dork. But find solace in your maturity. Because it takes courage to look your life squarely in the eye and admit your humanity. Humility clears the path to higher knowing…or a good laugh.

 

Danielle LaPorte is the creator of WhiteHotTruth.com … which has been called the best place online for kick-ass spirituality. An inspirational speaker and CBC TV commentator, Danielle helps entrepreneurs rock their career with her signature Fire Starter Sessions. You can find her on Twitter @daniellelaporte

 

 

4 Questions To Shine Light On Your Vocation

 Here are a few sparks of The Burning Questions that I ask my Fire Starter clients:

1. What do people thank you for most often? 

 

What do they come to you for, or say about you most frequently {"positive" or "negative"}?

 

Gratitude leads you back to your strengths. The greatest leverage you have for a return on investment is by investing in your natural talents and using them generously.

 

2. When do you feel powerful, on fire, free, incredibly useful? What do you get excited by?

 

True and sustainable success is fueled by pure inspiration. Always.

 

3. When someone at a party asks you what you do, what do you say? {And how do you feel when you say it?}

 

With truth comes grace and healthy pride … and every entrepreneur needs a slam dunk cocktail line.

 

4. What do you think your form of genius is, what are you amazing at {work or life related?}

 

Everybody is amazing at something — whether it’s being a loyal friend, crunching numbers, motivating people or throwing great parties. {And your genius is a cousin to your joy.}

 

Danielle LaPorte is the creator of WhiteHotTruth.com … which has been called the best place online for kick-ass spirituality. An inspirational speaker and CBC TV commentator, Danielle helps entrepreneurs rock their career with her signature Fire Starter Sessions. You can find her on Twitter @daniellelaporte

 PHOTO (cc): Flickr / greekadam

Fear Management vs. Fear Leadership

 The song of an entrepreneur…

Secretly, I’m afraid we won’t raise the money. But it’s okay. I can plow through that fear. We’ll raise the money, and everything will be okay. We’ll raise the money and stand the business up. We’ll have to hit our targets, get the customers in the door, run hard with the marketing plan. Yeah, it’s scary. What if they don’t come? What if they come but don’t buy? What if they buy, but not enough? It’s okay, I can manage that fear. It’ll work. I’ll make it work and everything will be okay. We’ll do this.

What if you don’t do it? What if you, say, "fail"? Does that mean that fear wins? How much do you need to be more than "okay"?

While we’re busy managing fear, fear can be managing us. It’s still creeping in, grabbing at our pant leg, begging to be paid attention to. And fear can always find a reason to get your attention – that’s it’s job – to get you to feed it. But what about the flu? (feed me!) But what about the market? (feed me!) But what about ten years from now? (feed me!) But what will they think? (feed me!)

Beyond coping with fear there is fearlessness. Because, here’s the white hot truth: if you go bankrupt, you’ll still be okay. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you’ll still be okay. If you sing off key, get beat by the competition, have to hand in the keys, you will still be okay. Ask anyone who’s been through it. They’re more than okay. People survive and they learn to thrive. It’s life. It’s business.

Don’t manage your fear. Lead your fear. Take charge. When fear climbs on your shoulder and starts nattering in your ear, here’s what you do: You stand as a master. You tell Scaredy Cat where you’re going, risks and all, and you convert Scaredy into a champion to help you get there. You say, lovingly but firmly (because ultimately the Scaredy Cat in you just wants some love and you’ve got plenty of it to give,) "Yep, we may fail, it’s possible. This is risky stuff. But we’ll still be okay. Because that’s who we are. We’re the kind of people that are okay, no matter what. So remember that invincibility and let’s get to work. There’s a new land to discover and the only way to find it is to keep going – cliffs, cash flow, agony, adulation and all. If you keep your mouth shut and your eyes wide open, we’ll get there sooner. We’re doing this. We’re doing this because we want to. Because this is what it means to do life."

And then watch what Scaredy Cat does. She’ll look perplexed for a minute. She’ll nuzzle up, as if to say thank you. And then she’ll strut down the street to help you recruit some new business.

Danielle LaPorte is the creator of WhiteHotTruth.com … which has been called the best place online for kick-ass spirituality. An inspirational speaker and CBC TV commentator, Danielle helps entrepreneurs rock their career with her signature Fire Starter Sessions. You can find her on Twitter @daniellelaporte

 PHOTO (cc): Flickr / tranchis

Discipline

It is a great irony that today is the day that the principle of Discipline is up for posting. I am in Vancouver at the home of a friend and colleague whose internet service is out for a few days. To post this email I have to squeeze a drive to an internet café in before dinner – with some degree of effort, since the flow of the day did not facilitate posting this. Why do I do this? Well, “discipline” is one good answer. Exercising consistent practice, in spite of challenging circumstances, is powerful. And while there are exceptions to every rule, and flexibility can also be a virtue, as long as it does not become fanatical and create harm, discipline builds character, trust, and steadiness.

My colleague Elad Levinson has more reflection on Discipline below.

Yours in Working for Good,

Jeff

“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.” ~ Roy Smith

Discipline comes from the root word disciple which meant in the olde school vernacular to place your head in service of the heart.

A disciple is one who serves a higher cause.

Discipline has that quality of transcending emotions and excuses, and moving as the spirit of Nike the goddess of Victory (and footwear) suggests to “just do it.” Discipline is the training that we take on to become better at what we are committed to bringing about.

It is both an attitude and action, reflecting the embodiment of commitment. The attitude of discipline is one of I am deeply committed to this project or person or relationship and I will do whatever is needed to stay with the process of working upon it. As a set of actions and behaviors it is an aggregate of skills and tools for training the mind and body to fulfill our intention and commitment.

Discipline is an essential ingredient for cultivating mastery, which is another essential principle of Working for Good.

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” ~ Lao Tsu

“We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives.” ~ George Leonard

LINKS
George Leonard Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long Term Fulfillment
Tao te Ching translation by Stephen Mitchell

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