Be Self-Productive In Business

Stress is part of life. Overcoming stress is the first step towards becoming self-productive. We shall share some tips with you regarding self-productivity. By reading this article, you can turn into a self-productive person.

Be Self-Productive

Take time off from the tough schedules

Being an entrepreneur has its advantages. You have the liberty to spend more time with what you love doing. However, this is the theory. In practice, you find the situation as exactly the opposite. You find entrepreneurs working very hard throughout the day for long periods. This takes a toll on your productivity. The best way to get out of this rut is to take time off from your work.

Keep your work area clean:

Heavy clutter at the workspace can have a negative effect on your psyche. This can cause the flow of negative energy into the system. Keeping your work area clean can remove the entire negative energy, which will allow you to focus more on your work thereby leading to more productivity.

Take your time doing things:

People have the wrong impression that rushing through things is the best way to remain ahead of the field. In fact, it is not so. Life is a marathon and not a 100-meter sprint that you can blaze your way through. Therefore, the formula for success is to take one thing at a time. Take your time to do things. Understanding and assimilating the situation can work wonders for you in business.

Disconnect occasionally:

This is the age of technology. You find people connected to the internet all the time. Have you ever tried disconnecting occasionally? This is a great thing to do. This activity can help you regain your focus thereby increasing your productivity a great deal. Your mind becomes free when you disconnect and this freedom is essential for your overall development in life.

Sleep more:

When we say, “Sleep More,” we mean that you should take care of your health a great deal. Having a healthy body is the key to a healthy mind. In order to increase your productivity, you should have a healthy mind. This will help you make the right decision at the right time in the right manner.

Enjoy your work:

A successful entrepreneur is one who enjoys his or her work. The secret of being self-productive lies in the ability of the business entrepreneur to spot new trends among his or her fellow employees. In order to achieve this, he or she has to enjoy working more.

How To Get Free Business Advice From Quora

Get Free Small Business Advice With Engaging Social Communities

Why it’s so great: Quora is a Q&A site where experts actually take the time to seriously answer your questions. You can follow topics like “startups” and “entrepreneurship” and people like Fred Wilson or Mark Zuckerberg

“Answers get voted-up by by the highly populated community.”

So what is Quora anyway? Quora is a platform where questions and answers can be asked and then answered by experts. You can follow any topics on business, small business and marketing. The platform is essentially self policed by up voting like Reddit. The community is highly active and it is an excellent way to learn and ask questions.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

So what is Quora, is it like Wikipedia?

Everyone is very familiar with Wikipedia, it’s used by millions worldwide every hour – if someone is looking for information in Google the first results are typically Wikipedia sites. However I am noticing a change with more options like Quora.

Wikipedia was founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in January 2001. The organization is a non-profit organization that collects donations at its annual fundraiser and through individual donations in order to provide Wikipedia.

Quora is more web and app based with an interactive upvote action.

Quora is question-and-answer site. Quora was founded in June 2009 byAdam D’Angelo. Users can ask personalized questions and these are answered by registered users. The answers can be evaluated by the upvoting system. It is a for-profit company.

So how can I use Quora to help with my Small Business?

How many people use Quora: 200+ million monthly users – 100+ million U.S. 5/10/17

Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its entire community of users if one such user should choose to engage.

  • Every day this happens on Quora
  • Somebody gets some life-changing advice.
  • Somebody gets inspired by people’s real-life stories.
  • Somebody gets professional insights.

Quorum’ (of whom in Latin) itself is genitive plural of ‘Qui’ which means “WHO”. As usual, the intended definition of ‘Quorum” & “Quora” has morphed into a diluted one but understandably so. “Quora”, not surprising, has come to mean a ‘select group’.

Running a business can feel intimidating and sometimes eving isolating, especially in the beginning. With the internet and online communities with professionals, you can ask questions and search related topics and learn.

There are many tools online that can assist you and help grow your business, as well as free trials that can simplify your entire campaign marketing process

They’re Your Rules, Break Them!

Congrats on your promotion. Here’s your cap and your badge. I’ve just made you the head of a military fighting force. Bad news: you happen to be at war. Worse, you’re up against a superior force.

Now, here’s what the stats show will probably happen: If your military takes on a superior force in the conventional way, you have no more than a 28.5 per cent chance of winning.

However, if you refuse to play by the accepted rules of the game, your chances of winning, as verified by a study of wars spanning 200 years of human history, go up to a whopping 63.3 per cent. That’s a switch from ‘probably will lose’ to ‘probably will win’.

Do I have your attention?

Sometimes, breaking the rules is incredibly effective. In the business world, the same dynamic applies. You can topple industry giants if you act unconventionally. Sometimes, breaking the right rules can hand you an industry on a platter.

Rules and norms accumulate over time

As we explore the art of strategic rule-breaking, this idea is important: no system naturally tends towards simplicity. Left to evolve, everything becomes more complex, as each contributor builds new layers of rules and norms on top of old ones. Increasing complexity is actually the path of least resistance. Simplicity, far from being a natural state, requires intelligent design.

It’s a big part of the reason that so little disruptive innovation comes from within an industry. Taxi drivers didn’t invent Uber, and bankers didn’t invent PayPal, because the people within these industries think through the lenses of their own complex norms. It takes a rule-breaking maverick to see a thing afresh and venture that there might be a better way.

Fight complexity

Take Steve Jobs’s obsession with simple, clean, elegant design. In no small part, it’s what saved Apple upon his return to the company. But it meant saying no to a great many things. No to an extensive product range – keep it simple. No to extra buttons – keep it simple. No to excessive complexity – the system must be easy and intuitive to operate.

Clearing away clutter, resisting the creep of added complexity and disbanding out-dated rules requires a simplicity champion. It requires leadership willing to challenge existing systems.

How much do bad rules really cost you?

At the most glib level, mindless adherence to rules is merely annoying, sometimes even the stuff of comedy (Google the Little Britain skit ‘Computer says no’). But is that sufficient justification to embark on a campaign to overhaul your systems?

It turns out we can do a lot better than that. There are plenty of compelling reasons for reducing and relaxing the rules in your organisation. Here are 6 of them.

As part of your own efforts to change the rules-based culture at your company, this list may be useful as you begin to persuade others to your point of view. Why not present it at your next staff meeting? Ask attendees if they’ve seen real-world examples of each idea. Let their passionate discussion begin to drive the change:

The cost of rules

1. Speed

Rules entail processes that have to be followed. Each process may take a small amount of time in isolation. But pile rule upon rule and even a simple procedure can become an unreasonably slow process. The slower things happen, the greater the total lethargy.

Sometimes useful things are not allowed to happen at all, because a rule flat out prevents them from being done. Other times, a useful idea can’t get to market quickly enough. It took Google two years to get all the vetting they needed from Legal and Marketing to release Google+. By then, Facebook had such a critical mass that Google’s excellent compliance didn’t matter.

2. Willingness

When simple acts are slow to do because of the burden of procedures, the willingness to do them drops. People perceive that going above and beyond is too much trouble. They are trained and conditioned to actively reduce their contribution.

With decreased speed and increased procedures, the word ‘no’ is heard so often it becomes a form of cultural conditioning. ‘No’ trains away initiative and propensity for risk-taking. ‘No’ starts to become normative. It becomes your organisation’s default setting.

3. Mistrust

The greater the weight of the rules, the more you need people watching people, in order to enforce those rules. In an ideal organisation, where people are trustworthy and operate in a high-trust environment, you require only one person to police each person: themselves. Hierarchy becomes zero-sum and need not accumulate.

4. Loss of talent

Feelings of empowerment and a sense of purpose are among the chief needs of employees. Feelings of disempowerment are strong incentives to leave. Maintain a sense of powerlessness and frustration long enough, and you might haemorrhage top talent.

In a rules-based culture, the highly obedient, low-initiative workers stay; the frustrated innovators and high-initiative workers leave. Taken to its logical conclusion, everyone who remains blindly obeys the rules and kowtows to authority, because no one has the ‘radical value’ not to. You create the conditions for extreme groupthink.

5. Security trumping risk-taking

In cases when rules directly contradict goals, your people will tend to choose safety and job security over risk and bold action. The possibility of messy innovation attempts is shut down, precluding the possibility of smartcuts that can equal exponential growth. Multiply this behaviour and eventually no risks are taken, severely diminishing potential.

6. Silos galore

In a high-rules culture, people tend not to focus on the big picture. They lose sight of the mission. They are terrified of contradicting the internal norms and rules of their team or division, and will tend to prioritise behaviour that creates safety for themselves within that smaller division (silo), over behaviour that helps the company as a whole. They may not even know how their contribution helps the organisation, which can create immense conflict between divisions. Unfortunately, your competition will not honour your internal divisions. They may see opportunity in such weakness.

The result of these accumulated costs will be that growth will only happen incrementally in your organisation, if at all.

They also introduce all the inherent dangers of a behemoth that is unable to adapt to change.

Think of it like an old locomotive steam train, running with irresistible momentum on set railway lines. You may run your behemoth to optimised perfection, but if you’re the Kodak of your industry, making film, and you can’t adapt your optimised perfection to the new reality of digital, your optimised behemoth will run, perfectly and unswervingly, with great and irresistible momentum, right off the edge of a cliff. Disruption kills off the dinosaurs that can’t adapt.

Which rules does your organisation cling to, for no reason other than that the rules have always existed? What if you appointed yourself to champion the drive toward greater simplicity and agility? After all, they’re your rules. You can break them. And the ones who do so strategically acquire the leverage to topple the industry giants. They gift themselves with the space necessary to create truly disruptive innovation.

Five Tips for Young Entrepreneurs

Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. When the economy is soft, and jobs are limited, entrepreneurship is often the best way for a young adult to gain practical experience in their field of choice. To be sure, it can be scary, but so can sitting around waiting for a call for an interview for that perfect position.

With that in mind, here are five tips for planning your first entrepreneurial venture.

1. Find your obsession. “Find your obsession” is different from “follow your passion.” Your passion is something you love doing. Your obsession is something you cannot live without doing. And there’s a difference. A passion is sometimes borne from a hobby, for example, photography. You may be passionate about photography, but when the pressure is on to make money with photography that passion can wane in the drudgery of the daily work. Conversely, if you are obsessive about photography, rarely will any part of the work seem like drudgery. Passion will burn out; obsession rarely does. Obsession is what you need when starting a business.

2. Decide on your operational end-game. Once you find your obsession, ask yourself this: Do you want to have a “practice” or a “business?” A “practice” is a business that is dependent on your direct involvement, whereas a “business” can become independent of your involvement and still be successful.

A “business” in this context is one where you can rely on the collective work of others you employ to produce income, or survive as an ongoing concern if you were unable to work in the business on a daily basis. It can be bought or sold regardless of your involvement.

Having a practice means it is difficult, if not impossible, to separate the work output of the business from your personal output. For example, if you have a unique skill or ability on which the income of your business rests primarily on you to do the work (e.g., an accountant, yoga instructor, consultant, or tattoo artist) you are likely to have a practice. It is unlikely this type of business could not be bought or sold without your involvement.

There’s nothing wrong with either option, but it is important to understand what kind of business operation you want five years after you start because it will shape your decisions today. If you know you are going to be happy making a living as a tattoo artist chasing your obsession, then your business decisions will be made with this in mind. However, if your goal is to have a tattoo shop with ten employees in five years, your approach needs to be different. Keep in mind that most small businesses start as practices and evolve. Moreover, those who just wanted to “do their thing” end up trying to manage a business and are no longer working at their obsession.

3. Start your business “on the side.” Many say “jump” into entrepreneurship without a net. Having done it that way many times, I suggest you do not unless you have no other choice. The financial pressure is too high for most people. The pressure to make rent payments, buy food, and put gas in your car will have you chasing business that isn’t worth your time or in your area of focus so that you can survive. You will lose focus of what you are trying to accomplish, and few obsessions can withstand that pressure. My advice: Start your business on the side if you can. Get or maintain a job to have some income flowing. You will feel less pressure and be able to stay focused on our business goals. Then strive for your “choice number” with your business income.

4. Determine your “choice number.” Your choice number is that number which allows you the opportunity to choose between going full-time with your business or continuing to work for someone else. It is easy to calculate: Add up all of your current monthly expenses (all of them, Netflix, Hulu, gas, car payments, rent, food, beer, or concert tickets), then add 25% more to that number. So, let’s say your monthly expenses add up to $1,500. Add 25% more-$375.00-for emergencies, and you are up to $1,875.00. I would suggest rounding up for a little extra cushion to $2,000. So, $2,000 would be your “choice number.” Once your business is generating $2,000 per month, you have enough money coming in to cover your monthly costs and the choice as to whether to keep your day job or go full-time into your business with some financial security is now yours. Bear in mind the choice number can fluctuate some, so remember to revise accordingly.

5. Take advantage of reputable free resources. There are many, many free resources to help new entrepreneurs. My favorite starting point is SCORE ( http://www.score.org ). There you can find local resources, webinars, on-demand courses, as well as other resources to help you get started. The U.S. Small Business Administration ( https://www.sba.gov ) also offers many free resources and tips. Sometimes your local community college will offer free or low-cost courses for new entrepreneurs.

Although these tips do not cover everything a new entrepreneur might need to know, they are a good starting point for planning your first step into your own business.

Mindset of an Entrepreneur Is Important

mind of an entrepreneur

Various emotions and thoughts cross your mind when engaging in the idea of owning your own business. Many entrepreneurs get a sense of excitement while also feeling overwhelmed. You then relish in the idea that you can be your own boss that writes and cashes your own checks. However, shortly after all the initial excitement has passed, you begin to wonder will my product or service work, will it sell, or will I be able to take care of myself? With so many questions that you establish a great response for, doubts and uncertainty often formulate an antithesis in the shadows of our mind. Preparing and reframing your mindset about yourself and your business will determine how you operate and make your business successful.

I once heard Bishop T. D. Jakes say in his sermon entitled “A Changed Mind,” you can never change your reality without first changing your mind. This statement has stuck with me ever since. It sounds so simple, but when you think about it, it is powerful. How often have you had preconceived notions about someone or something until you interacted with it or them and all a sudden, your perception is no longer the same from before your encounter? For instance, getting on a roller-coaster is frightening (especially the Fury 325 at Carowinds) but once you get on and scream to the top of your lungs when it stops most people want to ride it again. It wasn’t that the ride got less scary it’s just your mindset changed. What you believe will determine how you respond. If you’re constantly thinking, I cannot do this or I know “it” will fail, it is more likely that you will not be successful. It’s not because you did not have a good idea, or you weren’t capable, but you could not see past your doubt to see the success that could have been.

When starting a business, you must understand that there will be natural deterrents that may arise, whether it be capital, office or storage space, or even market potential if you are trying to create a demand. Nevertheless, how you view these obstacles makes all the difference. Having limited capital may require you to utilize every possible resource you may have. Do not be afraid or too prideful to ask for help. Not having enough office or storage space will make you strengthen your organization skills. Creating a demand for your product or service will cause you to be more creative than you ever been. It’s all how you perceive a challenge to be. Even with the unknowns do not allow fear to cripple you, instead let it be a motivator. We have an innate ability to fight or flight in any given situation. Choose to fight! Refuse to give up because of your past mistakes. In fact, reframe those mistakes as learning opportunities and never doubt your ability to break bad habits.

I would also like to stress the importance of having confidence in yourself. Think of it this way, if you had to buy a product or service from Eeyore or Tigger (characters from Christopher Robbin’s Winnie the Pooh) who would you patronize? Eeyore, the humdrum individual who was not sure of himself and found every opportunity to tell you how miserable his life was or Tigger the jovial, outgoing, charismatic who loved to laugh and have fun even when working? I would go for a Tigger every time. How you view yourself is how others will view you. Be your own motivator and surround yourself with cheerleaders. Having a good support system is very integral in the pursuit of turning your dream into a reality.

Finally, as the adage goes, birds of a feather flock together. Surround yourself with successful entrepreneurs. Glean from their past business mistakes and triumphs. Read entrepreneurial magazines and books, network by joining professional groups or clubs, and engage and talk with potential customers about the product or service you are trying to offer. Be unyielding in your pursuit of changing your mindset when it comes to yourself and your business. What you believe is how you will succeed. Believe the best, speak life into your business, and shut down the voice of your insecurities. After all of that take the leap of faith and fly.

Content Marketing for Your Small Business

A large part of engaging social media posts has great content. Just having a profile on multiple Social Media sites isn’t enough to keep followers engaged or attract new customers. To get and hold people’s attention, you need to post new, trending and engaging content consistently.

You’ve probably heard that your social media content should NOT be all promotional for your product or service. Mix it up! Have a variety of different content about a wide range of subjects.

So, what do you talk about across your Social Media Channels, if you aren’t supposed to sell, sell, sell? Try these topics, put your twist on them.

1. Company: Give insight to your business. If people are coming to your pages to learn about who you are and what you do, then some background information is a great place to start. Give your audience a better sense of what’s going on with your business and why they should be your followers.

  • Behind the Scenes Photos
  • Staff Showcase
  • Testimonials
  • Product Photos and Videos
  • Business awards and accomplishments
  • Business News – what’s new?
  • Product tutorials
  • Music Playlist – do you play music in your office? Showcase what you are listening to so your followers can appreciate your taste in music.
  • Company #tbt – Throw Back Thursdays are always fun! Share a photo from when your business was just getting started. Let your followers see how far you’ve come.

2. Audience Engagers: Social Media allows you to interact with a broad audience of customers and potential customers directly. Ask your followers to be engaged, start up a two-way conversation and let your customers know you are listening.

  • Fill in the blanks: My favorite product is___________ or If I had a Million dollars I would ___________ (Be creative)
  • Ask Questions
  • Hold Contests
  • Either or Debate: Everyone loves to share their opinion. Get people to weigh in using an either-or debate. Ask them a question about your company (think this product over that product) or about something that’s trending.
  • Audience Photos: Did your followers/customers attend a meeting/event, ask to see these types of pictures.

3. Business | Industry: Many people like to follow the 80-20 posting ratio. You should post about other stuff 80% of the time and only 20% about you. Show what you know and how your followers can learn from you.

  • Industry News: Post a link to a news article that is related to what you do. Set up Google Alerts using relevant keywords.
  • Infographic: What do people share the most? Images, yes. Images are an effective social media content ideas -, especially regarding shares. Share some helpful information about your business, field, or industry by posting or creating your infographics.
  • Books: Read any good books lately? Will these help your customers/followers? Share, they’ll probably love your reading list too.
  • Share your LinkedIn Groups: Many groups on LinkedIn are a great source of industry/business related info. If you find interesting information share the link with your social media followers so they can join too.
  • Weekly Roundup: Create a top 5 or top 10 list of business news, announcements and anything else you find to be awesome! Share this on a regular schedule will have your followers checking your pages’ week after week to get it. Think This week in…
  • Promote your Partner: Do you have other businesses or professionals that help you get business done? Someone that provides you parts or promotes your services? Plug them into your Social Media strategy by linking their websites or social channels. Ask others to promote your business too.

4. Repurposed Content: Already have content? Repurposing and promoting existing content is an excellent way to fill your news feeds and deliver your message to newer audiences.

  • Blog Posts: Do you have a blog?
  • Re-share an old post: Find a previous social media post that performed well, and re-share it. Chances are your new audience hasn’t seen it.
  • Share Promotional Videos: If you’ve created and uploaded promotional videos on YouTube, share those on your social media channels.

5. Entertainment: Sometimes you just need to have a little fun to get your followers engaged.

  • Memes: Everyone loves a good Meme (you know the funny images with text).
  • Inspirational Quotes: We all can use a little more positivity in our lives. Humorous, inspiring or motivational quotes always perform well.
  • Funny YouTube Videos: Find a video that makes you laugh, then share it with your followers, so that they can laugh too!
  • Posts that show you’re human: Putting a personal face on a company helps people relate. Share occasional posts from your own, non-work life: cute photos from vacations, meals you ate, etc.
  • Holiday Celebrations: Every day is a holiday! Help your followers enjoy each day!
  • Support a Cause: Share what you is important to you, not only for business but in life too.
  • Share a joke: Laughter is the best medicine, right? Share a laugh or an ecard with your fans.

Why Social Media Is Important to Your Small Business

social media

1: It finds your customers and builds clientele

Many of us use Social Media on a regular basis. We use it to stay on top of what’s trending, follow our favorite businesses, post our personal beliefs and so much more. I’d like to think of Social Media as the new “office water cooler” — People are out there talking and they are waiting for your business to show up so they can discuss what you have to offer.

Customers need to trust a business, service or product before purchasing. People tend to trust their friends and loved ones more than anyone else. So, if your customers hear from someone trustworthy, about your product or service, it is reasonable to believe that they are more likely to purchase what you are selling. You could very reasonably market your products and services using, mostly, word of mouth.

Best way to promote your ideas on Social Media is by having your friends and family help you. They can share your business posts/pictures/videos on their accounts and your business will potentially be in the hands of hundreds of new customers. “Sharing is Caring”, Right?

2: It gives you an idea of what people are saying about you and your business

You can keep an eye on what people are saying about you and your business and respond to all posts, good and bad. You can use Google Alerts (www.Google.com/alerts) to see who is talking about you and your brand. On Google Alerts you can create “alerts” with keywords like your name, business name, etc. and when Google finds those in the search engine, they will email you the sites that match those keywords. This is a great way to see what people are saying about you across multiple Social Media Channels.

3: Allows you to get to know your audience and customers.

Social Media opens up the line of communication between business owners and millions of potential customers. Wow! Millions of people could possibly become your customers, that kind of marketing would have been hard to do in the offline world. Communication is key, this is how you will get to know who your customers are and why they fit into your target audience.

You will be able to generate a variety of content to market your products and services. When you are creating great content, your customers will take notice. They will start commenting and reaching out to you. This is your chance to interact with them, have a conversation in real time.

Your goal with content is to get a response from your customers, so you can build a relationship. You can create content such as polls, surveys, contests, videos, Live Q&A sessions, and so much more!

4: It’s an easy and natural way to get your name out there! It introduces your brand and builds awareness.

For the most part Social Media is FREE. What? Free Advertising/Marketing? Yep!! You should be on a variety of Social Channels and create and post engaging content. This will allow your customers to see exactly who you are and what your product / services do for them.

Your business is more accessible this way, think 24/7! People can find you at all times across Social Media. An accessible business means a more trustworthy business, meaning customers can start to build that relationship with you when they can find you.

• You can create customer testimonial videos and add them to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more.

• Let people know about new products, giveaways, partnerships, sponsorships, discounts coupons, etc.

• Brag about yourself! What are some of your business achievements? Your potential customers want to know about them.

• Create buzz! Get the word out there by creating a recognizable identity for your product, service and brand.

• You should establish yourself as an expert. Use forums and message boards to answer questions professionally, honestly, and correctly, which will earn you respect as an expert in your field. People will then look to you for answers. You can even use a variety of apps such as Periscope, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram to run “Live Q&A” sessions.

5: Go where your customers/clients are! We all use Social Media – we can engage in two-way communication in real time.

Oh my, how many people are out there using Social Media? A LOT!! I say that Social Media is the new “Google Search”. People are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to find and follow local businesses. It’s quicker and easier to engage with a business on Social Media than actually taking more time to do a Google Search and visit your company website.

So, go where your customers are! Your competition is already using Social Media to market their business, so don’t get left behind. Check out the list below to see how you can get people talking and sharing on Social Media.

• Share industry news, upcoming events, new hires – what can you share to get people talking?

• Great way to promote upcoming client events. You can let your customers know who you may be partnering with, spread the word about other local businesses too.

• Make it easy for potential customers who see your content recognize you as someone who can help them.

• Share links to interesting articles, websites or videos. Use words that grab the readers and encourage them to click the link.

• Talk about an event that you attended or are attending. Invite your audiences.

• Be Helpful: Produce content that presents new knowledge or assists in professional decision making.

• Be Interesting: Spark conversation around a news event, cover the latest posts from an industry influencer, or create an infographic about your business. Just keep it fun and fresh!

• Help them help others: We want information that we can share to our network. Sometimes the information that you put out there may not pertain to your actual customers, but they may know someone who may need what you have. Hence, sharing! They share to their friends and family, and your business now has the potential to help even more people, maybe even new customers.