Tag - Entrepreneur Dynamics

Entrepreneur Anxiety: 13 Unsually Sad Similarities Between Romance And Business You Need To Know

No entrepreneur will deny the existence of entrepreneur anxiety. We may just pretend to not be affected by it.

So here I am writing about something else entirely and a funny thought crossed my mind.

I compare starting and being in a relationship with doing same in business.

And discovered the similarities between starting/ being on an entrepreneurial journey and a romantic one.

What do they have in common you ask? It’s simply anxiety.

Perhaps you have a meeting with a likely investor. Or you mixed up the data you took to the meeting with your most important client.

Or you are tackling a difficult situation that has lingered for way too long.

All these can cause entrepreneur anxiety.

As an entrepreneur, you can relate to these things. The downs and turns of the entrepreneurship rollercoaster leaving you with the feeling of anxiety for most part of the journey.

Perhaps you just asked this fine chick out that seems to be way out of your league. Or the man of your dreams walked up to you and you missed it.

Maybe your love interest dumped you for someone more exciting compared to you.
Or you woke up to a nagging lover. It could also be a communication gap.

Entrepreneur anxiety

Most people won’t tell you the friction between them and their partners when they were in the “getting to know each other” phase.

Neither will they tell you the challenges involved in maintaining that relationship.
Just as most of your entrepreneur friends won’t tell you the challenges they face(d).

They only paint you rosy pictures of entrepreneurship. Hence why you decide(d) to venture into it.

You are solely responsible for your actions in your marriage. Likewise you are solely responsible for your actions in your business.

Being an entrepreneur can be hard, stressful and lonely. This is exactly how some people feel in their relationships.

Entrepreneur Anxiety: The Similarities.

  • Starting Out

Whether you are entering a new romance or starting a business in an unfamiliar terrain. There’s always that fear of not knowing what lies ahead.

Hence you are always asking questions and second guessing every decision taken.

  • Small Things Matter

Just as recording every small victory is important to boost confidence. It’s just as important to appreciate every little thing your partner does.

  • Delegate

Doing too much will overwhelm you. Learn to delegate tasks to employees for the sake of your psychological health.

Likewise in relationships learn to shed some load off your chest and concentrate on building the romance.

  • Leadership

In a romantic relationship the man is the leader. Though I’m not talking about a master – slave relationship. But a mutually respecting relationship.

Ditto for business. The entrepreneur is the leader of the organization. And his actions/ inactions can result in entrepreneur anxiety.

When the leader isn’t effective the followers are pointless which in turn creates anxiety for the leader.

Hence it’s the leader’s priority to get the right people on board.

  • Value

What’s being brought to the table? Same way you ask what’s this lover of yours going to add to your life you ask what’s your business partner or investor going to add to your venture.

  • USP (Unique Selling Point)

What makes your business different from everyone out there? The customer should look forward to what unique thing? Why should your spouse be with you and not some random man/ woman?

  • Depression

Depression, despair, mood swings and suicidal thoughts. These happens to some people either when their heart gets broken or business takes a major downturn.

Entrepreneur anxiety

  • Lack of self confidence

A heart break or a major financial downturn always tells on self confidence. It shreds you of all positivity. It holds you back from being your happy-go, lucky self.

  • Confrontation

You would have to confront issues with your love interest. Same as your clients.

Though some people are afraid of confrontation; it’s unavoidable. This is a major cause of panic attacks and anxiety.

  • Choice

Choosing a partner. As a man you get to meet delectable ladies everyday and you are wondering which really qualifies as your mate. And that’s if she’s also going to be interested in you too or if she isn’t taken already.

In like manner in business before approaching investors you need to know if they believe in your line of business and if they will buy into your vision.

Also will that friend/ stranger agree to being your partner? Do you even have the same values? So many questions to ask.

These uncertainties can also cause some people entrepreneur anxiety.

  • Communication

How effective is your communicating skills? How well do you pass messages to your spouse or business partner/ employees without causing unnecessary chaos, fear and resistance?

Entrepreneur anxiety

  • Money

Often referred to as the root of all evil. It causes despair in relationships likewise it induces entrepreneur anxiety too.

A lot of couples have parted ways due to money issues. Similarly a lot of business partnerships/ deals had the life snuffed out of them.

  • Separation/ Divorce

You can’t talk about relationship anxiety without these. In fact some people don’t want to marry just for the fear of divorce.

In similar fashion some people dread going into business or partnerships just for the fear of having to part ways and the plethora of issues that accompanies it.

These are just a few of the causes of entrepreneur anxiety. Either directly or indirectly these can cause entrepreneur anxiety when not properly managed.

In Conclusion: Entrepreneur Anxiety

The similar causes of anxiety are communication, choice, not delegating, not taking note of small victories and separation/ divorce.

Also depression, lack of self confidence, money problems, confrontation, value, leadership, unique selling point and starting out.

Entrepreneur anxiety

I realised entrepreneur anxiety is real and unavoidable at some point. You just have to deal with it and get moving.

It’s easier to deal with if you enlist help.
What we can do is try to reduce it so it doesn’t get the best of us.

Can you think of some other similar situations between being an entrepreneur and being in a relationship that cause anxiety? Please share.

Entrepreneurial decision making process

This Is The Entrepreneurial Decision Making Process You Need To Know For Success

Do you feel like the entrepreneurial decision making process is complex? Here’s a breakdown.

As an entrepreneur it’s essential you have a working entrepreneurial decision making process.

To avoid making several fatal mistakes.

As much as you want to learn from your mistakes; it’s better to save time and money by not making too many.

Others have made enough to learn from.

Consequently you can’t operate at full capacity as a business unless you consistently make good decisions at the right time.

And also implement them effectively.

In addition remember that your customers make decisions as well.

A decision is a determination arrived at after consideration of some options. That’s according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Hence in simple words a decision is what you choose to do out of several or few options.

Entrepreneurial decision making process

Entrepreneur Making A Decision

For example you need to choose from several options a location for your business. You pick the one that contributes positively to your business growth.

The decisions we make take us from point A to point B. It’s what takes us from the before to the after. To a positive outcome. And what separates success from failure.

You are where you are in life because of decisions you took over the years.

Therefore as an entrepreneur you would need to take calculated risks via your decisions.

Most noteworthy is your entrepreneurial journey entails 4 decision types which we have covered.

Remember don’t take risks without doing a proper situation analysis using the SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

The entrepreneurial decision making process is one of the most important processes you will undergo as an individual and for your business.

Hence it’s quite necessary as an individual since it’s mostly your responsibility to make decisions about everything affecting your business.

Though the effect of these decisions vary on the business; you still need to make sure you take the best decision(s) at every stage.

“The intellectual equipment needed for the job of the future is an ability to define problems, quickly assimilate relevant data, conceptualize and reorganize the information, make deductive and inductive leaps with it, ask hard questions about it, discuss findings with colleagues, work collaboratively to find solutions and then convince others.”Robert B. Reich

Entrepreneur Dialogue

Identifying the four components that are instrumental to the entrepreneurial decision making process is key.

They are:

1. Context.

This can also be referred to as the problem at hand. What needs to be decided upon.

2. Objectives.

What do you hope to achieve with your decision? Ensure you apply logic.

3. Alternatives.

Consider as many options as possible but ensure you don’t overdo it to avoid confusion. Make sure you have as much data as needed.

4. Criteria.

This involves considering your business values. The decision that matches your business values best wins.

Being an entrepreneur will cause you to wear different hats.

Hats like Tech needs to reach a conclusion on a major update or Finance on resources allocation.

Therefore you need to ensure you make the best choice(s) for every hat you wear.

And the best decision emanates from an entrepreneur decision making process that works perfectly.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Recognize the problem

Whenever a decision needs to be taken it means there’s a “problem” (an issue at hand).

Ask questions like what’s the problem and what’s the best way to solve it without creating more problems?

Furthermore identify where you are and where you ought to be.

What’s the goal (purpose) of the decision in your business?

While considering if there’s a timeframe to it. You don’t want to be too late.

Also don’t just ask your staff ask your clients too. They have tons of info for you.

Step 2: Analyze the problem

Once you identify the problem(s) the next step in the entrepreneurial decision making process is to gather appropriate information on the problem.

As much as you can.

Likewise get information from within your business, published studies, online data from credible sources and materials from experts.

Also not forgetting everyone with stakes in your business.

Sometimes you have to deliberate on more than one issue at a time.

Notwithstanding don’t be overwhelmed just arrange your priorities right.

Step 3: Define And Analyze Plausible solutions

Your accurate analysis of the problem will help when brainstorming on every possible solution.

This step also involves you, your staff, every stakeholder in the business and experts.

Thoroughly consider everyone’s suggestion before discarding it.

And choose options that provide a long term fix to the problem.

Step 4: Select the best solution.

Select and evaluate the best decision.

What are the consequences of your chosen solution?

Would it solve the problem without generating additional problems? While being cost and time effective.

Does it align with the mission, vision and values of the business?

What does your gut also tell you about this decision? Trust your gut.

Also this step involves you choosing the best option based on the information available.

You should appoint an administrator at this point. So they are in charge when you aren’t there.

Finally for this step you need to spell out the Who, What, When and How of the chosen decision to all the players involved.

Step 5: Execute Your decision

The next step is to put your decision to work.

Because making a decision without implementing is hogwash.

What if you carry out a decision and it doesn’t work as planned?

Then you go back to Step 3 armed with the lessons you learnt to pick the next best decision on your list.

On to steps 4 and 5. Or to step 1 if there’s a change in data and conditions. More like a rinse and repeat.

This step also includes follow up and feedback.

In summary having an entrepreneur decision making process will ease things up in your organisation.

Subsequently when your staff know they don’t have to fight while making decisions they will relax.

I once worked at a firm where the Lease, Recovery and Internal Audit Units were always at loggerheads due to too much bureaucracy.

I could literally feel the tension in the air and it was bad energy.

Therefore identify the critical positions of your company and fill them up with people who are capable of making the best decisions. Without prejudice, at the nick of time and without wasting resources.

Are you using a different set of steps to make your entrepreneurial decisions? Please share in the comments.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips: The Instructive Guide

Every relationship needs trust building tips but seeing we are entrepreneurs let’s focus on entrepreneur trust building tips. This is not to say you can’t apply them to other types of relationships you are involved in. It might just need a little tweak.

You are probably wondering why the title says instructive guide for entrepreneurship trust building tips.

While simple they are quite elaborate.

Four kinds of relationships are essential to the success of your entrepreneurial journey.

Accordingly relationship with employees, clients, investors as well as suppliers and outsource providers.

The foundation of these relationships is “Trust”. As earlier emphasized in Trust and Entrepreneurship.

These are the days of entrepreneurial surge due to technology advancement and more people seeing the need for innovation. Therefore leading to the “entrepreneurship boom”.

As a result there’s a struggle to win customers, gain investors, keep the best employees and retain lovely suppliers.

Furthermore trust plays a huge role in successfully achieving all these.

The idea of trust may seem hard for people who have never come in contact with it in any of their relationships.

Not to fret; this article will provide you with entrepreneur trust building tips.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips – Employees

• Reward efforts, promote at when due and encourage your staff.

• Another tip is genuinely care about your employees.

• Pay salaries and bonuses at when due. I had a boss who promised Sales Reps commissions. In over a year I spent there he never paid. Not even once. He lost the trust of his employees. They left, set up the exact business and poached his customers.

• As a business learn to endure mistakes from your employees though correct them professionally.

• Treat your employees with respect thereby gain their trust.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips – Customers

• Ensure all your sales/ service points are working properly, updated regularly and they all have the same information.

• Existing/ Intending customers need proof that you are genuine hence testimonials. Therefore use every opportunity that presents itself to showcase testimonials from customers who bought.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips

Customer Testimonials

You see what I did there? That’s some of our customer testimonials.

• Ensure your Customer Service is prompt and effective.

• Always surpass customer expectations; never go below their expectations.

• Your products/ services should be exactly what you said in the description. Sometime ago I ordered a handbag online, when it was eventually delivered the leather had peeled. The seller never signified that in the description. Of course I returned it and she lost my trust.

• Ensure your payment process is transparent.

• Your products/ services should be readily available.

• At all times offer value and strive to meet and surpass deadlines.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips – Suppliers and Outsource Providers

• Stick to the terms of the contract.

• Provide good work conditions.

• Communicate effectively; avoid surprises.

• Ensure everyone understands the terms of the contract to avoid conflict.

• When you get delivery of your supplies ensure you pay at when stated in the contract. If you can’t pay inform them ahead.

Entrepreneur Trust Building Tips – Investors.

• To each his own; let each investor understand what they stand to gain from investing in your venture.

• Be sincere. Don’t tweak the numbers. If business isn’t going as projected at any time; let them know.

• Pay whatever percentage was agreed on. Don’t cheat them out of their investments.

As you have read It’s not so hard to build trust.

Essential trust building ingredients are openness, sincerity, truthfulness and straight forwardness.

To be trusted you need to be trustworthy.

No one will gift you their trust. It’s very expensive.

In conclusion you should earn the trust of the people you will be in an entrepreneur relationship with. When earned it’s hard to lose but when lost it’s hard to rebuild.

Please share in the comments other tips you know entrepreneurs can use to build trust in their business relationships.

Entrepreneur Shifting Seasons

Entrepreneur Shifting Seasons: All You Need To Know

Is the change in climate seasons similar to the shifting seasons of an entrepreneur?

In most parts of the world the seasons experienced are Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The change in each season ushers in the next season.

Likewise there are also entrepreneur shifting seasons which are marked by changes; same as weather.

In my years as an entrepreneur I have experienced various seasons (stages). But I will narrow it down to four (4) significant stages.

Entrepreneur Shifting Seasons

As an entrepreneur you move from Discovery ➡ Plan ➡ Evolve ➡ Growth.

  • Discovery

This is the process of uncovering your entrepreneur potential. A self-realization period that you consciously decide to be an entrepreneur.

Some call it Entrepreneurial Seizure.

You look inward to find out what you love doing and resolve to make money from it.

It can’t be overemphasized that as an entrepreneur you must build your business round your passion.

Most noteworthy is the fact that with time things will wear you out but your zeal will keep you going.

  • Plan

This season shifts you as an entrepreneur into the hard work stage. Since this period sets the foundation for your business.

It involves drafting your business plan. It’s important to have a business plan for direction and in case you need partners or investors.

Furthermore establish your business opportunities, research the demand, decide your business value, develop your business ideas, develop your market entry strategy, sort finance and capital.

Likewise identify your competition, set your price(s), build relationships, analyse your risks, patent your products, register your business name and company. While at the same time device your exit plan (just in case).

  • Evolve

In this entrepreneur shifting season you either decide to persevere (continue what you do) or pivot (change what you do or how you do it).

It is based on evaluating the business. Is it going as planned, any progress or are things spiraling out of control?

Are there plans to diversify into complementary products or services?

Answering these questions move you into the next season.

  • Growth

While drafting your business plan you should have defined what growth means to your business (yardstick).

Either an increase in the number of customers, increase in average transaction per client or increase in the number of subscribers to your app or product.

No matter the yardstick you use to measure growth this is the season to shoot the arrow up with hard and smart work.

This is the season your perseverance pays.

Entrepreneur Shifting Seasons

In conclusion hang in there if you are in a not so good season presently. It will pan out just as the seasons of the climate system change. One season gives birth to the next.

What other seasons have you experienced as an entrepreneur or you have seen other entrepreneurs overcome?

 

Entrepreneur Creed

Entrepreneur Creed : 10 Tested Ways To Be A Focused Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur creed: The guiding principle on your journey to being a successful entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur Creed as written by Thomas Paine.

I do not wish to be a kept citizen.
Humbled and dulled by having the
State look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk
To dream and to build.
To fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole
I prefer the challenges of life
To the guaranteed existence

The thrill of fulfillment
To the stale calm of Utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence

Nor my dignity for a handout.

I will never cower before any master
Nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect.
Proud and unafraid.

To think and act for myself
To enjoy the benefit of my creations

And to face the world boldly and say
This, with God’s help, I have done

All this is what it means
To be an Entrepreneur.”

         Thomas Paine, 1776

You can’t talk about being an entrepreneur without referencing the “Father” of the entrepreneur creed; Thomas Paine.

Entrepreneur Creed

Thomas Paine

A creed simply defined is a set of beliefs that guides the actions of a person or group.

Entrepreneur Creed is a bunch of ethics you live by as an entrepreneur.

I can’t promise you a safe sail on the waters of entrepreneurship but I can guarantee that following this entrepreneur creed to the letter will save you from going under.

Here are 10 important tenets to guide you on your entrepreneur journey.

1. Pick a business, stay focused and understand it. Know it in and out. Conquer it before branching out.

If you keep trying you will get the honey from the bee

2. Understand your clients. Know what they buy from you and why they prefer yours.

3. Hire professional managers. Ensure you have the right people on your bus. They get you to your destination faster. Hire people that are smarter than you.

4. Put in place strong financial and administration controls. Ensure you have an internal auditor.

5. Constantly research the market on pricing. You don’t want to charge way less and you shouldn’t be over board as well.

6. Don’t spend too much money on office space especially if you are just starting. Be street smart.

7. Have a strategic business plan and regularly review it. This is to keep your destination in mind even if you sometimes derail.

8. Keep proper record of every transaction. A dubious customer may act funny. Be prepared. Keep track of every activity.

9. Make sure there’s a job description for every position. Learn to delegate and automate where necessary. Pay parallel to the job description.

10. Set performance milestones for yourself and your team. This is how to measure progress efficiently and motivate. Award the best and keep promises made for outstanding performance.

I once had a boss that promised to pay commissions to Sales Reps. Performance decreased after they realized he made empty promises.

Entrepreneur ethics such as these will make your entrepreneurial journey remarkable.

As an entrepreneur what creed do you live by? Please do tell by joining the conversation.