From Hate It to Love It

From Hate It to Love It

You can’t stand your job and have to work with people you don’t like and do work you hate!

There just isn’t another option!

You can’t give it up you need the money!

Not a nice situation to be in…… or is it? I believe many of us have been in a situation like this or similar. When you just wanted to give up and do something else. But sometimes that is just not an option.

What can you do?

When I was about 20 years old, I was working as a helper for a plumbing company. Because I was just a helper, they gave me all the horrible jobs and I couldn’t stand it. I dreaded every morning going to work and couldn’t wait for the day to finish. There was also a guy double my age working there and he was the only one I got on with. I told him that I hate the job. One day he said to me

Look, if you hate the job so much, ask the boss if you could do something else instead!

So I did. But the boss didn’t want to know. So I told my friend and he said:

If that doesn’t get you anywhere, go and get another job.

I started looking for other jobs, but for someone my age and no real experience there was just nothing on the market. Nothing for the kind of money I’ve got for my current job. After searching for a while I gave up. A while later my friend said something surprising:

Look, if there is no other way then you have to find a way to love what you do!

How am I suppose to do this?

Luckily not long after that an opportunity opened up and I moved on to another job. It took me a long time to understand what my friend was telling me, but today I think I’ve got it:

We are often very quick in giving up and looking for something else. We rarely give a situation a real chance and we rarely try to be really good at something or look at the bright side of things. If you are in such a situation and you are not physically or mentally harmed by doing whatever it is you have to do, start looking at the bright side of things. Don’t give up so quickly and rush to something else. Take your time and find out if there is anything you can do to turn this around for yourself. Write down all the good things about it and see if there is a way to improve on these.

This does not mean you shouldn’t move on in life, but this should be planned and not based on “feeling like it”

Give yourself some time and today you are going to be the best in your job. You are going to surprise everyone (most of all yourself). See how things change around you and if after a while you still think you can’t continue, look for something else, but give it a chance. At least now you’ve planned it and you did your best.

Enjoy 🙂

If things get too much

If things get too much

There are times in anyone’s life when things just get too much. I know, I’ve been there and probably will find myself in that corner in the future. This is not a nice place to be and a difficult time if you are in the middle of trying to get things done.

Here is my take on how I deal with this and it might help you too:

  1. One Goal. Whenever I feel down, I realise that it’s often because I have too much going on in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it kills my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.

  2. Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. EA is just one place for inspiration, not only from me but from many readers and clients who have achieved amazing things.

  3. Get excited. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about it much: if you want to get away from feeling down, get yourself excited about a goal. But how can you do that when you don’t feel motivated? Well, it starts with inspiration from others (see above), but you have to take that excitement and build on it. For me, I’ve learned that by talking to my wife about it, and to others, and reading as much about it as possible, and visualising what it would be like to be successful (seeing the benefits of the goal in my head), I get excited about a goal. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.

  4. Build anticipation. This sounds hard, and you might be tempted to overlook it, but it really works. It helped me quit smoking after many failed attempts. If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.

  5. Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal also helps.

  6. Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. For example, when I wanted to run my first marathon, I told everyone about it. All my friends knew about my goal. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.

  7. Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.

  8. Get support. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. When I decided to run my marathon, I had the help of friends and family, and I had a great running community who encouraged me at 5K races and did long runs with me. When I decided to quit smoking, I joined a fitness club and that helped tremendously. And of course, my friends helped on every step of the way. I couldn’t have done these goals the people who supported me. Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.

  9. Realize that there’s an up and down. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realise that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal (see below), ask for help (see below), and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.

  10. Stick with it. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump. Stay with it for the long term, ride out the downs and surf on the ups, and you’ll get there.

  11. Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.

  12. Build on small successes. Again, if you start small for a week, you’re going to be successful. You can’t fail if you start with something ridiculously easy. Who can’t exercise for 2 minutes? (If that’s you, I apologise.) And you’ll feel successful, and good about yourself. Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step. Add 2-3 minutes to your exercise routine, for example. With each step (and each step should last about a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small, and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.

  13. Read about it daily. When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.

  14. Call for help when your motivation is down. Having trouble? Ask for help. Email me. Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom. It doesn’t matter who, just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help. Ask them for advice. Ask them to help you overcome your down time. It works.

  15. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energise you.

  16. Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your down. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If John can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really.

Am I an entrepreneur?

Am I an entrepreneur?

You always wanted to do something different, maybe start your own business or get that amazing job?

Great!
However, how do you know that you are made for it?

You can speak to friends what they think about you and if they see you as an entrepreneur. You can speak to a life coach and analyse these sides of you.
You can take a personal profile test in entrepreneurship and if you believe in it, it might give you the answer (Just Google it).

In my experience successful entrepreneurs are not born as entrepreneurs, but they have this amazing ability to visualise things clear and bright in their head and they have this real urge to get whatever it is they see. They are committed and highly excited to get there.

It really boils down to that. Yes of course it is important to have talent and skills, but those don’t make you an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs are very passionate people, often boardering on the extreme. But that is exactly what drives them. They don’t question their own abilities. It doesn’t even come to mind. They are only interested to find a way to get what they want. This is not meant negatively, because if they really want to become successful they need to be also great with people, understanding the needs of others and knowing how to help them best.

Of course there are many grades of entrepreneurs and to become successful an entrepreneur needs to walk the path.

Working with entrepreneurs and being one myself, I can tell you that anyone can be an entrepreneur. In the end it is about making a decision and committing to it.
That means, you are the only person who can answer that question. If you decide on a goal or outcome and commit to it, you are an entrepreneur.

If you do so, I can promise you, it is not going to be boring and it will be something to tell your grand children about in the future 🙂

Enjoy the ride and I am looking forward to meet you on the way 🙂

Why you need other people to succeed?

Why you need other people to succeed?

It took me a long time and lots of failures to understand why I can’t do it on my own. If you want to be successful in anything, you need others to help you. There is just too much to do, too many things to think about.

An entrepreneur works in complete uncertainty. There is not much she or he can rely on. Everything is just hypothesis and it is the job of an entrepreneur to find out which of the hypotheses are fact and which are fiction.

Let me give you an example.

When I was working and living in the UK I found that many hairdressers were freelancing in several different salons. This is partly because the hairdressing business is divided into two sections, the work-space providers and the service providers.

The service providers are the hairdressers and the work-space providers are the salon owners. If a hairdresser has a client in a specific area, s/he books a space for the day in a shop in that area and arranges to meet the client there. The work-space has everything the hairdresser might need. I leave the rest for your imagination.

Sensible talk not idle gossip

This system works very well in the UK and I am sure (hypothesis) a similar template works in other countries too. But being sure of – or believing something – does not make it fact, however much I think this will work. As an entrepreneur I need to speak to people involved in this business to find out. So going to hairdressers and asking if they would be interested in renting some of their spaces to other hairdressers might give me some information. Maybe even talking to the big guys from L’Oréal or other brands might be a solution. However I need to speak to people.

Now I have an idea, but I am not a specialist in this segment and there might be lots of reason why this won’t work. To find that out I need to surround myself with people who know that business and can help me, either by providing information or by helping me to get things going.

Inspiring ideas for business

This idea alone can inspire lots of other business ideas. Think about an application that allows participating people to book the space online. A sort of calendar/client/work-space booking facility. I leave it to you to think of many more.

Now translate this into other business areas. How about office or meeting spaces or how about a meet-up space planner?

Before you rush off with one of these ideas, remember these are just hypotheses and you need to find out if they can become facts. And for that, you need to ask questions to other people.

Don’t be afraid of anyone stealing your ideas. Being successful requires much more then just having an idea – and it’s a long haul in which many people are not willing to go the distance.

Always remember that an entrepreneur is a ‘people’ person. She or he needs the skills to work with people, motivate not just their self but everyone around them too. As better an entrepreneur is as a people’s person, the easier it will be to succeed.

If you like this post, have a look at this one:

Twist

How an entrepreneur decides what to do?

How an entrepreneur decides what to do?

For most people I’ve met, the answer to that question was very easy and mostly was along that line:

I love flowers and I want to open a flower shop!

A large publication called “The Entrepreneur” published this article a while ago http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217368.
This is the typical thing people read when they are thinking about starting their own business. The article is full of general advice and examples of businesses which succeeded in their quest. It is easy to think that you could do that too. Of course you can, who’s there to tell you you can’t?

And even so I agree in many parts, starting a business is a race of time. You need motivation and a lot of energy, but without products or services, resources and enough money, you won’t make it.

If you don’t have any money, how are you going to survive?
If you don’t have any resources, services or products, what are you going to sell to make money?
If you don’t have the right motivation, how will you keep going?

Part of being an entrepreneur is understanding and reducing risk.

With that in mind the answers to our questions become much easier.
If you have great products or services and lots of motivation you’ll need less time/money.
If you have lots of motivation and lots of time/money, you can create your products and services as you go along.
If you have lots of time/money and great products and services you’ll need less motivation.

You’ll need to make it before you run out of time/money.

If your money allows you to keep going for 6 month and you need to spend most of your time developing your products or services, you’ll have less time developing your customers and the other way around. Of course motivation is a major driving force and can speed things up immensely. However if you run out of money your time is over.

So lets assume you are highly motivated, but you have a limited amount of time/money (probably the most common situation)  you’ll need good services or products for your customers. That’ll give you the time to set-up the business and to find customers. If you don’t have the right products or services you’ll need more time/money to establish that.

To take the example with the flower shop from above, you’ll not only need great flowers to sell, but you’ll also need to know a lot about it. As more experience you have in the flower business as easier it’ll be and as better your services and products will be and therefore you’ll need less time/money to get going. If you don’t have the experience then go and get it. Work in a flower shop for 6 to 12 month. Find out everything you can while having an income that supports you. Then when you’re ready, start your business.

Another way is to find out what you’re already good at. The reason you’re good at it is because you have been doing it successfully for quite a while and constantly improved your skill. So why not start your business in something you’re really good at?

This will give you more time to establish your business. You don’t need to worry about learning a new skill. You can concentrate on finding your clients while your services and/or products are top from day one.

I can recommend this book: So good they can’t ignore you from Cal Newport. It gives a lot of examples and explanations why skills trump passion every time.