10 behaviors of unstoppable entrepreneurs (Entrepreneur)

By Sujan Patel

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246246 May 26, 2015

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It requires the kinds of habits that most people simply don’t have, along with a discipline, passion and dedication that are unmatched among non-business owners. And while every entrepreneur is different, we all have a lot in common — including many of the same habits.

Here are 10 behaviors shared by unstoppable entrepreneurs:

  1. They plan their day in advance.

In business, it’s easy to let other people’s priorities run your day. Phone calls, emails, appointments, meetings — it never ends. Unstoppable entrepreneurs plan their day in advance, before the mayhem begins. But they don’t just make any old plan — they make sure to block out time for their most important priorities.

  1. They get proper nutrition and exercise.

This simply can’t be overstated. Being a productive, unstoppable entrepreneur is about your body just as much as your mind and will. If you don’t take care of your nutrition and daily exercise, you aren’t going to be at your best — and you definitely won’t be unstoppable. Drink a lot of water, eat breakfast and get your body moving. You’ll be much more successful as a result.

  1. They position themselves to serve.

Those who focus only on their own success are the ones who don’t succeed at all. To be effective as a business owner, you need to serve your customers. That might come through in the way your products make their lives easier or the way your customer service efforts delight them. Whatever the case may be, setting service as one of your top priorities is a surefire way to become unstoppable.

  1. They set clear goals.

Every unstoppable entrepreneur has clear goals. Knowing your goals will keep you going when things get tough and give you something to focus on when you’re not sure what to do next. But your goals shouldn’t just focus on the long term. Have long-term, mid-term and short-term goals. Doing so allows you to plan your days and weeks with unmatched focus, knowing exactly what you’re shooting for.

  1. They take calculated risks.

People have an image of entrepreneurs as those who take crazy risks just for fun. But while the risks we take may be crazy to those without an entrepreneurial mind, in reality, they’re calculated. Or, at least, they should be. If you’re the type of business owner who jumps in without knowing the numbers and probabilities behind your course of action, you won’t last long.

  1. They know their strengths and weaknesses.

Successful business owners are honest with themselves. They know their own strengths and weaknesses, and take them into account with every business decision. It takes humility to really examine yourself this way, but it will pay great dividends when you know exactly who to hire, who to partner with and what skills you can offer.

  1. They hire A-team players.

Entrepreneurs that don’t succeed are often those who are afraid to have A-team players on their staffs. They either feel threatened or they won’t offer the incentives needed to hire the best. Either way, they lose. To be an unstoppable entrepreneur, you’ve got to hire the best. Focus on those who fill in whatever gaps you currently have. Doing so will help you create the amazing team that’s needed for success.

  1. They are constantly learning.

Unstoppable entrepreneurs know that they don’t know it all. As a result, they never stop learning. Never get so busy that you stop investing in yourself and your knowledge of business, your industry and new technology. Staying up to date is essential if you want to succeed.

  1. They are always looking for opportunities.

Entrepreneurs who are really successful don’t rest on their current successes. They realize that life changes quickly, and that business moves at an even faster pace. To be unstoppable, always be on the lookout for your next opportunity. Spot new trends in your industry, or look for a new application of an old tool. You’ll never get stuck in the old when you make it a priority to watch out for the new.

  1. They evaluate their actions and priorities each day.

Successful entrepreneurs know that with every day, they’re building their futures. That’s why they rarely let one go by without doing a review. When you review your accomplishments at the end of each day, you’ll be able to celebrate the successes, as well as address the shortfalls. It’s a great practice to begin right away.

As I said earlier, being an unstoppable entrepreneur is no easy feat. If it was easy, everyone would be one. Instead, only a few have the privilege of calling themselves entrepreneurs. If you want to join this exclusive club, make it a priority to practice these 10 behaviors of unstoppable entrepreneurs.

5 secrets to coaching your employees to greatness (Entrepreneur)

By Renee Robertson

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247573 June 27, 2015

No matter what role we find ourselves in — entrepreneur, executive, sales and marketing professional, to name just a few — we are in constant motion, reacting to the day’s events, feeling the pressure to perform and always thinking about results. These are not all bad behaviors to have, especially for high-performing individuals. This is a space in which we thrive. However, it is only a matter of time before the impact and pressure of these activities show up in our behavior. This is exactly why coaching for high-performing individuals who work in innovative and fast-paced businesses is a great fit.

First of all, let’s define coaching, as it means many things to many people. Many times a certain technique that is referred to as “coaching,” isn’t really coaching at all; it’s actually counseling or feedback. For example, you may have heard or had this happen to you: a manager will say, “Let me give you some coaching around ABC,” and they proceed to explain to an employee why the employee failed to accomplish a task. The manager then explains the way ABC needs to be done. More times than not, the recipient of this so-called “coaching” walks away disillusioned by what they think was a coaching experience and perhaps, deflated and unmotivated. As a result, coaching can get a bad rap and employees may begin to disengage. So what does a real coaching conversation look like? Well, something like this: “So, how do you think your presentation on ABC went?” The employee is given time to reflect, respond and be an active participant in the conversation. The manager continues to ask thoughtful questions such as: “What would you have done differently?” ”What actions will you take?” or “How can I support you?” Do you notice the difference? This is a coaching conversation — the employee is empowered to act while being supported by their manager. The employee gains confidence knowing that they own the outcome while feeling acknowledged and supported by their manager. Now more than ever, there is a great opportunity to bring coaching into organizations. According to Gallup’s study on the global workplace, only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work or are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations. Therefore, many team members are “not engaged.”  If this is the case, then why not integrate coaching into your talent management strategy? Not only will it increase employee engagement but will help achieve other talent development goals such as developing certain competencies like problem-solving, strategic thinking or filling your talent pipeline with ready-now talent for upward or lateral. To integrate coaching into your talent management strategy, the following five steps should be taken:

  1. Educate your leaders

Start at the top and educate your executives on the differences and benefits of coaching versus counseling. Interview them on their perspectives on coaching and assess their willingness to participate and support a coaching initiative. Explain the benefits of coaching and ask them where they see applications for coaching inside their organizations.

  1. Identify coaches, participants and executive sponsors

Look for individuals and managers that can become trained to be internal coaches inside your company. These individuals may be inside your talent management and organizational development areas or could exist inside the business itself. Consider having talent management or human resources executives trained and credentialed by the International Coach Federation as professional coaches. Alternatively, you may choose to utilize external coaches. If so, you can submit a request via the International Coach Federation Coach Referral Service website or ask colleagues for recommendations. Simultaneously, you will want to identify candidates to participate in the coaching program. Participants should be excited to be part of the program and willing to make a commitment. Just as important as identifying the coaches and participants is to make certain that you have executive sponsorship. Determine which executives would like to sponsor the program and be a participant. Request that they support you in your coach and participant identification, marketing efforts, during participant enrollment and throughout the program’s life cycle.

  1. Manage expectations

Be sure to clearly set expectations with your internal coaches, individuals being coached, the executive sponsors and, of course, your managers and colleagues. It is best to run the initial program as a pilot and build upon its success. Make certain everyone is clear on the goals of the program, time commitment and their roles and responsibilities.

  1. Train

Enroll your internal coach candidates in a coach-training program that is designed to train individuals that work inside companies as a coach. If you choose to enroll internal employees to become coaches, ensure they’re being coached by a coach with experience coaching internal coaches. In addition, be sure to train the individuals who are to be coached on the role and responsibilities of the participant, while establishing a clear and consistent process for enrolling clients, coaching time and exiting clients.

  1. Measure success

Prior to starting the program, determine how you will measure its success. It may be done simply by using a net–promoter score or setting up a simple impact study. (It doesn’t have to be a rigorous measurement such as ROI.) If your program is embraced and utilized (coaching clients show up and participate in the coaching), then that’s a great sign. Interviewing them or surveying them on the benefits they received is also an excellent idea. In addition, be sure to ask the managers of the program’s participants about the changes they may have noticed in their employee’s behaviors after being coached.

In a time where we’re surrounded by change and have so many demands on our personal and professional lives, the need for coaching is at an all-time high. Coaching is a model for engagement, empowerment and accountability. It teaches those being coached to be responsible and to “own” their results. By engaging in coaching, you’re making a decision to replace mediocrity with high-performance.

10 life hacks from a millennial millionaire (Entrepreneur)

By Lewis Howes

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247214 June 15, 2015

You are young, ambitious, confident and you want to be a millionaire? Great! Or maybe you’re ready to take things up a notch and finally start that business you have been dreaming of, but are afraid of the financial risks and not sure you want to give up the perks of a salary and benefits. The biggest question you may be asking yourself is: What are you willing to give up to create the life and business that you really want?

Here are some tried and true hacks from a millennial’s perspective that just may lead you to becoming a millionaire.

  1. Keep it simple.

In the beginning, learn as much as you can from free resources on the Internet. When I first started out, I spent months learning how to optimize LinkedIn. I realized it was an extremely valuable and underutilized social media site so I utilized my expertise from a year of studying the site’s power to provide value to others. Network the old-fashioned way, face-to-face, as well as online. Create real relationships. Rather than trying to be better than your competition, be different.

  1. Be frugal.

If you have a mission or vision for your business, keep your overhead as low as possible. For example, you no longer need to have a downtown office to verify your legitimacy. Thousands of entrepreneurs work from home, the library, the coffee shop. You don’t need a brick and mortar location, especially if you aren’t selling a physical product. I personally didn’t even buy a car until I moved from New York City to L.A., and when I did I took my “Rich Dad” advice and purchased a used 1991 Cadillac outright from a mentor. Put your vision first and after you have become successful, then you can splurge.

  1. Invest in yourself.

If you are going to invest in anything at the beginning stages of your business, be sure you are investing in yourself.

Hire a coach, enroll in online business classes with people you admire, get into a mastermind. Figure out ways to get the skills and knowledge you need to get where you are going.

  1. Meditate.

If you haven’t heard already, meditation is a powerful life hack. It can improve the clarity and function of the brain, lower your blood pressure, and so much more. As the stakes rise in your life and business, you will benefit from meditation because it will help you to handle stress better and manage your time and focus.

  1. Stay healthy.

Most entrepreneurs — even myself — have fallen into the trap of focusing solely on their business and neglecting their physical health. While hustling to get ahead and make a successful living on your own wind power, you may lose track of how many months have gone by since you moved your body from the desk chair. Richard Branson attributes his energy and stamina to daily workouts and considers exercise to be his secret weapon.

  1. Network.

Make yourself invaluable to your networks. Be a connector, set yourself apart by sharing resources with others at events and creating valuable connections for others. Can’t find a networking group that feels like a good fit? Start your own.

  1. Give, give, give.

Living is giving. Especially while you are starting out, be sure to give above and beyond expectation.

  1. Think outside the box.

This entire generation is outside the box when it comes to innovative business and money-making platforms. From Tim Ferriss’ The Four-Hour Work Week to virtual assistants, crowdsourcing platforms, information products online and so much more, we are still just scratching the surface of what is possible.

  1. Be yourself.

Be yourself because everyone else is taken. No one is you-er than you. The more different you are, the better.

Use your differences to stand out in a competitive marketplace and follow your heart in matters of life and business.

  1. Don’t give up.

Never ever give up. Starting a business and going out on your own requires all of you. Each failure should be seen as a learning process and when you welcome failure you will see that it goes easier for you. We all fail. Majorly. Over and over. And we get back up and keep going for our dreams for as long as it takes.

More opportunities are available today than ever before. When you realize that your attitude and mindset are of utmost importance, these life hacks will catapult you toward success. There are quite a few of us millennial millionaires out here who would love to see you achieve all you set out to do.

One of the best MBA theses on entrepreneurial intent at FET colleges in South Africa (UPSpace)

Impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial intent at Further Education and Training (FET) colleges in South Africa

By: Muzi Malindi

Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/43998 November 10, 2014.

Abstract:

The purpose of this research was to investigate the impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial intent at FET colleges. The background to the study is guided by the action plans detailed in the national development plan to increase the capacity of the post college sector and the drive to improve early stage entrepreneurial training. The proposed research has contextual value and urgency for both business and academia given the level of youth unemployment, quality of education and South Africa’s below average Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) rate. The literature review on entrepreneurship education learning and teaching framework, measurement of entrepreneurial intent and the impact of entrepreneurship suggest that entrepreneurship programs have a positive impact on entrepreneurial behaviour. Three hypothesis were tested, the research hypothesis are H1: Learner satisfaction with the entrepreneurship curriculum has a positive effect on entrepreneurial intentions for FET College students. H2: Inclusion of experiential learning and practical exposure in the teaching and delivery methods has a positive effect on entrepreneurial intent. H3: Entrepreneurship education at FET College has a positive effect in promoting entrepreneurship as a career choice. The research findings concluded that there is a positive relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intent at FET colleges. The literature that encourages a combination of learning the start-up process and entrepreneurial activity is well supported. In addition, the entrepreneurship education program seems to have a positive relationship in promoting entrepreneurial career. The level of experiential learning and practical exposure was highlighted as a concern. Suggestions for future research were made to investigate level of experiential learning.The purpose of this research was to investigate the impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial intent at FET colleges. The background to the study is guided by the action plans detailed in the national development plan to increase the capacity of the post college sector and the drive to improve early stage entrepreneurial training. The proposed research has contextual value and urgency for both business and academia given the level of youth unemployment, quality of education and South Africa’s below average Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) rate. The literature review on entrepreneurship education learning and teaching framework, measurement of entrepreneurial intent and the impact of entrepreneurship suggest that entrepreneurship programs have a positive impact on entrepreneurial behaviour. Three hypothesis were tested, the research hypothesis are H1: Learner satisfaction with the entrepreneurship curriculum has a positive effect on entrepreneurial intentions for FET College students. H2: Inclusion of experiential learning and practical exposure in the teaching and delivery methods has a positive effect on entrepreneurial intent. H3: Entrepreneurship education at FET College has a positive effect in promoting entrepreneurship as a career choice. The research findings concluded that there is a positive relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intent at FET colleges. The literature that encourages a combination of learning the start-up process and entrepreneurial activity is well supported. In addition, the entrepreneurship education program seems to have a positive relationship in promoting entrepreneurial career. The level of experiential learning and practical exposure was highlighted as a concern. Suggestions for future research were made to investigate level of experiential learning.v

One of our best MBA theses on strategic planning (UPSpace)

A critical evaluation of general morphological analysis as a future study methodology for strategic planning

By: Simon John Swanich

Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/43989 November 10, 2014

ABSTRACT:

To achieve optimum results business leaders need to focus substantial resources towards developing a long term business strategy. However through a constantly changing business environment, leaders have to continuously review and adapt this strategy to meet new demands and challenges. Regulatory change has a major impact on business, as regulation serves as the convergence touch point between business and government, and this dimension has been identified as the number one contributor to business uncertainty. To meet this challenge business needs foresight and a knowledge of the future in uncertain times best achieved through the undertaking of future studies. There are many methodologies to undertake a future study, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. General morphological analysis was identified as a method which through its specification and design is an ideal candidate through which the complex and uncertain regulatory future could be thoroughly investigated. This studies aims to critically evaluate the robustness and appropriateness of general morphological analysis as an aid in strategic design when dealing with regulation, regulatory change and regulatory uncertain. The methodology was thoroughly evaluated through the undertaking of a general morphological analysis of the airline industry. Through interviews with airline c-suite executives and senior consultants to the industry, dimensions affecting airline future states were identified. Through this process a likely future for the airline industry relating to the regulatory environment was described, specifically highlighting ownership and route access as dimensions of primary impact and uncertainty. This report was presented to the airline executives and consultants who assessed the report to evaluate the methodology. 83% of the executive and consultant feedback found that the report produced using general morphological analysis would be accurate. Further they found that through the process; strong, in-depth and thorough insight was uncovered. Two thirds of the expert respondents stated that they would now consider utilising general morphological analysis in their organisation as a strategy planning tool going forward.