I remember when I finished my university studies and was applying for jobs, during interviews with employers, I used to say that I was good at multitasking and could cope with multiple priorities at the same time. Oh boy! Was that a lie or what?
The term multitasking originated in the computer industry and referred to a multiprocessor’s ability to process a number of tasks simultaneously.
The idea of being able to multitask is almost an expectation if you’re an employee however if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, it may not necessarily be the best practice to adopt.
If you have a business, it is really an extension of who you are and what you value. Put simply, our values are the things that we define as being important to us.
Our values represent the kind of person we are and what we want to express out in the world.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, it makes a lot of sense to create a business centred around our values because we generally tend to act according to our values.
For example, if there is something we need to be doing for our business that is not in harmony with our values, the chances are we will avoid doing it, procrastinate or even not do it at all.
Wouldn’t it be great if any new thing we try gives us the result we want straight away, like applying a new strategy in our business or learning a new skill?
As business owners, the harsh reality is that most things we try in our businesses often do not give us the outcomes we want straight away. In fact, most things will not or do not work. I once heard the concept of marketing described as an experiment where over 80% of the things we try will fail. I don’t know about you but for me, that can be pretty disheartening.
When I first started my business, I was quite naive. Having had years of experience in managing large multi-million dollar manufacturing operations, I thought I would be able to apply the same methodologies to build a small business around what I loved to do.
Unfortunately, I found out soon enough that building a profitable business starting from scratch required a new mindset, new strategies and new actions. And for the first few years, there were more challenging times than good times.
Through those difficult periods, there was one principle that kept me motivated and moving forward, one step at a time.
As an entrepreneur, being able to succinctly convey to our audience our message, whether that is on a website, marketing material or in a conversation, is one of the key skills we must develop.
Success in business largely comes down the way we market our business.
Over the years, I have learned some valuable marketing lessons, a lot of them through mistakes I have made, and some through modelling other highly successful marketers.
Whenever we have the opportunity to experience or do something new, it can be very exciting… initially. Having variety is one of the great joys in life.
The energy, sense of anticipation and being able to explore new opportunities are signs that there is something to look forward to.
While the opportunity to learn or try new things is highly desirable, it can also be a major distraction. When we have too many distractions, it causes us to dilute our focus, lose momentum, not keep our commitments and agreements, and even give up on projects or goals we had set.
Rather than staying on course and completing what we currently have going on, being attracted to these new “shiny objects” can lead to failure, frustration and overwhelm.
Maintaining a high level of productivity isn’t always easy. With so many distractions around us such as social media, television and our smart devices, we can be forgiven for losing focus and dropping off with our productivity.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you know you cannot afford to have too many unproductive days in a row.
The cost of low productivity can result in lost income opportunities, giving poor customer service to clients and prospects, and leaving others with a bad impression of you and your business.
The ability to be able to delegate effectively is a skill that can be learned just like any other skill.
As business leaders or entrepreneurs, often we continue working hard and working extra hours because that’s what we need to do in order to get done all the things we want to. It’s what’s going to bring us success, right?
What if we could delegate the low-value tasks we do and just concentrate on things that will bring the highest return? You may be thinking, “That sounds like a nice idea but I’m not good at delegating or I haven’t had much experience with delegating work?”
The good news is delegating work is not difficult and can be learned. Over time, with more practice, you will get better at it and be able to dedicate more time to do higher-valued work.
Being able to work from home is one of the main benefits of being an entrepreneur or a small business owner.
The amount of time saved not having to commute to an office is huge. Sometimes it is easy to forget how much of a luxury it is to be able to work from home.
When I first started working from home, the freedom to do whatever I wanted was great. However, I quickly learned that I was responsible for everything in my business as I was a solopreneur.
I noticed I had developed a few bad habits when working from home that decreased my productivity and affected how long it took me to finish projects. In order to get my productivity level where I wanted it to be, I had to replace or eliminate some of these bad habits.
Over the years, I’ve become developed better discipline once I was able to identify these habits. As a result, my productivity levels have improved dramatically along with my ability to focus and get things done.
One reason we tend to feel stressed or overwhelmed is because we find it hard to say no to new requests or to new offers.
Saying no is challenging because often we don’t want to offend another person or experience feeling guilty for saying no. Over the years, being able to say no without feeling guilty has been one of the most important things I have learned, and that has helped me stay true to what’s important to me.
Knowing that we cannot please everyone can actually be a liberating thing. There are times when people will go out of their way to try and make us feel guilty, which in turn can pressure us to say yes when we really want to say no.
Becoming aware of why it is difficult for us to say no is really the starting point. Once we’re comfortable with what we stand for and what’s important to us, saying no becomes a lot easier.