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6 Startup Lessons From Man’s Best Friend

Recently, I wrote an article about how dogs can be an asset to entrepreneurs and their startups. I thought it was a fun topic, but I was not prepared for the overwhelming response. Entrepreneurs from all over the country emailed me with stories of their own dogs and how much they’ve learned from them. The advice was just too good to keep to myself.

Below, a selection of entrepreneurs (all fellow members of the Young Entrepreneur Council) share the wisdom they’ve gleaned from their furry friends:

1. Live in the present.

From Snoopy, our office mascot and a vivacious maltipoo, I’ve learned that living in the present moment is the best gift you can give yourself. He loves it when he gets a treat, but he is just as content taking a nap on my pillow.

– Shama Kabani, The Marketing Zen Group (@Shama)

2. If it’s not rewarding, don’t do it.

My dog won’t do menial tasks without promise of a reward, and neither should entrepreneurs. Sure, Zoe will sit on command or come when called, but it’s always because she enjoys the treat or attention more than the alternative. I too try to only do things that are fun, rewarding and enjoyable. Life’s just better that way!

– Alexis Wolfer, TheBeautyBean.com (@AlexisWolfer)

3. Maximize fun.

Spending time with my Wheaten Terrier Lulu reminds me not to take life too seriously and to leave plenty of time for relaxation and play. For instance, without taking a breather from the go-go startup mentality, I wouldn’t think of creative solutions to some of the problems I face on a daily basis that are programming related, project management related, etc. In general though, I’ve learned from her that you have to maximize your fun as much as possible. That way, work isn’t really work!

– Matthew Ackerson, Saber Blast (@saberblast)

4. Never stop trying.

Growing up, I had Desert Tortoises as pets. The oldest and largest of the two actually learned how to open our back screen door. In the summer, she would open the door and hide under a bed where it was much cooler. We got smart and started locking the screen door so she couldn’t get in. However, that didn’t deter her. She would try every day to open the door, and from time to time we’d forget to lock it and she’d come right in. The moral of the story is that, as an entrepreneur, even when the door is locked, never stop trying — because one day, someone will leave it unlocked, and that’s when your perseverance will pay dividends.

– Mark Cenicola, BannerView.com (@markcenicola)

5. Find a sounding board.

My min pin, Frisco, and I have been “working” together for the last couple of years. Working with him has taught me that our own headspace can be our worst enemy. What sounds like a good idea in your head might not be a great idea in practice. To prevent bad ideas, I tell Frisco what I’m thinking. By talking through my idea out loud with him, I can find out what needs to be improved or get confirmation on my concept. If Frisco were a human, he’d be really annoyed with me. But since he’s a dog, I can bounce ideas off him without any worries.

– Brett Farmiloe, Markitors (@BrettFarmiloe)

6. Don’t take work (or life) too seriously.

I adopted a puppy about a year into my startup, and it definitely enhanced my quality of life. Watching her play reminds me to follow suit. Don’t take work or life too seriously. Sometimes, you just need a break. This realization has done great things for my energy and creativity, and for my startup!

– Martina Welke, Zealyst (@zealyst)

Does your dog inspire you, too?

David Adelman is the Founder and CEO of ReelGenie, an online platform that will revolutionize the way family stories are told and shared. David is also Founder of Reel Tributes, the premier producer of high-end documentary films. Reel Tributes’ films preserve timeless stories and memories for families and family-owned businesses.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

Morning and evening meditations and reflections: two books I love to open any time, any page.

What are you filling your mind with? What are you musing upon, reflecting on, what things are you considering today?

Sometimes when I get wrapped up in the throes of launching a new project, or just simply taking on too many projects, I don’t quite find I have enough time to sit leisurely and read an entire book. (This is something that I’d love to change, of course–but all in good time).

Lately I’ve started the habit of keeping two books by my bed that I love and opening them up to a random page to read as meditations before bed. No matter how busy the day, or how late I work, I don’t want to go to bed dreaming of work emails and screens and just re-playing the scenes of the day. And rather than beat myself up for not having time to read an entire book, I like to find books that are easy to just read a page or two of; something that will help me get into a sleep mindset.

There’s also importance in being careful what you “feed” yourself before bed, or what you put into your brain. I’ve noticed on the nights I stay up late watching trashy reality television, sometimes these characters will permeate my dreams, and I find myself ruminating obsessively in my dreams over details on the latest bachelorette episode (and I can’t stand to think that I spent my night considering this)–so I’m opting for a new strategy. Instead,Β I’ve started feeding myself these two favorites–just a page at a time:

A Return To Love, by Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…”

“Achievement doesn’t come from what we do, but from who we are. Our worldly power results from our personal power. Our career is an extension of our personality.”

“The universe will always support our integrity.”

“Having money means we have more money with which to employ other people and heal the world.”


Reflections on the Art of Living,Β A Joseph Campbell Companion

Selected and Edited by Diane K. Osbon

“The privilege of a lifetime is being you who are. The goal of the hero trip down to the jewel point is to find those levels in the psyche that open, open, open and finally open to the mystery of your Self being Buddha consciousness or the Christ. That’s the journey.”

“Fear of your power is what commits you to the lower system.”

“Ritual introduces you to the meaning of what’s going on.”

What do you read to put in your mind? Or rather, what are you currently filling your mind with? I love books for reflection, contemplation, ritual, and meditation–so if you have a recommendation, let me know!

sarah signature

 

Are You Suffocating From Ambition?

I had an epiphany the other day, perhaps the most significant one I’ve had in a long time.

Prior to this epiphany, there was an underlying problem: I didn’t understand why I felt a quiet, but constant, dissatisfaction with life. I have (enough) money, good health, a variety of friends, a strong desire for self-improvement, and an entrepreneur’s grit.

Yet, in spite of my good fortune, I felt lost and unproductive.

It finally occurred to me that my ambition was suffocating me.

For more than a year, the “philosophy of uncertainty” was a central point of inspiration for me.

The problem was that I associated uncertainty with wander, not explorative wander, but wander with the expectation of finding my true passion. In other words, I was hoping to stumble upon my destiny or meaning. Uncertainty had become my foundation. Seeing the world as ripe with potential, my thoughts and aspirations waded from one thing to the next, each supplying me with joy upon arrival and frustration upon departure.

My epiphany has taught me the true meaning of uncertainty, but I must discuss commitment first.

Buddha Quote

I felt lost because I was lost.

I was mentally jumping from one grand idea to the next, each time thinking, “This idea will finally fulfill me.” Alas, nothing had really enthralled me, but it wasn’t because of the quality of the ideas. Rather, the problem had been my lack of commitment. There are very few things that I’ve truly committed myself to accomplishing, and I suspect this is common among aspiring entrepreneurs. We often want the title “entrepreneur” so badly that we forget to focus on the most important quality of an entrepreneur: commitment.

There are two main theories when it comes to discovering a passion: you either instinctively know what your passion is, or you discover a passion by becoming an expert in something. Personally, my inherent passions are broad and theoretical- they are best pursued as hobbies, for now. On the other hand, I know well what I am becoming an expert in. In this regard, there is no uncertainty, there must only be commitment. I struggled with this realization for a long time because I wanted to be good at so many different things.

I didn’t want to feel confined to one subject matter. This desire, however, led me astray.

You have to be comfortable with viewing yourself as only a small part of a much bigger vision. Otherwise, you will strain to do everything, burn yourself out, and, ultimately, feel lost.

Socrates Quote

Uncertainty is important, but what it really boils down to is a reduction in the amount of control you feel you need to possess. In other words, if you concentrate on your expertise and the various other things that are crucially important to you (your core values), everything else will come together. Embracing uncertainty allows you to relinquish your fears and concentrate on what’s important. I made the mistake of looking at it as something to search for, which was a futile mistake, but it ended up being a good lesson.

Even though this article is mostly philosophical in nature, there is one solid point you should take away: it’s okay if your dream is dauntingly big as long as you’re willing to commit to it, leverage your expertise to achieve it, allow others to help you with it, and accept the uncertainty that inevitably surrounds it.

Jerad Maplethorpe is a self-taught web developer, aspiring entrepreneur, recreational philosopher and one to embrace the unexpected. Jerad believes in building technologies that bring like-minded people together in person. You can follow Jerad on twitter @maplethorpej.

13 Ways to Fit Travel Into Your Summer Schedule

Question: As an entrepreneur, how are you finding time/budget for travel this summer? (name one tip)

 

1. Make for a Happy Homecoming

“This summer, I’ve gone to Denver, L.A., Nevada, Orlando and Montreal so far! The key is planning the week of your return in advance. Don’t take any meetings; instead, spend that first morning easing back into your flow. Catch up on your emails and assignments. If you have focused work time during the week of your return, you’ll be all caught up and won’t feel burned out.”

 

2. Set Up Passive Income Streams

“I’m going to St. Lucia on my honeymoon this July, which has been a great motivator to finally set up some automatic sales funnel systems for my company. This way, I’ll have a constant stream of people coming to my site (and hopefully, buying my product) while I’m away. I’m looking forward to kicking back with a tropical drink and knowing that my income hasn’t stalled while I’m in the Caribbean!”

Five Reasons You Should Reconnect with Your Old Professors

At some point, everybody has had a professor who clearly didn’t give two sh*ts about teaching. Whether these “educators” were primarily focused on research or they were simply burnt out on pension, they somehow managed to make you feel even worse about yourself in class (if you decided to show up).

My challenge for you is to sift through all of the painful memories and recall those excellent teachers who genuinely improved the quality of your day-to-day life. These extraordinary people are the ones who care about the impact they have on young minds. They have dedicated their lives to teaching or they cashed out of the game early to spread their knowledge to the next generation.

It’s easy to forget about the subtleties of school once you have moved on to the next frontier, but as a young professional or entrepreneur, there are important reasons why you should reconnect with your teachers:

1. Gain Valuable Advice

Great professors are sages. They always seem to have useful input, and they relentlessly encourage your personal development. Whether or not you failed that particular class at school doesn’t matter; you can always learn something new from an old teacher. That advice might turn out to be exactly what you need to solve a major problem in your business.

As you move forward with your career, call on these figures to bounce ideas back and forth or to shoot holes in your plans. Who knows—over time, maybe you can build a strong relationship or add an experienced member to your Board of Advisors.

2. Expand Your Network

Launching a business or making a big career move requires an enormous level of interdependence. You need a broad network of contacts that can help you make things happen. Professors are great resources for connecting you to all sorts of people: from clients to investors and from expert opinions to new talent for your team.

The truth is, you’ll never know what opportunities you’re missing out on unless you reach out. Be enthusiastic and passionate about your purpose; you might be very surprised to see where that energy can take you.

3. Secure an Influential Evangelist

“One of my old students…” or “A few years ago, I had this student who…” fill in the blank, Mad Lib style.

How many times have you heard this one? Truth: teachers are proud of past students who have gone on to do great things. They’re even more proud of students who have done great things and who keep in touch.

In addition to their networks, teachers possess a captive audience of young minds. They shape the thoughts and attitudes of countless students. Keeping in touch with these instructors might turn your story into a reference that can inspire others or even promote your business. You never know the potential magnifying effect of solid evangelism.

4. Nurture a Supportive Friendship

When you graduate high school or college, your student-teacher relationships generally dissolve. Most people never realize that they can take these relationships to the next level. Instead, they move onward to the next adventure without ever looking back.

You have endured your old classes, and if you have done so with integrity, you can transform your ties with respected teachers into supportive friendships. These friendships can help you stay grounded while inspiring your ambition to succeed.

5. Show Your Appreciation

This one should be a no brainer.

If any particular teachers come to mind as you read this, then they obviously did a great job influencing you. Let those individuals know that their hard work paid off and that they left a lasting impact on you.

Even if you do have some other motive for reaching out, don’t forget to show your sincere appreciation. Positive feedback reinforces a person’s core objectives. They put in the time to help you learn and grow, so take the time to thank them for all of their effort.

Mike Darche is a 21-year-old student at the University of Notre Dame whose mission to inspire other like-minded young entrepreneurs.

How The Top 1% Actually Makes Progress

Productivity sucks.

For one, it’s hard. I mean, let’s face it – every single time I sit down to “get something done”, it almost never happens. At first, I thought it was just me. I thought that maybe there was some malfunction in my brain that made it physically impossible for me to focus on important tasks when the sweet, sweet Facebook newsfeed is only a click away. It’s sad, actually. The F key on my Macbook is starting to fade out. What’s even sadder is that oftentimes I don’t even WANT to be on Facebook (or insert your poison of choice). I just feel drawn to the distraction like a moth drawn to light. Don’t even get me started on Netflix. I’ve literally watched over 5 years of Weeds this week alone.

photo credit: Flickr/dm74

photo credit: Flickr/dm74

What am I doing with my life?

That’s why I always laugh when I see more of these “productivity” apps come out every month. Who needs another app? Who needs another digital piece of change jangling around in my already crowded brain? How is another set of clicks, swipes and scrolls actually going to help me get anything else done? I already have enough to do.

Sometimes I think I’m going nuts with all the things I have to think about at the same time.

So, in a moment of desperation a few months ago, I started asking other people Under 30 if they were having trouble getting things done in too. Mostly, I just wanted to make sure completely I wasn’t batshit crazy. Here’s what some of you had to say:

“Sometimes, I have so many things swirling around in my head that I just get confused and as a reflex, I do nothing.”

“I spend so much time thinking about how to get things done that I don’t actually get anything done. It’s like spending hours drawing up a map, then never using it.”

“I’m always trying to make progress in work/life, but I constantly find myself stopping and starting…so I never really get any traction.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

You have no idea how gratifying it was to get hear this stuff. I mean, honestly.

Now I know it’s not just me. You’re batshit crazy too! I can relate to all three of these, especially the last one.

I often find myself starting a new project, idea or pursuit then somehow, someway….letting it fade into the mist. Until eventually, it’s no longer part of my life. I treat it like a dead child and mourn for it…but rarely speak of it. Countless times I have tried to get something done and for whatever reason…just couldn’t. I couldn’t really put my finger on it…but it seemed like more than pure lack of willpower was at play here.

Not being able to follow through on the things we want to do sucks.

It sucks if you want to launch a successful startup. In fact, it sucks if you just want to improve your life in any way at all.

So, I took a hard look at my habits and my interactions with the people and things that I deemed important to me.

I discovered something very interesting. Something that has been a HUGE factor in me starting 3 profitable businesses in the last 12 months and ejecting myself out of 9-to-5 misery.

Here’s what I’ve been doing. Let me know what you think.

Maybe it’s not about willpower?

You can’t “will” yourself to be more productive with your time.

You’re not a lemon. You can’t just squeeze more juice out. It doesn’t work like that, young padawan.

To be honest, I don’t even think I have what most people would call “willpower”. If you’re talking about mental fortitude, well I probably use 60% of my energy just getting out of bed in the morning. Maybe 70% on days where I have something un-fun to do. Yes, I made that word up.

If I had to use willpower to be productive, I’d never get anything done.

I legitimately don’t have the wherewithal to combat the temptations of all the fun things I’d rather do (instead of bootstrapping these businesses) on a daily basis. I like having fun, training and “chilling” too much.

But therein lies the problem. On the one hand, I don’t want to do anything but things that excite and inspire me. On the other hand, in order to EVENTUALLY have the ability to only do what I want, I have to make some serious moves now. Moves that require me to be extremely productive.

So I had to find a way.

I’d always thought that the reason elite performers in the top 1% of their disciplines were able to do so much more than me was because they had some sort of x-factor that allowed them to work harder, longer and better than me. Or, I made up all these limiting self-beliefs that they had unfair advantages that I’d never have (“of course he’s more productive than me…he has a personal chef to cook for him while he’s working”). All that is BS, naturally.

Then it occurred to me – maybe it’s not willpower at work here. Maybe these people aren’t “forcing” themselves to get stronger, faster, smarter or more successful.

Maybe it goes much deeper.

Maybe the reason that the world’s most productive people ARE so productive is because they have their entire life designed to get better at their work.

The Seinfeld Solution

In 1998, Jerry Seinfeld made $267 million dollars from the 9th and final season of his hit show Seinfeld. Yes, thats a quarter billiondollars. No, that’s not a typo. NBC begged him to do a 10th season to the tune of $5M per episode for 22 episodes (WTF?!). He declined. Needless to say, it was a great decade for him. But the 2000′s have been quite good to him as well – deals from syndication of his now classic show bring in a steady paycheck of about $85 million per year. Not bad, Jerry. Not bad at all.

ku-xlarge

photo credit: Lifehacker

But let’s take it back. Back, before he was a borderline billionaire comedian. Back before he was even a household name.

How does one amass the talent, skill and productivity to write joke after joke, show after show, year after year at such a high level?

In an interview with Lifehacker, comedian Brad Isaac shares the story of a chance encounter he had with Seinfeld backstage. He asked Jerry if he had any “tips for a young comic”.

Here’s how Brad describes the conversation:

He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”

Take note here. You’ll notice Jerry didn’t mention anything about having good jokes. He didn’t even mention how long the activity had to last. The task is very simple: write something every day, put an X on the calendar and don’t break the chain.

How Growing Your Business Is Like Training In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Last week I found myself caught in a bad situation: I was on the verge of passing out as my neck was caught between two legs. At the same time my arm was gruesomely extended with massive pressure grinding into my elbow. For those that recognize this Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique, I was caught in a deadly “triangle armbar.” I considered my options. A) I pass out from the choke B) My arm breaks or C) I could tap out. I chose option C and tapped out with a sore arm and a bruised ego.

“The reason you are getting caught in a submission,” my martial arts instructor Steve told me, “is because you are not attacking enough!”

I looked over to see his Octopus tattoo: a reminder to attack my opponent as if I had eight limbs.

“If you find yourself not moving for more than 5 seconds, move. Do something! Just don’t sit still.”

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lesson reminded me how closely linked martial arts is to growing a business. It’s all about movement. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the times I stop moving are when I get caught in a submission hold. In business, the times I stop working hard to find new opportunities are when my sales drop. Experience has taught me time and again that movement is the key to surviving in business and to winning at it.

Making sales for your business is one of the strangest things. When you work hard, you sell a lot. Putting in the extra time on a customer proposal, or making one more sales call is the difference between an underachiever and an overachiever. The moment you stop working as hard as you know you can, your sales drop exponentially. It is rare to find an average salesman. I believe that there are only hard working sales people and sales people who do not work enough.

“I’m working really hard but my business is not growing. How do you explain that?”

It is the hardest part about growing your business. It is also the hardest part about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It was absolutely demotivating last weekend when someone who hadn’t trained in over a year walked in and crushed me on the sparring mats. After all, I train four times per week at my gym and have 2 years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experience. Is hard work not the answer to success? After conducting a lot of research, I discovered that hard work is the answer, just not the way I originally saw it.

Mastery Curve

This graph represents the plateaus we experience in our lives. In the beginning of starting something new (a job, a new business or a sport) we easily experience a lot of growth. Some call this “beginner’s luck.” I prefer to think that it is a combination of excitement and knowledge of that skill we didn’t know before.

Looking back at the graph, you will notice the first plateau. The obvious downtrend is when we stop getting the results we first experienced at the start. We do not progress as quickly, our excitement fades a little bit, and ultimately that plateau offers us two options:

Quit and try something else
Work hard until you break through
Do you quit when things get hard, or do you work hard to break through? Hard work requires movement. It requires you to put in the extra hours of training, or the extra hours of cold calling, or the extra hours of networking with new people. It takes movement to get up in the morning when everyone is still asleep. It takes movement to put a smile back on your face when things don’t go your way.

In saying this, the last thing I want to do is “preach” to you. I’m no superman! In fact, getting up on weekends is something I really struggle to do. Knowing that movement is the secret to pushing past my plateaus and reaching new heights of business growth is what motivates me to move out of my comfortable bed instead of sleeping in.

Plateaus are inevitable as you continue to develop your skills in business, martial arts, working out at the gym, or playing a sport. One of the reasons I emphasize working your passions so strongly throughout my blog articles is because when you love what you do, you find the will to breakthrough your plateaus.

Managing Your Movement

One of the best “success” principles I have ever been taught is the ability to organize one’s day with positive habits.

Eric Thomas once said that if you swing your axe at a tree in different places, it won’t move. But if you aim your axe in the same place every single day, eventually that tree will fall down!

I organize my day and my week around a series of consistent practices that I have to do in order to grow my business while working a job and still doing all of the things I love to do. Rather than stay rigid and time-bound, my schedule is a series of daily tasks I have to accomplish each day in the same order.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Cold Call

Cold Call

Cold Call

Cold Call

Cold Call

Brazilian

Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian

Jiu-Jitsu

Appointments

Appointments

Appointments

Appointments

Appointments

Writing Articles

Writing Articles

Writing Articles

Brazilian

Jiu-Jitsu

Writing Articles

Brazilian

Jiu-Jitsu

Writing Articles

Marketing Over Social Media

Marketing Over Social Media

Marketing Over Social Media

Marketing Over Social Media

Marketing Over Social Media

Marketing Over Social Media

Marketing Over Social Media

Free Time

Free Time

 

* Note: I use a Franklin Covey Day Timer to keep track of all of my weekly appointments, and CRM (customer relationship management) software to manage my sales opportunities and contact list.

In total, it may not seem like I’m doing a lot of things. That’s exactly what I want. I do the same key tasks day after day that slowly place me on the fast track to success. Overcoming plateaus becomes easier each time I experience one because I keep repeating the same tasks over and over without thought or doubt. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we call this “muscle memory.” When you practice the same movement one million times, eventually that technique becomes second nature. In business, repeating the same series of tasks eventually becomes second nature too. Growing your business is like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The more you move, the more you will grow and succeed.

To conclude, I wish to leave you with my favourite quote from Bruce Lee.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Adrian Boucek is the author of Bloodhounder.com, a blog full of charismatic wisdom, controversial advice and passion-fueling interviews on the topics of Career Advice, Dream Employment and Entrepreneurship. Follow Adrian on Twitter: @adrianboucek
Read more at http://under30ceo.com/how-growing-your-business-is-like-training-in-brazilian-jiu-jitsu/#kqrbcAxCCdmdLsok.99

Ways to Recover from Burnout (No Sugar-coated Tips Included)

Young, spirited, and dynamic – these are the common traits of any young executive today. However, despite the plethora of energy-inspiring things that young executives face and experience on a daily basis, profession burnout keeps on lurking at every corner and angle. The mantra of many young executives is “make your passion your profession” in an aim to beat burnout from the get-go. However, even the most passionate business executive can still suffer from burnout from time to time.

Some would be quick to say that young executives do not experience burnout as they are seen as the movers and shakers in today’s industry, they are spirited, they are dynamic, and they have full years ahead of them. However, in reality, it is quite the contrary. Young executives are just like any person who experiences burnout, fatigue, and restlessness.

Signs that you are inside the burnout zone

Psychologists contend that there are sure signs of job burnout, and these include the following:

  • You are having difficulty finding motivation to work
  • You do not feel like going to your workplace
  • You have a shorter temperament for your employees and colleagues
  • You feel disengaged from your work
  • You feel that you lost your passion for work-related tasks and activities

Steps to recover from burnout– sans the sugar-coated advices

If you ask someone for an advice on how to shrug off burnout, he or she will likely give you umbrella advice or a macro-management approach. Although this advice is helpful, it may cloud the specific steps you can take  to get back to your passionate self. If you want to regain your passion for your work, you may want to give these simple steps a try:

Divide and conquer

Many young entrepreneurs are guilty of not separating their business with either personal or social life, and one of the best ways to combat burnout is to divide your professional and personal time, and conquer your daily tasks and activities seamlessly. It is like having an on-off switch; when you’re doing business, do business, but if you are at home, avoid doing anything related to work. Some suggest to follow the rule of ‘three eights’ or to divide your day into three parts – eight hours for work, eight hours for socialization, hobby, or interest, and eight hours for rest.

O.H.I.O.

Only handle it once. Simple adjustments in your daily routine can spell big changes in the way you look at your business and career. By using O.H.I.O. approach, you can do all the things you need to accomplish in a breeze. If you need to respond to an email, do it then and there. According to proponents of this approach, responding to emails later will take three times longer than it should be as you have to find and reread that email. This small change in your daily routine can help you find your motivation back since it helps you become more productive.

Reboot yourself

Reinventing yourself with a new hobby is one of the most effective ways to combat burnout. Since burnout is mainly caused by failure to gain motivation, you can cure it with something new and crazy hobby that you could look forward to. Finding a new hobby or starting a project will give you an extra reason to wake up each morning with excitement and delight. This could cause a domino effect, and at the receiving end is your motivation. Enjoying a new hobby or going on a vacation can catapult you out of the realm of boredom, helping you kick burnout away.

John Rodgers is a senior writer and contributor for www.carloancalculator.org, a car loan payment website. The website is easy to use and can save you money by determining different loan terms or down payments. 

Dear Entrepreneur: Uncertainty is Natural

Response to a post by a newly minted entrepreneur on facing everyday blues and uncertainty in the first 6 months.

Dear Entrepreneur,

The fun thing is that you never know whether you’re on the right track or not. It is living life in small moments and the bigger picture at the same time.

You’re On A Trek

Imagine you’re on a trek. Keep looking at the peak every now and then. Are you nearer to it then you were before? If yes, keep focusing on the path, or make one that seems right. If the peak seems farther that it was before, realize which was the wrong turn and undo it. Ensure your team stays together, ensure all of them want the peak. Ensure each one of you wants to share the load while making your way to the top by sharing food and water among yourselves equally. The peak is the BIG PICTURE and your immediate path stands for the everyday challenges. Roadblock? Find a way. Thirsty? Find a stream. Leopard in your way? Knock it out (killing is cruel). One team member behaving like a douche? Show him the way down. Douche villager who is rude while showing the way? Still be polite (burn no bridges).

Losing steam? Look at the peak again! Breathe the friggin’ mountain air! Look at your strong legs, look at the clouds, look at the innocent birds chirping happily all around you- the world loves you. You love yourself. And you’re so strong that you’ve made it so far. You chose the mountain. You chose your team. You chose the path- built it, I’d say. You’ve settled in your niche, you know your purpose, you know where you’re headed. LOOK AT THE PEAK! And it will all make sense.

Uncertainty is Natural

Because no one is driving your life but you. You never know that you’re on the right track till the short term goals get fulfilled. Set milestones, they help you know that you’re on the right track. Product reached a certain stage? Good. People/Mentors appreciate the progress? Good. Team still motivated enough? Good. You figure out how you’ll make money? Good.

Believe

Understand the reason why you feel you’re back at Square One. Is it the progress at the project? Is it lack of team cohesion? Is it lack of financial security? If yes, then get things in order. List them, sort them out. Make sure the startup grows slowly but steadily. Is it purely emotional? Speak about it to your family, your better half. Feel loved.

The First Year Is Often Slow

It always is, because you’re out in the cold, trying to build something and making tonnes of mistakes. But you learn so darn much then, that helps you accelerate in the next year and after that. So don’t worry that you’re taking time, you’re learning in the process. But DO NOT get complacent and DO NOT take things as they come. You might need to initiate and lead and create and execute.

Where Is This Coming From?

From numerous conversations I’ve had with fellow business people, my own experience (2 years out in the cold till date), a number of blogs online and wonderful books I’ve read. You’re not alone, but you gotta do what you gotta do :)

Kick ass. Best wishes.

Sushrut Munje – Founder & MD at Hammer & Mop, a premium cleaning services company based in Mumbai (India). In love with efficiency and animals. Writes a non-commercial editorial series for StartupCentral on customer service insights.

The Countries That Love/Hate The United States The Most

Denis Foynes– A recent study researched the United States’ popularity in nearly 40 nations. The United States has always been a controversial country especially in recent decades.

The survey found that overall in the last decade, the U.S.’ popularity has sharply declined due to the Iraq war, Wall Street’s role in triggering the global recession, use of torture and drone strikes, and the childish political disputes in Washington. But who is the most/least in favour to the United States?

The ten countries that love the United States the most (percentage with a favorable view)

10. Brazil (73%)

9. Uganda (73%)

8. Italy (76%)

7. South Korea (78%)

6. El Salvador (79%)

5. Kenya (81%)

4. Senegal (81%)

3. Ghana (83%)

2. Israel (83%)

1. Philippines (85%)

Here are the ten nations with the least favorable impression of the United States

10. Lebanon (47%)

9. Tunisia (42%)

8. Argentina (41%)

7. China (40%)

6. Greece (39%)

5. Turkey (21%)

4. Egypt (16%)

3. Palestinian territories (16%)

2. Jordan (14%)

1. Pakistan (11%)