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3 Tips to Cure Holiday Overwhelm at Work

Is it just me, or did you also notice that the holiday decorations and advertising started earlier this year?

My first reaction was like one of those cartoon characters who gets surprised and his eyes bug out about three feet.

My first thought was to chase thoughts about everything I have yet to do this year.

My first feeling was overwhelm.

How about you?

Yes, it’s “the most wonderful time of the year”…and yet all of us are susceptible of missing the wonder of it all due to work overwhelm that accompanies the holidays.

Check out these 3 Tips to Cure Your Holiday Overwhelm at work that help me:

Focus on Positive Strengths

From Madison Avenue to Your Street, we are shoved toward an impending sense of lack during the holidays. This scarcity mentality afflicts us at work as well, shifting our focus to the negative.

I choose to focus on positive strengths. I make a list of what’s going well with my businesses right now. I jot some notes about the strengths of 2014 and include financials, significant product developments, additional team members, customer problems solved, and new referral relationships.

You can do the same in less than an hour. Then begin your work day by reading over this list. This single strategy pivots your mindset from negative—what I don’t have—to positive—what we’re doing well. Since you see what you’re looking for, you will add to your list daily as you discover more positive strengths.

Focus on Positive Situations

Next, I focus on positive situations. Overwhelm produces anxiety which shuts down our strategic ability to focus on positive situations. We see Mt. Everest in its entirety instead of the first step that leads to the second step which gets you to the summit. Rather than focusing on what you can do, we shut down because we can’t do it all at once.

I’m all about doing what I can do today and working off a list of those action items. You can make a list of what you can do. Think of them as positive situations from which you leverage the kind of forward motion your business wants to reach your goals. Focus on this list and prioritize it. Pick one activity and do something to check it off. Keep building on the positive momentum you gain from this activity and move forward some more.

As you achieve more, your focus on these positive situations sharpens like a laser. You discover more positive situations and your attitude shifts from overwhelm—“what I can’t do”—to achievement—“what I can do.”

Focus on Positive Signals

I realized some years ago that my feeling of overwhelm emerges during the holidays more as a reaction to the realization that the year is about to end than anything else. I  reflected on what wasn’t done, how little time I had left to do it, and the impending sense that it’ll be undone as I begin the new year.

What I do now and what you can do too is to honestly evaluate what is accomplished toward 2014 goals now. Then strategically act on the positive situations you can now, using your positive strengths accrued through the year. Determine what barriers prevented further growth.

Then assess the positive signals emerging as 2014 nears completion that will serve as your springboard to positive growth in 2015. What are the positive strengths? What are the positive situations? How do these project positive signals in 2015?

Focusing on these positive signals gives you cures your holiday overwhelm gets you excited anticipation for the upcoming new year, and helps you truly enjoy this most wonderful time of the year!

About the Author

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 Amazon best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), coach, and speaker who helps business professionals increase sales with greater productivity so they get out of the office earlier. Discover more at www.ListentoLife.org.



 
  


Financial_med

Article Contributed by Spotcap

Good financial management can mean the difference between setting your business on a course for success and watching it become insolvent. Spotcap, the fastest online credit platform, has compiled a checklist with the most crucial advice for successful financial management.

  1. Seize different funding opportunities

The reality is that most SMEs will experience financial turbulence at some point and struggle to expand their business. Many studies report that access to financing remains one of the most critical, if not the foremost, constraint faced by SMEs. However, online platforms and financial technology have fundamentally changed the application process for loans. Small business loan platforms, crowdfunding, and angel investors enable entrepreneurship at an early stage. Leverage the opportunities of short-term loans to seize investment opportunities.

  1. Take advantage of government incentives

Most countries offer some form of incentive to attract and foster startups; however, these benefits may vary from country to country. Ireland, for example, has attracted many European companies with grants, a low corporation tax of 12.5%, seed funding, and tax reliefs. Startups should contact their relevant government agency for information on the financial support available to them. It is well worth going through the lengthy registration process for a government grant, because this can be a crucial first source of financing.

  1. Keep up with your finances

Small businesses often lack a clear overview of their daily, weekly, and monthly numbers and financial trends in their organization. Solid cost accounting is crucial to track your company’s cost and the basis for getting a clear view on your cash position. Understanding your liquidity position is paramount to managing your finances effectively. Spend the necessary time keeping track of your cash position, and if you lack the financial skills, hire an accountant.

  1. Keep costs low

You received funding? Congratulations! The work doesn’t stop there; it is important to remain cost-efficient and invest the funds you have strategically. Bill Gurley and Marc Andreessen recently criticized the fast cash burn in the IT industry, which might ultimately lead to another IT bubble. Entrepreneurs should heed their advice and make good use of their funding with good budgeting processes. Having an oversight of your cash position helps you identify where you need to cut costs.

  1. Use apps to organise your finances

Apps like Expensify (www.expensify.com), Chargify (www.chargify.com), and Indinero (www.indinero.com) are simple, useful tools to help you keep your finances in check. With these Apps, you can convert photos of your receipts into neatly formatted reports, manage online product subscriptions, track your current financial situation, and receive budget suggestions for the future by integrating information from your bank and credit card accounts.

  1. Restructure your debt

Approximately 40.000 small businesses close their doors every month in the U.S., mainly due to the enormous burden of debt they have accumulated. Startups that find themselves in financial straits should try to negotiate preferable terms with their creditors and set up a plan to get out of the debt trap. Additionally, companies should constantly be on the lookout for different financing opportunities to reduce the reliance on single sources of debt.

About Spotcap:

Spotcap enables small business owners to grow their business by providing fast and flexible financing. The company has developed a sophisticated and dynamic decision process assessing the real-time performance of businesses to grant short term loans. Spotcap was launched in Madrid in September 2014 and is led by Toby Triebel and Jens Woloszczak in Berlin. The team – currently consisting of 35 credit and online experts – plans to expand its service both geographically and across products. Spotcap is backed by Rocket Internet – the world’s leading global internet platform outside of the US and China. Read more about Spotcap: www.spotcap.com


EntrepreneurCalendar

Are you in a Groundhog Day rut? Does yesterday look like today which resembles tomorrow which also reminds you of yesterday?

For those of you who don’t know the reference to the classic movie, Groundhog Day, Bill Murray finds himself trapped in a time loop, and every day is identical. Every day, events repeat themselves from the original day. He is only able to break out of the loop when he changes his thinking fundamentally, by embracing all aspects of his life.

Entrepreneurs are often in this rut. Every day is a manic Monday, and the concept of a Friday, let alone a weekend is inconceivable.  Sometimes this loop is unavoidable, but here are a few pointers for yourself to stay sane when you are in this cycle:

  • Give yourself a timeframe. Learn more about timeboxing and the Pomodoro technique.
  • Make sure you see a light at the end of the tunnel. Take a step away from the business. This will allow you to see the entire picture holistically. If there is no light, it’s time to abort mission.
  • Make sure your team has the same calendar as you. If you are the only one without a weekend, take steps to change that.
  • As the character in Groundhog Day did, change your thinking fundamentally. If you are really meant to work hard on your startup, and it is bringing you joy, isn’t everyday actually a Friday?

And if you need some more tips about how 19 different entrepreneurs got out of the rut, these tips will help.

Let us know if you agree with this comic. How do you deal with the Monday blues?

This was originally created and posted by Kriti Vichare on #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.


Tap the Power of Thank You

There may be only one day a year devoted to giving thanks, but expressing thanks year round and doing it well is one of the most profitable business strategies you can have.

Numerous studies reveal that when you thank your customers, they spend more money and tell their friends about the exceptional service and products you deliver, increasing your profits. Volumes chronicle how employee productivity zooms when appreciation is expressed, raising your margins. Vendors go the extra mile to extend credit and deliver “just in time” when they hear gratitude regularly, and keep your cash flowing. Giving thanks works in business.

But you’re already doing more with less and the last thing you want is another item on your to-do list. What are the most effective and efficient ways to express gratitude to these important players in your positive business success?

Start today implementing these 4 tips to develop the profitable habit of saying “Thank you” to your customers, employees, and vendors year-round:

Be specific in your thanks. It’s one thing to say, “I appreciate you. Thanks a lot.” That’s a soap-bubble comment. Pretty while it lasts, but gone in seconds. When you thank them for something specific, that’s Velcro. That’s a thanks they remember because it sticks. You hook your gratitude to something the employee did. For instance, an employee just handled a difficult phone call with a customer really well. Thank them for that specific activity.

Appreciate the process. Target your appreciation at what the person did. Let’s go back to the worker who took the phone call. Avoid telling the employee, “Thanks for helping me keep that customer.” That’s just an outcome that benefits you. Say, “I like how you hung in there when that customer was being difficult. You were really patient and respectful.” The same type of strategy goes for vendors. Give thanks for their doing something that was an extra-mile effort. Recognize the above-and-beyond work.

It’s about them, not you. Showing that you know something about them is incredibly valuable. Connect your gift-giving with life beyond the business walls. If a vendor became a Grandpa, give him a copy of “Goodnight, Moon” to read to the little one. If an employee’s mother died of breast cancer this year, make an end-of -the-year donation to the American Cancer Society in her name. Such intimacy breaks the relationship ice in a transformational, not just transactional, direction which is the game-changing pathway to greater profits.

Go old school with your thanks. In this pixelated world of emails and texts, Facebook and Twitter, the simple and quick act of writing a handwritten expression of gratitude goes a long way. There’s something special today about a handwritten note. I keep a stack of cards and envelopes with me to write thank you notes in flight when returning from a workshop or coaching session. It takes about three minutes per card. You create return business when you take pen in hand and write, “Thank you,” to your customers. Just say, “I know you could do business with others, but you chose us. Thank you! We treasure our relationship.”

Implement these tips, and your business says “Thank you” back to you as you positively increase your profits year-round.

(This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com)

About the Author

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 Amazon best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), coach, and speaker who helps business professionals increase sales with greater productivity so they get out of the office earlier. Discover more at www.ListentoLife.org.


entrepreneurfail_desk

Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge an entrepreneur by his/her desk. Or can you?

Standing desk, traditional wood-trimmed table, lap-desk, or a makeshift corner of a dining table, the desk is an entrepreneur’s kingdom.  Key characteristics of the desk can tell a lot about the type of entrepreneur and the type of work being done.

Clutter

A meticulously clean desk may indicate a a deeply-entrenched entrepreneur, and perhaps someone who must think logically about their business.  A cluttered desk may indicate more creativity and divergent thinking.  Here are some more details about the nuances between clean and messy desks.

Stuff

The daily work of an entrepreneur is timely, pressing, and relevant. The daily work of a wantrepreneur, on the other hand, is superficial, distracting, and fleeting.  For example:

Other work – the wantrepreneur probably has a day job or is keeping his/her options open.  A resume, a “day job” laptop, and the job postings section may be tell-tale signs.

  • Motivational propaganda – many entrepreneurs have a guru or a mentor, but only wantrepreneurs surround themselves with the books, audio, video they think will make them then entrepreneur they want to be.
  • To do lists – the wantrepreneur will add in unnecessary non-business related items just to make the to do list seem longer – e.g. doing the laundry, going to the bathroom, etc.    

So what type of desk do you have? And is there room for improvement? Let us know in the comments below.

This was originally created and posted by Kriti Vichare on #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.



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GetEntrepreneurial.com is a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. Our specially hand-picked panel of GetEntrepreneurial.com Network experts regularly contribute entrepreneurial content and professional tips for small business owners worldwide.