Tag: Inspiration

Quick Takeaway: Build A Dream First Then Reap the Rewards After

Every once in a while, I come across a quote that, in a few words, relays an important and powerful message.  Here is one:

So what’s the takeaway?

Start from scratch and create something that you can call your own and that you’re proud of.  It doesn’t have to be something big; many big things often start very small.  Building it yourself will require hard work, effort, sacrifices and pushing through on tough days.  Along the way, you’ll learn more about yourself as you’re faced with challenges and gain experience.  You’ll learn what persistence means and what it means to truly put in work.  This will build your character and broaden your perspective as you act on your passion.  You’ll develop a story along the way.  The victory and success at the end of the road can also build you professionally and personally.  TheAfter5Edge started as an idea and it has since spread its wings.

Have you found something that you’re passionate about developing? Have you given your entrepreneurial spirit the freedom to dream and act? When are you taking your first step?

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The 3 Crucial Steps to Managing Your Time and Getting Things Done Efficiently

There’s a limited amount of time in each day and an unlimited amount of things you could do with that time.  Like everyone else, I often feel busy but don’t always see what I’ve accomplished when the day is done.  With funny videos being posted on Facebook, texts, emails, popular articles surfacing on your timeline on Twitter, there are countless things to pique your interest and make you veer away from the day’s agenda.

A few days ago, I was catching up with a friend who is 800 miles away. Our catchup session was longer than usual since our schedules often conflict.  We soon realized that we had both fallen victim to sleeping in, relaxing and not tackling the things on our to-do lists as planned.  Of course you need to take it easy sometimes, but my plan was to be up and out the door by around 8 AM so I was already hours behind schedule.

So I spent some time thinking about what it really takes to get manage your time and get things done.  I started with a long list but in terms of what is truly crucial and consequential, I was left with these three steps:

1.  Figure out what you need to do.  Without direction, an objective and a clear list of tasks, it is hard to move forward and accomplish anything.  So the first thing is to figure out what you need to get done.  If you’re following through on directives from others, make sure you’re clear on the details.  If you’re running the show and creating and tackling your own list, make sure you’re honest with yourself so you include everything.

2.  Prioritize your list.  One really important skills is to know what to work on now and what can wait.  Not everything in your list will be high priority and being able to attack your list accordingly will really impact your effectiveness.  This is especially important if you’re reporting to others who are depending on your output.

3.  Get things done, efficiently.  If you’re working on your list, that’s generally a good thing. But don’t spend all day working on one item with 20 more left untouched.  Being busy doesn’t always translate to effectiveness so make sure you’re not spinning your wheels unnecessarily.  In between tasks that require a lot of focus, do lighter tasks or take a break altogether to do something different.  Stepping away will usually give you that boost and revitalization you need.

My friend and I eventually got our acts together and by the time I checked in later in the day, she had called her cell phone provider and was well on her way to getting a new phone within the week.  Some time ago, her iPhone stopped working so she reverted to an old flip phone because she wasn’t due for an upgrade for two months.  By picking up the phone and sharing she was considering switching providers, she got her monthly bill lowered and the option to upgrade her phone immediately for a minimum down payment.  On my end, I revisited the installation of some software onto my new computer and got it to work with one try after multiple failed attempts the night before.  Now I finally had access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint which I needed to do other things on my list.

So get your list, your coffee and snacks and get to work.  You’ll see how amazing the power of the start is!

Do you ever feel like you could do a better job of managing your time and getting things done?  What are some obstacles you face?  How do you get on track and accomplish things?

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Igniting Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

The entrepreneurial spirit gives you hope and drives you to make something out of nothing.  See how I previously defined it here.  It empowers you believe you can get from point A to K, without directions and by taking an unplanned route.  Once you get to point B, you’ll leverage your experience from getting from point A to B to figure out how to get to point C.  There’s a risk you won’t make it to point K, but despite that, the entrepreneurial spirit tells you it is ok to try. The entrepreneurial spirit in rooted in the belief that effort and small steps are better than making no progress at all.

So how do you ignite your own entrepreneurial spirit?

Before Editing

Take ownership of what makes you unique.  Be in tuned to who you are, what is important to you and what you stand for.  Make a conscious effort to prioritize those things and customize your life so you experience more of them. Yes, it is possible to customize your life!  Remember that life didn’t come with a handbook so what society prescribed as the path may not be the one for you.  And that is perfectly fine.  But the responsibility to celebrate who you are and create the life you want is yours.

After Editing

Insert creative moments in your day.  The exploratory nature of creativity is fundamental to the entrepreneurial spirit because creativity allows you to experiment and see things differently.  Make it a point to incorporate creativity in your day so that you’re actively doing something.  I’ve always loved photography because it provides a lasting gratification associated with a moment that captured my attention and moved me emotionally.  So most times, I’m carrying my camera and when I’m not, my phone comes in handy. In addition to taking photos, I love editing them similar to what I’ve done with this photo.  Find a creative outlet that’s manageable and give yourself permission to explore and apply by doing each day.

Choose risk-taking over risk-aversion.  We are creatures of habit and we prefer things we’re used to. We like to be and feel comfortable.  But if the entrepreneurial spirit is about doing, exploring and discovering new things, then this approach won’t work because you don’t get new results by repeating the same steps.  To get a different outcome, you have to embrace new and different approaches which involve risks.  It is an old saying but no risk, no reward.

Maintain a big picture perspective.  You will miss a lot of things if you continuously have tunnel vision.  Yes, you need to concentrate and focus on one thing at times, but it is also important to be aware of what’s happening around you.  When you’re able to read your environment well and keep a pulse of what’s going on, you’ll be more prepared for tomorrow. You’ll be better at anticipating what’s next, what to get into, what to avoid and where opportunities are.  Continue to question and think of ways to make an overall connection.  Remain mindful of the vision and keep your perspective broad.

Develop the habit of sharing.  When you take the road less traveled and go against the grain, people will stare, talk and wonder about you.  As humans, we generally feel more comfortable with things we know and are familiar with.  So anything outside the norm tends to make people uncomfortable. Instead of letting this reaction discourage you, use it as an opportunity to inform others and share your story.  Let them know what drives you and what you’re passionate about. Tell them what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do it.  As they begin to understand, you’ll notice them becoming more supportive, congratulating you on your courage and possibly expressing a desire of wanting to do the same.

Have you identified your entrepreneurial spirit?  Are you looking to ignite it?  If you already have, how do you keep it active and maintain it?

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    TheAfter5Edge blog was built on the premise of leveraging one’s entrepreneurial spirit to achieve competitive edge in business and life.
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