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Entrepreneur, July 22, 2016 -- T.S. Eliot was clearly onto something when he asked, “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” The very act of stepping outside of your comfort zone is critical to your success and well-being.

Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some stress and discomfort. In fact, performance peaks when we’re well out of our comfort zone. If you’re too comfortable your performance suffers from inaction, and if you move too far outside of your comfort zone you melt down from stress.

Peak performance and discomfort go hand in hand. Stepping outside of your comfort zone makes you better, and it doesn’t have to be something as extreme as climbing Mount Everest. It’s the everyday challenges that push your boundaries the most, none of which require a flight to Nepal. Step out of your comfort zone and embrace these challenges.


1. Get up early. Unless you’re a morning person, getting up earlier than usual can take you way out of your comfort zone. However, if you get up well before you have to start getting ready for work, it’s worth it. It gives you an opportunity to collect your thoughts and mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead, rather than just dashing from one activity to another. It also gives you the opportunity to eat a good breakfast and exercise, both of which have well-known health benefits.

2. Accomplish an “impossible” goal. Few things compare to the exhilaration of accomplishing something that you didn’t think you were capable of. These achievements fall so far outside of your comfort zone that they seem impossible. Maybe it’s running a marathon or giving a keynote speech at a convention. These accomplishments are worth every bit of suffering you endure to achieve them because once you finally do it, you feel invincible and carry that triumph with you forever.

3. Meditate. It’s easy to get stuck in your comfort zone when you’re so busy that you don’t slow down enough to really think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Meditation is a great way to break this cycle and also happens to be very good for your brain. Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar found that meditation creates important physical changes in your brain. It increases brain density in areas responsible for self-control, focus, problem-solving, flexibility and resilience. Best of all, these changes are lasting.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Entrepreneur -- I started with nothing and have been blessed with enough focus, commitment, follow through and the ability to not make excuses that I have done extremely well in my life.

I recently did a show on on How to Make Your First Million, which was streamed on Periscope and Meerkat and viewed live by over 10,000 people.

Here are the takeaways from the show:

1. It's never been easier.

It has never been easier, so don’t make it so difficult. There is so much money in the world today and so many ways to get yourself known. The first thing you have to know is that it’s out there and it’s not that hard. In fact, everyone will be a millionaire in their lifetime: $50,000 per year times 20 years equals $1 million.

Related: 4 Reasons Why You'll Never Be a Millionaire, and How You Can Change That

2. Saving won’t do.

The old ideas of saving every penny is not the way today. You can’t simply save your way to the first million without becoming old, at which point the money probably won’t matter to you.

3. Live below your means.

Live below the money you are making. Not because you are depriving yourself, but because you are seeking to bank millions. No one has ever done business with me because of the suit I wear, the watch I have on my wrist or the car I drove. Live below your means until you don’t have to anymore.

4. Push every tax angle you can.

Learn the tax code and use it to your advantage. Quit bitching about taxes and learn how it can benefit you. The code was put together to give preference to earners. I have joined multiple multi-level marketing companies while still being an employee so I could take advantage of write-offs like the home and car. These were, and are, legitimate ways for me to reduce my tax bill and possibly make some more money -- plus I have a chance to surround myself with great people.

5. Mature from income to investor.

The way to get rich is to make investments, but you can’t do that if your income doesn’t allow for you to set aside money to invest. The only reason to make and save money is so that you can invest it. Only invest money in projects you know will score and never give up your income.

6. Start acting like a boss.

Quit acting poor and quit acting like you are a spectator. Boss up in everything. When the bill comes for dinner, boss up. When you have to invest money to get information, buy a list, grow your brand or learn to sell you need to write the check like a boss, not like a little whiner.

Read the rest of the story here:

A successful career doesn’t just require great ideas and a good work ethic -- it also takes the right people. In order to work well with others, you’ll need to become a pro at leadership and management.

In my 18 years of professional experience, I’ve had to learn a lot of things the hard way. As an entrepreneur, I’m still learning day by day. And while I’ve had a blast learning with my peers, I can’t deny that it would have been helpful to know everything ahead of time. Instead, all I can do is share the knowledge I’ve built over nearly two decades of business ownership and management.

I’m putting these tips right into the palms of your hands, so you don't take 20 years to learn them!


1. Never give up.

It’s cliché, but it’s the best tip I can provide. Entrepreneurship isn’t for the weak-willed and the giver-uppers. Rather, it’s for those who believe enough in their abilities, their ideas and the people they’re proud to call their team. Giving up on a project, no matter how big or small, isn’t just a disservice to yourself -- it’s also a disservice to those you lead.

2. The people around you are everything.

An idea is a hundred times harder to execute when you don’t have the right people by your side. Find the best people possible for your project, and once you do, do anything and everything in your power to keep them.

3. Be both a mentor and a protégé.

The best professional relationships are ones that consist of mutual respect and learning. As a leader, it may be your job to expand on your team’s abilities and knowledge; however, you likely have just as much to learn from them as they do from you.

4. Be strong, not meek.

People have a hard time believing in leaders who don’t quite seem to believe in themselves. Even in times of instability, remain confident and positive. Second-guessing your choices and actions won’t just negatively affect your own attitude, but also those of your team.

5. A growing business requires growing people.

Nearly everyone is a work in progress. A positive professional experience not only involves development, but also a positive attitude on growth and learning. Forgive minor mistakes and strive to teach your team, not to shame them for messing up. Offer opportunities for your followers to learn and become better people. Acknowledge that while you may already be a good leader, you can always become a better one.

6. Failing is a reality -- get comfortable with it.

I’ve never heard of a business that didn’t fail at something. Rather than dreading failure, learn to view it as a learning experience and an opportunity for -- yes, you guessed it -- growth. At the very least, don’t let yourself give up on a project (or even an entire business) just because you’ve faced a couple of failures.

7. Managing people through change is the hardest job you’ll have.

Whether it’s through personal change or environmental change, those you lead are going to struggle to adjust. Be patient and understanding, yet firm in your business’s needs. Be flexible, not a doormat. Finding and maintaining this balance will be one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever have.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Entrepreneur -- I’ve always viewed zero as a special number. You can add as many zeros as you want in a sequence, and the end result is still zero. You can multiply any number by zero and you get zero. If you divide a number by zero, you get a spirited debate among mathematicians. 

The concept of zero has marveled mathematicians and philosophers alike, but businesses can also take something away from its unique properties. That’s because something magical happens when a price falls to zero -- all of a sudden, demand rises to infinity.

For software companies and startups that offer their services over the Internet, zero or “free” should be a central consideration in your business model. It was for me when I founded Wattpad, and it continues to be one of the core reasons we remain so successful today. Here are a few things to zero in on when examining this model.

Related: 5 Tips for Setting Your Optimum Price

1. Rapid user adoption

When Microsoft announced in August that its new edition of Windows 10 had hit 75 million downloads in its first month, many people reacted with surprise. After all, it took Microsoft six months to hit 100 million downloads for its previous release of Windows 8.

What was so different this time? What made this launch so special? The answer lies in the number zero.

By offering Windows 10 for free, Microsoft was able to capitalize on a wider audience of users and seed early interest for its operating system with developers. Similarly, when businesses offer something for free, they can speed up customer acquisition and build a user base much more rapidly.

Remember that there are many factors that prevent people from adopting a product or service -- price being one of them. By offering something for free, you completely eliminate a common question consumers have when deciding to try a new product -- “Should I pay for this?” 

Read the rest of the story here:

With the holiday season upon us, there is no better time to relax, unwind and pick up a good book. If you are looking for some book suggestions that aren’t just entertaining, but that can actually teach you a thing or two, here are some of the best  business books to consider reading over the holidays. These books can give you some valuable lessons that you can utilize as you start 2017 off on the right foot.

1. Tools of Titans

This book by Tim Ferris a great read if you are looking for a book with straightforward tips that you can start utilizing. This book is also filled with different insights on habit forming and what habits today’s most successful titans have. This book is a great read and extraordinarily comprehensive.


This book takes a detailed look at different businesses that both succeeded and failed and why they succeeded and failed. This is an easy and entertaining read that looks at the importance of capitalizing on changing trends in order to stay relevant in the market.

3. The Richest Man in Town 

This book by Randal Jones, the founder of Worth magazine, details his “twelve commandments of wealth.” It is super straightforward and talks about the different habits he has and how they have helped him create a great deal of success. If you want to hear first hand from a very wealthy individual what it takes in order to build that wealth, this the book for you.

Read the rest of the story HERE., 12-7-2016 -- The end of 2016 is fast approaching, and while many of us area already caught up in all of the hustle and bustle that comes with the holiday season, there is actually no better time to regroup, refocus and to start thinking about 2017.

What are your goals for the coming year? For many people, these goals include financial motivations. If you want to finally get wealthy in 2017, here are five ways you can actually do it.

1. Work for your dreams, not someone else’s.

If you really want to start making money and finally be wealthy in 2017 then you need to do something that you are truly passionate about. Without this passion, you are never going to reach your full earning potential. Focus on doing what you love and what you are passionate about, not just something that happens to be in a highly paid field.

Really ask yourself and dig deep to think about what you can see yourself becoming obsessed with. Obsession is the key to true success and it can lead you to real wealth. As real, lasting wealth is not just about money.

2. Dream big but start small.

Everyone wants big success fast but it’s better to go slowly. Optimize your process first before you try to go big. Take my top student, Tim as an example. He started stock trading with just $1,500, grew it to $1 million in three years and then over $3.3 million in four years. He bets bigger now that he is more confident, thanks to his early education. He is one of my favorite examples of starting small and working your way up slowly to something much more.


3. Give to others instead of yourself. 

Most people find this tough to do, but trust me, you can only have so many Lamborghinis and Ferraris and Porsches. Trust me, as someone who has had all three, they are not as fulfilling as giving back to charities, such as my Timothy Sykes Foundation is infinitely more rewarding and fulfilling. Remember that true wealth is not just about having the most money, but the most inner peace too. You will truly feel successful, established and wealthy if you start giving to others.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

8-30-2016, Entrepreneur -- When I first took the helm as executive director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center over a year ago, I brought with me 15 years of experience in the Silicon Valley venture capital community. I’d been through tech booms and busts, economic upswings and downturns, so I was feeling an abundance of confidence: Like anyone who’s been in a profession for over a decade, I (initially) found it easy to sit back and think I'd "seen it all.”

I was mistaken; in fact, my first year of leading the Center taught me, through the experience of others as well as my own, that when it comes to starting and leading any young entrepreneurial organization, every day is filled with surprises and unexpected lessons.

The Nasdaq Entrepreneur Center, for those who don't know, is a new San Francisco-based non-profit organization designed to educate, innovate and connect aspiring and current entrepreneurs. Since the center's 2014 inception, some 2,000 entrepreneurs have gained from its classes and programs. Through interviews I conducted with the Center’s Young Executive Advisory Board members, I myself gleaned five practical lessons that can help any entrepreneur who dreams of starting something big:

  • Customer problems are solved on a continuum, not with a single solution.
  • Data cannot be collected retroactively.
  • Patience for your company's most important problems is essential.
  • Strategy time is crucial.
  • Never deprioritize your team in pursuit of more working time.  

Here are the direct words of those entrepreneurs:

1. Aleda Schaffer, strategic partnerships manager, American Airlines 

'Customers are more than just a single problem they’re trying to solve.'

"Coming from venture capital, I was used to finding a single problem to solve. With the Center, I expected the single [biggest] problem to be an entrepreneur’s need to fund-raise -- and that this would drive the focus of our programming. But it quickly became clear that our customers needed a richer experience beyond just investor guidance; they responded to classes aimed at design thinking, sales and marketing, PR and media training and even organizational management. Don’t get me wrong -- they still wanted to meet investors, but it wasn’t a 'be all' solution.  

Read the rest of the story HERE.

3-15-2016, Entrepreneur -- Many people dream of leaving their nine-to-five jobs to start their own businesses. Many successful entrepreneurs had to keep their day jobs until they reached a point in their businesses when it was feasible to quit. This transition time can be stressful and difficult, especially when you don’t enjoy your job, but it doesn’t have to be.

While ambition is important, it is not always enough to move you forward. Maintaining your motivation and drive during your transition from employee to entrepreneur is crucial. It’s easy to veer off course and get discouraged during this transitional phase. Here are some actions you can start taking immediately while you’re still at your day job that will keep you on track and moving forward.

1. Get crystal clear on your reason for starting your business.

Connecting with your “why” is the most important first step you can take. Maybe you are motivated by being your own boss, financial independence, time freedom, creative expression, being home with your kids or helping others. Whatever your reason, knowing what motivates and drives you is what will keep you focused and committed to your dream when times get difficult.

Related: The 8 Biggest Challenges for New Entrepreneurs

2. Commit yourself to your dream.

Having the desire for something to work vs. committing to it are vastly different. When you commit to your dream, you are making a binding obligation to see it through to success. It means you are “all in,” you find solutions when faced with obstacles and you don’t quit, no matter what. Make that pledge to yourself, and then tell the people in your life.

3. Create a personal vision for your business.

Think about what you want in your business a year from now and write it down. Be very specific and detailed. Describe in great detail in the present tense your ideal day, what activities you engage in, who your customers/clients are, how many customers/clients you have and what your monthly income is.

Read your vision aloud every morning and evening, focusing completely on the end result -- your vibrant, flourishing business. By keeping your focus on the result, you will be able to make the day-to-day choices to ignore any negative thoughts that may arise.

Read the rest here:

Forbes -- Both B2B and B2C companies can benefit greatly from devoting resources to initiatives that help develop customer loyalty. Gartner, a technology research firm, estimates that by 2018, B2B businesses that employ effective personalization techniques on their e-commerce websites will outsell competitors who lack this personalization by 30%.

On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their initial purchase. To increase the likelihood that your company sees, and benefits from, this repeat business, consider implementing the three measures discussed here. Each idea has been tremendously beneficial as Varsity Tutors has grown from operating in one city to several dozen.

1. Develop a positive feedback loop

One of the best ways to encourage customer loyalty is to develop a positive end-to-end user experience that makes your consumers return again and again. Your user experience begins when a potential customer first learns of your brand, and it continues through his or her use of your product or service.

Why is user experience so important? One-third of consumers cite a positive experience as a significant factor in their brand loyalty. Conversely, up to 2/3 of customers see a negative experience as a compelling reason to change brands.

Read the rest of the story here:

Here’s something you might want to consider tattooing on your forehead: What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do, says productivity guru Tim Ferriss.

6-12-2017, Ted Talks -- To do or not to do? To try or not to try? Most people will vote no, whether they consider themselves brave or not. Uncertainty and the prospect of failure can be very scary noises in the shadows, and most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. For years, I set goals, made resolutions to change direction — nothing came of either. I was just as insecure and scared as the rest of the world.

The simple solution came to me accidentally in 2004. At that time, I had more money than I knew what to do with — and I was completely miserable. I had no time and was working myself to death. I had started my own company, only to realize it would be nearly impossible to sell. Oops. I felt trapped and stupid at the same time. “I should be able to figure this out,” I thought. Why am I such an idiot? Why can’t I make this work? What’s wrong with me? The truth was, nothing was wrong with me.

Critical mistakes made in the company’s infancy would never let me sell it. It had some serious defects. (This turned out to be yet another self-imposed limitation and false construct — it was acquired by a private equity firm in 2009.) The question then became, “How do I free myself from this Frankenstein while making it self-sustaining? How do I pry myself from the tentacles of workaholism and the fear that it would fall to pieces without my 15-hour days? How do I escape this self-made prison?” A trip, I decided. A sabbatical year around the world. So I took the trip, right? I’ll get to that. First, I felt it prudent to dance around with my shame, embarrassment and anger for six months, all the while playing an endless loop of reasons why my cop-out fantasy trip could never work. One of my more productive periods, for sure.

One day, while envisioning how bad my future suffering would be, I hit upon a gem of an idea: Why don’t I decide exactly what my nightmare would be — the worst thing that could possibly happen as a result of my trip? Well, my business could fail while I’m overseas, obviously. A legal warning letter would accidentally not get forwarded, and I would get sued. My business would be shut down, and inventory would spoil on the shelves while I’m on some cold shore in Ireland. Crying in the rain, I imagine. My bank account would crater by 80 percent, and my car and motorcycle in storage would be stolen. I suppose someone might also spit on my head from a high-rise balcony while I’m feeding food scraps to a stray dog, which would then spook and bite me squarely on the face.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Radio mogul John Dickey talks about how he built one radio station into a $2 billion media company.

12-5-2016, -- You may not know John Dickey by name, but you may have heard of the company he and his brother started in the '90s: Cumulus Media. The duo bought a radio station in Atlanta then continued acquiring stations until their business, which has an estimated net worth of $2 billion, became the nation’s second largest radio company.

The brothers' journey began after college, when they founded a media buying consulting company. Dickey has seen the media industry turn upside down, and continues to stay on the cutting edge with digital video. He was recently named the new CEO of Ora TV, a digital broadcast network co-founded by billionaire Carlos Slim and broadcasting legend Larry King.

Related: 10 Ways to Build Trust and Credibility With Your Customers

I sat down with Dickey to learn how he navigated the ups and downs of a changing landscape and ended up on top. 

1. Find and fill a need.

It's worth noting that the Dickey brothers majored in English and history -- not business, entrepreneurship or broadcasting. They did have a knack for business and statistics, and after college they decided they wanted to start consulting businesses, so they searched for a need and discovered that most small businesses didn’t have access to market research data and were making misguided media buys. They formed Stratford Research going door to door to small businesses with a great hook that spoke to the pain point of the potential customer.

“When you said, 'Would you like to know which half of your marketing dollars are wasted?' They found a way to give you 10 minutes.” Dickey says.

2. Look at both sides.

The Dickeys achieved massive success later in part because as consultants, the brothers realized they could serve not just media buyers but also media properties selling ad space. Their knowledge of how to invest marketing dollars into television, radio, print ads and direct mail put them in a unique position to advise media companies on programming decisions. This addition led to continued growth of Stratford research for 15 years. Dickey realizes they entered the industry at an opportune time, but timing is only part of the equation.

“We got lucky and we were pretty good,” he says.

3. Don’t give in to marketing FOMO.

Dickey says it’s common for busy owners to just buy into what’s hot or trendy, or even simply what’s being pitched to them by a “marketing expert.” Don’t let the fear of missing out rule your marketing dollars. Trust your instincts, Dickey advises. When you see a marketing opportunity, ask tons of questions and make a strategy and avoid jumping on every new platform.

“To use a military metaphor, there’s nothing wrong with standing still if you don’t know," he says. "Where you blow a leg off in a minefield is if you keep walking when you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Cofounder of Launch Academy. Dan has been building web apps & tech teams since 2004 and has a passion for mentoring aspiring developers.

May 23, 2016, Forbes -- As an entrepreneur with a growing business, you’re probably clamoring to maintain control as things change — I know I was with my own young company. Unfortunately, in my quest for control, I was actually doing my business and team a disservice. One of our core values at my company Launch Academy is to elevate everyone around you. Yet even as a co-founder I was stuck in the weeds and getting in the way of the talented people we hired to get the job done.

As I struggled with this problem, I was given a few pointers from a golf coach on my backswing (I used to tense up, grip the club too tightly, and slice the ball off course). He instructed me to loosen my grip and not tense up in that critical moment — leading to a better and more consistent shot. It’s counterintuitive, but this advice has given me both a better golf swing and a more effective way of working with my team.

So here are the five rules I’ve set for myself as I set out to really put this into practice in my business.

Don’t Try To Fix Everything At Once

As a founder or executive of a growing company, you’re likely overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of problems you see — I certainly was. Personally, I pointed out problems left and right, distracting my team from focusing on what really mattered. I was trying to fix everything at once, instead of fixing one issue at a time.

Focus On The Urgent And Important

When I get overwhelmed, I use the Eisenhower Box to ask myself: What is both urgent and important? I focus on that one thing and rally the team around it. This provides clarity and eliminates the cost of confusing priorities and context switching.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

9/6/2016, Helpful Stuff, September Issue -- 


The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case

We’re on a roll with the tech revolution and already embarking on what can be called the third wave of the Internet. According to Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and an accomplished entrepreneur, it will be unlike anything we’ve seen to date transforming the economy and our daily lives. Paying homage to futurist Alvin Toffler (from whom Case got the book’s title), Case offers insights into some of the most important business decisions of our time and what will happen next. The first wave was AOL and other companies setting the scene for consumers to connect to the Internet. (Hard to believe, but back in 1985 when AOL came on the scene, just three percent of Americans were online). The second wave has been about apps and services on top of the Internet. This Third Wave will be centered on entrepreneurs transforming industries like health, transportation, energy, and food. Ultimately, Case predicts, tech companies today and of the future—many of which may no longer be based in Silicon Valley—will have to rethink their relationships. The new rules, he writes, are partnerships, policy and perseverance.



While you’re busy being productive at work, there are countless things that need to get done during any given day. Sometimes it's nice to have some extra help which is how errand app TaskRabbit comes in handy. The premise is simple: pick a task from the list of popular errands and chores at a set hourly rate. Get your house cleaned before out-of-town guests arrive, have shelves installed, get a prescription picked up. Within minutes of your request, you get connected with a skilled tasker. The tasker completes the job, and bills directly in the app. Taskers, by the way, undergo an extensive selection process and all jobs are insured for $1 million. Cancel or reschedule any task for free with at least 24 hours notice. So next time you’re overwhelmed with too long a to-do list, check out TaskRabbit as an easy way to offload some errands. Active in 19 cities and counting, TaskRabbit is available in San Francisco (Bay Area), New York City, Los Angeles and Orange County, London, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, and Seattle.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

4-6-2017, -- When talking about your business, it’s likely that at some point you’ve referred to it as your baby. But do you really love your business as if it were your own child? Researchers from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, decided to put this question to the test in a recent study.

When examining the brain activity of the study participants, the scientists found that  “entrepreneurial love is strikingly similar to paternal love,” and that the parts of the brain that come alive when processing emotions, rewards and social understanding occurred with both.  

The researchers scanned the brains of 42 men divided into two groups. Twenty-one participants were fathers ranging in age from 27 to 43 and 21 were entrepreneurs ranging in age from 24 to 45.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Entrepreneur, 1-18-2017 -- We all want our startup businesses to hit that coveted $1 million per year in revenue. The unfortunate truth is that only 4 percent of us actually make that goal.

This past year my company scaled LeadQuizzes, our lead generation software, past the $1 million mark in less than six months. Having hit that sales mark, I now know how important it is to maintain an awareness of where you are in your business.

That means really understanding: 1) the stage of business you’re in; 2) the fears and limiting beliefsholding you back; and 3) the keys to growing into that next sales bracket. Having this awareness creates more confidence and allows you to prioritize and take action.

Here are the five stages I believe that you and your startup must go through to reach that understanding and hit that $1 million in sales.

Stage 1: Searching For Product Market Fit

Your goal at this stage should be finding a product market fit. You’re likely excited at this point, but scared. Now that you’ve jumped in to starting your business, your plan for how to grow isn’t as clear as you'd thought. What's more, you’re not making much money yet, which is scary.

You're also starting to get distracted by lots of different opportunities for making money. Don't let that happen; focus on your plan. And when talking about your business don't feel you have to “fake it” and act more successful than you actually are, even though you're worried whether things will work out.

Daniel Tyre of HubSpot For Startups told me that the key to success is to start by proving your value and attracting customers. He recommended offering discounts or doing work for free to create case studies and a track record of results. Focus on the lowest hanging fruit, he said. And ask friends and family for referrals.

Stage 2. Moving from a part-time to full-time business

You made it out of stage one. You’ve built a small reputation for getting results. Most importantly, you’ve got customers.

At this stage, you’re most likely becoming overwhelmed from having to sell and fulfill those orders. You’re finding it difficult to keep up.

You know you need to bring on some help, but you’re barely paying yourself as it is. You’re not sure how long that steady stream of referrals and sales will continue. You also worry you'll have a hard time letting someone else take over because you haven’t yet established repeatable systems.

Loren Howard of LLH Development and Real Estate told me that the key to graduating from this stage is to push through. Things will feel uncomfortable, he said, but if you can spend 70 percent of your time on sales-generating activities, you will feel more confident and able to bring on a virtual assistant, then, potentially, a full-time employee.

As your expenses and reputation increase, you should be able to increase the pricing discounts you offered your first customers, Howard said.

12-20-2016, -- True entrepreneurship involves a mindset of solving problems. But real success goes well beyond the bottom line to impacting lives and leaving a legacy.

Many global challenges need innovative solutions that, no doubt, will be solved by entrepreneurs. Established industries like health care, education, and alternative energy are ripe for disruption. This creates abundant opportunities for those who want to step up and become the next Larry Page, Elon Musk or Bill Gates.

This is how you can do it:

1. Find your purpose or 'why.'

The pioneering entrepreneur Peter Diamandis says, "The best way to predict the future is to create it."

People often say to me, "Kunal, I’m 30 years old and have no idea what to do with my life." Lacking clarity can waste years of your life. People who change the world have a strong why, and their purpose is clear. For example, Elon Musk said the goals of his companies SolarCity, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity.

If you don't know your purpose, use this moment as an opportunity to start working on yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What matters most to you and why? (Maybe improving well-being in your community, access to education and ending suffering or poverty.)
  • What have you been called to do with your life? What do you think you should do?
  • What gets you excited every morning and why? (Tip: extrinsic motivators powered by someone else’s values will not sustain you, but intrinsic motivators from your deepest values will.)
  • What do you enjoy so much that you’d do it for free? 
  • How do simple everyday problems frustrate you and what can you do to solve them?
  • If you won the lottery, what would you do differently with your life?
  • What are you here to do? What legacy do you wish to leave on the planet?

2. Revisit your purpose often.

Any plan is worthless without execution. At times, you'll feel out of alignment; that’s the human experience—plans and reality often contradict each other. Frequently revisiting your purpose will keep you on track.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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