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Archive For January 12, 2014

The Physical You And Your Success

We hear over and over that we need to stay physically active to be healthy but we do not talk much about needing to be physically connected to be successful. Guess what, its just as important!

Think of it this way. The more that we take care of our selves, the more energy that we will have to do the things that we need to do for our business.

The less we connect with our body the less we have to give to our business. Think about a time when you were really run down and then you ran into an angry person in a store or something. It was probably challenging not to get angry back or even escalate things. Now imagine a day where you have exercised, eaten right, and meditated. Same situation and you are able to handle it totally differently. Maybe even help transform the situation into a positive one.

In business, we are dealing with problems, conflicts and challenges all the time. And, on top of it all, it is our livelihood. We need to be sharp to be successful. So here are some tips (You likely know them so just take a moment to see if you are doing them. If not, then what might you change):

  1. Sleep enough and on a regular schedule
  2. Eat healthy and especially stay away from sugar and allergens
  3. Exercise regularly

  4. Drink enough water
  5. Do things that are pleasurable for your body: ie. massage, dancing, taking a bath

Do More To Do Less

Feeling stressed? Well, its common knowledge that you are not alone. Most of us these days have a high level of stress in our lives which is affecting the way we interact with others. In cases of chronic stress, the frontal lobe of the brain literally shuts down. This makes it virtually impossible for us to do anything besides react.

How do you think this affects your business and your life?

It may seem like that vacation or even day off is more than you can afford but what is the price for not taking time to slow down? We hear a lot about cleansing our bodies to create a healthier happier life but what about our minds and emotions?

How are they continuing to hold us back from what it is that we really want in life because (just like our bodies) they are overfed and under-nurtured?

What I talk to a lot of my clients about are their rhythms. Everyone has a rhythm to the way they live and a part of that needs to be rest and relaxation. For some people that might be on a daily basis. For me, about every 10-12 weeks, I need a chunk of time to myself. When I don’t do this, I am not functioning optimally by week 13 and starting to loose ground by week 15.

Regardless of whether you need time every few hours, every day, every week or every month, finding your rhythm and meeting your need to slow down will ultimately make you more fulfilled as well as more successful.

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Richard Branson on What Makes a True Entrepreneur

As a label, the word “entrepreneur” really is fascinating. When my friends and I were starting up our first Virgin businesses in the early ‘70s, no one seemed to understand what we were doing. Some important people called us entrepreneurs, but they used the word in a derogatory way, hinting that we were adventurers, out to upset the order of things, and perhaps not to be trusted. We certainly didn’t describe ourselves as entrepreneurs at that time, because that would have been met with some strange looks.

These days, the number of people who are working as entrepreneurs has increased so much that that this career path almost qualifies as a lifestyle choice. Defining “entrepreneur” has become more difficult because it now means so many different things to so many different people — all of us speak from our own experiences.

The thing is, our critics were partly right: We really were out to disrupt the order of things. Then and now, when we’re starting up a new Virgin business, we don’t just want to carry out a simple moneymaking exercise, but to make a positive change in people’s lives and give consumers a better deal. Whichever product or service we offer, we want it to be a lot better than all the rest.

Our approach, which I would describe as entrepreneurial, has proven to be a real advantage. For instance, all but one of Virgin Atlantic’s original competitors have gone out of business since we entered the market in the ‘90s. This happened for a number of reasons, but probably the most important one was their lack of innovation and bravery. We noticed this first when Virgin’s move into air travel was met with skepticism, and then after we showed the critics that air travelers wanted a different type of experience — flights that included entertainment and terrific service — we saw that most of our competitors were too slow to react.

From my perspective, an entrepreneur isn’t just someone who launches a business; the desire to innovate then prompts that person to keep on striving to make positive changes. Companies need to be flexible: This starts with the people at the top, who must have a real desire to disrupt new markets they enter, and to react nimbly to changing circumstances at established businesses. It’s also probably fair to say that you can be successful in business without being an entrepreneur — keeping the money coming in steadily without looking for the next opportunity to expand and improve.

What makes the difference is fearlessness. The best businesses offer a product or service that has never previously been available. While you can almost always conduct research and test the marketplace before a launch, an entrepreneur will always be, to some extent, jumping into the unknown, as the very nature of a new product means you’re venturing into new territory.

Very young people often have an advantage here, since they can approach business challenges without fear because they have nothing holding them back, no commitments, and in many ways nothing to lose. As a person’s career progresses, considerations such as looking after one’s family and paying the mortgage come into play.

If you think you have a game-changing idea and you too have such responsibilities, you are facing a true test of an entrepreneur. The best way to handle this is to not to let such factors rule your decision-making process, but to integrate them into it. Prepare for failure, protect your downside, and then go right ahead with the launch.

The other part of the equation is resilience. Despite the most careful planning and preparation, the vast majority of startups fail within the first year of business. What does this tell us? That entrepreneurs must not only cope with failure, but welcome it. There’s no shame in admitting that something isn’t working and going back to the drawing board — we’ve done our fair share of that at Virgin. This ability to bounce back will make the difference, allowing you and your team to apply yourselves to new goals wholeheartedly, without looking back. So an entrepreneur is many things: a job creator, a game-changer, a business leader, an innovator, a disruptor. Most importantly, that entrepreneur is you, if you want to be one badly enough.

Let’s hear from readers: Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur, or a businessman or businesswoman? Which label do you prefer?

reblogged from www.entrepreneur.com Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group, which consists of more than 400 companies around the world including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America and Virgin Mobile. He is the author of six books including his latest, Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School (Portfolio Trade, 2012).

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