Strategies to Stop Overthinking and Start Goal-Setting

You goal-setting plan starts with acknowledging your negative thinking. August 21, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. What do Oprah Winfrey and Mark Cuban have in common? Aside from being hugely successful media moguls (not to mention, billionaires), they didn’t let early-career setbacks block their roads to success. Told that she didn’t have the chops for television news, Winfrey was fired from her first news reporter gig. Cuban was axed from a job as a software salesperson after disobeying his boss in order to make a profitable sale. Important side note — he never worked for anyone else again. Both Winfrey and Cuban went on to build their own empires. Related: The Secret to Successful Goal Setting Resilience is a critical trait for succeeding as an entrepreneur. Rumination, on the other hand — dwelling on negative thoughts and setbacks — can derail you from achieving your […]

Read more

Why More Knowledge Won’t Make You More Successful

An entrepreneur’s guide to learning for quality, not quantity. August 12, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. From the time we’re young, we’re taught that knowledge is power. Our education system evaluates students based on their ability to cram as much information as possible into their heads. Similarly, in today’s startup climate, it’s tempting to think that learning more will strengthen your competitive advantage. And we can satisfy our knowledge craving literally any time of day, through thousands upon thousands of online courses available 24/7 — digital marketing to blindfolded origami, there’s probably a course for it out there. In fact, almost 80% of U.S. companies offer online training for their employees. Related: 8 Success Lessons From the Richest Person on the Planet As CEO of my own company, JotForm, I’m no stranger to the feeling that I should be acquiring some type of informational currency […]

Read more

Why Entrepreneurs Need to Do One Thing at a Time

The most successful entrepreneurs go small, not broad – and avoid distractions at all costs. July 19, 2019 9 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Back in 1897, Spanish neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal — winner of the Nobel Prize — wrote a book called Advice for a Young Investigator. He argued that instead of spending hours reviewing books, lectures and broad research, scientists should focus deeply on a single object of study. This state, he wrote, “refines judgment, enriches analytical powers, spurs constructive imagination, and — by focusing all light of reason on the darkness of a problem — allows unforeseen and subtle relationships to be discovered.” Credit goes to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, who introduced many of us to Ramón y Cajal in his 2018 book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. And yes, the founder of modern neuroscience was addressing 19th-century researchers, but his […]

Read more

How to Run Meetings That Won’t Put Everyone to Sleep

Meetings are indispensable, except when they are a complete waste of everyone’s time. July 12, 2019 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Last September, more than 70 employees from Honey Stinger – a sports nutrition brand that makes honey-based products – and its sister companies finished a 740-mile trek. Dubbed “the world’s longest staff meeting,” this adventurous group spent nearly three months traversing the Continental Divide Trail from Colorado’s southern border to its northern edge. Logging 90 days together in the wilderness is a dramatic reminder that not all meetings are created equal. “Our team worked together and overcame huge obstacles from forest fires to pushing bikes over 13,000-foot peaks,” marketing director Garrett Mariano wrote in a company blog post. “We’re a stronger team that has a new understanding and respect for each other.” Meetings have become a hot topic in entrepreneurial circles. In a leaked […]

Read more

Why Continuous Learning Is Critical for Entrepreneurs and Their Teams

Staying hungry for new information can give you (and your business) an edge in an ever-changing market May 8, 2019 9 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Shaquille O’Neal. What do you associate with this famous name? Most likely, you rank him among the greatest basketball players of all time. Or, you picture his imposing size: 7ft 1inches (2.16 metres) and 325 pounds (147 kg). Maybe now you think of Shaq as a sports analyst and co-host of Inside the NBA. O’Neal is all these things, but he’s also a lifelong learner. When O’Neal left Louisiana State University in 1992 to join the NBA, he promised his mother that he would eventually finish his education. In 2000, he received a bachelor’s degree from LSU through distance learning courses – while playing with the Los Angeles Lakers. O’Neal later earned an MBA, a PhD, and studied cinematography and […]

Read more

How Idle Time at Work Can Improve Productivity

Regular, pre-planned “microbreaks” can keep you focused and energized, and at the top of your game. April 8, 2019 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Professional sports require incredible stamina. If you’ve ever watched a tennis match, for example, you’ve seen how athletes stay in near-constant motion to maintain their energy and laser focus. Hockey players also go all-out during their brief, on-ice shifts before returning to the bench, panting from exertion. Naturally, we focus on what happens during play, but some of the most critical moments happen off-camera, while the athletes are recovering. During the 90-second changeover break, tennis players often bury their heads under a towel to meditate, change rackets, or hydrate with water and energy drinks. Hockey players do diaphragmatic breathing to increase oxygen flow and mentally review their previous shifts. Whatever technique they use, these pro athletes understand the importance of a […]

Read more

How to Work When You Really Don’t Feel Like It

Avoiding daily tasks can crush our happiness, hurt our bank accounts, and even damage our health — but you can learn how to move forward. March 18, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Procrastination hurts. Hitting next episode on Netflix can provide momentary relief, but it’s a fleeting high. Whether you’re avoiding a sink full of dishes, a new presentation deck, or a date with the treadmill, delay has the power to transform a simple task into a Mount Everest of a to-do list. Research shows that in the long term, procrastination significantly decreases our health, wealth, and happiness. For example, in a survey of 10,000 people by Carleton University’s Procrastination Research Group, 94 percent of respondents said that procrastination negatively affects their happiness. A full 19 percent said the effect is extremely negative. The flip side of procrastination is motivation. According to Psychology Today, “motivation is literally the desire […]

Read more

Why Deliberate Practice Matters for Entrepreneurs

Real improvement requires short bursts of focused learning and concentration. February 5, 2019 10 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Ballet is a dazzling art form. Dancers defy gravity as they leap and pirouette across the stage. Every movement is precise; every gesture considered. The world’s most accomplished dancers also make the craft look effortless — like we could all replicate their grace and athleticism. But every day, long before the curtain rises, ballet dancers return to the barre and perform a series of familiar exercises. These movements are more than a warm-up; they’re a form of deliberate practice. Related: 6 Ways in Which You Can Make Your Business an ‘Overnight Success’ From ballet to chess to writing, researchers have long asked several important questions: Is talent innate or can it be acquired over time? How long does it take to become a master of your […]

Read more

How to Beat Procrastination As You Grow Your Business

Productivity hacks are effective only when you know why you’re avoiding something in the first place. January 21, 2019 9 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Procrastination is an odd compulsion. Everyone has experienced it, but the underlying reasons can be tough to pin down. After all, procrastination delays the very activities that bring people closer to their goals — whether that’s building a thriving business or stronger triceps. So why don’t humans just sprint toward that brighter, fitter future? The science. Scientific studies of procrastination have spiked over the past 20 years. Researchers once considered the issue a basic time-management problem, but they now view it as a complex and highly individual phenomena.   “True procrastination is a complicated failure of self-regulation,” author Eric Jaffe wrote in Observer magazine. “Experts define it as the voluntary delay of some important task that we intend to do, despite knowing that we’ll […]

Read more