How to Use Your Calendar Like GPS

This author breaks down how he perceives time and offers insight on how to maximize it. August 17, 2019 1 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Steven Griffith is an author of The Time Cleanse and performance expert on the connection between time, productivity and performanc. In this video, he talks about his perception of time and promotes his techniques and habits that not only minimize some of the most common distractions we face, but also help maximize the return on the time we invest. Griffith and The Playbook host David Meltzer discuss the importance of the pragmatic calendar and the detrimental effects that technology has on our lives in terms of productivity. They share their perspectives on strategies they use to prevent the phone from wasting their time, the distinction between goals and intentions, and the beneficial impact that sleep and meditation have on your productivity. […]

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13 Timeless Lessons from the Father of Advertising

In 1962, Time magazine called David Ogilvy: “The most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry.” During his years as an advertising executive and copywriter, Ogilvy created some of the world’s most successful and iconic marketing campaigns, including the legendary Man in the Hathaway Shirt, plus notable efforts for Schweppes, Rolls-Royce, and the island of Puerto Rico, among many others. Ogilvy was one of the pioneers of information-rich, “soft sell” ads that didn’t insult the intelligence of the prospect. Ogilvy’s successful advertising campaigns demonstrate how to persuade prospects, influence readers, and create memorable, evergreen content. But “The Father of Advertising” also has plenty to teach us about productivity, branding, research, and ambition. Let’s look at some things David Ogilvy had to say, and what we can learn from each of them. On creativity and creative process “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker […]

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The Copyblogger Guide to Managing Your Professional Overwhelm

Overwhelmed? Anxious? Stressed out? Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around. Daily life is difficult enough. And when you layer business and marketing challenges on top of that, it can seem really inviting to stay in bed and watch cartoons for, say, about a month. Since that’s not an option for most of us, we have several solutions for your creative, marketing, and business anxieties. There are a lot of problems we can’t help you with, but we can try to take marketing worries off of your personal “scary” list. This week I’m switching things up a bit, recapping our posts in reverse order to get more and more specific about how you can Do All the Things even when you’re overwhelmed. On Wednesday, I sent a shout-out to all of my fellow business owners (and other humans) who are anxious, stressed, and freaked out. No matter how intense […]

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Overwhelmed by the Complexity of Online Business? This May Help

A whole bunch of common issues arise once you start working on Your Big Idea. “I’m getting a little freaked out because …” “I feel like everyone has already beaten me to the finish line …” “When I look around, I feel behind …” And they all boil down to this theme: “I’m scared.” Well, here’s the good news. If you aren’t at least a little freaked out about your business (whether it’s a thriving concern or something you’re just getting off the ground), you may not be paying enough attention. It’s okay to be nervous, worried, anxious, or just … confused. Guess what? It’s overwhelming Website design, content marketing, social media networking, product design, audience development, payment gateways, security, sales letters, launch plans, evolving technology … Overwhelmed yet? Well, of course you are. Because if you try to tackle all of those things at once, you’ll choke. No human […]

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Why Your Procrastination Might Not Be as Bad as You Think

We’re all guilty of it. Let’s be honest; it’s really normal to procrastinate. Who among us hasn’t waited until the last minute to contest a speeding ticket, study for a test, go car shopping (never fun), apologize to a loved one, have a conversation with someone who owes us money — or better yet — to someone to whom we owe money? Today, you’re far more likely to grab your smartphone and search longingly for a little red notification flag from a social media tab, or to pop open a rainbow-colored game for that quick hit of dopamine your brain loves so much. Constructive vs. destructive delay I’m guilty of dusting and straightening every shelf and book in my office until they look conspicuously like modern art before sitting down to write an important email or blog post. “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after […]

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How to Break Down Your Big Idea and Make Your Next Move

You know when you get a Big Idea for a project that lights you up and derails your to-do list for the day? It could be a content series or a whole new business concept. You might even spend a few hours writing down why you’re qualified to do it and who it will help. But, inevitably, that fervor dies down and you deem the idea a distraction. After all, you don’t have the time and money to actually execute it, right? What if I told you: You can use time and money constraints to your advantage and move forward with your Big Idea in a manageable way. There’s a common misconception that all the time and money in the world will create the business of your dreams. Even if those factors help you set up the foundations of your business fairly fast, you still have to build your business. […]

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Not Getting Business Results? Try These Content Tips from Professional Artists

A lot of people think that artists create work when they feel inspired, spending the rest of their time drinking tiny coffees in quaint cafés, or something similarly poetic. Nope. Real artists are craftspeople first. They work in a disciplined, methodical way (although that method can vary hugely from person to person), and they don’t wait around for inspiration. This week, we offered three “serious artist” approaches to your content production. Try these out to become both more creative and more productive — without letting your blog or podcast take every minute of your life. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about the value of establishing editorial standards for your content. It might not sound sexy at first. (Unless you’re us, because we’re weird.) But pinning these down will let you serve your audience better, focus your content authority with both audiences and search engines, and can even help reduce writer’s […]

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How to Beat the Boring Content Blues in 30 Days

Have you ever reached a plateau with your content? You come to a point where you have a predictable amount of traffic, that traffic creates a predictable level of response (comments, clickthroughs for your product, number of backlinks, whatever), but your response doesn’t seem to budge past that point. It’s fun climbing to that spot, but less fun to get stuck there for weeks or months on end. I’m going to share a painful secret with you. It isn’t your layout or your banner. It isn’t your SEO. It’s your content. Specifically, your content has become flat and routine. You’ve found a modest audience that likes you, but your ideas and your writing aren’t sharp enough to pull in, energize, and keep new readers. Over 30 years as a professional writer, I’ve developed a method to take my writing to a stronger, deeper level. I originally got this process from […]

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12 Unconventional Ways to Boost Employee Productivity

Sometimes, an out-of-the-box hack is the surest way to success. July 23, 2019 9 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Let’s say you’ve tried all the common productivity hacks at your startup, but you still haven’t boosted results to the level you’re hoping for. Before giving up, get outside your comfort zone and explore the following unconventional techniques, some of which will hopefully, ultimately feel like they’re not too “out there” after all.  1. Go green. This suggestion shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, there have been countless studies on the benefits of placing live plants in your office. For example, plants can improve employee satisfaction and boost productivity by up to 15 percent. Other research draws a connection between decreased sick days and increased productivity after plants have been introduced to the workplace. When purchasing plants for your office, take into consideration the aesthetics and […]

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This Affordable DocuSign Alternative Can Streamline Processing Signatures

Bring on new employees, sign contracts and more for just $20. July 12, 2019 2 min read Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. Thanks to technology, you can do almost anything for your business in a matter of seconds. With just a few clicks, you can connect to video team meetings that stretch across the ocean, finalize deals via email and electronically sift through hundreds of resumes to find the top candidates with the skills your company needs. The only thing you still need from the analog days? A signature on the dotted line. You don’t have to physically chase down people for a signature anymore. Your business can use the KeepSolid Sign Small Team Plan to collect digital […]

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Simple Exercises That Can Help You Achieve Laser-Like Focus

Find your flow by trying some of these efficiency-building exercises. July 9, 2019 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Jack Canfield offers a few tips on how to achieve ultimate focus. In this video, the Entrepreneur partner highlights a few of the best strategies that have brought him success in finding focus, including: Meditation. This helps to keep you grounded, as well as inspire new ideas. Taking breaks from your technology. Canfield notes that by cutting out just an hour a day of technology — such as watching television or playing a game on your phone — can afford you a surprising amount of time. Setting aside specific days to focus on your most important tasks. This means harnessing your intelligence at the highest level to build your bottom line, or build your income. Moreover, try to differentiate between focus and buffer days to get the most out of your […]

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Try This for Better Mental Performance

Staying in ketosis can help you think more clearly and use your energy more efficiently. Read_More Related posts: Why Your Stomach May Hold the Key to Your Mental Performance Could These Nootropics Help You Achieve Peak Mental Performance? 4 Mental Skills Used by Every Successful Business Leader How Wearable Tech, Neuroscience and Nutrition Can Unlock Peak Performance Taking Mental Health Seriously Is How the Best Business Leaders Protect Their Teams How to Transform Your Culture From Toxic to Peak Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance with Performance Upgrade Review The One Tip You Need to Reach Your Peak Performance

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Cultivate Your Independence with Smart Strategy and Thoughtful Action

It’s Independence Day in the U.S.! Wherever you live, this week we invite you to take thoughtful action that promotes your own independence. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman outlined a plan you can follow to complete a project that matters to you. It might be an ebook, a course, cornerstone content for your website, or anything else that’s seemed a little intimidating. It can be comfortable to stick with the daily content grind. But a bigger, more ambitious project is often the path to your most powerful growth. If you want some company while you work on yours, we’ll be planning out our milestones, setting our deadlines, and tracking our progress as a group inside the Killers and Poets Facebook group. Join us if you’d like some motivation and accountability to get that project finished! On Tuesday, Brian Clark highlighted a key to keeping your content and copy focused on what […]

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A Simple, Two-Month Plan to Complete a Content Project

At the end of June 2009, I was reading Copyblogger and I got a new idea: I should write an ebook. My writing and editing business was less than a year old, and I had never written anything that resembled a book. Could I actually do it? I knew I wanted to try, so I established a plan on July 1 that would help me write, design, and self-publish an ebook on my website by September 15. I’m going to share that plan with you today, so you can adapt it to any type of content project you’d like to finish by the fall (in the Northern Hemisphere). Select the right topic Writing an ebook could easily take a year or two … or five. But launching it as soon as possible was an important step for my business. The ebook would help: Establish my authority as a writer and […]

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Amplify Your Content Production … and Have Fun While You’re At It

Publishing a good volume of excellent content can be a tough game. And if you don’t keep it fun, you’re never going to stick with it. In the words of 1930s heavyweight champion Primo Carnera, you want to look for that elusive balance: “So many money, so many fun.” This week, we have advice on making your content and production processes more fun — without sacrificing the “so many money” part. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman gave us four steps to working steadily on smaller, satisfying projects rather than making ourselves miserable with lofty goals that never get met. On Tuesday, Karine Bengualid made her Copyblogger debut sharing why B2B marketing needs to be “funner,” and how to make that happen without tipping over into hot-mess territory. And on Wednesday, just for fun, I talked about when to be repetitive, redundant, and say the same thing twice. The Copyblogger FM episode […]

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How the Five Task Rule Can Help You as an Entrepreneur

This CEO breaks down how you can improve your productivity. June 25, 2019 1 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Andy Frisella, CEO of 1st Phorm International and host of the MFCEO Project, sheds light on how today’s entrepreneurs can dominate their competition with his Five Task Rule. Related: Is Your Company Flexible Enough to Survive Modern Society? Read_More Related posts: Is Work-Life Balance Even Possible? (Infographic) How to Schedule Time for an Imaginative Process, Rather Than an Exact Task How Becoming an Entrepreneur Helped Me Overcome Suicidal Thoughts How to Stay Productive and on Task When Traveling for Work Education Matters: Interesting Courses for the Entrepreneur Networking Rule #1: 'Take Off the Bib and Put on the Apron!' How to Become a Master Communicator by Following This One Rule How to Use the ‘Rule of Three’ to Create Engaging Content

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A Week in the Life of Janna Maron, SPI’s Content Director

Take a peek into a week in the life of Janna Maron, SPI’s content director, including how content production and sprint planning works at SPI! Janna Maron June 24, 2019 Editor’s Note: This is a new series we are testing out here at SPI, and you know how much we love experiments! We’re inspired by other journal-like content we’ve seen around the web like the Money Diaries and Feel Good Diaries from Refinery29, as well as the standard format of the much-loved “How I Work” series from Lifehacker.com. In this series we hope to capture a vast array of not only different types of work that people do in the online space, but also the different ways we all work toward our goals and positive impact with our jobs, businesses, or brands. We’re starting off this series with the members of Team SPI and, if it’s a hit, we are kicking […]

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4 Steps to Finish a Practical Project Instead of Fantasizing about a Lofty Idea

If I set out to practice yoga for an hour each day, I would practice zero hours of yoga each day. Something else would always take priority over that hour of yoga. We all have other things to do. Instead, I consistently practice five to 20 minutes of yoga Monday through Friday. I had to find a routine I could fit in regularly — without making a big production of it. What have you turned into a big production? The long-term goal. Where you want to go. An ultimate objective. All of those thoughts can serve you well. The problem occurs when those thoughts stay thoughts because meeting your goal requires too much time or energy — time or energy you don’t realistically have. Overwhelm and disappointment cloud your hopes and dreams because you haven’t actually done anything related to them. Here’s a quick litmus test: You know you’re wasting […]

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How to Actually Make Progress and Grow Your Business—A Conversation with James Wedmore

James Wedmore: Commitment, and people toss this word around, oh, I’m committed Pat, I’ll tell you, I’m committed. Committed is not when I feel like it and when it’s convenient and when it’s not scary. Commitment is whatever it takes. And so when— Pat Flynn: Ooh, such powerful stuff we’re discussing today with my good friend James Wedmore, host of the Mind Your Business Podcast. He says that hustle and hard work are not essential ingredients for success. Success is created by mindset over strategy. And when it comes to who we want to be and how we can get to where we want to go, the biggest thing is the mindset. And how often do we say that we’re going to do something yet we don’t follow through? How often do we throw that word, “commitment,” around, I’m committed to doing this, whether it’s in our business for our […]

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For Courageous Content Creators Who Want to Do Epic Work

When I started blogging, a little over 10 years ago, one of my then-colleagues mentioned that she “didn’t have the software to read blogs.” Today, the landscape is a little different. Blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and other content formats are being consumed at an astonishing rate — and an equally astonishing volume of new content is being generated to fill that demand. The content landscape isn’t some mythical blue ocean lacking in competition. It’s a teeming jungle — with plenty to eat, and plenty that wants to eat you. To make it in the content jungle, you need courage. The courage to stand out, the courage to get real about your values, and the courage to create over the long haul. This week, we’ve got fuel for your content courage. One reason creativity and self-expression are difficult is that we’re afraid someone will be mean to us over what we […]

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