If you’re asked to give a presentation in the final hours of a four-day conference, then brace yourself, because you’re facing some serious impediments. Your audience members have been on a fevered engagement high for half a week. They’re exhausted. They’re ready to catch flights back home. And they’re tapped out on charts and data.

So what do you do if you’re in one of the more unfavorable positions that a public speaker can face? How do you keep an audience engaged during a presentation? You let down your guard — and you let your audience in.

A Tale of Effective Professional Storytelling

If your immediate response is, “Great idea, but a story won’t keep an audience engaged,” you’re incorrect. I’ve seen how powerful storytelling can be, even if your listeners’ minds seem to be wandering.

Take the case of a presenter at a convention I attended. It was the final dinner. About 1,500 of us were sipping coffee, clanking cutlery, and feeling wary of listening to another speech. Our presenter, seemingly unfazed, walked onto the stage full of confidence.

Her speech began on a typical note: She introduced herself as an employee of an organization committed to helping people who have served jail time successfully reintegrate into society. She shared some alarming statistics on how difficult it is for incarcerated people to get a fair shake on the other side of justice.

So far, her approach had been informative. We stirred cream into our coffee, listening politely (but not totally engaged in her speech). Then, it happened: She went into full storytelling mode. With a notable change in her cadence and demeanor, she began talking about how she became a single parent years ago. After giving birth, she worked three jobs while trying to finish school. She regaled us with stories about school bake sales and late-night essays.

Many of us in the audience could relate to her hectic schedule and inability to juggle everything. That is, until she shared a story about the night that a co-worker offered her methamphetamine to help her stay awake. Within a few weeks, she was hooked. And we were riveted by a presentation that had turned very personal.

When the pills ran out, our speaker told us, she became desperate. She stole money from an employer, bought drugs off the streets, and eventually landed in jail for 18 months. She lost everything — including precious time with her daughter.

No one in the audience breathed. No one moved. No one reached for sugar packets across the table. We were all connected by a brilliant woman who understood how to keep an audience truly engaged during a presentation. She wasn’t just telling a story. She was the story. And that changed everything for the audience.

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling

Using Storytelling to Become a Better Speaker

Now, you might never give a speech under such challenging circumstances. However, if you work long enough, you’ll give some kind of presentation or speech during your career. When you’re preparing, remember that one of the most effective strategies to become a better speaker is to use storytelling.

Why do we love stories? Chalk it up to human nature: Stories are how we connect; they help us belong. And when we belong to something, we feel connected to something.

Consider how many times you’ve turned something that has happened in your life into a story, used a story to illustrate a principle, or told a story to emphasize a point. We rely upon these narratives constantly, but we often forget to engage in storytelling when giving professional presentations. As a result, we weaken our connections with our audiences. But often, it’s challenging to share ourselves as storytellers — especially in professional settings.

Eager to find out the secrets of how to become a better presenter and engage your audience with storytelling? Consider these techniques:

1. Show, don’t tell.

Although nitty-gritty details are important, just “telling” facts isn’t the best way to engage an audience. Instead, use sensory descriptions — sights, sounds, and smells — to invite your audience members into the story instead of just telling them about it. This creates a more visceral presentation for your listeners, bringing them into the moment with you and, in turn, sharing the experience directly with them instead of just talking at them.

2. Remember the ‘why.’

Stories are powerful and transformative, but only if you allow them to paint a complete picture as hers did. In order to do this, you need to know the “why” of the story you’re sharing. What are you trying to tell the audience members? What do you want them to take away from your time with them?

The presenter mentioned earlier in the article had a goal: to help her audience understand the difference her organization could make. She could have spent her time sharing a plethora of statistics, but those numbers wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful or transformative as her story. She found a way to help us connect with her company’s purpose on a deeper level by sharing the “why.”

3. Resist the temptation to read aloud.

One of the biggest mistakes speakers make is reading from a script. Although children typically adore being read to, teen and adult audiences require more engagement. The less you rely on reading off a page, the more you’ll be able to connect physically and emotionally with your audience and create a richer experience. Put aside the cue cards in favor of making eye contact, gesturing with your hands, and conveying emotion through facial expressions.

4. Tether your speech to something personal.

Whenever possible, share yourself and your personality in your presentations and speeches. If you’re naturally funny, add humor. If you’re a golfer, use the sport as a metaphor for your message. Above all, offer personal experiences that tie back to the speech you’re giving.

When you share from experience, you invite everyone’s humanity to the table. And this changes the dynamics between you and your audience for the better. The more heartfelt and authentic you are while telling your personal story, the more memorable the presentation will be.

5. Allow yourself to get emotional.

It’s often thought that being emotional in professional settings is inappropriate. But emotions are the gateway to seeing another human being and the road they’ve walked. When listeners see a genuine tear in the corner of a keynote speaker’s eye, for example, they become riveted with the person’s presentation. Showing your feelings gives audience members permission to embrace their feelings, too.

Stories are an art form in and of themselves. And mastering the art of storytelling is one of the primary ways to become a better speaker. The more you allow stories to organically arise in your presentations — whether that’s in a five-minute speech to the Rotary Club about your newest product or a 40-minute TED-style talk — the more you can create richer and deeper experiences for your audiences.

Read more: addicted2success.com

Not every internship works out, let alone an unpaid internship. Internship experience can range from coffee runs to hands-on project management. Regardless of the actual responsibilities you have in your role, an internship is what you make of it. My most successful internship was the one I took straight out of graduate school that inspired the idea behind a big-name Hollywood entertainment business.

I sold the business that would turn into Gofobo.Com to Terry Hines and Associates before even turning thirty. It’s one of my greatest achievements, and the story of how I got to the finish line might come as a surprise. My journey of success did not start with a trust fund, but with an unpaid internship and a “no.” 

The origin lies in pushing myself during every stage of my life— from working the paper route as a child, being a janitor in my high school, to signing up for countless other volunteer positions as a young adult. This tenacity reared its head as I began to encounter roadblocks that now serve as a cornerstone in one of my earliest success stories.

No Job is Too Small

I took an unpaid internship at Allied Entertainment after I got my MBA, promoting movie screenings and mailing paper tickets to those who secured them. Sorting through movies like Harry Potter and The Notebook in the backroom, noting who actually showed up and who did not. A seemingly menial task, right? 

The thing is: being down in the nitty-gritty of this kind of work is the best way to see what’s going right or wrong. I was the one to notice that at screenings we would either have too many or too few people show up. In the growing digital age, I realized this was a prime moment to transition to electronic tickets. In short: my “aha” moment may have happened on unpaid time, but boy did it pay off.

Good ideas are good ideas, and they come from everyone in the workplace. After all, it is the lack of confidence that will shrink you down, not your job title. If you treat your work like it is insignificant, you will feel insignificant yourself. However, if you treat every action like it can be groundbreaking, it will be. The sooner you take that lesson, the sooner you will see results.

Go Against the Flow, It’s Worth It

I brought the idea of electronic tickets to the CEO of the company, absolutely itching with eagerness. After all, who wouldn’t want that easy data at their fingertips? Well, apparently not him— or at least not yet. He brushed it off, saying to keep going about business as usual. It’s easier to do things as they have always been done. 

This didn’t sit right with me though. My business motto has always been to give my 100% effort, even if that means undertaking a more daunting task. Only then can you expect and see results. It’s the way I live my life most authentically: giving it my 100% over and over again. After all, hard work pays off; there’s a reason why that cliche exists in the first place. The idea of just continuing along one path because it’s the most familiar felt like a long-winded oversight. 

Faith unshaken, my vision of these electronic tickets just couldn’t go away. I knew it would make a splash in the market and was in an area no one else had explored yet. So, I went down the discouraged path and carried on with my idea anyway. I reached out to a friend from college who was similarly excited about the future of this project and we got to work. 

“There’s no shortage in remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin

Be Relentless

I trusted my gut feeling that the CEO’s “no” wasn’t a dead end. I recognized I had done the research and that my concept wasn’t foolhardy, but relentless. And being relentless ends in results. 

I know firsthand that putting in the time and effort will help see a project through. I’ll be up at the crack of dawn to get my projects finished as soon as possible, trying to check as many things off a list as I can. That’s right, I was that kid in college who finished his homework for the whole semester over the first two weekends so I can spend the rest of my time focusing on other extracurriculars.

So, over the course of two years, we worked hard. We got up early and stayed up late. Ran our pencils dull as our eyes glossed over computer screens. And thank goodness we did.

Stay Good-Natured and Listen

This story ends when I’m in my late 20s, standing in a boardroom at the end of my two years of persistent work— no longer the unpaid intern. I was an accomplished businessman face to face again with the original man that told me to drop the idea behind gofobo.com. This time, however, I had sold the idea of gofobo.com and it merged with Alliance Entertainment, becoming what it’s known for today. That’s when he told me he’d “never turn me down again.”

Make a name for yourself this way. Don’t be afraid to be bold— one day those who doubted you will no longer be your superior, but your equal. Forge partnerships with everyone. Every individual in your company is valuable with their own unique, original, and potentially groundbreaking ideas who deserve to be heard and taken seriously. 

Yes, even the unpaid intern.

Read more: addicted2success.com

In today’s digital world, consumers are navigating up to ten thousand ads every day. Brands are how consumers decide where to pay attention – they help us make decisions about what products we buy, the restaurants we eat at and where we go on vacation. For this reason, developing a brand is essential for the health of your business. Building a brand won’t happen overnight, but by pursuing the following eight steps, you can create a brand that will help your business stand out and put you on the right path to sharing your story with the world.

1. Answer 3 Questions

Creating a brand should begin by asking yourself three questions about your business: 

Who are we? 
What do we do? 
What do we believe?

These questions provide clarity and help you to focus on what it is you want to talk about. Once you’ve determined your answers to these three questions, you’re ready to take the branding process a step further.

2. Personify Your Company

A fun way to create your brand is to personify your company. There are two approaches you can take. The first is to pick a celebrity. Are you hip and current? Maybe your brand is Bruno Mars. Or, if you’re in a rural part of the country, maybe your brand is Miranda Lambert. The second approach is to answer a series of questions about the type of person your business would be, such as: What’s your age? What car do you drive? What’s your house look like? In doing this, you’ll create a person who represents your business.

“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” – Howard Schultz

3. Ask for Input

Getting an outside perspective on how your employees or customers see your business is a great way to refine your brand identity. At this stage, asking for input also enables you to make sure that your notions of the business align with how others perceive you. You’ll know right away if any branding you’ve done thus far has resonated or if you have a lot of work to do in better communicating your message.

4. Consider Mission, Vision & Values

If you have mission, vision, and values, jot them down. Never been through this process? Start with a blank piece of paper. An example of a mission statement is: Our mission is to provide comfort to all through the products we sell and by serving people in our community. As for vision, this relates to where you see your company going. For example: In five years, we will be the number one seller of mattresses in our market. Lastly, values are what you stand for. Examples: Integrity. Honesty. Creativity. Service.

5. Define Culture

Evaluating your culture is critical to defining your brand. To identify your culture, talk to management, employees, and customers to understand how they view the business and the current state of your culture. Another option is to conduct surveys among your employees and customers. Gathering anonymous feedback online can make respondents feel safer, making it more likely they’ll be candid. An important thing to remember while collecting feedback is to listen. Fight any urge to become defensive or disagree. Hearing the views of others is essential to defining your culture in an authentic and honest way.

6. Identity Your Position 

A strong brand position is the first step to differentiating your business. Begin by asking yourself, in what category can you be first or best? Answering this question will require that you evaluate the competitive landscape. You’ll need to consider where your strengths and shortcomings are compared to your competitors. What can you offer that others can’t? Is there an opportunity for you to create the first of something new or to be the best at something that already exists?

7. Create Brand Pillars 

Once you’ve identified your position, you’re ready to create your brand pillars. Think of your brand pillars as the fundamentals of how you want to conduct your business or how you wish to make decisions. Defining your pillars allows you to align your team around ideals that tell you where to go and sometimes what to do. You won’t have to fight to figure out if a merchandising decision or advertising piece fits. Filter those ideas through your brand pillars and you’ll often get easy answers to questions causing you to stall out.

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin

8. Bring It to Life 

Once you’ve completed the previous steps, you’re ready for the final stage: bringing the brand forward. All the deep work you just did is designed to bring your brand to life in its messaging and visuals. This process will enable you to create cohesive brand messaging and imagery. Your store and your website will hold hands. Your marketing materials will look like they belong with your website, and your social channels will have a voice that fits your culture. Done properly, these things all work together to form an identity that deepens your connection to consumers.

This article was adapted from the book, “Come Back to bed,” written by Mark Quinn and Mark Kinsley.

Read more: addicted2success.com

It’s no secret that the business world – actually, the world in general – is moving at a speed that wasn’t even possible just a short generation ago. Our new tech tools, most notably the emergence of the wireless Internet enabled device, have made communication, logistics, and management a quicker process than ever before. Combine that with the competitive nature of the business environment, and instead of being able to sit back and enjoy the productivity increases of these new tools, we’re often required to get more accomplished – in the same amount of time.

In order to maintain any ability to balance work and life, we must often learn how to get multiple things done at once, just to keep up. These 5 tips are designed to help you – the CEOs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners of the world – get more than one thing done at the same time, business-related and personal, so that you can achieve your goals, and more importantly, feel good while doing so.

1. The Magic of the Meal Meeting

Any business owner knows that networking and developing strong relationships is key when it comes to finding new opportunities, managing their team, and generating sales. They also know that finding time to get a healthy meal in can be one of the first sacrifices made, and on a regular basis. Considering nutrition is a critical factor in functioning at our absolute best, missing meals can be a slippery slope.

By scheduling as many informal meetings as possible over meals, it’s possible to facilitate strong business relationships while getting the food fuel you need to operate at 100%. By having a coworker or prospective associate meet you over a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), you’ll not only free yourself time to be in the office when you absolutely need to be, but allow yourself to maintain healthy eating habits as well. The added sense of camaraderie, and opportunity for some small talk, can go a long way too.

2. Harnessing the Power of Your Smart Phone and Its Email Capabilities

Granted, not all of us are blessed with the ability to be technological wizards that know how to make the most of the gadgets we have. However, with a little effort to learn, the time saving capabilities of accessing email on any modern smartphone can be great. As long as your phone is by your side, having your email inbox just a quick glance away can be invaluable.

You’ll instantly know when an important message comes through, and combined with some savvy use of filter settings, be able to keep all your messages organized with minimal effort. Not only does this prevent your inbox from becoming a cluttered, time-consuming, organizational nightmare, but being able to shoot out a quick response while waiting for an elevator, or a small handful while say, waiting for a haircut, can be a huge time saver over the course of a week.

3. Rethink Your Commute

For professionals that commute, switching to a passive form of transportation, such as the train or carpooling, can free up a great deal of time over the long term, and allow you to get a ton of less thought intensive tasks done. It might not be the most glamorous way to get to work, but now that so many devices can access the Internet through a cellular signal, being able to answer emails or work on a presentation while you’d otherwise be driving, can eliminate a lot of the work you’d be doing at home, ultimately freeing up time for you to relax or be with your family and help you balance work and life.

4. Put the “Work” in Workout

This tip might not be possible for the real work out warriors of the world, who go 100% percent at the gym. But, for those of us that only hit the treadmill to get a light jog or brisk walk in, it can be a great way to “kill two birds with one stone”. Peering over a report, listening in on a meeting (or a recording of one), and doing some light emailing or messaging, can all be accomplished while getting your heart rate high enough to be considered aerobic exercise. Not only does this allow you to multi-task, but also helps ensure that you can take care of yourself physically at the same time. That doesn’t begin to factor in the mental benefits of exercise either.

5. Master the Art of Delegation

The most difficult, but also most effective way to multi-task is to make the absolute best use of your most valuable resources – your subordinates, assistants, or employees. Sure, you could argue that this isn’t multi-tasking in a traditional sense, but whenever you’re doing anything that someone else could be doing for you, it drastically reduces your efficiency.

As you go throughout your day, make a mental note of the tasks you commonly do, that you might be able to source elsewhere. By effectively “outsourcing” some of them to others who may have some time on their hands, you’ll be able to get that original task done, while actually working on something more complicated or intensive yourself, which can go great lengths to giving you the power to balance work and life.

Many people say that multi-tasking is bad and that it’s impossible to do several things simultaneously. But as you can see, it is not difficult to combine useful and necessary things. We can show it on the example of informal meetings. On the one hand, you just have dinner, but, on the other hand, you maintain positive relationships with your partners and colleagues. There is one more opportunity to save your time answering email letters while waiting for an elevator, or a small handful while say, waiting for a haircut etc. Moreover, you can save time thinking over your plans and ideas when going home or exercising.

Read more: addicted2success.com

If the last 20 years has taught us anything it is that we have no idea what the next 20 will hold. That being said, we can focus on the road ahead of us, and make a plan and execute it on a higher level than last year. As we close out this decade and move into what is without a doubt one of the most exciting times for technology, entertainment and entrepreneurs, we need to keep a few things in mind to crush it in 2020.

Here are 4 strategies to keep you ahead of the game in the new year:
1. Stop being a CEO

This is not a delegate better, or be the best leader suggestion. Literally, stop calling yourself a CEO. This last decade has shown that anyone can call themselves an expert, and prove it with some good videos and amazing posts. Endless amounts of people had an idea this last decade and called themselves a CEO right out of the gate, and really never did anything worthy of the title. Tim Ferriss talks about this in the 4-hour work week.

Dictionary.com defines a CEO as a chief executive officer, the highest-ranking person in a company or other institution, ultimately responsible for making managerial decisions. You really want to stand out? Identify yourself by your true role in your company. The title of CEO is something that should be earned, even if it’s your own company.

If you are looking to start off 2020 as a new entrepreneur, don’t make this mistake. Go with Vice President and set a goal to earn your own promotion. If you have been doing this for a while and it works for you great, keep it up. If not, you may want to consider a demotion in the new year and set a goal to achieve the title so you can show real growth.

I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller

2. Podcasts will be the new professional network

LinkedIn has proven to be an amazing way to grow your professional social network, and this past year it showed it’s also a great place to generate business. That being said the word is out and the space is getting crowded. The new professional network and social proof in 2020 will be your podcast, and who’s podcast have you been a guest on.

More and more you can see people who seemed untouchable not sitting down and doing some big TV network interview to get traction, they are guesting on a bunch of podcasts. The more podcasts you can be a guest on, the more you will establish yourself as an expert in your industry. In addition, a podcast is a great way to reach up and down the corporate and social ladder to make that next level connection you are looking for.

Thanks to today’s technology, the barrier to entry to start a podcast is not that difficult. Many applications out there can get you on all the major platforms at no cost. Also, if time is an issue, many people are offering this as a service and it can really enhance your social media presence. As Gary Vaynerchuk has been saying for the better part of 2 years, “voice is the next big thing”.

3. Write an article every week on LinkedIn

Yes, we just talked about LinkedIn getting crowded, but another way to stand out is publishing an article on LinkedIn. Consider your next 3 paragraph post you are going to put on LinkedIn and publish it as an article. It shows up on your feed as a published article, and it looks different than all the other post people are putting out there.

It can be more specific about your product or service too because it is an article and that is what people expect from articles. You are also putting yourself in the space with many influencers on LinkedIn who are doing the same.

Not sure what to write? Go with hot topics in your industry or information about your product or service that could be helpful to someone who wants to learn more. If you’re still hitting a wall, see what is trending on LinkedIn and join in the conversation. Combine this with your podcast and your voice just got clearer and louder on social media.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

4. Be you

This sounds simple, but it is something many people take for granted. Social media is no longer new, it has traction. People can now see your past and present, if the two don’t match up that is going to raise major read flags. The old saying has not changed over the last 20 years, and it is still true, people do business with people they know, like and trust.

The bot that generates leads is not going to help you make the connection with your next big customer. If you are going to cold message someone, take some time to explore their website, social media and podcast. That human connection can save you more time than any automated system can.

As we will automate the simple things in our life in the new decade, banking, food shopping and other things we don’t need to leave the house for anymore, people will have more time to make connections and establish authentic relationships. This is your chance to get out from behind the keyboard and get in front of people who can help you achieve your goals.

Read more: addicted2success.com

It doesn’t matter if you have been in a senior position for several years or are new to the managerial world, motivating a team can be difficult. However, understanding how to engage individual team members or entire departments and keeping morale high is vital. After all, 50% of employees quit a company to escape their boss, not their position, so learning how to properly motivate and inspire a team is critical for long term success.

Fortunately, there are 6 steps any manager can take to maximize their team’s productivity while keeping workers motivated:
1. Set Clear Expectations & Goals

One of the easiest ways to make an employee feel engaged in their job is to ensure that they understand their role. Setting clear job expectations for each team member before the start of a project is necessary for getting departments on the same page. Additionally, outlining concise project related goals and what employees are striving towards in terms of their career development is important.

Only half of employees agree that they know what is expected of them at work, and this lack of direction can cause team members to feel overwhelmed. By setting clear instructions for each employee as a manager, you can ensure your team remains focused and motivated.

“A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other.” – Simon Sinek

2. Provide A Support Network

Almost half of workers suffer from burnout at some point in their career. As a manager, it is important to spot the signs of a struggling employee in order to address the root cause of the problem before the situation worsens.

Creating a support network as a manager is critical for increasing employee motivation and strengthening a sense of teamwork. Providing employees with additional training or resources to better complete their job is recommended, as well as ensuring that employees have a proper work-life balance.

3. Communicate Regularly

Communication between managers and their team is critical for both motivated and disinterested employees. Consistent feedback can encourage productive employees to continue their outstanding work, and it can also provide lagging employees a chance to ask for help or guidance.

Ultimately, by keeping open lines of communication with all team members, managers can gain a better understanding of their team’s strengths and weaknesses. Scheduling weekly or monthly meetings with employees can be an effective way to gauge the state of a department, address concerns or problems, and make adjustments to increase productivity.

4. Give Recognition

Studies have shown that recognition is the number one thing employees say their manager could provide to encourage them to produce better work. This is simply human nature. Praise for hard work and producing results can motivate employees to strive for further success, and it keeps employees feeling valuable.

Leaving talent and hard work unnoticed can lead to employees feeling unappreciated over time, increasing the likelihood the resign or become disinterested. A skilled manager knows when recognition for valuable work is due and how to provide it to their team.

5. Remember The Bigger Picture

Setting clear expectations for employees before the start of a project helps clarify the division of labor and team roles. However, as a manager, it is also important to outline the bigger picture when beginning and concluding a project.

Employees will feel higher levels of motivation if they believe they are working towards something important for the organization that they work for. It is easy for employees to feel as if they are a simple cog in a machine after years of employment, but a skilled manager should outline the importance of the task at hand and the value it brings back to the company.

Reminding employees of the value they provide is a simple but effective tactic to increase motivation and get the most from a team.

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” – Henry Ford

6. Lead By Example

While managerial tactics such as providing recognition or keeping open lines of communication are useful ways to motivate employees, a good manager must still lead by example. A department cannot succeed under poor leadership. Additionally, employees cannot be expected to excel at their job and remain motivated if they are burdened by poor leadership.

A truly great manager leads their team by example, setting a standard of professionalism and work ethic that inspires their team to greater heights.

Managing a workforce can be challenging for experienced and novice managers alike. However, as long as managers remember these 6 critical steps, they can effectively motivate their department, keep morale high, and deliver results.

Read more: addicted2success.com

Negotiation is at the heart of a successful entrepreneurial journey which steers an entrepreneur through the twists and turns of game-changing business contracts and deals. Our day-to-day life revolves around negotiating for our needs and wants but for business matters, negotiation skills are exclusively crucial because your company’s sustenance and your customers’ demands are directly dependent on how effectively you are able to work out and win the deal at hand.

Negotiation is an art that not everyone can master and for an entrepreneur, it serves as a core component for winning business deals, persuading investors and sustaining customers in the long-run.

Here are 5 effective strategies every entrepreneur must consider for success in their business dealings:
1. They come prepared

Successful entrepreneurs rely on solid preparatory work they conduct before coming to the negotiation. The preparation involves thorough research of the parties involved, check into their background and history, how they run their business and also connecting with their current or former business partners to know their area of expertise. The idea is to know your counter parties well enough, so you are able to nurture your strengths while targeting their weaknesses at the negotiation table.

As a buyer, you must know every detail of the products and services you are interested in buying, playing with the psychology of your seller through anticipating their moves and being certain about your wants in order to show up as a strong negotiator. Moreover, as a seller, you must have an empowering position at the table to strike the deal of your choice.

“When you negotiate you must be prepared to compromise.” – Nelson Mandela

2. They keep their ego and emotions aside

Business negotiations are challenging because it is a tug of war between the diverging needs and wants of various parties – but, successful entrepreneurs with their prep work, have the assurance and confidence of how to go about intense haggling. Intense situations elicit emotions and embark on one’s ego easily hence, it is always advised to leave them both at the door while objectively targeting a neutral standpoint while getting what you need and subsequently, not losing too much. Letting your emotions and ego run the show will bring about negative consequences, and make you lose more than you gain. For a successful path forward, negotiate with a poker face.

3. They are the controllers rather than “in control”

Successful entrepreneurs know how to play their game. They always rehearse a scenario before actually jumping in and beating the opposing players. Going through the possibilities and opportunities beforehand brings confidence and assurance on your goals.

It also helps you focus more on your opponent’s moves and makes you less attached to the outcome. Hence, it is always recommended that you role-play a negotiation deal with your friend or colleague with your preparatory work. Remember, the more you practice, the better you get at the game.

4. They know their exit points

Negotiation is a mindset. A successful entrepreneur never makes any contract a “big deal”, rather he relies on his knowledge, goals and areas of interests to make decisions. He remains focused on his motives, thus setting aside his ego and emotions which later aids/helps him in steering through with strength and maintaining a dominating position at the negotiation table.

Coming prepared and knowing your objective, helps you determine when to walk away and not to force the deal on yourself just to get stuck on the opportunity at hand. Staying too biased on your objectives is also not considered ideal. Your neutrality is the key component here.

“My father said: You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

5. They strive for a win-win solution

Successful entrepreneurs are not too self-centered, they keep in touch with the opposing party’s priorities the same way they value theirs. Keeping in consideration your own position, try to satisfy your counter party’s interests while remaining intact with your conceding offers. Have thorough knowledge of your limitations, what you can easily give away and how to strike a deal benefiting each other.

Professional negotiators know how to effectively satisfy the other party making them believe that they got the best offer even when they didn’t. It helps bring contentment at the final hand-shake, leading to successful prospects of business dealings in the long-run.

Read more: addicted2success.com

Young kids are a living, breathing, walking and talking reminder of how important the basics are. They usually underestimate simple everyday tasks and create new chaos in the process. This creates a real time reminder for themselves, and everyone around them, of how important getting back to the basics are. If you have ever watched a baby try to walk or eat, something you do every day, this is very clear.

A growing business is much like a growing child. Rapid growth during the first few years, independence and confidence as the idea grows into a profitable business, and eventually adolescent rebellion once the taste of success comes in. As a business grows, change becomes inevitable, and can very often be unmanageable and overwhelming.

A business can also experience growing pains. From adding staff, to something as simple as time management, the growth of a business can sometimes be more stressful than the death of a business. Success hinges on adaptability, but it is equally important to take time to recognize what got you started when the business was just an idea.

Here are some of the stages your business may be going through, and the way to adapt and grow effectively and efficiently:

1. The terrible twos

As your company grows, the expectations of it and you will change. You are no longer the new kid on the block with limitless potential. Sticking to your core values and adapting to change becomes a full-time balancing act. Very often this early onset of success allows you to hire more people and expand your reach. Especially in companies experiencing hockey stick growth, you may have forgot to create a corporate culture when it was just a few of you in a garage.

Even if you are in an early stage of your company it is important to document the work you are doing and create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and expectations of every task you are completing alone. Once you hire someone, it will be much easier to train them if you can hand them a document telling them this is how you do it.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. The tween years

People can get so busy working in their business that they forget to work on it. Be sure to notice the borders of your company and plan how to broaden them. As a company now with profits, employees and resources, you’re keeping busier than ever, but not sure what is next. Much like a child still needs their parents for some of the basics like food and shelter, during this stage of business, coaches and mentors are so important. Be sure to surround yourself with people who are where you want to be and learn from them. This is the make or break point for many businesses so make sure you are working and surrounding yourself with the right people.

3. Entrepreneur adolescents

Many teenagers feel like an adult, because physically and mentally they feel like they are there, but socially and economically they are not even close in most cases. Success can be blinding and create this same false positive for a growing company. Success can create a comfortable bubble that can distract from further growth. The comfort can create slip-ups and mistakes. Be mindful, and don’t let progress slow you down.

During this stage of business, coaches and mentors are still a key factor to success. They may not be the same ones you had in earlier stages, but the great thing about today’s market place is you can find someone out there to get the advice and guidance you may need. In this phase it very well can be a peer or someone on the same level. 

So, what can you do about this day to day? Read below:

1. Back to the Future

Go back to old emails, files, photos, and reminisce. Every venture has a beginning. The photos and emails you have recorded and collected can be just as much an inspiration as your current goals and challenges. Make sure you have the TimeHop app on your phone, this will help jog your memory.

2. Get feedback

Talk to clients and get feedback. We get many chances to talk to new clients, but make sure you go back and question old clients to understand their perspective on your work and business. Ask them about the changes they have noticed and whether the same kind of qualities are still there when they started with you.

“No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn’t.” – James Cash Penney

3. The Social Network

Networking is key as well, both on and offline. Listen to new people and new customers. You will see plenty of new faces along your journey up, make sure you are receptive and accepting of the new kinds of ideas these people bring along with them. Rigidity can kill a business. Make sure you are networking with the right people online via social media. During all stages of growth, it is so important to be networking in person locally, and make sure you get on a plane and go to an event!

Remember, a business is run by people, and as a CEO and Entrepreneur, you are a person. Make sure you keep growing your business, because if you’re not growing your dying.

Read more: addicted2success.com

Startups are on the rise and youngsters are keen to launch their own business instead of a nine-to-five job. As simple as it sounds, opening a business needs patience and the right planning. Moreover, the profits gained can help you meet your financial obligations and realize other dreams.

Young entrepreneurs must learn the skills of investing money within the right channels as most startups fail because of a shortage of funds. Every entrepreneur has a chance to innovate, create new jobs and have an influence on society. It’s our responsibility to continually grow and push forward, usually beyond our comfort zones.

Here are the seven must-learn tips to grow as an entrepreneur:

1. Read Books and Articles

For many new entrepreneurs, your first mentors are usually found in the pages of books and blogs. Much often learned from the writings of others, and fortunately these days, people are sharing their experiences. A survey found that 88% of the world’s wealthiest people read for a minimum of 30 minutes daily. By comparison, only 2% of the overall population reads this much daily.

Read chapters in books, and articles to get new ideas and skills. Some ideas might not be directly relevant to what you’re doing these days however, it could come helpful a year or so down the road.

My advice is to search out those leaders and writers who resonate with you. You’ll understand when you’ve hit on something when you find yourself returning to a book for answers and inspiration time and time again.

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato

2. Perform SWOT Analysis

Business students and old-school marketers should be very aware of mapping out SWOT Analysis charts (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). If you’ve never made a SWOT chart, write out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in four quadrants on a piece of paper.

In reality, you’ll jot down a couple of notes on the back of a cocktail napkin, however despite the simplicity, if done right, a SWOT will shed light on crucial areas that require improvement. Most significantly, don’t shy away from the truth. Dissecting your weaknesses isn’t fun however, no good comes from avoiding the fact.

3. Be Willing to Take Risks

It’s impossible to become an entrepreneur if you don’t take risks. Doesn’t matter how many times you’ve fallen. See how many times you stand-up. Being an Entrepreneur isn’t that easy; it’s an up-and-down game like a business. Be willing to come up with new plans even when old strategies are working. It’s through such risks that your business will grow. You’ll learn and meet new partners or investors. Even so, the risks must be calculated. Doing the analysis and making consultations is vital in this case.

4. Open Your Eyes Wide

Many opportunities are arising in the business world every day. For instance, many companies are willing to come up with a mobile solution for a startup without charging immoderate prices. This info can only be discovered if you’re keen.

Before dismissing adverts from websites and mainstream media, conclude if they’re relevant to your business. Also, follow the events happening in the stock market and international business summits. You’ll find the opportunities which will take your business to a new level.

Becoming successful as an entrepreneur is possible if you learn, take risks, evolve, innovate, and stay motivated. You must be realistic regarding your abilities and watch the events that unfold in your world.

5. Lead the Way for Your Team

Young entrepreneurs need to encourage employees and provide help at every juncture. For any young entrepreneur who aspires to be a leader it’s necessary to be:

HonestAmbitiousCourage and Risk TakingDedicatedA Team-playerAn effective listenerAn effective communicatorAble to inspire confidencePositive

An entrepreneur who has all the attributes of a leader leads the employees to productivity. It’s essential that the team respects a leader. The hunger and aspirations of the leader to strive for success inspire the employees to put in that extra effort to be successful.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

6. Learn How to Keep Initial Success at Bay

Do not enjoy the shrubs of initial success for too long. Return to the drawing board and draw the future course of action. To move on to the next phase:

Utilize local and online channels to make hype for the servicesStart expanding by hiring employees to enhance productivityCater to a good segment of the audience by providing various servicesRe-invest the profitable revenue into new business efforts

Never let the initial success get to your head. The online platform is an ever-changing arena. Analyze what’s working and what new tactics can be utilized to strengthen the market base.

7. Find and Keep Business Partners

You will always go far if you have people to carry your hand during hardship in business. They’ll share ideas that have made them successful and provides you funds whenever necessary. Demonstrating that you are organized, capable, and serious is vital when nurturing such relationships. Keeping records, creating financial contributions to society, and attending forums are some of the choices worth trying.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t as easy as it looks. You’ll face many up-and-downs, risks, financial crisis, and many more. Be ready to face these problems if you want to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship isn’t about making money, it’s about innovating new things and represent new concepts and ideas to the world.

Read more: addicted2success.com