Tag Archives: entrepreneur
Global Competency Model by Weinberger (2014)
Weinberger (2014)

 

For the last two weeks, we had started the journey of the “Future of Work (#FoW)” and we asked you what you would need to learn if you wanted to become an entrepreneur in 2018.

If you are an entrepreneur already, you probably know that health and time are your most important assets. You would, therefore, ensure that you exercise, relax and watch your nutrition. You would also guard your time and try to be helpful at the same time. Most importantly, you would celebrate your close friends and family. They will probably stand by you when the going gets rough or when the rent doesn’t get paid.

You are not able to hide behind a manager and let her do the tough jobs only so you can complain that she never lets you do anything exciting. As an entrepreneur, you will stand in the limelight and you will need to perform all of your billable time.

What I have learned over the last few years is that “learning new stuff” took a new dimension for me when I started my business because, in the beginning, you have zero help. You can source support but it is usually too expensive so you will do a lot of tasks yourself that were done by other people in the corporate world. You might have been used to a team and never had to change the paper in the printer. You had a PA who would claim your expenses. Maybe you had a business development professional who would spice up your proposals. You certainly did not have to raise invoices and chase their payments.

On a skill level, we can always improve or learn something. We even need to practice in order not to forget.

If you feel you already know everything, you could write a book or learn Mandarin or Arabic. This will probably humble you.

Most of you have one theme in common. You are overwhelmed and stressed. One of the reasons is perfectionism, another is the need to optimize life as if it was a business. Everything is a project. The first communion of your daughter an event. The light exercise is a fitness marathon. A date with someone is a juggling exercise and creates anxiety as you will need everything to be on the “promi-dinner” standard. Your apartment is mega-clean because you only accept hotel standard nowadays. Do you also fold the toilet paper into a triangle shape sometimes and lay a piece of chocolate on your partner’s cushion?

So how do you prioritize your learning?

Give room for creation.

When you are satisfied with your work because you have a strong purpose, the amount of time you put in is not really that relevant. Your creative process needs a different space than a factory-style task. Deep satisfaction comes from creation, not from the routine and administration. I also believe you can only monetize creation. Routine can be automated and outsourced.

We created the RockMe! App to increase stress for you. No joke. You will probably feel under pressure to achieve when you work with a coach. You might experience though that your energy is more targeted. You will achieve what is important to you and you will do it with pleasure. I advise you to write your three major goals for 2018 in present tense as if you had already achieved them. If you are a visual person try to find an image or photo for every one of the three future states you would like to achieve.

As soon as you start working with the app one of our coaches will check in with you on a regular basis to see how you are getting ahead. Will this cost you anything? Yes. You will need to give us feedback. If you find our work helpful, we assume that you will recommend GPT and the RockMe! App to all your contacts and friends. That’s all.

Become the leader you want to be and work with our RockMe! App. Contact Lucie Koch to have an account set up for you.

I wish you a productive week.

Kind regards,

Angie Weinberger

P.S.: Don’t forget to check out Lucie’s post on Expat children and Identity Crisis.

Plus, read this article if you are interested in 12 tips for working virtually in a multicultural team.

Do you sometimes wonder when you update a spreadsheet, database or presentation, why you went to university in the first place? Do you sometimes feel in meetings that your potential is not fully utilized? Or when you run a team, are you the Chief Entertainer? Are you the parent cleaning up the toys after the kids, trying to stop them from fighting about the electronic devices, the projects and the recognition (i.e. bonus)?

Do you regularly try to calm the storm when one of your colleagues thinks she is right and the other one says that she started picking on him for no reason?

Companies and organizations feel like kindergarten. I don’t want to sound mean but I as a leader you spend a large part of your day solving problems, easing difficult relationships, convincing colleagues to collaborate (instead of fighting) and cleaning up sloppy data entries from unmotivated service providers who lost touch to the end client and lost pride in their work as they are working in a data factory.

We need to deconstruct career and build a new concept for a fulfilled professional life. Last week we started to discuss the future of work and how it will affect your “career”. We encouraged you to think like an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs have a purpose in their life. They know why they roll up a stone every day, they have an aim for their daily efforts. Here are five questions for you to reflect on:

1) What if you wanted or had to become an entrepreneur early next year?
2) What would be your three main goals for 2018?
3) Which knowledge can you build on?
4) Which critical skills do you want to develop further?
5) Which attitude would you need and which beliefs would you have to let go of?

You can write the answers down for your or record them with us now. If you would like to record your answers in our RockMe! App please email Lucie Koch so we can set you up there.

We recommend you also listen to and read this:

Podcast by Sundae Bean on Expat Life Upgrade

“The future of work is a complex thing” featuring Luke Skywalker and Buffy by the Libby.

Kai Beckmann’s take on the future of work Are we Curious Enough for the Future of Work?

Join the discussion on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter with #FoW.

 

Do you notice how dark it gets in the morning these days? Yesterday, we went for a walk at our favorite Greifensee and on the way back bought pumpkins. It’s a sure sign that we are moving towards the festive season. I also noticed that I hardly get so many event invites like in November. It seems that the year now only has one month to network and exchange and that December is already considered “closed for personal business”.

As a business owner December this year could be a quiet month (if I want it to be) after a rather busy year. When you develop your business, run a side consulting project, build your network, volunteer for causes and use all the options at your fingertips to learn and grow, you could suddenly be overloaded. And from overload to feeling stressed is a short journey.

I am more effective in my work as a consultant and coach when I am in a relaxed mode, so planning and effective work habits are really essential for my business. Even if you are employed, do you ever ask yourself if you could leave the office at 6 pm if you were just a bit more organized? I told one of you last week, that I like to keep order in my work space and that cleaning up both at home and at work helps me to remain productive.

Here are two posts that might help you with gaining control when you feel stressed and claiming back your diary through seven productivity hacks.

I plan my year in advance and maintain a paper overview of events and important project milestones as well as holidays. For your annual planning it is important to know the cycles of your business. Find out when you have “busy” and “low” season. Use the “low” season for professional development, holidays, and creative projects such as paper and book writing.

You might want to read about the seven cornerstones for running a successful solo business.

Kind regards
Angie

PS: If you would like to give a coaching voucher to a friend or loved one for the upcoming holidays please contact me directly. Do watch out for #Decemberdeal on Social Media Channels. RT, Share and Like and get a reduction on our packages.


In a continuous effort to counter-balance my fear of failure, I like the experience of “lack”. I’ve been a solopreneur for more than four years now and slowly slowly I see signs that the business is out of the nappies and has become a kindergarten child, ready to stay on it’s own with her other small business friends during the day. When I come home all she needs is a bit of checking on (bank balance), a bit of nurturing (invoices and business development) and a bedtime story.

I “practice poverty” by letting essentials such as coffee run out, living with an empty fridge, not having printing paper, wearing old shoes and asking the hairdresser for an extension of payment terms.

I would not say that my company is “successful” or broke even yet. Compared to others our growth is slow and this year I took on a job to cover my living expenses. Still, we send out invoices every month and we have a number of regular clients. The client base is becoming bigger and to my amusement former clients send us their wives and husbands.

I love to be the “family coach”. As a career woman I believe that the interests of the career-driving and the caretaker role need to be more balanced in most marriages. I also believe in long-term relationships and I know that with most of you I will be contact for a lifetime. Still, there are days when I feel like a failure or when I am concerned about ending up under a bridge.

Running a business requires that you confront your fear of failure every day.

When you “practice poverty” you watch all your resources better. In the first-world we are used to luxury and constant access of resources. Switzerland is highly productive because of stability, access to resources and a highly skilled workforce. Here, we cannot imagine a life where you cannot afford to buy anything, not even a cup of coffee. My aunt thought I was kidding her when I told her I did not have money to buy coffee last month. She saw that I was paying easily for our holiday in Italy but she could not see how I live without a certain standard.

I invest in having a cleaning person so I can use my time for the business, my loved ones and myself. I have months where I cannot pay the rent or run out of money to buy coffee. I admit, I was never good with saving money. I always had enough since I went to high school. In order to improve my business cash flow I had to learn to manage my finances better. Maybe you are in a similar situation and profit from my advice below.

I have summarized my learning in “seven cash flow habits for solopreneurs”.

1) Budget vendor expenses and pay in advance

I tend to create a lot of work around myself. In corporations usually my team would be happy to be involved in several projects but in my own business my supporting freelancers can be overwhelmed with the amount of work I ask them to do. About two years ago I started to pay them in advance either on a quarterly or yearly basis. We sometimes stop to work before the end of the year as we are out of money. I had to abandon projects due to a lack of budget.

2) Invest in your Business Priorities

Once you have clarity about what your clients need and how you can help them be more successful you will also know where your priorities for investment should be. Invest in those and abandon the rest.

3) Pay for Survival Tasks

You have survival tasks in every business such as invoices, accounting, making appointments, following up on conversations with prospects, digital media marketing and web-design. Not all of these tasks are your business purpose so you should pay someone to do them for you.

4) Maintain a Wish Book

To avoid impulse purchases I am writing all my wishes into a wish book. I used to buy a lot of books and many haven’t read yet. I don’t do that anymore. I used to have clothes that I did not wear. Not anymore. And I had a lot more shoes.

5) Date a Cook

In Switzerland dining out is very expensive and one of my good decisions was to date a man who loves to cook. Even though my cooking skills have lessened we enjoy a good home-made dinner almost every night. I am thankful for this.

6) Nurture your Spirit, Body and Soul

When we feel fulfilled either through our work or our contribution to the world or through little acts of kindness every day our spirit, body and soul are nurtured. When we feel full of love we do not need consumption to comfort ourselves.

7) Abandon Credit Cards

It’s almost impossible to live without a credit card in our society but I only have a business credit card now so I need to justify my expenses to my accountant. My bank does not give me credit either. So I cannot overspend. It helps.

 

I am moving out of my comfort zone with this post showing you one of my biggest weaknesses and how I handle it. Let me know if it helped you and if you have any questions.

 

Nine budgeting ideas for the start-up entrepreneur

It is very hard to stay focused as a solopreneur. One of the reasons is that you are everything to everyone. Without a strong purpose, motivating vision, regular routine and strict discipline I believe you can lose yourself in details and perfectionism.
I have been an entrepreneur for around four years now. I started to consciously work on my business and blog even before. One day, I handed in my official resignation at my employer. In my fourth year of entrepreneurship and after my best year so far I still have doubts sometimes. I still feel sometimes it is a bit too hard to be a solo show. Even though I know what needs to be done I shy away from the work and procrastinate phone calls, follow-ups and sit in front of my screen.1.30
Or I check my phone for tweets. I dream about funds or an inheritance appearing from nowhere. So far, I got out of every crisis. Year after year became easier. I look at other “successful” colleagues who seem to make a higher turnover even though they hardly leave their house. I am running around, travel to clients, meet prospects for lunch. I feel that most of the time I am not achieving everything I want to achieve. I suck up everything I can get in my brain on SEO, blogging, working smarter, client relationships. I read and read. I never read so much in my corporate life.
As a consequence of keeping myself on track, I have been thinking a lot about finding a good structure for my week and ensuring that I stick to it. I have this personality type which easily gets excited about new stuff but has a hard time finishing and implementing ideas. When I started to delve in the notion that it is hard to be an entrepreneur I came across this post about stress levels for entrepreneurs in the US. I got a bit concerned that maybe I am also becoming a candidate for a therapist.
Few hours later I had an annual review with my accountant. She congratulated me. I immediately played small by saying that 2016 will be less great. Why do we do this? It’s harmful and there is no crystal ball of turnovers that will tell me how the year goes. A lot of my larger projects came by lucky coincidences and long-term investments in my network.
You might be in a similar place so I pulled together seven cornerstones for more powerful solopreneurs to make the turnover you deserve.

The Seven Cornerstones for Powerful Solopreneurs

1) Annual Vision Review

I think you should review your vision every year. Are you still aligned with your why? Do you still believe in the manifesto you put out there, your grand idea how you would contribute and improve the world? Or have you settled for small? Played it safe?

2) Goals visualized per quarter

Visualize your goals not only for the business year with a vision board but break down your milestones into projects and visualize what success will look like per quarter. If you want to motivate yourself write don the future state. Example: Instead of writing “I want to be the No. 1 go-to-source in my industry” you write down “I am the No. 1 go-to-source in my industry.”

3) Invest in your support staff

As a solopreneur, you might work with freelancer and other suppliers to support you. Treat them like investments and ensure that they get all the training, seminars, courses and connections they need to thrive in their subject matter expertise. Coach and support them.

4) Focus on 20 VIP clients

If you work with clients in 1:1 relationships like me it is helpful to focus on 20 VIP clients at the time. Give them your best service and even if they give you great feedback ask them how you can improve what you do. Ask them how you can adapt your services to their needs even more.

5) Publications, Talks, and Webinars

Nowadays, as a solopreneur you live of your professional reputation and status. You can build status over time through publications, talks, and webinars. Even if you are not in academia, consider publishing as an option to build your subject matter expertise and to contribute to your industry. You can start with guest blogging if you don’t think that you can come up with a topic to write about on a regular basis.

6) Reduce your service offering to your ideal client

One of the secrets to Marketing is to reduce the choice for your ideal client. Your ideal client has so many decisions to take already, make it easy for her or him to chose you. Don’t give them too many choices. Reduce the paper work to the absolute legal minimum standard. Develop a signature product or service, brand it and improve it.

7) Routine, Honesty and Self-Love help the Solopreneur to Survive

One of best ways to feel in control according to Ash Ambirge is when you develop and follow a strict routine. This is not always possible especially when you travel for your work too but I noticed as well that I am most creative and attentive when I ensure that I go to bed at the same time, get up early, have a regular intake of food and water and most of all know when to relax. Be honest with yourself when you walk through the valley of tears and check the numbers regularly. I know too many entrepreneurs who treat their business as a hobby. Congratulations if you can afford that. I can’t so I am checking my account at least twice a week. I know which invoices have not been paid yet and I follow up on leads. At the same time you need to love yourself enough to take time out and by that I mean that give yourself at least one day to re-charge. You want to be a role model so you should prioritize your health and mental stability as well. One of my colleagues goes to the mountains regularly when he needs to “clear his head”. One of my favorite strategies is reading novels or watching escapist movies.

What do you do to be a more powerful solopreneur?

Thank you for your comments.

Angie

P.S. Read more on procrastination http://jamesclear.com/akrasia
PPS: If you still feel you are not moving ahead please schedule a meeting with me. I have supported solopreneurs in Switzerland to get their business off the ground and my company has survived the critical baby phase of years 1 to 3.