Posts Tagged "Startup Motivation"

Due to surge in demand for essential goods, Amazon has prioritised available resources to serve only essential items while also ensuring safety of their delivery partners

3 min read

As the country braces for a 21-day lockdown to prevent coronavirus from spreading, e-commerce giant Flipkart has announced temporary suspension of its services. In a notice on their website, the e-commerce giant said, “We are temporarily suspending our services. Your needs have always been our priority, and our promise is that we will be back to serve you, as soon as possible.”

Also Read: India Under Unprecedented 21-Day Lockdown to Prevent Coronavirus 

Its rival company, Amazon has announced to deliver only high-priority products, while temporarily suspending orders of all other items, effective 24 March.  The company, in a blogspot, said that while a large number of districts and states are imposing lockdown, it is witnessing an increased demand for priority products and important services. So, it has prioritised available resources to serve only essential items while also ensuring safety of their delivery partners.

“To serve our customers’ most urgent needs while also ensuring safety of our employees, we are temporarily prioritizing our available fulfilment and logistics capacity to serve products that are currently critical for our customers,” the blogspot stated.

Also Read: MyGate Partners With E-Commerce Firms For Contactless Deliveries Amidst Coronavirus Crisis

Household staples, packaged food and health care, hygiene and personal safety products qualify as critical products, according to the company’s statement. As for pending orders of low-priority products, customers are given a choice to cancel and get a full refund for prepaid items.

The blogspot statement added that the company will remain focused on delivering supplies to the doorsteps to the people in India, especially to those most vulnerable, like the elderly or those without access. Earlier this week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had issued a statement reiterating the critical role e-commerce is playing in the ongoing coronavirus crisis by delivering essential goods to people in need. He added that the company is hiring for 1 lakh new roles along with raising wages of hourly workers who are working at this crucial time.

Also Read: Amazon Steps Up Efforts As Demand Surges Amidst Coronavirus Crisis

As per guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs on what will remain operational during the 21 day lockdown in India, delivery of essential goods—food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment—through e-commerce will be allowed.

On Tuesday, multiple media reports and personal accounts of business owners reported that online grocery delivery and e-commerce were being disrupted due to the lockdown. Albinder Dhindsa, co-founder and CEO, grofers, an online grocery platform, had tweeted that their company’s warehouse in Faridabad, Haryana was closed down by local law enforcement forces. “While we understand they are doing their duty, essential items will be denied to 20,000+ households in Faridabad and Delhi every day. We need help in sorting this out,” he said.

Online delivery companies are reportedly seeing a multifold surge in orders as the country has been put under a lockdown with all offices, factories and markets closed down, barring a few essential services, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Also Read: Staying at Home will Reduce Expected Coronavirus Cases by 62%: ICMR

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We are in the midst of a “black swan” event that will have drastic, global economic consequences. No company is immune.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As the world scrambles to make sense of and respond to the coronavirus threat, leadership will be tested in unimaginable ways. Each day brings jarring new information that requires system-wide response. Sequoia Capital is calling this period the “black swan of 2020.” Black swans are rare unexpected events like 9/11 that impact global activity. After living through downturns for 50 years, Sequoia notes the companies that survive are able to act decisively and quickly. But how do you act quickly in the midst of so much uncertainty and human risk? At the macro level, successful companies will “mirror biology as Darwin surmised; those who survive are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change”. 

Managing change is a special leadership skill. When you’re navigating uncharted waters, slashing budgets and making changes, good leaders will stay attuned to people’s emotions and continue to invest in their teams.

Here are 5 things that leaders can do to navigate this crisis and emerge stronger than ever.

Related: Coronavirus: Australian experts predict $2.4 trillion global GDP loss …

Confront the brutal facts while maintaining faith that you will prevail

Adopt the mental framework of the Stockdale Paradox. Admiral Stockdale survived 8 years as a prisoner in the Vietnam war with this concept. He was able to stay positive without falling trap to the blind optimism of fellow prisoners who failed to confront the reality of their situation. There is no time for denial in this crisis: Stay vigilant to the harshest realities and fast-moving changes. Communicate the brutal facts directly to your team while maintaining confidence that you will get through it together. This will happen faster for teams with high trust. When they believe that you have their backs, they value the truth and will work together to find the best paths forward.

Don’t assume you know what people are afraid of 

It may seem obvious to surmise that people are most worried about getting sick or job security. But there are many other things that might matter to different people. Working from home might cause some to lose visibility and information they get informally from important people. People need different things to feel safe, and it’s important to find out what matters to them. Double down on your listening to ask what people are afraid of losing as this crisis continues. Don’t just focus on tactical communication around hygiene or travel protocol; make sure you allow people to express any emotional concerns they may have. Doing this allows you to help them sort real losses from perceived ones. And when there is real loss coming, deliver that information directly and quickly.

Related: Coronavirus Home Testing Kits Are Coming to Seattle

Get ready for chaos

With so much out of our control, leaders will need to adopt a crisis management approach. Expect anxiety to rise and motivation to suffer. Pick a few priorities to focus on while regaining balance. Set smaller goals with frequent checkpoints so that people can feel some sense of positive movement. Redesign operating rules, even temporarily, to address the needs of this time. Pay close attention to managing stress — including your own.

Do virtual team-building

As companies are encouraging more and more employees to work from home, virtual team-building becomes an imperative. With the loss of informal, personal contact you will need to find new ways to stay connected. Understanding the working styles, motivators and stress behavior of the other people on your team will yield the greatest productivity and help everyone to stay aligned when working remotely. Build in time during one-on-ones for personal check-ins. Think creatively about how to keep people motivated and small ways to get groups to continue building relationships over video conference and instant messaging channels.

Envision the new beginning

Incorporate learning as you go through this time. Ask how this will affect the future of your enterprise and make adjustments. As with any downturn, there are opportunities for creativity and change. Recessions create new problems that can turn into business opportunities. Some incumbents will fall and open doors for new startups. Smart investors will continue to look for good ideas and people. Stay vigilant in seeking out options that might pay off when things return to normal. 

The future state will bring a new normal that no one can predict today. All we can do is prepare ourselves to walk straight into the chaos, bringing our personal best to rally the troops through these challenges into the new day.

Related: Coronavirus and a Looming Recession: How to Raise Capital in …

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Here’s how to avoid sabotaging yourself and your business.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

“If you want to be successful, why are you wasting time thinking about how much you don’t want to fail?” It was a simple question that changed how I approached business and life. Fear of failure is very powerful, but what’s more powerful is fear of success. 

When I support my clients in their ability to achieve more in life, I ask them what’s going through their mind that’s preventing them from going after it, whether it’s talking to that attractive person, sending that email to a potential investor or even going to the gym. Among their responses is often, “Well, I don’t know what to say” or “What if she doesn’t like what I have to say?” People bombard themselves with “what ifs.”

I get it, all these scenarios could possibly happen, but the truth is they haven’t yet. Nevertheless, the uncertainty around these “what ifs” takes away your courage and confidence to go and make that move, even knowing it could level up your business and life.

Let me explain why this happens and what you can do about it.

Related: 8 Mindset Shifts Entrepreneurs Must Make

Failure is designed to protect us from an emotional death

You don’t want to fail. You also don’t want to die. This may sound extreme, but your brain and feelings can’t tell the difference between the two. You don’t want to make mistakes, be embarrassed and ashamed. So you do everything you possibly can to seek the most information possible and create scenarios that ensure what you’re attempting to do is virtually fail-proof. 

Here’s what’s also happening: While you do your due diligence, you also look for reasons you shouldn’t take this chance. You may not realize this, but the moment you enter a room, open your email or even wake up, your mind will look for any excuse to justify why you shouldn’t approach and talk to someone you’re attracted to, talk to that investor about your company or go to the gym to work out. 

Your mind says: “The gym is too far.” “I have to wake up early.” “I can’t wake up that early.” “I’m already too tired.”
“She’s talking with her friends, and I don’t want to interrupt her.” “That investor doesn’t want to give me money.” 

While you are preparing yourself to avoid failure, making up things and going through all the scenarios you can possibly conceive, you’re spending zero energy preparing for what would happen if you succeed.

Simulated failure feels like real failure

You put your mind through every scenario where failure is possible to the point where it feels real. You’re simulating these experiences so frequently, it feels real, even though nothing has actually happened. After a while, your mind tricks you into believing you have all this “experience” around failure, when you’ve never actually experienced it — just thousands of simulations of it. Consequently, it feels like you’re building experience around planning, avoiding and navigating around failure.

This results in your mind having no concept of what success feels like, how to handle it and how you can grow it. In other words, success is so unknown, it’s scary — maybe scarier than failure. Your mind can’t comprehend what success could be like because you never put your mind through those scenarios.

How to avoid sabotaging your success

Now imagine you’ve been spending all that time and energy focusing on failure without having considered the other “what ifs….” What if you sent that email asking for an investor meeting, and not only got it, but secured the investment too? What if you went over and talked to that attractive person, and they were so receptive and excited, it felt like they were waiting for you to do it? What if you went to the gym, got on that treadmill, and it felt pretty easy?

If you don’t prepare your mind for what would happen if you were successful, it’s no surprise that when it happens, you have no idea what to do. When my clients achieve a certain level of success they didn’t expect or prepare for, oftentimes, they lose it. 

When you’re so afraid of failure, you put all your energy around avoiding it. I especially see it when clients are researching more information instead of applying what they already know. That “final” bit of information isn’t out there, but yet you search for it, praying it makes your path to achievement painless, which we know isn’t possible.

Think about success the same way you thought about failure

What if you planned and prepared for success? That’s what you want, anyway. Your energy and focus tends to become reality, so if you’re putting all your energy towards avoiding failure, chances are you’re subconsciously manifesting it. If that’s true, putting all your energy toward success may create a different scenario. 

For most of our lives, we have have spent so much time and energy trying to avoid failure. Reversing it by planning for success, the very thing that you want, focuses your energy on it. When it does come, you’re not surprised or overwhelmed. Instead, it becomes a part of your plan.

Related: Cultivating the Mindset of a Successful Entrepreneur

The only difference is fear of failure is something your mind believes you’ve experienced enough to become familiar with it. With this, you now have a chance to create a similar, more powerful relationship with your fear of success, something new and unknown to you — for now.

This shift can be life changing by limiting your focus about failure and the “what ifs” and instead turning your focus toward what to do when you are successful. Even using that language makes success become more inevitable. My clients have learned to prepare, plan, respond, leverage and build more of it. Now you can too.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

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Giving up is the most common form of failure.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Resilience is an amazing skill that helps us recover quickly from difficulties. If you are resilient, you have an innate ability to keep getting up when life knocks you down. You have learned how to bounce back and keep going.

We build our resilience by learning to cope with challenges — it’s a process of adapting well in the face of trauma, tragedy or significant stress. Basically, you have to get knocked down in order to learn how to pick yourself back up. Over time, successful people learn not only how to overcome, but to embrace these challenges. They understand that each crisis they face is a chance to learn and grow.

Resilience is an important skill to master in order to be successful for the long haul. Here are eight strategies successful people use to build their resilience and continue to grow beyond the crises that would otherwise hold them back.

1. Build a circle of trust.

We all need people in our lives who we can lean on. Building a tight-knit circle of people you can trust is a key part of strengthening your resilience and weathering difficult times. Close friends, family and loved ones are our social support — they encourage and motivate us, and let us know that we aren’t alone. When we surround ourselves with supportive people, we’re able to share our feelings and concerns without fear of being judged.

Studies show that the primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships both inside and outside the family. People with a high level of social support have less depression and are better able to cope during stressful times. Just remember to reach out and ask for help when you need it!

Related: Social Currency and Your Circle of Influence

2. Reframe how you view stressful situations.

The way we view a potentially stressful situation can either make the crisis worse in our mind or minimize it. This is called cognitive reframing, and it involves looking at things in a way that creates less stress and promotes a greater sense of control and peace. Reframing things in a more positive way can alter our perceptions and relieve our stressful feelings.

This mind trick can actually change your physical responses to stress because your body’s stress response is triggered by perceived stress. In other words, if you’re constantly feeling like a crisis is looming, your body will react as if that’s true and your fight-or-flight response will kick in.

Be aware of how you think about things — do you tend to be optimistic or pessimistic when considering upcoming situations? Stop yourself from slipping into overly negative patterns of thinking. Instead of seeing a difficult situation as an insurmountable problem, try framing it as a challenge you are capable of overcoming.

3. Take action.

Don’t allow yourself to become paralyzed, numb or detached during a trauma or crisis. Remind yourself that you’re not at the mercy of events beyond your control — you can always do something. By initiating action and taking the first small steps, you can gain confidence to take bigger steps.

You can build resilience by learning to take decisive action during critical situations. Don’t wait for someone else to swoop in and save the day. Immediately consider what steps you can take and put yourself in command of a situation. How can you pull yourself out of a disaster or dilemma? You can’t wish away your problems, and doing so will leave you feeling helpless. Empower yourself and harness the force of your determination to take control and rectify a negative situation.

Related: Are You a Procrastinator? Here Are 5 Ways to Be More Decisive.

4. Have a positive attitude.

The mindset and the attitude you approach a problem with can make a huge difference in how resilient you are when dealing with an impasse or troublesome circumstance. Maintaining a hopeful and optimistic outlook will help you see beyond the current predicament you find yourself in.

Pay attention to negative thought loops you may get stuck in. Catch yourself when you’re slipping into stress-inducing patterns of thinking. When you think about the future, do you focus on how things could be better and look for possibilities and opportunities ahead? Or do you dwell on what feel like hopeless problems? Replace these negative thoughts with positive ones.

5. Accept that change is part of life.

Many people spend their lives trying to avoid change. The prospect of facing change leaves them fearful of the unknown. But change will inevitably catch up to you. One important way successful people build resilience is by accepting that change will come. They focus on being prepared for change and they learn to adapt and adjust when change is imminent. Successful people see change as a necessary component of revising the old way and embracing innovation.

We will constantly be experiencing change in our lives, through our relationships and in our physical bodies. Our work environment and our homes will change, and indeed the entire world around us will go through upheavals and transformations.

We must all learn to deal with change and continue to advance and grow through it all. Pay attention to how you respond to feelings of stress brought on by change. Work to reframe how you think about change — see the possibilities and opportunities that come with any new development.

6. Keep things in perspective.

As the saying goes, don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Your computer may crash, the customer service representative may be rude or unhelpful and you may have lost files or documents that cause you to miss deadlines. In the moment, this may feel like a really big deal. You may find yourself ready to explode, wanting to take your anger and aggression out on others. Before you do, check yourself.

Is your reaction really in keeping with the situation? Yes, it’s stressful, annoying and frustrating. But was anyone hurt? Did anyone die because of what happened? Can you recover from this situation? If the answer to the last question is yes, then make sure you aren’t blowing things out of proportion.

Remind yourself of what is going well in your life. Consider the best and worst that could happen. What’s the worst-case scenario here? Is this situation really as bad as it could get? Probably not. Take action to fix the problem and move on.

7. Build self-confidence.

Sometimes we have to dig down deep and find the strength within ourselves to deal with difficulties. We have to find ways to cultivate the confidence and assurance that we can handle a situation.

Finding your way out of a tough spot is never easy, but you can do it! Find some small thing that represents strength to you — an heirloom from a parent or grandparent, a pair of shoes you feel amazing in — whatever it is, use it to bolster your self-confidence. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you believe in yourself, that you can do this. Stand tall, take a deep breath and move forward.

When faced with a critical situation or a looming disaster, remember what you have been through in your life. You have made it through difficulties before, and you can and will do it again. Believing in yourself and knowing that you can weather any storm will allow you to master resilience and overcome any crisis.

Related: 10 Ways Successful People Push Through Adversity

8. Find everyday joys.

On even the darkest of days, it’s possible to find some small thing to be happy about. Even when things are at their worst and you’re feeling at your lowest point, you have things to be grateful for. Building resilience isn’t just about weathering the storm; it’s also about looking for the everyday joys that make life worth living. It’s OK to see the humor when life rears up and knocks you down. Being able to laugh in the face of adversity is an excellent way to relieve stress and build resilience.

Also, remember that your overall sense of well-being is supported by taking time every day to take care of yourself, both your body and your mind. Eating healthy foods, exercising and getting enough sleep will give you the resilience to handle daily pressures as well as unexpected crises.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Rather than fishing in crowded waters, shrink the pond by honing in on what you do best.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When you ask an average business audience to name the first person to fly solo, non-stop across the Atlantic, most people know it was Charles Lindbergh. Most can also name Amelia Earhart as the first woman to achieve that feat.

But silence usually prevails when people are asked to name the second or third aviator to do it. The fact that the third person was Earhart reveals an important facet of human psychology, namely that we tend to remember people and things based on their category rather than as part of the broader whole. If you are the first or the best, that tends to stick.

Related: How to Start a Consulting Business: Determine Your Business Model

Consultants and professional service providers would do well to heed this lesson at a time when they’re swimming in an ever-expanding pond of similar firms. There are an estimated 700,000 business consulting firms globally, and many of their services are fast becoming commodities.

Whether it’s getting help on an audit or installing Salesforce, customers know they’re going to get similar types of people and services from the industry.

Figure out what makes you special

Rather than keep fishing in these vast waters, expert service providers need to shrink their pond by honing in on what they do best. So you can’t be the best barbecue restaurant in town? Fine. But maybe instead of being the second or third best maybe you can position yourself as the premier dry-rib joint.

Carving out a niche for your practice — whether you are self-employed or running a practice inside a bigger company — takes on even greater importance when you consider how technology has dispersed an industry’s clientele across the globe. It’s harder for these far-flung clients to differentiate between one provider and another. The way to cut through this absence of signal is to be the worldwide expert at one particular thing.

The simplest way to position yourself as a niche expert is to focus on your most successful case studies. Where have you achieved the best results and added the most value to clients?

Build on your successes to create a niche

Your practice may have the ability to help any kind of management team, but perhaps, for instance, it’s worked closely with several mining companies and achieved strong improvements to their supply chain. Backed by this record, maybe you should try to build a niche as the world’s only practice that helps mining sector COOs to drive down costs and control their supply chains.

Related: How to Start a Consulting Business: Get Ready to Launch

I know one law firm with a regulatory practice that was maybe good enough to make the top 200 firms in the country based on reputation. But it happened to be based in Colorado and California where those states have legalized cannabis and hemp in recent years.

The firm has leveraged that geographical advantage to build a practice around helping cannabis and hemp companies navigate regulations and is now fast on its way to becoming the number-one law firm in the country in that niche.

Create channels to put your expertise on display

After deciding what pond you want to dominate, you can start taking steps to cement your ownership of it. You might publish articles on it or create a regular newsletter highlighting recent trends in order to achieve name recognition among those who matter.

You might seek speaking engagements or fund cocktail parties at relevant events. The aim is to narrowcast, not broadcast. We know that it only takes a small collection of select clients to build a successful practice so focus on the 200-300 executives globally who can make this happen.

Related: How to Use Your Expertise to Start a Consulting Business

Once you’ve dominated a niche, you can extend that success by entering adjacent niches. You’ve done great work with North American mining companies, so maybe an expansion to South American mining firms would work. Or perhaps you could expand into supply-chain solutions for agricultural commodities and hire people accordingly.

Resist the urge to be multi-faceted

None of this is rocket science but there can be hurdles. Perhaps the most common objection heard from providers is not wanting to downplay or give up on all the other wonderful things they can do. This misses the point. It can be fine to do other things, as long as you have a clean, crisp go-to-market strategy in your chosen niche.

Your niche practice should have its own microsite that occupies a relevant URL and features 2 to 3 illustrated case studies explaining how you helped people. If you’re part of a larger family of companies, it’s fine to point that out on the site; just don’t throw everything on this particular website with drop-down menus for each specialty.

If your mining sector expertise, for instance, is displayed alongside your achievements in crypto-currency accounting, it’s going to dilute your credibility as a specialist and erode your target customer’s trust in your ability to get the job done.

Keep things simple and direct and that focus can bring surprising results.





While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Redefining the experience and profiting by it can turn rejection into the fuel for success.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Evolutionarily we were not meant to exist in isolation. Inside, each of us has an innate fear of not being accepted or having our contribution shunned by the community we feel the strongest resonance to serving. 

As business owners and entrepreneurs, the sting of rejection can pierce like a dagger to the heart. It can be extremely hard not to take rejection personally. It’s our ideas, our blood and our sweat and tears that are being shown the exit.

The success of any business comes not with necessarily being the biggest, the best or the fastest. It comes from being the most innovative and adaptive. We often forget the underlying truth that rejection experiences have given birth to cutting-edge enterprises. In many cases, rejections have been the genesis of brilliant solutions that would otherwise have been unfathomable were it not for our mental anguish.

When you learn to embrace and practice certain strategies, you’ll no longer fear or try to avoid rejection. You may actually look forward to it.

1.) Acknowledge and prepare for rejection.

Most of us become angry when, despite putting in eighty-percent of the groundwork, our customer then decides to work with our nemesis. Overcoming rejection actually occurs from accepting the emotions that come with it. It is OK to feel angry and frustrated. The emotional and mental weight you feel is just as valid as any physical pain. In the long run, it’s more appropriate and healthy — emotionally, mentally and physically — that you allow yourself to feel that.

Always have a rejection-processing protocol in place. Debrief with personal and professional support people who can empathize and appreciate your experiences without passing judgment, criticizing or looking to give you immediate advice. Primary acknowledgment of its emotional and mental impact upon on you is essential.

Related: Stories of Rejection From 8 of the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs and Leaders

Over time, examine the suite of likely reactions you have when rejection opportunities bare their unattractive heads. Know this about yourself. Being able to predict your own responses as well as build in the foresight that rejection is possible can also greatly lessen the blow. You will feel a greater sense of control knowing what may lie ahead and knowing you’ve got processes in place to handle it.

2.) Find the blessings in every rejection experience.

There will always be customers that do not like us, our service or our product. Whilst this prods us to do comparison reviews of systems, processes, products and service quality, put that aside for a moment. We often can’t see it at the time, but in many cases, rejections are blessings in disguise.

Do you want customers who wish to discuss minute details forever and a day, only to decide they want to start from the beginning again just as you were about to sign-off on the contract? Do you want to be treated like a commodity on-call 24/7, expected to make ‘urgent’ changes to a blueprint during Sunday evening quality time with your family?

You don’t want these customers. Nobody does. Refer and direct those customers to your competitors who are open to being treated this way — you are not.

In this respect, understand your competitors’ businesses actually complement your own. Even if you provide almost the exact same service as your neighbor, remember that you are the brand and that no other individual can copy you or your reasons for being in business. Customers are smart. You might also unforeseeably impress and surprise those very customers who are treating you unprofessionally.

Related: When to Fire That, Er, Abusive or Disruptive Customer

You can put on your match-making hat and referred those clients to a business which better fit their needs? Don’t become their case manager, but what if you then followed up to find out if such a customer was happy? They certainly would not forget the lengths you went to. Such service is rare. Riding the positive wave of your satisfaction from doing this will be far better than sulking and bidding them good riddance under your breath.

3.) After licking your wounds, feed your growth mindset.

Steve Jobs was rejected and sacked from his own company, Apple, in 1985. After purchasing Pixar Animation Studios from Lucasfilm in 1986, he went on to generate his first billion dollars. Today, Pixar is the most successful animation studio of its kind. Not a bad comeback, some might say.

The whirlpool of unsavory emotions we experience in rejection is often a great catalyst for stretching our minds laterally to dimensions never visited before. You might initially doubt yourself, question your competency and your self-worth but after you have weathered the storm, activate your growth mindset and start asking questions.

What can I do differently? What have I discovered about myself? What changes can I make in my business? Could I have handled the closing conversation better? What will I do differently next time? What else is possible?

Never stop at licking your wounds only to return to the status quo. Never.

Related: 14 Steve Jobs Quotes That Offered Great Advice For Entrepreneurs

Post-rejection always builds in a strategic review not just as an individual but with a relevant business coach or consultant. Just like Steve Jobs, you could be at the cusp of a discovery that will change your business and your life forever.

4.) Transform your definition of rejection.

We often ascribe rejection to something wrong with us. Start-ups and solopreneurs are particularly vulnerable to thinking rejection means they are not good enough. Even though this might resonate with you, it doesn’t mean your thinking is accurate.

Invite yourself to consider, Are my deductions about myself actually true or is it the pain speaking? Does it hurt so much because I wanted so badly to be accepted and validated? Is my service or product simply not substandard but simply not the best fit for that customer?

Consciously practice thinking more about the positive consequences of your being rejected. What opportunities can you now see that have been hiding behind the clouds of the status quo? Rejection can, in fact, be a glorious unveiling of new possibilities.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

If you can reliably provide customers with peace of mind during checkout, you’ll come out on top.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There is a lot that goes into selling products online. From setting up a user-friendly website to improving your SEO rankings, there can be so many tasks on your plate that it can be easy for something like payment processing to slip to the back of your mind.

But while payment processing may not get as much press as other digital marketing topics, there is no denying just how important it is if you plan to build a successful brand from the ground up. By working with the right payment-processing tools, you can create a fluid checkout experience that also gives you much-needed peace of mind. Of course, not all payment and checkout systems are created equal. By accounting for a few important factors, you’ll be able to effectively process payments without stress.

Related: How to Find the Right Payment System

1. Fast and easy checkout is a must

Payment processing actually begins before a customer enters her credit-card information to make a payment. You have to consider the entire process, starting from the moment she considers adding an item to her digital shopping cart.

According to the Baymard Institute, the average online shopping cart-abandonment rate is 69.57 percent. While there may be several reasons why a customer might abandon her digital shopping cart, the top-cited factors were too-high shipping and tax costs, a site requiring users to create an account or a checkout process that was simply too long.

As conversion-optimization specialist Andra Baragan writes for The Startup, “Ultimately the outcomes we are seeking here are: Reduce friction, reduce frustration, increase user experience [and] increase transparency. Any work which is completed with the above outcomes in mind will lead to a higher conversion rate and ultimately more revenue.”

2. Make plans for your global customers

Fortunately, the digital age has made the world a smaller, more accessible place than ever. In fact, many (perhaps even most, honestly) of today’s most successful businesses don’t just target their home country — they expand their reach into other markets.

Takings things to an international level is certainly a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, but you need to make sure you have a system in place that can accept and process international payments. The more payment options you accept, the easier you make things for your customers. To plan for your international customers, you’ll need to consider not just how much your products would cost in international currencies, as well as the unique payment methods a new target country could introduce.

For example, Prestashop reports that, unsurprisingly, credit/debit cards and PayPal are the most popular online-payment methods in the United States. In Japan, however, one of the most popular options is to pay in a “konibini,” a convenience store where customers can make cash payments for a product they bought online.

When evaluating payment-processing options, carefully consider all the payment options your customers are likely to use. Clearly communicate this upfront so that buyers can start the checkout process with confidence.

3. Stop fraud in its tracks

Fraud is a serious concern for online buyers and sellers. According to Experian, online-shopping fraud rose by 30 percent from 2016 to 2017 alone. As such, any payment-processing system you use must have solutions in place to counteract fraud. After all, each chargeback fee hurts your bottom line.

In addition to upgrading your website’s security to prevent data theft, brand owners should use payment processors that can identify and block fraudulent payments. Even basic fraud filters can go a long way in helping you avoid chargeback fees.

As Shoshanah Posner writes for this site, “Most payment gateways allow e-commerce merchants to set up some basic fraud-prevention rules to block or flag transactions that may be fraudulent. Typical examples are to decline all transactions when the billing address does not match what the credit card company has on file (an AVS mismatch) or excluding all transactions from specified countries.”

Such filters prevent fraudulent purchases from going through, helping both you and your customers avoid major headaches.

4. Automation makes the world go round

The payment process doesn’t end after a customer submits their credit-card information. From confirmation emails and shipping updates to ensuring that confirmed funds are actually deposited into your company’s accounts, there are several additional steps that come into play to ensure a quality sales experience for everyone involved.

Look for a payment-processing system that gives you the option to automate these and other related tasks. Integration with third-party plugins can even automatically update your spreadsheets and inventory-management systems or send notifications to your customer service team.

The more invoices and payments your company processes, the greater the impact automation can make. According to Financial Executives, departments using highly automated systems are 16 times more productive at processing invoices than counterparts that don’t use any automation. Giving your staff the opportunity to focus on higher-level strategy rather than mundane payment-processing tasks will help your company’s production expand exponentially.

Related: Check Your Checkout

Payment processing may not seem as sexy as a social media campaign or a well-designed landing page, but it could have an even bigger impact on your brand’s chances for lasting online success. By using a secure, customer-friendly payment processing system, you can have confidence that you’ll actually be making money from your entrepreneurial efforts in 2020 and beyond.


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Learn why remote teams are growing and expanding into almost every industry.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Technology — including smartphones, social media and fast and reliable internet connectivity — seems to have come together in such a way as to capture our attention during every waking moment. Although such technology can harm those who misuse it, for many it has become an invaluable resource, dramatically improving their lives.

In the modern workplace, new technology and applications are appearing every day, enabling streamlined processes and improved productivity that boosts the bottom line. The question is: How can people move ahead as their lives at work and lives away from work become increasingly intertwined?

The idea of working remotely isn’t new, but in recent years, it has gained prominence as organizations and employees realize the tangible benefits. The abundance of new technologies that are bringing workforces closer together, coupled with a shift in work culture over the last few years, means that the future will be filled with big advancements in the remote workforce. 

Related: 17 Things You Need to Know About Remote Work

Most employers now have a better understanding of the economics of remote work. The benefits include improved productivity and health, reduced absenteeism, greater retention of talent and more effective recruitment. Companies can employ teams and specialists worldwide, even as they slash overhead costs. Workers save commuting time and commuting costs. They can achieve a better balance of work and life by working from wherever they choose, whether that’s a coworking space, coffee shop, hotel lobby or beach — or even a different country.

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, 43 percent of American employees have performed some part of their job remotely. Case studies of the effects of allowing employees to work remotely suggest that their productivity may increase by anywhere from 4 percent to 13 percent, generating billions in additional economic value for the U.S. economy each year.

Although technology has been a boon for the remote-work revolution, shifts in workplace culture driven by millennials and Generation Z are what will shape the future of work. These young workers have been immersed in technology all their lives, and they are the ones whom employers will be thinking about when it comes to recruitment and retention. Digital and technological skills are the new currency of employment, as demand continues to increase for IT, social media, SEO and analytics, and as new digital roles emerge in old industries like construction, logistics and energy. Employers will have to adapt quickly to what the new workforce really desires: the ability to work flexibly and from anywhere, improved work-life balance and more independence in the workplace.

This new and growing workforce is ambitious and adventurous. For many of them, simultaneously working and traveling — being a digital nomad — is the dream. Instead of taking a year off to travel after school, Gen-Z workers would be happy to enter the job market right away, so long as they are still able to travel regularly. We are now living in an always-connected world, and there are plenty of interesting countries and hubs around the globe that have embraced remote working.

Creating a well-structured plan to work remotely will ensure that this new era benefits everyone involved. Employers need to provide continuous training and personal development. They should arrange for face-to-face time between managers and teams on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis to help maintain workplace culture, sustain morale and foster the right ethos. 

Related: 4 Managerial Downsides of Remote Work (and How to Deal With Them)

Employees need to develop a work plan to ensure that they manage their time effectively, remain productive and remain healthy. Achieving these goals requires choosing the right place to work on a particular day or the right place to work on a particular task. It means taking care not to overwork while also staying focused.

When approached responsibly and innovatively from all sides, the technology available today offers workers another practical path that is undoubtedly much more appealing than commuting to the office five days a week.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many people have big dreams of quitting their day jobs and going to work on a venture that they love. To which I say: Why don’t they?

True, for most people, quitting their jobs with little to no resources to fall back on and taking a blind step into the dark is a risk that they just can’t take. Still, there’s nothing stopping someone from carefully calculating that move — and making it happen.

Many entrepreneurs have found success by growing their side hustles — defined as a gig on the side that has turned into something more. In fact, a study by the Academy of Management shows businesses that are launched while the founder is still employed and only later become that founder’s full-time focus are one-third less likely to fail than those that started out as full-time ventures.

Related: 5 Indications That ‘Side-Gigging’ Is More Than a Fad

The side-hustle-turned-business scheme certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you have enough drive and energy to work on your business in your spare time, then you have what it takes to find your way to success.

If you have a side project that you’re passionate about — one that you’ve wanted to scale for a while, the good news is that you don’t have to quit your job and take a leap into the unknown. At least not right away. Here’s how you can set yourself up for success by growing your business idea on the side:

1. Laying the foundation

Stepping out into the great unknown can be dangerous, but you can mitigate much of that risk by creating a solid plan before you start. The great thing about a side hustle is that it’s one of the best ways to assess a business idea, giving you a chance to prove its viability before going all in.

Before you quit your job, determine how much money you’ll need to make per month in order to quit, and decide how much income your side hustle needs to be generating for it to be successful. Define your idea of success, and then get to work creating and tracking financial benchmarks that will indicate whether your project is a sustainable business idea.

2. Putting in the time

Prepare yourself for what’s ahead. I won’t lie, when you first start out, you’ll have to put in a lot of hours. Most of them, actually.

Since you’ll have your regular job, and will also be working on growing your startup in your spare time, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices. This means skipping those after-work drinks with co-workers and giving up outings with friends pretty much every weekend. It does get easier, but in the beginning your project will take up a lot of your time.

The fact is, if you’re not excited about the thought of spending all of your spare time on your side project, then this venture probably isn’t right for you in the first place.

3. Scaling the right way

Similarly, when it comes to growing your company, avoid the temptation to spill lots of money into the venture. Startup culture glamorizes the idea of investor-backed companies, but the fact is growing your company slowly is often a better idea. Sure, a new desk and computer would be nice, but do you really need it to get started?

Related: 5 Ways to Make Enough Side Money to Eventually Quit Your Job

Countless entrepreneurs have started out small. Take Craig Newmark, for example, founder of Craigslist. He started the company as a side project in 1995 and scaled it into a full-fledged company in 1999.

Test the waters and then scale your company gradually if you can. Always be cautious about taking on extra, unnecessary debt in the beginning.

4. Avoiding burnout

Burnout is a real risk when scaling a business. Working around the clock at your day job and trying to fit your side hustle in around your off hours can be exhausting.

To stave off burnout, try to devote a few of your most productive hours to your company. It’s hard when you’re working a full-time job, but it’ll be difficult to scale a company when you’re only working on it between midnight and 3 a.m.

Exhaustion leads to burnout. You’ll want to fit in your hustle whenever you can, but avoid the temptation to work seven days a week. Give yourself at least one day off to recharge.

5. Taking the leap

Finally, keep in mind that there’s never going to be a perfect time to quit. At some point you’re going to have to just go for it. If your business idea shows great promise and you’re checking off your financial milestones, the smaller details will almost certainly fall into place once you’re devoting more time to it.

While we all love stories of those who leave their jobs on a whim and, with a stroke of genius and luck, go on to find success, the fact is that most companies just aren’t founded that way. By and large, most entrepreneurs find success by carefully calculating their moves and working quietly behind the scenes to lay the groundwork first.

If you have a great business idea, why not give it a trial run by growing it on the side? Testing the waters before you dive in is always a good idea — and will give you a chance to see if your idea if viable before you jump ship.

Passionate about your side hustle? What’s stopping you from turning it into a company? Let us know in the comments section below.

Related: 9 Ideas to Make a Side Income While Growing Your Business

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It’s important to keep yourself anchored to people and communities outside of work.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

“Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows.” — Ben Stein

I was on my way to one of the largest tech networking events of the season. Senior executives and entrepreneurs at different stages of their careers would gather and talk shop. It was more than a little exciting. I was in the process of growing my startup and I hoped to connect with other like-minded people in the industry.

But it didn’t turn out quite how I planned. Instead of meeting lots of fasinating new people and having long, insightful conversations over the latest developments in tech, I ended up in the emergency room. It turned out that pushing myself for days, nights, and weekends to fast-track my business had landed me on the brink of burnout.

I realized then and there that I couldn’t go on that way. I’d spent months putting out fires, dealing with customers, and doing all the busy work trying to run my company. But not only was it not sustainable for my business— it was damaging my health and personal relationships.

The importance of relationships

“No road is long with good company.” — Turkish Proverb

Researcher on leadership development, Rob Cross, noted in an illuminating article for Harvard Business Review that “Making time for nonwork commitments is not just fulfilling; it also helps sustain your mental and physical energy.”

In his research, Cross and his colleagues found that being successful in one’s career depends on our relationships in and out of our work — as much as it does on our job itself. He writes:

“Many of us strive for a meaningful job, an impressive title, or a sizable salary at the ideal company. In doing so, we drastically undervalue the importance of relationships, even though extensive research shows that it’s people, not the perfect job, that lead to fulfillment.”

These findings are true to my experience. Some of the best times of my life have been spent traveling through Europe with my wife or picking olives alongside my family in my hometown. These connections are the core of my existence. They are the foundation and reward for all my striving and hard work.

Cross agrees: “Relationships outside work broaden our perspective and tap into aspects of our identity that don’t rise and fall with how well things are going in the office.”

As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to glorify the 24/7 hustle. And even easier to forget why we do anything to begin with. Yes, we want to build a business that makes a dent in the universe. We want to make a name for ourselves, and provide for our families. But at the end of the day, it’s the people who cheer us on and lend us their ear in both good times and bad that give us a true sense of accomplishment.

Author Michelle Tillis Lederman puts it this way:

“Whether they stem from business or personal situations, our relationships are what support us, connect us, and allow us to progress in all aspects of our lives.” 

Be clear about your purpose

After the emergency room incident, it became apparent that I had to make some adjustments and reprioritize my personal and professional relationships.

This meant making sure my schedule aligned with my overall purpose. The first step I took was establishing a day each week where I looked over upcoming activities and evaluated how they impacted my life outside of work. Was that extra meeting going to keep me from dinner with my wife? Would I have to postpone my trip to visit my family over the summer?

By understanding that each choice I made came with a personal consequence, I was able to be more intentional with my time and get clarity on what matters most. For me, strengthening my ties with family, friends and communities outside of my professional life is a way of grounding myself.

But you don’t have to wait for a crisis to hit in order to clarify your highest objectives. Below are some ways to help you reach this sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Four strategies for nurturing key relationships

1. Identify key relationships to foster

Think about the people who anchor you and share your values. Who do you confide in? Who motivates you? Similarly, consider who you learn the most from. Which experts in your network help you fill in knowledge gaps? These are the relationships you want to be proactive in nurturing. 

2. Invest in community

Take stock of your professional and personal schedule for this next month and then pick an activity you would like to invest more time in as part of a group. Cross’s research found that anchoring ourselves in one or two nonwork communities is essential for us to thrive. Instead of grabbing the occasional lunch with a friend, sign up for a class together where you’ll both be immersed in a learning environment.

3. Guard your time

It’s vital we create buffers against draining interactions. You can do this by setting up rules for how you’ll shift your focus from your professional to personal life. For instance, I make it a point to turn off all devices as soon as I get home. I’ve also taken Slack off my phone, and made sure to not review work emails on weekends. This has allowed me to take back control and redirect my time to more meaningful relationships.

4. Re-focus on others

Michelle Tillis Lederman said it best: “Building fruitful and lasting relationships starts with abandoning the conventional ‘’me’ based thoughts that are so prevalent in the business world and so easy to slip into in our personal lives.”

The greatest strategy of all is to leave all thoughts of work behind — and give the people in our lives who give us a sense of fulfillment — our genuine, undivided attention.

We do this by listening intently. We do this by making them feel seen and heard.

Sculpting our lives this way won’t only give us more balance, it will help us forge a path toward what really matters.

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Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

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