Entrepreneurship is the new playground

Why do people, for god’s sake, choose to be an entrepreneur? Well, because a lot of them want to break free from an existing situation. Like a rigid boss, no room for initiatives, no fulfilling work, repetitive tasks, making a difference etc. By the way, did you know that 74% of employees feel they are not achieving their best performance at work?! So, what’s happening here?

In my (humble) opinion there are two reasons which causes this unhappiness, and the will to break free via entrepreneurship:

  1. Everything is based on numbers: quantifying everything, as if we still live in the production era…
  2. An educational system which did not grow in sync with all social and economic developments: all still based on “old school” production theories, not giving youngsters the space and freedom to discover and explore, in order to use their qualities and talents to the fullest.

For the reader who is playing attention, like you, this is all based on the past. At the same time we know that we are educating youngsters for professions that do not exist yet. This as changes in society are going with the speed of light.

As such there is a gap between the old system and the new thinking. Therefore people want to break free from these old rigid systems. People are feeling the need to grow and develop themselves as a person. To create and discover. To break free. Also seeing the trends like digital nomads, co-working and co-living, and flex-working are here to stay, and to evolve even further in new forms of collaborations and living. Entrepreneurship is the new way to discover and explore thyself and in the meantime give purpose to your (business) life.

WHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW PLAYGROUND

The Tools
The beautiful side of entrepreneurship is that it gives all the necessary space, the tools, the meanings, the connections and more to play around with. It’s the playground where you can use all meanings to create something for yourself, and not for a boss. Where you can use your talents, like creativity, social skills, resourcefulness, and more to create new (business) concepts to build your own future.

Changing Society
To take initiative and think for yourself and not following someone else’s dream, but create your own destiny. We’re not living in the system anymore of only owners and workers. Where the knowledge economy forced the educational system to push as much information in our heads as possible. Not learning by doing and thus using our skills. But now there is a new collective society where creativity, playfulness and sharing is mainstream.

Trial and Error
Be motivated to take your freedom to play, to experiment, take initiatives. To draw outside the lines and make connections. Use your fantasy and try, fail, and get up, and try again. To follow your dream and not someone else’s. To find meaning and purpose in your (business) life. To discover the world by trial and error.

Quality of Life
Not quantifying by numbers, but by living a quality life through entrepreneurship. Mindful living by playing and playing is learning. Where we give space to emotions, intentions and appreciations. No more measuring and comparing by the numbers, but a quality approach on life and work. Let’s be playful and follow the rainbow!

So why did you become an entrepreneur? And does it make you happy and successful? Check it out by answering the questions to the Happy Business You survey to discover.

Quality Time…at work

When you think about quality time, probably you think of the precious time spent with your family or closest friends. The time you intensely enjoy with your dearest. It re-connects and gives you energy. But sadly enough this happens too little, and mostly during (planned) vacations or short trips.

But what if we transfer the concept of quality time into your work? And I don’t mean to have quality time with your colleagues (could be fun though…) but spending quality time how you work.

Quality over Quantity

What if you give your working day more quality time instead of quantity time. Meaning choosing activities based on what brings real value. Value regarding the outcome for your work but also to yourself.

Lot of books are written about efficiency, timetables and ROI and so forth. Which is actually a rational approach based on the old production theory, only counting numbers (A.K.A. Spreadsheet Management) What if you plan and choose your activities based on your ambition for that day. Decide which tasks belong to achieve this daily ambition, and enjoy it fully.

How to do this:

  • Prepare your day, with outlook/mail and other production programs, closed. Sit down an decide what end-goal you would like to accomplish that day. For your work and for yourself. This is your daily ambition.
  • Write down what you really need to do, your must do tasks, to accomplish your daily ambition. Including a list of people you definitely need to contact for your ambition.
  • Open your computer and start to work on your must do list.
  • When you accomplished one third of your must do list, open your inbox for max 30 minutes to reply to e-mails and other requests. Close your mail program and other non necessary programs.
  • Take a break and refocus on your must do list, and start continue working on this.
  • Repeat…

Basically it’s about opening your mail program only when it serves your purpose and not others. Make it a habit to open your mail program only in the morning, midday and day ending. Don’t be a slave of your computer or mail program. You are in control!

Put your personal values in to your work by giving it your full attention it deserves. Give your energy to your daily ambition. This will re-connect your drives and give satisfaction to yourself and in the end also to your stakeholders ;–)

the Qualified Self

Since a few years its possible to measure all kind of data about your health with your mobile Phone or a fitness band around your wrist. So you know how many steps you have taken, how many stairs, measuring your sleep cycle, calories burnt etc. So your little computer is telling you if you are healthy by reaching a certain amount of numbers.

This quantified self is not new as it is still based on numbers and thus based on old school logic. Like measuring output numbers is the classification of your health? This principle is not a new shift, but an advancement which is made possible by new type of sensors and better software. But should we be measured by numbers?

Qualified self

The next (real) shift could be the qualified self. Where you will be measured on qualitative input instead of quantitative numbers. Like measuring your happiness level, hormones, glucose, smiling muscles, talking sound, hours of silence etc. So based on biological and behavioral “measurements” and not on output numbers. But what conclusions or recommendation’s will your app present from this?

The next self

So why not combine quantified data and qualified info? Use this input and connect this with Artificial Intelligence. This as we seem not smart enough to interpret the presented data into valuable and sensible conclusions. So this next app will tell you in the morning how you will feel that day and what you should be doing accordingly to be healthy and perform at your best.

The real self

Using all these tools could bring us far away from our core DNA as a human being. Do we need data and apps to know if we are all right, be healthy, living accordingly etc.? Do we need a tool, to know about our existence?

The other choice, (yes, it is still a choice) to skip all of this and go back to nature. To feel again, to know thyself, and feel in your guts if it’s okay. To “know” you exercised enough, you had your limit’s of alcohol. To know and feel that you are your own god.

Failure is an option!

Failure is an integrated part of our business-life. During your endeavors you might encounter problems, but does this mean you failed? When a project did not finish successfully, or a product is not selling, does this mean you totally failed as a business-person? No, it might be a major setback but it’s not the end of the world. It’s a learning point. And that’s how you should treat failure.

Failure in some cultures is seen as a life enhancer, as a needed experience to perform better in the future. For instance in the USA it’s seen as an essential part of your resume, while in my country The Netherlands, it’s not common to talk about your failures. For example when you lost your job, experienced bankruptcy or a failed project. So let me start: I failed big time with my previous company last year. I’m divorced (sort of failed project ? ) and more. But does this make me a bad person? Hell no!

So first we could change our perception about this concept of failure, and focus on the road how to improve ourselves. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. You could see it like this: “Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, “this didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else”

So how to deal with failures? Some tips:

  1. Try to break the patterns in your life to avoid making the same mistakes twice. Start with changing your bad habits. Your changed behavior will give much more results and rewards then trying to solve external factors.
  2. Be honest to yourself and do not flea to avoid problems. Face them and solve problems if needed. Possibly with help from some friends, colleagues or hire a coach to drag you out this unwanted situation.
  3. Share your thoughts and information in whatever way you feel comfortable with
  4. Be flexible and open to learn. And yes sometimes you will be vulnerable. But what´s the worst thing that could happen? Really….
  5. Know that there’s no such thing as a truly perfect moment to move forward. So why wait for one? Taking action turns all your worry and concern about failure into positive, focused energy.
  6. We can either learn from it and move forward or let it drag us down. It’s you choice and your life!

Did you experience the dark side already and what are your lessons learned? Please let me know!

Focus on positive assets

As we live in a more upward time lately, I would strive for a more positive approach about how to change for making progress. Changes how you as a person can improve yourself and also how a business can make progress, in a more effective and sustainable manner.

My suggestion would be to (perhaps with my help) find your positive assets, and work with these elements, instead of trying to solve the negative aspects because the positive approach is simply more effective and pleasant.

An example of a negative approach is turn-around management. A method or vision which tries to change things around by giving all energy to solve the problems by focusing on the negative elements. While there is also the opposite method to focus on the positive assets and work from here.

With this positive focusing, it’s not said that you should forget or ignore the less positive assets, but the point is that in the end this will bring you faster and better results, instead of trying to change the negative ones. Let me give you a few reasons why positive focusing is more beneficial:

Positive energy: No one who produces results, will want to surround themselves with a complainer. Those with positive outlooks who consistently deliver results will want to be around others with the same trait.  That kind of negative energy will drag them down, which is the last thing that positive people want.

Resources: positive business cases are more at hand, and the proper information will be faster accessible.

Attitude: people are more willing to change, based on positive concepts and goals. Such a positive environment encourages also innovation and has a positive effect on employee attitudes and morale, and can help employees in a business creating new opportunities.

Costs: project loss or delays, will occur less and result in better insights and faster results. This leads to lower costs in relation to related revenue.

Results: increases the efficiency of work processes, which can result in more satisfied customers as well as employees. The impact of positive change is effecting the organization as well the individuals.

Happy Business!

Entrepreneurship is the ideal vehicle to develop your character

Trading, or Entrepreneurship, is actually about coming out of your comfort zone. Working in or with areas you do not know at all, or are not quite familiar with. As such you have to make decisions which have unforeseen outcomes. This involves to take some risks, but as you have to proceed with your business and thus challenge yourself by making the right choices and go for it.It requires you to push your limits. Not only from yourself but also from the people around you, and this requires character. Not being stubborn but perseverance is key. Perform your tasks as required, even if you don’t feel like it. To follow your dream.

Please share what you had to overcome in business and to what your personal qualities you had to use. Also interested to know if this has lead to personal growth and the business results you have been expecting.

Entrepreneurship is for everyone

A lot of people are starting their business these days. Some out of curiosity, some because they think they know better as their boss, others because they invented a cool product or for other reasons.

Entrepreneurship or being a business person is not only for the rich, the smart trade people, or people with a big mouth, but also for groups of people that need some assistance or a little push in the right direction, like …

  • Personas in social unforseen circumstances
  • Students from high school to university
  • Elderly people
  • Unemployed people
  • People from abroad and Expat members
  • People with great technical skills but need some entrepreneurial assistance
  • Starters with great ideas
  • Creatives who want to market their product

Presently I’m developing a new Entrepreneurship program, specifically for these groups of people.

Entrepreneurial success is based on your personality

Is a business person born with a different DNA, or can it be learned? Is it because some people have a different education or are born in different (better) circumstances?

I believe that an entrepreneur is not a different person as in private life. As an entrepreneur you bring all the skills and knowledge from your personal past and present, and your character. You are not a robot who can be programmed with certain techniques and thus the magic will happen. You need to recognize and develop your (business) skills, get some help to get you on the road, be, and stay inspired, and go for it!

Which personal skills do you think are most important as a business person?