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6 Steps to Growing Leaders: by Deborah Francis

What makes one leader attract other leaders and another only followers?

Some leaders attract other leaders who want to not only do what they are doing, but they have the desire to be and to do more.

Then there are other leaders who are comfortable with having followers. These leaders find followers that look up to them and never help develop these individuals to reach their full potential. In contrast, these followers listen to their leader, follow every step and remain average, thus choosing to be a follower rather than becoming their own leader.

Developing Leaders vs. Followers

If you are a leader that is passionate, leading the charge to change, breaking the path and staying steadfast and true to your dream and vision, you will notice and nurture other leaders emerging from within your team that will do the same.

What about those leader-followers? They too follow their leader and do what is modelled for them.

Sure, you will grow a team, you will earn money, and find fulfilment in your achievements but you will not see the passion and ignite the fire for your team members? Not until you live the passion and ignite your own fire.

You must live it before others will see it and want what you have!

You must lead the change and become a leader with passion, confidence and a belief in yourself, a leader with a self-sacrificing spirit to develop other leaders.

Recognizing this important principle is the first step, in making the change for yourself and your team.

Here is how you can begin to grow leaders rather than leader-followers.

  1. Grow yourself: read a personal development book a week and listen to a productive audio a day.
  2. Be organized: consistent and follow through.
  3. Be authentic: share your challenges, your insights and your celebrations! Be real!
  4. Love yourself, then others! You cannot love others if you do not take care of yourself.
  5. Be an example of confidence and success, whether you feel like it or not.
  6. Keep a telescope on your goals and your vision for your business. Narrow your goals down to the very core and then eat, sleep and ACT on those goals every day! What is at the heart of what you do? What is your heart’s desire? Go after it with everything within you!

Through this journey you will not only change yourself but you are giving a gift to your team by developing other leaders. You have the ability, now put it into action!

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4 Tips to Become a Healthy Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur entails more than it may initially seem. It can call for long hours of work and even days with little or hardly any sleep at all. More often than not, this job is also mostly sedentary and with all things considered, it can be inferred that the lifestyle of an entrepreneur may really take a huge toll on your health sooner or later. Sedentary behavior also is known to worsen the health of an individual – it increases the risk of depression, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

With a hectic schedule, it is difficult to schedule time for exercise or properly plan a healthy meal. Moreover, the emotional health of entrepreneurs is counts as much as your physical health and this aspect of one’s health is often times just overlooked.

In other words, entrepreneurs usually take their bodies for granted and treat it terribly in exchange for the possible success that they may attain. This standard of living, however, is not healthy and no matter how much success it may bring about, entrepreneurs should never let go of healthy living.

Do not tie yourself to your Desk

Spending even just an hour outside daily is actually beneficial for the body. Thomas Jefferson utilized this habit. He actually spent most of his time working but he never failed to go and spend at least one hour outside every day. It would not hurt to take a break for even just a few minutes and go outside, get some fresh air, natural vitamin D and exercise.

You literally are what You Eat

Another way of nurturing a healthy life-style is to improve what you eat. Skipping the energy drinks and junk food can be a starting step to improve your diet. Eating food that is bad for the body may have negative effects to your productivity. For example, inflammatory foods such as sugar can cause you to feel inactive and cloud your focus and concentration.

Consequently, you must prepare and consume nutritionally balanced meals. Food should be seen as fuel and if you feed your body with high quality fuel, the likelihood of a better performance will be attained.

Get those Zzzzs

All entrepreneurs have or will have to experience the toil of late nights, early morning errands and last-minute deadlines at some point in their careers. However, these must not hinder entrepreneurs to get the right amount of sleep because lack of sleep can deter thinking and learning and impair attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving skills. In short, lack of sleep can really affect productivity. Moreover, lack of sleep can also contribute to serious health problems such as heart failure and diabetes.

Sleeping more is a great benefit to entrepreneurs. That is why it is recommended neither to sleep too short nor sleep too long to maximize productivity levels. Also, a good power nap may also be utilized to recharge your brain and avoid burnout.

Mind of Matter

Being emotionally healthy must be given as much importance as being physically healthy. Even the most intelligent people would not make it in the “real” world if they could not control their emotions toward their work or toward their client.  Focusing on the positives is one of the simplest, yet, very effective ways of maintaining an emotionally healthy state because where you put your focus will determine how you will think.

Looking at the bright side of situations can help keep your self-esteem and morale high and this can improve productivity. Being able to forgive those who have wronged you can also be a way to improve your disposition. Forgiving will allow you to move on from the negative circumstances while learning from the situation can protect entrepreneurs from being wronged again by the same people.

Striking a balance between pursuing good health and good business is a must for all entrepreneurs. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can teach valuable lessons about good business. Furthermore, successful entrepreneurs work smarter and not harder.

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5 Secrets to Building an Empire

There are many people who want to be the next Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett, Aliko Dangote, or Steve Jobs. They dream of building their own business empire. Unfortunately, many of them have no idea how to make their dreams a reality, so they are either stuck with maintaining a small business or not even starting at all.

Many people ask themselves how existing empires become so successful for many years. As a way to answer their questions, these are some of the secrets in building a strong and successful business empire:

  1. Be willing to grind.

There is no such thing as instant success in the business world. For a business to grow into a successful empire, an entrepreneur has to start from the bottom and be willing to grind. One example is Kentucky Fried Chicken’s (KFC) Colonel Sanders. After serving for the US army for years, he decided to start up his own business by peddling his home-cooked chicken across restaurants. He did not have that much investment capital on-hand, so he had to go from restaurant to restaurant. Eventually, his own chicken recipe became more popular across America.  Although it took a long time, his “finger-licking good chicken” became one of the well-known fast-food chains not only in America but also in the entire world.

  1. Create a product or service that serves a protected niche

One of the biggest secrets in creating a business empire is to create a product or service that everyone will want to buy. Take for example Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the giants in the soda industry. In spite of the fact that their sodas are loaded with sugar and calories, they both know that there will always be people who drink soda. No matter the time of the year or the location, millions of people will crave for a refreshing beverage such as soda.

Another example of a business using this secret is Nestle Corporation, whose product line consists of commodities such as coffee, milk and tea. Nestle also knows that there are many customers who want to purchase simple items for their needs, and they were smart enough to provide them just that.

  1. Deviate away from the competition.

Blue-ocean strategy is a business tactic wherein entrepreneurs create a product that is similar to competitors’ but choose to serve to an entirely different market. This business strategy is how empires thrive when differentiation and affordability create a new demand in a seemingly crowded market.

Take for instance the tech giant Apple. Back then, mobile tablets were only a pipe-dream and there was no such thing as a tablet. In addition to that, gadget users already had laptops and desktop computers, as well as mobile phones. They did not think they will need anything else.

However, it all changed when Apple introduced the iPad, the company’s first touch-screen tablet that is more portable than a laptop yet more functional than a mobile phone. The reception was overwhelming with tech critics and gadget consumers flocking to their stores to get the newest portable gadget. It also resulted in a new market. After Apple’s initial success, other manufacturers began creating their own tablets for the newly-created market.

  1. Be generous to your client and serve them well.

Generosity may be an expensive attitude of an entrepreneur to win clients, but it can benefit them in the long-run. It eventually makes clients more loyal to the business. One incredible display of generosity came from Microsoft. The tech giant earns billions of dollars from licensing royalties from computer manufacturers. As the company earning grows they give cash dividends to its shareholders and employees, which makes them a great deal happier and satisfied.

  1. Be visible and friendly to everyone in the business.

A good business leader and entrepreneur will not stay inside the executive office all the time. They will go out and make connections. For example, the founder of the Virgin Group of Companies made sure that he is around to meet and greet his employees and staff. He also made sure to shake hands with the passengers of Virgin Atlantic airline. By this example, the founder stressed that one of the secrets in building an empire is to be friendly and accessible to everyone working in the business.

If you truly are an entrepreneur that is committed to building an empire, it may take a long time but patience and dedication will nurture your dreams to be fulfilled.

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4 Steps to “Get It Done” despite Your Busy Schedule

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that is your own self. ~ Aldous Huxley

One of the most common complaints in today’s world is that we are just too busy to find time for the things that really matter. We are too consumed by our work and then by our responsibilities for our family and society that we get little time for personal enrichment of any kind. We do not find time to pursue our passion.

However, if we managed things in a better way, we could be able to find time for the things that we like to do. It is all about proper management.

Set Priorities

The Problem: You need to be good at your job and providing for your family, but you struggle to find “me time”.

The Solution: We are not asking you to become selfish, but when you are spending the better part of your day at work and a significant amount of time each day performing your various other obligations, schedule at least an hour every day for your personal development. Remember that improving self is extremely vital.

Your Time is an Asset

Decide what you want to do with your time each day and invest it wisely. Are you going to enrich yourself in some way? You may be planning to do something creative or just become more productive. When you know what you want and you are willing to go after it, you begin to view your time as an asset.

Make a Commitment

Just as you commit to perform all your other jobs, make a commitment to yourself as well. Commit that you will spend at least 1 hour each day enriching yourself. This time could be when you return home from your office or it can be early morning. But, promise yourself that you will spend an hour on self-improvement and stick to that vigorously.

Ask Others

Ask people you trust what changes they want to see in you. Ask them what they think you are good at. Your trusted friends and confidants will tell you the truth about what they want you to do. They will help shape your understanding on how you need to improve on your noted talents.

There is only one you in the world. Take the time to shape and mold yourself to be your very best.

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4 Steps to Develop Your Own Style

There are people who spend their whole lives conforming to the ideals of other people, while there are some people who want to develop their own style. If you are the latter type, then it does not mean that you have a large ego or that you are vain about yourself. If you have decided to develop your own style, then it is the sign of a confident personality. You are striving to be unique; there is no harm in that.

The first thing you have to do when you aspire to develop your own style is to have a full realization of your limitations and capabilities. You cannot be unique unless and until you know what you can and cannot do. Think about what you are good at, and think about the things you are not good at.

Work on Your Strengths

Always try to work to your strengths. If there is something you can do well, try and see how you can improve at it. This is what will characterize your personality. People will remember you for your talent. Aren’t all famous personalities of the world remarkable because of at least one talent? Find out what your special forte is, and work on it.

This does not mean you should ignore your weaknesses completely. Try to improve on that too. A person with an impressive personality is one who can manage various tasks, but excel at least one.

Listen to Your ‘Inner Voice’

It is also important that you listen to your ‘inner voice’. When you are planning on something, ask yourself—What does my inner voice say? And act accordingly. If you have firm conviction in a particular thing, you should probably do just that. There will be several detractors on the way, but you should only heed the advice of people who have noble intentions for you. Don’t be obstinate, but know what’s good for you and act accordingly. Be confident in yourself and your ideas.

Do what You Believe

Don’t blindly copy others. Don’t try to do something just because someone else is doing it. Do what you believe in, even though other people do not recommend it. If you are firmly convinced that it is good for you, then it probably is. Weigh the pros and cons of anything that you take up, and when you take something up, commit yourself to it.

Have Faith in Yourself

Developing your own style is not something that you can do overnight. Your whole life is a process of developing a personality or a style. Everything that you do will affect it. Integrity and credibility are the basic survival tools in developing your own style. So, you need to be careful about everything that you do and, above all, have faith in yourself.

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