10 Ways to Determine If You’re a Secret Entrepreneur

My grandfather worked with Dr. Edwin H. Land, the inventor of the Polaroid Land camera and film, and my uncle was the first architect to design and build a million-dollar home in Massachusetts. My brother runs his own company, and I started a business as a self-challenge, to determine whether I could support myself.

Even though I worked for a number of companies over the years, I always felt compelled to work for myself.  Sound familiar? Perhaps you have considered this on an especially frustrating day at work, or when you feel as if you are a proverbial cog-in-a-wheel, or hamster spinning ‘round and ‘round and getting nowhere, fast?

If you find yourself dreading Mondays then maybe you should consider changing companies, or even careers. Perhaps it’s time to start thinking about whether being self-employed might be an option.

Of course, the security of having health insurance is one of the main reasons most people cannot consider leaving the Mother Ship. Benefits such as a steady salary, a 401K plan, paid vacation, life insurance, and other perks are certainly hard to walk away from.

Careful planning and research into whether the idea of being an entrepreneur makes economic sense, could be the catalyst you need to consider this employment route.

There are certainly perks that come with working for yourself. One of them is that you are the boss and get to decide how to grow your company. Another is that you will know that you can support yourself financially and be independent.

Granted, when you work for yourself, or are in the process of growing your company, you will likely work more hours than you can imagine. Of course, you may already be working crazy long hours or multiple jobs to support yourself.

The satisfaction of being able to say, “I built or developed X” from the ground up is also gratifying, but so are happy clients and the reward of knowing you are making a difference with the service or product you introduced.

So, if you are ready to start thinking about whether you might want to be an entrepreneur now, or in the future, here are some points to consider before you begin drafting that resignation letter.

  1. Create a timeline to embark upon your entrepreneurial journey.

 

  1. Think about whether your service, product, or concept is unique or something offered by numerous others? If it is similar to other companies, what will make you stand out from the competition and be economically viable?

 

  1. Put together a budget to see how much savings you will need to begin striking out on your own.

 

  1. Develop a business plan that outlines what you will be doing, your go-to-market-plan, how you will make money, and in what time frame, as well as a list of your actual and projected expenses. This suggestion is overly simplistic, but these are the basic concepts you need to consider.

 

  1. Pretend you are going to pitch your product, service, or concept on Shark Tank, to determine whether your value proposition is battle ready enough to merit investment from a venture capitalist. Deliver your pitch to a mirror until it feels comfortable and real.

 

  1. Develop a fallback plan. Build an out clause into your business plan in the event you get to the point it makes more sense to hit the eject button and wind down before you are in an unrecoverable position.

 

  1. Create and then nurture a business and personal support network. You will need both to get through times when you think you are either not able to move forward, or need advice on how to handle situations with which you are not experienced.

 

  1. Join networking groups or Chambers of Commerce that attract people from various disciplines. Many are willing to give complimentary advice, or even barter for your product or services.  Some of these connections may become members of your Board of Advisors.

 

  1. You will need to rely on certain people in your network for advice essential to running the business. You are going to be the boss and chief decision maker, so consider which skills you will either need to further develop, or rely upon to grow your business. One of the key elements entrepreneurs need is a strong sense of how to market and sell their company. If these are not talents you possess, either start learning, or ask others for help.

 

  1. Research as much as you can about how other entrepreneurs have made mistakes. Ask them to share with you how to avoid the early and elementary mistakes they made. You do not have to re-create the wheel when it comes to being an entrepreneur, so be open to taking advice from those who have had success and are willing to share their business wisdom.

 

  1. Does the appeal of being an entrepreneur seem better on paper as a concept, or do you feel, as I did, compelled to try this employment route? If you can’t stop thinking about being an entrepreneur, then maybe it’s time for you to start making plans! Harness and then leverage the energy and enthusiasm you have, and go for it.

The United States is known as the land of opportunity, so go ahead and pursue the ultimate American Dream. If you don’t, the only regret you will have at some point is not having tried. Good luck! Enjoy the ride!

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

 

Are you too defensive?

I guarantee you we can all name a few people in our family or that we work with, who would deserve to have the label ‘defensive’ placed on them. Potentially all the time, or in certain situations. People who are generally this way either do not realize they come across in this manner, or are working really hard at maintaining this type of character trait.

Being defensive takes a great deal of energy. It’s also the opposite of the positive type of energy which can be highly energizing and beneficial. When people are defensive, they are generally this way due to being either insecure about something, or from repetitive negative feedback.  In some situations, people who come across as being defensive are potentially conditioned to behave this way. Unfortunately, they seemingly do not know how to get beyond feeling or acting in this manner.

Dealing with defensive people and trying to get them to either be less defensive, or not defensive is like peeling back the layers of an onion. You need to be able to have a conversation with them about why they are being defensive. Doing this can take some finesse.

As you can imagine, a defensive person’s first response is that they are not being defensive. So, instead of asking them directly why they are being defensive, consider asking them other questions which get them to explain why they are taking the position they are – on the topic or situation.

Understanding why and where someone is coming from based on their opinion, is the first step to peeling back the onion layers. When people feel misunderstood, or are frustrated about not being able to impact a situation, they will often take a defensive position. Unless they were perhaps on a debate team, and have honed the skills to come across as being more diplomatic and less negative.

The second step to dealing with defensive people is to give them candid feedback on how their communication is coming across. They may not realize they are verbally and physically signaling their defensiveness. The classic body language of folded arms, and a potentially condescending voice tone, are a few of the defensive person’s signals. Another signal is that they may not be able to look at you when they are talking, or they may in fact come across looking enraged.

Finally, once you have arrived at the awareness phase of the person being defensive, you can now finally have a conversation with them on a neutral or level playing field.

No one wants to be defensive. Sometimes people unfairly become this way due to circumstances beyond their control. However, if you are their family member, friend, colleague or manager, you owe them the opportunity to learn how to tame their defensive posturing. Once they are able to acknowledge they are too defensive, they can then have a chance to work towards shedding their defensive label.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

(9) Reasons why people who use their manners get ahead in business

At the core of our best behavior are the fundamental manners we learned as children. Granted, some people may have been exposed to more manners than others, but most adults learned the basics, which include saying thank you, excusing yourself if you bump into or interrupt someone, holding a door, shaking someone’s hand and looking them straight in the eye. These are some of the absolute foundational manners, and although they are still put to use every day, not everyone is applying them as often as they should.

One of the most common offenses is not saying thank you to someone who did something for you. It could be as simple as handing you a piece of paper, paying you a compliment, taking time to explain something, or pressing the elevator button for your floor. Acknowledging another person’s act should always be a reason for thanking them. So, why do so many people you interact with in business or outside of work seem to have hit pause on their manners?

Not applying your manners can actually work against you. In fact, even if you are a good person and kind to others, if you do not apply your manners on a regular basis, you will be considered less often for future opportunities. This could potentially put your future upward career movements in jeopardy. I know this from years of working with, mentoring, and witnessing those who did not apply their manners in each and every situation and seeing the negative outcome.

Here are nine outcomes for those who exercise their manners on a regular basis:

  1. People who consistently use good manners are considered to be more thoughtful and aware of others.

 

  1. Using your manners on a regular basis provides the perception or proof that you have learned how to appropriately conduct yourself in numerous scenarios. This could lead to others wanting to include you in opportunities you might not be considered for if you do not have manners.

 

  1. Those who apply their manners all the time are perceived as being more emotionally intelligent.

 

  1. More people want to interact with those who have manners, as they appear to be more even-tempered and pleasant to be around.

 

  1. Even if you were not born with the proverbial silver spoon in your mouth, as long as you exercise basic manners, people will give you more of a chance to interact with them, right from the start.

 

  1. People with manners tend to get introduced to more people. Making new connections will indirectly provide you with additional opportunities.

 

  1. A hand-written thank you note, especially in the age of digital communication, really stands out, and is appreciated by the recipient. Writing a thank you note also demonstrates your ability to communicate well, and expresses a sincere appreciation of the other person’s time or an act of kindness. I used to dislike writing thank you notes when I was growing up, but I got in the practice of doing so. I have found people are enormously appreciative of this gesture of applying your manners and thanking them.

 

  1. I have spoken to hundreds of people who have expressed their dislike of someone, namely because they were rude, and did not seem to have or utilize any of their manners. This was especially true of people who did not say thank you. However, they would never tell the person they dislike them because of their lack of manners.  Just imagine how many more people might get along if they simply utilized their manners?

 

  1. Want to know the 25 manners kids should learn by the age of 10? Check out a Parents’ magazine article written by David Lowry, Ph.D. Are they on your list? Have you mastered them?

If you happened to grow up in a family that did not teach you manners, or you missed any manner-related lessons being taught in elementary school, there is still time to learn basic manners, and start applying them. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely, as the examples I cited above are real.  Wouldn’t you rather be on the receiving end associated with the benefits those who exercise their manners on a daily basis enjoy? In case you are wondering, this is a rhetorical question.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

(5) Reasons why you might not be as creative as you could be.

While conducting a workshop on Motivation recently, one of the participants noted he read an article about how our mobile devices are essentially diminishing our ability to be creative. Even worse than this, these devices also appear to be slowly robbing us from one method which helps us to be motivated…daydreaming.

When I started researching more on this topic, I came across an article written last year by John Long who is the Group Creative Director at Ogilvy. He noted that “researchers at the University of Central Lancashire, Penn State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara have all concluded basically the same thing: that it’s not until we’re bored that we tap into our subconscious, and begin to make unusual or unexpected connections.” However, think about it. When you are even slightly bored, what is one of the first things you do? My bet is you reach for your mobile phone or some other type of electronic device to entertain you.

Since I fall into a category professionally which I need to tap into my creative side on a daily basis to do the type of work I do, I have to be highly conscious about limiting my own screen time. This of course takes discipline, but when I am disciplined about doing this, my results are far better, and my creativity soars during these time periods.

Whether or not you are concerned about how your creatively is being impacted by your screen time may or may not be a priority for you. However, independent of the type of work you do, everyone needs to be creative at some point during their day, and there are many benefits to exercising your creativity. Here are some reasons why reducing your screen time can help you to be more creative.

  • When you are allowing your mind to think of or do creative things, you are tapping into a part of your brain which when you are staring at your mobile device for hours, does not have a chance to flex its ability to be creative.
  • Focusing on doing anything creative, especially if the type of work you do requires immense focus, can help you to be better at the task requiring your hyper focus.
  • There are many different types of creative work you can do (e.g., drawing, singing, writing, juggling, cooking) to name some of them, and when you do anything of these creative tasks for a short period of time, it is far more beneficial to your overall mental health versus spending more time staring at your phone.
  • Putting down your electronic devices and doing something creative can involve being creative with other people. You do not have to do creative work alone. In fact, it can be more fun to do creative work with other people.
  • The more time you allow yourself to flex your creative muscles, the better you will become at that activity, and there is a chance you will want to spend more time doing this activity versus spending that time on your mobile device.

Don’t succumb to allowing your mobile device or other electronic gadgets you favor, to rob or deny you of your creativity ability. Everyone has the ability to be creative, and you have so much more to contribute professionally and personally when you are doing something which is creative.

So, challenge yourself to put down your phone and either take a few minutes to daydream, or do something which would be considered creative. You actually might surprise yourself by how much you enjoy doing this. Best of all, you will begin to build back up your creative brain muscles.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Have you or your team reached your full potential yet?

It’s easy to talk about reaching your potential. However, does anyone really have a roadmap, or is there actually one that exists to help you or your team achieve its maximum potential? Or, once you reach your or a team’s potential, is it possible to maintain this potential?

These are all really difficult and profound questions to consider, let alone answer. In terms of having a roadmap, yes, it is possible to have one, especially if you intend to get to where you desire to be. Potential can be a subjective concept, and depending on what you are measuring, your measurement criteria may or may not be accurate.

Some potential is more elusive and difficult to quantify. For example, people who are considered friendly and able to converse with anyone may have potential to have a career in sales. For those of you in sales, you know there are varying degrees of being a good conversationalist, and it might not have anything to do with being friendly. So, if you were in a position to judge someone’s potential about whether they would be successful in sales, you would likely need to factor in other criteria to help you.

Measuring potential is not a single dimension exercise. When you factor in assessing more than one person’s potential and are asked to determine an entire team’s collective potential, this becomes much more challenging to do. However, I have found it is possible to do this type of measurement. In addition to leveraging the Gallup StrengthsFinder Survey to determine each team members Top 5 strengths, there are a number of other criteria I overlay to help me.

Here are some of the criteria I apply to help me determine both an individual, as well as a team’s success potential.

  • You need to assess the motivation level of each person on the team. This can be achieved by asking them a series of questions which will reveal what their current motivation level is, and what level they have the capacity to get to.
  • Different from assessing someone’s motivation level, is determining what motivates them. You might be surprised by the variety of answers, and they are not all driven by tangible things you might expect to hear them tell you.
  • Each person has a different definition of what success means. When you find out what theirs is, it can provide clear insight into what their potential level is.
  • Find out what the team leader is doing to serve as a role model to help inspire and motivate their team to reach each of their potentials, as well as for the collective team potential.
  • Asking someone to visualize and then describe their vision of reaching their potential isn’t something most people are asked, especially in the workplace. This is more commonly asked in the sports team industry. However, it is a powerful method for both the individual as well as their leader to have insight into how the person perceives what their potential can look like.

There are numerous other methods I apply when I am helping leaders and teams help to assess people’s potential. All of the suggestions above can be applied to any industry, profession or career level.

In terms of addressing whether it is possible to sustain potential, my take on this is that it tends to vary. However, a high level of potential can be both achieved and maintained given the right circumstances to foster and nurture an individual or team’s potential. Consider whether you are a guardian of others potential, or detracting from it.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.